Wednesday June 17, 2015
School dismissed for the year on 5/21 and we headed straight for Aaron’s parents, in Illinois. Our original plan had been to bring the kiddos there, stay for a week or two, come back to TN (sans children), and then go get them again in three weeks or so. That has been the summer routine since Alex was four or five. A few days before our planned departure, Aaron’s brother called to say he and his family were going to come visit the following Monday. Such a fun surprise and of course we had to stay so we could see them!
Aaron has been working with his dad, pouring and finishing concrete, and the kids have been enjoying the outdoors, helping Pop with chores in the garden or cleaning the chicken coop and even a little bit of frog gigging. Their most favorite thing is their love language…food! If you want to get a Sanders kid to love you, buy them food! Granny always gets them all their favorite snacks and treats and makes their favorite suppers during their stay and they always come home at least 10lbs heavier. Haha!!!
I have not written at all since we left Tennessee. I feel directionless (is that a word?). It has been wonderful being with Aaron’s parents because the kiddos all have beds, bathrooms and we are in nice air conditioned comfort, but we miss Tennessee. We have all agreed that next summer we are not going to be away for so long. I have had a weird feeling of being on the verge of a panic or anxiety attack. I find myself having to take frequent deep breaths. I try to continually remind myself of the good God has shown us, and the good he has done in us. If I do not do that, my worry spirals totally out of control and I start thinking like Aaron. Hehe! I skip way ahead into the coming school year and start worrying about how all of that is going to work out. I also have a struggle in myself to read the Bible which is very weird because it has been my lifeline, literally, for the last two years. Reading it has brought so much encouragement and strength, but I do not have the longing to read or pray as earnestly as I did before. It upsets me because I know the way I will receive the encouragement, strength and direction that I need will be by staying connected to God.
One night I felt so weary and broken that I laid in bed crying, asking God for grace and strength because I was so overwhelmed. I picked up my phone to look at my Bible app and see what the verses of the day had been for the last few days, because I had not even bothered to look at those. The verse for that day came up first:
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
God always, always, always knows where we are. If we need a rebuke he will give it, but he knows that often all we need is to be reminded of his word, of the things he has called us to and of the strength he gives us. Instead of a rebuke for not reading and seeking like I had been previously, he reminded me to keep fighting. Everything we go through on earth is either for our growth, or so we can help someone else. If God thinks I am strong enough to go through things on someone else’s behalf, then I guess I am strong enough.
Friday June 19, 2015
Aaron and I came back to Tennessee for a week to renew the tabs on our van, clean up our storage units and help friends with some projects around their house. We talked this morning about the fine line of faith and action. We act because we “should” be doing something to act out our faith (because faith without works is dead), but often we are simply staying busy to distract ourselves and we miss what God is actually trying to do in us. Our main action should be to seek him. When we seek him, he gives us the action that is next. We have discovered that God does not hide things from us, he hides them for us. This brings us right back to our action needing to be seeking him. He promises that when we seek him, we will find him.
Two years ago God told us to go out and play. We have been completely focused on this “play” being an action. When we have tried to “go out and play”, we realize that we were bringing all of our old equipment and that God had totally upped the game! We were showing up in the back yard with a wiffle ball set and He shows up with a narrow wooden bat and a tiny hard ball (see post “From Wiffle Ball to the Big Leagues”). We do not have the strength and skills to play at this level. He has been trying to teach us, but we keep trying make our wiffle ball set work (our own actions). We have to be able to lay down our pride and allow him to teach us how this “new game” works. Even though it looks similar and we want to keep doing things the way we have always done them before, he is calling us to a higher place and we need to trust him as he shows us what we need to do.