Our garden seems to have taken over the vast majority of my photography at present. At least it will be well documented when cooler temps set in, right?
Life has been excessively sweet of late. Not to say that there aren’t struggles and sin to deal with, but, I’m constantly being overwhelmed by the abundant ways – both big and small – the Lord has chosen to reveal His goodness to our family. It’s as if we’ve been in the wilderness for a long time and now, all of sudden, there are blooms and flowing streams in the desert!
Part of this is because God led us to a new church the beginning of this year, and we’ve been blown away by the love and welcome of the believers there and all the ministry opportunities that have arisen from that. I hadn’t known we were starving for that nor how vital fellowship with the Body of Christ is. Last Sunday in church I very nearly started to bawl in the middle of singing Great is Thy Faithfulness as I suddenly realized how very precious all these dear people surrounding me have become. Isn’t God GOOD?!!
One of the new ministry things we’ve been starting up this summer is a group for college/career age young people from the church and area. We’ve been meeting every other Saturday to share a meal, play games, laugh (a lot), discuss, pray, dig into the Word, and worship Jesus together. (Isn’t together a great word?) There was really a need there as so many of us were feeling like we were on our own and that there were no other young people around that were passionate about knowing Jesus too. It’s great watching the relationships start to build and to see what God is going to do with it!
The Fourth of July was a bit different than usual around here. Independence Day is the highlight of the small, Midwestern town we live in. I have sincerely never seen the day celebrated more enthusiastically anywhere. The place simply bursts with patriotism and Americana. As we live on the parade route, our home has always been a central hub for friends, family, and acquaintances. This year, however, we couldn’t even hang up the red-white-and-blue bunting as our porch is under renovation. In addition my mom has expanded her duties with the Museum/Visitor Center and so was heavily involved with planning and execution of various events. All of this lead to a very laid-back, play-it-by-ear Fourth, which, in my opinion, ended up making it less stressful. We just felt free to go with whatever happened! We had a horde of people over to watch the parade. (Always fun catching-up!) Had a quick, music, practice/jam session with two dear chums (one of whom is back in town for the weekend) afterwards. Ended up having the pastor and his large, exuberant family, along with two, sweet, Korean, foreign-exchange students stay for lunch. This was a picnic on the sidewalk (where the shade was). A little quiet, restful time in the afternoon and then we headed off to the home of a young couple from church for an evening party replete with smores, wiffle ball, and fireworks. Definitely a fun day!
Something else that will keep me occupied until the beginning of August: The local, community theater is putting on Oscar Wilde’s deliciously ridiculous play The Importance of Being Earnest. As that has always been a favorite of mine, I thought I’d give tryouts a go. I really had no expectations and just prayed God’s good will would be done with it. Turns out they offered me the part of Gwendolen Fairfax. A chance to be poshly aristocratic and pour forth a stream of witty nonsense in a plummy British accent! Also, (and more importantly) to be a light to the rest of the cast who are pleasant but, definitely of worldly hearts and minds.
Some books I’ve read lately:
Village School & Village Diary by Miss Read. Warmly humorous recollections of a village schoolteacher in 1950’s England. Makes me smile how people are the same the world over!
The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton. Chesterton is brilliant, sometimes, admittedly above my head so.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. A retelling of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer set in California during the Gold Rush. The darkness made it hard to read at points, but, the depiction of the unrelenting, faithful love of God amazed me.
Lamentations – The Bible. Despite brokenness, despair, and loneliness, God remains merciful, gracious, and faithful. He doesn’t take delight in the suffering of people, but, is present, redeeming and working His mighty plans behind the hurt.
Trust Me for I am Faithful. Wait on Me for I am the Redeemer and Creator. Delight in Me for I am good. That’s what the Father has been speaking to my heart lately. For so long, I wanted God to change my circumstances and fill my life with excitement. Instead, He’s filling me with Himself and causing me to find great joy and contentment in Him in the midst of this seemingly ordinary, prosaic life. I repeat, isn’t He Good?
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!”
~ Lamentations 3:21-24