Monday, October 20, 2014

Treasured Moments

While reading Kara Tippett's blog Mundane Faithfulness she asked what are the little things in life, the moments we treasure the most. It reminded me once again of how I need to be intentional in seeing and savoring those moments to most fully engage in this life God has given me; to look for joy, peace and grace that is always available regardless of how hard the circumstances are, even in the midst of our tears.

My hubby and I joke how so far all of 2014 was not in our plans. While not our plans, we are so thankful for one who is sovereign over all and has His perfect plan and purpose for our lives.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds me God's way and my ways are so different and often at odds. His ways are so much higher and motivated by God's glory rather than my selfish ambition or desires of comfort.  He is more concerned about my holiness and eternal good and His glory than the ease of today or this year. 

Our year began with my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing me such horrendous reactions to the dust mitigation chemicals used in Arizona. They became so severe that by the first Monday in February my doctor advised us to relocate. Moving was not in our plans. We had less than two years before down-sized into a home we thought we could live in now and in our retirement fifteen years down the road. We were very involved in our Arizona church with many we dearly loved. My husband was serving as an ordained pastor/elder alongside the teaching pastor as well as working his full time IT job. It was a huge gift that my hubby's immediate response was asking the doctor questions about where would be good locations for me then saying we will move as soon as God leads in securing a job and selling our home in Arizona. But that night, when we arrived on our pastor and wife's home to share this burden, we all sat there stunned, saying how much it sucked, shedding tears and pouring our hearts out to God in prayer.

Summit of Lookout Pass at Idaho/Montana border February 28, 2014 on our way to say good-bye to Mom P.

The next two months were a whirl wind of prepping our home to sell, a week visit from our daughter and her family, travels to say good-bye to my sweet godly 93 year old mother-in-love in Idaho and 80th birthday party for my Dad in Washington,

My Dad and I at his 80th birthday with some of his art behind us

My parents, siblings and I at Dad's 80th birthday party

packing, cleaning, house hunting trip to Colorado and the many lasts times and good-byes. Those months, while crazy, were filled with many sweet moments. Moments of sitting at my mom-in-love's bedside and being able to thank her for her example and tell her what a wonderful, godly, self-sacrificing and loving man her son is and how I know her influence and prayers had much to do with it. The moment of seeing her tears of joy hearing those words. In Washington, moments of joy, laughter and story- telling with my extended family: parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, our grown children, their spouses and grandchildren. We celebrated my Dad's 80th birthday, where we all for the first time saw all his paintings on display. We watched our Minnesota and Washington grands meet for the first time and the joy they had together. One favorite moment was watching the three of them squealing with joy and chasing bubbles together!

We had precious moments as friends served us in love to prep our home for sale, cleaning and packing for our move. We ended up having more times with friends who lovingly helped and served us since I was physically unable to do nearly as much. Spontaneous laughter, sharing life, praises and prayers with my three dear sisters in Christ who came over and helped me so much the last weeks up to our move were so precious. I treasure those moments and still six months after moving away, treasure them for continuing to point me to God and His goodness when they call or text me with scripture verses, prayers and encouraging words. The many good-byes were hard and bittersweet but joy in knowing we will be together again, if not here then in eternity.

My precious sisters, JoAnn, Angie, Anna and I

 Out to dinner at our favorite organic restaurant in Arizona for the last time with our good friends Doug and JoAnn

Just before pulling out of Arizona to begin our move to Colorado
Laughing at the wind at a rest stop on our move in southern Colorado
The first weekend in May, just days after arriving in our new state of Colorado, we flew up for the funeral of my husband's dear Mom. She passed on Good Friday, which was so fitting as Easter was her favorite holiday. This year she got to spend it with her Savior. Again, precious time with family as while we grieved we shared stories about Mom and moments of laughter in the remembering. 

Joel with all but one of his siblings the weekend of Mom's funeral. Joel's the handsome guy on the right.

This summer we were blessed with two more granddaughters. The one in Washington we were able to spend time there snuggling her and her two year old big sister. Wet kisses, reading stories, swinging at the park filled that week with joy. Our second new granddaughter was born in August and we have yet to see her as we got news of Joel being laid off from his job a couple days before we were to travel there for a week visit. We felt it wise for Joel to get immediately involved in the process of job hunting and cashing in 70 hours of vacation to help tide us over in how ever long this season of unemployment lasts.

As Joel's job ended October 10th, God has continued to meet us with a sense of peace and an ability to rest in Him and enjoy the many treasured moments He graces our lives with each day. We have been enthralled with the beauty of the Colorado autumn colors and have spent time taking drives and hikes in the Colorado Front Range and walks into neighborhood open spaces. We have laughter over goofy things and the joy of a look from across a crowded room that fans our love and desire. We watch the antics of numerous prairie dogs or observe the dragonflies in our garden. We enjoy observing the ever-changing mountain views from our bedroom window or as we drive in the area.

These extra tame prairie dogs were fighting over trail mix we share with them from our trail head
 picnic table overlooking a lake.

Elm tree in its autumn finery in our front yard Sunday morning October 19, 2014
So as our plans disappear and in our human logic the year has spun out of control, we look for Him in those small precious moments. We never dreamed this year would hold major health obstacles, a move to a new state, loss of a parent, and loss of a job Joel had enjoyed for over fifteen and a half years. But we see His hand in so many details great and minute. We are learning to have greater dependency on Christ and are growing in ways we had not expected. We are confidant of His faithfulness in what the rest of this year and the years to come will hold.

So today as I write this, Joel is at yet another job interview. Please join us as we are praying that God will close all doors but the one He has for him, the one that will be for our best and His glory.



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