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Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

Breathe.

Sometimes you need a little fire under your britches to get you moving. My husband and I haven’t been away overnight together since our oldest was born—fourteen years ago! The fire that got us away from home was an invitation to a destination wedding in California.

I was both excited and nervous at the thought of being away, and it was hard for me to ask for help. At one point I panicked and wrote to a friend: “It’s kind of crazy to be leaving 6 kids with a girl who doesn’t have any children. What kind of friend am I?!” The email I got in reply was: “Take a deep breath. The trip will be fine. Really. Your friend will survive and you’ll have a wonderful time.”

It was wonderful.

The wedding was beautiful, and the ceremony and vows were touching. For me, the most memorable part was giving the blessing. The wedding party circled the bride and groom and everyone said one line of the blessing. We witnessed their commitment, but also promised support on the journey. Beautiful.

I’m so thankful for how everything worked out. Even though we haven’t travelled in decades, the flights, hotels, tours, rental car and wedding all fell into place. But I’m even more thankful to the beautiful people who watched our children and drove them around as well as the friends and family we reconnected with at the wedding.

I’m also deeply grateful for my children.

Yes, I cried as we drove away from the house—and my children. And I was overwhelmed with emotion as I talked to my two year old on the phone a couple of days later. I was the proud mama that probably drove everyone nuts with stories of my kids.

Can you imagine my joy when we discovered little love notes from the children hidden in our luggage? There were heart shaped cards tucked in our Bibles, or a note would pop out when I reached into my purse or unzipped my suitcase. I was touched that they planned this out to show us love throughout the trip. We even found a well-hidden note today—almost two weeks after getting home!

What I will remember most from this trip was the love that we received.

Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Rachel

 

P.S. ~ I’m excited to share a guest post with you by my dear friend Miriam—the girl who survived watching my children for four days! Look for her post on Thursday.

The bride and groom

The bride and groom

 

The wedding reception

The wedding reception

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In Sonoma

Kevin at Muir Woods

Kevin at Muir Woods

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco

San Francisco

On our way to Alcatraz

On our way to Alcatraz

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Some of the notes and cards we found

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IMG_2037You know you’re a homeschool mom when…you have to find all the pieces of your daughter’s math test and tape it together before you can mark it. Yes, this really did happen to me today.

I sent a picture of the mutilated test to our home teacher, and while I was contemplating the damage that my four-year-old son had done—and the lack of supervision that enabled the mutilation—our lovely teacher commented on William’s excellent scissor skills.

I really did laugh out loud as I realized that this was another opportunity to look for the good in the midst of the frustrating.

May we look for—and find—the little pearls of joy that God places into our lives each day.

Love,
Rachel

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Today I took my little ones on a berry picking expedition. The little blueberry patch is not far from our house, but it takes about 15 minutes when I slow my steps to match my 2 year old’s pace. As we walk, William’s tiny little fist enclosed in my own, I think back 4 years to when Ethan and Owen were this age. At that point in my life, I hadn’t yet learned to slow my steps and enjoy the journey. I would feel frustrated that every walk that we went on was interrupted again and again as the twins discovered another rock, pine cone or stick. Why did it take me so long to learn to enjoy the discovery and wonder of it all? Why did I always feel so rushed to reach the destination?

William finds a small saskatoon bush with heavy, ripe berries hanging from it’s branches. We stop to pick the berries and drop them in his little bucket. I know he is proud to have the bottom of his bucket covered. I am surprised that he doesn’t eat them right away. We walk on; the terrain is rough and the little bucket bounces wildly. William notices as his last berry leaps from his bucket. “Berries all gone!” he tells me, distress raising his voice.

“It’s all right,” I tell him soothingly as I pick up the single berry and drop it in his bucket, “We’ll find more.” We stop at the next bush and replenish the little pail. As we walk on I carefully watch his bucket and the berries arrive safely at the blueberry patch.

I tell William that he can eat the berries from his own bucket, but not from Mommy’s. We all spread out and pick and eat berries to our hearts content. The children bring their small buckets and dump them into my large one. Even William dumps a berry or two into the main bucket and we all praise him profusely, telling him what a big helper he is. After a little while everyone is tired and we stop for some juice and a snack before heading home.

As we walk home I think of how glad I am that I have learned to enjoy the journey, but I realize that there is another lesson that I want to learn; I want to play with my children more. I know in theory how important it is to play together, have fun together, but I’m always trying to accomplish something and playing doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything. Yes, I’m focused on the destination again aren’t I?

I’m thankful for the new life growing in me and for the new opportunity to learn to slow down and enjoy each moment that God gives.

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I have five children and home school four. I am at home all day, every day with my children. We have a limited budget and rarely go on trips or out for dinner. I don’t own a washing machine and I don’t have running water. But don’t feel sorry for me, because I … am free.

I am free from debt, depression and disease. I am free to jump on the trampoline or have a tea party with my children. I am free to teach them right from wrong; free to teach them how to read and explore the wonders of creation with them. I am free to worship God and read His Word. I am free to work in my garden and enjoy the labour of my hands. I am free to make a choice. That choice is whether to be thankful or feel sorry for myself, and I am free to make that choice … every day.

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