This past year has been tumultuous for many of us in my family. Instead of crawling under a rock, which is typically my urge, my parents decided to celebrate things worth celebrating and throw an epic Family Camp out for the 4th of July weekend. They went all out to spoil their kids and grandkids.
God continues to be faithful to us. He's provided fifteen children in nine years between me and my three siblings. He's carried us through valleys and provided some soft landings when we fall. He's given us an ability to laugh a lot together, given His grace to keep applying to each other as soothing salve, and given us a perspective that extends beyond today.
It's a painful reality to look at the family you thought was pretty darn near perfect, in seasons of undoing, and experience the crash of illusions and ideals. The first inclination is to do some patch work to get everything looking tidy again. But alas, God's work is deeper than whitewashing surfaces... so we make room for messy work to be done, trusting He is faithful to complete what He has started- even in the face of our sinful imperfections.
Even in the hard, the heartbreaks, swollen joints, unknowns, and discouragements, there are still 3 story tree houses worth building, multiple pools that need filling, four-wheelers that need riding, and marshmallows that need roasting. There are grandchildren that need snuggling and brothers who need pummeling.
It's the tension, isn't it? Living in an incredible world intricately created by a loving God yet filled with fallenness that plagues the every day? Uniting with Christ in suffering while still having moments of elated giddiness at His goodness?
I'm learning to laugh hard and cry hard, often in the same day. I'm experiencing God's hand not always in removal of pain but His presence in it- His presence that makes the rest worth it.
Last week I was telling one of my sisters, "I never want to look back on this season of all these little ones with their fun personalities, sincere love for Jesus, and excitement over sandboxes and days at the river, and think I missed sweet spots because I was focused on other things." Thankfully I have parents one step ahead, planning and packing in as many sweet spots as one weekend can handle.
(If you click on a pic below it will show the caption & you can scroll slideshow style)
Just throwing myself out there a bit...