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Last full day of vacation is already in progress. So, so thankful for God's loving kindness and blessing for the natural beauty that is all around us, and for the family he put me into. I am very much appreciating all my kids. I find myself soaking them in with my eyes and hoping that I will remember all these times. Sometimes when I read that someone saved something off in their heart I don't really get it. I try to all the time, and then looking back my memory is so weak. My little ones, 9 and almost 6 (next week) still seem to be magnetized to me. At times I am literally bruised by their affections. At the same time, as my older ones (12 and almost 15--can't believe it) still want to be hugged and kissed, but so much less often I am trying to remember what it was like when they were like their younger sister and brother. Here is the lake we are staying on in Michigan:
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What did I learn from taking a week off of from blog reading, commenting, and writing? I actually finished reading a book. I have so many started but I finally finished reading Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Only the letters and the maxims are by Brother Lawrence I found out and the other two chunks of the book are the Eulogy and the Way of Life of Brother Lawrence by the Abbot who knew him. Both of those were rather redundant with each other and the Introduction. I think I do talk to God often but as I have never heard a still small voice inside of me nor any other form of inner locution, sometimes I find myself craving to hear God. I know I "hear" God when I read the Bible. I have saved off so many great Bible verses in Google Docs, and when I glance at them on my smart phone I remember why they are so great. I also know he blesses and speaks to me in the love of those around me. The hug of a person I recognize from Church but don't really know. When any one of my children tells me how much they love me.
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Running is very important to my emotional stability. As my husband was going off to golf, again, with his father this morning I was starting to take a little umbrage that somehow it didn't matter that I liked to golf and then I got a little angry when he was trying to make sure, repeatedly before he left that I wouldn't rent a wave runner and take all the kids on rides with it, as he was envisioning that my non-swimming mother-in-law would not be able to keep the non-riders safe while I was riding the others. This is the one activity we haven't done with the kids that is at the top of their list. I am one foot in the "wives be submissive to your husband" camp and one foot in the "St. Paul and Moses both had their 'moments' in Leviticus (was reading parts of this last night--lots of stoning prescribed) and several of the epistles where written by men seems to have had the stronger hand than inspired by God." At any rate, I am not going to take the kids riding the wave runner when he is pretty much doing everything to persuade me otherwise. I was disappointed at all the negative emotions and so I went running. I hadn't been able to run for last week and a half I was sick. I had a coughing sickness I think I caught from someone at my church. I am officially better today. I am also much better after running. I need to get to temporary physical exhaustion and sweating as part of my negative energy management. Get so disappointed in myself when I feel that way.
I am also thankful to live in a pretty flat area of the country as my run here started out going up and down some really ridiculously large hills. Oh my gosh they were big. I thought I might make it up a couple, but no, not one. Then I reached the Leelanau bike trail on an old railroad. I just realized the part about it being an old railroad. At first I was just appreciating the smartness of people making a relatively flat trail through such hilly country. Now I realize why it was flat. The railroad company wanted it flat. I run with an iPod Nano filled with Christian praise and worship music. I find I have much more stamina when I am listening to it. I went early enough that I was alone for the first half of my run and decided to end it when I got to a bridge. I talked to God for a little then and even pulled the headphones off for some minutes of silence surrounded by natural beauty and the feeling that I was very much alone with my God. I came to realization I need to resume the practice of writing down God's goodness to me and my family on a daily basis. I stumbled on some entries I did in Google Docs back in February when I started that. If I don't make a point of writing down God's goodness the memories slip away so easily and I am left with less reminders of God's active loving touch in my life.
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Simple things are the best things. Went for little hike with my younger two children. On the way back, which was sooner than I planned due to the 6 year old not really caring to keep up with my daughter and me, we started picking some wild flowers. This is the result of that fun.
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Saw Cars 2 last night at the Cherry Bowl Drive Inn in Honor, Michigan. The movie itself was really good. I liked it more than the first one and so did my kids. The intermission show which had clips from way, way back in time was even better. It is great when you see your kids appreciating how rare, happy, and fun going to drive in with family is.
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While we stayed on Lake Leelanau, we also boated and/or swam on Big Glen, Little Glen, Crystal Lake, and Lake Michigan while we were here. We also, for the third time, did a family tubing trip for two hours on the Platt River. We come up here every two years! Big Glen is my favorite because the color is amazing--aquamarine. Crystal Lake is more of an arctic blue, but also very pretty. We will probably come back here in 2 years. I hope next year to plan trip out west. My daughter will be 15 going on 16, junior in high school, and think we need to have that memory for her before she gets much older. She still very much treasures time with family though as I saw her and her sister sharing iPod headphones in the back of the van yesterday and she just seemed to very much enjoy resting against her younger sister who had already cashed in her chips (fallen asleep) beside her.
|Sunset on Lake Leelanau|
Thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes Friday for hosting.