This week has been filled with many ups and downs, kinda like a seesaw.
Up went my heart when I saw Kim on Monday and she looked so much better than I expected. Down went my heart when her mom called to say her lungs are filling with fluid. Up went my heart when we were assigned a travel date to Ethiopia. Down went my heart when I realized I'd have to miss the D6 conference. Up went my heart when we JJ told me there's another date option that gives us an extra week to get our shots, plane tickets and plans in place.
Up and down went the seesaw of my emotions, and then God reminded me of something I'd just read on the blog of my oh-so-wise friend and assistant, Leah. She said I could share it with you. I pray you'll be as encouraged as I was.
Summer break ended this week. At 6:00 am Tuesday morning, my children tumbled out of bed, my husband got dressed to take them to the bus stop, and I stood in the kitchen making breakfast and packing lunches. Thinking about it makes me a little sad. The last three months have gone by so fast and, as I take time to reflect, the best words to describe our Summer break would be a wild seesaw ride.
When I think of the word seesaw, I imagine two children riding up and down while seated on opposite ends of a plank that is balanced in the middle. Webster's dictionary offers other definitions for seesaw:
1. an up and down, back and forth movement or procedure.
2. to keep changing one's decision, opinion, or attitude; to vacillate
Our family experienced "ups" this Summer that have been exciting, joy-filled, and left us with wonderful lasting memories. We've also had some "down" situations and circumstances that were extremely difficult and challenging, leaving us discouraged, fearful, and questioning God's plan for our lives. Here are just a few...
Up: Our nephew, David, decided to come live with us during his college break. He's been such a joy. Somehow he has this amazing way of keeping Brody and Carson from getting on each others' last nerve.
Down: Two days before school let out, I hurt myself playing tennis and tore a bunch of ligaments in my foot. I spent the first four weeks of our Summer break on complete bed rest, crutches, and visits to my physical therapist.
Up: Our oldest son, Brody, went on a mission trip with a city wide youth choir. While on tour, he had some incredible life changing experiences and spiritually grew closer in his relationship with God.
Down: My husband, Keith, didn't get that really big construction project he had worked so hard on. The potential client picked someone else which meant no income for us.... again.
Up: Our son, Carson, went on his very first away camp to Look Up Lodge. Although he was very hesitant about being away from us, he returned home with a huge smile on his face and said he wants to go back next year.
Down: A couple from California is interested in buying our home. I know this sounds like an "Up" but it's not really. This was our dream home and secretly I prayed we'd be able to stay here for many years. Our family has so many wonderful memories and te thought of leaving brings me to tears.
Up: My sister flew in to stay with me for a week. I was so excited and loved our time together.
Down: We had to cancel our family trip to Washington D.C. because I wouldn't be able to walk around on my injured foot. This decision left me with serious mommy guilt that I've had to work through.
Up: We rented a mountain cabin with friends and went to the Biltmore Estate. We had a fantastic time, relaxed with friends, and saved a LOT of money too.
Yes, it was a see-saw Summer for our family. We've gone back and forth on many big decisions that will drastically effect our future. We've been guilty of changing our opinion about people and things. We've had good and bad attitudes and vacillated multiple times on what direction we should go. But...God never changed His opinion about us and never vacillated in His plan for our future.
Something wonderful came out of this See-Saw Summer. Through all the Ups and Downs, I can honestly say that we did see the hand of God move in our lives this Summer. We have watched as He has orchestrated our circumstances for good. In the center of this crazy ride, we saw doors open and situations unfold which confirmed His love for us. God's daily provision guided us through some very rough waters.
Yes, it certainly has been a See-Saw Summer.
One that has brought our family closer together.
One that has strengthened our marriage.
One that has drawn us to a place of total dependence on God.
One that has lead us to the feet of Jesus where we have found rest, renewal, and strength.
One that our family will never forget.
Lord, who am I and what is my family that you would have brought us this far? 2 Samuel 7:18
Don't you just love that verse and what God showed Leah through the ups and downs of her summer? It helps me to "see" what God is doing and believe that one day I'll be able to tell others how I "saw" His faithfulness again and again.