Creating Memories After Extreme Quarantine

Last Saturday, a handful of my family- my mom, my oldest brother and two of his sons, drove from Georgia for an adventure to Colorado- in our home. We greeted them with excitement and anticipation to show them around our beautiful glorious state of Colorado over the next week. After months of being quarantined and only being around the same few people, we all embraced each other with gratitude and relief. Starting off the adventure with a good ol’ backyard fire pit and talks.

The following day we ventured over to the stunning Red Rock Canyon for a family hike.

Exploring the red rocks and walking our feet through red dirt will never grow tiring for us Coloradans or visitors alike. As I hiked the trails, I remembered a time when he lived in Colorado and I lived in Florida. He asked me to come out for the summer to experience Colorado. I came out for the summer, as a 20 year old, timid with worries of being far from home and yet excited to do something outside of my normal comfort zone. That summer changed me. I realized I was an adventurer. I realized I loved hiking and the mountains. I realized I could ask questions and almost tangibly hear the heart of God. The deep conversations my brother and I would have through Colorado trails would center around God and adventure. I’d ask questions and he would answer in a way which would usually make me long to know God more. So here we are, full circle- I am guiding him through the wild trails of Colorado where he once introduced the wildness of Colorado and the beckoning of God calling me out to adventure.

One of the best parts of this visit was watching my brother’s son and my son laugh together. There is something so special about cousins connecting and laughing. I pray they will always remember this trip with fond memories.

We may not have been able to do some of the family trips we had planned for this summer, but this made up for it. Having our family come out and visit and share giggles and experiences and exploration was a deeply needed treasure.

Now if I could just get the rest of my family to come out to Colorado…

Awaiting the Feast

The Bird House

I wandered outside in the midst of needing some fresh air. My back porch offering solitude after a great solid week of focus on trying to “homeschool” our four kids.  It was a sunny and mild Saturday- an offering of sweetness after a few days of cold, snowy, rainy spring like Colorado type weather. The birds were chirping and singing about this new warmth coming in as the day awakened.  I stood out on my back deck overlooking our winterized yard and desperately wanted to bring back life. I decided with excitement to go get my beloved bird feeder my niece handmade for me and hang it back up on one of the trees in my yard.   I felt like a little kid at Christmas about to see how my brand new toy really works. I filled up the feeder in anticipation for the variety of birds to come and eat. The seeds were overflowing onto the ground below. I walked back to my chair on the porch. I was ready.  I sat down and waited.

I had a moment which I like to call a preacher moment. When I have these moments, it’s like I suddenly have to smile at the realization that the Father is teaching me something. Just as I sat in my chair with great expectation for the birds to come and feast and enjoy the spread I laid out for them, so does the Father lay out a feast for us to enjoy.  I love picturing Him laying out a beautiful table full of pleasures and delights and sitting back waiting for His bride to come and feast.

So, next time you sit and watch the birds come to your feeder, let it be a reminder to your heart that it is an invitation for you to come and in-JOY feast upon the kindness of God. 

Embracing the Moment

I am currently sitting in my quiet home office listening to the rain/snow hit my window. It’s very still in my home, very peaceful.  But there is an atmosphere of change occurring because of the threat of this COVID 19 virus. So many emotions enter where I feel a bit frozen in my fingertips to write, yet I don’t want to lose capturing this moment.   We received word last night that our children will be home for the next two weeks or so, to help stop the spread of the virus. This includes sports activities, as well. As much as it is disappointing, I can’t help but feel a soft anticipation for the enveloping peace which will hover over our family.  It is a gift to slow down, be present, and be grateful for what we have. This is an amazing opportunity to show love for our neighbors, to stand in what we believe offering hope and joy. There is beauty even in disruption. We have a God who is not shocked, nor thrown off His rocker by this. He is ever so kind. He works everything out for the good of those who love Him.  I choose to embrace this moment to love well and intentionally. I pray for the ones who stand on the front lines- nurses, doctors, EMTs, firefighters, etc. a special protection over their bodies. I believe we will see a rise in the hearts of people around us. Communities will join forces. We will collectively see hope as we lay down our agendas. Sure, our home will be chaotic at times and loud and wrestling matches will burst out in the middle of the kitchen floor, but we will choose to see this as a time of coming together.  I cannot wait to see how Goodness will chase us down. 

Let my heart be tipped upward and not tempted by fear. Let my mind be renewed by hope and wisdom and understanding. Let my hands carry healing. Let my arms open wider to embrace my children, my husband and those around us.  Let my words be Life and not bring death. Let my mouth utter gratitude and joy. Let my house be that of peace and a refuge. Let us be ever mindful of the needs of others.