Thursday, March 24, 2016

Break in Roadway: When God Interrupts Your Path

I think it's safe to say that most of us have been there.  Traveling down the road you so carefully planned, prepared, and prayed about, when suddenly the path starts to crumble.  Maybe it had been slowly falling to pieces, or perhaps it broke off overnight.  Either way, life's future doesn't look quite the same as it did yesterday, or last month, or last year, or even in the last decade.  Then sure enough, the infamous question slips out (or sometimes maybe some of us scream it out) : What do I do now?

On more than one occasion recently, I have been talking with a friend, only to realize that I have no idea what my next plan is.  I have a little over a year to figure out what comes next.  I know what I've always wanted, what I had always been planning for in the back of my head, but life isn't unfolding the way I thought it would.  

When I a kid, I knew I didn't want to go to college.  To keep things in perspective, I also didn't want to go on the 5th grade camping trip or to the cheerleaders' slumber party.  That being said, it's really not surprising my eight year old self had no intentions of living in a dorm, even if it was 10+ years down the road. I wanted a nice house, a nice husband, and many kids.  While my friends planned their lives and careers and college choices, I always came back to what I considered a simple but happy life.  I thought this was what God had called me to do.  I thought that all of my gifts and desires had pointed in this direction. 

I still believe this.  But my life has changed.  This is my forth year working as a nanny; next year is looking like my last, which leaves fall of 2017 completely open. I'm quickly reaching that point; the place where you have had your life planned out, but you're reaching the end.  It will be time for something new.  Any change within one's current stage of life can be scary, as is moving to a completely to phase.  The whole world is in front of you, but what exactly is it that God wants you to do?

It can be hard to stay content, difficult to listen to His guidance, when there is a gaping hole in the middle of your road.  Those around me are engaged, married, expecting babies or already holding them.  This was the life I wanted, leaving me to ask God "Why? When? What do I have to do? or What am I doing wrong?"

Right now, I don't know what God has for me.  There are so many reasons that God could be holding back, but He is good. He is constant.  He is sovereign.  The truth is, I didn't plan on this.  But God did.  There is a reason I am where I am;  a reason I am still single, have had a job in child care, have stayed in this town and church.  I believe that I am on the path God wants for me, and if that is the case, then there is a reason there is a break in my roadway.  I may not know what it is yet, but I have to trust God to show me in His time.  When I was lonely, He gave me friends, although from places I wasn't expecting. When I wanted to use my gifts for Him, He gave me project after project.  When I wanted to be a blessing, He gave me people in need.  I have to trust now, when I want to follow Him, He'll show me the path.

I really don't know where life is going to take me.  I don't know what God wants me to do.  But there is so much in this world I want to see and do, so many people out there who I could be called help and love.  The truth? I'm scared of what will come next; but the bigger truth is that Jehovah Shalom, the God of Peace, will lead me through it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Lunar Eclipse

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. - Sarah Williams

I realize I am behind in my blogging, so this actual event has long passed, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to share my photos (albeit untouched and a bit shaky) from the lunar eclipse.  There is something beautiful about a rare phenomenon of creation; something you stay up for, wait for, search for.  Watching the moon, as it is slowly covered in shadows, reminds us of the powerful hope we are given in Christ.  We are promised the light will return.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A bit of Summer

We spent a lot of time on the road!  We went to Florida (twice), Massachusetts, Kentucky, and I took a weekend to Tennessee myself.  It made for a limited amount of time to relax the rest of the summer, but thankfully the second trip to Florida offered a surplus of time at the poolside and beach. 

Now, I have only in the past few years found that I really, truly, actually love travel!  I'm slowly (or perhaps rapidly) compiling a list of places to see and things to do.  Nonetheless, it is good to have time to take in the sunshine, celebrate with friends, and read a stack of books that barely fits in a suitcase. ;)




Monday, March 14, 2016

Teen History Trip 2015 ~ BOSTON

The 5th History Trip! This year we found ourselves in Boston, Massachusetts (and various surrounding areas.) The Boston Trip is probably the most taxing of the three trips due to the fact that it is the farthest away and involves an awful lot of walking. For the first time, we scheduled a trip that lasted seven days - from Sunday afternoon until Saturday evening.  I'm going to break down the trip day by day (so, yes, many pictures forthcoming) but we saw and did so much it really is hard to capture everything and put it in a single blogpost. Below, here is a picture of our crazy group (and a mold of the skull of George Whitefield.) -- as is tradition, we have a video of the highlights, and a video of our fun, both of which are at the end of the post --


We drove.  And drove and drove and drove.  It rained.  And rained and rained and rained.  And stormed.  Oh yeah, and traffic.  We spent literally hours playing cards in our 15 passenger van.


The trip really began on Monday.  We drove into the city to see the tea party ship and museum.  It was very cool and detailed, and I might have bought an obsessive amount of tea. ;) The prospect of having the whole trip ahead of you is really a remarkable feeling as you reach your first historical stop.  Later that evening we stopped by the airport to pick up Emily from the Boston airport, as she was able to join the trip last minute! 


We spent Tuesday in Plymouth.  Plymouth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, the Matrix of Liberty.  The Matrix of Liberty is the enormous monument at the end.  It was built by congress, in case we ever lose our way, to show us what this country was founded on and what morals to follow to get back there.


Wednesday could be considered Whitefield day. George Whitefield was an amazing man of God, People would come from all over to hear him preach.  We visited one of those sights as well as his grave.  This rock is only one of many places where he preached to hundreds. Disregarding the random snake that almost slithered right over my shoes, this place truly feels like holy ground.  Whitefield requested to be buried under the pulpit of the church. We toured the Old South Church in Newburyport and we also allowed to climb to bell tower. We finished the day by enjoying the beach for just a bit before heading back to the hotel for the night.  Plus, we also happened to drive by four penguins! In Massachusetts! Seriously, very cool.


Ah, a whole day on the Freedom Trail.


After walking The Freedom Trail the night before, everyone was pretty tired when we woke up Friday morning. Even so, the Old North Bridge was amazing.  The site of the shot heard round the world. Also, it was very beautiful.  After exploring the bridge and surrounding areas, we also went to the site of the Midnight Riders.  These two events went hand in hand perfectly for our trip that day.


Saturday was mostly spent driving home, but on these trips we often like to do a little something fun, to break up the monotony of the drive and give everyone a chance to breath - away from the car and without too much history.  This time, it was Hershey World, Pennsylvania. We each created our own candy bar, complete with personally designed cases and our own Hershey's hair-net and apron.  Not everyone was excited by these fashionable outfits.  Some of them might have been too excited. ;)