So we are back from Camping with the Saints! From the first VERY cold night at Huntington Lake, I looked forward to my cup of Starbucks in Clovis on the way home. It was certainly a long, productive trip. The kids did great. It was so good for them to play and learn in the environment of Truth and amongst saints. Caleb played long and hard with the big kids, who were so patient and kind to him. He seemed to grow wings and was rarely at our camp site as he was so busy exploring. Gone is my little mama's boy. *Sigh* And our Evie Hope loves dirt! She wasn't truly happy unless she was plopped down in the middle of the camp site in the dirt. She ignored her toys completely opting instead for sticks, pine needles, dirt, dirt and more dirt. She crawls like a pro now, and I really have to watch her (more than I ever had to watch Caleb) because she moves so quickly.
Mothering around the saints was really eye opening for me. Not only did I see how the body of Christ works together to take care of itself, but I became aware of how much judgment and condemnation I had been placing myself under. Satan is really crafty. Sometimes judgment against myself is really subtle and others it is so obvious. No, I am not at my ideal weight. No, I do not capture every opportunity to spend quality time with my kids. No, my children do not always sleep when they should or obey when they ought. But SO WHAT? More and more I am seeing that this is the very stuff of Christ's redemption. I learned that when I reckon myself dead to sin and alive unto Christ, I am FREE from caring about how badly my old man flesh stinks. Talk about revelation! So when my 9 month old cries until 11:30 pm because she is cutting teeth and then wakes the entire camp up before 5 am for the same reason, I refuse to let satan (I purposefully use the lower case) trick me into wasting time worrying over what others will think. Because I am right before God, I can do my best as a mother and let the rest go (in theory).
We very nearly went into shock when we drove into the valley heat on Monday. It felt so oppressive after the cool mountain weather we felt unable to breathe. To avoid the heat, we have been in the pool and indoors while we acclimate to the weather. Caleb started swim lessons this week. He is doing well with Hannah B. and loves to be in the pool (most of the time). He is also now comfortable in his big boy bed. That's another story of God's provision; we were given a Thomas the Train toddler bed - - perfect for Caleb. It's been amazing to watch God see and provide for our needs during this time of financial conservation.
Speaking of God's provision through the body, I have been so blessed by unexpected gifts! Daily I am humbled by a gift from someone in the body of Christ. Gifts that are truly blessings because they are from the heart and require nothing of me. It is difficult to accept such abundance without anything to give in return. We haven't shopped for veggies in almost a month because the Brophy family has provided us with egg plant, squash, and cucumbers. Kathy gave me a beautiful tea cup and saucer while camping, diaper cream, Caleb big boy underwear, spending cash, and more. The Christoffersons provided much of our food while camping. Sophia gave us two huge bags of beautiful name brand hand-me-downs for Caleb (were talking $140 jeans for a two-year old!). It's really amazing how God has just taken care of us. Like I said before, it's difficult to accept without having something to give in return, but I suppose that's a lot like grace, right? Christ was God's gift to us. All we have to do is receive His work on our behalf. We cannot earn grace and it does no good to try and "repay" what was given in love. Humbling. I keep after God about how I can bless those who bless me.
Well, Caleb is spending time at his nana and papa’s house today. Evelynn is napping. Larry is reading on the porch, and I am blogging. So, life is getting back to “normal” around here – whatever that means.