I suppose I should clear up what we have been planning in our lives lately. We had decided we were taking a trip to Alaska on a mission trip with our church and were ready to turn in some money and firm it all up. But God had another plan for us. We had spoken about our kids not being able to go and about the cost. We had discussed timing and "What would Dave Ramsey say?" (I know that sounds funny, but we try to keep spending in perspective and we listen to him on the radio and have taken his class. We respect his answers quite a bit.) That is not to say we don't make poor decisions because God knows we do, we just try to make the good ones more often. Making a long story longer, we decided Alaska was going to have to wait. But we agreed that we would be taking a missions type trip this year. We knew of a family from our church that has headed out into the mission field to plant a church in Salt Lake City Utah. There is a heavy concentration of Mormonism there and they felt very led to join a team and plant a church. They were blessed with the opportunity to, shall we say, train, in a church in Tennessee. We decided to go up and meet with them in Tennessee and learn a little more about their mission. It was truly enlightening. Mormonism is such a mysterious religion and kept under tight wraps. A lot of times their own believers don't even know what it involved in it.
The team we met with were so unbelievable passionate about their mission. They had a lot to teach us and we were eager to learn. Several very late nights and an old, smelly apartment (our rental for the time we were there) we walked away a little more educated. We had the chance to visit a few churches, one being the church they are learning church planting from and another, and Anglican Church, which has a model they are interested in following. It was a warehouse they converted to a coffee house. They hold church there and use it also like a community center. They also have dinner afterward (it was in the evening.) This particular evening, we managed to come on the jackpot of dinner nights as they had crab legs and ribs!! We thoroughly enjoyed seeing two completely different styles of worship in the same day.
On a less busy day, we all went to a nearby trail where we hiked in to a sort of swimming hole/stream and spent the day enjoying some water and sun in a way we can't here in Florida! Madison won't touch a lake here but she swam in the river and jumped off the rocks even though it was freezing water! It was so peaceful and great to be all together and enjoying each other.
We also participated in a prayer night that they held every Monday. They all seem so clear. Now its just a matter of praying for the means to get there and doors to open for them. Just an amazing journey they are on! We are looking forward now to another trip to visit them in Salt Lake City. Anyone wanna come along and help us to help them introduce themselves out there!?? I think a team would be the perfect way to get them going!
I had gotten away from coupons for a while and have been shopping at Aldi, but my husband seemed to notice our little had begun to get even littler. It was about time I get back to building up! So I have been using Aldi as the place for the reliable items I know I can't find cheaper anywhere else and I have been buying only the sale items I have coupons for at Publix and Winn Dixie again. I also successfully took a trip to Sweet Bay where I score $14.50 in coupons on MEAT!!! I never find those! But I discovered based on a tip my mother gave me that Sweet Bay puts coupons on their meats early in the morning! YEA! They also had a great booklet in the front of their store with store coupons including meat. Dig a little...GET a little.
I have turned in Madi's portfolio, been evaluated, and officially got the notice that she can pass on to 2nds grade. Thank God we are on summer break. Well, our version of it. We do part-time during the summer. It gives us extra days we can take during the school year. Such great flexibility. Madi got to play with the kids that she went to her specials classes with everyday during the last two days. They had a luau party and a game day. She loves the fun stuff she does with them.
MOMENTS!! (miss these. I haven't done them in a while)
-All packed in our car singing songs and laughing like crazy on a really long road trip. (nothing greater than all being together.)
-The sound of the river and my kids laughing and playing with daddy!
-Seeing God at work in some amazing hearts including our own.
-Madison offering to carry some things for me when she saw I was struggling with them. On her own!
-The girls sleeping in the same bed for the first time. I see sleepovers!
I have one last thought to add here. Our pastor gave a sermon on Sunday that put some great words in my mind. The treasures are not here on earth. We spend so much of our lives building up the treasures and wanting to leave a legacy for our children. But the true legacy lies with Him! We need each other as Christ's body. We can't live in isolation because living a Christ-like life alone is impossible! While he prayed at the end of service, I was busy scribbling these thoughts:
Christ's body of believers consists of a system of love and support. Without the people of Christ, we live our lives isolated from the wisdom and collective experience of others who help us live. Human life on earth is short and ultimately futile. It ends, however, in a promised inheritance from and with God enabling us to leave a legacy of treasure behind that is most invaluable. A legacy of Faith. Hope. Love in...for...and WITH Christ our savior.