Archive for May, 2012
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:3-4, 9
(Written by Susanna and Lauren )
For over a year, we wanted to go to the Vision Forum Father and Daughter Retreat with Daddy, Bethany, and Hannah. In order to do that, we did four fundraisers last fall: flower bulbs (from Dutch Mill Bulbs), home made candies, Confederate Candles, and our family’s CDs.
Thank you, to all who supported us (and those who happened to be here on baking day and volunteered to help with the project ). It was well worth all the work and time. We came away from the weekend very encouraged, and we highly recommend it to all of you fathers and daughters. (Go to www.visionforum.com to sign up for 2013!)
Here are some pictures of the whole process.
March 23-25, 2012 – at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA
Again, we HIGHLY encourage all of you Fathers and Daughters to go to the retreat in 2013!! You will come away encouraged and refreshed.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
Graduation… a time to reflect on the abundant goodness of the Lord in the past. A time to evaluate your direction in life in the light of Scripture. A time to set goals and make decisions. A time to commit everything anew to the Lord, knowing that in His perfect sovereignty, He will work it all together for His own glory, and your best good.
By God’s grace, I walked through this door this past Saturday as we celebrated my high school graduation. Many dear friends and family members came to join the festivities, and the Lord gave us a joyful, tremendously encouraging afternoon and evening together.
An oh-so-extra-special blessing was having both grandmothers there, as well as a dear cousin who came all the way from NY at the age of 94 to see her namesake graduate!
Fellowship… glorious fellowship!
An emerging tradition – that of doing some shooting after the graduation — turned into a painful, educational, and actually quite hilarious experience. (That 50-caliber beast – an elephant gun for safari hunting that was loaned to us for the occasion – had the audacity to “scope” us!) Needless to say, for the rest of the evening, we sported beautiful cuts and goose eggs.
To God be the glory!
This past weekend, we were again honored and blessed to be able to sing with our dear friends the Kendall family at a few Memorial Services. Along the way, we were encouraged by family devotions, humor and joy around the piano, dinner table, and corn-toss boards, as well as the wonderful and uplifting conversation in the van to and from Columbia. Of course, there was much more to our time there, but for some things, pictures communicate so much better than the alphabet.
This weekend will definitely be among the many “highlighted” weekends in our imaginary “record books”…
Highlighted for the
That was given and received.
Praise be to God!
… and learned just how much we REALLY appreciate our siblings!
You know, there are times in life when you imagine something beautiful… something perfect… something romantic…… to commemorate, bless, or honor someone or something or some occasion… you just want to make things extra special. You imagine a peaceful atmosphere, complete with candles, a well-thought-out note of love, maybe even roses or daisies…
And (sorry to tell you this), there are times in life when your dreams of fun, fluff, and fantasy just don’t happen!
That’s when you get a prime opportunity to trust in our Sovereign, loving God and blossom right where He places you!
We let you all know about Sibling Appreciation Day, all the while mentally preparing for our own celebration (a lovely picnic by the river). Then……………
There was mulch to spread!
(A HUGE, double-load.)
We faced a choice. Not exactly whether or not to spread the mulch, but whether or not to spread it with joyful hearts, accomplishing the duty set before us with smiles and laughter.
By God’s grace, the Team collectively chose to do right.
Though the evening’s events were completely different than we had anticipated, we were all reminded again just how much we really appreciate our siblings (just you imagine trying to spread that trailer heaped with mulch all by your lonesome! ) and we really did enjoy the project. It was work… hard work… hot work… exhausting work… but it was rewarding work and quite fun as we did it together.
So, be encouraged next time your plans for something wonderful are altered… or maybe even blown away completely. There are treasures in the darkness… hidden riches in secret places… a delicious-grilled-salmon-rice-sauteed-asparagas-sweet-peaches-dinner-made-by-Jessi-at-9:30 pm (with chocolate-mint brownies for dessert!) awaiting you when your work is finished – if you will simply trust the hand of God as He takes you through the process of life.
(aka 12 happy Neelys)