Love Where You’re Planted

This past weekend Andrew and I were able to get away. Andrew planned it months ago to celebrate my 40th birthday and our anniversary. We’ve made it 21 years! Can you believe it?

Only God knows when you are going to need a rest and a chance to reconnect and He knows how to plan it perfectly.

Life is just busy. It just is. I’ve heard the saying that Satan loves to keep you so busy you don’t have time to worship God. Thankfully, I don’t think we’re that busy. We do our best to incorporate God into our daily lives and worship on Sundays. But with 10 kids, a hobby farm, homeschooling, Andrew’s full time job, my two small part time jobs, and, well, grocery shopping, life is just full.

Don’t get me wrong. I love it. I love my full, busy life. Recently, I turned 40 and a few people asked, do you feel old? I can honestly say I don’t. I know I’m older than I was in my twenties. I get sore more quickly. But, I have such a full, rich life that I don’t have time to feel old. And I don’t want it in my vocabulary. I have a one year old who will need his mama for quite a long time to come, so I can’t be old. And I don’t want to feel old. So, I don’t.

With as busy of a life as we have, getting away is important. I need to remember that I can run at a different speed. Usually I am moving from early morning to evening, keeping everything going. I forget I can sit to just, well, sit. I can enjoy the world around me for more than a few seconds out the kitchen window as I’m making breakfast. I can relax and breathe in the fresh fall air and let go of the tension. I forget all those things because I’m just moving on to the next thing constantly.

On top of the regular busyness, we are part of a fairly new-to-us coop for school. It’s been so great and fulfilling for all of us, but it’s definitely had its learning curve and has added extra work this fall. We’ve finally found our groove with it and are able to breathe a little more now, but it took a solid six or seven weeks to get there, especially for the older kids as their work load is heavier.

Then just over a week ago, I received a call from a friend. She was crying. It started a whole chain of tearful phone calls. A couple, who has been a part of our homeschool world as long as I’ve been homeschooling, lost their lives in a horrific car crash. They were amazing people, who loved so deeply and lived so beautifully. It was a shock to our community and still is. It’s still not completely real.

While all of this was filling our lives, we had this get away to look forward to. And God knew exactly when we needed it most. We didn’t know that this past weekend would be the pinnacle of busyness in our fall (so far) and that we’d need to remember to breathe and give it over to God. But He knew.

We had planned to leave on Thursday, after dropping our kids off all over town. Thank you, by the way, to amazing friends, who were willing to take our kids! Instead of heading up north right away, we went to a beautiful, yet heart wrenching funeral for two amazing people first. It was such a hard service. They were so young and it was so unexpected. There was also a sense of hope at the service. That may seem strange to some, but we all knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that these beautiful people were now in heaven. They loved Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

So, Thursday late afternoon, we headed on our way up the North Shore. I’ll save all our adventures for the next post, but on Friday after breakfast, Andrew and I took a six mile hike on the Superior Hiking Trail in dedication of Will and Cully, who loved the North Shore. It was an intense up and down and then way, way up hike. We made it to the top of Carlton Peak, which sits over 1800 feet above sea level. Boy, did I feel that in every part of my body. But, oh, the views!

At the peak. That’s Lake Superior way out there, with the sun glinting off it.

The one thing that really struck me at Will and Cully’s service, was how they lived. There were probably a couple thousand people or more at the service and I was told the visitation the evening before was just as full. They were one-of-a-kind people. Wherever they were, they engaged fully and helped anyway they could. They weren’t loud, didn’t seek center-stage or fame, didn’t ask for accolades, just lived and loved. They took every opportunity to love those around them. Their quiet, humble attitude towards life and their purpose in it, impacted thousands of people. I was humbled by their amazing impact on so many. Their short time on earth was a beautiful lesson on how we should live: Love richly and fully where you’re planted.

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