We are preparing to enter a big week in our lives. Travis will turn six on Thursday, school will start on Monday, Garett will turn ten on Tuesday, and Roger and I will celebrate our eleventh anniversary next Friday!
The past week was a rough one for me. I found myself short on patience, lacking grace with our children, and just generally struggling with discouragement. I'm sure my children probably thought I was losing my mind on several occasions. As often happens, after a mountain top experience such as having the blessing of having some of the boys eduction paid for, the devil hurls darts at every corner. To mention just a few things: the wash machine quit working, the pantry door accidently got locked from the inside so we couldn't get into the pantry, the dishwasher broke, our insurance cards managed to get lost in the mail, Roger worked many long hours, and my children looked for every opportunity to annoy each other! However...by the grace of God, we did survive!
I was texting with a friend about some of my struggles this past week, and she reminded me that God would help me bloom where He planted me. I thought about that, and I think my blooms are in a drought. I can see a few buds forming, and maybe the blooms are coming. I know that reaching out to our neighbors, the pastor of the local church here, and those around me is a good start. My heart longs for fellowship of another mom in my season of life, but I know that God does have a plan. I pray often for my kids to develop Godly friendships in school, to be a Godly testimony, and to seek Him with their whole heart. It just recently occurred to me to start praying for those same things in me.
And in the midst of struggles and trials, God gave blessings in the form of distractions and people. I'm very thankful for my sister, Hannah. We went to her house on Thursday, and then we went and picked wild blueberries. That was such fun for the kids and myself! I had never used a blueberry rake and neither had my sister. The boys amazed me with how fast they caught on to using the blueberry rake efficiently. We picked fifteen quarts of blueberries in about forty minutes. Hannah needed ten as she was planning on freezing some. I knew that the boys would probably want to come again, so I just picked five quarts. By Friday afternoon, I had about three cups of blueberries left...and I didn't make anything with them! My children received a hefty dose of antioxidants from the blueberries, and I guess I shouldn't complain about it. They are very, very small berries, but they are deliciously sweet. When I made muffins with the remaining few cups of berries, I cut down on the sugar simply because of the sweetness of the berries. It was another fun Maine adventure.
We also had our first family over for dinner last week. The pastor and his wife, from a local church, came over for supper on Tuesday of last week. We had such a good time of fellowship. They both are from Maine and have lived in this state all of their lives. They conversations hold such a wealth of information about the state and area. It really was a sweet evening of conversation. They left our house with plans to do something again in the future. The pastor's wife called me on Thursday to thank me for the good time, and to invite us over to their house sometime in the next few weeks. I am looking forward to that.
Roger finally had off on Saturday, and he spent much of the day trying to fix the wash machine and the dishwasher of which neither was successful. In between that he was busy trying to take the boys on individual dates. The boys are getting older, and we try to catch molehill problems before they become mountains of problems. He needed to spend some one-on-one time with them. I appreciate the fact with in the middle of everything that he needed to get done, he spent time with them. Also on Saturday, we had a small birthday celebration for all of our August birthdays! Hannah and Josh came down for the evening, and we had cake, birthday presents, and fun. Since Emma, Travis, and Garett all have birthdays this month, we combined everything into one event. It was fun for the kids even though I know they missed having friends to invite.
On Sunday we visited yet another church. I can see why people like to see our family come...who wouldn't want a bunch of kids to come to church?! However, although it seems like more people attend church than in Wisconsin the majority are older folks. This was a church that had the liveliest pastor and music group but the most senior citizens in the congregation. I think we noticed a total of two children in the group that was there on Sunday. Do I think we could be a blessing to that church? Absolutely! And there were some things that we really liked about the church family. However, not only would there be a lack of common age friends for our children, there would also be a lack of common age friends for Roger and I. Now don't get me wrong...I love older people! I can learn so much from them, but Roger and I are both praying for a church that has a variety of ages of people in the congregation. Like I said in an earlier post, we've seen opportunities to serve at every church we've visited. And we pray daily, sometimes hourly, for peace about a church. It may seem like we are picky or taking too long, but since this is a place we are looking to invest in the lives of others as well as the place for our children to grow in their relationships with the Lord, we aren't going to be rushed into this.
We attended another local free event on Sunday afternoon. This one was held at a local farm stand and orchard. They hosted a neighbor night, and invited everyone in the area for a free meal on their property. Like most Maine events that we've gone to, this one was alcohol-free and family friendly. And it was free food! The kids had a great time playing on the tractors and swings. It's been fun to experience different events around here, and to see the kids reactions to the activities offered such as the lobster crate race, the Moxie chugging challenge (a Maine soda drinking contest), and harness racing. I'm thankful for the life experiences that they are enjoying first hand.
We rejoice in God's sovereignty and thank Him for his goodness to us. We are blessed.