Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun....


Long time no see. 

Again, making a point to blog our adventures has failed many times over. Finding the time to do it, let alone work, eat and sleep, is impossible! We will recap what we have done since.....June? *cringing* I know that's really sad. But hey! time flies when you're having fun!

Since our last post about our anniversary trip back in June (which was taken in May), much has happened. We finished our tour with the ladies trio in August and returned to TN. It was a great experience! We traveled all the way up to Ontario, Canada and visited places that most people spend their vacations! Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls were some of the highlights but we also went to Lake Superior and Lake Huron which were beautiful as well!

Downtown Chicago 

Mackinac Island 

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island 

Niagara Falls 

North Bay, Canada 

Lake Superior in Michigan 

Contrary to what the pictures convey, traveling non-stop for 2 1/2 months was not the easiest thing in the world. We can definitely say that God taught us much! One thing is for sure is God can use us despite our failures and mistakes. We are privileged to serve the Lord not "entitled". We visited over 50 churches. Traveled over 12,000 miles. Met more people than we can count. Learned more lessons than we can remember. Sang more songs than we can sing! And made more memories than we have ever made in our lives.

We owe that to the girls (we affectionately call them) we traveled with. Bethany, the red head, Joy, the tallest child, and Caitlin, the girl that every boy falls in love with. All three very different personalities. Bethany was our comic relief and probably doesn't have a bad-attitude-bone in her body or at least didn't show it; Joy who is compassionate, tenderhearted and very talented but doesn't realize it; and Caitlin, smart and beautiful no matter what she wears and a singing voice to be envious of. We couldn't have asked for more hardworking, more dedicated, and more fun people to spend our summer with. We had our moments, of course, of disagreements or tension. Kyle and I were only 4 years older and barely married a year. We had never done this before. We made so many mistakes it's embarrassing. It was kind of like raising children, only they were not children at all. It took time but we learned what was important which was unity within our group. The girls were sort of like sisters to me, even though they called us "Mom and Dad" for fun. We didn't mind. We were a team. What they were doing, giving up their summer to minister to people, was a great responsibility and big sacrifice. We respected them and appreciated them for that. For 2 1/2 months, we became a family. Naturally, we went everywhere together, but it was more than that. We finally learned, trial and error, it was not about us. It was about serving God. It was about leading the way despite what others were doing. It was about following your leaders when you don't understand why. It was about people and loving them like Jesus would. It was about being "used up" for God.

One event that happened that still gives me goose bumps was while we were with a pastor in Canada at a restaurant, Kyle asked the waitress a question about something on the menu. The Pastor asked the waitress "Do you get a lot of hard questions?" She said, "Yeah, I suppose so", referring to the menu. The pastor, wise man that he was, turned the conversation towards the Lord by asking "I want to ask you one of the hardest questions, and that is do you know for sure you have a home in heaven?" The waitress shrugged and said "I am not really sure". The pastor said "I'm sorry, I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but I'm a pastor and I would like to leave you something that would tell you how you can know and I would love for you to read it."

We ordered our food and finished our meal not thinking much of this conversation, as I've observed and been apart of them before. The pastor then asked if we could sing something for the waitress. We did this often actually so it was not an uncommon request. The girls insisted we do "We Will Glorify" which is a song we did all together in 4 part harmony. We sang and everyone clapped. It was received well. Even the manager came out to hear us.

We left the restaurant and later we returned to America but before we crossed the border the same pastor called my husband to tell him that he received an email from that same manager of the restaurant saying she had heard the young people singing about God and she saw the information the pastor had left at the restaurant. She said in her email that she had been searching for God in her life and had many questions and wanted to meet with the Pastor. The pastor did meet with her and she accepted Christ as her Savior a week later.

If it's one thing I've learned about last summer, it's that we are but a small, small part of God's amazing plan. He had somehow placed us in that restaurant, in that city, in that country at that particular time. And not that we did anything wonderful or great, we just sang for God's glory. Not realizing that a woman needed the Lord and had been searching for Him. We were used in small way but it was refreshing to know that God DID use us. And it made me feel more in awe of our God than ever before.

We finished our summer strong, and the last two days of our summer long journey, the AC went out. PRAISE THE LORD!! (you may think I'm crazy for saying that but we just went a whole summer without a single problem and a couple hours without AC was not that bad!!) We all went our separate ways, Kyle and I returned to our jobs (which is a whole other answer to prayer- more on that later) and the girls returned home for a visit and then back to school. We have many memories from our summer. I still want to make a scrapbook of the many post cards and pictures. We reminisce with the girls whenever we see them. We may forget the laughs and memories, but never could we forget that God gave us a great summer serving Him!! 

For now, it's back to normal life in good ole Tennessee. Until the next adventure!