Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Man.  November-ish, just one year ago, we were "all-in", creeping toward Holland secretly. God was slowly, but surely, confirming His plan for us to journey to a new land.  Hubby and I would squeal with delight when a Michigan license plate appeared in front of us. Suddenly, blue and yellow wasn't so offensive. We pondered the future in our hearts and gah-gahhed over Holland like a teenage crush. Total infatuation. We began doing the work in the Fall that would be required to sell our home in the Spring.  We even laughed as we painted the inside of the garage wondering what the neighbors would think. While they were carving pumpkins, we were white-gloving our house.  Knowing what was ahead, made the work not so tasky.  At the same time, my journal reflected prayers regarding my kids adjusting, the successful selling of our home, purchasing a new "dream" home, saying good-bye, greeting hellos, and acquiring a job for Andrew.  I feverishly sorted and purged every square inch of our home. Eventually, praise God, I packed. I boxed. I taped. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat again.

Now, a year later, I am utterly amazed at what God has done. When I recall all the uncertainty we faced, I can't believe we kept going.  I know myself and my desire to plan and take a step at a time. We didn't do that at all.  It was just a crazy jump knowing who held us in the palm of His han ds. We multi-tasked at living out the top stressors simultaneously!  The sale of a home/the purchase of a home (add in the stress of NOT being able to find a home), a major move, a job change (and not knowing that wouldn't come until months after moving).  We didn't get a lot of hints on the radar, but we did/do know God's proven track record for faithfulness.

God is so good.  He DID come through and was faithful.  He not only answered every prayer, He also answered them according to His will.  In many ways, He answered according to my will, too.  I just didn't know it was MY will.  It was a secret.  You see, it was a s secret to me that the home we thought we didn't want was the house we don't ever want to leave.  It was a secret to us that our street/neighborhood would be community like we've never experienced.  It was a secret to us that God could so perfectly orchestrate a position for Andrew that so beautifully reflects our family Mission Statement.  It's hard to pray for things you don't even know how to ask for.  Oh the small prayers I uttered that I thought were so big. It's like God know's me better than I know myself.  He knew we were open/willing/vulnerable/desperate.  He kept us so close as He planned His own big reveal.

When we submit ourselves to HIS will. He can do above and beyond what we ask, think, or imagine according to Ephesians 3:20.  I will say though, that there were years of molding and preparation and W...A....I....T....I....N....G.

I still remember a call from one of my dearest friends on Christmas afternoon.  She found an SUV in the garage with a bow on it.  Her husband provided a wonderful surprise, and one he had kept a secret.  Just recently, he drove through the night to surprise her for breakfast after he had been away.  Once again, if he hadn't kept it a secret, it wouldn't have been a surprise.

That's a bit like what God did for us.  He took what we thought was "our" secret and turned it into His secret for us. A gift! Oh, if we had known, those steps of faith may not have been so scary.

Holland continues to be our "forever reminder that God loves to give the most unexpected of gifts." The community, the family activities, our church, hubby's position, the boys' educational opportunities, the beauty that surrounds us, the lake, THE LAKE, the sand dunes, the parks, the smallness, the slowness, the extra time,....the gift! The secret!

"And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by name."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Just Follow Me

Our new life in Michigan has opened my eyes in many ways -- one completely unexpected. SAND! When I think of sand, Florida comes to mind instantly, not Michigan. This place is sandy.  Even my poor little backyard garden is packed with sandy soil.  The van can't seem to rid itself of those pesky little granules no matter how meticulous we are after our beach visits.

A friend introduced to a place called the Bowl Dune.  Oh my! It is a series of sand dunes to climb and conquer that eventually leads to a "crater" or "bowl".  I can't help but feel like Neil Armstrong sinking my feet into endless sand granules, pretending I'm on the surface of the moon.  One particular day we attempted to scale the dune.  It is almost completely vertical.  The workout is beyond what LIFETIME Fitness has to offer.  Strenuous, heart-rate increasing, no-talking, heavy breathing all the way up....only to reach the top and realize there are several more ahead.  The view, a breathtaking invitation from Lake Michigan to submerge yourself in cool blue water.

Umm.  I had my five year old with me.  The one that tires me with his endless energy except when he experts himself with his favorite line, "I CAN'T DO THIS! I'M SOOOOO TIRED!" My original plan, pre-dune visit, was to give BabyBoy a piggy-back ride.  After seeing the dune, my plans backfired mentally.  This little piggy and momma piggy roll down the dune backwards.  Not. Going. To. Work.

Feeling just a touch defeated and desperate for a solution, I huffed a command, "Just put your feet into my footsteps."  It's much easier than hollowing out his own sand mold each step.  If he can just step in my step, we can make it.  We did!  We made it!  The downhill was exhilarating, easy, fast, and full of joyful laughter.

Isn't that what Jesus requested of his disciples?  "Come follow me!" Jesus commanded. He didn't tell the disciples to go out on their own, to choose their own steps.  Instead, He asked them to follow, to come after him.  In my twisted thinking, I somehow think it might be easier to invite Him along my path as if I know the way I should take.  Ha.  He knows the journey will be easier if I just put my step into his footprint and follow His path.

Sometimes the path is uphill, dark, hard, treacherous, and frustrating.  I can't find my way.  Other times are bright, light, and easy.  Either way, my role doesn't change. I'm the follower.  My way is behind my leader.