Being at home with Levi has been such a joy this summer. Without question, I enjoy spending time with him, playing with him, smelling him, kissing him, but my time off also allows me time to do other things. Yesterday afternoon Levi and I went with my Mimi to visit her sister Louise in the nursing home. What a blessing it was. Louise and their other sister have lived next door to Mimi for years until her other sister remarried. After the marriage, Louise moved, without complaint, to a nursing home. As a child, Louise suffered several seizures brought upon by spiked temperatures which resulted from a mosquito bite. Strange, huh??? This left her mentally disabled and unable to live by herself. Despite her disability, Louise is an incredible woman. She, without question, is an angel among us. She has the kindest disposition and never once complains, not even about the fact that she had just had a fairly large seizure at lunch yesterday. As a child, I remember playing with her, making silly faces, and laughing...Louise loves to laugh. In fact, she got herself tickled yesterday and couldn't stop! What a heart she has and such a peace. I'm convinced there's not a finer woman. We often push people aside who don't appear "normal" to us instead of taking time to learn from them and their character traits. Louise could teach us a lot about loving life, loving her family, and loving her Lord. She doesn't sweat the small stuff and is just happy to be anywhere. Thank you God for Louise and for the angel you created her to be.
I love to garden, however, I by no means consider myself a gardener, especially now that I'm a new mother. My grandmother, mother-in-law, and father are the gardeners in the family. This spring, my father planted an organic garden, spanning approximately 3 acres...now that's ambitious! I'm not even in their league. My few measly plants on my patio and perennials in our attempt at a yard would never qualify me as a gardener. Oh, side note, we were awarded "yard of the week" by the local newspaper last summer (thanks to my grandmother for entering us). Despite my poor attempts at "gardening," I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing what God decides to do with my attempts. I love His creation. I'm a little bit crazy though...I'm one of those that tries my best to take bugs outside instead of squishing them on my floor (with the exception of mosquitoes...I hate those things). My plan often backfires though...many times their little wings or legs end up on my tissue after I've released them. At least I try. Okay, sorry for the digression. Where was I???? Oh yes, my plants and how poor of a gardener I am. The plants on my patio struggle in the sun most of the day with very little break from the heat. Matt and I do make an effort to water them daily, but as for the flowers in my yard, they're usually left to fend for themselves. I have found this summer that no matter how often I water my flowers on the patio, they mostly look pathetic and some have already died. Last night, however, there was sweet relief. God watered my garden. This morning, everything, including my flowers looked refreshed, renewed, and the brightest they've looked all season. I love how a good watering from the best gardener washes everything clean and makes it as good as new.
When I examine my life, I don't feel as fulfilled, fresh, and renewed when others water my garden, whether that be people or things of this world. The times when I'm actively pursuing God's will for my life, through reading His word and in time spent in prayer, I do feel revived and new again. Isn't it the greatest thing to experience a life changed by God? A friend of ours recently made a profession of faith and decided that living in God's will was much more fulfilling and permanent than things of this world. He decided to let God be his gardener and it was a beautiful sight! I could almost smell the fresh wet soil, ready for growth. We should soak up all God has to offer, because in the end, without Christ, there's nothing. Well, maybe there's a dried leaf or crumpled petals, an indication of a life that was once full of beauty and promise, but is no more. I certainly don't want to be like the fried vegetation on my patio, I want to be vibrant and full of life. I want to strive daily to let God grow my garden and see what He can produce in me. This is how I want my garden to grow...
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." John 15:1-3 (NIV)
And I still digress...here are some pics from this weekend...enjoy!
I am not naturally a conformer and I don't like the bandwagons people jump on with the newest craze...in this case....BLOGGING. However, this idea of sharing my daily experiences, as intriguing as they are, is growing on me. The main reason that I've decide to jump aboard is because of a promise I made to my sister-in-law, Lindy. Lindy and Chris are leaving tomorrow on an adventure for Christ...they have accepted the call into missions in Nairobi, Kenya and will be making a home there until they are called back to the states. Matt and I feel like we're losing our right arms and we're right-handed which make it very difficult to function normally, but we'll manage. We're not promised another day on this earth or another day with Chris and Lindy and we certainly don't deserve the time we've had. Our friendship with "Team Thompson" goes beyond family ties and beyond best friends...it is a spiritual connection and a relationship that we value deeply. And how is it awesome to share in such in this experience despite the sadness? This is my first blog and it will be short. Chris and Lindy are here at our house, not to say "goodbye," but to say "see ya later," and we can't wait...we miss them already!
After nearly 5 blissful years of marriage, 2 boys, and entering into a new stage of my life...my 30s...I have come to the realization that I've got so much more to learn about being a wife, a mother, and a woman after God's own heart. Just as I feel the sometimes daily struggles of raising up boys, God has shown me that He's not finished "raising me" to be the woman He created me to be. I hope to capture the ins and outs of our silly, imperfect, passionate, and growing family as we, and our Creator, are "raising up the Rollins'."