August 1, 2015
From Laura, 16 … Recently I spent a week helping a friend after she had her third baby. It was my first time to spend even one overnight away from home on my own. It was a huge blessing to be able to help them and I appreciated spending so much time with the children. I enjoyed the opportunity to put my household skills to use in blessing them (although I did wing it a few times). It was a good experience to mostly be the one taking care of the meal preparation, cleaning, and so forth.
From Becca, 18 … I am excited to be graduating next week! I have been working on finishing up a few things and writing my graduation speech. There is a list in my notebook that says, “Things to do after I graduate.” Now I can finally do them!
From Seth, 22 … I've been meeting with some other guys on Saturday mornings to go through a book together. Last week we talked about how having a sense of God's holiness and delighting to obey him is so much better than the short-term pleasure sin gives. After meeting this week, I've gotten a fresh desire to read God's Word ... I'm thankful for brothers who will confront me and redirect my attention to Jesus.
From Anna, 25 … I’ve been thinking lately about the fact that it is often easier to focus on the aspects of our relationships with others that frustrate or annoy us rather than those aspects that bless and encourage us. Our relationships will always be mixed, and I have a renewed desire to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the blessings in spite of the challenges.
From John, Megan, James (3), Ezra (1), and Joy Constancy (due this month!) … Life seems busy, but not a whole lot has changed from last time. We are a couple weeks away from the due date! We hope Joy will be born at least on time rather than late, but it's all in the Lord's hands. Work continues on the master bathroom. It's looking like we will have it functional not too long from now.
From Ray, Katie, Peter (5), Samuel (4), Andrew (2), and Grace (1) … (by Katie) We took a road trip in July to visit friends and family in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Nebraska. The children were good troopers through the long days in the car and all the new experiences, people, and places. Ray and I, however, are going to look into teleporting for the next trip. Just kidding; it wasn’t that bad (except for the flat tire, the sprained shoulder, the fall down the steps... but I digress). Don’t worry, we’re all fine! The Lord is gracious, and saw us through all the challenges. On the bright side, we visited lots of special people, including some that we hadn’t seen in several years. We also got to tour a Vietnam-War-era destroyer, go on a hayride behind a 1950 tractor, attend a rodeo, go to a splash pad, and spend a day in Yellowstone. Yellowstone was crowded, but we still enjoyed our time there. We saw the falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, two thermal/geyser areas, and an epic traffic jam. We also spotted some elk and bison. Two elk were crossing the road right in front of us.
From Judith … I flew to Colorado to spend the first week of July helping my mom in Ft. Collins. Before I left, I filled my house with enough food so very little grocery shopping would be needed while I was gone. I also left instructions and lists. They all managed fine during my absence. The purpose of my trip was to help my mom process things in her house in view of her upcoming move to Colorado Springs to live near my sister.
I particularly appreciated my mom’s trust in me to go through her house the way I did. To be so thoroughly immersed in someone else’s belongings is to see that person’s life in a very close and personal way. I’m not sure I could place that trust in anyone besides Gerald – well, perhaps my children. That’s what my mom did; she trusted me, her daughter, to rightly handle and rightly regard her photos, letters, financial papers, family mementos, etc. I was honored by that level of trust.
From Gerald … Our family is in a small group together with other families studying a book titled “When Sinners Say ‘I Do.’” It has been a good reminder that because we have been forgiven so much by our heavenly Father, we also should forgive others in our various relationships, particularly our spouses. We tend to think we deserve better than we actually receive, when in reality, we really only deserve God’s wrath and judgment. Instead, because of his mercy, we experience forgiveness and blessings. In the same way, we are called to show forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
With love from the Pedersen clan