A Big Weekend

Well -- we had a big weekend!

DH was off work for 4 days because of Australia Day. He spent some time painting. I spent some time schooling. The kids are starting at the beginning of Story of the World (Susan Wise Bauer). So we went to Mom and Dad's five acres in the country to see what it was like to be a nomad. 

Joman7, Lulu8, DH and Dad made a great big shelter from a fallen tree and a lot of branches, leaves and dry grass. It was almost big enough to walk in and certainly large enough to fit 4 sitting adults or so.

They caught wild yabbies in the pond (and ate them for supper),

tracked down 2 lizards and a newt,

found an alternate source of water under the roots of the fallen tree, saw kangaroos (which would have been hunted), and even slept outside for 2 nights (okay, they were in a tent).

They also watched for shooting stars (studying the atmosphere), and saw 4 or 5, and got to ride some neighbors' horses for fun.

On Australia Day itself (Thursday) we made Anzac cookies (yum!) and learned all about the history of our state -- why they needed convicts (labor) and why it's called the Cinderella State (it was very poor but then--the gold rush).


Sooooo....spent the night at my parents'. Yep, the kids and DH put up the tent; nope, I didn't sleep in it. All three of the kids including Jr 'Spragus were in the tent with daddy at 9pm, and I walked back up to the house with my father feeling only a LITTLE bit guilty at abandoning DH in that way. Well....the tent was down in a little sort of natural amphitheater, where every noise magnified, came up the hill and into the lovely open room where I was sitting with my parents. The cries and screams of Jr Spragus came floating up on the night breeze, the grumbles of my DH at Miss Rose for her carelessness....aaaahhhhh.

Of course guilt overcame me in approximately 37 seconds, and I grabbed a flashlight, hobbled back down to the tent and rescued my DH. Took Jr 'Spragus, who was in hysterics with fear, back to the house. That was the end of my relaxing evening as I tried to calm him down in the guest room, and of course could not leave him there to fall off the bed! HMMMM...At least he was very entertained by the sight of the little black and white face of my parents' jack russell terrier as it jumped up and down, looking in the window!

There was enough light coming in from the back porch to JUST BARELY make out the words in my new book, The God I Love by Joni Eareckson Tada. So at least I did get to read some chapters from that book -- up to where she had her accident. She describes her family's life and faith, the things that shaped her up to the time she was paralyzed from the neck down. It is a very good book so far.

The great thing about being up there in the hills, away from everything, and with the people I love, was that the stress just seemed to flow away from me. I just RESTED, and it's exactly what I needed. My DH and I had a good long talk with my dad about the things going on in the church at the moment. There is a big meeting on Sunday after church where everything will come to a head, will be discussed, and it could get, um...uncomfortable. Some of the difficulties are situational and some are spiritual, and it's hard to discern sometimes which are which. All I know is that my mind has been working overtime trying to understand and resolve the issues.

I prayed a LOT over the weekend, in the times that I spent shut up in the room watching over my young one. Things just sort of got put back in perspective. I gave it all back to God -- including the day-to-day living, which had even become overwhelming for me! The thing I was longing for in my last post -- PEACE -- was given to me.

Now, this post might get long and I apologise! There are just a few things that I want to record, to remind myself of in the future.

First, in regards to my recent struggles. I think they are twofold. First, the long-term problem I mentioned last time. I saw, after I had prayed again, that this problem is a sin. Sins happen daily and must be dealt with daily. We will never be free of sin until we are made new. So, they must be fought daily, confessed daily, prayed over daily, and forgiven daily. I saw that I have been looking for the easy way out, by asking for "healing," and not taking responsibility for my own actions. Most sins happen because we find it hard to resist them. Not because we go looking for them! So I have committed to pray over this sin daily, to ask for strength to resist it, and not to count it as better than, or worse than, any other sins. I feel hopeful in this regard.

Second, I asked God to forgive me for holding so tightly to my life. I have a great life, no doubt about it. The better my life gets, the more I cling onto it. The more I have, the more I fear losing it. It's like being rich, I suppose (except without the money. ) I have asked Him to show me how to have victory over the mundane. I mean, we have great examples of people who have victory with God's help over the most trying of physical circumstances -- paralysis, disease, persecution, imprisonment. But I so easily allow my wonderful mundane life to paralyze me spiritually, cause sin-disease, persecute true righteousness, and imprison me with the fear of loss! How can God show me victory over my normal life? To live in Him without fear for the future, to use what He has given me in ways that please Him, to walk with Him daily even when I don't *have* to (because of trying circumstances, if you KWIM?)

I see that I was wrong to want a "program" for my life and living. What I was asking for is a guarantee, a life without risk and if that meant no personal involvement with God, so be it. Boy was I missing out. I'm excited now about what He is going to show me, how He is going to speak to me, and what exactly He CAN do with the mundane!!

A side note: when I was studying the Bible this morning, I was reading from John, chapters 14, 15 & 16. I really got a good picture of what happens when you ask for a "program" instead of a relationship with God. Jesus warns his disciples, before His death, that they will be persecuted and killed by people who believe they are doing God's will -- but aren't because they do not "know" God or Jesus. (John 16:2,3) These persecutors were the Jews who had God's commands, and therefore a "program" by which to live and receive salvation. But because they did not know God himself, and did not have the Holy Spirit to guide and guard their hearts, they could not discern what the True God desired.

Jesus had spent a great deal of time in the preceding and following verses explaining that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide and remind His disciples of what He had said and done--God in skin, God's Word in action. So it became very obvious to me how wrong I was to have that attitude, and what the results could be if I got what I asked for! And how futile it is to go into God's word (or elsewhere, e.g. the internet and other Christians!) looking for rules and regulations to follow, instead of cultivating that relationship with God through the Holy Spirit!

I have to trust Him to get me where He wants me. I have to trust Him to do the same for my family.
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