Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lying in Wait

(Written on 6/1/13)
On the heels of my last post about questioning what my purpose was and what I am meant to do I have been met with what I feel is my life's greatest challenge.

I have spent recent weeks telling my husband that I didn't want to just pass through this life--I wanted to leave a legacy, make a difference. I didn't want to live my days just existing but truly living and with a purpose.

I believe this new challenge God has put before us will be trying. Not for weeks, but for months and years.

My heart's desire is to do what's right and what I believe God is asking me to do, but on paper in a list of pros and cons, that is the sole pro. The cons speak very loudly and the experts are encouraging us in this direction. I'm going through waves of great strength and courage peppered with brights spots of seeing hope but, I am often also filled with sadness, grief, and fear....lots of fear. 

The nights and mornings have been difficult because my stomach hurts with anxiety and I don't want to eat or get out of bed. I wonder if the people we have in our life will be able to keep encouraging us or if, as in life, they'll get busy and move on forgetting. I'm learning that I need God, I really need Him to endure this challenge. I don't understand it. What is the purpose in all of this when all I see is grief and tragedy for our family?

I just read a blog of someone who is an encouragement to me and came across a video on a boy named Zach Sobiech. Although our trials are very different, his message in the video was what I needed to be reminded of:
          Life is short. 
It is a series of beautiful moments weaved together, one right after the other. There are tragedies and trials--both big and small--but, when we look back on these I truly believe we don't regret any one of them happening because they were all for the good or had goodness wrapped around them. There are many things in life that I don't understand, will never understand but have to be OK that I won't until I meet God. I believe God is good and His ways are the best ways and so I keep that hope. Because, if we don't have hope, what do we have?

I believe that this situation is calling me to a new level of obedience, strength, courage and faith. It is a test and I am determined to pass this test. Because, I know, I really know that on the other side with be life and goodness and more beautiful moments. I keep looking back at my life just a week ago and wishing I could have it all back--right down to the broken door I felt I couldn't take any more. Now, these trivial things seem easy, comfortable and manageable. I want that life back. But, I have known God was preparing me for something big and I've now met it. I can only hope that I will have the strength, courage, and faith to carry it through. I want to be the example that I'm always writing about and striving to be--believing that there are little happies all through our life if we're just willing to open our eyes.  And so the new journey begins....

I will rejoice in ALL things....because life is SO good.

(Please press play to hear the music to accompany the photos.)

(Written on July 30, 2013)
The past few days and weeks have been very difficult but, weaved throughout all of the pain, there have been many beautiful moments. We don't know the purpose or outcome of what's to come but there will be beauty inside of it. Of this I'm certain.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Art & Sensory Mini Summer Camp - Candyland Theme

"In my soul, I am still that small child who did not care about anything else but the beautiful colors of a rainbow."
  ~Papiha Ghosh

Summer camp has been so much fun and this particular theme may be my favorite yet. (See other themes here). 

I have great memories of playing Candyland as a little girl with my friends. I grew up in a house where sweets were not allowed so I dreamed of eating sweet lollipops, spicy gum drops and soft marshmallows every time I played this game. 

All kids love candy so I thought it would be the perfect theme to end a week of camp.

Free play included a sweets sensory bin with jell-O, marshmallows, Fruit Loops and lots of tools for exploring.
We created "candy paint" by mixing flour, water and food coloring. 
Cloud dough is one of my kids' favorite sensory activities. We used red chalk to color the dough and scented it with strawberry Jell-O.
Kathleen came up with the awesome idea of spray painting the Candyland board game in our back yard and creating an obstacle course out of it. We were able to use the lollipops from Emerson's Wizard of Oz birthday party.
One of the kids' favorite activities was pretend ice cream making. 
We had two flavored choices for the ice cream; strawberry  (cheap strawberry hair conditioner and cornstarch) and chocolate (inexpensive unscented hair conditioner, cornstarch, and rich cocoa mix). The toppings were poms and peppermint scented colored rice. 
The kids all really enjoyed using their sense of smell to test the differences between the materials. 
 We finished off the day with lollipop making, games and wagon rides.
(Mommy finished off the day by polishing off a bag of gum drops.)

My little guy is so excited when he gets up from his nap and can join the big kids. He loves watching what they do and trying to be just like them which just makes me smile.
Looking forward to sharing more camp photos...have a great weekend!
"A man is getting old when he walks around a puddle instead of through it."  ~R.C. Ferguson