Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rain, Life Lessons and Concerts

Joyful Thoughts
1. It's raining - and it's cooler!

2. Meaningful life lessons for a Gherkin - especially helpful we'd discussed sowing and reaping in Bible study Wednesday night. ::wink::

3. Concert with family and friends

Yes, there was rain. We also had a full day of other happenings.  We are thrilled to see cooler temps in the was out and out cold today. 75* is about perfect!  I love the change of seasons.  (That'll preach).

I am elated that this week of school has gone swimmingly. We're all done with couch school, have had time for hands on science explorations, and the kids are on track with the week's table school.  I'm learning when I can schedule events during the week and still manage to finish our work.

A life lesson, "When something is hard,  face it head on - don't try to sneak around behind it."  Shoot - it's a lesson I need to revisit from time to time.  I'm not sure I would label the offense as cheating, but I was happy to see confession and repentance at work.  It was a great teachable moment and I found the note to remind me.....I trust the culprit has seen my response. LOL

Well, that's twice in two weeks with two different kids...a cheater a week....while I could be beating myself up over the sinfulness of my off-spring, I'm rejoicing their consciences are soft and they confess. I'm also thankful God gives me wisdom to spot it quickly these days.  That's what 26 years of homeschooling will do for a mom. LOL

Lest you think all we do is cheat at math in our are some happy glimpses...We explored buoyancy today....and talked a lot about gold vs iron pyrite.
 Oranges float - potatoes don't

Chopsticks float - and SURPRISE so does the glass lid

Next, we created an ocean - without the food coloring. I am alarmed at how much sea salt I've used in this week's science. I should have thought ahead and bought Morton's. I've 90% decided to just buy the science kit for this text as I don't have the many of the "common household items" on hand - like food coloring - and safety goggles - though we've seen no reason for them so far. ANYWAY - we created an ocean and boats.  The kids guessed how many pennies their boat could float before sinking.

Zander's boat sinking - Stacia's was wider...not sure if that means she listened better during the lesson or if it means she likes to build the BIGGEST in any projects.

I later found her boat with added features - gotta love duct tape.

Michael got home nearly on time today. He  left base early to pick up medical records, from several spots around the local area, in preparation for his upcoming trip to the surgeon.  We went to Mi Puebletos for dinner (which hasn't set well). Cynthia met us there and we met Mindee in Roseville. We headed to a wonderful (though longer than expected) concert from Casting Crowns, Sidewalk Prophets and Mandissa. If you get the chance to go to a Thrive concert - it was great.  My friends have learned if they take photos and email them, I will leave my camera at home and they won't be in photos.
Tad bit concert resistant are we?

We arrived home at mid-night. A fun day!

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Reveling in the Rain

{Revel - to take great pleasure or delight, to make merry- indulge in boisterous festivities.}

We've been praying for rain. 

We're in a drought.

 Fire fills our area with smoke - making it hard to breathe some  days.

Rain was predicted last Thursday. It didn't occur.

We kept praying for rain.

Gray clouds filled with smoke are much different than gray clouds filled with rain. One brings choking, destruction and even death. The other brings cleansing, the hope of life and the end to drought and fire.

I woke up this morning and it was RAINING. 

I attempted to let Yuuki out - she got up, found another cozy spot and burrowed in to escape the rain.

I spent time with Jesus.

I prepared to start the morning routine. I thought to myself, "I need to be sure to take time this afternoon to sit in the hot tub in the rain - after school."   (I discovered the joys of sitting in outside onsens during snow and rain in Japan).

And then a whispered Voice, like an errant thought, zipped through my spirit...."Seize the moment! Get out there and enjoy this rain."

I filled a Korean Starbucks mug with tea, put on my suit, and sat in the hot tub....alone. I simply sat and listened for Jesus.  My routine is God-led. Why in the world should I neglect my routine?  Since I so clearly felt I should break a God-given routine,  I expected Him to reveal WHY.  THIS morning I needed to sit alone with Jesus in the rain, I needed to hear His voice....I needed to luxuriate in the rain, experience it, kick up my heels in it, be saturated by it.....

Our family has been in a season of drought and fire - intensifying when our grandbaby Faith went from our daughter's womb into the arms of Jesus. There are more heartaches which aren't mine to share.  We've had to explain things to our younger ones which we'd rather not explain. Michael's been in chronic and growing pain for over three years. It's been a drought. God has been here, we're not depressed, we walk by faith, we've chosen joy, we've enjoyed ministry  and we've experienced great joy the past few months  - in the midst of the spiritual  fire and drought....but we've been praying for a change in the season...for a bit of rain.

Today, as I sat in the hot tub, hair soaked with rain, remembering Japan, thinking about some of our current fires  - Jesus confirmed to me again -   He will send the rain. Life-giving, healing, cleansing rain from the Spirit.  It may not arrive when first predicted - but it will arrive - in due time!  (Gal 6) 

I pray for it.

I watch for it.

I prepare for it.

And when it comes....I seize the moment and fully live in the in the rain (as I learned to do  after the tsunami/quake)....revel in it....splash in the puddles and sludge through the mud...yes, I did all this this a.m.  - physically and spiritually. I will do it again and again....because when God answers prayers He loves us to boisterously delight in Him and His provision.

These gray clouds we are experiencing?  They do not contain  danger, destruction, choking smoke...

These gray clouds are rain clouds. They bear the hope of cleansing, renewing, refreshing and life.

Funny thing - as I soaked - others noticed. I got odd looks...but one by one they joined me in reveling in the rain....first this one...She told me I was crazy. Then, she asked how long I was going to stay. Then, she joined me....

Isn't it true  often others think we're  a bit unhinged when we  delight in God's promise, revel in His presence/rain? If they see we plan to remain in His rain - will they be encouraged to join us?  This one was most like me - threw her head back and enjoyed the rain.

Zander HATES soaking in the hot tub. He got up next. He had the same reaction as Arielle had earlier. He seemed to think we'd both lost our minds. 

We didn't attempt to convince him to join us. We simply continued enjoying ourselves. Given time he joined us...and I saw another way of reacting to rain....he was in - but he wasn't fully in. He didn't want his face wet.  That's fine. He timidly let loose. Eventually he removed the mask and jumped fully into the experience.  It's not my job to rip masks off  timid revelers.

I didn't even SEE Nolan get up. He came down to start his morning routine and was met with the three of us having great, uproarious fun in the RAIN.....He couldn't resist joining us. There is something irresistible about being around those who delight in God's rain. Do our lives influence others, whom we haven't even noticed, watching?

 Where was Stacia?

She LOVES to sit in the hot tub. She LOVES to be in the middle of all family activity. We had been cutting loose in the rain for 30 minutes and she was no where to be seen.

She was asleep when the rain the came.  I knew she'd regret missing this.  I  woke her up. She eagerly jumped up, and raced down the stairs to the hot tub.

Isn't that what we're called to do? To wake up those who are slumbering when God moves and invite them to join us?

We made a phenomenal family memory in the rain. We thanked God for a father who goes to work early each day so that we can enjoy moments like these. We also thanked Him for directing us to  homeschool and  to keep a schedule which allows us to savor the rain.

It started as a solitary soak in the hot tub during a grew to a solitary message from the Holy Spirit to my spirit.  It spread to a shared family experience. 

God is certainly sending the rain to this family. It may not look like we expect...but it will be good - because He is good.  God has a good plan, a plan for the future and hope and legacy - the rain is on the way. The gray clouds are rain clouds...not smoke clouds. 

And when His rain comes - I don't want to love my comfort more than the rain (Yuuki), miss one moment of it by sleeping (Stacia), enter it half-heartedly (Zander), waste one minute questioning the sanity of those delighting in it (Arielle) or stagger half-awake into it (Nolan).

I will run full speed into it. I will boisterously celebrate. I will believe the life-giving, refreshing, renewing rain will spread to those around me...

Psst - they ARE doing school now. It will all get done.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...