...and Elyse is practicing her Halloween faces and costumes out too!
We went to a Squadron Kids Halloween party... and saw the cutest little watermelon baby EVER!
Elyse and daddy got bored in line.... what a goofball we have created!! Haha!
The night after all that fun, we had to do something fun!
We made yummy hot chocolate donuts and covered them in powder sugar!
Elyse approves ;)
Later, we took on a hike... that didn't progress in the way I had planned....
For starters, when we parked the car, we were greeted with the blasting winds from the sides of the mountains... then once on the trail, we realized everything was iced over... and the snow was frozen over too!
Not a good way to start a "long" hike...
I don't know if you can see it or not, but off to the right of me, you could see Denali!
Even though it was cold, it was still a beautiful Saturday! We spent the rest of the day at the park.
Frozen or not, here she comes Slide!
I will share with you two secrets most bloggers don't share on their blogs.
(Many of us have acknowledged these secrets, but not enough to remind others bloggers are just as human as the next person...)
1. Bloggers don't have prefect lives, most have just as many problems as the next and battles within are always raging. Yet you can overlook these things easily though with the many distractions in pictures and crafts.
2. Most are not above the average creative mind in the crafting or projects advertised or the upmost adventurer in the activities featured on a post.
As for the heart stuff, I will admit it is all there for your fellow blogger me as well: anger issues, addictive issues, discouragement, and dissatisfaction in life... Dissatisfaction in God.
As a result of realizing these things, i have been broken than ever and yet, more prayerfully minded than usual (what an awesome problem to have!). The power of prayer and the encouragement of Christ followers (and a faithful husband) are far more powerful tools than I ever estimated.
I shared last week that the Lord and I have been cleaning house on my heart.
It has been so painful, yet so very good.
"For the moment all discipline seems painful and rather unpleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.". Hebrews 12:11
"For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." 2 Corinthians 7:10
I have been praying about direction and peace in the place we are at. I just haven't been able to shake the feeling that this is not where Andrew, my family and I belonged: in Alaska, in the military, in America...I suddenly felt trapped and couldn't explain it.
Then a very dear, memorized verse came to mind...
(more incentive to memory scripture again)
"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.... Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called....You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God." -- 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20,23-24
Remain in Alaska?
Remain in this lifestyle?
How could I be satisfied Lord if I don't feel this is where we belong?
Because its all about HIS plans, and these things are apart of them.
Our preparation for whatever His plan is might be is just as important as the call itself. So it's important for HOW I am living where I am!
Recently, I have more than three accounts of encouragement from other brothers and sisters in Christ who have reminded me that GOD ultimately sent us to Alaska, not the military, and Andrew and I have seen so much inner growth happen here that wouldn't have taken place anywhere else, since we were REALLY out of our comfort zone here in Alaska.
If you recall, many people in the bible that God had plans for to make his name great were sent to places they did not foresee as "shaping places", and very much out of their comfort zones too. Joseph-- Egypt and slavery, Moses-- the desert, Abraham-- the desert, John the baptist-- the wilderness and the weird diet.... And probably many more. In each case, God shaped them and gave them hearts that relied more on him than on themselves, no matter what tried to shake them in life.
It is also good to remember that the process of discipline or mom God in our lives and the process of making us like Christ is not an overnight process. It takes time to clean house!
Especially in my heart.
Another reason, besides preparation, is perspective. I have the privilege this year to host and endorse a bible study for the wives in our squadron. Not one study goes by that doesn't leave me awe struck and amazed at the stories that come from these ladies' lives. I am a student of these amazing ladies rather a leader of any sort! One gal who joins us lost her husband in a military aircraft two years ago. Not one day goes by that she is not sorrowful over her loss since she is reminded so often while raising two boys alone, going day by day on that day's strength and no more. This has given her more motivation than most to see what God is up to in her life situation. To really seek and evaluate keenly what He's all about in this bizarre plan for her life. Of the many things I have gleamed from the account of her journey, one stood out to me yesterday: the intricate preparation God worked in her support teams' lives at the same time her's had began. The story was not shared immediately following the crash, but years later, and when she needed to see where God's hand was actively working with clarity.
It was the couple that helped her through the militant protocol, the one she is still very close friends with today, that shouldn't have been her support team at all (since persons with relationship to the victim's family are not allowed to be your sole support and advisor through the process).
It was the commander of the squadron that waived the rule so that this couple could be her support.
It was the meeting of people that she met before her husband's death that seemed so random and out of place that only after she was advised to meet with them that she realized she knew them all along.
And God had prepared them all.
The lesson here for me to remember (and to encourage you with) is:
* I am not perfect, nor is my life,
* I have got problems, but God has salvation. Through every tough day and all of my issues, there is refining taking place. And that is comforting. Bring on the yuck.
* I am right where I need to be, now. I need not worry about remaining here forever, but I do need to worry about how I am living in my now. Am I allowing to do the preparation I need for what he is calling me to? I am living as if I KNOW my Savior, or just know of him....?
I may not know the direction, but I do know my God and he has called me to a beautiful thing.
Not all that wander are lost...
They may just be following God into the wilderness.