SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Break--Broken or Refreshed?

Two weeks and over three thousand miles later I'm asking myself that question. Broken or refreshed? Physically, I'm feeling drained, exhausted, and rather broken. Spiritually, I'm definitely refreshed.

We left at 7 PM on a Thursday for a 14 hour drive to Coldwater, MS where we spent three days with long time friends the Hairstons. We took a walking tour of Memphis, talked, drank sweet tea, talked some more, attended "Mark Webb's church" (not really his church of course) in Olive Branch, MS, and stayed up into the wee hours of the night talking more.

In Memphis with the Hairstons

Had to get a picture with Elvis for Aunt Susie!

Two days, three business stops, a vomiting child, a motel night, a swing through New Orleans, an evening meal at a gulf side seafood place, and two fever ridden children later we were in Elmendorf, TX with Uncle Kyle's family for their spring conference.

Louisiana Crayfish!

At Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf we were treated to our own double wide mobile home guest accommodations and felt special. (Although, if you had a guest house available and a family was coming with seven children, what would you want to do with them?) We enjoyed three full days of warm, sunny weather, (well, most of us did, someone had to shop for groceries, fix suppers, and get a week's worth of laundry done!) daily services packed with times of singing, worship, prayer, fellowship, kindness, exhortation, encouragement, and having our hearts directed (both by the preaching and living examples) to loving Christ and others more than ourselves. These people were gracious and selfless and we left with a desire to imitate them.

A group photo of the pastors in attendance, including the seven who preached

We left after the Saturday morning service for our Oklahoma destination. Traveling through south central Texas we watched our van's odometer trip the 200, 000 mile mark. (Yes, the speed limit was 75.)

There was much whooping and hollering until we learned that our alternator only had a 200,000 mile life. Actually, it made it a few hundred miles more and, by the grace of God, konked out a mere 15 miles from the home of our host Keith Brown (who just HAPPENS to be an awesome auto mechanic who just HAPPENED to have the exact alternator we needed for our van in his garage......No, we don't believe it just happened, our God was good to us!) Our 36 hour stay over Easter Sunday in OKC was packed with fellowship as the many friends from Sherwood Baptist provided meals and conversation in their fellowship hall. The children played, the adults yelled over the playing, we all tried to get bites of food in here and there and everyone left wishing the time hadn't gone by so quickly!

On to a business stop in Tulsa, a night and more business in Kansas City, and a 7 PM arrival at Joey and Jamie's in their new townhouse in Burnsville, MN. How could we NOT sit and talk and talk until midnight, even if they ARE coming over here next week. Another example of open arms and open hearts, even if we are family (who are sometimes the hardest ones to take in!).

We finally rolled into our driveway at noon on Wednesday, unpacked, got a fire going in the wood burner, started laundry, made supper, and very wearily headed off to Northwoods Baptist for our mid week prayer service. Keith asked me if something was wrong on the way into the building and I could only answer, "I just feel spent." No, I didn't want to be going anywhere, not even to the church service. But, God had a surprise for me (which shouldn't have surprised me at all, but I just don't seem to learn) and blessed my spirit and refreshed my soul with Pastor Rick's devotional from Matthew 6 warning about false prophets. I was encouraged to stand strong in the faith, to seek after truth, and not buckle under the weight of the world or the easy teachings of false communicators.

I'm physically spent, but spritually refreshed, which leaves me in a much better place than I was two weeks ago!


Your "In-Awe" Kari said...

Thanks for the update about your trip. Can I just say that you continually amaze me?! I swear, mom and dad gave you most of the "i can stand ANYTHING" genes. You are such a wonderful, loving, caring, thoughtful, amazing and great sister and best friend. I love you Cindy! (Yes, everyone, I am bragging about my big sister -I'm so lucky!) :) Kari

Kara Jo said...

Sounds like an eventful trip, to say the least. I enjoyed your update and loved hearing about great things that God was up to. Oh, and I realized I didn't know your first name until now. (see previous comment.) I even have you linked on my blog--but as "Joey's Mom!"

Keithslady said...

I'm just fine with being "Joey's Mom"! And everyone needs a champion supporter sister like mine. I love you, Kari!!

<---That Girl said...

whew, what a trip! Glad to hear you're refreshed in the best way.

I'm kinda jealous. I haven't been able to get back to Memphis for 5 years. It feels like yesterday. I LOVE YOU ELVIS!! *L*