To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Time for Summer:Camping, New Additions and a Pig Roast!!

Summer here in Maine (this part anyway) has been beautiful. We've had such great weather so far. My only complaint is how fast it is going...why is it summer is always the fastest and winter seems to take forever? We just don't have time to fit in everything we want to do. We did take 4 days to go camping with friends up at Glen Ellis Campground and had such a great time. It was a really nice campground, so nice in fact that Ben and I joked about how living where we do is more wilderness than that campground was! But there was a lot for the kids to do and it was right on the river which was great to swim in and very cold. Perfect for a pregnant lady dying in the 90+ degree weather we had while we were there. 
Pretty much our whole summer has been consumed with finishing our addition. Not that we haven't done plenty of entertaining and spending time with our friends but we made a point this winter to set aside as many weekends as possible to be home working. I look at the finished work and am every day amazed. You know how sometimes you do something and you have to sit back and wonder, "how did that even happen?" or "where did the money come from to do it?". I've had a lot of those moments regarding this project. It was really important to us that we not go into debt for this so really our thought was we'll do what we can, little by little, and patiently wait till it's complete. I honestly thought it would be 10 years before we were able to have our new bedroom! God has been so good, and I am so thankful. I'm thankful for God's provision to keep us out of debt, I'm thankful for the helpers Ben had because he never could have done it in this little time without help, and I'm thankful for a wise husband who made very good decisions along the way and worked so hard. He puts in long days as it is, and just our home with 5 kids is a lot, then to work till 10/11 at night on the addition when he is up at 4:30 every day was amazing to me. But we now have a new living room...something we never really had because the space we had was a dining/sitting area and it wasn't very big. This new room is perfect for all the entertaining we do and the kids love it too. And a new bedroom, which we didn't know we would need so badly....but God knew! Now the girls will have a room big enough for them to grow into and I'm really excited to start painting and setting it all up. The only thing left to do is get some closet organizing done, which will be makeshift for now and we'll complete it the way we want it at a later time. Then the bathroom. The plumbing is all there we just need to buy a pump (or something, haha) and a shower but that project will wait  for a later time too. Then this winter Ben can putter around with trimming up the doors and windows. Have I mentioned how thankful I am??? 
So with so much work to do inside our outside has suffered. I
love working in my gardens and being outside but this summer has been different in that I haven't had a lot of time or strength to do it. It's been a harder pregnancy than I usually have so that has been hard to get used to. But like I keep saying, you can't do it all when you are raising a family and this summer the yard is one of those things that I've had to say, "I can't do it this year". 
Next on our agenda is serving a week at Camp Good News. The kids are really excited about it. Ben will be a counselor in the cabin with the older two boys and I am going to be the "Kickapoo" counselor with the younger 3 and any other staff kids that are there that week. We know it will be a hard week but also a blessing. We're thankful for the opportunity to serve in this way and look forward to our first year serving this way as the first of many years to come. We are also excited that others from our church are going this year too! Then when we return we have our 1st Annual Pig Roast on Pork St. to get ready for. It may sound strange but I am SO excited! I've been asking Ben if we can do this for years now and he finally said yes! I grew up having a pig roast at my grandparents camp every summer around the 4th and it was my favorite thing all summer. While my dad was here last month we went and ordered our pig and he'll be ready for us labor day weekend. My dad is bringing down the pig roaster and will cook it up for us. I can't wait!
Then before we know it, the kids are in school again. Gabe just turned 5 last week so he's going to be going off with Noah and Owen this year. We don't know who his teacher is going to be yet but we're really hoping he has the same one Noah and Owen had because she's just fantastic! Then soccer for the 3 older boys and the baby arrives!!! Crazy that Tess' arrival is only 3 months away...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Time to Suffer?

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution
~II Timothy 3:12

The verse above has been a very one sobering one to me the past couple of days. Sunday we had one of the missionary families our church supports present their ministry in Papua New Guinea. During the challenge the husband made a comment in reference to this verse that if you are in the Lord's will it is normal to face suffering and persecution. He was speaking from his own experience with suffering, which they have handled so gracefully. That statement never left my mind and when we got home I asked Ben what he thought about that in reference to our own lives. I was in a place where I didn't really know what to think because I was familiar with this verse and believe it to be true and I also feel that as a family, Ben and I are in the Lord's will and have heart's that are ready to be used at any moment for anything He asks of us yet I don't feel I have had any suffering or persecution. I mean yes, when I made the choice to become a Christian I did lose some friends. But to consider that! Have we faced some difficult moments in our lives, yes, but to consider that real suffering like some! Ben shared a different opinion. While he agreed that yes, we are in the Lord's will and "living godly in Christ Jesus" he disagreed that we have not had suffering or persecution. It strikes me as funny that two people who are living the same marriage and raising the same family, living the same life have such opposite perspectives. Maybe it all comes down to ones own assessment of what suffering and persecution actually then you really would have differing perspectives?
 Late last evening I was reading an email update on a man who I've never met but his grandfather was a member of our church who passed away a few years ago. This man has been battling cancer for 16 years and he and his wife just celebrated 16 years of marriage. Did the same thing strike you as it did me when you read that. For their entire marriage this woman's husband has been sick and battling cancer. For their daughter's entire life she has known her dad to be sick. Do I suffer? NO!! It's when I read stories like this that I ask God, "why have you allowed us to have such an easy life, when we are so undeserving?" I am not begging God to suffer but it does make me stop and be incredibly thankful for the life He has allowed us to have. And what is even more incredible is to read these stories and see the joy of the Lord these individuals have through their suffering. They are not bitter toward God but rather praising Him! It is such a blessing to see and an encouragement that IF God chooses to send us down some of those difficult paths, HE WILL provide us with the grace to get through it. The saying, "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you." is so true and evident in the lives of some, including the missionary family we had on Sunday.
So this week I am so incredibly thankful for the life and family God has given us and the blessings that have come with it and I have been challenged to live a life that is even more "Godly in Christ Jesus" because even if we are in the will of God there is always more we can be doing for Him. Take the time to read the stories of the families I put links to. I guarantee you it will bless your heart and cause you be thankful.