Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On Wrapping Up Another Year

Friends, it's a wrap!
In more ways than one, June feels like the end of the year for our family. With school wrapping up and the ministry year at church wrapping up as well, it's very much a time of entering into a season of rest.

As I sit here tonight, on the eve of the last day of school for my boy... my girl has been off school already since last Friday when her exams wrapped up, I am reflecting on just how packed this year was for our family in terms of our everyday family life, work, school and ministry involvement... and this quote comes to mind:
O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
~ Phillips Brooks. "Going up to Jerusalem", Sermons (1886), p. 330.
In a lot of ways, God's grace showed up big time for us this year!
In reality, not just this year... but throughout the life of this family! As we celebrated our family's 19th birthday yesterday {a.k.a. our wedding anniversary, but we like to call it our family's birthday because we love including our kids in the celebration of this day}, we couldn't help but look back and be amazed at how far God has brought us!

You may kiss this bride!

Moments after being pronounced as husband and wife.

Last night, as we watched our wedding video... I couldn't help but see two very young newlyweds who hadn't the slightest clue where or how far God would take them in their journey of becoming a family.

Today, 19 years later... my heart absolutely overflows with joy and thankfulness when I look back and see how absolutely beautiful God's grace is.

How He's taken two broken people... and made a them into a family that seeks to live out Micah 6:8 each day, believing that compassion is a command, an act of worship... our song of thanks to Him!

Taken by my girl last night at our celebration dinner! ♥

Oh how He loves...
So relentlessly and so extravagantly. Each day He still so graciously shows us how to live more radically, how His upside-down economy works, how our hearts should break for the things that break His.

Just today, we read about a fellow Compassion Advocate who sponsors 76 children all by herself! Yes, you read that right... 76 children!!! She has cut personal spending to zero, just spending for basic necessities, but doesn't feel like she's depriving herself or that it's a sacrifice because... in her own words, "These kids are more of a blessing to me than I could ever be to them!"

Wow! What an inspiration!!! I just love God-stories like this! It inspires our family to do more, to be more, to love more... to be more like Jesus!

We have a long way to go...
I can't even imagine cutting personal spending to $0! Truth be told, I can't even imagine not being able to buy a treat at Starbucks once in a while. But with God leading the way, it's a journey that will be well-worth the trek! Seeing as to how far He has led us these past 19 years, I am excited to see what the next 19 holds!

In his book What's So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey writes:
The Christian knows to serve the weak not because they deserve it but because God extended his love to us when we deserved the opposite. Christ came down from heaven, and whenever his disciples entertained dreams of prestige and power he reminded them that the greatest is the one who serves. The ladder of power reaches up, the ladder of grace reaches down.
The world thirsts for grace. When grace descends, the world falls silent before it.
Oh, may we reach down, way down... just as the ladder of grace reaches down.

So, as this school year and ministry year wraps up... 
Yes, I am definitely looking forward to the rest and the slower life that the summer months will bring. But, I am more looking forward to what's in store after that, to all that God has prepared in advance for our family to do, as we continue to seek to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him!

Happy Summer, friends!!!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds...
~ Hebrews 10:23-24.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

1 comment:

  1. Happy summer to you too! Enjoy the different pace that summer brings. Love your wedding photos!