I would be remiss not to speak of the heaviness I felt in my heart when I woke up this morning. Though we seldom watch the news, we did turn it on yesterday after hearing of the attacks in Paris and with sadness in our hearts grieved for the many lives lost. Feelings of fear and sadness and sorrow only sought to gently reminded me of the truth and power of Romans 15:13, a verse that I had shared on my Facebook page earlier that day. It read, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I don’t have the answers for why such terrible things happen. But I do know that God will give peace and hope through the most difficult of circumstances. I do know that when the world seems out of control that God is in control. And I do know that no matter how much bad there is in the world, God is good and He weaves His goodness and love into this hurting and broken world. And knowing all of this, I will continue to pray for His goodness to show itself in Paris.
With that being said, today I found such joy and gratitude in our kids and in the many activities that they pursued within the scope of a windy, Fall day. Ellee began her day by cooking pancakes for herself and her brother before they headed out to tackle the always big job of raking the yard. We have a huge tree in our front yard that drops a good foot deep of leaves each year. And this year, like last, Christian decided to take on the job of raking for an agreed upon sum of money.
Unfortunately, raking was a bit trickier this year. Though our garage usually boasts a large number of rakes (many left behind from years of Youth Group raking parties) somehow this year, they all but disappeared. It’s a weird mystery of having a garage that belongs to the church. When Christian and Ellee went out, they were only able to find one very old and very rusty rake. So they got creative. Thanks to a video I had seen on YouTube, Christian realized that he could effectively scoop up a large amount of leaves with a big piece of cardboard. So that is just what he did.
It worked pretty well to pile up the many leaves in our front yard.
And this girl?
She just jumped in and used her good old fashioned hands to carry the leaves to the pile.
Our scrappy rake was pretty useful, up until the point where it wasn’t because the head broke right off the handle.
But we didn’t care so much.
Because we were all about embracing the day. Which is why halfway through raking, the kids and I took a break to run five miles. Well, Christian and I ran while Ellee pedaled her little bike and kept up with us just fine. I suppose it seems a little odd to have our kids out raking and then to persuade them to go for a run/ride. But with the gorgeous Fall weather we’ve been having and my aching desire to sweat out the heavy feelings, it turned out to be quite a fun and challenging task. We finished in about an hour and then came back to rake some more.
The big cardboard proved to be useful for carrying the leaves as well.
As most other parents, I absolutely love to see our kids work together.
And in working together, we were able to clean up most of the leaves in our front yard.
And I write all of this to remember, that I am absolutely loving the ages that our kids are. They can do so much and they are doing so much and it makes me proud to think that we’ve gotten them to this point. I love to see them working hard and working together and today was the perfect example of why I love these ages. Ellee and Christian’s helpfulness continued into the evening when they decided on their own to put up our Christmas tree and decorations. They did a pretty solid job and all in all made for a very fun and full day.