A Servants Heart

Our strong and abled son, Ben is 20. Honey and I have been so blessed with two wonderful kids who love God and love people. I often ask myself where it came from, but whether they are old enough to admit it yet, I know where it came from. And I’m humbled because I truly am unworthy of what God has done in each of my children and through two undeserving souls. Our daughter, Becca is in Germany training to use her gift of photography to capture extreme poverty in Africa. She has been blessing me with so many words of thanks. Thanks for living each day as if our children were a gift that we were to cherish and hold with open hands. Thanks for loving them and then letting them goooooooo.

As any parent knows the letting go is so terribly hard. And for those that I know who have had to let go forever on this earth, it is ever more so painful. As arrows in the hands of a warrior, so our children are in our hands…to be released. And when we have a personal and wonderful faith in our God, Jehovah then we can rest in peace with confidence that He has greater plans for our children than we do.

Ben is in and out a lot these days. As a friend so affectionately called him “a rolling stone”! Yes, that’s my Ben. A rolling stone. Where ever his head lands there’s where he’ll sleep. He’s been this way his entire life. Very easy to please. He told Honey and me yesterday that he was going to New Orleans again this Christmas break to work. It’s a completely gratifying job to work for free to help another and to lay your head on a hard floor for a good nights sleep. This year his health is much improved and his strength has returned. He’s turned into a man in the last year, somehow right before my very eyes. Broad shoulders to carry heavy loads. A heart that is tender to carry others. And a warriors heart to conquer injustice.

As our dear friend Larry Burkett said, “hold on to everything with open hands”.

Photos from Ben’s Facebook of last years team that went to NO

Ben on far left

Help A Girl Out ~ Purchase a Photo or Two!

Sunrise on The Tidal Basin

Our daughter, Becca is leaving is just over 1 month to take her solo flight. She’s spreading her wings and jumping out of the nest! She’s an artist also and has a passion for people. She will be leaving for Herrnhut Germany on Sept 3, the day before her 24th birthday. 😦

She’s been accepted into the Photography DTS program with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). She’ll be in school for 3-4 months and then they’ll go into Asia (we’re not sure yet of their destination), to use her skills as a photographer in the field of missions to the world. She will be gone for 7 months and with no scheduled return date as of yet. She’s a free spirit like ME and she just might fall in love with Germany and stay.

She has photos for sale to try and raise her support for this trip. So far, she’s raised enough for the first phase of the trip….but there’s MORE! If you’d like to help, you can purchase them through PayPal or wtth a personal check and contact me at butterfliesandbumblebeesshop@gmail.com . You can find prices on her blog.

Her work is beautiful and moving. She loves macro and it shows. You can view her work on her Flickr account and contact me for a purchase. If you would like to donate you can do that too! Jot me an email and I’ll give you the specifics for a tax donation receipt.

Thanks so much and God Bless!

All of these photos were taken by Becca.

OR

Purchase from my shop on Etsy and I’ll be donating all the proceeds to Becca.

Ahhhhhh!

I of course have a lot to write about since Honey and I were on R&R. So was it???? Well, mostly.

Our Cabin

We Providentially were going to the Shenandoah Valley for a week of rest. Ben announced that he was going on his Appalachian Trail hike for 4 days. That he needed a ride to his launching point. We almost always go the the Maryland mountains; actually WV. But Providentially we were going where he needed to go. We arrived at our site unseen cabin near Bryce Resort in VA (it was ok). We settled in and Ben made himself comfy for the night.

Ben resting before his big adventure!

The next morning Honey and Ben rose early and prepared to head out. I made it out of bed to see my baby boy off……that’s where it ends……he’s not a baby boy any more. He’ll be 20 on Friday, May 16; born at 7:07 weighing in at 7.8 lbs, 21″ long….with a BIG head! We never forget the details, but they change. He’s a man now. He is what John Eldridge calls, “Wild at Heart”. He was born for adventure. He was born to fly. I learned yrs ago (11 yrs) when Becca took her first missions trip with Teen Missions Intl. and spent 5 wks in Mexico, arrows in the hand of a warrior are meant to be released. It’s so painful though….and I usually don’t want to do it. But I must. So, as I released my son and kissed him on the cheek….I rested in the everlasting arms of Jesus. And as I release Becca the day before her 24th birthday to go to Germany for 7 months with YWAM as a photographic missionary, I will be resting as always in the everlasting arms of my Father God.

And He’s off!

Ben’s 30 lb pack….he learned that 30 lbs is too much! He ditched a couple things on the first ascent!

My other man….he spent many a summer at Camp Hemlock Wilderness Camp in WV

He met many wonderful and interesting folks on “the trail”. Honey and I were praying for “angels unaware” to care for him….and guess what they did…they had one “trail angel” show up with a coleman stove and cook pancakes and sausage for everyone at one shelter!!!! God is awesome!!!!

I guess this will be a yr of resting. As I enter that phase of life where I no longer give life, but release it, I must rest. That’s the only way to do this thing called life.

In our little cabin in the woods of VA, there was nothing…no cell phone signal, no TV…nothing….but Honey and I had each other and we enjoyed our time…doing mostly nothing but enjoying the quietness out of the hustle and bustle of the DC area. Ben had to save his charged cell phone in case of an emergency and to call us when he was done and to also call for his pick up ride from his buddy Ryan at VaTech in Blacksburg.

HE MADE IT! Tired and weary….but he made it. During his nights I would be in much prayer….remembering all the scripture I’ve memorized to carry me through the nights of times like this…. When I was prone to worry, I would remember the words of my Saviour. “Peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives, give I to you. Believe in God, believe also in Me.” “Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” “Be anxious for NOTHING, but by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” And the one that really carried me through….”Who by worrying can add a single hr to his life.” “Do not be worried.”

So, I rested. I’ll share the story of the hummingbird sometime soon. But just as a introduction, God once again used this tiny little bird to show me His love the entire time Ben was away. He does care for us.

We were on that first ridge

That one little lamb looks very new to this world

Lots of baby black sheep

The views of the Shenandoah Valley are breath taking, that is if you love peace and quiet like we do. There really wasn’t much to do. We putzed around at Flea Markets but didn’t find any fleas only some fine finds. We visited little towns and bought a couple trinkets. We ate all our meals in because we have tooooo many food issues to eat out. But when you eat fresh farm food like we do…..oh man it was some of my finest cooking if I may say so myself. It’s kinda romantic to eat meals alone on a deck under an umbrella while the hummingbird frequents you and every fly from Va finds your location. Honey and I had some very sweet time together celebrating what God has done in our marriage, family and our lives.

We came upon this old country store with this pump….guess…go ahead and guess….36 9/10 cents!!!

I’d yell for Honey to stop…the views were beautiful!

We spent the last two days with a nice fire…and since I have my own right now…the windows were opened too!!!!!! What a hoot menopause is!!!!

While we were away, it started to rain. Ben was finished with his hike when the big thunderstorm rolled in. It’s really loud when your in the mountains and so close to the heavens. Honey loves thunderstorms. He stood by the deck and watched it closely. He taught me yrs ago to not be afraid of it, but to embrace it’s power and to respect it….I don’t cover my head any more, at least not since children came 24 yrs ago, but I’m not embracing them. It stopped raining for our drive home, but it started again later that day. I think if it doesn’t stop, we may have to buy a couple cows to eat this 5 acres….it’s nearly up to my knees! It may dry out by Wed, and that will be 2 wks since it was last cut….I may not come off the tractor for days….oh my how I don’t like grass….yrs ago, I told a lawn company who was trying to sell me chemicals…yeah right….that I’d rather pour concrete and paint it green than to have more lovely grass to cut….I hate this stuff….oh well. Grin and bear it I must….BUT we are retiring to the woods!!!!!!! Hallelujah!

I’m adding this to a sweater that I knitted while on R&R. I’ll show you when I’m done.

This was just so pretty I had to have it. I’m not sure what I’ll make, but it will be CUTE!

This is some great sock yarn. Becca loves homemade socks….it’s by The Dye Pot, a local gal.

We found a cute little yarn shop; The Fiber Smyth in Woodstock. Honey found out quickly that I love CUTE!

Sunrise On The Tidal Basin

We live within arms reach of the nations capital, Washington, D.C. However, I have never been to see the cherry blossoms at the tidal basin. My brave daughter ventured there in the wee hrs of the morning dragging bike in hand on the Metro at the hour no woman should be awake! She did so to photograph sunrise on the tidal basin with the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Upon setting her camera and gear up she realized she had forgotten her SD (memory) card in the car…..opps! She cried for 2 brief minutes and came home. She planned her next venture, watching the weather carefully and planning better. Again, she ventured back to the Metro with bike in tow and rode through the streets of Washington, D.C. in the dark just so you could see what I have never seen except now threw her eyes and the lens of her camera! I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do. My daughter is an artist. She will be leaving home for the first time this year, the day before her 24th birthday, to go not to Washington, D.C., but to fly to Germany for 7 months. She will be a part of a Fine Arts School of Photography DTS associated with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). After 3 months of training in different aspects of photography and discipleship she will then either go to Africa or India to photograph the indigenous people living there.

These photos have a copy write but prints are For Sale. She will be raising her funds for this Missions Trip through the charitable gifts of others and also through the sale of her photographs. If you are interested you may contact her at crispseptember@gmail.com or you may follow the link below to view all of her wonderful work including photographs at The Botanical Gardens, also in Washington, D.C.


Crisp September Photography