Deep end

Last night, our church “rented” the Y for many of our families and guests to go swimming. I was definitely interested to see how Lauren would do, considering the last few times we’ve gone swimming, she’s clung to me the whole time (of course that might have also had to do with the cold temperature).

This Y is different from most public pools. It has a separate kids pool that maybe gets up to 2.5-3 feet and slopes in without stairs, making it very inviting for children of all ages. It is also very warm, with jets all over the bottom, blasting in the warm water to maintain the temperature.

We began at the very top of the slope and sat down so Lauren could get her toes wet. She held on tight as children and water sprayed around us. Then as she saw a blue ball fly past, she stood up and took off (as did I!) She plowed right through the water, straight to the “deep” end, found that ball and almost held it to float. She laughed and walked all over the pool, smiling, splashing, following her big brother and flipping back into my arms to rest. I definitely had my work cut out for me to make sure a wave didn’t sweep her off her feet or she didn’t misstep and go under.

She had no fear, because she had absolute trust. And, she had a marvelous time.

So many times when we consider trust and faith in God, we think of the story of Peter walking on water and “wish” we had the guts to get out of the boat and walk toward Jesus. Yes, Peter’s focus failed and he began to sink, but Jesus never let his head go under.

God didn’t just throw Peter into the deep end of the pool knowing he couldn’t swim. Jesus had been with Peter day in and day out, healing the blind and the lame, declaring the Kingdom of Heaven at hand, feeding 5,000+ people with a handful of fish and a few loaves of bread. Peter had seen God in the flesh and knew His power. So, when Jesus appeared on the water, walking toward their boat that evening in the storm, Peter wanted to be in the safest place possible: with His Lord. When Jesus gave the go ahead, he swung his legs on over. He didn’t think about it, he just did it. And, he experienced something no other person has.

Jesus intends for us to live life to the fullest, to experience joy and to bask in the security and peace of his presence. When we are with Him, fear cannot linger because of His perfect love. He has proven to be trustworthy, and we can count on Him for our very eternity.

Lauren has that kind of faith and trust in me…I see it in her actions and hugs and smiles every day.

What areas in our lives do we need to have that kind of faith and trust in Jesus?

Packing

As the days move closer to our move in the beginning of April, so the pressure rises to pack up our belongings in time.

For Matt and I, moving also proves time to sort, clean out and prioritize. For instance, how many baby outfits do we need to keep to remember when they were small, and what can and should be given away? What toys have been outgrown (or chewed quite enough) and need to be thrown out? What do we need until the big day, and what can be packed now?

Packing up the kids

Streamlining is always in order, especially when you realize how much stuff you have and that you have to pack all that stuff!

It’s fun to go through memories and remember when. God has blessed us so extraordinarily here in Lansing. Both our children, Jackson and Lauren, were born here. Our amazing friends have become family, and many things in our home remind us of good times we’ve had. Our dog Josie joined our family, and she’s definitely left her mark in the backyard!

God has also proved himself to be a loving God full of tenderness. He’s helped us through the homecoming of our mom. He’s held us together when we were not allowed to meet two of our children. Though it’s taken time, God continues to heal our hearts and show us how to be there for others struggling with loss. His grace is enough.

Though I will admit (and Matt wholeheartedly agrees) that packing and moving is not my strong suit, it’s how God moves us to the next chapter of His will for us. It also gives me a chance to reflect and refocus. And, another opportunity to express my gratefulness to God for his redemption, provision and plans for the future.Jackson is ready to go!