First off, we are having fun! In the many years of ministry and going to school and having babies, life in our house was pretty chaotic and busy. Now however, we have time to pull over at the side of the road high up in the B.C. mountians and have a snowball fight and build a snowman (thankfully the roads weren't icy!). We have also played games together, laughed together and read a great book for night time storytime called A Basket of Flowers. It was written in the 18th century, and is both a compelling and captiviating read, and a hope filled book that demonstrates the truth that God is sovereign and his Providence never ever fails us. Check out http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/home.asp for more great classic books. (And thanks Terra and Martin for giving this book to us, and opening up our eyes to some profound literature which we might never have found!)
We were also really blessed to stay with Henry and Judy Klassen, the Pastor couple who married us 14 years ago. They graciously opened their home in Grand Forks B.C. to us for two nights, fed us well, and shared with us how God has led them and continues to lead them as they pastor the MB church in town. We were blessed by their wisdom, especially as we are in the process of entering a different ministry role. And the fact that Judy refused to let Lois help with any type of dishes just demonstrated how much God was caring for us through these great people.
After leaving their home this past Tuesday, we headed for Hosanna Way, a retreat house in the mountains near Republic, Washington. The drive from Grand Forks was less than an hour (which made for a really short travel day!), and our whole time there was just an amazing gift from God. For four nights we had this whole mobile home to ourselves: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, fire place, deck, deer out the front door, wild turkeys out the back, and absolute quiet everywhere else. Having been with people and travelling for a while, we really needed the rest. And it was a rest for us as parents because not only did we have access to this house, we could also use another cabin on the property as a second home.
And did I mention the animals? Every day our kids got to feed the horses, donkey, cow and the goats. Lois got to collect eggs from the chickens a few times, and we all got to play with Casey, the ball obessesed, incredibly friendly and energetic dog. We could send the kids down to the cabin and they would play and feed the animals for hours.
Carl and Tammy are the owners of this 75 acre ranch and it is their desire to bless pastors with a place to stay (for free!) where they and their families can relax, rest, and be refreshed before heading back to fast paced life of ministry. Even though we aren't heading back to anything right away, we were so blessed to be there. The scenery was truly amazing, and I even got some log cabin building tips from them. (I hope to someday be able to build something out of logs, even if it is just a shed!)
I could tell you more of what has been happening, but you are probably tuning out already after another one of my long posts - sorry! All of what I have written, and what the pictures show, are examples of God's goodness. But even if all I had to say was it has been colder than normal (which it has been), I ran over a train track and broke our exhaust system (which I did), and our kids still are causing us stress with their loud voices and need to be entertained (which they are), God would still be good, because he is always good. He has met our greatest need, to be saved from our sins, and given us hope for life eternal with Him. Everything else is just a bonus.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and don't forget to declare his steadfast love and faithfulness.