Friday, June 28, 2013

A Loving, Older Brother- A Lifted Burden

We spent the day at a lake by our house yesterday fishing and swimming.

While Tyson fished, Jackson gave 5 year old Mariah a roller coaster ride in the baby stroller up and down a hilly sidewalk.  Mariah was really too big for the stroller.  With her arms and legs dangling out the sides,  she squealed with excitement all the way down the hill- she loved it!  The ride was complete with Jackson speaking in his robotic voice, "Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times."

Jackson did this for her about 20 times, and then all of a sudden I heard Mariah screaming, "I'm done!  Stop! Stop! Stop!"  Jackson planned on stopping at the bottom of the hill, but Mariah wanted out in that instant.

I immediately scolded Mariah for screaming the way she did.  She did apologize to both me and Jackson for her behavior, but I had been working with her for a few days about her screaming habits.  We were about to go swim in the lake, and I told her she would need to sit out of the water for 30 minutes while everyone else swam.  Mariah drooped her head in complete sadness; she had been waiting all day to swim, but I knew she needed a tough consequence to instill the lesson well.

After a few minutes, Jackson approached me privately and asked if he could sit out for the 30 minutes instead of Mariah.

Surprised at his request, I said, "Jackson, why would you do that?"

He responded, "...because I want her to have fun.  I don't want her to be sad."

I quickly said, "-but Jackson- then YOU won't have fun, and you didn't do anything wrong."

I could see that Jackson really wanted to serve his sister in this way, but I also needed Mariah to learn her lesson.

I decided to have them both sit out for 15 minutes- that shortened Mariah's term and still gave Jackson an opportunity to serve his little sister the way he felt compelled to do.  Mariah wrapped her arms around her big brother and thanked him for his sacrifice.

While the other children splashed in the water, I saw something beautiful take place between the two waiting children.

With her kind, loving, older brother by her side, Mariah's pain was lifted and smiles crossed her face. By his sacrifice, Jackson had lightened her burden.

There are consequences to our actions.  Sometimes those consequences take us down very difficult paths that hurt and bring sadness.

WE ALL have a PERFECT older brother who is our Savior Jesus Christ.  When we repent and are humble enough to accept our Savior's loving partnership, HE forgives us, comes to our side to comfort us, and lightens our burdens.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nanny and Papa Camp: The Wizard of Oz

"Welcome to Emerald City!!" 

As a family, we skipped up the yellow brick road right up to Nanny and Papa's porch singing, "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!!"  We had received an invitation to the Wizard of Oz in Southwest Missouri, so the anticipation had been building for months.  Green lights and shimmery green material adorned the porch.  Hooray!!  The Wizard of Oz!!  -at Nanny and Papa's house!!

We even discovered the remnants of the squashed witch of the East!!  Only the legs were left hanging out from underneath the house!

Every summer we spend about a week celebrating many of the holidays with Nanny and Papa and cousins that we miss throughout the year!  What fun!

Nanny and Papa Camp Christmas

We bought gifts at 2nd hand stores and dollar stores for each other while Nanny set up the Christmas tree.  The children quietly and excitedly wrapped presents for each other late into the night.  The following morning, presents encircled the tree and everyone showed the greatest gratitude for such thoughtful and sometimes very goofy gifts.

Nanny and Papa Camp Halloween

Everyone dressed in costumes and went trick-or-treating to several doors within Nanny and Papa's house!!  

Mariah took her job as the "Resident of the Bathroom" very seriously.  She talked with the cutest accent as a woman from the city offering candy to the cousins who knocked on her door.

After visiting the residents of the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, all 14 cousins crossed the street and knocked on their great grandmother's door.  Grandma Oz, at age 94, was ready with even more treats for all the great-grandchildren.

All the neighbors know about the crazy week of Nanny Camp and honk their horns as children cross the street dressed in crazy clothes.  For the last couple of years, several neighbors spontaneously set out candy for our big group of Summer trick-or-treaters too!

Nanny and Papa Camp Easter

All 22 of us woke to an Easter basket of goodies.  For many years we've also had Easter egg hunts, but this year was special... Nanny placed fake poppies throughout her front yard in honor of the "Wizard of Oz."

The children sniffed the poppies and promptly fell asleep (just like the movie).  Nanny, the good witch, woke them by sprinkling real snow all over each child throughout the yard.  She had saved little baggies of real hail and snow from the previous winter!

Soon after, the Wicked Witch of the West (Jordan) was melted by buckets of water from Nanny.

After exciting days of swimming, fishing, tubing, rock climbing, and wrestling with Papa, it was time to go home. :(

...but before we could leave, Nanny held a ceremony giving gifts and reading from her official decree announcing the things we learned with our hearts, courage, and brains.  

Nanny made each of us a pair of our very own red slippers, so we clicked our heels and went on our way promising to return very soon!! 

Mariah always asks if she can live at Nanny and Papa's house forever... Jayden... not so much. :-)

I admire the way Nanny and Papa share every gift and talent they have been given to uplift and inspire those around them.

The result:  grandchildren who know they are loved.  I believe that when we give all that we know how to give, God works miracles with our abilities.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Miracle of Life

It's been raining and storming for days here in Michigan.

This morning we noticed a huge pond forming in our neighbor's back yard and a fountain spraying high out of the center of it.  Tyson knocked on our neighbor's door, but nobody answered.  We checked the situation out and noticed the hoses were not connected, so water was pumping into their yard instead of to the street!  

With water spraying everywhere, I reconnected the hoses, and all the children joined me in the water to do what they do best... CELEBRATE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST!!

In a matter of moments, Tyson discovered a frog and then shared it with both Mariah and Juliana spreading instant smiles.

Then, ALL the children went on a night crawler search together.  I noticed again that Tyson was sharing nature with his sisters... giving Mariah some of his worms/night crawlers.  Their joy was pure!

As my 5 year old little girl held a slimy mess of these creatures,  I instinctively shuddered at the thought of ME actually touching them!  She did not!  She LOVED them!!  She found so much joy in these discoveries!

I wondered if maybe I was missing out on something beautiful because of my previous biases towards worms, bugs, and other like creatures... maybe I needed to think as a child. Maybe I needed to look at all of God's creatures with a different perspective.

After our excursion to the pond of frogs and night crawlers, we all entered through the back door.  Tyson never paused and ran straight out the front door to check on the baby bird we had been observing over the past few weeks.  He loved this baby bird; he had spent days trying to save an injured baby bird the summer before.  

Tyson quickly returned shouting, "The baby bird is trying to fly!!  It's out of its nest!!" 

For weeks, every time we would leave the house, Tyson said, "There's the Momma bird watching her baby!"  or "Where is the Mommy bird?  ..Oh there she is!  She's watching from up there."  The mother bird was ALWAYS watching.

If I had seen the mother bird from my perspective, I would have just assumed it was yet another bird sitting on a wire... but there was more to this mother bird's story... more to the life around us. 

Isn't there ALWAYS more to the story of life around us?  

I paused for a moment and soaked in the beauty of this world.  I also soaked in the beauty of my children's minds.  They are forgiving and caring... they take TIME for each other and for God's creations... they LIVE in the moment of joy.  

I'm so grateful for the miracle of life and the stories we ALL have to tell.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jesus is King

I want to thank so many of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and sending me so many words of encouragement and love over the last few days.  Your hearts are golden, and your love was needed.

You were angels of God's love.

Hurt is such a difficult thing...  Please allow me to ramble for a moment...  Please know I do not write for sympathy.  Since hurt is something we all experience, I write in the hopes of helping others feel like they are not alone.  I also write in hopes of bringing to recognition the truth that when we are hurting and feeling alone in that pain, Jesus has and continues to work mighty miracles in our lives to help us process that pain.

All of us have such different life experiences and are equipped with such different capabilities.  Sometimes it's hard to understand why one thing would be so hard for one person when a similar situation might be quite easy for another to manage.

Satan is an expert at that individual hurt, and I thought I had pushed him away... but then Satan didn't want to give up so easily, so he continued to bring the pain to my remembrance.  In my quiet moments, he rehashed in my mind all the reasons that I was hurt.

It is in those moments that I pray with the most vulnerability.  I tell God that I'm angry or frustrated or that things aren't fair- I lay it all out there and don't hold anything back.  The amazing thing is that HE responds with patience in my weaknesses, maintains HIS deep, endearing love, and delivers it all to my heart with overwhelming, perfect gentleness.

Even though I am imperfect and was unable to let go of pain as quickly as I wanted to, Jesus was patient and gave me little miracles tailored just to my needs to help me let go again... and again... and again.

As I was cleaning my room a few days ago, the heaviness of pain threatened to return to my heart and take my peace away.  Right at that moment, my little girls came upstairs with their costumes on and performed an impromptu dance recital.  Mariah made up words about love and blooming flowers and sang as both of them danced like angels to her music.

Everywhere I walked in my bedroom, they turned their performance to face me.  They whispered, "Mommy is this way now."  They didn't know I had been letting my mind return to negative thoughts.  Jesus knew, and he sent some of my greatest little joys to help me push away the thoughts that would harm my spirit.  Jesus's love is so sweet and tender to send little angels at just the right moment.

I couldn't help but smile and see the good in life.  Juliana even did a costume change in the middle of their show. :-)

This morning, I prayed intensely to my Heavenly Father to be able to learn and see what HE wanted me to see.  I looked up to see Jordan by my side presenting me with a bowl of fruit, and an Otterpop displayed ever so sweetly at the top.  He said, "I wanted to give you ice cream.  We didn't have any, so... here."

Fruit is Jordan's most favorite food, and he had been asking me for this Otterpop for the last two days.  I wrapped my arms around Jordan and held him tight.  His gift spoke the goodness, innocence, sacrifice, and simplicity of true love.  Then, I pondered a moment more and realized that his gift was the answer to my prayer- it represented the fruit of the spirit!  I looked up the scripture and understood the message that God wanted to speak to my heart.

Galations 5:22-23- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

We all deserve to be loved for who we are- weaknesses and all.  We ALL have our Savior, our Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost who love us unconditionally, and I believe THEY put angels among us to show us that unconditional love when we need it the most.

It's a powerful feeling to know that when satan is making a very personal attack, Jesus creates an even mightier, personal, recovery plan to heal us.  We can ALWAYS call down the powers of Heaven.  JESUS IS KING!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sabbath Song

Abe was in Arkansas yesterday, so it was just me and the kids piling into the van to go to church.  When I started the car, my party/dance music was still blasting from the day before.  In my mind I knew I should turn the music off to set the tone for the sabbath day and prepare ourselves to enter the chapel.  Also, in my mind was a strong desire to DANCE to the music with a happy heart on the way to church.

I turned around and Jordan was already bobbing his head to the music.  The song's message wasn't bad- it was talking about a man coming home to his family.  ...but it also wasn't preparing me to take the sacramental bread and water.  I turned the music down a little bit still struggling with the desire to be energized by the music.  One of the kids in the back requested that I turn the volume back up.

Unenthusiastically I said, "No guys- it's Sunday."  Then I looked down at my pile of CD's and saw a CD with the words written, "Sabbath Songs."  Abe had put together several songs by various artists on a CD just for Sundays.  I wrestled with the decision of choosing slow, sleepy, sabbath songs or the energizing, dance song.

After much deliberation between choosing to do what I wanted to do and choosing to do what would set the better example for the children, I decided to do the right thing.  The kids were having so much fun listening to the dance music, I hoped they would enjoy the music I was about to replace it with.

I put the "Sabbath Songs" CD into the slot and waited...  I didn't even know what was on the CD, but the first song was my favorite hymn in the world:  "How Great Thou Art."  It was even sung by my favorite group:  Jericho Road - featuring Jenny Jordan Frogley!  I couldn't have heard a better song at that very moment.

The music and words swelled within my soul; and as the music continued, everyone in the car turned silent.  I looked in the rear view mirror and could actually see all 6 little souls settle into a peaceful, reverent mode.  I turned the volume up even louder as this beautiful hymn praised our Savior and filled every inch of our van and every inch of our spirits.  I believe our spirits were thanking us for the rest.

When the song was over, the kids asked me to play the hymn again... so I did... several times.

I thanked God for giving me such beautiful music that has brought me closer to HIM so many times.  Then I silently thanked Abe for compiling such a beautiful CD.

I'm so grateful that the peaceful influence of the Holy Ghost came in such a strong, undeniable manner after we changed the music for the Sabbath day.  How loving our Heavenly Father is to shower all of us in the car with the knowledge that the Spirit accompanying God's music is even more moving and awakening than any other influence.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lost Miniature Boy

While I was in Las Vegas, my mother-in-law surprised me with a beautiful necklace.  In one circle it had my birth stone and 2 miniature girls; and in the other circle there were 4 miniature boys with Abe's birth stone in it representing our entire family. I opened the box; and for the first time in my life, I cried over jewelry.  I loved it so much.  I told her I would be wearing it every day.

I wear jewelry, but I am generally not that much into it.

I actually sold one of my rings from Abe a few years ago for some extra money because we were struggling financially.  He couldn't believe I had done that, and my sweet husband bought it back from Kohls for me the same day informing me that we were not that hard up for money.  My point is, I'm not usually too attached to my jewelry... until this gift from my mother-in-law.

The following week, while in Missouri, I was making a bunk bed, and I flung the necklace up against the upper bunk.  It cracked the glass on my necklace, but it didn't break all the way through.  I was sick inside that I had damaged it already.  I refused to take it off though because it was still intact... just not as pretty.

Later that day, I traveled to Branson, MO to visit one of my very best friends from high school.  We walked alongside the river on a fairly busy sidewalk chatting away when I noticed that the glass on my locket had broken all the way through and one of the miniature boys was missing!  I felt so sad about it, but I didn't want to waste our special time together looking for a teeny piece of jewelry that could be ANYWHERE!

I swallowed hard and decided  I would have to let it go.   My time with her was MUCH more important.

About a half hour later, we said our goodbyes, and she and her husband escorted the kids and I to our van.  I started to drive away feeling sad about leaving the little miniature boy, and the thought came to me, "You believe in miracles... go look for it!!"

I parked the car, said a very faith-filled prayer asking for help in finding it, and told the kids I would be back in a few minutes.  (Jackson was old enough to take charge in the van, and he had a cell phone to call me if needed.)

Not wanting to leave the kids longer than a few minutes, I quickly scanned the sidewalk looking silly with my head drooped down staring intently at the ground.  Every once in a while I looked up to greet people, but that probably made my behavior seem even more absurd to those passing by.  I walked for several minutes with no luck and reluctantly decided to turn around.

A couple asked me what I was doing.  I told them of my search, and they said they would keep an eye out as well.

Kind of embarrassed that I was even looking for such a tiny thing in such a big place, I told them it would be close to impossible to find it.  I continued to pray in my heart telling God that I believed that HE could help me find it.  Less than a minute later, I screamed with excitement!

There it was!  The miniature boy had a gem on him, but the gem faced down to the ground.  As I looked at the teeny, teeny boy laying on the ground, I knew there was NO WAY that my eyes found that on their own.  I was DEFINITELY guided to look at that exact spot at that exact moment.

This is how it looked.  Can you see it?

I turned back to the couple and yelled, "I found it!"  The man responded, "It's your lucky day, you should go play the slots!"  With a big smile on my face, I shouted back, "I said a PRAYER!"

I sprinted back to the van with such a grateful heart.  The kids squealed excitedly with me and burst out, "It's a miracle!!

God surely does love us so much.  

There is more to this miracle... 

Just 2 days later, I was driving back to Michigan with our 6 kids, 2 nephews, and no husband when my wallet was stolen.  The details of that are for another day; but when I began to stress about the logistics of the rest of our trip- of even getting home- I felt that everything would be alright.  

If God's Hand was in the finding of a piece of jewelry, HIS hand was certainly in the logistics of managing the rest of a trip with 8 kids and no money or identification.

Sometimes our faith is pushed to the limit; but if we look deep enough, God is showing HIS presence throughout... I believe God gave me the miracle of the lost miniature boy to show me HE loves me, but I also believe that experience helped me to recognize HIS presence when my test of faith intensified with a stolen wallet.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Depths of Humility

I apologize...

I keep writing but haven't had the courage to post anything lately.

God has been so good to me.  HE has blessed me with multiple miracles... HE saved my baby boy's life twice today when HE prompted me to move at just the right moment.

My problem:  I have allowed someone's cutting remarks to enter my heart, and it's been really difficult to release its influence.

I am a runner:  I feel like I was running along just fine, but somebody came along and tripped me.  The thing that I apologize for is that I LET them trip me!!  Thus, I have an injured soul at the moment, but I have every confidence that God will heal my injuries... I just need a moment... or maybe a couple more days of recovery.

Even though I don't feel the complete healing quite yet, I know its coming!!  I just have to keep praying and trusting.  God has proven to me over the years that HE always comforts me and speaks to my soul the lessons I need to learn, but I am only able to accept that comfort and those lessons once I have reached the depths of humility... I'm reaching those depths right now!!

Right at this very moment, I feel like a hopeless case of tears, but I KNOW that God is working through those tears.  HE is ALWAYS near.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wild, Wild West!!

Saturday morning was our last full day in the West; Sunday we would start our journey to Missouri to visit my parents, siblings, and cousins for a week of Nanny Camp.

I have personally always preferred God’s creations that involved green forests and water- not the dessert.
Our dear friends and their families in Las Vegas and in St. George, UT opened my eyes to some of the greatest of God’s creations… even in the dessert!

We drove past beautiful Red Rock and hiked between giant rocks.  Jordan mounted one rock exclaiming that he had now stood on the biggest rock of his life.  Slightly farther up the trail, he mounted a different rock, corrected himself, and shouted, “NOW, I’m standing on the biggest rock of my life.”  Then he rushed ahead of the rest of us and gave me a heart attack as he scaled the tallest tree around in a matter of seconds.

 I felt overjoyed that these boys were fulfilling their deep yearnings to be one with nature.  Like a pack of wolves, they hiked with their buddies as high as they could.  Both my friend and I agreed that conquering and exploring nature was a much better way to fulfill those innate needs for adventure rather seeking the things of the world.

This was a part of Las Vegas that so many others don’t get an opportunity to ever experience…   my heart filled with gratitude for the beautiful way we had started off our morning with our dear friends.  What great company!

After our beautiful hike in the dessert and the red rock mountains, we drove 2 hours to St.George, UT to visit some other long- time friends of ours and their children.  Last time we visited them, our friend took us on his mules for a moonlight ride.  It sounds romantic, right?  It was more adventurous than romantic, but we LOVED it!  It was EXCITING!  He assured us the mules were great mountain climbers as we walked along edges of cliffs to reach the ridge above the city of St. George.  Talk about trust!

We told the kids they might ride the mules and horses for a little bit when we arrived at our friend’s house.  I guess they didn’t realize exactly whose house we were going to until we drove into the driveway…

They all screamed in unison as if they were about to explode.  “We know this house!!  We’re going here? Hooray!!”  They walked right into the front door, through the house, and straight out the back door to the animals.  THEY- WERE- IN- HEAVEN!! 

Our great friend then suggested that all the kids (except for baby Jayden) ride the horses/mules up on the ridge overlooking St.George.  We readily and excitedly agreed thinking surely this ride would be more mild since our children were going along.  Hehe… Not quite!

These were not horses and mules that are trained to walk in a boring straight line through a pre-determined trail.  This experience promised to be the real deal.   A couple of them had even been born in the wild!

Five year old Mariah had never ridden a horse or a mule besides those that walk in circles at the fair, so we planned on putting her on a mule with either me or Abe.  While we waited for the other mules and horses to be ready, one of our friends gave brief instructions on how to turn and stop a mule, and then she hoisted Mariah up onto Mini Pearl. 

Mariah did everything she was told and rode off like a champ.  That mule knew Mariah was in charge and did everything Mariah told her to do!  We quickly realized that Mariah was going on her own mule; she rode with more confidence than any of us.  Mini Pearl knew that little Mariah had dominated her.

After all the animals were saddled up and ready to go, we commenced on our journey!!

 Jackson said, “Wow!  It’s not every day we get to ride horses and mules in the mountains!”  What an understatement!  Jordan had been begging for the past 3 years to ride a horse.  That’s all he wanted to do for his birthday, but I could never find a place where we could all ride, afford, and truly have an experience like this one.  What a blessing on MANY levels.

Jordan’s giant mule began to trot ahead of the rest.  Fear rushed through me wondering if he was going to know how to handle his mule at this faster pace on a more rugged terrain.  As his giggle echoed through the air, my concern was quickly resolved.  ALL the children were in complete bliss. 

We rode amidst the most beautiful scenery

Every direction we turned, colorful mountains painted the horizon.   I breathed deeply taking in the miracle of this entire experience.   I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening to us… our children rode these beautiful creatures of God with the greatest confidence as if they had been riding for years.   They couldn’t stop talking about how happy they were. 

I spoke to the boys about all that they had seen in Vegas- which was a lot- the men walking in wings and adult diapers gave us a good laugh.  We all LOVED our time in the city of Las Vegas.

The Blue Man Group was definitely a highlight, but no words could adequately describe the energy, joy, and peace that permeated their souls and shone from their eyes as they lived this beautiful day with God’s creations.  I prayed that they would always recognize these things of a spiritual nature.

Our friend/ guide explained that any truly great experience required 3 things:

Good company:  We were with loyal, wonderful friends and forever family- it doesn’t get much better than that!
Good scenery:  Whether riding as a mule-skinner, cowboy, or cowgirl, this scenery couldn’t have been more ideal.
Good Adventure:  Well… we thought we had already experienced good adventure, but our friend had more in store for us!!

He gathered all of us together and explained that we would need to ride in a single file line, stay very calm, lean back, and trust our mule/horse as we went through a very special area that he called the “shoot.”

The “shoot” was an area of slippery rocks that led us back down the ridge that was only wide enough for one horse… that means it was a very narrow passageway leading to a very steep drop.  I immediately began to pray as we approached this area. 

My horse had been kicking anyone else that even came close to her, and Abe’s horse had  been prancing around and hopping between rocks making it very difficult for Abe to hold on to Juliana.  I felt very nervous about the “Shoot.”  Just as we entered the passageway with steep cliff-like edges, Mariah’s mule pulled ahead of our friend’s mule and led the way!! 

I was REALLY not comfortable with my 5 year old leading all of us scaredy cats down the mountain!  Our friend allowed it because he knew the ability of the mule and could see the confidence in Mariah.  I prayed so hard and had to put all my trust in our guide/friend.  My horse was extra cautious in the descent- her hoof stuttered around for a moment and made several, slippery, nerve-racking tries before each step. (Needless to say I couldn't take pictures of the shoot or any other descent... I was too busy trusting my horse!! :-) )

After we successfully descended, Abe’s mule decided to do an extra wild dance.  Juliana flopped up and down in one arm while he calmed his horse with his other hand.  I knew how strong Abe’s arms were, but I still prayed with all that I had as I watched the dancing horse!

I knew Abe would have sacrificed his own body before he would drop Juliana, but the relief in my soul was tremendous when Abe handed our little Juliana off to our friend to hold her on his mule for the rest of the way.  Juliana didn’t even know him very well, but she gladly reached for his arms.  Meanwhile, Abe did some serious heart-to-heart talking to his mule. 

“What now?  What you got?  Oh I got you now.  I know your game.  I got this!”

I giggled the rest of the way home listening to Abe talk smack to his mule… what was even more shocking is that his mule listened and calmed down!! 

The children continued to ride even longer once we arrived home.  They ran their horses and mules late into the night.  These were memories and experiences that couldn’t be matched by anything the world creates. 

Our hearts are forever filled with gratitude to this beautiful family. 

They open their arms, live fully, and love freely.  What great company!!  Our friend writes in his blog about his grand mule adventures at

The next day, we left for the second portion of our trip… to Nanny Camp.

We began our journey from Las Vegas to Missouri with a nail in our tire which gave us a very late start.  After fixing the tire, we punched our destination into our GPS and were surprised to see it leading us the southern route of the United States to Missouri.  Abe commented that he hadn’t gone this route in years; I hadn’t either.

After driving several hours, we checked the route and realized that THE GRAND CANYON was only an hour and a half off the road.   Several months ago we had planned on spending a day of our Vegas trip traveling to The Grand Canyon.  We ran out of time because we decided we would rather spend the day with our dear friends in St. George instead. 

We couldn’t believe that we had arrived so close toTthe Grand Canyon by mistake!!  For a second we debated if we had time to add 3 extra hours onto our already long journey.

We would be sleeping in our car for the night, and we wanted to go as far as we could.   Abe and I called out to the kids: “Who wants to see the Grand Canyon as the sun sets?” 

Cheers erupted of course. 

We arrived at The Grand Canyon just as the sun was setting.  We had exactly one full hour to absorb one of this Earth’s greatest wonders.  Could this have been any more perfect?  I don’t think so! 

Someday we will return to The Grand Canyon and hike it, but this brief visit with its most perfect timing was the bow on top of an already perfectly wrapped weekend/gift.
I believe that God gives us opportunities to partake of His most perfect gifts more often than we realize, but we must be willing to trust God in order to accept the fullness of His gifts that would create some of the greatest miracles in our lives.

God Bless the Wild, Wild West!!!