Summer stuff 

We had 10 extra kids for the night for a total of 13. A cousin camp-out, we call them. Last year we did this about once a week during the summer, but with a baby and a super busy schedule this was our first one of the season and unfortunately it might be the only one we can pull off this year. 

We had a grand time. 

We walked to the next street over and watched the parade. 


They played hours of “capture the flag.” 


We enjoyed yummy ice cream floats. Thanks to Lee, we had a great campfire. 


I slept in the tent with most of them. 

Six boys joined me at 4 am to head to the church to help with a BBQ chicken fundraiser. Lee stayed home with the other 7. 


The scene there is always so pastoral. It does my heart good. 


I returned home around 8:40 and made sausage and eggs for everyone. The rest of the day included more outdoor games, including the water sprinkler. 

As the day got hotter we also threw in a movie and a few video games. Most of them have gone home now. Of the two remaining, one is playing princess dress-up with the younger one and the other is making potions with the older one. 

So thankful to help create these memories and to have each one of these great kids as part of our family. 

Now for a nap… But wait… the baby needs attention. I wouldn’t trade this beautifully imperfect contented life for the world. 

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Of kings, horses, politics, and hope

“Some trust in chariots, some in horses…” Psalm 20:7a (NIV)

I have known this to be true literally and figuratively. I still have a copy of the letter my mom received by the Old Order Mennonite couple who bought our buggy when mom left the church at age 47. With all sincerity and love, the letter includes chastisement for falling away from the faith (no longer driving a horse and buggy or dressing as a conservative Mennonite) and the immediate and eternal consequences one can expect when they do.

I can read past the judgement now, to see the love and concern they had for our family, but every time I think of this verse from Psalm 20, I simultaneously think of that letter.

Besides putting our trust in our preparedness, wealth, possessions, religious rituals, etc., we also tend to put our trust in our leaders and potential leaders. I get it. I have my own feelings about it all.

But to think that any one candidate alone can save our nation and ourselves, or to think that we are beyond hope and God cannot move or save if our candidate of choice does not win is preposterous.To put our trust in nations, kings, horses, and chariots, (people or possessions) is to miss the point of trusting God alone.

The second half of that verse from Psalm 20 reads, “but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Here is the verse altogether. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7 (NIV) Read all of Psalm 20 here. 

If we say our hope is in God, if we proclaim that we know and follow Jesus and his teachings, then we should “Let [our] conversation be gracious and attractive so that [we] will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:6 (NLT.) 

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)

 “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

Let us trust in the name of the Lord our God alone, for indeed, He is our only hope.