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Remembering

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I remember where I was.  Most of us who are older than 22 remember where we were.  The moment we first heard.

I was getting out of my car at Babys-R-Us in Augusta Georgia.  Jacob was 8 months old and I am sure we needed something baby related.  I got out of my car, a stranger started talking to me, not the norm.  She asked if I heard what happened.  She told me.  I was certain she lost her mind and was talking nonsense.  Seriously.  I got back in my car to quickly leave this weird situation.

Robert was at the Advanced Course for the Signal Corps, he was in class this day.  My dad was in DC working, like was normal then, as a contractor.

Crazy.  That is what that lady was.  What was she talking about airplanes?  New York City. Whatever.

Well, 17 years later we all know she was not crazy.  We all remember where we were.  I called Robert, he told me they stopped classes and they were all gathered around a tv watching.  Horror.  That’s what they were watching.

I left the parking lot before entering the store and headed back to our apartment.  I tried to call my dad.  Listening to that tone on the phone, anxiety rose.  No calls were going through, everyone who knew anyone in DC was calling them.  Everyone in DC was trying to call out.

That day changed our country.  I think it changed our world, as every country watched as two iconic towers that stood so tall, fell.

Following 9/11 our country turned to God.  We do that.  We remember.  Those weeks that passed we remembered where we find comfort in times of need.  We remembered what and where our strong tower was.

Yes, 17 years later we, like the Israelites, have forgotten.  They forgot who provided manna and quail to feed them.  We forget the truths that ground us.  They forgot the protection He gave them over and over.  We forget who we are and who reminds us of that.  We’ve stopped attending that church, that in our time of trial offered comfort and peace.  We’ve stopped reading the Word that pours truth over us again and again.  We have forgotten.

So today, as I face some tension in my day-to-day (no where near 2001), but tension none the less,  I remember.  Instead of letting external things define internal truths, I am trying to let them go and cling to the truths of God.  Instead of letting fear and condemnation, often my constant bedfellows, take up residency in my mind and heart, I am going back to my true north.  Scripture.

We remembered in 2001.  Yet, in 17 years we have slipped away.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” EPHESIANS 2_8-9 “-3

For me, when I forget and when fear creeps in I remember that faith and fear cannot occupy the same space – it is one or the other.  So I kick the fear in the face, and I let faith cover me.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and goodness, by which he has granted us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of HIS divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:3-4a

As I remember that day : hours later when Robert arrived home, when I talked to my dad on the phone, when we all attended a very full church the next Sunday- my heart aches and rejoices.  I remember the classmates and friends who served, some who died, some lost marriages, the list goes on and on.  We remember, so we know.   I let the memories define my attitude, my courage, and my heart.  Today I remember so that I can cling to courage and love and grace.  Those are the bedfellows I choose today.

If we remember and only mourn, then we miss the bigger picture.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

We need to remember and take heart!  Today I hope that you find reasons to take heart no matter what you are facing!  The best place to take heart is at the foot of the cross, in the Word of God.

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Yellowstone Day 1

IMG_2247 2IMG_2251So I might have skipped a segment of our trip – but I thought I would post some pics.

I woke up to a text telling me to avoid Bear Tooth Gap – due to snow.  Well, we went through Bear Tooth Gap and loved the snow and the view!IMG_2257IMG_2259

Yes, we were cold – about 35 degrees – down as low as 28!IMG_2356IMG_2408

We even saw some Bison – we love seeing them!

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Then we visited Mammoth Hot Spring – so cool!IMG_2457

Here is where there was a hot spring that dried up – the pillar was formed from minerals that come to the surface

 

IMG_2466IMG_2473We saw some glorious streams – finally caught a pic at one!

A fantastic day!!

More to come….

Maine : Reunion

Every year, rain or shine, the Redmond family gathers at Worthly Pond the same weekend.  Many years we have been in Maine for said reunion, but many years we miss it too.  Last year we missed, 2016 the kids and I went, 2015 Jacob and Robert went.  So this year we were excited to get to go as a family!!  Unfortunately it rained, but that does not stop the Redmonds from having fun!!
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Worthly Pond is a typical Maine lake : dreamy!!  The kids could not wait any longer and despite sprinkles, they went swimming!!  I was enjoying some catching up with Betsy’s cousins and their latest adventures, but I did grab a few pics of the adventurous swimmers!!

Before too much longer I did manage to get my suit on and go swimming too!  The water was chilly but really lovely.  I got to play a bit with Betsy and Anna before Bob got out the boat for even more fun!  About this time the sun came out and we were all thrilled!!

Robert got a tour of the lake by Bob, and then it was tubing time!  My kids got to go first, because we were the “company” and did not live there to do this all the time!  They had a blast, can you tell?

All in all, it was a perfect reunion day seeing family, eating good food and having lots of fun!!  We hope to make it back again, soon!!

Ocean Sights

I have loved not leaving the property for almost three days now.  Staying here and relaxing has been a joy.

Today I did get out, sort of.  Robert and I walked Stones Point, a road that loops around on the other side of the peninsula.  It is a 3 mile walk to do the loop and it is really a gorgeous walk.  We didn’t see much sea life, but still gorgeous views and a nice walk.  Bonus was that it was just the two of us!

My next adventure today was going on my first boat ride with Jacob.  We went out in the canoe around crotch island (lovely name) –  not-surprising but the island is shaped like a crotch.  We started out and the water was like glass.  It did not stay that way.  But it was still a nice boat ride and he left me film a safety video for boat safety!

We saw an immature osprey fly over head for a while, and many osprey!  They are lovely to watch!!

We even watched two lobster-ladies checking traps!  I have never seen that before!  Very fast!

Boat rides, walks and relaxing is one of my favorite things about Maine (well, maybe three of my favorites).1kg+2J8nSrOhA9a8R6GAqQIMG_2434IMG_2512IMG_2527IMG_2537IMG_2583IMG_2616

Maine : Rafting Fun

We splurged this year with a day trip to go rafting.  We did spend a night camping before heading out to raft.  This was the first adventure activity that we did as a family – one of the perks of the kids getting older!!

We kept it a secret until about 2 days before – this was a huge feat!!  The boys were somewhat interested in our upcoming adventure, but having never been rafting before they did not know what to expect.

Anna on the other hand was a bit nervous from the get-go, but she is a trooper so she went along with things.

Camping was simple and no big deal – the site was pretty quiet aside from the Owl that must have lived right above our tent!  We heard him communicate all night with another neighboring owl.  Let’s just say sleeping was not abundant!

We woke up early and headed to the meet-up about 7am once our campsite was packed up.  We were ready to go and excited!!  Other families began arriving, many couples and a few seniors too.  Everyone was excited for a fun day on the Kennebec River!

This company is not dumb, they put you to work from the start.  We go through a line to get our personal gear : PFD (Protective flotation device) helmet, and paddle.  Then we board a bus for the hour or so ride up the river.  Once there we unload and we then get assigned a guide and head to our raft.  We lift and carry our raft from the top of the hill down to the water.  Not too bad as there were slide like things for the raft next to the steps for us.

Once at the bottom we put the raft in and wait for the water to come to the right level.  On the Kennebec river there is a damn that lets the water out every day t 10am for rafting (its their contract).  So we waited while that happened and then we were off!

The first 20 minutes or so Anna screamed with all her might, but once we made it through the only class IV rapid she settled down and actually enjoyed the trip!  There were several times the kids could get in the water and float down river.

We rafted about 12 miles down the Kennebec river – going through class II – IV rapids – enough to get us all wet – and a lot of fun!!

There were a number of spots that we were able to roll into the water and float down for a bit – we also had access to inflatable kayaks after lunch.

Lunch was on the river in an edie, where Northern Outdoors cooked our choice of salmon, steak, chicken, or veggie burger.  5 of us had salmon which was perfect and filling!  Anna opted for Chicken.  Once lunch was over we headed back out for the lower half of our trip which was a bit calmer and more laid back.  The kids loved playing more in the water and paddling less!

The same company (Northern Outdoors) has a rafting trip down another river that has class V rapids, you know these boys are hoping to do that one in the near future.  We will see.  Either way, we all felt like it was a great day and a lot of fun!!