I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hope for the Charred Remains

I have so many things to say on my blog today!

For starters, I really have missed writing on my blog.  New adventures and crazy new schedules got the best of me.  I like for everything to have it's proper place - especially my schedule.  And for the past 18 months I've been in some sort of survival mode where tyranny of the urgent took over my life.

I would like to tell you that I'm getting that under control and all will be as it should be soon - but to be perfectly honest - I'm enjoying a restful, undisciplined summer.  In about 3-4 short weeks I'm going to need to turn my mind and my heart to discipline but for now I'm soaking up all that this summer has to offer!

Having said that... let's move on to this past weekend.  It was John's birthday and we seem to have created a beautiful tradition of spending the weekend with the Barnabas Contagion and their families in Bastrop.  These people are truly amazing!  I could go on and on about these folks I call family -  but I don't think there are enough words!

On Saturday afternoon around 5pm - the hottest part of the day - I decided I wanted to take the mile hike to see the deer stand where John breathed his last.  Too many times I close my eyes and wonder what the scene looked like on that day.  I'm not a hunter, but I've seen many different types of stands, and I wanted to clear up as many of the unknowns in my head as I could.

As it turned out - all of the men that were there - came with me.  As we hiked we recalled many fun memories of John.  Some remembered great things he used to say, some shared really cooky things he used to do - it was really a nice walk.

It was filled with many emotions, because as most remember, last summer much of Bastrop burned in a fire.  My friends' 200-acre property was completely burned!  Their house, John's tree and a few other precious spots were miraculously saved.

So on our walk we saw many many charred trees, holes in the ground were huge trees once towered the property, and washed away roads.  However, we also saw more sunflowers than I've ever seen in one place!  The green over-growth was up to our knees!  Green leaves were found on several trees!

While the layout of the property looked completely different - it was still very beautiful.  Even though there was devastation all around, it was still very peaceful.  And as I walked, anxiously awaiting when we would arrive at John's final spot on Earth, I took in the beauty of it all.

I thought about how our lives are much like "The Bastrop" (as Jordan used to call this place).  Jordan asked me as we arrived on Friday if this place would ever grow back.  As we hiked you couldn't help but see the new growth that God was allowing to happen.

Green amongst the charred remains.

Isn't this just like our own lives?  Devastating events happen to us all.  And perhaps leave us a bit charred in places.  But with His love, strength, and light - new growth will appear.  Yes, it may look different and strange.  Yes, scars and evidence of a tragedy may remain - but if we embrace His plan and accept His changes for our lives - we too can experience peace and beauty again.

We can have beautiful green spots sprouting all around our charred edges!  We too can "grow back"!

I thought I might just share a few pictures from my weekend at The Bastrop.

Flowers on the hike

Beautiful berries were found everywhere!!

Deep holes left by completely burned trees.
The small holes were where the roots once were.

The hike to the deer stand.  Notice all the green!!

Here it is.  You can't see the stand.
But this is the tree where John said goodbye to this Earth.

The scene leaving The Bastrop.

This was the last thing John got to do with the kids.
I'm so thankful this tire swing - hanging from a tree - survived!
What fun memories for the kids!
This is their favorite spot on the property!

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jensjensmom said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us Penny! I thank GOD for you and pray for you too! Enjoy your summer...love Melissa

jensjensmom said...

Penny thank you for sharing your heart with us! Your walk through this devasting time shows us how God works through horrible events. thank you for your vulnerability and allowing us to see this. I continue to pray for you all and thank GOD for Penny lessons through your blog. as one teacher to another enjoy the summer...it is great time to just enjoy the small things we take for granted in a busy school year

Glenda said...

Wow. You are truly a living sacrifice! I can't imagine what that hike was like. Thanks for sharing this...wow is all I can say. I'm amazed at your strength! Love you sis.

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