Monday, February 9, 2009

16 Candles !!

This past Saturday, my oldest son celebrated his 16th birthday. My hubby and I started the day before sunrise with a group run downtown. Then, the birthday boy ran a local 5k to raise money for his high school Spirit Week. As soon as we all got cleaned up, six of his friends arrived at my house in shorts, t-shirts, and backpacks. Child number #1 had decided to have his birthday party on the mountain! We drove about an hour to where we were going to hike and set out. These kids were wonderful! All but two are runners, so we completed the hike fairly quickly.

They were amazed at the view from the top--as well as the wonderful weather that God graciously blessed us with! We've never had a warm b'day party in February! It was awesome! We sat on the summit and rested, ate snacks, and rehydrated. Of course, I took pictures!
Well, what goes up must come down! On the way back down the trails, one of the kids was struggling a bit. He was wearing basketball shoes first of all. Y'all, those things are slippery on the court as well as the trails! He was in front of me, slowly meandering along the ridge of the mountain. Dry leaves covered roots and rocks, making the hike down a little more intense. Patches of mud greeted us...going down steep inclines was taking longer than I had hoped. But, fear...though this child would not admit it...had seeped into play.

When we are fearful, we rarely venture out of our comfort zones. We want to stay where we know we're safe and sound. Sometimes, God calls us to go out on a limb. We can't serve Him the way that He wants if we're timid and fearful about venturing out to see where He is leading us. Remember Moses? He felt inadequate and insecure about what God had planned for Him. In my Bible Study that I've referenced for the past few weeks, we are learning about what it means for a woman to let go so God can do mighty things in her life. She must let go of fear, worry, hurt,and expectations. I've paraphrased this paragraph from "The Seven Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do." Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle have listened to God's calling in this book and have truly obeyed by writing it. It is a GREAT book, y'all.
Child #1's friend went way...way...out of his comfort zone coming down that mountain. He had no choice if he wanted to get back home! We do have choices that we can make. Are we going to let worry and fear stand in the way of something really BIG that God has in store for us? Are we going to stay in that comfort zone where we dictate what will happen next...our to-do lists? I have found myself in that place so many times! I'm being quite honest with you all! There are things that I'd like to do now, but worry holds me back. And, I know that worry is a sin! God offers us His peace...if only we will take hold of it! In John 14:27, Jesus tells us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Even though one child climbed up a waterfall, we all made it back down safely!! All but one of the kids in my van fell asleep on the way home. They were so cute! Even at 16, 17, and 18, they are still our babies! There's a great big world ahead of them. As long as they hold onto His Word and trust in Him, they will make it and make the world a better place in which to live.

Many Blessings,


BECKY said...

Hi Susan, What a great birthday celebration!! And very good spiritual analogies as well!

I'm glad I stumbled onto your blog. I already feel more inspired to move forward in some areas of my life. Funny, too, that being 50 and out of shape, I had been considering trying to begin jogging again (it has been many years, and my joints may not agree) then found you.

Well, may God richly bless you, and give your "baby" birthday greetings from blogland!!

Have a joyful week,

Edie said...

Happy birthday to your son! What a great day! I miss days of hiking. Great visual of all those sleeping *kids* in your van. :)

I love your analogy here Susan, and am taking some thoughts away with me too.

Gotta Run said...

We are all kids at heart no matter how old we are :)

Dinner was great. We must do that again SOON!!

Yolanda said...

Susan, I can't tell you how much your writing spoke to my heart...for often at Higher Grounds I'm way out of my comfort zone, yet I want an obedient heart to God. Yes, God.

Thank you for encouraging me today.

You have a very unique family, how cool to run together, play together, and worship together.


Chatty Kelly said...

What a wonderful day - congrats! And Many more!

Wendy Blight said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, Susan. Your words blessed me. I too am excited for She Speaks; it is such an amazing time!! We are already filling up.

I love what you wrote on your blog today. I have a 15 year old daughter and time goes by so fast. Your words about taking risks spoke to me because I am the kind that likes to play it safe and not leave my comfort zone. The next few months, God will be stretching me with many new adventures, asking me to step out of my comfort zone. Anxiety has been creeping in bit by bit. I truly needed your words. Thank you!


Paula (SweetPea) said...

Great pictures. What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Looks like a wonderful birthday. I am doing Esther BS by Beth Moore, and your words go right along with what she taught this week. I think God has a theme going on here with me, and I am listening. Jackie

Misti said...

Hi there! I keep seeing your name and had to check you out. My oldest son just turned 16 in January and it was bittersweet. Don't they just grow up so fast? Good to finally visit!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I guarantee that the one child who struggled so much will never forget that trip. Even there, God is shaping and growing his faith for bigger things that lie ahead.

What a party! I can't say that any of my children, or for that matter their parents, would choose a mountain for a party, but then again, there is something quite fitting and sacred about celebrating life on a mountain...don't you think? I can think of a few occasions in the bible when this happened. I can think of another that is soon coming.

blessings and peace~elaine

Joyful said...

So often your blog posts here speak of running in obedience to Him. You may feel afraid, but in your fear you follow and you are wonderfully encouraging and inspiring me.

Happy B'day to child #1.


SheriYates said...

WOW - what a view! We don't have anything like that here!!