Wandering in the Wilderness

Do you ever feel like you are wandering around with no direction?  You’re not necessarily lost; you just don’t exactly know where you are or where you are supposed to be going.

I am currently a wanderer.

I like to plan things.  I like to be organized.  I like to be in control.  I like to have a map.  I don’t always trust the GPS when we go on trips and like to have an atlas close by.  I like directions.  I like order.

Right now I don’t have a map, and it’s killing me.

Currently our pastor (a shout-out to Bob!) is going through the Old Testament through the Old Testament Challenge.  He started it in September and I am LOVING IT! 

Today he talked about lessons from the wilderness. 

After hearing the sermon, I’m pretty sure I would not have fared well as an Israelite in the dessert.

The trip from Egypt to Mt. Sinai was only supposed to take 2 weeks, but instead, it was a year. 

The trip from Mt. Sinai to Canaan was only supposed to take 11 days, but instead, it took 39 years.

40 years in the dessert!  A trip that should’ve taken 25 days took 40 years….yes, 40 years….

Let me tell you.  I get frustrated when the stoplight doesn’t change after a couple of minutes of waiting (today I had to wait 5 minutes at a light in Peoria).  I get frustrated if I miss a turn and have to go around the block (this usually happens on Tuesday nights when I’m picking up kids for TRAIL).  I get mad at Paul when he doesn’t turn around if he has missed a turn (this happens…well, more frequently than I would like).

Can you imagine being guided by a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day and wandering for 40 years?  (Someone should’ve invested in a GPS)…

I would not have done well. 

I, in fact, would’ve grumbled.  Yes, I would’ve caved and grumbled right along with everyone else….

They grumbled about where they were….

They grumbled about having no food

They grumbled about having no water

Then they grumbled because of the food that they DID have….

They grumbled…again….

The Israelites should’ve been thanking God for their provisions, but instead they were grumbling.  They should’ve been relying on God, instead they were responding with murmuring, complaining, and grumbling.  

Webster’s Dictionary defines grumble as “to mutter with discontent.”

Grumbing is not to acknowledge difficulty, pain, or suffering.  Difficulty, pain and suffering are a natural part of life and human experience.  But grumbling is to have a mind-set of habitual discontent.  We assume the worse, that something bad is always going to happen, and the mind immediately focuses on the negative outcome. 

According to Bob’s sermon this morning (giving credit is where credit is due):

“Discontent distorts our perspective and twists our view of reality.”

Grumbling about the what if’s deeply affects the soul.  We resort to the past.  Of course, what we remember of the past may or may not be accurate.  (Exodus 16:3).  

Do you ever remember your grandmother/grandfather saying, “Well….back in the good ole days…..”

I think we do the same thing.  Do these words ever come out of your mouth?

I remember when….

When we used to…..

When we lived….

Like the Israelites remembered their past, we often remember ours, too.  However, their memories were falsified (they were slaves; they most certainly did not have pots of meat to eat out of all day) by their grumbling.  And, I think ours are, too.

To grumble means to distrust God.  (Ouch, that hurt just typing those words). 

Daily, I am mistrusting God when I grumble.  As I said, I am currently wandering in the wilderness.  It’s a hard place to be.  It’s a hard place not to grumble.  It’s a hard place to trust. 

And yet, I try. 

Our loving God is compassionately reaching out that we might know that we are loved, redeemed, called out of bondage into freedom.

Therefore, we should move from grumbling to gratitude.  A thanks for the provisions we do have.  A thanks for bringing us to where we are.  A thanks for the past to learn from and a future to look forward to. 

Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

FALL

I thought I hadn’t taken pictures in awhile, so here they are….

out our back door

another shot out our back door

beside Ember's house

the road to Pine Tree

the pond (with Chapel in the background)

a group getting ready to get on the course

kids on the course

a boy going on the zipline

hanging out on the course

a group playing on the course

Jim hanging out in the zip tree

playing on the course

Jim S. doing the fidget ladder

a kid doing the air steps

hanging out on the course

my favorite picture of the morning

October 14th is cursed

Last year on this exact date I got sick…

Remember this post?

Well, here we are again….round two….

No fever, but horrible allergies…

Runny nose and stuffy nose (is it possible to have both of those b/c if you were stuffy, then your nose wouldn’t be running)?  Anyway….

Headache (I think my head is about to explode.

Cough.

Please, someone just take me out into the pasture and shoot me now…

Speaking of pasture, yesterday when we were leaving camp, there was a cow in the middle of the road.  Our neighbor has cows and a mama cow and her baby like to get out sometimes….

Anyway, back to being sick….

Someone just, please, put me out of my misery….

A Post of Random Thoughts

It’s 7:30PM; is it too early to go to bed?
(At least it’s dark outside, so the illusion that it is bedtime is there)….

I haven’t “heard” Paul in awhile; I imagine he’s asleep on the couch in the other room.

I, however, started a baking project at 6:00 that takes 5 hours!! What was I thinking?!!

I am so tired….I could go to sleep right now and probably sleep until next Monday….
However, that would probably be bad b/c I have to cook again on Thursday, host on Friday, and cook on Saturday….
and most importantly, I would miss my massage appt. on Wednesday.

My neck is so tired; I don’t think it can hold up my head much longer….I can’t wait to see you, Michelle.

We had 5 groups here this weekend. I cooked:
3 meals for 47 people
1 meal for 73 people
3 meals for 54 people
1 meals for 3 people (a shout-out to Bob and Angie)!

(Paul drew the short end of the stick tonight…I didn’t cook for him; he had to eat leftovers from lunch today)….of course, it could be due to the fact that all we have in our fridge is milk, shredded mozarella cheese, 3 eggs, and lots of random condiments….grocery shopping is on the list of things to do tomorrow!

Paul worked on the ropes course on Saturday afternoon, hosted one group, and worked on the ropes course all day today. He also had to be at church at 8:00 on Sunday morning b/c he is part of the worship team now. Our “home office” has now turned into a “music room” as well. Along with the T.V., dresser, nightstand, bookshelf, computer desk, and X-Box stand, we now have 2 guitars, 2 guitars stands, a music stand, an amp, and a black storage box. Lovely, huh?

Have I mentioned I am tired?!

Last weekend it got down into the 30’s at night, so I put flannel sheets on our bed (remember this post). Well, I spoke too soon. It has been in the 80’s ALL WEEK! I’m pretty tired of it…cold weather come quickly!

I am nodding off while I’m typing…that’s a bad sign….

Well, I think I will go see what Paul is doing…he is stirring, so maybe he’s not asleep.  That’s a good sign.  If he sleeps now, he’ll wake up at midnight and be up until about 4:00….sometimes I think he’s a raccoon.  ..he likes to sleep during the day and stay up at night….

My Simple Prayer

This morning when I woke up, this was my prayer.

“OK Lord, it’s you and me today; let’s do this thing.”

Simple but profound….

13 1/2 hours in the kitchen cooking 3 meals for 45 people….and I did fine, even when the turkey wasn’t done.

2 more days, 4 more meals…let’s do this!