The fresh, sunny days of summer will soon be turning into the cool, inviting days of fall. I love the fall season, and the holidays that come with it. I am not quite ready to let go of summer, though, and our upcoming trip to Italy for our 40th Anniversary Trip next month, will stretch out the feel of summer for another month for us.
Pausing today, just one week from when we fly off to Rome, I am full of thanks ~
~ for two great conferences this summer - opportunities to help at the SV Getaway conference for students in June at the beautiful YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park - and also the privilege of hearing from God through worship, speakers, and connecting with other staff at the Staff Conference we were at for ten days in July, again in beautiful Colorado!
~ for the fun we had hosting a family reunion here at our home the first week in July - much celebrating, of my father's 90th birthday, eight June and July birthdays, and two 40th Anniversaries (ours and also for a brother and sister-in-law) - 30 family enjoying being together for a week!
~ for a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons moving close by, just 6 miles from us - a beautiful home, just what they dreamed of.
~ for news (through phone calls and email) from our youngest son, traveling in Europe for a few months - all is well, and great experiences for him.
~ a new part-time staff person joining our team, and two new couples joining as volunteers - now a staff team of six, and nearly 30 volunteers.
~ for excitement as we plan for another school year of reaching middle school and high school students for Jesus.
~ for some miracles, answers to prayer - and for the reminder to continually pray for family, for others.
~ for all our lodging lined up for Italy, and for anticipation of this amazing trip God has opened up for us.
~ for excitement mounting, as we leave one week from today for our 17-day trip to Italy!
~ for friends, and the love and encouragement that they give.
~ for a free weekend of lodging at Lake Okoboji over our actual wedding anniversary day earlier this month.
~ for a granddaughter and grandson here, and two more grandsons (and their parents) stopping by this past week - the gift of family.
~ for summer cooking - love the aroma of foods on the grill, and the taste of corn-on-the-cob, and watermelon and all the fresh veggies and fruits of the season.
~ for an uncle and aunt stopping by last Wednesday for a visit on their way back home to Colorado, and my 90 year-old father joining us for lunch.
~ for special times of prayer together with my husband on the hill overlooking our town.
~ for a fresh calling to prayer, one of the ways we are nourished in this love relationship with God; spending time together, listening, sharing of hearts.
"You have given me greater joy than those
who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe."
(One Thousand Gifts #652-667)
Linking up with others at A Holy Experience, sharing gratitude.