Months of planning finally came to fruition on Saturday as we held an Open House to celebrate my parents’ 50 years in full-time ministry. 50, people! That’s a long time! My parents began their life of ministry in France, where they met as young adults. They served in France, Kansas, Canada, Vermont, Canada again, and Pennsylvania. My dad is not retiring from ministry; just moving to a new ministry that is no longer full-time. We couldn’t let him fade into the background, so we threw him a giant party and had close to 200 guests come and celebrate all God has done.
My whole family was here – first time we’ve been together since our furlough in 2010. My children met my brother’s little girl and they had a blast together! It was so nice being all together!
But, the weekend was not without its trials. I kept telling Brian, “What is going on?! We are so badly under attack and I don’t know why!” He gently reminded me, “We are celebrating the very thing Satan would love to destroy – a life of ministry that has touched thousands. Why wouldn’t he want to wreck it and make us all miserable?” He was right. Satan worked over-time on our family this weekend, but let me tell you, he did not win.
It started off with my brother not getting his rental car and having to drive a giant truck from Florida, getting 12 miles per gallon! An already expensive trip made so much worse by that little detail.
Then, my dad went golfing and his allergies kicked in, leaving him coughing and hoarse.
Thursday afternoon, Brian got home from clearing some brush complaining he got bit by a spider. By evening, the “bite” had swelled and was very red. Friday afternoon, his lower arm was extremely swollen, fiery red and hot, and had a nice red line streaking its way to his shoulder. He marked the line, and by dinner, it was almost 2 inches higher, prompting a trip to the ER where he was given an IV with antibiotics. Not in our plans and can I say, quite scary!
Also Friday, my mom started out just fine, but by evening was very ill. Everything was a mess – my uncle took Brian to the ER, my dad took my crying children home to bed, and I borrowed a car to go finish decorating. I got back home around 8 and cried with my dad, something I haven’t done in a very long time.
Brian was released late Friday night and was doing better Saturday. We woke up to BabyJ having some weird diaper issues that we didn’t think anything of… but immediately after family pictures Saturday at the party, he got sick all over Brian. What?! So, Brian stood in the civic center bathroom waiting for clothes from a friend and ended up wearing a free t-shirt from the civic center the rest of the day! We shipped all our kids home with our babysitters just to be on the safe side, but then I was quite paranoid the rest of the day about them, of course!
However, the event itself was beautiful and went so well – lots of wonderful sharing, good food, great fellowship. We’re so glad we pulled it off for my parents. My mom made it through the event, but is actually still not feeling well today, so you can pray for her.
The baby was still sick when we got home, but is fine today. Not sure what happened, but nothing we could do about it, so we just kept pushing through! I’m thankful for a husband with great presence of mind to manage himself with decorum through each crisis. And while I really prayed for a better weekend than that, God is sovereign and everything worked out just fine.
Now it’s back to life as usual. I have a special Kidz Konnect this Wednesday that I’m prepping for. Brian is trying to finish the tile in Unit #3. We have laundry from 3 homes to wash this week and 2 homes to arrange. There’s other random things coming up, including my dad’s last Sunday and all that entails and our 12th anniversary this Sunday. You can just pray for our health, stamina, and wisdom in prioritizing!
On the plus side, we’re not bored and life is sure not predictable in our house! 😉