praises and prayers

Well hello again! I don't usually take a full month off of blogging, but what a month it has been! Farm Camp sort of took over our lives there for the month of June and it was worth every minute poured in. I can't wait to write at length about how that week went and how it has shaped our vision for the future. We are really excited about all that is to come based on all we experienced those five days.

Then we were off to Lake Geneva Christian Center for a few nights of family camp with the Groves family. It was a joy to be together and to play, rest and have all meals prepared each day. It was a well-timed, wonderful get away. And now we are one month out from the arrival of our fifth child. We have a work project list that is as long as ever, but I told Rory I really want these weeks to be shaped by the words Rest and Play. As always he has lots of work stuff happening, but I really want the priority to be to Rest and Play. So we've been adding family day trips and surprises into our calendar, as well as working hard to be sure not to fill up our calendar! Yesterday we read books out in the yard for a while and that felt perfect.

But we do have quite a few things coming up! This week we have the county fair, where Ivar will be showing his rabbit Hershey for his very first time as a 4H Cloverbud. It's all very exciting and there is a lot to learn about the ins and outs of 4H! Rory will be working in the malt stand, representing our family well. The rest of us are either too young, or too pregnant... On Friday, Elsie turns 7. She is thrilled by this fact, and I am trying to make sure I know her expectations and then either meet them, or let her know what she can expect. She's not hard to please though. Uncle Kyle is taking her out for dinner on Tuesday and had me ask her where she would want to go. She barely breathed before she screamed, "The Subway by Menards!!!" And danced and squealed how she loves Subway and can't wait for Tuesday to come.

Our family went to Lake City on Thursday after Alden woke up from his nap. All told, I think we were there from 2:30-6:30. But it felt like we were on an actual vacation. We got our ice cream cones, played at the park, walked out on the pier and drove to check out Frontinac State Park. It was a glorious day and ended with a bald eagle flying to the tree right above us to each his fish supper while we at our whopper juniors. 

When we were just loading up we got an email and a text that friends were gathering to pray for our friend Tiffany outside of her house. Tiffany beat breast cancer two years ago and just this week we found out her latest body scan showed that her body is riddled with cancer. She had just learned this news seven weeks ago, herself. We are the same age, she has five young kids and pastors with her husband at a church in town that Rory and I attended for three years. I used to teach women's Bible study with her for years and I love this lady to pieces. She is the real deal, fully alive and fully committed to the people of our town, ready to be sure that all know Jesus and the new life he has waiting for each one of them. 

So we drove our family from Lake City right to Jeff and Tiffany's house where we found hundreds of people standing in the street, singing and praying. For the next two hours we prayed for a miraculous healing of Tiffany's body. Her husband made clear that he wasn't asking for plan b prayers. He wanted bold prayers pounding at heaven for a full healing and miraculous recovery.

So I have been praying with belief and faith, reading through miracles in the Bible, where nothing made sense in the natural. I refuse to feel sorrow or grief. Those are not called for at this time. Right now I want to be sure I am standing on the side of healing power and hope in all things.

But with all of this comes so many emotions. And in an incredible twist, just as I was beginning to feel fear creep in, someone posted this sermon (below) that Tiffany preached on Mother's Day. Just two months ago. 

If you deal with fear or anxiety or unanswered questions or hopelessness or chronic pain or illness, I really encourage you to listen. It starts out light-hearted, but please listen to the very end. Clearly God inspired this sermon and where she concludes is remarkable and comforting. Even in the midst of this new story.

And please pray for Tiffany. For a full healing of her body, for a miraculous recovery and for God to be glorified. I know what I am asking, but I am not standing in a place of trepidation. I am standing in a place of belief and promises. And pray for wisdom for her husband Jeff as he navigates this road with five young children, ages 4-12. 

I am laying hold of a vision of Tiffany healed, and what that would mean to all around her. I can think of no louder mouth piece to proclaim the goodness of God. She would blast her testimony to the moon and back. She already has, though I am holding on to belief that her story is just getting started. 

So enjoy this sermon. It is worth your hour. 

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