During my day with the twins we went on a long walk (while their mom spent the entire day collecting piles and piles of leaves from their many, many, many oak trees.) Their street is amazing on any day of the year, but on this fall day it was lovely.
Their street dead ends into a forest preserve and when I reached the end of the road, I first saw a coyote cross the road, several feet in front of me. Once the coyote crossed over into the trees, I walked a bit further.
And just as I got to this spot, a very large deer jumped out of the woods and ran across the road. It seems really amazing that we live in a very crowded suburban neighborhood, yet so close to home you can step into nature. Or have "nature" simply cross your path.
Then, to continue my outdoor adventures, Gwen and I took the kids to a small, nearby animal farm. When Gwen and Doug were little we often visited this wonderful park that includes an old railroad caboose. It is small enough that the little ones can easily walk the entire park and they have lots of farm animals to see up close. They have two coyotes and they don't look nearly as shaggy or scaring when they are in a pen! There was also a deer standing right next to the fence! Not as surprising as seeing a deer leap across your path, but still very neat.
Anna was interested in all of the animals and we had fun looking at the chickens! (Anna was a chicken on Halloween!) She was a bit obsessed with the cow and several times took off running to get back to that pen. It was just a great way to spend several hours outside in November. I am very aware of how blessed I am to be able to spend my days like this. It is a wonderful gift.
Over the last couple of months, I have been really seeking direction and guidance from the Lord. This week there has been so much encouragement to not forget the destiny that has been spoken for you. So I have been revisiting the things that directed me in the past. But there has also been a strong reminder that Jesus doesn't want us to just camp in one place. Everything about our Christian life is a WALK. Over and over we are reminded that you have to step out and go. And through out the Bible, people ended up in situations that were not what they expected. So this is a great time to keep walking and while remembering what we THOUGHT we were supposed to do, we should also be expectant for the very new thing that Jesus is doing.
In the last two days I have received two very interesting emails. The first email concerns a ministry to children in Kenya and the second email concerns a ministry to children and families in Uganda. Hummm. After a trip to Kenya and Uganda in 2004, I have often said that I left a piece of my heart in those countries. Each of these emails represents the potential to connect and move in ways that I had never expected. Even if neither of these opportunities work out, it is still a huge encouragement to me.
I am doubly grateful today. Grateful for the amazing week outside, walking on those leaf covered roads and paths. And I am so grateful for the reminder that Jesus is guiding me along the path into the next destination along the way. And I am so thankful that Jesus knows my heart and is preparing that spot to answer the desires of my heart.
Jesus, thank you for the wonderful weather of the last week. Thank you for time to spend with my family. Holy Spirit, keep us all expectant for the new things and the new paths that may be ahead for us. Remind us of all that you have shown us, but help us to be able to imagine a change for the future. Thank you Jesus, for your love and care. Amen