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Family Vacation and Bickering, Brokenness, and Tears.

We were going to get two weeks off after a full summer of support raising, continued house renovations, ministry, and neighborhood involvement. My prayer going into it was that we would be refreshed and refueled to be able to enter into “launch phase” of this church planting endeavor with much energy and enthusiasm.
 
Our trek up to Virginia to see relatives, go camping, stay in a family farm house, and have a lot of “unplugged” time was full of family memory making…but also of brokenness.
  
kids bickered. constantly.
mamma snapped. continually.
dad retreated. subconsciously.
small people whined. ceaselessly
  
It seemed that we were a band of “every man (woman and child) for himself.”  Which was exhausting.
  
Not to mention the fact that out in the hills of Lexington, where there was no internet, no TV, and  little phone service, one is fully unplugged.
Grandpa Jones came to visit us while we stayed in the Chase farmhouse

Grandpa Jones came to visit us while we stayed in the Chase farmhouse

We could only coral four of the six here....

We could only coral four of the six here….

Fully unplugged.  With no chance to get “caught up” with “life”. And what does one do with oneself when the drug of choice is constant activity, scheduling, ministry, and frantic climbing of the blogging-writing-researching-cooresponding To-Do list ladder.

  
When that is taken away, the panic sets in
“I’m not going to be able to keep up!  I’ve got to have access to these things! I’m getting behind on life! If I don’t try to get ahead now, I’m going to be drowning this fall!”
 
In the void of activity,
  
the tears came.
  
frequently.
  
I hadn’t cried so much in a really really long time.
  
Why this flood of emotion?
  
With the time and space to actually start feeling things again, without having to frantically rushing six children off to the next activity, or react to the next ordeal, or scurry to get all the housework done….
all that had been stuffed down hard came exploding out even harder.
  
There’s a scientific law about that… for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size but opposite in direct.
  
Newton’s third law of motion might as well be about the field of emotion, not just the field of physics.
  
For on that vacation the force of all that energy used to stuff, control, and compartmentalize this past year,  started bubbling up….the other way.
  
It bubbled up in anger, and panic, in eating too much and exercising too little, and running from one frantic activity to another (we were on VACATION, for pete’s sake), always desperate for the right “formula” of squeezing in “me” time to make me happy…to achieve peace.
  
And here, when Danny was more available to grant the “me” time  (to some extent), instead of happiness, came tears. Instead of peace, came turmoil. Instead of contentment, came a desperate crying out for JOY to enter the wilderness of my soul again.
 ~~~~
country_road_through_cades_cove_great_smoky_mountains_tennessee
 I jogged down that country dirt road, nestled away in the serenity and beauty of a place that should have brought me peace…
  
yet through choking sobs, I cried out,
  
“Lord, I will do anything you want me to.  I will labor and minister and suffer in whatever capacity you call me to.  But I have to have your JOY in it. I’m desperate for joy again. I’m desperate for YOU again.”
~~~~
This fall’s line up of blog posts will chronicle the major paradigm shifts, the encounters, the repentance, and the restoration of the joy of my salvation which the Lord has led me, and our family through, as a result of that prayer.
  
“Ask.
  
And you WILL
  
receive.”  Matthew 7:7

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