Dry heat is better than humidity. Although, is it HOTTTT here! We got into Phoenix around midmorning on Saturday morning and after touring my aunt and uncle's new addition, we made our way north a couple of hours to Oak Creek.
Oak Creek is beautiful. I won't harp on it too mucb because I know I went on and on about it in my last entry but it is truly amazing. Heather and I had a zombie day on Saturday, laying around and doing not much of anything. Jet lag. Sunday was better. We got up early and went hiking a little, and returned in time for a little church time at the cabin. We had a very nice "sermon" with my two older aunts and uncles, parents, as well as Todd and Nicole Steffen and their two little girls (who recently just moved back out here). Todd asked the "older and wiser" ones what their biggest life lessons or hardest thing about God was to grasp all their years of being a Christian. I'll share a few highlights.
My uncle Joe stated the importance of being in the Word. He said that he regretted not doing is as diligently as he should have throughout the years, but now he takes out a chunk of time early each morning to do so and he LOVES it and feels the power of it. Also, the importance of being a prayer warrior. I readily agreed... that is a lesson I have also been learning, lately. The Word and prayer are our two most important forms of communication with God... we gotta use them! The more we are in the Word, the more we will want to keep going back! And we need that guidance and wisdom.
My Aunt Connie talked about anxiety. Right now thinking about that topic, I'm reminded of 1 Peter 5:7... "Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you." How comforting it is to know we can talk to God and cast anything and everything to HIM and HE will take care of it? What about when Jesus said, "Who of you can add a single day to your life by worrying?" No one! We can't change anything by worrying, so why do it? My aunt shared the importance of trusting God and leaning on Him in all areas of our lives and giving it up to Him not matter how tough it may be.
My Aunt Chris shared some insight about remembering why we are here. She said it is so easy for her to get caught up in this world of busy-ness and tasks and must-dos, etc. that sometimes we forget what our REAL purpose is. Serving Christ. Glorfiying Him. Where is our home? Certainly not here. Heaven. It's sometimes hard to keep that eternal perspective when everything today shouts the exact opposite.
My dad at one point brought up the concept of "What we put into our ears and eyes and minds is what is going to come out." You put in garbage, garbage will come out. You put in good stuff, good stuff will come out. You put in an un-edifying and unnecessary movie, it'll come out in one way or another. You put in Bible verses, they'll come out in one way or another. A good reminder to keep in check what we put in.
Sunday morning was special, and Todd started it all by reading in Philippians 4, and excellent chapter. What stuck out to me were the verses that talked about "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right.....think on these things."
Thoughts are huge. What are we thinking about? A tactic I've tried to master these past few days is to think on good things. And if I can't, I just pray about what or who I'm thinking about that isn't so great in my mind. Directing your thoughts heavenward is always going to be a "good" thing. :-)
After that, Heather and I went down to the creek to enjoy the sun and the COLD creek streaming by. Oak Creek has a tendency to be sunny in the morning and then by enveloped by storm clouds in the afternoon, so I grudgingly sat outside in the overcast sky in the afternoon and read my book. Patches of sun would stream through every once in awhile, elevating my mood. The weather is my mood.
The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxing. We ate a good pizza place that night. This morning we woke up, cleaned up and got ready to leave. Stopped by a place to shop ont he way back (with that many girls, it's expected) but my poor dad was the only guy left tagging along. We caught some Mexcian food tonight and here Heather and I sit. I plan on some outside-time tomorrow in the pool.
Alright. Enough on my trip. Thanks to all who read these long reports. Don't feel like you have to. I mean, I realize that I'm such a captivating writer that it's hard not to. ;-) Ha. Probably not. I just like to jabber about everything! I better go, though. Heahter is sitting here looking over my shoulder with that look on her face that says, "Let's wrap it up, Taryn." Good thing.
Love you all,