Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vacation and Lessons Learned

Hey everybody,

  I am going to do an update for the last two months.  I stink at keeping up on my blog but I am working on being better.

  In July,  I lost a few people who were very important to me.  I had seen the Lord change them and use them in amazing ways.  I had a hard time understanding why God would take two people in the same week.  I spent quite a bit of time in prayer and thought trying to understand how God was going to use their deaths for his glory.

My friend Derek drowned after saving his son.  He died a hero but I couldn't understand why God would take someone so young from this world.  However in the events that followed his death, I was able to see how God would use it.  Derek accepted Jesus into his heart about a month before he died and is now spending eternity with his Heavenly Father.  I was able to see how God would bring people together after such a tragedy and how people are working to help his family.

The Athletic Director from high school passed away from cancer.  Now this man had an impact on my life while I was in high school and it was hard to hear he had passed away.  I was able to see how the Lord would bless a community and take care of the family through this event.  He is saved and spending eternity in heaven with no pain anymore.

I have also been working on finding full-time employment for the summer, but have been blessed with two part-time jobs that help with everything.  I have been working on trusting the Lord to provide the perfect job in HIS TIMING and not my own.  I have also been working on being thankful for the positions I do have currently.

  On August 4, 2012 my world and my family's world was rocked after we lost someone very close to us.  My cousin Tony died in a motorcycle accident.  He was a great man, father, husband, son, cousin and many other roles.  He was a great demolition derby driver and always provided a show at any of the derbys we went to.  I am still working on being strong and getting back to everything being normal but it is taking time.  It has been only a month since he passed so everyone is still healing and working on being there for one another at all times.

This past weekend was my family reunion.  It was the first reunion and derby without Tony.  I was so blessed to have the weekend off from work to go home.  I had a blast and learned so many things over the weekend.
   On Friday night, my mom and I headed out for Blairstown, IA for the derby.  It was about a 2 hour drive to go watch and for me that meant time to talk with my mom.  It has been a while since we have been able to have long conversations so it was really good.  We made it to Blairstown with maybe 15 minutes to spare before the race began.  We parked, paid general admission, then found my family in the pit so paid to sit there which I would not change for anything.  This was my first derby since 2007 so I did not know what to expect for the night.  I brought my camera to take as many photos as I could.  Sitting in the pits gave me a front seat to all the heats of the derby.  My cousins did very well throughout the entire derby.  After the derby we went back and saw everyone which was good because I hadn't seen them in awhile.
   On Saturday we packed the car full and headed to the campground to set up for the next couple days.  My dad and brother are the pros at setting up the tent so I let them do their work.  We hung out on Saturday and shared a meal together.  Saturday was extremely hard because of all the memories flooding back from prior years with Tony at the reunion.  It was hard so I spent some time processing.  We sat around the fire later that night and shared stories and funny memories.
   On Sunday, we had breakfast together and then did our own thing for a while.  I worked on a project for the auction later on that day.  I also spent time just talking to people and getting to know them better.  Most of us had been camping so we were there for lunch already but others usually come for lunch and the auction, so people started slowly arriving at 11:30ish or so and continued to show up throughout the day.  We had lunch together, chatted for a bit, and then got the auction under way.  Each year we have the auction to raise money for next year's reunion.  My dad and brother spent quite a bit that day but it was worth it and they both got something for me.  My brother and I were having bidding wars over pocket knives and he won both times.  At the end of the night however, he gave me the knife I wanted as an early birthday present.  That is very rare in my family because my siblings tend to forget my birthday, however it was a great surprise from him.  My mom and I stayed overnight again, but my dad, brother and his girlfriend went home.
   Sunday night was a night to remember.  We spent time around the fire talking about some of the craziest snake stories and memories that my family had.  My family loves to pull pranks on each other so there were plenty of stories about them.  Later on we let off lanterns into the sky.  It was so fun because I had been wanting to let lanterns off for awhile but hadn't had a chance.  We talked about lighting them off for Tony's birthday which is only a couple weeks before mine so I'm excited for that.
   Monday we packed up and headed back to Pella.  I spent some time with my family before heading back to Des Moines.  I love spending time with family, but I always miss MY FAMILY in Des Moines when I'm gone.

Thanks for reading.


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