I always come back from our annual trip to the Zielke cabins in Wisconsin feeling more in love with my family (immediate and extended) and in awe of the beauty of God’s creation. And as much as I hate to admit it, more rested from being unplugged from technology (though we did use Dad Z’s phone as a hotspot for WiFi this year!)
And I always come back feeling more appreciative of indoor plumbing.
Oh man, I’ve let a lot of time slide on here. Here’s a quick summary of the past half a year:
-Simon turned one (and what a cute christmas cookie/hot chocolate themed party he had)
-Michael started to shave his head.
-The tooth fairy came to visit (and sometimes forgot to come to visit) several times in one month.
-my sweet nephew, little Cayden, (if that isn’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is. The kid is 6 months old and 25 lbs) was born. My sister Christina and I have very realistic hopes of him forming a band with my boys somewhat along the lines of The Jonas Brothers. Or at the very least their own super Glee club.
-we hosted our 4th annual Birkeneder Brunch on Christmas Eve
-the boys helped Grandma Lanie tell her traditional story of the 3 kings and their gifts to Jesus
-we were given an awesome Bible book. If you’re looking for a good Bible summary book for children look no further. The Jesus Storybook Bible is awesome. A friend of ours gave this to us a while back and we started reading it to the boys every so often. I love it! Each story is a part of God’s rescue plan- each character pointing towards the Great Rescuer. I’m not kidding, I don’t think I ended a single chapter without my eyes (and heart) welling up with tears of joy as we imparted these truths of God’s love for them into our children’s hearts. The stories came to life to me (the adult!) through this children’s version. And the boys love reading it! Each story is a piece of the Great Rescue- and being so into good guys/bad guys, sword fights and battles-the setup is very appealing to them.
Tonight we finished the final chapter, and this page struck me:
(from Revelation) “I see a sparkling city shimmering in the sky: glittering, glowing- coming down!
From heaven. And from the sky. Heaven is coming down to earth!
God’s city is beautiful. Walls of topaz, jasper, sapphire. Wide streets paved with gold. Gleaming pearl gates that are never locked shut.
Where is the sun? Where is the moon? They aren’t needed anymore. God is all the Light people need. No more darkness! No more night!
And the King says, “Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone. Yes, they’re gone forever. Everything sad has come unture. And see- I have wiped away every tear from every eye!’
And then a deep, beautiful voice that sounded like thunder in the sky says, “Look, I am making everything new!”
You know the part in movies where there’s a big crescendo of music and the good guy wins and everyone celebrates and your whole soul just cheers while watching it? I told Michael recently that I think that is what heaven is like all the time. Always that sense of victory, that everything is finally as it should be.
When I read this to my children my heart swelled and tears filled my eyes and hope engulfed me. Whenever I have those moments, they’re my God moments. Its like the Lord is washing over me and I sense His presence and I trust Him. I don’t really understand heaven and I certainly don’t understand the mysteries of God, the infinite Creator. But I do trust Him and believe Him to be faithful to do what He says He will do. And each time I have one of these “moments”- where my while body gets goosebumps and my soul feels inexplicably overwhelmed- its a tangible reminder to me of His presence.
I love how this book ends.
“And he knew then that the ending of The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just a shadow that is chased away by the morning sun.
‘I’m on my way’, said Jesus. ‘I’ll be there soon!’
John came to the end of his book. But he didn’t write ‘The End’. Because, of course, that’s how stories finish. (and this one’s not over yet.)
So instead , he wrote: ‘Come quickly, Jesus!’
Which, perhaps, is really just another way of saying…
I’ve been blessed to marry into a fantastic family. One of them is my sweet sister-in-law Emily. We married brothers and we have bonded over the fact we are the two female add-ins to the family. :) I’ve always loved Emily, but our relationship has taken a new turn after Emily had her daughter Mae this past Spring. When Emily said, “This (mommyhood) feels like a whole other culture!” I smiled for days. We made a pact to try and get together regularly since Mae was born and do our own twist on playdates. There is ALWAYS coffee involved, but some kind of physical activity gets added into the mix for my set of active boys whether it be playgrounds, walking trails, pools, or shopping(!)
And so we took our annual trip up to the Zielke cabins in northern Wisconsin.
Both boys tubed, and really loved the water. They have been asking for days to go back to Corny. The night we left Trevor said, “I want to live in Corny forever with Grandpa!” and prayed that night that we wouldn’t have to leave and God would make us forget in the morning that we were supposed to leave. :)
Michael really did everything on this vacation. He swam with the boys, got up with the boys, put the boys to bed, bathed the boys, everything. He really is the greatest dad I could have for my children!