Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer is Gone. . . .
As quickly as the weather warmed up here in Bakersfield, the days of summer vacation are gone. We enjoyed our summer with camping, vacationing, boating, and . . . . building --as usually ends up on the Collins' agenda.

We began our vacation with a trip to Morro Bay where we enjoyed fellowship with friends from Grace Bible and a surprise birthday cake for me! Campfire tales, games, and antique shopping filled our days. Later in June our family explored San Diego with a visit to the awesome San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and of course, Sea World! The beaches were fun (Coranado Island) and the coast explored. Later in July we trucked up to the Sierra Nevadas for a camping trip with home school friends at Sequoia National Park and enjoyed trails through the giant trees and campfire stories once again. While spending time at home, we often took a day off for boating which Amy especially loved tubing behind the boat with a friend. Bob's big project for the summer was expanding the girls' room by punching out the wall and building an addition in which to place bunkbeds. Now there is actually room to play in their room--they are loving it!! A new jungle theme will replace their sweet little teddy bears as we see the girls get older and their interest change.

One highlight of my summer was attending the Women's Discipling Conference sponsored by the Master's College and being challenged to live out my faith. I see failures every day, but am striving to be who God wants me to be and glorify Him in all I do. It's so easy to depend on myself to accomplish my goals, but the Lord desires for me to rely on Him and seek His will, not my own--even in the little day-to-day activities of life. "Abide in Me" is what Christ said in John 15. That is my goal for this next school year--to abide in Christ in all I do and say.

How can I practically "Abide in Christ"? By seeking His desires for me, by praying over all my decisions, by giving up my will, and by abiding in His word and getting to know Him better. It is through the study of His word that I am convicted of my sinful state and my selfishness and long to put Him first in my priorities. What a challenge it is to live like Christ! But to God be the glory when we do.

Summer. . . it is a great time of reflection. A great book I've read entitled Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God is a must read. It contains stories of five ordinary women who trusted in their extraordinary God to do great things. Lessons we learn from the past can be so valuable to us today. What we learn through these women and their faith and trust in our God challenges us to reach out and live daily for our Lord. Let me know if you want to borrow this book--you won't be disappointed.