Have you ever experienced a totally unexpected awesome blessing from God? I love when this happens! The most exciting, adventurous and unexpected blessings of my life have produced the greatest JOY in my life and have ONLY come from Christ. When we are patient in our lives and focused on His word, it is amazing how He blesses at His perfect timing and in His perfect way.
These blessings are not received as a result of our pushing, prodding or prompting rather, out of Gods desire to please us. He loves to see His children smile! We serve a loving Father who desires to bless us daily.
God has blessed me in so many, many ways. In fact, many of the things I have desired in my heart He has blessed me with before I even had a chance to act on them. Often times we toil and try to use our “earthly” strength to try to attain our desires. I encourage you to bring your dreams, wishes and desires before The Lord. Submit yourself to His will for your life and see how great the blessings are. They will pour in!
Here is just a small (abbreviated) example of Gods great blessings in my life. Alex and I plan our yearly vacations twice per year where we take a few weeks to just take off, hit the road and connect with each other and The Lord. These trips are always full of adventure and unexpected blessing.
This year, we combined a family gathering celebrating Alex’s Uncle’s 90th birthday in Lansing with a week at “The Shack”, a precious cabin on Hubbard Lake in Michigan.
As we took off for this trip I don’t think either of us anticipated the sheer relaxation, rejuvenation, scenery and blessings we would enjoy. Among the sweetest part of our vacation was when we stayed in the precious Cabin dubbed “The Shack” by my dear friend Elizabeth and her family. Elizabeth’s family enjoyed many memories here at The Shack and opened it up for Alex and I to enjoy. We ate homemade (clean eating) pancakes, slept outside to the sound of the breeze, swam in the cold refreshing water and watched the sun set. We woke and went to bed each day just soaking up devotions, eager to hear from The Lord and connect with Him in this special way. No phones, no technology, just each other and God. I remember falling asleep one afternoon just staring at a great big pine tree and how it towered high above to a perfect “point”.
One day we decided we would take off for Mackinaw City and take a ferry to Mackinaw Island. I love how we make our plans but God directs our steps. 🙂
Along the way we found a tiny town called Hillman about an hour away from the Cabin. We came across “Hillmans Health Store” and being so into health, we decided to stop. It was exciting to see a little store in the middle of this tiny town dedicated to health.
We instantly connected and shared great conversations with the employees. They mentioned to us a farm that was nearby to get fresh eggs if we desired and that was that.
As we took off for Mackinaw I couldn’t ignore the tugging in my Spirit. It was getting late and I felt like we should turn around and find that farm. In true Alex and Ashley style, we made the last minute decision to do just that.
How glad I am that I listened to that gentle tugging in my spirit. What happened next was just God and His undeniable favor and blessing.
We pulled up to a picture that looked like it was straight out of a painting. The Sun was setting soon and there was a gentle breeze. It is not often I am moved to tears but as “Cousin Carl” approached our car with his warm welcome, I was on the brink of tears from the sheer beauty of it all. What happened next was literally Gods blessing to us, an unexpected gift of joy, friendship and new experiences.
We toured the Farm and took in the smells, sights and sounds. It was breathtakingly beautiful. What captured my heart instantly was this beautiful family and their love for The Lord.
We had an instant connection and Alex and I eagerly jumped in to feed calves, milk cows, hold chicks and take in the beauty of this Farm. The precious Cordes brothers (3 and 4 years old) ran around the farm with me showing me everything I needed to know. I even received fresh picked flowers and chamomile. I got so much joy just watching them play and enjoy everything. You can learn so much from children.
We were welcomed back to The Cordes Farm for dinner the next night and ended up enjoying two days of incredible blessing. We all chipped in to make dinner husking corn, chopping, washing and prepping for the evening meal. There was something very special to me about that process. Like family around a table just chipping in and working for the meal. All of the veggies and meat came from the Farm and friends gardens. It was so fresh and amazingly delicious!
Alex even got to help chip in and make Granola (seriously, Autumn makes the worlds best Granola, I am convinced!). We even had a cheat meal of a homemade raspberry pie that took 4 hours to make with wild raspberries just picked that morning.
We all enjoyed a meal, talked, prayed and shared our Favorite Scripture around the table. Grandpa Cordes (he was born in the 107 year old Farm house!) shared his beginnings and memories of his grandfather. We talked about the world, farming, family and Gods blessing.
It was peaceful and wonderful. I could feel God all around that place. His love, mercy and grace just surrounding it all.
I was reminded to slow down and breath. To just look around at all of His magnificent creation. To appreciate even the littlest of things like a Monarch taking its first flight. To make new friends who shared a common love for The Lord was among the greatest blessing of all. Not to mention, they are an A&A too!
Autumn and Adam, thank you for welcoming us into your world for two days. Thank you for taking the time to show us around, share your love for The Lord and to make time for new friendships.
God blessed Alex and I through you, The Farm, your family and reminded us that the greatest moments in life are not made up of striving or rushing around but slowing down to appreciate His amazing Creation and ALL of the beauty He desires to bless us with including that of wonderful new friendships.