Walking uphill

August has been in intense month.  We’re pushing ahead with fundraising efforts and have sent out close to 200 mailings.  Hillary and I are following up with phone calls while getting another fifty or so packets of information out.  In the midst of fundraising and working my landscaping job, there have been some other events taking up a lot of time and energy.
     1.  Eight showings in six days: This means a lot of cleaning for Hillary and finding a place to take the kids while prospective buyers check out our home.  We continue to wrestle with more aggressively pricing our home to sell versus potentially renting.
     2.  Sickness: Two overlapping cases of hand foot, mouth disease, one cold, and Briana is teething.  Hand foot mouth disease is a virus infection that normally hits children under five with two or three days of fever and approximately a week of red spots on the hands, feet and mouth.  The kids were confined to the home and experienced varying degrees of listlessness and discomfort.  We had a toy cleaning marathon late one night as we tried to disinfect all the things our children play with and generally were very short on sleep.
     3.  A weekend in Providence, RI: We stayed with the family who is willing to open their home to us while we are in Providence.  We had a great time with them, even thought the travel was a little rough on the family.  I gave an update at church Sunday morning and we headed back to CT.
     4.  Vehicles: Our SUV wouldn’t start, so with the help of a passing dog walker I was able to push it out into the street, but failed to jump start it.  The SUV was towed to the mechanic who found a broken wire in battery connection.  It was a simple and fairly cheap repair, for which we were thankful.  The check engine light on the other car, which was just inspected, came on as we drove home from visiting Hillary’s family in NY.  This one also ended up being a minor issue, but it was another stick in the spokes of our slowly moving lives.
     5.  Tragedy:  Early last week I learned that one of my closer friends at work took his life.   I was shocked and still am, to some degree.  We worked closely together last year and maintained the friendship through the winter.  We had gotten to know each other fairly well and two weeks ago, things were coming apart for him.  I was able to speak with him about the gospel over the course of our friendship and attended his funeral today.  It was both beautiful and terribly sad.
    6.  In the midst of this I have found great encouragement in talking with wise Christian friends.  In speaking of walking through hardship, one of them remarked that there are unique blessings as we follow God through the hard places.  If we only do what is easy and self-serving we miss out.  It makes me think of a beautiful oasis found only in the heart of desert.  I don’t know what the oasis will be and I don’t continue merely for the blessing, but the expectation of God’s oasis helps me keep going

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