We know we don’t have all that long here in Reno. We aim to get the very most out of our time here and, of course, that all boils down to relationships and faithfulness.
Last week we had one of the funnest and fullest weeks we’ve had in a long time. Our good friends Rian and Rachel had us over to dinner and while supping on Rachel’s amazing homemade pizza we learned that our friend Rian has a gift for asking really, really good questions. He asked us questions that got us thinking and really made us feel known; something I (Jess) value and treasure more than almost anything. The Lord used his questions and their genuine interest to encourage and bless us in a big way.
Later in the week we had two graduation parties and two birthday parties to attend, and with all that running around and all that cake you’d think we’d be running on empty. But, the opposite is true. At each event, we had some rich moments and rich conversations. A highlight for me was taking Adelina to a party at a bounce house where I (forgetting somehow that I am 7.5 months pregnant) ran around like a three-year-old with my daughter and laughed carelessly as we twirled, bounded, bounced, slid, and ran around like a bunch of crazies. It really was the best.
Then tonight, on our way to LIFE group we listened to a bass-heavy dance song called, “Good Life” by One Republic in which I took a moment to look at each of my family members and smile with my soul; this really is the good life. (In that exact moment Adelina was wearing super-fabulous sunglasses and finishing an ear of corn from supper.) Summer fun!
In our LIFE Group amid a sea of rambunctious children we had deep and meaning conversations about our true identity in Christ. We came to agree that the things we “know” the most about our faith are indeed the things we need the most reminding of. Oh yea, I am loved. Oh yea, I am forgiven. Oh yea, I am a new person in Christ. The message of the Cross will never lose it’s wonder. And somehow in these fragmented conversations with other worn-out parents, the love of Christ flows one to another in true abundance. And again, I feel known. Heck! I even feel loved!
You know you’ve left a place well, when it’s time to go and there are tears. I hope and pray that as we fellowship, invest, worship, and pray alongside our friends this summer and over the next few months we reap a harvest of gut- wrenching love as we are sent out to share the Good News with the ones who need it most.
Speaking of aviation (nice segue, I know) Phil got a hand drawn card from a young man he took flying for his 14th birthday. It read, “Phil! Thank you sooooo much for taking me flying! This is by far the best birthday present ever!!! Thank you! Nathan” We met Nathan’s parents while sharing a meal with our next-door-neighbors a few weeks back. Yesterday, Nathan, his two brothers, his mom and dad climbed aboard a Cherokee 160 as Phil flew them over Reno, Tahoe and Spanish Springs. The family was delighted and the birthday boy was thrilled to try his hand at the controls. The family thanked Phil profusely for a stunning flight experience.
Each of these things is an extension of God’s grace, far greater than we deserve. So with all our hearts we attempt to live in gratitude and obedience all the while knowing that all that matters is relationships and faithfulness. All that matters is Jesus.
Thanks for your love and support!
Jess, Phil, and Kiddos