Saturday, March 23

taking advantage of time

Welcome to the stunning smokey mountains!

View from the back porch

I just spent a few days with my family in a cute little cabin nestled in the mountains of Sevierville, Tennessee. 

Notice my parent's pup, Zoey, at the bottom of the pic :)

My brother, his wife, and their two boys have been in Virginia for the past two months training to become English teachers in Central Asia. They are back in town for only two weeks and we have decided to spend part of it on a mini 'vacation' together. Next, they will be headed to Vancouver for another 3 months before heading overseas. 

Gigi with Isaac and Josiah
Josiah in Papaw's hat

Playing hide-and-seek with momma. 
My brother and sister-in-law

All of these plans have been in the works for a few years and it's now approaching time for goodbyes. They will be gone 2-3 years so their departure won't be easy. Thankfully, this upcoming job is a huge blessing because of the ability it gives for me to visit them on occasion. Praise God for His sovereignty over all things!

Having only limited days with them has caused me to reflect on the importance of not wasting our time or our lives. This is certainly something that I can be more diligent about. When training begins, I won't have much time to waste and will most likely be spending my free time studying. But that time is still precious. And it is to be spent working unto the Lord. Below are a few quotes related to my recent reflections. They have been encouraging to me and I hope they will encourage you as well.

"Someone may ask, “But why should I rise early?” To remain too long in bed is a waste of time. Wasting time is unbecoming of a saint who is bought by the precious blood of Jesus. His time and all he has is to be used for the Lord. If we sleep more than is necessary for the refreshment of the body, it is wasting time the Lord has entrusted us to be used for His glory, for our own benefit, and for the benefit of the saints and unbelievers around us… Anyone who spends one, two, three hours in prayer and meditation before breakfast will soon discover the beneficial effect early rising has on the outward and inward man." -George Muller

"The present is the only time in which any duty may be done or grace received." - C.S. Lewis

"You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ.” 
-John Piper

The weekend hasn't been perfect. The hot tub doesn't heat up, the heater in the cabin isn't working, the dishwasher leaks, among other things. Thankfully, our happiness and joy isn't determined by these insignificant circumstances. I am surrounded by family that I love, sharing stories of God's faithfulness, eating good food, and playing games. There is much joy found in that. 

Breakfast casserole
Electric heaters that got us through :)
Treats for the boys.
This is the game of Carcassonne. If you like Settlers of Catan, this one is better. Trust me.

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