Oh the tranquil memories of family vacation in the Black Hills.  The lazy days and UNO games in the cabin at night.  Blessed family time and meals around the fire.  It really was quite surreal.  Surreal that is except for “those” times.  I don’t know about all of you,   but we always seem to have some of “those” moments.  You know the times when the kids are beyond naughty, or you do something dumb that puts you hours behind, or realize that your big kid (aka HUSBAND) didn’t pack enough underwear.  (eh hmmm… yes, it’s true, had to wash just so he was clean!)  You see, we are a normal family, and MUCH of vacation did not look like God had shown up or shown off.  It looked more like he might be rolling his eyes at us:-)

This year however, in addition to the “vacation” moments, our time was also filled with moments that made us abundantly aware that God is right there with us.  In big and small ways, sometimes you just need to look for them.  Over the next few days (or weeks – depending on how good I do at blogging – it is summer you know!)  I’m planning on sharing “What happens when God shows up on your family vacation?”.  Some memories are just to precious and blessed NOT to write about.

I want to start with the first night of our trip.  Saturday afternoon we loaded up and made it nearly 1/2 way, and stopped to have dinner with our new friends Travis and Jenna.  We had spent Memorial Weekend at their house doing some repair work with about 50 of our other friends.  It’s funny how you can only know someone for such a short period of time, and instantly feel comfortable with them.  Travis and Jenna are like that.  We checked into our hotel and then drove to their farm for sweet time of visiting and fellowship.  As Tom was working on fixing the tire on the trailer (yep – the one with the big nail in it:-) we spotted wild turkeys sitting up high in the trees.  The kids pulled out their binoculars and watched.  Such great conversation ensued about how they sit up on the top limbs so that predators don’t come get them.  Sun was beginning to set, and Tom was planning a brief fishing spree early in the morning so we began to say goodbye to head home.  I couldn’t help myself and had to snap a few shots of the night sky and their beautiful old barn.

While we were there over Memorial Day, Travis shared his vision to turn their barn into a place of prayer.  I think perhaps his mom will live in it, and they will use it as a house of prayer.  As I watched the mango lavender tint fade into dusk, and the moon rise over this barn, it was breath taking.  Some will look and see just an old barn that has seen better days.  Instead, I look and see God breathing revival into that place.  I seem singing and holy spirit laughter and joy, unspeakable joy.  And in the midst of that healing.  All, in this old, worn out, used up barn.

The same is true for each of us.  We may feel worn out and used up, we may think our past is too much to overcome and be beautiful again.  But, much like this barn, when Jesus fills us, the beauty can’t help but be seen.