“We love seeing the kids play!” we heard over and over as we visited Mom in her retirement home in New Jersey in early August, bringing many laughs, bubbles (see the picture below) and cartwheels with us.

Two weeks of camp followed, where all three girls won awards in their horseback riding classes (Mt Gilead Camp in Pennsylvania) and where many laps were swum (Swim Camp).

Funny how our little choices can redirect everything. As an afterthought to family swim camp, we decided to swim to the island in Lake Bled, tucked between the Alps in northwest Slovenia. It would cool us off after hiking to the famous overlook above the lake (see picture below). And the quarter mile venture, though quite cool, became the highlight of the entire week. Even Gwen (7 years old) paddled out to the docks to warm in the sun before the return journey. Matti swam like an old, open-water pro with Zoe coaching her along.

But God really showed His presence back at home, when some friends accepted our invitation for a visit. And it must have been Him who transformed our last bedroom from wall-to-wall boxes to guestroom in less than 24 hours. And as God does, He’s blessed us abundantly even beyond His miracle by the time with old friends.

Other rumblings reveal His working behind the scenes as well. From feeling the poignant lack of ministry involvement last month, Rich’s been asked to teach – granted, only this once – but thankful for the invitation. And Donna’s been asked to disciple a gal. Please pray with us that God would be the one working in these ventures. And thank us with Him for these opportunities as well as the amazing beauty and diversity of His creation all around us, which we are so blessed to explore most weekends.

What part of your journey may we walk beside you on, agreeing with you in the prayers of your heart?

Matti and Donna’s sister Ginni feeling the glee of childhood spraying bubbles all over the lawn at Vista.

Lake Bled overlook. We swam from the bottom left corner of the picture to the island.