Monthly Archives: January 2015

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From My Heart to Yours — When We Walk Along the Road

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Last week the boys and I took school on the road again. We explored and adventured through the great state of Texas. I seriously have only been there once, and that was for a world sport stacking competition, so I spent most of my time in the hotel or at the conference center.

What a treat this trip was! We’ve tent-camped on all of our other trips to keep the cost down, but this time was different. Dear, sweet friends of ours live in San Antonio and invited us to stay with them. Their house became our home base.

On a side note…I’m so glad we didn’t camp. It was colder in Texas than it was back home in Colorado. And it rained on and off the first two days. Not a refreshing sort of rain, but a freezing I-just-want-to-climb-into-a-hot-bath-and-soak sort of rain.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but we spent a day in Austin. We took a tour of the State Capitol (didn’t know we’d be doing this until the night before). The place was abuzz with activity. Men in suits and women in dresses were everywhere. It was the first time I’d ever heard a Shultz boy utter these words: “I feel completely underdressed.” If you’ve seen pictures, you know…Shultz boys wear athletic shorts most of the time. There aren’t too many occasions they dress up for. And, we live in the West, so it’s not really frowned upon. Besides, I have four boys who don’t seem to care. They’ll wear whatever and it’s no biggie. But…Oh. My. Goodness. We stood out like a psychedelic poster from the ’70’s. I will say that no one stared or made us feel out of place. Thank you, Texans! 🙂

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We quickly discovered that we were walking around among Senators, Congressmen, Lawmakers. It was opening day of the legislative session. How cool is that?

After the Capitol, we spent hours soaking in the history of Texas at the State History Museum. It was a feast for the eyes and a plethora of information for this history-buff mama.

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After spending the night back at home base, we rose early and made our way south to Corpus Christi, where we enjoyed suffered through a short walk along the beach (38° and spitting ice). Then we spent 4 hours touring the USS Lexington. Hands down, this was the coolest (according to the boys) thing we’ve ever done on one of our school trips. In their eyes, it beat Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave and Bandelier National Monument. I’m still partial to Bandelier, but the Lexington was amazing!

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After spending another night back at home base, we rose early and drove the short distance to downtown San Antonio. The sun came out and this time we really did enjoy our time outdoors — walking along the River Walk. We spent the day visiting The Alamo, the four San Antonio Missions and King William Historic District.

The River Walk

The River Walk

The Alamo

The Alamo

King William Historic District

King William Historic District

One of the Missions

One of the Missions

I am seriously geeking out just telling you these little details about our journey. It was pretty much a geek-out week for me!

On Friday morning we began our trek home, taking the long way to Lubbock, where we would spend a last night in Texas. We drove to Johnson City to learn as much as we could about our 36th president. We visited LBJ’s boyhood home, his grandparents’ settlement, his one-room school house, his birthing place, his ranch and the Texas White House. Then we drove through the hill country and found our way to a Whataburger.

LBJ's grandparents' settlement

LBJ’s grandparents’ settlement

LBJ's one room schoolhouse

LBJ’s one room schoolhouse

There you have it. Our trip in a nutshell. And here’s what I want to share with you…

As we were driving through the hill country of Texas, making our way back home, I told the boys, “Put your books away, put your electronics down. This is a part of the country we’ve never seen before. Keep your eyes on what the Lord has created for us to enjoy and soak in its beauty.”

The moment I said this, the words from Deuteronomy 6 washed over me:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9 NIV).

I thought back over the rest of our trip. All along the way, we stopped to see things we have never seen before. We even marveled at the beauty of the prickly cacti, recognizing God’s handiwork. We sang songs of praise, filling our Suburban with melodies that I am certain made the Lord smile (and, before you go getting it into your head that we’re a perfect family, we filled our Suburban with sounds that I know did NOT make the Lord smile…far too often!). On our way down to Corpus Christi, we boldly asked the Lord to part the clouds and bring out the sunshine, just so we could enjoy the beach. As we left Corpus, we thanked the Lord that although He chose not to part the clouds, He helped us have hearts of contentment, even with the cold, fog and freezing rain. In fact, while on the deck of the USS Lexington, we forgot all about our chattering teeth as we watched porpoises (we thought they were dolphins, but a Corpus friend told me otherwise) frolicking in the bay. In our giddiness we talked about how the Lord delighted in showing us landlocked folk these graceful ocean creatures. We marveled at the gift of staying with friends, who provided a place to stay and food for us. And the gift of low gas prices? We remembered each time we filled up that we serve a God who provides.

These times of remembering and talking about who the Lord is are extremely important times. May we be a people who talk about the Lord with our children…when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up.

We were on the road last week. We had lots of moments to talk about the Lord (when we walk along the road) — who He is, what He’s done, what He calls us to do. This week, we’re back at home, business as usual. I’m not sure what you’re doing or where you are. But, whatever we’re doing, wherever we are, let us tell our children about our Lord throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, throughout the year.

May we be parents who are faithful with these moments when we walk along the road.

When we walk along the road...

When we walk along the road…


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From My Heart to Yours — A Different Kind of Resolution

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I’m sitting here preparing to say goodbye to two very special daughters as they head back to CA later this week. One — Laura — will be finishing up college (seriously…we’ll be heading to her graduation in May). The other  — Hannah — will be completing her first year as a pre-med student. Christmas Break has been different (our Hannah’s hip surgery and recovery has made it so) and absolutely wonderful! Family movies, family games, feasts, baking, sledding, shopping, movie-making, lots of love and laughter. It’s difficult for me to let go of all that. But, time marches on, and we have to march with it. Once routine has set in again, I know I’ll enjoy that time too, but for now…I’m just enjoying these rare moments when we’re all together.

And as I sit here, I can’t help but think — 2015???? I cannot believe we have started a new year. Again.

If you are a New Year’s Resolution kind of person, then you’re in good company. Lots of people everywhere are resolving to do something this year. If you have some sort of social media account, it’s likely you’ve read different resolutions involving weight-loss, healthy eating, exercise, kindness, patience, goodwill.

Me? I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of person. If I’ve learned anything in my 41 years it’s that my resolve is pretty lacking. Time and time again I’ve determined to do something — to change something, to live a certain way, to be healthier, to be more patient, to extend the kind of grace my Lord extends me — I’ve put on my big girl pants, dug in my heels, ready to get ‘er done. Then I mess up. Not just once. But over and over again. My resolve is completely inadequate!

So…last week I was scrolling down my Facebook feed, reading mostly about the exercise plans and healthy-eating plans my friends and family members are implementing, while eating the last of our Christmas goodies, no doubt. There I was, stuffing my face, thinking, I’ll start eating better tomorrow. I won’t make any resolutions about it, but I can’t keep eating the way I do over the holidays. 😉

Then, something in my feed caught my eye. It was an article…or a blog…or a report. All I remember is it was some sort of publication. I read a line or two (maybe just the title and first sentence — you know — whatever pops into your feed trying to lure you in to clicking on the link), but didn’t have time just then to read the whole thing. I planned to go back later and find it. Story of my life…I forgot. I can still only remember these details: someone shared something that someone else wrote. That’s really not much to go on.

However, the title and first sentence really got me thinking and formulating a plan. That article-blog-report-publication thingy was about the year 2015 and our need to do only one thing. This author was another non-New Year’s Resolution kind of person. I’m sure we would get along — whomever he or she might be.

What if we all set our sights on what man was created to do? What if each one of us decided not to focus on weight-loss and eating healthy (I do believe these are good goals, by the way), or even on being kinder and more patient (again, good things to be)? But, instead, decided to focus on the job our Creator gave us to do?

Simply put, and borrowed from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, we were created to glorify the Lord and enjoy Him forever.

May we seek to glorify the Lord in 2015!

May we seek to glorify the Lord in 2015!

 

May we seek to enjoy Him in 2015!

May we seek to enjoy Him in 2015!

Let us focus on that. Let us resolve to glorify our Creator and enjoy Him. And, knowing how weak our resolve is, let us rely on our Creator to do these very things.

I’m a fan of ceremony…even if it’s not fancy. We plan to sit as a family this new year and, together, make a list of some of the ways we can glorify the Lord and enjoy Him in the year 2015. Won’t you join us? 🙂