November 9, 2015

When You Find Small Wonders That Lead You Home...

You guys... I have missed y'all oh so much, but we were on a break, remember? 

Still, I can't tell you how many times I thought of you and now that I am back home... well, the words are coming slowly as I am still digesting all that happened over this past week!

We went to the Leaders/Advance conference for church leaders at Bethel last week and it was wonderful... or, more accurately, wonder full!

I am a slow processor so those words about what we learned will come --you know, slowly, but for now... I thought I would share just a few of the Small Wonders that I found along the way!

Here's the deal, y'all...

I am an introvert. (I know... this is not new news really.) I am also an Empty Nester. (Again, I know...)  But I say those two things to paint a picture of what a week in my normal life looks like - which is mainly this: Quiet. It looks quiet!

Last week, after a full month of #Write31Days, I was looking forward to some time away from the computer... a little down time to process and unwind.

So, I thought I would just climb into a car with 4 other adults and 1 tiny toddler on a 10+ hour road trip (that would most likely take way longer than 10 hours!) Then we would huddle up in a tiny house with one bathroom and spend all day, every day, for FIVE days, and be chatty and all together non-stop, attending an amazing conference and building deeper connections with each other. And then we'd hit the road for home and on Sunday, we would gather with our tribe and worship and do that whole pastor thing and oh yes, I would bring the Word... sure. That.

That is the break I was looking forward to!

This is especially fun when you remember that God is the boss of me and He's never so much in a hurry to give me an idea of what I am going to share. I wasn't stressed or worried but I knew the week would be full and busy and oh my goodness, even those things do not concern Him.

Yeah. He's SUPER laid back about it all.

He was all over this trip y'all. It was actually amazing... everyone got along... no one was cranky (even the sleepy, I-don't-like-this-car-seat-ANY-MORE, toddler --for the most part!)  

It was full, but didn't feel bossy. 

His Presence went before us, arose within us, and lingered behind a bit too, I am sure!

We got to Pour Out and Fill Up... to Unwind and get Stirred Up
We got to Cry and Laugh! Oh how we got to laugh!
And Love and Encourage... 
Prophesy and Pray... 

And all along the way... we found Small Wonders that led us back home! Through out our trip, this is what God was whispering to our hearts:

All the things that you love about Bethel have been planted at Dad's House and what they have, you have.  

On a smaller level, sure... But all of the other times that I've gone to Bethel, I have longed to find a place at home that felt like --well, home! We knew Bethel had our heart and they were our people... but we longed for community in our own town with like-minded (read: Kingdom-minded) people to do life with and stand side by side, loving and serving our City together!

So it was nice to Go...

It was nice to be there... at the conference, and out and about in Redding...

 Anyone else remember these? So fun - and yummy!

 In & Out, because of course!

 A Little Bloggy work while on the patio at Bethel... 

 Papa Bill (Johnson) - up front for Worship!

 The Alabaster Prayer House - open 24/7 for Prayer!

 The Sundial Bridge

 Oh how we love this family! Our Pastors Shawn and Tenielle Niles!

We found all kinds of Small Wonders along the gardens...

 This Little Guy has a tendency to steal everyones' heart!

  Breakfast before heading back home!

 California sure doesn't make it easy to leave!
She's so flirty with her majestic views!

But it was so amazing to come home, too!

We celebrated our six month anniversary and had a great service on Sunday! God showed up (as He does) and He confirmed His Word (as He does) over and over through out the worship, the prayer time, the guest speaker, and the message He put on my heart as well.  

And then, in the afternoon, we had our very first baptism service, baptizing four family members from Dad's House!

Small Wonders were found and counted all along the way!

P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:

The Community over at #SmallWonders

Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

What about for you? Where are you finding Small Wonders and how are they leading you back to Home?


  1. I followed your journey on FB - and these pictures? Are so full of WONDER. You've been faithful to your word, I confess I haven't been "all in". But I have learned this year of WONDER, to say "YES" more and let the Lord sort things out. He is so very excellent at that. Good post, OF COURSE!!!

    1. He's just so much better at sorting things out than we are, right? I love that!

  2. Oh, what gorgeous pictures! I enjoyed reading about your journey. Yes, small wonders come in abundance. God is a good God.

  3. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Fall colors, snow-capped mountain, flowing waters, natural beauty all around...and the joy of the Lord within and with-out. Praising along with you. The beauty of the Lord can truly bring the peace and quiet, the joy and the rejoicing, and so much more, when we are with Him. Looks like you had a wonderful week.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda that Mt. Shasta in the distance? Since you were in Redding, I thought it just might be! I camped near Mt. Shasta only to wake in the morning and see the majestic snow covered peak right above me! WOW! I miss my CA sometimes. (I am a native of that state!)

    1. Linda, Yes - it is Mt Shasta... so gorgeous! Caliornia is full of majestic views! It truly was a wonderful weekk and it flew by way too quickly!

  4. Beautiful photos! We're glad you enjoyed your visit. Come back soon!

    1. Redding is our favorite California destination and we will most certainly be back! We'd love to know of new places to go or sights to see so if there is something in Redding that the locals like to keep quiet, well... ;) Fill us in! We hope to see you in the Spring!

  5. So glad to see you back. We've missed you too! And that little boy...adorable! Love all your pics friend.

    1. He truly is adorable - even when he's screaming... which is rare - but he is not so much a fan of being in the car! ;)

  6. Gorgeous photos! So glad that God was all over your trip and that He's all over your homecoming too.

    1. Amen and me, too! Thanks so much Tiffany! It is always so nice to go and so nice to come home, right?

  7. I am very much the same - an introvert and an almost empty nester. I have to say the situation doesn't sound like it would be much fun for a quiet-loving introvert, but God so often supersedes our expectations!

    1. LOL! Well to be honest - I enlisted a LOT of prayer coverage! God definitely superseded my expectations!

  8. Those photos are breathtaking! What beauty!

  9. Karrilee, it is so awesome to read of your bringing home the spark that is Bethel. We so love their worship songs and the way the Holy Spirit moves there.
    You're right--God's not bound by place.....He is a person and His name is Holy Spirit.
    I can see Him moving in you guys little by little as you yield to Him.
    Reading about his faithfulness brings me such joy--yay God!

  10. Just love hearing about your journey..hear wonderful things about Bethel! Love you are an introvert-me too-- but how God puts us with our people in cramped cars to enjoy these kinds of encouragement building journeys! Happy 6month anniversary!

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy! It's just the beginning of an amazing, wild ride! Such is the Kingdom of our God, yes?

  11. Gorgeous photos! The wonder is present in the beauty. I am glad your trip was God-filled and blessed. Hugs friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! God-filled and blessed it just how I would describe it, too! xoxo

  12. Gorgeous pictures! Glad you had the chance to take the trip, and recharge your batteries a bit!

    1. Thanks, my friend! It's always nice to go - and always nice to come back! xoxo

  13. Love all the pictures and hearing how God's presence is always so powerful! Blessings to you! :-)


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