Mackinac Island, the past, and a proverb for tomorrow

History. Just hearing the world induces a full body cringe for me. I hated learning about history in school. From my earliest memories, history lectures and textbooks were just endless cavities where dates and facts, events and names, and my brain went to die. In my college Church History class, I somehow received one of the highest class marks on the final exam, yet today I can tell you only approximately three things about church history and all I can remember about that class was how stressful it was, learning about so many important things by sheer rote memorization.

History just isn't my thing.

The past, however, intrigues me. As I struggled through all those long and boring student textbooks, I would sometimes come across a little sidebar on the page- a softly shaded yellow or green box of text on the edge of a page, sometimes with a picture, giving me a glimpse into the daily lives of people gone by. What they ate and wore or how they traveled.... sometimes a little information about an important figure's marriage or family life. That's the stuff that interests me.

I read everything Little House on the Prairie related and watched hours on end of Road to Avonlea. I'm mesmerized by Downton Abbey. I love looking into the past and taking note of the life that came before me. I'm fascinated with the way things used to be. I think of history as hard facts and interpretation of circumstance, but the past is all about the person who came before- the hands that built the castle, the child who slept in the bassinet, and the woman who stood on that same shore and shared your view into the horizon.

John and I were so blessed to take our little man to Mackinac Island here in Michigan on Monday. It was the first time for each of us and let me tell you- I don't think Disney has anything on the magic of this place.
Watching the ferry pull up to take us to the island! 
"A boat wide! A BIG boat wide!" 

It is the past in a quiet, happy little way. There are no cars. There are many bikes. There are horses and there is a background scent- mostly in town- of horse poop. A reminder of how life used to smell.

The island is town and tourism in one place and natural, scenic beauty in another. It allowed us to enjoy  sugary fudge, slow meals, playground slides and ice cream treats with friends on one hand....
Okay CHEEESE but we're going to eat that chocolate too right? Not just look at it? Right Mama? Chocolate? Right???

... and long bike rides, unspoiled shorelines, and miles of wildflowers on the other.

We will remember this as the very best day of our summer.

As we toured ancient forests and old structures, I placed in my heart a reminder to go slow in life. To not waste my precious days on fleeting things, but to remember, as James writes, that my life is "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14). To spend my days on kindness, doing the good I ought to do and remembering that I've come this far and go forward only in the Lord's will.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

I believe the Lord used our vacation to put this scripture on my heart because tomorrow John I will go to the city for our first fertility consult. We will spend the next year seeking treatment and hopefully having a baby.

Or maybe I should say it like this:

If it is the Lord's will, we will live and get pregnant and add a baby to our family. 

It was our plan to first have a biological baby and then, years later, adopt. But as you know, the Lord established our steps in a new direction and led us to our son. 

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." Proverbs 16:9  

That proverb encapsulates the wisdom I have learned from the past two years. It is the wisdom I want to remember tomorrow. As we walk forward in God's provision, I trust and pray that as we take each step forward and make many decisions about both our treatment plan and the future of our family, we will know the good we ought to do and we will do it.

Here we go.



  1. Grace and peace. I'm praying for this new baby, thankful for the beautiful boy who graces these pictures and generally sending ferry loads of grace and peace to your mama's heart.

    Proud and thankful to be on the motherhood journey alongside you.

    1. Thank you Leanne! Your prayers are so valuable to me. Thankful for you too!!

  2. Are you seeing Drs Dodds and Young? If so, they are wonderful. Many prayers as you take this next step in building your family.

    Love the Mackinac pics... makes me want to go back!

  3. I couldn't agree more with your statement " I don't think Disney has anything on the magic of this place." I love Mackinac Island. It is a magical place where you can go and relax and see sites. Thank you for sharing your pictures. It makes me miss the Island all the more. Sending good thoughts on this next adventure.

  4. If "the city" is the city I think you're speaking of, you are going to love the doctors at the clinic. They're absolutely amazing. We're early in our journey, but two of our friends have given birth to their miracles though that clinic in the last 9 months :)

  5. I think this is the most perfect post I have read. Not exaggerating. From the Little House and Avonlea references to the correct baby wearing to the giant brick of fudge to Aries hat (oh my goodness!) and everything in between. Good luck with the appointment! I will be thinking of you and your sweet family. :)

  6. Anonymous8/17/2013

    First of all, what a gorgeous landscape, a lovely trip, and a happy child. Looks like you had a blast! Second, as someone who is studying to be a history teacher, the sort of experience you had is exactly what I want to change. I want to focus on history that is about how people lived and how they felt and what they thought, not on names and dates and battles. I'm so lucky to have had an education like that and I hope by the time I'm qualified I can share that with others. The past is part of history, just going by a different name.


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