Your Daddy texted me Monday afternoon saying he was going to try to take Tuesday afternoon off so we could run up to Crater Lake for the afternoon. The weather was beautiful here Tuesday and we surprised all of you by Daddy arriving home right after lunch, us directing everyone to grab shoes, pants and a sweatshirt, then we loaded the car with snacks and off we went. It wasn't until about 15 minutes before we got to Crater Lake that your big brother finally guessed where we were going. We're nothing if not always surprising the kids with various outings :). So fun. Well, as your Dad predicted, the weather was so, so beautiful! It was clear, sunny, warm, and there were only a handful of people at Rim Village. Perfect! We spent a few hours surveying the scene that is Crater Lake. We read signs, watched videos, took pictures, ran around, climbed rocks, and enjoyed each other's company. It wasn't until we got home that night and the house was quiet that the Lord reminded me of how much beauty comes from ashes. We got to see it at Crater Lake. It was such a perfect reminder of what exquisite beauty can come from complete destruction. I'm sure if we had been able to view the scene after the series of volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago it would have looked hopeless. Destruction, fire, ash and mess everywhere. But just as a forest rejuvenates over time after a fire, Crater Lake was born in beauty from fire and ashes.
Kate, the Lord has given you what many would call "ashes." You have a disease scary and unpredictable. And yet, my dear daughter, your life is BEAUTY. Your life has brought so.much.joy and so many people have poured into our lives encouragement, prayers, and love of every kind because of what the Lord has allowed for you. That is beauty of the most real kind. That love is genuine and so beautiful. It is the kind that sacrifices, gives, and works for the good of another. We have been the recipient of more beauty than we could imagine. It is breathtaking in the images of so many dear people who play like a reminder through my head of Christ's love for us. I have printed email after email of encouragement that has come to us since August 17. I want you to see the beauty. I have saved every card, every encouraging note, every verse sent to us. I want you to see the beauty from what the world would call ashes. Kate, as you get older there is so much I will share with you about what real beauty is. It is not self-absorbed. It is not consumed with self. It is not sitting back while others give. Love gives. Love serves. Love encourages. Love sacrifices. A sweet friend made a schedule for us of your daily routine, and at the bottom is John 15:13: