Without boring you with all the details, let's just say this summer was crazy and hard and exciting and emotional and by the time it was winding down... Team Dixon was worn slap out. But if I've ever doubted that God sees and knows and provides, He put those doubts to rest on August 9th :).
This is Vanessa. Vanessa was one of our amazing students when we worked in campus ministry at Tennessee Tech. She was, and still is, one of those extraordinary Christ followers who listens, hears, and follows the Spirit in a way that makes you want to be more like her - because you know if you were you would be more like Jesus.
We hadn't heard from Vanessa in years. Thanks to Facebook we had been able to keep up with her adventures, but we didn't even know we were on her radar. Well, on August 9th Vanessa sent me a message saying she wanted to chat... She had an idea. When we finally hooked up on the phone she explained that God had been consistently laying our family on her heart during her prayer time. She had no idea about our crazy summer or that we had a huge decision to make about a potential move to Zambia. She had just listened, heard, and allowed herself to be used by God to bless our family in a huge way. She explained that she had worked it out for our family to come spend a week at the ranch where she was working in Colorado... Completely free. We had a scholarship to the ranch that even included our airfare! All we had to do was say yes and get on a plane a couple of weeks later! So, of course, we gratefully said, uh, YEAH! And a couple of weeks later we were doing this:
and taking in the beauty of this:
We were playing games
and riding fences
and making wishes
and swinging and sliding
and getting dressed up for the hoedown :).
We were painting horses,
and taking dips.
Duane even got to hang out with Rob Bell and Brett Favre :)
Oh, and don't forget the spotting of the bears
and the making of friends!
It was exactly what we needed. We are so thankful for our faithful God and our listening friend. We're thankful for our spirits being renewed by The Spirit, who was all over Wind River. We're thankful for new friends made, old friendship renewed, encouragement received, and rest. Sweet rest.