by Meredith Ball
Happy Tents is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families today. For the past few years we have been working to help families see every day life from a different view…God’s view. When we look at our families through God’s eyes, we see God at work.
We believe that through God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we can see a glimpse of eternal life within the moments in our family life. Each week, we write a devotional on our website to capture these moments from our tent in hopes that it inspires you to see God at work in your tent. Sometimes God’s work is funny, sometimes it is sad and sometimes is stretches us into new relationships or understandings. Though we do not know where God will show up in our family, we constantly know that God is at work in each of our lives individually and together.
In the fall, we will launch our initiative to help families connect to each other spiritually in their own tents (homes). Through the Family Faith Box, families will be equipped to connect with God each week, together. Happy Tents will provide the spiritual tools and mile markers to help families navigate life, discover a family mission, and connect to one another on a spiritual level. The simplicity of our mission is just what we believe families need in our busy, over-worked and over-scheduled culture.
Through ministries like the Missional Wisdom Foundation, we have seen the power of God work through intentional communities. The family was the first community that God created, and we seek to encourage families to be intentional about creating homes where grace is given and received, the Holy Spirit gives guidance and through all our efforts, God blesses us for a glimpse of eternal life.
Please enjoy a recent excerpt from the Happy Tents blog:
How many times a day do you shake a jar of pickles in your fridge? Around our house, it is a new activity. It began by receiving a jar of pickles from a friend who instructed us to shake the jar at least twice a day for a week to help season the pickles. (The jar contains a secret seasoning…or at least that is what he said.) We know how to follow directions so we have been shaking the pickles, daily.
No matter what is going on in our house, we shake the pickles. During homework, we shake the pickles. While cooking dinner, we shake the pickles. In the morning while drinking coffee, we shake the pickles. We have embraced the process and we are looking forward to eating the pickles at the end of the week.
God invites us to do a lot of things in life. We are called to hang out with God in prayer during the day. We are called to play God-spy by keeping our eyes open for God at work around us. We are called to “be” more and “do” less so that our religion makes more sense. But above all, we are encouraged to embrace the experiences around us. If we are too focused on the past, we miss it. If we are too worried about the future, we miss it. Only when we can embrace the moment (and shake the pickles) do we really catch a glimpse of what Jesus meant when he said, “I have come so that you may life to it’s fullest.”
Our pickles keep us present in the moment and they make us laugh. Every time someone opens the fridge door and shake the pickles, we all laugh. This silly exercise creates a moment where we forget our stress, phones, chores and challenges and we just shake the pickles. When they are placed back in the fridge and the door is closed, all our problems do not seem as challenging.
From our Happy Tent to Yours,
P.S. Delicious pickle recipe: Buy a large jar of sliced pickles (ours are Hamburger Dill Chips made with sea salt from HEB). Add one package of powder Ranch dip. Shake your pickles for a week. Store in the fridge.