Fun in the Sun

Summer is a great time to plan events with the family! Here at FBCW, we encourage families to spend time together. Below are some events and ideas to help you to plan adventures with your family all summer long.

Movies Under The Stars

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, located in Woodbridge, Virginia hosts weekly movie nights. They play a movie on the big screen and families are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to watch the movies from. This is a free, family-friendly event. More info can be found below: http://dullesmoms.com/movies-under-the-stars-at-stonebridge/

Science Museum of Virginia

This museum is located in Richmond, Virginia. It is kid-friendly and a great experience for the whole family. With hands-on, interactive activities, families can have fun and learn about the world around them for an affordable price. Click the link to find out more: http://www.smv.org/

Autobahn Indoor Speedway

Love race cars? Located in Manassas, Virginia, this indoor speedway is family-friendly and a blast for kids and parents of all ages. Built inside of Manassas Mall, this is an indoor race track with cars speeding around every turn. Click here for more information:  http://www.autobahnspeed.com/locations/manassas-va-indoor-go-karts/

Splash Down Waterpark

This waterpark is located in Manassas, Virginia. It is a great place for families to cool down and spend time together on a hot day without breaking the bank. There are slides, pools, and dining locations on site. You can find more information here: http://splashdownwaterpark.com/

Kings Dominion

If you and your family are thrill-seekers, Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia. With shows, roller coasters, food and fun, this is a great way to spend a nice, summer day. For more info, click here: https://www.kingsdominion.com/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=kings+dominion+va&utm_campaign=Brand_Exact

Nature Hike

Prince William Forest Park is home to 37 miles of hiking trails of various lengths. This is a great activity to see trees, waterfalls, and wildlife. Pack a lunch, put your sneakers on, and go for an adventure with your family. To find out more, click here: https://www.nps.gov/prwi/index.htm

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

If you are looking to combine education and fun, the Marine Corps Museum is located in Triangle, Virginia and is free to the public. This museum hosts events all summer long and has a variety of incredible exhibits to enjoy. For more information, click the link below: http://www.usmcmuseum.com/

Locust Shade Park

This park is located in Triangle, Virginia and contains a miniature golf course, batting cages, playgrounds, a golf range and more. For an affordable price, there is a bundle deal where families can play a round of golf, receive balls for the batting cage, and golf balls for the driving range. For more information, check here: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/park/locustshade/pages/default.aspx

Lake Ridge Marina

If your family loves the water, this is the place to be. Located in Woodbridge, Virginia, the marina allows families to rent boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for an affordable price. There are also boat ramps available for people to launch their own canoes. This is a fun way to spend some time outside under the sun. To learn more, click here: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/park/lakeridgepark/pages/lake-ridge-marina.aspx

Potomac Nationals Game

Take them out to the ball game! The Potomac Nationals are a minor league baseball team located in Woodbridge, Virginia. With games all summer long and affordable tickets, this is a great way to spend a nice summer night. For information, click here: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t436

With Grace,

Stephanie Baderman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Graduates

Dear graduates,

You made it. Four years of high school are finally coming to a close and you are done. If you are anything like I was, you are extremely ready, waiting, and anxious to get away to college. I think that too often we rush to get somewhere and then, before we know it, it is over.

I am now graduating college and would like to share eleven tips that helped me to have a memorable college experience.

1.     Say “yes” to everything. You are going to be thankful for midnight Target runs and waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go on a sunrise hike. The best memories are made at the strangest times.

2.     Talk to everyone. You will be surprised by who ends up becoming your best friend in college. Friendships can begin in the drive thru of a restaurant if you take the opportunity.

3.     Explore. Explore. Explore. The little, ice cream food truck in the parking lot of the mall can become your favorite late-night adventure. Go thrift shopping, swim in a lake, and take every opportunity to make a memory.

4.     Don’t push your schoolwork to the side, but take care of yourself. Sometimes you just really need to take a nap in the middle of writing a paper.

5.     Stay up late on the weekends binge watching shows on Netflix. This one might seem a little strange, but this is something that you will not be able to do for long. I am now balancing two jobs, planning a wedding, and graduating college. And surprisingly, I do not have time to watch shows any more.  

6.     Eat healthy, y’all. You’re going to hate it and it is going to be hard, but just wait until you are sick and your mom isn’t there to bring you soup and medicine. It is a miserable experience and I would highly advise against it.

7.     Don’t try to impress everyone. I have done the walk of shame to the library to print papers multiple times in socks and sandals. Oversized shirts and sweaters are your best friends.

8.     Fall in love. Or don’t. College is a weird time where half of your friends are getting married and the other half are still enjoying being as single as it gets. Don’t feel pressured to fit into a certain mold of what “everyone else is doing”.

9.     You don’t have to know what you are doing. Some people go into college with a plan for the next ten years of their life and they stick to it. Don’t stress yourself out because you don’t know what you want to do yet or what you want to major in. You will figure it out.

10.  Find a home church and get involved. With all of the crazy, spontaneous occurrences that take place in college, it is so important to have some consistency in your weekly schedule. Don’t be afraid to bounce around until you find the right fit.

11.  Have fun. College is a unique experience and it will fly by faster than you can imagine. Soak in every minute of it.  

With Grace,

Stephanie Baderman

Divine Appointments

I arrived 15 minutes early and was walking through the parking lot when I noticed another lady just ahead of me. She looked like she was going to the same luncheon I was so I picked up my pace slightly to catch up with her. We both said our polite hellos and then she took a second look at me and said, “Aren’t you the chaplain’s wife?” She caught me a bit off guard but I replied with a “yes” and then was quite surprised at her next words.

She became rather excited as she began explaining that she had specifically prayed she would run into me that day. Specifically, me!

Being in the middle of editing a Bible study she has written for military wives, she thought of me and wanted to talk with me about connecting with other wives.

We chatted until we got into the building and then decided we should sit together for the luncheon so we could continue our conversation.

Several years ago, I was on my way out the door with my keys in hand, when the phone rang. Only because we were moving, and selling some things on craigslist, did I stop to answer it. 45 minutes later, I hung up the phone, having just listened to a hurting young lady whose family was going through a very difficult church split. Realizing she needed a “friend” to listen at that moment, I went back in and put down the keys. As I spoke comforting words and prayed for her, I knew this was certainly a Divine Appointment that trumped my workout class that day. The most amazing fact was that I’d never met her. She lived in another town and was calling to inquire about the bookcase I was selling on craigslist!

Every morning I pray for Divine Appointments. Many times I’m ready for them. However, sometimes they come at inopportune times and my initial response is that I don’t have time to be interrupted at that moment.

I was at a conference this past weekend and we talked about the strategy in planning our calendars. I’m all about calendars; I like to have one (especially a cute one) and I like to know what my day/week looks like.

But I don’t want to be ruled by my calendar. My prayer is that every day, people would take priority over programs on my to-do list. That when God brings an unexpected appointment in my day, I would not be irritated, rather I would be grateful that He’s chosen me to be a vessel of light and hope and encouragement to someone else in need.
Remembering that I’ve prayed for the Lord to oversee my day, I want to live with margin and hold my plans loosely, knowing that His ways are, indeed, the best ways.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16.9

In His grace,

Michele Husfelt

Guest Blogger

Out of the Tunnel

 

Recently, I fractured my left wrist and now my left arm is in a cast up to my elbow; it itches; it hurts.    A few weeks ago, I suffered an extremely hard fall in my home, which resulted in the most damage done to the wrist.  Have you ever attempted to do a simple chore like washing out a coffee pot every morning with one hand?  Almost impossible along with a sundry of other daily activities.  My impatience is also on trial these days.   When the cast is removed after one month’s duration, my doctor has already told me that I would have to wear a brace afterwards.  I felt, therefore, like I was going to be in a tunnel for a substantial amount of time and all I could hear was the echo of my limitations and lament.     

 

Enter my cousin Carol Park—a spunky, attractive, outgoing, godly gal, who also fractured her wrist two years ago.  She is if anything one consistent encourager and cheerleader for me as she never wavers in her upbeat attitude that God has this as her wrist healed without any observable residual effects and so will mine. “Give it time,” she advised.…time?  To be gracious and accommodating to time is like watching paint dry to my impatient persona, and yet I had no choice since I have been stymied and straight-jacketed by a non-functioning arm and it is the Christmas season no less… 

 

All of us, in some degree or manner and at some point in our lives, will feel the effects of a non-functioning aspect of our mind, soul, or body.  Unexpected injuries, loneliness, dealing with a necessary but difficult relationship, meeting the relentless expectations of others, a prolonged illness, a friend’s sudden distance or betrayal, the effects of aging on our own bodies and those of our loved ones, a sense of rejection—our general lists of lament can grow exponentially when given voice and citation to them.  Better labeled as the human condition, the journey through the tunnel can become long, lifeless, and palpably lonely, especially when we feel there is no one to greet us at the tunnel’s exit, let alone encourage us as we stumble through the darkened corridor because of our present siege of pain.  

 

To be found or forced into a darkened tunnel for a prolonged period of time, therefore, mandates that the distractions and din of our lives move out as reflection and reality inevitably creep in and overtake our space.

Once we settle down, take a long, deep breath, and quiet our spirits we will realize that the Healer is accomplishing several spiritually-strengthening positives through our pain.  Self-sufficiency/dependency/reliance and pride are tossed in a heap to the side of the tunnel lest we trip over them again.  Whether we are immobilized by a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual cast, we at the time perhaps do not realize it, but we are still being healed from a fractured wrist to a fractured relationship as God resets bones and realigns our brokenness into wholeness by our stillness, silence as we sit mainly at His feet.

 

If we are submissive and honest with ourselves and God, we will also be forced to re-examine our tree of spiritual fruitfulness, which pain and darkness usually flashlights into our souls, whether we like it or not.   If we cannot pick patience, faithfulness, peace, or self-control from it, the Gardner of our souls will this time toss us a spade and gently remind us we need to retill the ground.  Thus, our trees are being pruned, our faith, in the process, could be dug to a deeper and richer level, and time and trust could be planted unequivocally for our Healer to do His work in our lives until we realize that our pain has changed us and our tears of brokenness have been dried by the Son.  Ann Graham Lotz states it this way: There are times when God cuts everything out of our lives except our relationship to Jesus and in the process our connection to the Vine is enlarged and fruit is produced…

 

Slowly, then, strength begins to return not only to our spiritual legs but to our changed spirits: we have thus determined to fight for a fuller and more consistent relationship with our Lord regardless of pain, personal travails, and prolonged problems that the reflective and darkenedsilence of the tunnel taught us.  Gingerly, we stand erect, and begin running again our personal race. Through the tunnel we run picking up speed as the quickened thuds of our footsteps become louder and faster.  Little do we realize that at the exit, the heavenly balconies are packed with witnesses craning their necks toward the exit as they await our emergence along with the earthly cousin Carols in our lives, who are encouraging us on, as we finally exit from the tunnel to thunderous applause, deafening cheers, blazing light...

 

The Babe of Bethlehem also proved by example how He empathized with our human condition and emerged as well from His tunnel-like tomb of not only unspeakable pain but death itself to redeem us. This time we can rejoice and reflect on another carol of the Christmas season, which on the most holiest of nights resounds that: The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger, In all our trials born to be our friend as we indeed fall on our knees, hear the angel voices, and with an overflowing heart of connection worship Him……      

Guest Blogger
Lorraine Montanari