Monday, June 6, 2016

Need to catch my breath...

It has been a while since the last time I shared the going ons with our family.  It seems that when we think there is a smoothness to the path, then it hits again.  This time, it is us just following our hearts with expanding our family and starting new adventures as well.  

During April and May, Wayne and I completed a series of parenting classes to start our adoption process.  I know that for most this is a lot to take in :) We've thought about this for 9 years, off and on.  It seemed as if we were never in a good place to start or to actually consider it.  

Over the last two months, we have learned a lot about ourselves and our children.  To be honest, they are just as excited to the thought of giving a broken hearted being a place that they will be loved and accepted.  We have talked about the different scenarios that our child will be coming from, the heartache, the shame, and the time it will take to mold into a "normal" for them.  

Adoption is a sometimes long journey, so patience is definitely key.  Our last part to finish before we are approved or denied is our home study which is coming up in 8 days.  I'm not really too nervous, as I know that God has this in His hands and if it is to happen everything will work together.  I have however started to pray for our child(ren); for their safety, courage, and compatibility.  Prayer is another key and the most important at that! 

Along with the big news above, we've (well I) have started a homeschool co-op that will start in the fall (August 12th).  Five other moms have stepped up to fill important roles to relieve much pressure from me as well.  God has worked out so many details already, so I'm excited to see what comes of the group in this year and the years to come.  

The girls have big things going on to add to the above.  

Natalie is working on finishing her junior year of high school.  She is taking a little longer to finish, as she worked a lot last year and this year she has joined the FPAN (Florida Public Archeology Network).  God has opened amazing doors here as well.  Most of you know that she has wanted to be an archeologist since she was 5 years old and to hear and watch her be involved with it at the mere age of 16 is incredible.  Her first day she found a beautifully preserved porcelain doll head, part of an oil lantern, a coin that dated back to 1600s, and much more.  She gets to work on a recently discovered site Thursday and Friday, the Spanish settlement by Trist├ín de Luna y Arellano from 1559 to 1561, the earliest multi-year European colonial settlement ever archaeologically identified in the United States. Is that not the coolest? God has placed her right where she needs to be and only 25-30 minutes away from the college that she is working with too.  

Anna has been given the opportunity to work.  She just started babysitting for a couple at our church and this will be a more long-term gig.  Its so sweet to see her learning to take care of her earnings and the comments she makes regarding the job.  She is definitely being prepared to me a great mom and how to have patience along the way.  I'm also excited to see how God works in her life and her dreams. 

William is strong willed as ever lol, but doing well in his studies.  He started taking drum lessons and is progressing.  He is the most excited about the adoption, as he can't wait to have a brother to share his room, toys, and life with.  I laugh sometimes thinking about the arguing that may commence with this once it comes into fruition, as we know how the girls are close but like having their space at times.  

Updates are always so positive, aren't they? Well, as you have read in my past blogs that is not always the case :) God has called us to a life of passion and discipleship, to a life that shares His love and mercy.  All we can do is obey and enjoy the peace that comes along with it.  

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

James 1:9-11 (MSG)
Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment, everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

Lord, my God, you have paved the way for me and have continuously led my path.  In you I trust.  It's you who I hold on to, whether the times are trial or jubilee.  Thank you for always encouraging me, giving me direction, leading me with mercy and grace.  Thank you, Lord, for the people you have placed in my life and in my path.  I pray Lord that I will be a light to the darkness that surrounds me daily and that I would be able to encourage everyone.  Lord, I pray that you would continue to mold me and shape me into whom you've called me to be: The wife, The mother, The Friend, The Daughter, The Sister, The Neighbor, and even The Customer that you need me to be to feed your sheep.  Cleanse my mouth, oh God, from any evil.  Give me eyes to see as you do and give me the urgency to be the hands and feet to serve the hurting.  Lord, I pray that my family will be a family that empowers others to follow you and to serve you with all their hearts and souls.  Give my marriage strength, courage, and continuous attraction.  Finally, I pray for your will in our hearts to be strong and for us to obedient to it.  I lay all these things at your feet, Jesus. Amen 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pleasant Reminder

God's word is so good, even when you have read the same thing time and time again.

James 1:22-25 New International Version

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Lord, I pray that I will serve you in everything I do and say.  I want your blessings and I want to bless others.  Without you, Lord, I am nothing.  Thank you for dying for me and giving me grace.  I continue to lift the hurt and sick, they cry out for healing Lord just as King Hezekiah (Isaiah 38) did when you gave him 15 more years of life.  Lord God, give them 15+ more years of life along with a deeper closer relationship with you.  If they are not saved Father, I ask that you turn their hearts to you.  I praise you and ask these things in your precious son's name, Jesus, Amen.

I have read the story of King Hezekiah's illness time and time again, but it just rings hope into my heart.  The thought that God hears my cries is so pleasant to my soul, so reassuring, so comforting.  I know that I can stand on the promise that He will heal, whether it be on earth or in Heaven, but it will be done in Jesus' name.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Whoa, Just Stop!


It's interesting that we rush, rush, rush when our children are young.  Then as they prepare for adulthood and are soon to depart, we start seeking ways to keep them by our sides.  Our firsts are always the guinea pigs of the matter, whether they ask for it or not.  Once we make a mistake with one, we try as we might to correct it with our next.

Just where has the time gone? I mean I was nursing babies, running after toddlers, and cleaning up the mess our toddler loved to leave us on the walls and doors of the house (bless you Anna, you were always so proud of your art work).  Now, I stop and look back to wonder where the time went.  I miss those years and long for them again.  Instead of yearning for the past, I have to hang on to the future.  Enjoy every moment I have with my blessings while their in my midst.  God is so good and He loves them more than I, so I must hang on for the ride and give them to Him.  He will keep them safe.

Lord, I wonder if I have left lasting memories for my/our children to preserve? If I haven't, please help me to create those moments now. Thank you for mending broken hearts and putting us together as a family.  I desire my children to be close and to love one another deeply, never leaving each other or allowing something petty to keep them from spending time as they continue to grow.  I also desire Lord that my children will know you more and more each day, and that their spouses will Love you and them as well.  I pray for them to have great health, and for them to lean unto for all things.  Give me the strength to get through these days, and please Lord protect their hearts from anything that could hurt them-Even from my mouth.  Thank you Lord for them, for the life that has become and was, and for whatever you hold for me or them in the future.  I look forward to spending all of eternity with you. Amen

Ashamed or Recklessly Abandoned

Many times, when serving the Lord, we get lost in what people will thing of us.  We have to come to the crossroads of being ashamed or completely abandoned to God's love, mercy, compassion, protection, and leadership.  Honestly, I feel like this crossroad comes several times in our lives.  It is truly an important milestone, and has so much meaning each and every time.

We need to remember that the only opinion that counts, or we should be concerned with, is that of God's.  We will have to answer to Him for the life we lived here and how we produced fruit or not.

1 Corinthians 15: 58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.

Father God,
Thank you for your love, protection, provision, healing, mercy, and grace.  You are my rock, my salvation and firm foundation.  I ask that in ALL things that I give you Praise and honor that you deserve.  Lord, I pray that the words from my mouth will give testimony of who you are and how much you love us.  Give me the strength, Oh Lord, to live recklessly abandoned for you.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another Milestone

           8902 Tarrytown Rd, Milton, FL 32583

Yesterday marks another remarkable testimony from God.  When we left Georgia, we thought it would be a while before we would be able to be home owners again.  In July of 2014, two of the kids plus Wayne and I came to Milton, Florida to search for a place to live. We had 4 days initially to find a place, and all was going poorly.  Poorly due to the fact we had a small, one income budget to work with, the kids dropped the truck keys down the elevator shaft which means we waited all day for a maintenance person, the originally realtors we contacted were not interested in us once down here, and the renting here is very competitive.  Each house we went to was either G-R-O-S-S, or it was small.  I lived and breathed Zillow before we left, and the pictures online did not match what the house really looked like.  There was a house that was near the hotel in East Milton, but I kept ignoring it praying we would find something at the beach.  Wayne's manager here asked him Friday if he could work Monday, bc he really needed something to go out.  God worked out dog and child sitters back in Georgia (since Natalie wasn't with us).  Finally, on Friday we called Remax in desperation, after looking at what seemed 10 different homes, to ask about the house near the hotel.  They couldn't let us see it until Monday, and God had already worked that out ahead of time when he got Wayne to move his leave time earlier in the day.  We spent part of Saturday still searching, and then I told Wayne that I thought we needed to go to church.  I needed to be with other believers.  I googled "Vineyard Churches in Milton, FL" and low and behold there was one only 7 miles from the house! We went to church and they embraced us immediately, and even offered to help us move.  Monday came and we visited the house.  It was perfect! God saved the best for last. So we gave them our down payment and came home to pack.  Remember the church, well they were truth tellers, they actually showed up at our house when the moving van came.  We were completely unpacked in about an hour! They were amazing and still are, because we have make them our church family ever since.

We planned on living in this house until we could purchase one on our own down the road.  Remax was fine, with a few frustrating things: it took them forever to contact you back about something, and the same to come out, they inspected the house 3 times in 6 months, etc. We were told two months before our lease was up that the owners did not want to renew the lease and we would have to move or go to monthly leases at $100 more.  We were crushed. I mean we really enjoy our location, our neighbors, not moving ;), etc.  We went on another house search and did find an old house that was gave us a potential opportunity to buy.  Then, one Saturday we had a ring at the front door.  It was the home owners, the owners that Remax told us we were not allowed to speak with or we would get into trouble, the ones that did not want to renew our contract.  They were nervous and so were we, but we talked about everything and realized we had both been had by Remax.  Two days later we were renting directly from the owners, and they lowered our rent $75.  They even told us that they would not have a problem with us buying the house, and better still they would finance it.  So, yesterday was a new day.  A day that marks us as home owners once again.

Thank you Lord for your provision, your direction, your leading. I'm reminded Father of David's plea for you to lead him and for him not to stray: 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  This is truly my prayer to you as well.  I desire your will and not my own.  I am so excited about you knowing our beginning and our end, and knowing the best for us.  Thank you Lord for unanswered prayers, a new start, and work.  You did all of this and it is just another testimony that places you at the right hand of God, and gives you all the glory you deserve.  Amen   

Monday, September 14, 2015

RA?! What is this? Overcomer

Image result for red brick road milton florida

My life came to what seemed a crashing halt in 2011.  RA is the acronym for Rheumatoid Arthritis and let me tell you it isn't fun for anyone.  It doesn't have an age either.  I've even meet teens that fight this fight.  Well today, and many others but today I feel so accomplished/overcoming, I biked 4.32 miles in 32 minutes with my younger two children.  Nervousness kind of trickled in, thoughts of defeat crossed my mind; I even told my oldest to be on stand by if she needed to pick me up.  45 minutes later I arrived in the door with a smile on my face and a congratulations.

Today, RA doesn't defeat me, I defeated it! RA is just another something that tried to steal, kill, and destroy me, but today it didn't.  I am victorious because Jesus is my healer, He allows me to overcome, and gives me strength to continue the good fight and give Him glory.  Today He gave my children hope and a future that their mother is a fighter.

Lord God, Thank you for loving me.  Giving me the strength to fight this journey you have called me to endure.  There are such sweet times, Lord.  You are the creator of the heavens and the earth, You are the healer of all and create us to be "good". God you are my Prince of Peace, my Lord of Lords, my everything.  Without you I am nothing.  Thank you for placing EVERYTHING in my life for a season and I pray Lord that I will rise to the occasion and glorify you in all of it.  I give you my life, the body you created, the mind you formed, and the soul that is like a potter's clay.  In Jesus' name-Amen  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye is so Hard

Tonight, I received a phone call from a new friend.  She is new to me from here in Florida where we moved to last year.  As I reflect our conversation, it brings back the memories of a year ago to me and some tears.  This friend, though we had some rough patches, opened her heart and home to our family when we had no one but each other.  She helped us navigate through these new waters around us, so that we can find people of like mind.  We prayed for one another, and shared our hearts together.  Our children played with one another, watched movies, cooked and baked, attended 4H together, and enjoyed co-op together. Just in this short time, we have experienced life.  I mentioned rough patches, because we dealt with some heart things.  As she said tonight, Satan didn't want us to be friends.  He knew that we would pray for one another, keep each other accountable, and sharpen each other as we did life.  We, as Christians, worked through and prayed through these things-to overcome what Satan had intended for evil and give God all the glory.  The tears are in memory of another special time I had for 9 months before we moved with another family, which was much the same.  But this time, I am joyful in the sadness.  Joyful because this new friend is following the Lord in the journey He has for her.  The sadness is because selfishly we would like all the people that we love to stay near us, and never move away.  He reminds me of his promise: "Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you." Jeremiah 7:23

Friend, thank you again for sharing your life and making our move more bearable.  I pray that it may go well with you, as you obey your God and Father.

Lord, I lift up my friend to you.  I ask that you bless her more than she could ever imagine.  I pray that I hear of your testimony as she follows your will.  Abba Father, protect her from the evil one and keep her strengthened by your word; surround her by your people and give her peace, joy, and love.  Thank you for allowing her in my life for this short time.  In Jesus' name amen.