Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy 17th Birthday to my Brenna

 My sweet girl, Brenna Shay, turned 17 last week!
 What a blessing she continues to be to our family!  She has such a tender heart for the Lord.  In fact, as I make this post she's playing and singing on the piano, "I want my life to count for Jesus."  So thankful for a teenager that loves the Lord!
 Her musical talent continues to blossom and grow.  I think if anyone spent a couple of hours a day on the piano like she does, it would.  But, she has an extra heap of talent, that's for sure!  I love to hear her play!
 She is so fun to be around, and has such a heart for children.  The kiddos at VSIBC are naturally drawn to her, their 'Miss Brenna'

 She said for her birthday she wanted to stay home, be together, and play bunches of games.  We had a competitive game of Ticket to Ride.  And several rounds of Dutch Blitz.

 When Josh got home from work, it was time for gifts.  I love to watch the giver.  The kids are so proud of the gifts they pick out for the special person.  I love to see their giving heart!

 As Patrick and I were trying to decide what to get for Brenna, we came up with the idea to use her Pinterest account.  I looked at her crafty board, and chose 5 things she had pinned.  Then, I went and bought the supplies and printed out the page she had pinned.  It's been fun to see her create the things she has had her eye on!

 For her "cake" she chose apple pie.  (again)  My girl is a pie lover!! (just like her Momma!)
 We also decided on a new tradition for birthdays.  We decorated the mantle with all the birthday girls favorites and things that remind us of her.  That was fun!

Happy Birthday to my baby girl.  Time is going too fast!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

22 Years!

 My sweetie and I recently celebrated our 22nd anniversary!  We spent a romantic weekend away together exploring small towns and driving down roads we had never been on.  Then, we enjoyed a wonderful seafood dinner and walk on the boardwalk of the St. Johns river.  What a wonderful time!

So thankful for my sweet man and how he loves me.  I truly have the best!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

So thankful for VSIBC!

It's been a while since I've updated on the work here in High Springs.  God is blessing at Victory Springs Independent Baptist Church!  It's been a blessing to see souls saved and baptized.  God is working!
Patrick and Bro. Jerry Nye built a portable baptistry to have on hand at a moments notice.  It works out great!  We've baptized 4 so far in it!

 It's a blessing to see sweet children come and hear the Word of God.  What a treasure they are!  We recently split the children's Sunday School Class into two.  So, now we have a class for ages 4-6 and a class for ages 7-12.  With the adult class and the 2s and 3s class, that makes a total of 4 Sunday School classes.  What a blessing!

We are loving the fellowship we are able to share with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  God sure has called us to some very sweet people that are such a blessing to us!

 We are loving the activites and game nights that we've had.  So much laughter!

God is just so good to us!  So thankful to be growing in Christ along with the others that He has called us to serve.  There is no better life than serving Jesus!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy 20th Josh!

 Last week my first born, Joshua Patrick, turned 20!  Wow!  What a fine young man he has become.  He really makes me and Patrick proud.

He's enjoying his management position at ACE Hardware in our town.  He manages the repair shop and is learning so much!  He's also taking a small engine repair course and is working hard towards completing that.

His heart is still geared towards ministry and serving the Lord in the way He would have him to.  He's a great, enthusiastic song leader for VSIBC.  He also does so well with the children at church and has an exciting Junior Church.  It's great hearing the singing of all the children.  They love it when they are dismissed for Junior Church time!

Josh is also continuing his correspondence studies for a Ministry Degree. We're also excited seeing God using him when he preaches.  Patrick usually gives him a Sunday Night a month to preach and Wow, his messages are powerful!!

Here is one of his recent quotes, 
"The world won't believe your words that you 'love God' unless your testimony shows it."
So convicting!

So thankful for my boy and the man that he is becoming!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Growing and Laying

 We bought our new set of chicks in February.  They are quickly growing and once again my Callie Grace is the best at taking care of them!
 If they get loose and we need to gather them up, she is the one we call.   She can catch them in no time flat!!

 And two weeks ago they started laying!  Yay for eggs!  They happen to be the prettiest brown eggs!  And super teeny tiny.  They are actually quite cute! :o)  Loving life on our little farm!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

An Unexpected Blessing

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have a big blessing that I wanted to share.  God moves in amazing ways!

About a month ago, a dear friend of ours called to tell us he wanted to pay for a tour trip for us in Israel. We would just need to come up with the $ for the plane tickets. He wanted to pay for the tour, bus tickets, food, motels, etc. Wow! Israel? Patrick and I had never really thought too much about seeing the Holy Land because of the expense. It's just not in the budget at the moment!!

He said that going to Israel and seeing where Jesus walked changed his life. He said that he wanted to "hold the preacher's hands up" like in the Bible. What a blessing! The problem? We didn't have the $2000 for the plane tickets. We began praying, "Lord if you want us to go, please provide."

Well, the $$ didn't come in, so we called and told him that it's just not feasible for us to go. He said, "Let's pray a little longer and watch God work." So.....I went to Youth Conference a couple of weeks ago. Beth and Brenna were super excited to meet Bob Gray!! He is one of their favorite preachers that we watched via internet while in St. Barths. They were so excited to finally meet him!

After a great preaching service, we all waited in line to have him sign the girl's Bibles. There were a lot of kids snapping pics and meeting him. It was loud and chaotic! When it was the girls turn, we snapped a pic and spoke to him briefly. He looked at me and said, "Where are you all from?" I said , "Florida." And then, for some reason I blurted out, "We're a new church plant." I don't normally say that. He looked at me strangely and said, "Really?" "I have a check for you for $2000!"

He called Patrick the next day and told him all about what had happened and why he was giving us the $$. The day of the conference a man from his church gave him a check and said, "There will be someone come to you at the conference. They will tell you in these words "We are a new church plant." That's the family that has a need, that's who to give the check to and for them to use it for their family."

Can you believe it!!!! I don't normally blurt out to random strangers, "We're a new church plant!" It's so exciting to see God work and provide!! So.....I guess I'm going to Israel!!

Friday, June 17, 2016


"I haven't had a flare in 3-4 weeks!" 

 That was the exciting news I was able to tell my doctor on Wednesday!  I was so happy to tell her and to let her know of my progress.

She was quite happy with me, but then expressed her concern about more nodules forming on my hands, as well as the new ones found in my lungs on my latest CT. The one I had removed on my let hand two years ago is also starting to make a come back. She also doesn't like that my chest pressure is exactly the same as it has been for almost 3 years-no change there.  She believes the pressure could very well be from a granulomous process happening there, as well as in my hands.

She truly believes the last round of parasitic type medication helped me to start improve.  Then, she said the dreaded words, "I think we need to try another round of a slightly different drug."  I was getting ready to open my mouth and say, "No.  I'm seeing improvement.  Let's leave this alone and accept it."  But, I caught a glimpse of my faithful, ever enduring husband by my side nodding along with my doctor.  The two of them are not ready to give up.  They are still striving for complete healing.

So, a little reluctantly, I will be starting a new medication this Monday.  It will last for 5 days.  Normally I don't have the greatest response to powerful meds, so prayers would be much appreciated.

Hopefully, I'll soon be able to say, "I feel absolutely wonderful!"  But, until then, God is still every faithful.  He reminds me over and over that He is with me.  Soooo many blessings surround me and encourage me.  So many more than I deserve. I'm thankful for this past month of feeling so great!  God is good!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Piece of the Puzzle

What a week this has been!  This was a week where God gave me one more piece of my puzzle.  Let me explain....My Brenna loves to put together puzzles.  She does just like I used to do.  First thing is to prop up the box so she can see the final picture.  Then, piece by piece she puts her masterpiece together. 

Well, our life is often like a puzzle.  Although we aren't given the final picture, we are promised in Romans 8:28 that it will all work together for good.  God wants to turn our lives into something beautiful!  A Masterpiece!  But, we are given one piece at a time.  Sometimes they are beautiful pieces full of color.  Other times, they are quite dull and you're not really sure where to fit them and how they will work in the puzzle. This week I was given a beautiful piece that fit perfect.  God is so good!

This week I took my girls, along with 3 other teens and a wonderful lady that came as a counselor, to Youth Conference in Gulfport, Mississippi!  When we first heard the dates of the conference, we knew we wanted to go!  One of the preachers was going to be Bob Gray II.  On the mission field we would watch lots of preaching online.  One of my girls favorites was Bob Gray.  They were thrilled that we were actually going to hear him in person!!

He preached a very convicting message on "Your Sanctuary"  He spoke on the importance on having time alone with the Lord and how that time will change how your view of the world.  It was great!

 At invitation time, my girls jumped up to head to the altar to pray.  I followed them and as we knelt down together, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the past few years.  It has been quite confusing as we have been through some trials.  At times, we often didn't understand what the Lord was doing.  Why was I sick?  Why did we have to come of the mission field?  What was the direction for our future?  Slowly, God has revealed some of the whys.  But, all those answers don't always come at once. I thought of the excitement of that day as we were all so excited to hear Bob Gray and couldn't wait for the night of preaching!  As I knelt, I felt the Holy Spirit asking, "Has it been worth it?" "You've been through a few things, but I've had my hand on you. And I've had my hand on your girls.  This night is a dream come true for them!  Has it been worth it?  Do you trust me?"  Oh my.  My answer was , "Oh, Yes, Lord!  It's all been worth it!  I trust you!!"  God is so good to me!  I'm so thankful for His working in my life!

 The week was filled with preaching (11 wonderful messages!), lots of fellowship and fun with the sweet girls on the trip, lots of heart to heart talks, and another huge blessing I'll have to share on another post.  God sure does work miracles!!