Friday, January 22, 2021

We wouldn't have Here if it weren't for There


 While on our little getaway, Patrick and I had time to just talk. Somehow our conversation turned to the time when we were in St. Barths and I got sick.  Patrick then talked about getting the phone call that the doctors at the Mayo Clinic suspected cancer.  It really threw our world upside down.  From that moment on, the dreams that we had changed. 

 We had dreamed to see a wonderful, flourishing church on the island of St. Barthelemy.  Our dream was to see that work grow and expand and to be a lighthouse for starting other works on french speaking islands all throughout the Caribbean.  But, that one phone call really changed that.  The days, weeks, months and even years that followed showed that God was closing that door to our dream. 

 I have to say that over the years I have struggled with guilt.  I know that all of this was out of my control, and God has His master hand on the plan for our lives, but still I sometimes struggle. I'm thankful those times are less and less and that God gives me a peace.  But out on that canoe, on the very peaceful water of Pickets Lake, I told my husband I was so sorry for those times of worry and changing dreams in our life.  That's when he said something I never want to forget.  He said,

 "Kam, We wouldn't have Here if we didn't have There."  

I thought of how true that was for us.  Our there was a difficult time.  Hearing scary news from a doctor, knowing that God is moving your family, knowing that the place you've been preparing to live your lives and serve the Lord is no longer an option for your family was hard.  But, our here....I just can't say enough.  

God made us for this place in North Central Florida.  He gave  us a wonderful home in the country.  He has allowed us to make a little mini farm and enjoy animals and hard work and dirt.  He's letting us live near our grown children and watch our precious grandbabies grow up.  He's given us a chruch family like no other.  They love us passionately, and love God even more.  Our dream has changed.  God gave us a new one and I can't tell you how much we love our here.

I'm not sure who may be reading this.  Maybe you are enjoying your very own here.  You may look back on your there and think about the difficulties.  Maybe you sometimes struggle with guilt like I do.  Let me encourage you, dont dwell on your there.  Focus on the here and the blessings God has for you today.  If you look for them on purpose they will be bold, bright and beautiful as you forge the days ahead in your new dream.

But, just maybe you are in the midst of your there.  It's a time you never expected.  It's a path that seems filled with fog up ahead and you don't know where it's leading. Let me encourage you, take one step at a time.  And in each step walk with Christ as He luminated where you should be heading.  It's okay to cry.  It's okay to tell God you don't understand.  But, don't stay there.  Look for the good as you take these steps into the future.  Know that God has a plan, even if you don't quite see it at the moment.  Live out Romans 8:28 and remind yourself of it weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly.  One day you too will be able to say, I'm so thankful for the there.  Because, 

"We wouldn't have Here if we didn't have There."

"And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Some time together


After my sweetie's birthday breakfast, he and I headed out for a few days together.  Our church family is so sweet and attentive to us.  For Patrick's birthday they gave him extra money for us to have a little getaway, just the two of us. 

We had a hard time figuring out where to go.  We wanted quiet, peacefulness and relaxation.  We found a great Airbnb that had all of that plus a canoe available for use.  The lake house was perfect!  The only problem is that it was only one town over.  In fact, some of the VSIBC members even live in that town!  So, we didn't really get out of town, but the getaway was perfect!!


Patrick fished and fished, and I read and read.  We talked bunches, laughed plenty and just renewed some time together as a couple.



The lakehouse was beautiful with so many changing views!  The neighbors even had two dogs that seem to have the run of the lake.  They were so cute!  Everytime we would get in the canoe, one of the dogs would jump in the water and swim, following us all around.  It was adorable. If you ever get to the Branford area, I highly recommend Papa Joe's place.



The couple of days away was perfect.  So thankful for a great husband.  So very thankful that we love being together.  It was really a great birthday for him! 


 

Monday, January 18, 2021

My Sweetie is 46


January is a busy birthday month for the Gimenez Family!  We have 3 right in a row and we have so much fun celebrating!
We just celebrated Patrick's birthday and we had so much fun!
We started off the day with a huge birthday breakfast!  We had sausage gravy, biscuits, fruit salad, bacon, hasbrowns and eggs.  so delicious!


Then Denise made a yummy cheesecake!  



It was a great morning!



I love the card that Callie gave to him.  Just pure honesty. :o)



 What a great start to a wonderful day! 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

A Birthday Dinner Out


Going out to eat when you have a large family doesn't happen very often.  But, the good thing about that is that when we do go out together we get so excited!!  We talk about what we will order, we look ahead at the menu, we plan our outfits (at least us girls do!)  We just have a great time!!

Since Marc's birthday (Patrick's brother) was coming up, and we were given giftcards for Christmas, we thought this was the perfect time!

It was a busy Friday night so they split up the girls table and the boys table.  But, that's okay.   The girls table had the most fun anyway! ;o)




Happy Birthday Marc!



Micah was excited to get the kid's ribs.  So good!



Liberty and Freedom did amazing.   I know I'm their Grandma and all, but they really are great, well-behaved little girls.  Josh and Tabitha do such a wonderful job as parents.

What a great time we had out together as a family!
 

Friday, January 15, 2021

A new yum!


 One of the things I love about Christmas is the new things given that you can try.  A sweet friend gave me a bunch of TAZO tea.  In the assortment was Wild Sweet Orange that I have never tried.  Oh wow it was delicious!  It may be one of my new favorites (after Vanilla Chai, or Chamomile...how can I pick??) 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Breaking Ground and Watching the Tree Fall!


Super exciting days around here!! Sunday we officially "broke ground" at VSIBC and watched the first tree fall!  After our morning service we invited the church to come out to the property.  We then sang a hymn together, then Beth and Brenna and I sang "We are standing on Holy Ground"  After a time of prayer we watched the first tree fall on the property.  We are ready to start clearing and building the church building!  So exciting!!



It's amazing to see God work in these days where there are uncertainties and fears all around us.  God still wants to build and grow the believer!  So glad we get to be a part of it!  It's all for His glory!



 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

He's 12!


We had a great time celebrating my boy's 12th birthday last week.   It seems like just yesterday we were announcing his coming and his arrival on this blog.  He's really grown up a bunch!



It's so amazing how God makes each child different.  You would think that coming from the same 2 parents, raised in the same way, they would all be the same.  But, wow, that is not true!  My Silas is a lot like my Joshua.  He's super smart.   Intelligent is really more the word.  He remembers things very (too) easily.  He has a joke or riddle he can recall about any situation.  He loves trivia.  He also loves sports.  He plays football or basketball any chance he can get.  So when you combine intelligence, trivia and basketball, here's what you get:


Silas: Dad, do you want to shoot some hoops with me?

Patrick:  Sure!

Silas : (After playing about 10 minutes)  Dad do you want to know the percentage of shots you make that you shoot?

That's Silas!







We had a great time on his birthday. I love how my kiddos plan the whole day out, meals included.  Of course, we started with opening gifts.



For his "cake" he wanted apple pie.  So, I made two.  One for him, and one for the rest of us.  He feasted on it for 2 days!




 For dinner he wanted to know if we could go to the new Burger King they just built down from the church.  So, we invited our church family and took over BK after the Wednesday night service.  Silas wanted to know if he could get a triple Whopper.   He ate the whole thing!  Along with fries, soda, a shake, and an ice cream cone.  Yes, he did have quite a belly ache on the way home!

We love you Silas Boone and are so proud of the young man you are becoming!!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

I get to do this.


 It was in the 40s.  Thats a chilly morning for North Central Florida!  There is just something extra cold about Florida chill.  It was also trash morning.  So, I sent my boys out, all bundled up ready to get their chore done.  As they started down the driveway, I glanced out.  There were my boys, in their jackets, watching their breath in the cold morning while wheeling monsterous trash cans behind them.  I was proud of them.  I decided to holler and ask if they'd like some hot cocoa when they come in.  They were excited to know that they would have something to warm them up when they came in.  I went inside and began to make 3 cups of hot cocoa for 3 kiddos starting their morning.  

And then a sense of peace just washed over me.  

I get to do this. 

 I get to train my children how to be consistent and diligent in their chores.  I get to reward them with something as simple as hot cocoa.  I get to have it ready for them and tell them how proud of them I am.  I get to do this!

  And then I realized that my focus was right today.  You're probably somewhat like me.  It's easy to get my focus on the wrong things.  Last night I saw some of the horrible news reports coming in of strife in our country.  Who knows what is true and what to believe, but I do know this....reading about current events can be disturbing.  It can be worrisome.  It can cause us to lose our focus.  Now, I know we need to be up to date on the things going on around us. (although Patrick and I joke that I would really rather not know any of it!!)  We need to be aware of things so we know how to respond and how to pray.  But, I have to ask, "How is your focus?"  When we focus on the wrongs and the disturbances and the evil in this world, we (the ones who have the Comforter living in our hearts) no longer live a life of peace.  God has given us a conditional promise in Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee:because he trusteth in Thee."

So this morning, I am focusing on what I get to do.  I want to focus on the good, even in the little things, like taking out trash and making hot cocoa.  These are the memories I want to remember.  These are the days I cherish.