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!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cowboy Wedding

What do you do when you've been working hard on school, trying your hardest to finish up and your Mom gives you a 5 minutes break? You play wedding, of course!
 Callie was the blushing, quite tall, bride. Silas was the preacher and Micah was the cowboy groom
Silas to Micah: Mister, do you take this woman and promise to love her and do whatever she wants?
Micah: (in a whisper) I do.
Silas: You gotta say it louder!
Micah (a little bit louder) I do

Silas to Callie: Woman, do you promise to love this man and cook for him?
Callie: (lots of giggles)

You may kiss this woman (on the cheek, of course, because that's what brothers and sisters do!)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


My Silas needed to have his eyes checked.  I prepared for all the things that would happen for a routine eye exam.  He really didn't remember having it done a couple of years ago, so he listened intently.  He was also quite excited that we were turning this into a Mommy/Son date with lunch afterwards.

As they checked us in, I reminded him of the "puff" of air that they would probably do first.  As they put his chin in the proper spot, I stepped a few feet from him, but not far.  The first "puff" caught him off guard. I could tell he was about to panic as he put his cute little chin on the holder, ready for the next "puff."  I encouraged him with, "You're doing good, Silas, one more and this part is over."

 Trying to keep real still and keep his head in place, but starting to get too nervous, I saw his right arm reach out to the side as he began searching for me with his arm.  I stepped closer so that he could hold onto my arm.  Then, he was real still, the puff went in to the left eye, and he looked up at me with a huge smile that said, "Thanks, Mom!"

It was sweet to see that just knowing I was there was the comfort that he needed.  I was there.

As we got back in the car and I thought about how well my little guy did and how it was sweet that he still needed me to be there, my mind recalled the devotions I had been having that week.  God had been pointing out to me some truths to dwell on, that reminded me a lot of my Silas at the eye doctor.

"Thou God seest me"  Genesis 16:13
"For I know [her]" Genesis 18:19
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Genesis 18:14

Just as my Silas needed to know I was there and with him, I, too, need to know that my God is there, He sees me!  He knows me!  And just His presence can calm my heart.  Sometimes the circumstances stay the same. My little guy still had to stand there and get that "puff" of air in his eye.  But, having the presence of the Lord to get me through whatever may come my way, is a priceless gift from the Lord.   It gives me a confidence in Him to say, "There is nothing too hard for God!"

Friday, May 27, 2016

Welcome Jenna

 We figured it's time to add something new to our (wanna-be) little farm. Silas wanted a pig or a goat.  A sweet man at church has been telling Silas all about owning a goat and the responsibility and how they give good milk.  Silas was sold!  When the Lord opened up the door for us to get a free baby goat, we said, "Yes!"

 This goat  belongs to all of us, but it is Silas's special responsibility.  He's in charge of pinning her out everyday and giving her feed and water.  Silas, Callie and Micah chose the name "Jenna" for her.  How cute.

 It's so cute to watch her follow Silas around the yard.  When he goes inside she calls to him (very consistently) MAAAAA!  Cute.  Sort of.  Actually, hearing her call like that when the sun comes up is quite annoying!  :o)
 Her job is so start chewing down the greenery in our woods.  Eventually we would like to clear a bit and make a basketball court.  She better get busy!!

So thankful for this beautiful property that God gave us.  So happy to use it to teach my kiddos responsibility and the joy that can be had from hard work.  Loving this life!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dear 40-Year Old Self,

So, it happened.  I turned 40.  I've always looked at the old, old age of 40 and thought that it is a milestone age.  It's like turning 1, 10 and's a big one!  Then, I realized that God has placed so many Godly women in my life that I want to glean from.  I wondered, if they could go back to when they turned 40, what would they tell their self?  What would they want her to know as she turns this very important age.  So, I wrote to those women.  The responses I received were beautiful, convicting, and exactly what I needed to hear.  I compiled all their thoughts together and wrote a letter.  This letter is to me, my 40 year old self.  

Dear 40-Year Old Self,

                40.  You know, you are really not that old.  40 is a great age to be!  In fact, some people (so what if they are older) even say that you are in your prime!  You’ve learned a few things.  You’ve had some experiences.  You’ve lived a beautiful 40 years.

But, with turning this “milestone” there is still much to think about and to learn as you seek to live your life fully for the Lord and to please to Him.  So, just a few things to think about and strive for.

                The 40s will bring many changes to your family.  One by one, all 6 of your precious kiddos will leave home.  It will be hard.  It will hurt.  But, it is necessary.  Let go.  Let them live their lives without the guilt from you missing them too much.  Enjoy this stage of your life and try to enjoy the changes.  Look for the good in them.  I hear grandchildren are great!  I know you’ll enjoy them. 

As your babies are growing up, keep your marriage strong and alive.  Keep Patrick first.  He comes before them.  He will love you for it and so will they.  It’s what he needs and what they need as well.  Enjoy growing older together.  Gray hair is so attractive on that man of yours!    
You’ve chosen to start eating healthier, eating for fuel, not for only pleasure.  That’s a great choice.  Pat yourself on the back and keep it up!  You’ll benefit from having more energy, better skin, brighter eyes, and I could go on and go.  But, what about those sweet kiddos?  Are you teaching them healthy eating habits?  Are you teaching them to truly enjoy the flavor of real food?  Or are they hooked on the flavor of chemicals and processed fake foods.  Don’t do that to them.  That’s not training them to take care of their bodies, and it surely isn’t giving them the best foot forward as they quickly plunge into adulthood.  Let them eat good right along with you.
                Slow down some.  Now, I don’t mean the natural “slowing down” that someone with many more years than you actually experience, I’m talking about slowing down and enjoying this life.  It’s easy to stay busy with your “to-do” list and get so busy trying to cross off the next thing that you forget to actually live.  Take time to breathe in the fresh air.  Then, enjoy hearing the sounds of birds chirping and the wind blowing in the trees.  Take time to really look at that drawing that has been hand crafted just for you!  Then, find a special place to put it so that special artist will know you care and are proud and thankful.  Look your family in the eye.  Stop and really listen.  Try not to say too often, “Not right now” “Maybe later” and “We’ll see.”  Say “Yes” more and jump right in and have the time of your life. Take time to make memories, act silly and have plenty of laughter.

                Enjoy this beautiful life that God has given you.  Do things that you would like to do.  Put others first, especially your family.   But, it’s okay to do things that you would like to do as well.  Remember how you want to do more hiking?  Do more hiking and explore this beautiful area God has called you to!  Still want that funny looking 3 wheeled bike?  Save up and buy one!  Want to plan a trip to the coast and explore the beaches in your area?  Do it!  Don’t put off what you would like to do now. Watch more sunsets.  Smell more flowers.  Take more walks.  Do!  Have fun!  Enjoy!

                 Strive to be saturated with God’s Word.  Completely saturated until the Word of God oozes out of you should be your goal.  You haven’t arrived, so keep working to get closer to Him!

               So, Hello 40s! Here we are.  Let’s make the most of it.

With Love,


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

So very blessed for my 40th

Last week, I turned 40.  Eek...did I really just type that?  Yup, it's true!  So very blessed I truly am!

The day before my birthday my church family had a birthday fellowship after church.  Some very special ladies decorated for me.

  We had yummy snacks and I received many sweet gifts.

My sweet ladies also planned a week's worth of dinners to be delivered to my home each night.  What a wonderful blessing!!

Then, to make my birthday celebration even sweeter, my parents surprised me and were sitting in my row at church!  It was so special and sweet, and made me feel so loved!

Then, on my birthday, my family took me to a Quilt Shop in Trenton.  What a neat place this is!  It's an old Coca-Cola factory that has been converted to a Quilt Shop. There are over 7,000 bolts of fabric...Wow!  The choices!

For my gift, my parents let me pick bunches of fabric.  I can't wait to get started on a project soon!
I'm hoping to do a wall hanging American Flag.  I also picked some fabric for a fun dresden quilt in coral and aqua.  Fun!

Then, to top it off, they took me to a restaurant called Hobos.  It's an old house in downtown Trenton.  The inside is so historical and had a lot of memorabilia from when the railroad went through town.

What a wonderful day I had.  God has blessed me with 40 wonderful years.  So thankful!!