Friday, January 30, 2015

Finally On to the Outside!

We've been trying to squeeze in some time to work on the outside of our new home.  There are truly years of pine needles and leaves to deal with.  There are also some trees we have to take care of.

 We're taking advantage of the downed trees for firewood.  I'm loving my fireplace!!

I announced to the kids that this Saturday will be another work day!  Yippee!  I'm looking forward to seeing more progress in the yard and the weather should be wonderful!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Loving our book time!

Our second half of kindergarten is going great!  Silas loves it and Callie and Micah do, too!  One of our favorite times has to be our reading time.  We have started Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House in the Big Woods" We're reading some in it everyday and they eagerly anticipate every detail!  At first I was a little skeptical if this would be age appropriate for my active little ones.  It is such a descriptive book!  I do stop and explain some things and they patiently wait for the pages with pictures!  But, they love hearing about Laura and her adventures.  They think it's great that she lives in the woods, just like we do! I'm looking forward to reading the whole series with them!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exciting Weekend!

 Last Sunday night we received one of the best calls! Patrick's brother, Marc, called and just wasn't so sure he was saved.  He had many questions and after sharing many verses, Patrick was able to lead his brother to the Lord!  How exciting!  We are so happy for Marc!

  After hanging up, there were many tears of joy!!  Then, he called back to say he talked to Pastor and that he was getting baptized Sunday!  Yay!  So, the Gimenez family made a quick trip Saturday down to Fort Myers to see Marc.

 Then, Pastor said he wanted Patrick to be the one to baptize Marc.  It was so precious and a memory we will all cherish!

We were all so thankful we could share the day with Marc.  We are so proud of him!  It was a super quick trip, but so worth it!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Much to do, but it is so exciting!

Things are getting closer to the Opening Day of the church here in High Springs.  We found a building that is in a perfect location.  Many, many cars pass by each day.  The building will need a few updates to make it ready for church, but it has the room to have a great auditiorium, nursery and Sunday School room.  We've met with the Landlord and are proceeding with permits.

We're also working on websites, IRS numbers, brochures, tracts, legal aspects, insurance, supplies, is mind boggling!!  But, everything is coming together.  We praise God for calling us into the ministry and for calling us to this area.  We love it!  Have I mentioned that it's getting exciting? :o)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lord, let me help you.

Let's face it.  We women like to help. That's really why were created in the first place!  As a wife, we are "help"meets for our husband.  As a Momma our days are filled with helping! (like today when my potty training two year old put a washcloth down the toilet and flushed it) and sometimes we women even like to help at matchmaking.  He he.

But, when it comes to the Lord, we often carry our quality of being helpful too far, and we try to help God.  I read about a woman like that this morning.  Beautiful Rebekah finds herself married and far from home.  Then, she finds out she is pregnant.  She learns she is carrying twins and they are quite active!  In fact Genesis 25:22 tells us that the "children struggled together within her."  This must have been more than the normal kick and nudge from a baby in the womb because she asked the Lord why it was so?  The Lord gave her a glimpse into the future and let her know that her older baby would serve the younger.

Now, fast forward some years.  Rebekah's husband is dying and as was the custom he was to give his blessing to one of his children and called for his eldest and favorite, Esau.  Rebekah, knowing what the Lord had told her about her younger son, decided to "help" God.  She used deceit and tricked her eldest son and her husband.  She thought she was helping God out, but in the end she caused even more division between her two sons that caused Jacob to have to flee for his life. Just think of the influence she had on Jacob.  I wonder where he learned to be such a trickster?  I'm sure there was some division caused in her marriage as well.  And by Jacob fleeing, she robbed herself of seeing him for at least 20 years.

Did God need her help?  Of course not. I wonder how things would have turned out if she had let God handle the situation.  I'm afraid that we often want to "help" the Lord out, too, and often make a mess of things.  There's two in particular that I'm thinking of:

~We try to "help" and be the Holy Spirit to our husbands.  You know how it see something that you don't particularly like, or think he should do.  When I take it upon my self to nag and fuss and bring out a spiritual reason as to why he should _______ (you can fill in the blank), it can cause a division.  Now, of course, we need to communicate to our husbands our desires and wishes.  But, we need to be careful of how we communicate and when we should just let God handle the situation.  I learned early in my marriage that if I communicate a desire to my husband and he just doesn't agree, I can always go above his head and pray to God.  It's amazing the results!  Either the Lord will change my husband's heart on the matter, or I will realize how petty and silly I was being.  God sure does know how to handle it best!

~We try to "help" God when we pray.  My sister and I were talking about this not too long ago.  Sometimes, if we're not careful, our prayer time can be filled with us telling God how things should go and how He could make them happen.  Sometimes I have the situation down perfect!  "God if you would just let this happen, then this person do this, then the end result would be perfect!"  How foolish that can be.   It reminds me of Proverbs 3:5, "lean not unto thine own understanding."  The Lord's way is perfect and He truly does know best!

  I wonder how things would have turned out if Rebekah had let God handle the situation.  Sometimes it's not so easy to "Let go and Let God."  But, the rewards of a trusting heart have an amazing impact on our situation and the lives of those we truly want to help.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Sweetie!

 Today my sweet man turns 40.  Happy Birthday Patrick!

 God has blessed me so much in letting me be the help meet to Patrick.  The past month has been non-stop drilling, hammering, cutting, painting.....he has worked and worked!  And all for our family.  Thank you sweetie!

I am thankful to have married a man with a heart for the Lord.  He has a desire to preach and share the gospel with the people He has called us to in High Springs.  It's so exciting hearing his vision for this area.  It's an exciting life serving God!

 Happy Birthday to my High School Sweetheart, the amazing father of our awesome kiddos, and my best friend.  You may be turning 40, but don't worry, I'm right behind you!  Love you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

He Still Speaks

Many of you have asked about my Joshua and when he has to return to college.  I thought I could give you an update on what is happening in my boy's life.

About October we received a serious call from Josh.  He asked us to pray about something that he "just couldn't get away from."  He felt the Holy Spirit leading him to not return to Golden State Baptist College after Christmas break and to stay in High Springs with us and work along with us in planting a new church.

 Honestly, this idea caught us by surprise.  Josh has looked forward to college and specifically Golden State for so long.  He was LOVING college life!  We talked with him a bunch to make sure he wasn't just homesick, or had any other problems.  His clear response was 'No'. He loved dorm life and made a lot of great friends.  He loved his classes and was excelling in them all.  He loved North Valley Baptist Church, Pastor Trieber and the ministries he was working in.  He loved chapel and hearing Godly men challenge him to be closer to Christ. He plain out loved college!  This is why it was hard for us to hear.

 We told him the negatives of coming back to Florida to stay, but told him of course we would pray.  We also advised him to pray and fast and don't make any decisions yet.  Pray and fast he did.  Not easy on a college boy!  A few weeks later he called us back and said, "I just know without a doubt I need to come back to stay.  This is what God is calling me to do."  

Has it been an easy decision?  Honestly, no it hasn't.  But, we've taught our kids, and learned ourselves, the importance of God's will.  He does have a specific plan for your life!  It may not always be the way we thought it would be.  Quite often it turns out different than we expected.  But, God loves us so much that He will reveal to us what He wants us to do.  There is protection and joy in the midst of God's will.  It's the best place to be!

Several times around the house I have heard Josh singing one of his new favorite songs.  It worked on his heart and helped him through making a tough decision.  Part of it says, "He still speaks.  I know His voice, sweeter sound never heard by mortal ears;  And to think that God by His own choice still speaks to me, it makes me rejoice." We are so thankful for Josh listening to the Holy Spirit's leading!

So what's next?  Josh is going to be taking correspondence courses to continue his education and get his degree in Pastoral Theology.  Patrick has given Josh many ministries that he will be working in for the new church plant.  He will be the Song Leader, preach in Junior Church and teach the Teen Sunday School Class.  He's already developing lessons and thinking about activities.  He's going to be busy!

 I'm thankful for the peace that comes when following the Lord.  He still speaks!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Living on Purpose

 If you're anything like me, it takes effort to "Live on Purpose."  Let me explain.  It's easy to sit through a great message, read a spiritually-helpful book or read in your Bible and think, "Wow!  I needed that and I am going to use that truth today!"  Then, you go about your day with laundry, meals, wiping lay your head on your pillow that night and think, "Wait, wasn't I supposed to be focusing on something today?"  I don't purposely try to forget, but I wasn't "Living on Purpose."

A couple of years ago I thought of something that would help me and decided to start keeping a notebook.  I divided it into 3 sections:  Bible Notes, Book Notes and Preaching Notes.
Each day, as I would read my Bible, I would be looking for something that the Lord was teaching me through my devotions and I would write it down in the Bible Notes section.  If I was interested in studying a word or situation, I would use those pages for my notes.
In the Book Notes section I would take notes on the important truths I wanted to remember and think on.
In the Preaching notes I would pay attention "on purpose" and take notes from the words God gave the preacher.
It's so neat to look back at  the 2013 and 2014 notebooks and see the things the Lord was teaching me.  How I  need those lessons and have needed to remember them!

 This year, I splurged a little more and decided to buy a nice journal from Wal-mart.  It was actually only $9.97, but it looks so nice in its faux leather! :o)
 It doesn't have subject dividers, so I divided up the sections using paper clips.
(above notes are from the book I am reading by Bud Calvert, Emotional Victory.  It's going to be a good one!)
This year I added a 4th section to my notebook, Prayer Journal.  I usually have my prayer journal as a separate notebook and I keep it for several years.  But, this year, I decided to try and keep my prayer journal as part of my "On Purpose" notebook.

Living on Purpose does take some effort for this old flesh of mine.  This is one of the tools that helps keep me on track!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Silas's Day

 Silas had a great 6th birthday!  We all had so much fun!  After having his requested breakfast of cereal (he's not hard to please!) he was ready to open his presents.
 His last gift from us was a zipline from his treehouse.  He was a little hesitant at first, but after the first time, he loved it!

 Callie is our brave girl and she was so excited when it was her turn to try!  I think she's been on it at least 50 times since this picture was taken.
 Then, it was Micah's turn.  He still seems so little to me, so I was secretly hoping he wouldn't like it. such chance.  He loves it!

 Then, Silas was so excited when the phone would ring and it was for him.  Those calls and singing of "Happy Birthday"  truly made his day!

 Josh was a little excited to try out the Sock 'Em game from Grandpa and Grandma...Silas whooped him!  Then, we all played outside, and had so much fun together!!
 Silas has been planning his birthday menu for quite a while.  For his cake he wanted it to be chocolate with chocolate frosting and candy canes on top.  I was happy to use my new Magic Bullet to crush the candy canes.  They were like powder and so yummy!  Silas watched over my shoulder as I arranged the candy canes.  He gave me plenty of instructions :o)
 For lunch he wanted hamburgers.
And for dinner he wanted pizza.  What a fun kid!  He went to bed that night saying, "I wish it was my birthday every day!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday Silas Boone

 Today my Silas Boone turns 6!

 We are so blessed to call this really cool kid our boy.  He has so many amazing qualities!  He is very thoughtful and loves to really think things over.  I love his Bible questions and his hunger to learn more about God.  He prays that the "whole world will get saved."  I love his tender heart!
 He is definitely our talker of the bunch.  He always has a story or joke to tell or a question to ask.  He's pretty cautious, but loves to try new things.  He's a really good eater as of lately.  He usually has 2 breakfasts before we all eat breakfast.  Then, he usually joins us and eats a 3rd meal...all before 9 am!
 He loves to be outside and to play.  He is the type of kid that can have fun doing anything, whether it's the best of toys, or a few sticks, he has an amazing imagination!
He informed me last night, "Mom, it's okay.  Even though I'm turning 6, I'll still be your kid."  Oh, this kid has my heart!  Love you my Silas Boone!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Merry Christmas with our first visitors!

On New Year's Eve my parents and my Mam-maw came up for a quick visit.  It was so fun looking forward to them coming and planning on celebrating Christmas with them then.  It was also good for us to have a deadline of when some things had to be done on the house.  When they drove up the drive way there was lots of jumping up and down, excited kiddos!  (and maybe adults, too!)
 After showing them around and eating dinner together, we decided to have a bonfire.  We roasted yummy marshmallows, had a great Bible challenge from Joshua, and sang some songs.  So much fun!

 Then, it was time to exchange gifts.  Can you tell Silas is developing his new smile for the camera?  I love it!

 Micah was pretty excited about his life size teddy bear from Grandma and Grandpa!

 The next morning Mam-maw gave the gifts she bought for her great grandchildren.  They loved everything!

 4 generations

 Then, my Dad started putting together gifts so we could all play outside.

 The little ones loved their scooters!

 We had fun spotting deer in the yard, then checking out their prints.

So, quickly their visit was over, but we loved every minute and are already planning their return!!

As tradition holds, Mom had a special message for us to find after she left.  Miss you guys already!!