Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Sweet Callie

 It was about a year ago that my Callie Grace prayed a prayer to be saved.  It was so sweet and we were thankful for her tender heart.  We did wonder how much she understood and how much she was wanting to be like her big brother that just got saved.  We began to pray. We asked the Lord to show us evidence of her salvation, or work on her heart to see that she needed Him.

  Several months ago she started raising her hand in Junior Church and Sunday School saying that she wasn't sure she was saved.  When I would talk to her she would tell me she "just didn't know."  But then she would change the subject, so I knew I didn't need to press her.

 This morning in Sunday School, I taught on heaven.  One of the points I explained was that only people that have accepted Christ as their Savior are going there.  She looked concerned and raised her hand again that she didn't know.  But, still, she wasn't ready to talk.
 Tonight at church there was a big storm.  Lots and lots of rain, thunder, and lightening.  During one of our specials, I looked at Callie on the front row and she was crying.  Her upset face almost brought me to tears.  As soon as I was done singing the song "About the Cross", I brought her to the back and talked with her.  It was then and there that she knew she needed to get saved!

 She prayed the sweetest prayer to her Heavenly Father!  Of course I had lots of tears of joy!  She was so joyful!  After we hugged and cried, she asked, "But Momma, what if I forget?"  My sweet baby girl was so excited and wanted to remember!  I told her that having this crazy storm, and then crying on the front row, and then praying in the back of the church, just the two of us....she would remember.   So thankful for my baby girl!  So excited to be able to lead her to the Lord!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Am I a Legalist?

I've heard a term thrown around quite easily lately.  In fact, I was having a conversation with some Christian women and the term came up a bunch then, too   The problem is that it was used wrong. 

 I've noticed that when someone wants to talk about separation from the world and striving to live a holy life, then some will claim "Legalism!"  It is a very strong word. But what does it really mean?   It means that you are not trusting in Christ alone to save you.  It means that you are adding works to your faith so that you may have a home in heaven.  The dictionary says that legalism is defined as "the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works."

So, am I a Legalist?  Oh my, No!  I truly believe God's Word when it says, "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works," (Ephesians 3:8)  I also love the verse in Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith..."  Faith!!  I do not believe that I have to add anything to my faith to gain heaven. 

So, then, why do I do the things I do?  Why do I say the things I say?  Why do I listen to the things that I listen to?  Why do I raise my kiddos the way I do?  Why do I wear the things I wear?  It's quite simple. I'm not trying to earn my way to Heaven, I do them because of love and obedience.  I don't have to do any of those things to gain heaven.  I do, however, want to please my heavenly Father.  

When I disappoint Him, the Holy Spirit convicts and burdens my heart.  That's not a good feeling, that's for sure!  So, when I read in His Word the instructions for my life, I have a desire to do them and to follow them.  I've read of His many promises that I will have when I am obedient to His Word.  And those promises are things I want in my life! Proverbs says, "Blessed are they that keep my ways," Blessed is something that I want to be!

But, don't I have the "freedom" in Christ to do the things I want to do?  (Another term that is thrown around a lot lately)  Yes, I have that freedom to make my own choices.  But are they always the best choices?  Not always.  That's why God has given me clear instructions in His Word of the choices that He wants me to make.  And He wants to direct every area of my life from the things I watch to the way I dress.

So, the next time you hear that word "Legalism" thrown around, think about it's meaning and don't be someone who misuses that word.   Someone that is striving to please the Lord is not a Legalist.  I'm so thankful that we are saved by God's grace.  If we had to add our works to our salvation, I would never be good enough.  And I wouldn't have the peace of where I would spend eternity. God is so good to us!  I'm thankful that His Word gives us all the answers that I need to live a pleasing life for Him!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School Ladies Meeting

 We enjoyed our Kindred Hearts Ladies Fellowship meeting last week and my girls and I had so much fun planning and preparing!  We decided to go with the theme, "Back to School!"

 Since we've switched some thing up in the back of the church, we realized the only place to set up tables and have room was in the front.  It worked out great!  We took down the chairs, then set up tables with name tags and pencils for each person's "desk."  Then, we were so excited to find LOTS of classroom supplies at Dollar Tree.  We were able to decorate for the meeting for under $10!
We started off with some fun school games.  There was some good competition for the Spelling Bee and the Math Competition.

 Then, it was time for our lunch.  Beth and Brenna were Lunch Lady #1 and Lunch Lady #2, complete with hairnets and gloves!

 Of course our food was served on trays.

 Then, we played pictionary on chalkboards.  We have some creative ladies!

After the games we had a devotion using 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God."  We took apart the verse and answered Who, Why, When, Where, What and How.  We focused on the How and talked about different ways we can study God's Word.

We had a great time!  I am truly enjoying our ladies fellowships and getting to know some dear ladies.  We are so blessed!

 I am so blessed to have my Elisabeth and Brenna by my side.  They love planning with me and helping me shop and set up.  What great memories we are making together!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Is Everybody Okay?

After a great day at Paynes Prairie State Park, we began our trek home from Gainesville back to Fort White.  Some of the kiddos were getting sleepy and resting, some were already taking a good snooze.  I was driving along thinking about the great time we had and all the fun things we had for the Friday night ahead.  I stopped at a red light.  Then, I remember a huge bang and being thrown forward.  We were rear ended.

 I quickly turned around to find out if everyone was okay.  Praise God they were!  After checking everyone, Micah  then started to cry.  It was quite a scary moment!  I found my cell phone on the floor board and tried to call 911.  It took a moment because my phone was quite wet from the Coconut Water I had in the cup holder that was now on the ground.  I realized my shoes had flown off, and I couldn't find my glasses (they were later found in the back seat)  After calling 911, I called Patrick.  Help was on the way and within 3 minutes the police were there.

The driver must have been distracted, but other than a back ache, he was okay.  His truck was totaled and the insurance just pronounced our Expedition totalled as well.
We woke up with sore necks and chest.  It was quite an impact!
We praise God our family is safe!  We're thankful for our big vehicle that took the impact for us.
Thank you Lord!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Paynes Prairie State Park

 We are having a great time exploring the State Parks in our area.  There are a bunch!  We decided to try out Paynes Prairie State Park on the south side of Gainesville.
 First thing up was to climb to the top of the tower and look out over the prairie.  It was so beautiful!  We were so glad Karlie could come with us!  She was adventurous and ready to experience the whole park!

 Then, we heard the thunder and saw a storm rolling in.  Time to head down!

 As it started to rain, we decided it was the perfect time to eat our picnic lunch under a pavilion.

 We found this neat area and now my Beth and Brenna are dreaming of having a youth meeting here!  It would be perfect!

 Of course the playground was a big hit with my little ones!

 Then, it was time to head out on the hike into the prairie to see the alligators.  It was a mile and a half to the point, and a mile and half back.  Could my little ones do it?  Sure!  Do you see the gator?

 It was a beautiful path!!

 We saw lots of different kinds of birds.  They actually were the ones the scared us the most.  They would make these awful noises and we would all scream!

 The trail became narrow and we could see right next to us where the alligators can get on the trail.  A little creepy!

 Callie was in love with the flowers.

 You can't really see it in the picture, but we were able to see some wild horses in the distance.  It was beautiful!

 Then, another storm decided to come in and this Momma said it was time for us to head out!

Sweet sisters helped our little ones.  Their tiny legs were quite tired!

It was a great adventure!  We decided that we are going to fit "State Park Adventures" into our school schedule somehow!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blessed by her summer project!

At the end of the school year I decided to encourage my Beth to start learning couponing. I had a sweet friend come over and explain some of the tips of doing well with it.  Beth was quite interested! I told her that this could be her summer project.  We gave her $100 a month to start with instructions that she could buy anything that she feels is a good deal and could be used in our home.
She has taken off with it and has been such a blessing!  We've increased her monthly budget because she has saved us so much already!  She has quite a stash going.  At the end of the month sometimes the pantry is a little bare and we are coming up with creative ideas for the last meal of the month.  Well, last month was different....our pantry was pretty full!
Here are a few things she's found helpful for her couponing adventures:

~Have a box that you won't mind carrying in the store with you.  Beth's box was found at Office Max and has cute little file dividers in it.  She keeps all her cut coupons in there and has it ready at a moment.

~She has a separate mini folder she brings into the store with all the coupons she knows she will for sure be using that day.

~When cutting coupons it's easier to group all the papers together (like the Red Plum or Smart Source) and cut them all at once.  She buys 2-4 papers and cuts them all with a quick snip.  It really doesn't take too long.

~There are many ways to save.  But, the mostly used are: Sales at the store, Manufacture Coupons, and Store Coupons.  Beth's goal is to only buy when at least two of those ways to save can be used on one item.  She loves it when she can do all 3!  Last week Sharpie Markers were on sale at Publix.  She also had a Publix coupon for them and a manufacturer coupon....she saved big!

~She's finding her best deals at Publix, Winn Dixie and CVS.
Thankful for my girl and her sweet spirit to learn something that will help her in the future as she "prepares herself for him!"

a day in the life of a missionary wife

I'm linking up with the Modest Mom Blog today!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A New Nursery

Lots and lots of things happening around here.  Our summer started with lots of things to renovations to the church!  We ran into a great problem....our auditorium is quite packed on Sunday mornings!  yay!  So, after some brainstorming from Patrick and the men, they decided to build a new nursery in the back garage so that the walls could come down in the auditorium.

 They started working right away.  It was so great to have men come and work at the church.  What a blessing!
 Brenna learned how to mud walls in the process.

 And Beth learned how to lay flooring.  I love the look of these vinyl planking that we chose!

 Our sweet helpers/supervisors!

 We decided to paint the walls a light beigey color and the ceiling a sky blue.  I had Patrick paint on some clouds to the ceiling, too!  I love how the coloring turned out!!

 Then, the girls and I decided to try some Pinterest projects for decorations.  We had a great time making these Kites and Hot Air Balloons!

 Then, we had a work day where the ladies came and cleaned and helped set up the nursery.  I love how it turned out!!

 So colorful, inviting and clean!

 My sweet kiddos love it, that's for sure!!

 The next step was to tackle the was our high day last week of 41!  God sure is blessing!