Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good Treasure

What if I were to tell you that in your backyard you have a buried treasure.  I give you a lengthy map and after much searching you find the big giant X.  You begin to dig.  Whew!  It's hard work!  You finally hear a thud as a your shovel hits the treasure chest.  Then, you have to figure out how to lift it up!  After getting your muscle-y husband to help you, you open the chest and find gold, jewels, diamonds....a very valuable treasure!  Wow!

I read today in Matthew 12:35, that our heart can hold a good treasure.  It started me thinking, "What about my heart?  Does it hold 'good treasure' ? I sure do want it to.

We can learn some things about treasure:

~It is something you must search and find.  How's your searching for good treasure going lately?  It does take effort to fill your heart with the right things.  It's the easy road to fill it with things that are not 'good' and excellent for us.  I want to determine to search out the scripture and find my treasure.  It's there waiting for me everyday!

~It is something to protect and guard.  I need to be careful with this treasure in my heart.  It's easy to get distracted with "doing" things for the Lord and not truly "being" with Him and spending time with Him.

~It is something very valuable and irreplaceable.  The world's "treasure" won't do.  It won't satisfy.  It won't give me joy.  I want to remember how valuable God's Word and the treasure of living for Him is.   I want to fill my heart with it!

 What about your heart?  Does is hold 'good' treasure?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

40 Days Until.....

...I am 40.  Yikes!  Did I really just type that?  Sure did.  40 has always seemed so oooooold to me.  Now that I'm nearing it, I'm not so sure.

So, I've almost lived 40 years of my life.  Looking back I've had an amazing journey so far!  God is so good!
But, I decided to look back and see what I wish I would've made a habit to better prepare me as I enter my ooooooooold age! ;o)  I figure I only have 40 days left to be in my 30s, I might as well set up some good habits to step forward into my 40s.  They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit.
So, I began praying.  "God, what would you like me to establish in my life before the big 4 0 ?  

I have my answer.  And I'm going to share it with you.  It may seem silly.  It may seem like a "duh" response, but it's what the Lord has laid on my heart and I'm going to go with it.
For the next 40 days I'm going to establish a new habit to.....

...get more active.  Now, I didn't say "busy"  because we are definitely that.  But, as I've battled being sick, and trying to fulfill the roles I wanted to, exercise has really taken a backseat.  I'm ready to get active again!

Here's the problem.  When?  What?  By myself?  Is that even possible?

As I considered the questions, I knew I needed to be active, but in a I'm-too-busy-to-fit-this-in attitude.  Let me explain.  I don't think I will ever be the type to get up early in the morning and run a few miles.  Early morning is my quiet time with the Lord.  I've come to depend on that time like never before.  I'm not giving that time up.  Mid morning?  No, school.  Kiddos naptime/rest time?  No.  As I fight Lyme, I need that rest time,too, so I have to be mindful of that.  Evening?  Not necessarily, that's when we're together as a family.

And when I realized that I don't need to squeeze anymore time away from my very important 7 (my family), it hit me.  Why not do this together??  Yes!  It will be great fun!

So, for the next 40 days I will be doing active things with my crew.  We may walk, we may hike, but we will be making memories together in this journey.  I'll post some of the fun along the way.  We are going to keep it fresh, exciting for all of us, and I just can't wait!
So thankful to do this with them!

And the 40 days starts now!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Bunny Bread Fun!

 My 3 little kiddos and I had a great time making a fun Easter snack.  I found the recipe from Taste of Home. They had fun making the different shapes to make a bunny.

 There is much excitement watching your creation bake!

 And it was a yummy hit! :o)

Victory Spring's One Year Anniversary

Last Sunday, Victory Springs Independent Baptist Church celebrated its One Year Anniversary!!

It was a wonderful day!  We had Dr. Bill Rice III open the service in prayer and then had our Pastor from Winkler Road Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Dr. Don Strange, preach the services for us. We had 92 in attendance!  I was so thankful for the wonderful support from our home church, Winkler Road, and family members that traveled up to be with us on this special day!

Our Youth Choir sang "What a Savior" and did such a great job!

At the end of the service, Pastor Strange had the people of VSIBC come forward and express their appreciation to Patrick as their Pastor and to me as their Pastor's Wife. What a sweet, special time that I will never forget.  I am so thankful for the precious people that God has called us to!  What sweet spirits they have!  There isn't anywhere else I would rather be!!

After services, we had Pulled Pork sandwiches from Sonny's BBQ with coleslaw and Baked Beans. Oh my!  It was good!

I love how our church works to serve the Lord together!

We also had a bounce house for the kids.  Of course, that was a hit!!
Callie is loving having her friends at VSIBC!  And loved having her cousin Chloe come for a visit!

Micah was glued to my Dad's side for the whole service.  He sure does love his Grandpa!

Another wonderful day here in High Springs, Florida!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Elisabeth's Graduation Ceremony

 Her day was finally here!  She had originally planned on having an informal graduation at home.  We began to make plans for an outdoor celebration, but as her day came closer, the weather outlook was worse and worse.  100% chance of rain at 3pm.  Her graduation was scheduled for 3pm!  So, Thursday we had to make the decision to have it at the church.  We worked at making it informal and fun, and it turned out really great!

 We had some fun games planned like "Are you smarter than a Homeschool Graduate?"  We also showed a slideshow.  It is so sad watching your baby girl grow up in less than 3 minutes!

 Then, she gave her speech.  It was so sweet as she thanked different people, then gave glory to the Lord for all He's done in her life.  God is going to keep using her!  I'm so thankful for her tender, servant's heart!

 Brother Nye brought the graduate's challenge and did such a great job.  What a blessing the Nyes are!

 Then, it was the official time for her diploma.  sniff sniff.

 She wanted to have her favorites.  So, we had a chocolate chip cookie cake, peach salsa and chips, chocolate covered strawberries, Root Beer and Peach Tea.  So yum!

 Her Memory Table

 So thankful for my sisters and their families that came all the way up here for Beth's Graduation.  That sure did mean a lot to her!

 Fun Cousin Time!


 So thankful for family and friends that were with us for Beth's special day!

Monday, March 21, 2016

She Graduated!

 It's official!  My baby girl has graduated from High School!

 So proud of my Beth.  What a diligent child she is!  She has worked so hard!

She has some ideas about what her future may hold and the things she believes the Lord would have her pursue.  For now, she will stay home with us, keep working and serving at VSIBC, keep learning and growing, and see what the Lord's will holds for her!

I'll post next of her Graduation Ceremony!  What a blessing it was!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Moment to Remember

It's been a super busy week (again)!  It's been fun preparing everything for Beth's graduation.  I've loved gathering photos and memories and reflecting.  We decided to re-inact some of the pictures I had taken of my Beth when she graduated from Kindergarten.  One of them is a picture of Beth all decked out in her cap and gown and Joshua kissing her on the cheek.

As I watched from the window, I saw Brenna, my budding photographer, posing Joshua who was all handsome in his suit ready for church tonight, and my beautiful Elisabeth in her bubble gum pink cap and gown.  They were all laughing and joking and taking silly pictures....and making a sweet memory for this Momma to remember.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy 18th My Beth

My sweet Elisabeth turned 18 today.  18!!  What a joy and blessing she is to our family.  She is such a wonderful example of humility and diligence.  She makes this Momma proud!
Happy Birthday Elisabeth!  Keep serving Jesus and pointing others to Him!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A New Doctor and many blessings

I mentioned not too long ago that we found a new doctor for me in the Gainesville area.  Finding a doctor who is literate with Lyme Disease is very difficult.  Finding one in your area is a miracle!  And that's just what God gave me.

I was quite nervous the day of my first appointment, but the moment I met Dr. Kaye, I felt relaxed and comfortable. She decide to run a few more labs and try a few new things.

After a couple of weeks the labs came back and her suspicions were confirmed, I have another bacteria that has taken home in my bloodstream as well as Lyme.  She found Tularemia.  And she thinks there may be two others, that I will be having more testing for those.

She began a treatment plan right away and said the only negative is the possible side effect of tendon rupture, but we will "keep our fingers crossed" and hope I don't get those.  We began to pray, but through God's plan, I began to have the dreaded side effect...tendon issues.  My ankle began to hurt.  I have never had ankle problems before, but my left ankle was pretty painful.  I called the doctor and it was determined that I had to stop this new antibiotic and try a different one.

I was quite devastated.  In my mind, I had to quit the medicine that would help me.  But, it's just like God to send me encouragement.  I cried with my sister on the phone, but then she said, "What if this is just the Lord moving this medicine out of the way because it won't help you, but now you're actually on to the right medicine.  If you had never had the tendon issues, you wouldn't be taking an all new antibiotic."  It's so true.  God knows what medicine I need to take.  My life is truly in His hands and that's the best place to be!

I'm so thankful for the people God has put in my life.  My sweet Dad that calls just to "check on me."  A wonderful Mom that cries with me and prays with me on the phone.  So many that call and tell me they are praying.  Sweet friends that bring our family meals.

And a wonderful husband that brings me a box of my favorite cookies.  So blessed I am!

So, for now, I have my ankle resting on a couple of pillows. My Callie is reading next to me, and Micah is playing sweetly by me.  Some kiddos are making dinner in the kitchen while singing together.  Lord, you have been so good to me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beautiful St Barths

 I am back from my quick trip with my Mother-in-Law, Denise, to St. Barths.  We were able to see and do so much in the short time that we were there.
We saw the beautiful island of St. Barths

 We tasted many yummy foods!

 My favorite breakfast!  French bread with Laughing Cow cheese and Gold coffee!!

 And, we saw many beautiful people!

 Please ignore my sunburn.  Obviously 3 hours in the sun, with mounds of sunblock applied frequently, is way too much for this girl!

 It truly was a wonderful trip with some opportunities to sow some seeds for the Lord.  I am praying He will bless those tracts and Bibles passed out. Georges and Mariane were so thoughtful and sweet to us and saw to our every need!  We really had a great time!!

I am also thankful for the time with Denise.  We laughed and giggled and grew closer than ever.  I truly am blessed to have her for my Mother-in-Law!

Being back on the island brought back so many memories.  I'm thankful I was able to go, see the sweet people again, and praise God for the time I was able to live there.  What an adventure!