Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Answer to prayer and a dream fulfilled

Today God answered a huge prayer request that we have had for some time.  But, to tell you the answer I have to back up a few years to tell you how it all began....

When our Joshua was 10 years old, the Lord began to work on his heart about surrendering to preach.  While on deputation, at a meeting in Ohio, Joshua went forward and gave his life to preach the gospel.  So exciting!

 God gave him many opportunities to preach as a young kid.  He preached whenever he could and won  many preacher boys contests.  He dreamed of the days when he would serve and work in a church and be a staff member.  Would he be a Youth Director?  A Music Man?  The Pastor?  He didn't know.  He just wanted to work at church! 

The teen years came and he preached on.  He battled his calling some and looked into going into law and being a christian lawyer, but God directed him that that wasn't His will for his life.  He was to be a preacher.   And the dream grew.

Soon, our Joshua graduated high school.  It was time to look into college.  What a weepy time for a Momma!  He chose Golden State Baptist College because he knew that they trained preachers going into the ministry.  And the dream grew and grew. 

When God called our family to High Springs to plant VSIBC, Joshua battled coming home from college to help us here.  He loved college, but knew God wanted him work here in Florida.  So, he came home, and I honestly don't know what we would have done without him!

He looked for a job and found one at the hardware store in Fort White.  He really enjoyed working there, but his heart was for the ministry and to preach.  As the church has grown, his duties at VSIBC have grown as well.  He really is my husband's right hand man!  He leads congregational singing, leads the choir, is the youth director, preaches and leads in junior church...and so much more.  

His desire and dream to be "full time" in the ministry has grown.  But, being a new church plant, that just wasn't possible.  I remember the day the church was able to give my husband a full time salary.  It was a blessing!  We began as a church to pray that soon the church could take Joshua on full time as well.  We've prayed and prayed and prayed.  All the while Joshua worked hard at ACE Hardware.  He became the manager there and has met many, many people from our area.  The Lord has really used his job!

And we kept praying.  And Joshua's desire to be a full time staff member kept growing.

After much prayer, about 6 weeks ago the Lord showed VSIBC that it is now possible to take Joshua on as a full time staff member.  As a Momma, I shed tears of joy knowing that our Heavenly Father was not only answering the prayers of so many at Victory Springs, but also making my son's dreams come true.  We set the start date for December 1st.  Joshua gave a 6 week notice to the Hardware store.  The owner was thankful for such a long notice so that he could begin training a new manager.

This morning as I looked out the window, I saw my son drive off for the last time to his job at the hardware store.  God has answered his prayer, granted his desire, and fulfilled his dreams.
This Momma's heart is overflowing.  Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Pancake Buffet Ladies Fellowship

I love when the ladies of VSIBC get together.  When God put on our heart to plant a church in High Springs, I knew I wanted the ladies ministry to be special. I knew I wanted us to get together often.  I knew I wanted it to be an encouraging and uplifting time.  I knew I wanted it to not feel like the same type of meeting month to month that ladies felt obligated to go to...I wanted them to look forward to it! I knew I wanted it to be a time where we talk specifically about topics for ladies and to receive instruction from God's Word.  And I knew I wanted it to be fun: lots of laughing required! Ladies need that time together!
 This past meeting was all of the above!  We had such a great time together!  We decided to have a pancake buffet.  I had ladies sign up to bring all kinds of toppings and mix-ins for pancakes.  We had it all....strawberries, chocolate chips, nutella, peanut butter, banana, nuts, cheesecake, brownies, caramel, whipped cream, maple syrup...everything you could think of! 

Then, I had one of our amazing bakers make her homemade pancake batter.  We had 4 griddles hot and ready to go.  The ladies then grabbed a cup and filled it with the toppings or mix ins for their pancakes. 

Then, they went to the griddle and baked up their own pancake.  We had every flavor imaginable!! 

We cooked, and ate, and cooked and ate.  It was great!!

Once our tummies were incredibly full, we had some fun games.  I found this one, where you put unusual things about yourself on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl.  The object is to try and guess who wrote each paper.  I think we could have played this all night!  It was great!
 We also played this stacking game where you have to put candy corn between the cups and bowls.  Our ladies are quite competitive and are proud of their wins! :o)

But, my favorite time is when we open God's Word.  The people of VSIBC truly have a love and desire to learn as much as they can.  Something special is really happening here in High Springs!  I taught on Joy.  I'll share the lesson soon here on my blog. 

I'm so thankful for the Ladies God has called me to.  I love them dearly and blessed to be their Pastor's wife!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Roasting Micah's Pumpkin

A couple months ago, amidst my port troubles, the doctor put me on a weight lifting restriction of 5 lbs.  Not very much!  It made it necessary to have a grocery shopping buddy with me so they could lift the heavier things such as water bottles, meat or dog food.  On one of my trips to the store, Micah was my buddy.  He is always so helpful!  While shopping he spotted a huge pumpkin and wanted to buy it.  I didn't think it was such a good idea for a couple of reasons.  
1.  We don't carve jack-o-lanterns.  
2.  I couldn't lift it.

He explained that he was strong and could carry it.  And he also said he would love to learn how to roast a pumpkin to make fresh pumpkin pie.  Pretty neat ideas for a 7 year old!  I was up for the challenge! ;o)  So, we came home with a giant pumpkin.  It was so cute seeing him put it in the cart 
and help me carry it.  What a gentlemen!

This past week we finally got around to roasting our pumpkin.  I remember my Mom roasting pumpkin seeds and I loved them, so I knew we wanted to do that.  Micah and Callie had fun getting all the seeds out!

They loved the seeds!  So yummy!
Then, we roasted the huge chunks of pumpkin.  I know that a smaller pumpkin is supposed to yield better pumpkin for baking, but we went for it anyway.  After roasting it, I strained the liquid for several hours.  

Then, it was baking time!  I love using the Eagle Brand recipe for pumpkin pie.  So delicious!  Micah was an awesome helper and the pie was soooo amazing!  He's definitely started a new tradition around here!  And I'm excited to have about 10 bags of pumpkin ready to go in the freezer!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Peace....for my children, for my home

As I sat in the airport, eating my Denver Egg Bite and drinking my Coffee (extra cream and splenda), I looked at all the busy people around me.  Anyone else like to people watch?  People were hurrying from one gate to the next.  Most were on their phones scheduling appointments for the moment their plane would touch down.  I heard a contractor giving dimensions for a countertop.  I heard another man talking to his little boy, saying he had to hang up so he could begin a conference call. You could hear the regret in his voice.  He wanted to keep talking to his son.  Another lady was upset she forgot her makeup at home and wondered how she could go to her business meeting without it.

 There was lots of busyness around me.  And I get it.  I get that people are making a living for their families.  They are trying to use every available minute to get things done. I really do get it.  But there was so much busyness.  As I ate my yummy breakfast, I just watched.  Even though  I have a different sort of "busyness" in my life and my days look nothing like theirs, yet, I can be caught up in the "trying to get everything done" mode just like them.  I can be overwhelmed at the things forgotten, the specific measurements, and the meetings ahead.  They can overtake my days.

 And then, two verses stood out to me.  One is a verse I chose weeks ago to memorize.  Another was on my reading schedule for the day.  Perfect timing.

"Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." Proverbs 17:1

"And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD;  and great shall be the peace of thy children."  Isaiah 54:13

The comparison of what I saw in the airport and these verses is quite different.  Quietness or Busyness.  Sacrifices with Strife or Working Hard but with Peace.  A Home Filled with Lonely Days or Peace of thy Children.

It made me want to stop and ask some people in the airport.  Is it worth it?  Are you really working hard to provide for your family or is this a drive that supersedes them.  Is it too much?  Is your home full of sacrifices, but not enough moments together?  Not enough memories?  Not enough peace?
Do you have moments of "Being still and knowing He is God?"

Then, I thought of my life.  Yes, it's very different than the business woman.  But yet I can fall into the same trap.  I can put something on my agenda and it will supersede everything else... My home, my children, what God would have for me to do.  It's easy to get caught up in the moment. My home can be a place of  "Let's get stuff done and accomplished!"  But not, "Let's make memories and spend quality time with one another!"  I want my home to be filled with peace.  I want that....need that....for my children, my husband, myself.

So, how does that happen?

~I must hold my schedule, my moments, my days in the light of God's Word.  What would He have for me to do?  Day by Day, Moment by Moment.

~Take time to think.  A couple weeks ago I saw Silas sitting out on a stump in our yard.  I went outside and asked him what he was doing.  He said, "I'm just thinking."  "Mom, I think that's one of my favorite things to do, just sit and think."  And I thought, how cool is that!  I can learn so much from my 10 year old.  I want to take time to just sit and think on how good God has been to me.  Think about the beautiful creation around me that he made for us!  Think about so many wonderful blessings.  Quietness and time to just sit and think.  Sounds so peaceful!

~Look people in the eye.  I noticed that in the airport there wasn't a whole lot of eye contact.  People were so focused on the devices in their hands...phones, tablets, laptops...that was their focus. At home this can easily happen too.  We can be so focused on something else that we don't even look in the eyes of the people in our home.  Eye contact can convey so much love.

~Appreciate the small things.  One of my goals for 2019 was to "Stop and Smell the Peppermint"  Take time to enjoy things like the smell of your favorite candle.  The baby's adorable dimple when you make silly faces at her.  The reaction on your husband's face when you wink at him from across the room.  Looking an extra moment at the picture your daughter colored for you.  Stop.  Enjoy the little things, that one day will be a big thing and you'll wish you could live that moment again.

Peace for my children.  That's what I want.  I don't want a busy home.  I want a home full of wonderful memories!  I praise the Lord for giving me Scripture always right on time!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My trip comes to an end

 My last few days in Michigan were freezing! Like really freezing!
 Mam-maw amd I enjoyed staying in, watching the snow fall and drinking hot cocoa.

 And the snow kept falling!

Of course this Florida girl had to get out and experience the snow for a few moments. I shoveled, made a snow angel, and....
...gathered snow for some snow cream. It was delicious!!
All in all we had a total of 8 inches!

When I left for my super early flight it was 5 degrees! Wow that's cold! It was a great trip, but I'm missing my family like crazy! Thanks Mam-maw and Robin for a wonderful time!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Shopping in my Aunt's Closet

 When I was little we would visit Michigan in the summer. We would come for a couple weeks and see as much family as we could. It was always when the family reunion was, so I saw many many cousins, aunts and uncles. It was a time I looked forward to all year!

 It was also a couple weeks before school would start. My Aunt Robin would always bring me and my sisters back to her house. She would sit us down on the couch and one by one she would bring out outfit after outfit for each of us. She would buy so many wonderful things for us!

My Aunt Robin has always been so giving to us and has earned the nickname Mama Michigan to my sisters and me. When she brought me back to her house on this trip I sort of had an idea what was going to happen :-) This past summer all three sisters of my sisters were here for the reunion. Unfortunately I couldn't make it. But while they were here she had them shop in her closet. My Aunt Robin loves name brand purses. So she decided to let each of my sisters pick out whatever purse they wanted. So I was secretly hoping I would get the same joy!

Well I was right!She brought out every purse that she had even the one she was carrying. She said I could pick whichever one I wanted. The only stipulation was I had to always carry the matching wallet with a matching purse. What a wonderful stipulation!

 I have to say I was quite indecisive and went back and forth and back and forth. But finally decided on this gorgeous Michael Kors purse with matching wallet. I think I made a pretty good choice! This was so sweet of her! Love you Mama Michigan!

Enjoying the seasons in Michigan

 Enjoying a wonderful time here in Michigan! I think I came at the perfect time. The Fall colors are absolutely gorgeous!
 Mam-maw and Robin drove me around to some of the neighborhoods to show me some beautiful trees. Although they told me that if I would have come the week before I would have seen much more.
 Mam-maw always makes me feel so special. We laugh and talk and she tells me my visit has made her day!
 Going home to Mam-maw's always has so many memories! It makes me feel like a kid again.
 So when I left Florida it felt like summer. When I arrived I saw the Fall colors and when I woke up the next day it was a winter wonderland! God is so good to me!

 Every Thursday lots of my family meet for breakfast. It was great to see great aunts and uncles and many cousins.

  Mam-maw loves to cook for me while I'm in Michigan.
 Robin and I decided to take a quick road trip to Frankenmuth. We have so much fun together!

 It was so packed in all of Frankenmuth but especially at Bronners the Christmas store.

 Enjoying my time here in Michigan!