Friday, July 31, 2020

Praying for God to give friends.

My children grew up a little different than most kids.  Especially my older three.  When Josh was 9, Beth 8, and Brenna 6, we left for deputation to raise support to go to the mission field.  We traveled from church to church around our wonderful country.  We made so many memories together as a family.  Then, we went to language school.  We tried to learn french, and during that time of culture shock, we clung to one another as a family.  We needed each other, that's for sure!  Then, we left for the mission field.  We worked hard at starting a church there, but the ones who came to church didn't have children.  Not once did a child come to our services which was heartbreaking for all of us.

 Needless to say, our kids didn't have a whole lot of friends close by them.  Now, they did have lots of friends that they wrote to and had great penpals, but for the most part, we were each others best friends.  I think that's why we have such an amazing bond today.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago.  Brenna had graduated from High School and was starting online Bible College.  She knew the Lord was leading her to stay here and work in the ministry of VSIBC.  But, she still had a desire to have friends from Bible College.  She began to pray.  She asked God to give her friends that believed like she did and that she would have much in common with.  God quickly answered her prayers, and she has developed a circle of friends that she talks with daily through messages and videos.  She is so thankful for them!

 One of them she was finally able to meet last year when we went to the Ladies Conference that her church was hosting. (Peoples Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia)  Brenna had so much fun meeting Morgan and their friendship blossomed even more.

This summer Brenna decided to have Morgan come for a visit.  It was so much fun for all of us!  We laughed, talked, shopped, went tubing, enjoyed church together, was great for all of us, but especially Brenna who knew that God was answering her prayer.  Morgan is a God-given friend.

Let me give a little warning from one Momma to the next....My kiddos didn't always have close friends.  And that's okay.  There were times when they prayed for friends and God didn't always answer yes.  It was a wait answer.  I know that sometimes friends and their influences are not what God wants for our children.  For them to be friendly?  Yes.  But, God doesn't always provide those super close, confidant type friends for our children.  That's the times when, even though we are the parents, we need to be the ones that are close to our children.  Play with them.  Enjoy their company.  Make memories with them.  Not only that, teach them how to be a friend of the Lord.  Teach them to spend time with Him, to share their heart with Him, and to enjoy the things that He enjoys.  And when God does provide that special friend, they will be cherished.

So, it was a great week with Morgan.  We miss her already bunches and bunches and can't wait until she can come back again soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When Momma and Daddy are away

I have to say, I am loving having Joshua and Tabitha living so close!  It is my dream come true and I am just going to enjoy every moment.
This year, my hubby and Joshua decided that instead of teen camp, they would take our teens on a getaway.  They went white water rafting, played tons of games, listened to some great messages and just had a great time!
My part in the activity was to watch Liberty and Freedom for the 3 days they were gone.  So fun!!

I love caring for these little girls that call me Lolli.  It really does melt my heart!  Freedom is so sweet and cuddly.  Although now that she is walking she can be quite busy.  I am thankful that she still lets me snuggle with her and gives me sweet hugs.  She is an amazing sleeper!  When it's time for her nap, she is ready!  Such a sweet baby!

I told Liberty that we would bake cookies.  This girl has an amazing memory!! She made sure that I didn't forget!

We made snickerdoodles together.  I think these are one of my favorite kinds of cookies!

She had fun helping me roll them into balls then put them into powdered sugar.  Then, while I wasn't looking, she decided to smash them all like pancakes.  Oh well! They were still yummy!

And when you have cookies, you have to have a tea party!  I told Liberty that we are going to have hot tea.  She says "hot tea" so cute.  How adorable she is!

Silas, Callie and Micah love it when the girls come over.  They all play so well!  So thankful and blessed!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

One Month Left...

That's all we have.  Just one month left of summer.  Part of me is glad.  I know that sounds terrible.  I love summertime with my kiddos and the extra time spent on learning new things around the house.  I love time at the park and learning new skills.  I love days where we just do whatever.  But, this year, well...this year is 2020.  I don't think that needs any further explanation. :o)
But, while part of me is glad, the other part of me wants to soak up every minute left and enjoy it.  There's still so much to do!  We haven't been to the parks much.  It has been so hot!  And with my infusions now at every 3 weeks it's imperative that I don't sweat to bring on a migraine.  So, park time is on hold until the Fall.  So, what do we have left to do this summer?  I put together a little goal chart, so here we go!

Last Month of Summer Goals
Teach Callie how to sew a skirt from a pattern
Finish reading "The King's Daughter Is All Glorious Within"  and "Hands Free Mama"
Callie and Micah finish Piano Book One
Go Kayaking at least 3 more times
Finish Hiding Place with Family
Teach S,C, & M to sing harmony
Plan a Vacation or Staycation for the week before School
Swim in the pool plenty

So, there we go!  One month of memories. One month to soak in the sun and soak in the blessings that God has given me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Praying for the One

I'll admit it.  When Joshua first started seeking out Tabitha and began a relationship with her, it was (how shall I put it?) new territory for all of us.  It took prayer and wisdom navigating the days ahead.  Joshua knew after he first saw Tabitha that she was the one for him.  Things with their relationship seemed to flow naturally and when he proposed we all knew it was the Lord's will, for sure!  It was amazing, as a parent, to see God working in the life of your grown-up child.

Fast forward a couple of years to present day.  We now have Beth and Brenna.  Beth is 22 and Brenna is 21.  We are in NO WAY hoping they will move out and get married.  My husband often has tears when we think about that day.  But, we know that one day soon their Prince Charming will come along, sweep them off their feet, and they will be out of the house, too.  Just like Joshua.  We have raised our girls to be a wife and Momma that honors their husband and honors the Lord.  But, for now, I am enjoying having my girls that are also 2 of my closest friends, living in our home and sharing their days and times with us.  It is a treasure that I am cherishing.

I wrote not too long ago about the series that Brenna is doing on her blog about praying for your future husband.  She just finished it up and it is so good!  I am proud of her and the faith that she is showing as she waits for her future spouse.  She has learned a lot in the past few years, and God is doing a great work in her heart.  It's also amazing how that many young ladies have been reading her blog and have contacted her on what a blessing it is to them.  Girls needs to read things like what she is posting. As I've watched Christian teen girls and young adults, they seem to be lacking clear direction and Godly influences in their lives.  It seems like their faith is shaky and when a young man comes along and shows interest in them, they quickly give up their standards and compromise their beliefs so they can please him.  When instead they should be striving to please, Him, our Lord and Savior.  Patience seems to be lacking as I hear of more and more young people making mistakes in the 2nd most important decision they will ever make: whom they will marry.  (The first most important decision is to accept Christ as their Savior!) Brenna has a quote on her latest post. She says,
"Wait for God's best! You will never regret passing up a good guy for God's best guy."

So True!  Here is the series on "Praying for the One"  If you get a chance leave her a comment of encouragement, or share with a young adult.  I know it will be a blessing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Talking yourself into being positive

My girls and I have been enjoying doing a Bible Study together this summer.  Today the book taught on being a true light to the world.  We talked about how our light for Christ won't really shine if we are negative and complaining.  I told the girls that Christians that are looked up to are positive and find the "diamonds in the dust."  But, I also told them that people like that don't always necessarily feel that way.  Sometimes they voice their thankfulness and positive outlook whether they feel it or not.  Sometimes we just have to talk ourselves into it. 

Callie said that it was kind of like Liberty in the pool.  She really didn't want to get in.  She doesn't even like bathtime, so pooltime isn't her favorite.  But, it's important that she get over her fear of water and learn to swim.  When Joshua and Tabitha took the teens on a trip and we kept the girls, I told Liberty that we get to swim in the pool.  Yay!  I showed her my excitement and she tried to be excited, too.  When it was time to get in the pool I kept telling her how much fun we were going to have.  She had a very fake smile on her cute little face, and when I held out my hands for her to get in, she let me hold her.  As we were calmly walking around the pool, she said several times in the most non-excited voice, "Is fun.  Is fun."  She was definitely trying to talk herself into it!

That can be just the way we are.  Sometimes circumstances are tough.  You may have a day where things just don't flow the way they are supposed to.  It is those times that we shouldn't voice our complaints.  For the benefit of those around us and ourselves, we have to have a positive outlook.    It's amazing that when I focus on the blessing of a situation, whether I feel it or not, I start to believe it.  Try it!  It really works!

After a few minutes of "Is fun. Is fun."  Liberty did have fun.  She giggled and laughed, and talked herself into enjoying the blessings of being in a pool on a hot day with her family.  So, go ahead, the next time difficulties come, talk yourself into being happy and enjoying the blessings that God has for you!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Company comes!

I was so excited to have my sister and her precious family come for a visit!
This is my baby sister, Taylin....she is one of those people that is easy to talk to, tons of fun and brightens the room.  I don't know what I'd do without my baby sister!  Whenever I am with her or talk to her, we could have the most serious conversation, but by the end she always has me laughing and smiling.  Everyone needs a sister like that!

The kids were so happy to have some cousin time, too!!

After a yummy dinner of tacos, we decided to play the bowl game and Mafia.  It was so fun!

Even though it was a quick visit, we treasured every moment.  Can't wait until next time!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Kayaking for the first time

Not too long ago someone from our church gave us their 2 kayaks.  I have never been kayaking before,  just canoeing.  I was so excited because Brenna and I have wanted to be able to go kayaking for a long time!

The morning of her birthday we thought would be a great time to go!

We had so much fun!!  It was sunny and hot.  The water was flowing nicely on the Santa Fe, and we were enjoying floating, paddling, talking and laughing.

...that was the first five minutes!  From there on it rained and rained and rained.  We laughed so hard because that is just like us.  We plan an outing, but end up with an adventure instead.

 We paddled for an hour and a half in the rain until Patrick met us at our predetermined spot.  It really was fun and we are already planning our next outing already....or should I say adventure?

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A week of celebrations

The last week in June and the first part of July has always been a busy time for our family.  First off we have Joshua's birthday. 

My baby boy has definitely turned into a wonderful man that makes this Momma's heart proud.  The verse in 3 John 4 that says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."  is a scripture that has come alive while my children have turned into adults.  There is no greater joy than seeing one of my children live for the Lord with such a passion that causes others to stop and ponder and desire that same life! 

So for the weary, exhausted Momma reading this, don't give up.  Keep your standards high for the Lord no matter what others around you say.  Keep pointing those little ones to Christ even in the smallest of moments of your day.  And when you mess up (and you will) go to them humbly and ask for forgiveness.  Let your children see you are real.  Those times of exhaustion really do fade away as the Lord takes over and blesses.

Anyway, Joshua's birthday was great! Joshua and Tabitha actually took us out to dinner!! (It was Patrick's Father's Day gift.)  We had so much fun with them!  We tried a new restaurant that was super yummy!!  And being with the two of them is such a joy!

Then, the beginning of July is mine and my sweetie's anniversary.  We've been married 26 years!  Wow!  We enjoyed a night out of shopping and dinner.  We decided to go to Bahama Breeze when their appetizers are half off and had an appetizer dinner.  It was so good!!

In Alachua county we still have a mandate that masks are mandatory.  We spent way too much time on the scented melts aisle trying to sniff the melts.  We laughed way too hard and everyone around us probably thought we were strange.  But, time with my sweetie is always fun and memorable!  It was a great anniversary!

A few days after that, my Brenna turned 21.  Wow!  Can you believe it? When I started this blog she was just 7.  She has grown into a wonderful young lady.  I love the influence she has on younger girls.  They just seem drawn to her.  The series she has been doing on her blog about praying for her future spouse has brought lots of open doors for her to be a blessing to others.  She has counseled and helped several girls as a result of sharing her heart on her blog.  I'm so thankful for her sensitive spirit!  If you want to read up on that series you can find it here.

 Brenna had a wonderful day and we made many memories.  I'll have to post on those soon.  It's been a great time of celebrations around here.  Summer is in full swing and we are loving it!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Daddy Daughter Date

My sweet Beth decided that for Father's Day she would take her Dad out on a date.  She took him to Bahama Breeze for his favorite, a chocolate island.

 I love that my girls love their Dad and want to be with him.  The relationship they have is a joy to watch and we are enjoying this time with our 2 adult daughters.  We know it goes by all too fast and one day they will be dating their man and making memories with him.  The men that they choose to live their life with and serve the Lord with will get a real treasure in Beth and Brenna.  We sure do love them!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Sahara Dust?

Here we go poor Micah and his allergies!  We think it could have been all the Sahara dust floating in our area.  Regardless, my Micah is back on two inhalers and several meds.  We're trying to get this boy's asthma under control!  He did think it was pretty cool, though, that dust from Africa was in our air!  He said it's almost like we visited Africa!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Virtual VBS

Lots of new things for this year!  One of the things that is "missing" is the normal summer activities....camps, library programs, when we were invited to participate in a virtual VBS,  I knew my kiddos would love it!  And they have! They have  memory verses and Bible stories.  They even have an escape room where they are trying to figure out clues.  I'm so thankful for Heritage Baptist Church putting this on and inviting us!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

We did it! Time for milk!

It finally happened!  After having goats for many years, and hoping to be able to milk them, we finally have babies, and were finally able to milk our Momma goat.  It's definitely been a learning process for us with some interesting memories along the way.  But, we're starting to get it down and figuring this out.

This may sound crazy, but....we haven't exactly drank the milk.  I think it's just the thought.  We city folks really are trying, but it's going to take some work!  So, instead, we've made ice cream (so yum!!), cajeta (an amazing mexican caramel!), mozzarella (that did not work at all!), and fudge (didn't set properly, so we'll be trying again.)

It's been fun.  And productive.  I like that my kiddos are learning something new while having work they need to accomplish.  I love to see Silas show Patrick how much milk we get each day.  He's so proud!

Our next stop is making soap.  I think.

Meanwhile, the babies are growing.  Trixie's babies are on hay and grain now and slowly being weaned.  It's almost time to sell Finn and decide about our other doelings. 

They are so friendly and love attention.  I love to just watch them jump around and play!

Jenna's babies are really growing, too and are almost the size of Trixie's babies!  We decided to name them Jekyll, Hyde and Kanga.  Kanga is the female with the spots on her side.  So cute!

So that's the happenings around our little farm.  It sure is fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

I'll admit it...

I had just a few cookies for breakfast after Beth's graduation party.  Our ladies brought so many and they were so yummy!  Cookies, Coffee, my Bible and early morning are some of my favorite things!

Friday, July 3, 2020

You know you're a church secretary when....

...opening your graduation cards with your new letter opener sure does bring you joy!  Love my Beth and so proud of her!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

New Hymn for July ~ Solid Rock

 July...So glad you're here! 

  1. I was reading a blog the other day, and the blogger talked about how she couldn't wait for July 1st.  Let's admit it.  It's been a tough year.  We've had Covid and quarantine and many things in our country are in a turmoil.  With having to close church for a time, and then facing the unknowns of reopening....staying stocked up during quarantine, keeping everyone from church visited and contacted....I really could go on and on.  It's been tough.  But July 1st is the halfway mark of 2020!  We are halfway through!  

  2. The blogger talked about how she feels like this is the day for a fresh start.  Almost like New Year.  It's time to set goals and priorities and get things back in order.  I like that idea!  

  3. So, when I began thinking about which hymn to pick for the month, I thought about "The Solid Rock."  If we want the rest of this year, and the rest of our lives for that matter, to be productive, purposeful, and on track for the Lord, then we need our foundation to be right.  We need to be standing on The Solid Rock, Jesus Christ.  He is my hope! When things around me are difficult and unknown, Jesus is the one that never changes, and never gives up on me.  He is the one constant that we have in our lives!  This month I want to trust Him more.  I want to serve Him more.  I want to love Him more.  He is definitely worthy of all our praise!

My hope is built on nothing less
  1. Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

I have created a playlist if you would like to listen to this hymn that you can find here.

I will also be memorizing Luke 6:48 "He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock."

It really is going to be a great month. I'm looking forward to singing this hymn and remembering that Christ is my Solid Rock!