Saturday, February 26, 2022

Gimenez Family I love you Banquet!

I'm starting to have a new favorite holiday.  Each year our "I love you Banquet" gets sweeter and sweeter.  I just love it!  We draw names weeks before and try our hardest to keep it a secret.  That doesn't always go so good. :o)
Then, you create something for the person you draw.  You're not supposed to spend any money, but be creative.  I love how everyone is determined to do something the other person will really like. Liberty and Freedom were so excited as they came in and couldn't wait to give their gifts that they had made!

And I really love it that I get a group photo each year!  I'm so blessed to have each of my family members living close by for this season of life.  I am cherishing these sweet days!!

We always decorate the table with hearts, reds, pinks, chocolates and candies.  What could be better??

We decided to do a big turkey dinner.  Poor Brenna was sick for Thanksgiving and didn't get her fill of turkey.  So we were happy to recreate this special feast!

Then, it was time to give gifts.  Patrick drew Callie's name and made her this really cool picture frame.

I drew Patrick's name and gathered our prayer letters while we were missionaries from 2006-2018.  I put them into a book.  It's neat to read our family's story!

This year AJ drew Liberty and Brenna drew Freedom.  They created them cute little picnic baskets with picnic basket goodies.  I love their sweet joyful smiles!

 Josh drew Tabitha's name.  He wrote her a mushy letter. ;o)  Then, created an order for him to make a personalized prayer journal for her.  He made one for himself several months ago that is divided really neat and in a great way.  Then, he made one for Patrick for Christmas.  Now he's making one for Tabitha. Such a thoughtful gift!

Freedom drew my name and made me cute little canvas picture frames.  She was so excited to show me how she colored it!

Liberty drew Josh's name and made him a pencil holder.  So cute!!

Micah built and stained a shelf for Silas that will hold all his wood carvings.

Callie crocheted Brenna carseat blanket for BB. (Baby Blankenship. ;o)  Callie's crocheting is blossoming and I'm loving it!  It's put me in the crochet mood!
Tabitha made Beth some Paradise Cookies.  The local coffee shop makes them and we LOVE them!  Adore them!!  Tabitha found a mock recipe online and they are soooo yummy!  (So glad Beth let me sample one!)

Beth made Micah some chocolate chip reeses cookies.  Delicous!
And I somehow missed a picture of Silas giving AJ homemade licorice ice cream.  That stuff is so good!!!

What a great evening together to tell one another "I love you."  Those are words that are always sweet to hear!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Our love for revive womanhood

So how did you do in your assignment?  Did you find characteristics and attributes of Christ?  When we know WHO God is, our love for Him grows.  And when your love grows, your focus is placed where it should be.  I think we all need a focus shift, don't you agree?  That's why in our series, "To revive womanhood" I knew we needed to start with our love for Him.

I had fun creating a heart with some names and characteristics of the Lord.  He is so amazing!  Merciful, Almighty, My Friend.....How good He is!

 Now that we have a revival in our love for Him, our focus and priorities should be a little clearer.  When we keep that love in the right place, we can work on other areas in our life with the right perspective.  I'm excited to be posting soon on reviving our priorities, our diligence, our homes, our moments.....there are so many things!  I am loving how the Lord is working on my heart through this little series!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

You Hold The Key To My Heart

VSIBC hosted a wonderful Valentine's Banquet this year with the theme, "You hold the key to my heart."  We decided to rent the Woman's Club in High Springs.  The location worked out so perfect!

I had fun with the decorations and put keys in many places. (and chocolates, too.)

Gold and candlight make everything look romantic, doesn't it?

It was fun getting some couples pictures.  AJ and Brenna have been happily married for almost 5 months and their little family is growing.  I love seeing my girl so happy!

So thankful for my Valentine date! (and that I could wear the dress again that I bought for Brenna's wedding.  I bought it from Dainty Jewells and love it!)

We had a great crew of servers that did so good!!

Josh and Tabitha are such a cute couple and so happy!  I can't wait to meet little Patriot that is due to arrive in May!

We played a fun Newlywed game that always brings many laughs.

The food was amazing!

 We had Evangelist Terry Danford come to speak to the couples.  He spoke on communication and it was so good!

What a great evening we had with some amazing couples.  I love this time of year!!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Do I love Him?

Love.  What exactly is it?  It makes me think of chocolate taped to handwritten notes.  I think of red roses in pretty glass vases.  I think of hearts cut out of construction paper in red and pink.  It's dinner out together with candlelight and violins playing.  (Sigh)  Love is so special.

Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought it was a great place to start the series of "to revive womandhood"  If we really want our lives to be revived for Jesus, it starts with our love.  So I must ask, Do you love Jesus?

To answer that question, it might be a good idea to think about how love is shown.  Remember when you first knew you loved your hubby to be?  How did you show that love?  Remember when you first were married, and your whole goal in life was to love well the man God had given you?  How did you do that?
If you were like me you:
Thought about him.  Constantly.
You dreamed about when you could be together.
You thought of how you could make your time with him more sweeter.
You thought of ways to make him know he was important to you. 
You wrote notes, cooked meals, called and left sweet messages.
He was your priority.  He was your life.
You put him first and found it a joy to make him happy.
That's love.

So how about Jesus?
Using last week as a little thermometer....
Did you think about Him?
Did you dream about when you could spend time with just Him?
Did you do things for Him?
Was He your priority?  Your life?
Did you put Him first and find it a joy to make Him happy?

I know I need to love Him more.  This is an area that needs revival.  And it's amazing what love does.  When you love as you're supposed to, the Lord blesses in miraculous ways and things seem to fall into place better, priorities line up where they are supposed to, and the people in our lives are treated with the love they ought to have.  Love for Christ does that!

So then the question do I love Him more?
To know Him is to love Him.  The more we get to know Christ, the more we will love Him.

1 John 4:7, 8 says,"...for love is of God;  and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 
 He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love."

Did you catch that part?   "And knoweth God."   Do you know Him?  What is He like?  What are His attributes and characteristics?  When we truly know God, we fall in love with Him.
And that is revival.  I want my heart to be revived in the area of my love for Christ.

Here is how I will put feet to this, this week:

As I soak myself in His Word (God's love letter to me) I want to ask God to show Himself to me.   I will on purpose look for His attributes and characteristics.  I am going to post a paper on my desk where I can see it and be reminded of how amazing He is!  My love for Him needs to be revived.  That really is the beginning and foundation for our walk with Him.  When we love Him as we should, we will be the woman God has created for us to be.

And I think I just might put those characteristics and attributes on pink or red construction paper cut into the shape of a heart.  Because it is Valentine's Day.  And I do love Him!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

To revive womanhood

 I was about 15.  Our Pastor had announced a few weeks earlier that we were going to be getting a Youth Pastor.  He would be a man on full time staff of the church.  His job would be to connect with the teenagers, build the youth department and be a Godly role model for the young people of our church.  I was excited!  

When he arrived to our Sunday School class, he introduced himself.  Then, he aksed a question.  "What is revival?"  My hand shot up.  I was so excited to make an impression that I knew the answer.  I wanted him to think that I was spiritual and could be a leader in our youth group.  When he called on me I answered, "Revival is a one-week meeting where a visiting preacher comes and we go to church everynight to hear him."  (then I gave my best smile) I'm sure on the inside Pastor Shawn laughed.  He very nicely let me know that this is not revival.  What?  I had been in church all my life.  I was saved at 5.  I had even been to revival!  He then began to explain that revival takes place in the heart.  It means to become alive again.  Well.  I blew that one.  But, I did learn a valuable truth that day (other than the fact that I really didn't know it all), I learned that revival was something I not only needed, but it was something that I wanted.  

Fast forward 30 years.  Yikes!  Did I really type 30?!  For this year's theme at VSIBC my huband chose Revive the spirit/Revive the heart.  I love the theme!  Each month our church is working on a goal together that will point us to revival in our lives and our hearts.   But, it got me to thinking, "How about revival in the life of every woman!"  Womanhood is struggling. I've mentioned before on my blog that The greatest testimony you can have is to fulfil the role God created for you.   I'm pretty sure that if you are reading my blog, then you are probably like me and feel a need for a revival in womanhood.  I want to make things in my life, as a woman, alive and renewed and the way God would have them to be. 

As I thought about this, I began jotting down ideas of what should be revived in the life of a woman.  My list grew quite long!  But, I know it is things that I need to work on.  So, I thought I would start a little series and share them on here.  It's always good to have that accountability.  So, I'm looking forward to some revival in my life as a woman. Want to join me?

Monday, February 7, 2022

Joy in the midst of sorrow


It's amazing how God can give us such joy. Even in the midst of grief. Even in the midst of crying until you have no tears left. He somehow still gives Joy. I am thankful for that!

We heard that Mam-maw had passed away on Friday. Knowing that we had a two-day drive we left Saturday right after lunch. I'm thankful for my sweet mother-in-law cooking a huge turkey dinner for us to eat before we hit the road. We drove is several hours and made it all the way to Tennessee the first night. 

We woke up early the next morning to get a few hours in before it was time to stop for church. The kids had so much fun seeing the mountains to start to take shape and the beauty of Tennessee happened right before their eyes.

We were really excited to be able to stop at Clays Mill Baptist Church in Lexington Kentucky for church that morning. Brother Jeff Fugate is always such a blessing to listen to!

After church we started to see snow on the sides of the roads! My kids were really really excited. Silas really doesn't remember seeing snow even though he spent the first couple years of his life in Canada. Callie saw flurries fall when she went to Michigan with me a couple years ago. And Micah has never seen snow. So these Florida kids were quite excited! I was even bombarded at a rest stop with snowballs. They were so excited to have a snowball fight!

We arrived to my Mam-maw's house late Sunday night. There were so many cars in the driveway of family that had gathered there. My tears were definitely flowing by that time and I stood on the porch for a bit before I could go inside. As I went inside it was hard knowing that I was walking through the door and Mam-maw wouldn't be on the other side to greet me. I was thankful to have the hugs of my dad and sisters and especially my Mom. Sadness hurts. But having someone to cry with you that is feeling the same thing is such a beautiful, yet difficult part of grief. I needed my family and I'm so thankful we could all be together. 

The next morning my kiddos were up by 6:00 a.m. ready to go play out in the snow! I held them off until the 7 when the sun came up. Although barely.
About 10:00 we gathered with my sisters and cousins in went to a park in Ypsilanti. It was a great place for sledding!

We had so much fun! We shared the five sleds that we borrowed from other family members and went down the hills many many times!

It was fun to be with my older sisters and to show our kids how to sled. At least we tried to 😊

This Florida family was definitely out of their element! I forgot about how much work it takes just to get dressed to head out the door in the snow! Boots and socks and tights and gloves and scarves and hats! I was thankful my girls and I can still be modest and go sledding!

Even my amazing hubby went down some of the hills and had a great time together!

The day of the funeral was cold. The sun was shining as we all drove up to the church. It was hard to say goodbye to Mam-maw.  Something that made it slightly easier was looking across the rows of the church and seeing 10 other people that were struggling with the same thing. So thankful for time to see my cousins!  This is just a picture of my first cousins.  But, I saw many 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins, too. Mam-maw was such an amazing grandmother.  We are all going to miss her.  She left behind so many wonderful memories of time she spent with us.  She was the type of lady that would look you in the eye and you would know that were loved.  She also was so wise and taught us to much.   


I'm going to miss her, but I am so thankful for the hope of heaven. One day we will be reunited with loved ones that we have to said goodbye to on earth.  With Jesus as our Savior we have the hope of heaven and eternal life with Him.  It was no accident that the morning that Mam-maw passed away this was in my scheduled Bible reading.

"He will swallow up death in victory;  and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. " 

I am so thankful for a faithful God who will one day wipe my tears away.  I'm so thankful for time together with family to cry, to laugh, and to relive wonderful memories.  It was a hard week.  But, I can truly say, "God is so good."   

Sunday, February 6, 2022

In heaven now

 It's been quite a while since I've posted. A lot has happened. I received a call last Friday morning, January 28th. My Mam-maw had taken her last breath here on this Earth and was in heaven. I'm thankful that she was no longer in pain as the past little while she had been suffering quite a lot. But it's still hard. And I miss her so much. So this past week we traveled up to Michigan for her funeral and now we are back home.  The funeral was beautiful. Flowers were everywhere. Which was very fitting because my Mam-maw loved her flowers! So many people came and talked about what an impact she had on their life. She affected many people! She was always hospitable and loving to anyone around her. So thankful for my Godly heritage!