Friday, September 30, 2022

An Amazing Missions Conference

I love Missions Conference time! As my husband puts it, it's the time where our church decides the fate of the world. Will we go and reach them? Will we give to reach them? It's our duty as Christians to have a part in worldwide missions!

We have the benefit to have been on both sides of this: we have went and we have stayed and given. Before  our missions conference we always recall back to our missions days and what conferences were successful and what made them that way. My husband also always likes to change things up as a Pastor. He doesn't want us to get in a rut! So you will never find two conferences exactly the same. This year we were so excited to have the president of Macedonia World Baptist Missions, and our dear friend, Dr Scott Caudill to preach the conference for us. We were also able to have Elisabeth and Brenna's College friends that are missionaries to the Dominican Republic, the Polanco family to be our missionaries for the week. We love these families and enjoyed our time together with them!

I was so thankful that by the end of the conference Brenna felt up to coming! A miracle for sure!

 I had the privilege of taking the ladies out shopping. I remember on deputation being taken out to lunch and shopping and it was such a blessing to me! But I can honestly say it is more blessed to give than to receive! We had so much fun!

 I love missions conference time and our church was able to commit much for the coming year for the cause of Christ! We were able to raise all of our missionary support, begin a new emergency fund that my husband is calling the Barnabas Relief Fund, and also take on the Polanco family! God is so good! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

We need a new place

 I mentioned in my last post that we are needing prayer once again.  As you may know, our church, VSIBC, has been in the building process for quite some time.  It's so exciting!  Things are moving along pretty slowly, but they are moving!  We have the land cleared and the retention areas dug and seeded and sodded.  We also have the temporary power pole that was just put up.  

But, we just got word that we have 60 days to be out of our current rental location. Yikes!  We rent our current building and the owner has sold it.  So, we are in desperate need for a new place for our church to meet.  We've looked and looked and inquired and inquired, and so far that place for us hasn't opened up.  

Would you be able to take time to pray that we would find the right place?  We would love a place to rent where we would have room to grow.  Exciting things are happening at VSIBC and, honestly, I can't wait to see what God is going to do!!

Monday, September 26, 2022

Prayers in many places

Thank you.  It seems so simple to say.  I've said it before on here many times.  But, once again, thank you.  Thank you for praying for my girl.  Literally people all over the world have stopped to pray for my Brenna and we are so very grateful!
We have heard similar stories of symptoms exactly like Brenna's, but the Mommas in those 3 stories didn't make it.  Life is so very fragile. I'm so glad Brenna is still here with us.
Brenna is doing very well.  Her blood pressure is being monitored closely and she's on medication, but she is doing so good!  I am so thankful!  Asa is doing well and is such a good baby.  I love baby snuggles!
So incredibly grateful for another sunrise.  I told my Mom that I don't normally say this, but I am glad this week is over.  We are on to many more thing happening around here, and since I know my friends can pray, I have a couple more requests coming....but that is for another post. :o)


Friday, September 23, 2022

Things can change in an instant. So thankful for the prayers of God's people

 I feel like I can breath again.  We had one of those moments in our family, that took our breath away, yet we knew God was guiding and directing.  His peace in times of uncertainty is a treasure to me.  

It started early Monday morning with a text from AJ asking if I could come check on Brenna.  He said she was very confused and disoriented and just didn't seem right.  After that it was a whirlwind.  I thought the best way to explain it would be to copy the facebook updates Patrick was giving.  It was amazing to watch God's people all over the world pray for my daughter.

His first update:Prayer Request:. Brenna was being taken to the emergency room this morning at about 7:30 because she became delirious, confused and not sure even how to get out of bed. But on the way to the emergency room she began to throw up and then started getting unresponsive. They're trying to get her to the nearest fire department for some EMT help right now. Would appreciate any in all prayers at this time for Brenna AJ and little baby Asa.

(This was scary. When I got to their home, AJ and decided she needed immediate medical care. I followed AJ in my car for him to take her to the hospital, then when he pulled over we knew we needed to get her to the ambulance. I'm so thankful a fire department was close by.)

A short time later he posted this update:

Brenna update:.

She is in an ambulance now heading to Shands. She could not answer the EMT's as to what day or year it was nor could she tell them who the president was. Her left hand was getting numb. We'll know more when she gets checked out at the ER. Thanks for praying!

(At this point in the ambulance she couldn't remember Asa's name, and when she got to the hospital she didn't even know she had a baby)

Then a few hours later was this update:
Update on Brenna:
She's been transferred to a room. She has eclampsia and might have had a seizure. They have medication going in her now and are trying to get her blood pressure down which is really high. She is still really confused and semi-alert. She is swollen too the point that her eyes are barely open. But she is stable for now. Thanks for the multitude of prayers!

The next was this one:
Brenna update:.
Thank you everyone for your prayers. The doctors at Shands and the nurses are awesome. They immediately took care of Brenna and have confirmed that she does have eclampsia and did have a seizure. We think the seizure was on the ambulance ride to the hospital. They thought maybe a possible stroke but not confirmed. She's gaining a little bit of her memory back and is on an upward trend. Her blood pressure is slowly making its way back down. We praise the Lord that God protected her life and are so thankful for the numerous amount of prayers that went up on her behalf.

Then was this one:
So overwhelmed, grateful and incredibly blessed to have so many friends and family praying for Brenna. God has had His hand on her all day without a doubt. She has improved much since this morning. Her blood pressure is still high, but they are working to get it down. Her confusion has started to subside, although she doesn't remember most of today. They plan to keep her for 2 days at least.
Asa is doing fabulous and has been content all day. The hospital and nurses have been very supportive for her to have the baby with her. AJ has been amazing as well. We are so thankful God gave our girl a man that absolutely adores her. He has taken care of her constantly.
To say thank you seems such a simple thing to say for how thankful we are for everyone lifting up her name to the throne of God. But, nonetheless, I want to say a very heartfelt, "Thank you" I love each of you so much.

The next day was this one: Brenna is doing better today. PTL! Her headache has decreased and her blood pressure has lowered some. She still is pretty swollen. Thank you again for all of the prayers

And the next day was this one
Our Brenna is home from the hospital! Thank you so much for the prayers for her. We are so grateful! She is on the mend and has a great team of Doctors that cared for her. Impressed with Shands once again. ☺️
God is so good!!

Whew! What a week! It was scary for sure, but I am so thankful for God's hand on this situation. From guiding the EMT to know how serious this was, to giving each doctor wisdom....I am just so thankful for it all.
My Brenna could still use your prayers for the days ahead. She still has some memory loss and will be on seizure protocol for at least 6 months, but she is home. She is good. Praise God.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Asa is here!!

He's here! And Lollipops is so in love!
Sunday morning Brenna called to let us know she's starting to have contractions. We were so excited she decided to go ahead and come to church rather than sit at home in time contractions. She even played the piano but I could tell every so often she would close her eyes and she would have a contraction. After church she went home, had a bite to eat, and tried to rest but contractions really picked up. By 3:00 they were coming 4 minutes apart and lasting almost a minute long. So I made my way over there ☺️ So glad I could be there!

Contractions were pretty intense and n starting to come on top of each other. When the Midwife arrived I was ready for her to be there that's for sure! Her Midwife is very calm and reassuring and exactly what Brenna needed. I was so thankful I could be there to help encourage Brenna along but the main encouragement to her was AJ. It was amazing to see the two of them together and the love that they have for each other. 
Even though everything was pretty intense everything went very smoothly and Asa Carl arrived at 10:31. He's a healthy 8 lb 2 oz and 20 inches long.

God is so very good!
More pics to come for sure!


Sunday, September 11, 2022

I think....

I think today is a good day for the baby to come, don't you? ☺️ I will be posting soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Florida Museum of Natural History Field Trip

My kids love field trips.  And I love it when they come across things that they have been learning and it sort of cements it in their heads.  We found some of that at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Micah, especially, loved seeing the different dinosaur artifacts.  His Paleontology class is bringing dinosaurs alive for him, so he was thrilled to see the skeletons....until he read the description.  He was shocked at how much isn't true and how much is presented as fact.  It's so sad to see that evolution isn't being taught for what it is, a theory.  It takes even more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation.  Yet, it is presented to our children as factual.  It goes completely against the Bible and the fact that God made us.  It was good for Micah, and me, to go through the Museum with this on our hearts.  Instead of looking at everything through the belief system of evolution, we chose to look at it through the Bible.  As Micah shared what he's been learning, he taught me so much!  As we looked at all the artifacts, I found myself singing, "God made it all!!"  How can you look at the awesomeness and particulars of each animal, whether extinct or still alive today, and not believe that we have an awesome Creator God!  He's so amazing!!

We had fun in the area for kids to explore.  They created fish and looked under huge microscopes. They played games teaching them about Archaeology.

 We had an amazing day.  And a wonderful bonus of meeting up with other homeschoolers?? ...Times for Mommas to sit and chat and relax!  I think I need these field trips just as much as they do!

Monday, September 5, 2022

Happy 1st Week of School!

We had a wonderful first day and week of school! (Have I mentioned how excited I am for school this year?? :o)   )

We started off our morning with what we are calling our "Genesis Moment"  This is where we meet all together at the table.  We start off praying that God will bless our day and help us to be productive and focused.  I love praying with my children.

Then I've decided I want us to take a hymn a month and sing it together.  I love the old hymns.  They are so rich in wisdom, Godly living, great vocabulary and they are just deep.  This month we are doing "Come Thou Fount."  We've had fun picking apart the hard parts and learning what the hymn writer was trying to bring to light.  I love the stories behind why hymns are written too, so I've been sharing those.

We then quote Scripture together.  I want us to memorize passages together.  We're starting off memorizing James 1:17-27.  I've had fun incorporating some tools and games I used when teaching Sunday School to help us memorize.  

Then, we may discuss the verse more or I give them an assignment, such as writing the verse down, saying it loud outside, or calling someone to tell them about it.

My plan is to also incorporate a little read aloud time.  I've had fun reading them small bits of missionary stories.

I am loving our "Genesis Moment!!"

Callie is my 7th grader.  She is super diligent in her studies.  She loves to learn!!   She has handwriting that looks like it was printed from a computer.  It really is perfect!  She is loving her new reading curriculum, and honestly wants to work through the book faster.  She truly loves school....the pencils and markers, the books and how they smell, the studying and creating posters of what she's learning. She created a poster on the different stages of archaeology.  She is so artistic and creative!  She's amazing!

Silas is my 8th grader.  Can next year really be high school?? sniff sniff.  He is super intelligent and reminds me so much of my Josh.  He is very quick to get things done and is motivated by checking things off his list. I'm realizing I probably need to increase his workload, he's getting it done too quick!  He is loving science this year and learning about Applied Engineering.  He also loves hearing and reading about preachers of old.  He recently borrowed Josh's book called, "The 10 largest Sunday Schools."  It was written in the 70s.  He read that book so fast and picked apart all the whys, dos, and don'ts of growing a Sunday School ministry.  I'm trying to incorporate lots of learning this year with what sparks their interest.  When I realized he was devouring that book I decided to run with it.  I had him create a list of pros and cons comparing the different methods of Sunday School growth.  It turned into a pretty neat paper that I wasn't even planning for him to do originally.  That is why I am loving how we are doing school this year!  And then, when all the "school learning" is done for Silas, you can find him with his football in hand running here and there through our yard.  He's a pretty cool kid!

Micah is my 5th grader.  He really learns differently than all my other kids.  He announced to Silas and Callie last night, "I'm just not into books like you guys are! I like the stories, but not really the pages."  And I've found that to be somewhat true for him.  He was very impressed with the size of his Language book this year.  He's a good student that has lots of good input, but he's definitely more hands on.  He is LOVING his Science class on Paleontology this year!! So when he was telling me all about how long the T Rex was he asked if he could measure it out.  He's my tools kid and loves the chance to dig in his or his Dad's toolbox, so he ran to get the measuring tape.  We realized T Rex would have been longer than our living room and couldn't even fit in the picture!  So we ran outside to see if we could fit it all in the picture.  He was super excited about science, tools, measurements and we breathed some fresh air...have I mentioned that I am loving schooling my children?? :o)  He's an awesome kid that is so interesting to be with.  I love his wealth of knowledge of things he's learning.

 We've had an amazing start to our school year.  Looking at the pictures gives me a feeling of bliss.  It's hardwork that's for sure, but so worth it. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Mam-maw's Bowl

"Lolli, can I use Mam-maw's bowl for my fruit?"  I guess that question took me by surprise.  It's been 7 months since my Mam-maw took her last breath here on earth and went to heaven.  It's so strange, but in someways it feels like she's been gone so long.  Yet in others, it seems like it was only yesterday.  It seems like she should still be here.  I easily forget she's gone (or maybe I'm really choosing to...) but a couple of times I've found myself go to pick up the phone to call her and tell her something.  Big things.  Little things.  Chatty and Newsy things.  But, I can no longer do that.  

We find ourselves talking about her more and more.  I've been making more of her recipes and they are always a hit.  When someone says they love it, I love saying that it was Mam-maw's recipe.  They smile, and so do I.  We all miss her.

So when I was dishing up Liberty's fruit and she asked for her bowl, I was so thankful.  I was thankful that even though my grandbaby didn't know Mam-maw like I did, she can still know who she is and how wonderful she was.

I can teach her that Mam-maw loved pretty things.  Like this bowl that I have from her.  I can teach her that Mam-maw was a homemaker.  From cooking, baking, sewing, cleaning, doctoring Mam-maw was an expert.  I can teach my grandchildren that Mam-maw loved the Lord.  I can still hear her praying, "Lord, help me to always do right."  And now I pray that everyday as well.  

And that is a legacy that lives on.  Psalms 78:4 says, We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

The generation to come needs to know, and it's my duty to pass that on.