Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meeting the Kiddos

Yesterday I felt the Father's tears well up within me. He gave our little family the beautiful opportunity to glimpse why He so tenderly cares for the orphaned child. In December we will be hosting a sibling group of kiddos from a Country nestled in South America. We have been eagerly anticipating this for months now! And last night, after months of talking about the kids and praying many prayers for them, we finally met them on Skype!:)

Oh my, thankfully, Mike started the welcomed conversation, cause I don't think I could have said much! As we waved, laughed and smiled from so far apart, and everyone excitedly saying "Hola!! Hi!!" it was just all so touching an experience!! (Today, I realized that I don't think those first initial few moments did any of us even think about our difference in languages!) Our Heavenly Father is so GOOD!!!

 Our son Michael said it seems so much more real now. We really believe God chose the kiddos that would spend 3 weeks in in our home. Earlier we received their names, then their pictures, and now we heard their childish voices- and it was absolutely one of the best and most touching and most beautiful things, I personally have ever witnessed and experienced!!

I am blessed that our kids get the opportunity to connect with God's precious children, and to feel the Father's impacting heartbeat at such a young and impressionable age! As our kids life story unfolds, they are definitely being impressed one way or another. I love the Webster's meaning of impressed;....stamp;imprint,. The dictionary meaning is focused on the mind, emotions and feelings. Now add the God stuff, such as His hidden place in our kid's heart. And through this sweet and blessed opportunity, our kid's heart, the literal bedrock of their soul, has been "impressed" or stamped and imprinted upon with what is of value to God.  It is a sacred and holy awesome thing! They have been touched by the strong influence of something spiritual...God's love for the orphaned child.

Our five sweet and energetic kids!!
And next week, Lord willing, the sweet and energetic Colombian kiddos,
will be gracing our little family with their presence!
We are in for a nosier and merrier Christmas!!! 

I am reminded again how, in reaching to these little ones, we are reaching with outstretched arms to our Heavenly Father. Hie precious Word declares that and I believe it!!

                 "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." 
                                                                      Matthew 18:5

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Autumn. Blessings. Memories

I just love how Thanksgiving is the time of year when the weather is refreshingly crisp (okay to those of you in the North it's more than crisp, huh?! But memories of colorfully fallen leaves are still fresh on your memories.:))  We love the warmth of a cozy fire and spiced apple candles and I can only imagine adding autumn's rich color just before Thanksgiving!!) In the South we are still only being teased by the occasional cool days and some of us are begging for more!:) This morning is a real kicker.windy and cold! Yay!!:) I love this time of year that causes me to reflect on all that I'm truly thankful for and to savor reflectively on all our blessings, all our growth, and all the stretching that God has allowed in our life to strengthen us and grow our roots deeper in Him!! I've listed some things I am thankful for to go with these pictures, but the truth is, this list could go on and on....!:)
Birthdays! I am thankful for birthdays! The kids childish
glee over their new gift and of course their birthday

I am thankful for banjo playing little boys! Cameron fills our house with music!!

Our future band!! Music is a regular guest and also a guest of honor in this house!!

Old fashioned apple pie! Yes, I am thankful for that!!;)

A hot cup of tea with my man! 

Gardens! Yes, I am thankful for our garden. We spend a lot of family time bantering
 with each other out there!
 And a lot of character building comes out of our gardening time!!

Blue Bell ice cream! I took this picture with Alaythia's denim and pink skirt that I was altering.
I loved how they matched! Just one of those small rewarding wonders in a stay at home mom's day!;)
So, I guess you could say in a nutshell, I am thankful for joy in  life's simple treasures!:)

I am thankful for time spent with our oldest son, Michael. :) He's now taller than his mommy!

Summer days and splashing in our pool!

Family tea time. 

Babies! I am thankful for every baby that God has graced
our home with! They have all added such richness to our lives!

I love little boys and how they notice stick guns on trails, rocks and stones
and sipping from fine china! They are definitely wondrous creations!

This past spring daddy and our eldest son were able to attend a conference
 in Colorado! Enriching time in the Word of our God! And such good fellowship!!!
We marvel at the Spiritual growth and maturity in our son's life as he chooses to embrace the truths
of God. We are so blessed by his life. 

Mother's Day!! My little family already delights in serving their mommy all year and I am
 so humbled by their love and devotion to me. It is a gift I never want to take for granted.
They also gifted me with this lovely Bosch coffee maker! 

Early mornings and coffee with my sweetheart Mike.
The quietness of the house as we visit and share from the Word.

My surprise trip by my Mike, for me to go to a woman's conference at the same campus that
he and Michael went to a month earlier! The spiritual refreshment was the sweetest experience and God stretched me so much! I wept a lot as I saw first hand the truths of our mighty and awesome God.  And I wept as I saw more clearly what is truly dearest to His heart. And that is the orphaned child. 

I am thankful for this sweet little princess. All of heaven spills forth from her spontaneous smiles and laughter....
which is often!!!

Men in Training! 
 As I gaze upon our sons and see them allowing God to tune
their hearts toward Him. Beautiful!!!
I am thankful for toys!!
And all the creative things that our children build and make and imagine in their play!!

The joy on our children's face as we delight in giving them things!!

I am thankful for all the things we do as a family!! This is homemade root beer time!
Their daddy does such a great job in keeping life interesting!!

Our date nights with our kids! I am verrry thankful for that!
This was sweet daddy and Alaythia's date.:)

Everything of "home" I'm so thankful  our kids like to quote, "Sweet Home Sweet Home"!
I agree!!!
Note: The little vase of flowers were given to Alaythia by her daddy on their daddy/daughter date night!
 She moves them all around our house! 

Our "words of blessing" little guy. 

I am thankful for our sweet baby!!

I love how our baby Branson just loves playing! It is the cutest thing how someone so
little loves his toys so much!!! He really does!

Our acreage.. Plenty of room to play and have camping and camp fires
 and gardens. We love living in the country! I am sooo thankful for that

Laundry flapping in the breeze as little kiddos run through it!  It was so adorable!

For every material blessing that really makes our life pleasant.

I am thankful that big bro will help make something "sweet ".

I love serving our little family and many, many times I really feel like I'm playing house!!;)

...for fresh purple basil and baskets!!

To have a good man to call mine...a good man to call our kid's daddy...a
 good man to lead us in the way of righteousness. Good to me means "everything
that is sweet and valuable".  This man's hobbies are truly "our family".  I am thankful for his unselfish Godly spirit. For the role model he is to all the boys we have been given the task to raise.  For the picture of Christ he is in our home! Thank you JESUS!!
I am thankful for the boys interest in music!!

I am thankful and honored to be Cameron's mommy! He is a kind  young man and I
 know God has good things in store for him because he loves Jesus!

...for all the adventures of little boys and trees!!

I am thankful that of all the people of the world God chose me to be my Mike's sweetheart and to mother this young flock.  He hand picked me to nurture them and add His fingerprints all over our home. And I have been the receiver of "joy" overflowing.. This past year Proverbs 31:31 stood out to me as never before. "Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."    My soul  relies upon the promise of  God that we can raise a generation of blessing. My heart's desire is:
 "our children walking in Truth".

May the Lord bless you as you seek in serving Him with
your whole heart!!! And as you ,by faith ,claim His precious promises!!!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"ReKindled Love"

   As I sat on my back porch this morning praying and thinking back over my life and just thanking God for His faithfulness and protection. I realized that when someone is lost on a path, how easy it is to accept the wrong hand reaching down to help. And how that could lead down a misguided path. For women, our longing to be loved and cherished very easily makes us  prey to our adversary, the devil, IF Jesus is not at the forefront of every decision we make. He needs to be at the core of everything. This applies whether single or married. The grass can look greener on either side of the fence we're on. As my husband and I faced storms in our marriage we found ourselves unequipped to conquer them. Both of us had been raised in "Christian" homes. Yet, we lacked the training we really needed. 
    I first encourage every single woman reading this, to invest your energy and everything you are, first in the Lord Jesus Christ before you begin an earthly relationship with a guy. If  Jesus is not the very focal point (the concentration of your heart , your life sharply defined by Him), pursue that. Pursue Him as the Lover of your soul. He longs for us to have such rich, deep, fellowship in Him that can't possibly be found in any human. God is eternal. His truth feeds our soul. He offers living water! As much as I love my Mike and he's a really sweet guy who serves the Lord and loves me unselfishly, but he couldn't possibly meet the inner longings of my soul for my Saviour. He blesses me in that longing, he helps me mature spiritually, he's one of my greatest inspirations and all of that and more, is so wonderful, but it really needs to begin with our pursuit of Christ first. 
    As a young gal, I was driven by a longing to know Christ more and believe me, dating before my life was completely defined in Christ, caused a great distraction and later I found myself married and very easy prey to the enemy as he warred for my soul and the destruction of my marriage.  For years everyone thought our marriage was great and we occasionally found others asking for our secret to our wonderful marriage. And we were hurting...and angry, and didn't know where to turn.  But there was Someone who saw our tears when no one else did... Had we pursued HIM we wouldn't have been in the mess we were in! 
    A friend gave me the book, "Fascinating Womanhood" by Helen Andelin. And God used that book to minister and change my life!!!  When I started the book, I read it with a very selfish heart. My heart was intent on changing Mike! But something was happening.... First I was selfish. Then angry. Then, as the scales began to fall off my eyes, I literally felt compassion (or perhaps that's what a mature Christian would have called it.)  in the state I was in, I felt sorry for my Mike. And as I saw distinctively my imperfections, I was actually now glad my Mike wasn't perfect. Before, his imperfections ate at me so bad that they were all I could see every time I gazed at him. Mike and I slowly began to change....looking back, I would describe that season of our life as, fragile and beautiful and so lovely. But yes, oh so fragile...we were taking baby steps forward....
      I will never forget, holding my breath one night at our dinner table, as I listened to this man excitedly telling me something he heard on the radio that day. He left the table to walk across the room to get his Bible to find the passage he heard...I sat with abated breath...I didn't want to ruin this hallmark moment...I had such a longing for Mike to truly lead our home and now he was...It's hard to believe we're  the same people, but it's a testimony of what God can really do in some one's life. Mike says that "By remembering where he came from is what keeps him focused on what God's did and doing". It's always a reminder to us of God's greatness. 
      Mike looks to our heavenly Father for the directions in how to lead our home. And God has also brought men of spiritual honor and strength up along side Mike to encourage and challenge him to greater depths. Oh, God is so good!!!!!! 
      Like most girls, growing up, I looked forward to falling in love and living happily ever after... And when our marriage started healing one of the things that was hard for me to accept was the reality that my dream did not unfold without any problems. I wanted to have always looked upon my earthly knight in shining Armour, as flawless. And I for sure wanted the world around me to think so too. So, it was a choice we had to make whether to let people think we've always had a beautiful marriage OR to testify what God did in our marriage so others can be helped also. I was sad about the fact we were just another percent of a bad marriage turned around. I wanted the fairy tale marriage story to be ours...What we experience is real and we relish the beauty of what we share...Anyone that knows me personally, knows how I love speaking of Jesus, my Mike and my little family. I live everyday in thankfulness of these blessings.  After we came through this season of our life, I was saddened by the fact of the precious years we lost, but as each year has slipped by ,we are tasting first hand how God miraculously restores. With every pressing in closer to God, our love for each other deepens at greater depth. I look forward to living happily ever after with my earthy prince, and I will speak from the beauty of a rescued soul. Thank You, Jesus!!
My best friend and sweetheart husband!