Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Can Follow You!

     Starting this weekend, we will begin "pastoring" for a 2 month trial period about an hours drive from our house.  This has been a very prayerful step on every one's part.  It was first mentioned to us almost a year ago.  We never figured much would result.  We were happy where we were going to church and enjoyed being an active part of that work.  The young people there have been the heart of our lives.  Even tears come to my eyes as I think about that group that has us by the heart strings.  Then in August, our church had a terrific revival!  O my how the Lord blessed souls and changed lives!  It was spectacular!  God worked miracles in many situations.  From then on, we just felt like there was something more for us to do.  We've been praying and asking God for direction.  We never asked to pastor!  We just asked for His divine will.  Beginning in September, we started filling in and helping this other church out who were actively seeking God for a pastor.  We had no intentions on doing any more than just that - helping out and filling in few weekends here and there.  From the very first service, we have fallen in love with the saints there.  It just "felt right."  It felt like home, and we would look forward to returning each time.  Now we are here, starting to pastor and see how it goes.  Of course, there are those with their opinions...you know the one's we all encounter, the well-meaning prophets of Satan that are so close to their god they are always spreading their negative predictions behind your back in secret, yet it ends up being repeated to you openly.  It does hurt as those using their words to attack us always does, but in the end it only gives us strength to forge ahead knowing God is on our side and the devil just can't stand but to try to get in the way!  We are encouraged and looking above for our help!  We are excited as we know God is with us in this endeavor.  No, we don't know how things will go.  No, we have never done this before.  We don't know what situations we will face.  We don't know if it is God's will is for us to be there in May, June, July or even years after.  We are only certain now that it is God's will for us to give it our all for these 2 months and do this great work He has prepared.  Please pray for us and the church that whatever lies ahead, we will all know what His will is!  As one of the best song writers, Sarah Gentry penned the words, "I can follow you!  I don't have to know the way!  I can say a prayer...I can get on bended knees, I can hold to your hand, I can live by faith when I don't understand!"  Whereever God leads us is where we desire to be!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not Our Ordinary Valentine's

     A HUGE thank you to Papa Craig & Meme Pam for the great trip to West Virginia!  We love and appreciate all you do for us and especially thankful for ya'll taking us on the best vacations ever!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Road Trip! Destination: Mississippi

     We LOVE to travel together as a family!  Traveling is so much fun!  We love the mountains, the beach and anywhere in between.  Often we take the kids somewhere for their birthday instead of spending alot of money on parties and gifts that they don't need.        
     Recently this month we have traveled to Mississippi.  We were able to enjoy church services and time with friends.  We also enjoyed eating at Lambert's for the first time.  If you have never heard of it, google it and go!  It's "home of the throwed rolls."  It is country cooking at its finest! 


     Another delight of the trip was taking the kids to see the A Beka Academy in Pensacola, FL.  We enjoy learning through their DVD programs each year.  We were able to tour the actual facility and also bought some items from the bookstore to add to our homeschooling curriculum.  They were impressed with the realization that their classrooms, teachers, and students in the DVD are real.  I was impressed to find out that our family along with 40,000 plus other families use their curriculum to school from home each year.

     As far as trips go, up next we will be snow skiing in West Virginia and then planning to visit the Atlanta Aquarium for Marianna's 6th birthday.  We can't wait!  We are so excited!!!  Soon enough watermelon season will begin and home we shall settle in!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Family Vision

     Is there anything wrong with having a vision for your family?  Anything wrong with having real hopes and dreams?  I have my heart set in that direction.  I see us being real parents to teenagers with real situations.  I see God moving for us in ways we can't even imagine.  I have big dreams and aspirations for life.  Right now we are surrounded with the excitement of little ones, but I also see a sweet future in store over the horizon.   I envision large, fun filled family gatherings.  I want to "work while it's day," while they are still here at home to prepare for things ahead.
     As I've said before, I want our family to be very close.  I want us to be able to enjoy these easy, fast paced growing up times but also be able to embrace the real, normal questions of life ahead.  I want my kids to be able to have the confidence in us to talk to us and ask advice about anything.  There is a difference in truth and knowledge verses drawing your own conclusions.  I know this will not always happen, but I want to be there when others have let them down.  I want to encourage Godly friendships.  I want to lift them up and help them find strength.  I don't want to believe the lie that they are perfect.  Life hits real and hard at times.  Trying to figure out situations on your own is not the way I want to pave for them.  Ultimately, they will make their own decisions (and we probably won't like some of them), but I want them to go into circumstances without questioning right from wrong.  I want them to be equipped with scripture embedded in their hearts to face this world's challenges.  Our desire is, of course, for them to be saved and let Jesus guide them, but if they do not choose that good road, our prayer is that every heartbeat will be a reminder ringing in their ears of that true attainable peace, love, and happiness.
     Right now we have 4 children.  We surely don't want to rush things through, but time here is quickly passing.  Is it too early to pray for the future?  Is it too early to desire them to find Godly companions?  Is it too early to dream of their kids?  I have dreams of us being the greatest grandparents.  Our wish is to be able to help our children start their own separate lives but remain close.  I'd love to be able to one day afford the huge family vacations at our expense.  What better could our money be spent on than our children?  If that isn't possible, I still want to have the best sleepovers, pizza parties, baking sessions, crafts, relay games, forts/princess castles constructed from quilts, birthdays, holidays, meal times, and loud family celebrations on this side of eternity!  After all, it's not material things that really matter.  Investing time and energy into family is what they really long for.  I couldn't imagine having any other desire or mentality.  I do want to keep those goals as we head off into the unknown.
    Next time you think about the road that lies ahead or the fear of not knowing what the future will hold, I challenge you to embrace a family vision.  Your hopes may be tons different than mine, but whatever they are, dream happy dreams!  Own your own vision!  Lay claims on your heart's desire!  It won't even cost you a thing, and I will guarantee it will put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.