"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

November 28, 2017

Remembering and celebrating

Last Saturday was THE day.
The anniversary of the day that my hubby went to be with the Lord.
I think all of us thought about it, the moment we entered the month of November. And it was just kind of weighing in the back of our minds for weeks until it came.
The kids weren't up for commemorating the day together in any way, so we all did it on our own and in our own ways. It was a heavy-hearted couple of weeks for all.
But we try to bounce back fast for Joy's birthday a few days later and we always have a great time.
Her wonderful brothers and friends made her wish to once again have a trampoline in our backyard, come true! Even though it took them four hours to assemble it! LOL
Some lovely people didn't want to pass up the opportunity to celebrate her, so she had several celebrations! And if you know her, then I'm sure you'd want to celebrate her too. ❤️

Then Thanksgiving came! The holidays are way easier than they used to be. We've all kind of come to grips with the fact that they will never be the same and we don't put quite so much emphasis on how we spend them as long as we are with family.
We sure missed Aunt Jenny who couldn't make it here this year. She has saved the day and blessed us for the past two Thanksgivings!
Joy, Tiffany and I had fun sleeping in since we weren't hosting it at our house this year. (most relaxing Thanksgiving I've ever had) and then we all cooked our assigned dishes and then we all went to enjoy the evening with Tiffany's family and a bunch of our friends. It was really was a great day.

The day after Thanksgiving is when Christmas starts at our house. Joy stepped in to be by my date for the annual breakfast/Christmas tree shopping fun. Did anyone else think the trees are shorter this year? LOL

On Saturday, she invited me to hang out with her, quite literally, in an Eno between two trees. LOL How fun are hammocks? Especially cute, little, portable ones that set up in less than five minutes when you live close to the water and it is lined with palm trees growing all in a row for you to use! What fun!

It is officially the Christmas season now and I'm soooo glad! Who doesn't love this time of year?
I hope you can see the goodness of God in it and rejoice.


November 20, 2017

This and that

Joy recently found out that most recipients of blood donations are cancer patients going through chemo and needing transfusions. And she decided she wanted to give back! Her dad received several blood transfusions during his fight. And it was literally like watching someone come back to life after wards. What a blessing. Proud of this girl! 
And how cute is that band-aid?! 

I went to the beach one last time before it gets too chilly to read the newest Mitford novel. Love Jan Karon! 

Six months or so ago, Joy and her friends decided they wanted to save up to go on a cruise for their 21st birthdays. And that very night, we moms of these sweet girls, decided we'd go too because sometimes motherhood requires sacrifice! LOL
 (but mostly because there was no way we were letting them go alone!) : )
A few minutes later one of them found us a GREAT deal and that is how it happened that in less than one hour, 7 of us decided to take a mother/daughter birthday cruise in November! Yay!

I saw this quote on a beautiful silver bowl in a store I can't afford to buy anything at,  
and asked my very talented friend to write it out for me so that I can frame it.
Didn't she do a beautiful job? 
This quote reminds me that God has placed a lot of 'family' in our lives. 


November 15, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

Acts chapter nine reminds me that sometimes our pain propels the kingdom of God and changes lives.

After a startling revelation of Jesus,
Saul suffered for "three days without sight and neither ate nor drank." (v.9)
And after that experience:
"Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that Jesus is the Christ."
The results:
"The churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied."

Next, Aeneas, was a man who suffered by being "bed ridden eight years and was paralyzed" and then everything changed when Peter said "Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed. Then he rose immediately."
The results:
"So all who dwelt in Lydia and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord." (v.35)
As in, every single person living in those cities! Amazing!

And then there was Tabitha. This woman "was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died."
Peter prayed for her and he said "Tabitha arise! And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up." And then he "presented her alive" to all of her friends.
The results:
"And it became known throughout all Joppa and many believed on the Lord." (v.42)

I have a feeling all three of them would say their suffering was totally worth it!


November 8, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

In Luke 18:1-6 we see the parable of the persistent widow. In verse one, Jesus tells us the reason for this parable is so that we would "always pray and not loose heart."

The unjust judge "didn't fear God or respect any man" and the widow kept coming to him over and over again for justice. And for a long time, he wouldn't help her because he didn't care enough to actually bother. But then he realized that the best way to get rid of her, was to get involved, "because I am tired of her coming all the time."
Then Jesus invites us to compare this unjust judge with God, the Father. And obviously, there really aren't any similarities between the two!

Jesus said "Won't God make things that are right come to His chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will He wait a long time to help them? I tell you that He will be quick to help them!"
I love that!

Now here's the rub. Do we have the PASSION to actually do it?
Will we be like the widow and patiently and passionately pester God?
Will we get outside of ourselves and choose a need in someone else's life to hammer heaven about?
What might happen if we do?

What if we pester Him for prodigals to come home?
What if we beg Him for His strategy to reach the hearts of the not-yet-Christ-followers in our circles? What if we cry out to Him about the violence in our country?
What if we pray for teens who don't have parents praying for them?

What if we pick one thing to passionately pester God about for an entire month and see what He does because "Men always ought to pray and not loose heart." ~ Jesus


November 4, 2017

Tying the knot

I'm blessed to have several kids in my life, who've always felt like family  ❤️ 
and one of those is getting married soon, 

to this beautiful young lady! 

And it was a gorgeous day 

for celebrating!


November 1, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

"Let us therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16

And grace! Yes, please!
What a wonderful promise!
When we boldly ask,  He pours out both and helps us in our times of need!
What do you need His grace to help you with today?
Come boldly.
"Let your requests be made known to God."
Phil. 4:6
He is "our ever present help"
Ps. 46:1

Have a blessed day!

October 31, 2017

October fun

So, you know you are excited about Stranger Things 2 when your kitchen looks like this!
This was Joy's handiwork for our little family viewing party on Friday night. LOL

How good was it?! Ahhh!!!! 
Whenever I tell my friends about it, they tell me they can't handle things that are scary. Then they realize WHO is saying it is scary and they decide that if I can handle it they surely can. LOL 

Sunday night, our small group had a party. We ate homemade empanadas and learned to play the card game, Dutch Blitz. I had trouble paying attention to the directions because right then my phone blew up with pictures of my brand new, absolutely GORGEOUS great-niece! ❤️  I'm a great-aunt! 
The pictures of my parents holding her, almost made me cry on the spot. Soooo sweet! 

Tonight, Joy is an owl and Andrew is a guy from the 90's.  

Happy Fall, Y'all!