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

May 24, 2016

His goodness

"I would have despaired unless I believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Ps. 27:13
Here's a little touch of His goodness in our lives:

1. It is our last week of school! Glory, glory!
I was just sure Andrew would have to do schoolwork all summer to make up for the time he missed during Hubby's hospital stays and everything, but he pulled it off!
So, the hardest school year ever, will end on Friday. Yay! Super proud of him! And very grateful to still be on this homeschooling journey.

2. As of yesterday, all of my Hubby's medical bills are paid!
I can't tell you how much mailing that last check meant to me! Still in awe of God's provision! -There's nothing like it!

3.  We are going to CA again!
Our amazing friends and family who live out there, blessed the kids with plane tickets and all five us are going!  -Pretty sure this is all part of their not-so-secret-agenda to get us to move there! ; )  They are so sweet!
We can't wait to see Nathan! We miss him terribly! And we will get to attend my niece's wedding, and the high school graduation of some very dear friends. I will also get to be there when my dad has back surgery. And then some of our friends are coming back with us for some summer fun, which will make leaving a whole lot easier!

It has been a very difficult six months, but God has graciously been healing us and continually showing us His goodness, in big and small ways, and it means so much!


May 23, 2016

There's a gator and where's the food?

People from other states always ask us about alligators when they hear that we are from Florida.
We really don't see them very often.

But then this happened to Joy the other night, well, what do we say now? LOL

It was as long as she is tall! And it was quickly walking across the street!
In the middle of the CITY!
Boy, did it give her a scare, even from outside of her car! Bless her heart!

Zac threw a little family surprise party for Tiffany's 21st birthday Friday night. She loves Mexican food so I volunteered to make my sister-in-law's chimichamga recipe. (which I never make because that much awesomeness takes too much work)
I was SO happy about beating all the rush hour traffic to their apartment
UNTIL I realized I had FORGOTTEN THE FOOD, in the fridge!
Literally, all those chimichangas I had just made were left behind! Boo-hoo!
Oh my goodness!
Because of the distance and the traffic, I couldn't go back and I felt so bad!
I ended up waiting until after we all surprised her, to run out and get take-out tacos from the nearest Mexican restaurant that I could find! And they were surprisingly good, which is really saying something because this is not California.
We have way more alligators than we do good Mexican restaurants! ; )


May 20, 2016

Watching and reading

When it comes to Netflix, I seem to be on a British murder mystery kick.

I loved this series!

And now I'm on this one:

And these two are the cutest gardner/sleuths ever! And maybe the only ones. ; )

As far as reading goes, I seem to be on a World War II kick.
 I read this and it was hauntingly sweet. 
And now I'm reading this, but it is huge and I'm only half way through it. 

My favorite books are always true stories about God working in people's lives and this one was a great read about how the spiritual insight of a homeless man, changed a bank executive's life! And their friendship changed both of their lives!


May 18, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

In 1 Samuel 20, we see that it was a dangerous time for anyone to be David's friend, but especially for Jonathan. His father, King Saul, was bent on having David killed.
These two were devoted friends and we see that Jonathan "loved him as he loved his own soul." (verse 17) How sweet is that?
Jonathan seemed to sense that dire times were ahead due to the circumstances and he asked David to make a vow to him. David vowed that he would always show "the kindness of the Lord" to him while they both lived.
How beautiful is that phrase? The "kindness of the Lord."
It is also so convicting.
Do I show "the kindness of the Lord" to people? Ouch!
That is a WHOLE LOT of kindness when you stop and think about it!
David also vows to never "cut off his kindness" from Jonathan's descendents.

We know from 2 Samuel 9 that David kept this vow and seemed almost desperate to do so.

"Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" verse 1
And "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?"
verse 3

And there was!
(I remember my kids loving to pronounce that name in Bible Quiz matches -especially if they happened to be missing any front teeth!) ; )

Mephibosheth was the last surviving son of Jonathan and was "lame in his feet."
King David said "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather, and you shall eat bread at my table continually."

In one amazing moment, he went from a poor, lame, beggar to one seated at the banqueting table with royalty on a daily basis! Isn't that such a picture of God's grace?
Isn't that what we've all been given in Christ?
If anyone has ever received "the kindness of God," it is us, who have Christ as our Savior!
And what an amazing moment that was!


May 17, 2016

Our Full/Fuller House

We have a happy new development coming in the fall. Our oldest son is going back to school. Yay!
He took a break from working on his business degree during Hubby's cancer battle, so that he could spend as much of his free time with his dad as he could. And because his classes were accelerated, I'm not sure he would've seen him very much otherwise. He is so grateful for that decision!

His break turned into a whole year, after all that has taken place...
And during that time he also got married! Yay!

Now he's ready to go back and I've invited him and his sweet wife to live with us while he finishes. They said 'yes' and we are all EXCITED!

It will be so fun to have a full house again.
It has seemed so strange for there to only be three of us living here now. -Last year there were 6 of us because Uncle Phil (Hubby's brother, who is a stroke patient) lived here part of each year, too. And when Nate lived here, there were 7.

So, we are glad that we will once again have a crowded, loud house.
It's our thing!
And you know it is going to get a lot louder when one of your house guests is a drummer! ; )
-We never realized how loud our house was, until Uncle Phil moved in and started commenting on all the "random singing" and the kids playing their instruments. He loved it all.

I just have a hunch that this new arrangement might be something that God uses to help heal our grief. And if nothing else, it will be whole LOT of FUN!

-Congrats to Zac, who just found out that he made the Dean's List during his last semester under such difficult circumstances! PTL!


May 13, 2016

A sweet quote

"There is such a place as fairyland -but only children can find the way to it. 
And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forgot the way.
One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, 
they will realize what they have lost, and that it is the tragedy of life. 
On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. 
Henceforth, they must dwell in the common light of common day. 
Only a few who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; 
and blessed are they above mortals. 
They, only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. 
The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers, but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland." ~ LM Montgomery, The Story Girl
(a sweet read for fellow Anne of Green Gables fans!)


May 11, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

I've thought about this verse all week:

"You, who love the Lord, hate evil!

He presserves the souls of His saints."  
             ~Psalm 97:10 

The fact that He "maintains" and "protects" our souls is so comforting.
 If we need any help discerning what is evil,
 fleeing from it, or even need the grace to "hate" it,
He's got us! : )