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

October 5, 2017

Counting my blessings

I love my job and that I get to be involved in ministry every day. What a privilege!

I love that my kids' friends consider me one of their moms. They are a special bunch!

I love my new friend M and all the fun she and I have. What a sweet blessing the Lord sent me the day we were seated next to each other at a luncheon and hit it off like we'd known each other forever.

I love that I have a group of ladies to do Bible studies with. They are a blessing to my life and so are the books we've studied together.

I love that I get to see my CA friends and relatives in December! Whoo-hoo!

I love that it actually feels the tiniest bit like fall in Florida. ♥️


September 24, 2017

All the celebrating

I've jumped on Andrew's computer to catch up here. My monitor may not have made it through Irma. -But all that happened to it was that we unplugged it and wrapped it in plastic. LOL
So, go figure! : ) 

Last week, was my wedding anniversary. It would've been our 26th. (my hubby went to be with the Lord in 2015) 
Joy and one of my friends and her family all surprised me at work with bouquets of flowers and chai tea! It was really the sweetest thing! My friend reminded me that "love should always be celebrated," which really touched me since I wasn't so sure how I wanted to spend that evening. After work the kids and I did celebrate together, which was a lot of fun. And then Nathan blessed my socks off by sending me a recording. On it he said, "This is a song that my dad used to sing to my mom, but since he isn't here..." And then he sings Annie's Song by John Denver  to me while playing his ukulele! Oh my stars!!! It was so beautiful! I cried a million tears all over again and made everyone around listen to it. LOL Such a thoughtful gift! His dad would be SO impressed.

Saturday, I went to see how my favorite beach fared through Irma. And it was a short visit because there was seaweed everywhere and it smelled like dead fish. LOL 

Then Sunday was my birthday! And my kids spoiled me!
 Joy made me breakfast in bed! Chicken and waffles! Then Andrew took me out for a coffee date before church. After church all the kids took me to lunch and gave me gifts. (How fun are grown up children?!) And they took me to the movies and invited one of my friends and her kids to join us. Then we went to the evening service at church and then out for frozen yogurt where a bunch of kids who are like my own, joined us. It was a HUGE day, and I have the sweetest kids ever! 
Today, we celebrated Zac's academic success over breakfast. (Sunday mornings are the only time to catch my busy college kids, who have more than one job!) He is in the top 7.5% of his class and was invited to join Phi Kappa Phi. Whoo-hoo! His dad would be so proud but not a bit surprised! : )


September 11, 2017

The weekend of Irma

Thursday night I spent the evening finding all of the important papers in my life that would have to come with me if we evacuated. It was just surreal to have to pack up my life in one Tupperware bin and a suitcase and be ready to go. I was so thankful to have the day off on Friday for final hurricane prep. We spent a low key evening Friday resting knowing that on Saturday around noon we would know the final track and have to make a decision.

Then at midnight, all of our phones went off giving us a hurricane warning. It sounded like an Amber Alert and was terrifying. I knew in my head that it was only just then hitting Cuba but since I was only half awake, I thought it had arrived in FL that very minute. Scary!

It was such an emotionaly exhausting wee. It was also emotional for me since I don't have my hubby to make these kinds of decisions for me anymore.Then Zac stepped up to the plate and led our household in such a way that made me so proud and took a lot of the stress off of me. I took to calling him Captain Zac all weekend! : )

So, after seeing that Irma was coming over our city as a possible CAT 3 or 4 we decided to evacuate. Mostly because of the huge oak trees in our yard and the fact that every other day or so, half of our street already floods. We were invited to stay with Zac's in-laws in a house which is farther inland. What a blessing!

It was so hard to leave my house and not know what I would come back to though.
And I shed some tears because I kind of think I've been through enough in the last few years without adding the loss of a home due to hurricane damage and displacement to the list. LOL
But the minute we drove away from our home, I had a total peace about leaving and a peace about whatever we would face next.

We spent the next 2 days with Tiffany's family which was such a blessing. We helped prepare their house and then in between weather reports, we just had a fun time together like we always do.
-And we ate lots of hurricane snacks! We only went without power for a good 30 minutes or so. During which time, we realized that we had not charged any of our laptops, just our phones. When the power came back, everyone screamed and went running for their chargers. LOL

I have a slightly crooked pot holder I crocheted during the wait and we played games, colored, and watched lots and lots of Fixer Upper. 😀

Andrew had fun sleeping in their stairwell, which we cleared out for the tornado warnings we were hearing about. He felt just like Harry Potter. When he was face timing several friends while in there, I would walk by and it would sound like there were 4 people in the closet with him.LOL

The storm finally hit last night and by God's grace it was a 2. The whistling sound of the wind was pretty awesome to hear. It didn't get worse and so I ended up sleeping through most of it.
It went right over our county and by the grace of God, those windows and trees that I had been praying for, stayed in tact. Our street did not flood. AMAZING!
And the two spots in our roof that leak twice a year, did not leak at all. AMAZING!🙌🏼

At this moment our house still without power but we are just too thankful to let that bother us. I could've and should've by call accounts been so MUCH worse.

The curfew was lifted this morning and people are starting to get out and about again. Some of us have to work tomorrow. Schools are cancelled for the rest of the week.. And six million Floridians are without power. It is going to be quite a week.

Keep in prayer those who lost so much this weekend,


September 9, 2017

Prepping for Irma

Hurricane Irma is on her way!
Thank you to all our family and friends who are checking on us and letting us know that they are praying! We are grateful!

In between going to and from our jobs all week, we have been getting prepared. We have our supplies. Our back windows are boarded up and we have sand bags outside our sliding glass doors.

It has been a tense week. The stores are out of most things and it has been a big challenge to find gas and water. (I got kind of a kick out of seeing what people had in their carts to survive on. One lady had bananas and lots and lots of wine! LOL)
But despite the it all, everywhere that I went, people were kindly helping each another with advice and info. Yay, Florida!
Yesterday, when I was a work, Andrew let me know that he and his friend had gone over to our 80+ year old neighbor's house to prep her yard for the storm and it turned out that she also was in need of water and food, so they took care of that and shared half of our sand bags with her. Proud of them!

I took this the night we bought plywood and I love how the light shines on the flag!

May we all keep shining, and loving our neighbors.


September 8, 2017

Before Irma was a thing

We had fun watching the eclipse through a cereal box and sheets of paper at work a couple weeks ago. But not as much fun as Nathan, who drove to Oregon and saw the whole thing in totality! So amazing. He has so many fun adventures!

Last week, my friend's hubby's company gave them tickets to a pre-season Bucs game. My friend's hubby and son couldn't attend so she invited Joy and I to go with her and her daughter. It was great fun! I forgot that teams don't play very hard for pre-season games though. So, there really wasn't much action on the field, which worked out just fine because we were busy chatting anyway! LOL

When my hubby was in college, there was a year that he was in at least 4 weddings!
Andrew has at this point been asked to be in 4 weddings this year! The other day, this caused him to proclaim "I'm just like Dad!"
(Yes, you are, but for SO many more reasons than this!) LOL
It is a crazy thing when your youngest son's friends start getting married!
Last weekend was wedding #1 and it was beautiful. (even though I didn't get the best pictures of it)

My cute guy and a couple others didn't have their complete outfits until the day before the wedding, which was stressing me out! LOL But it everything came together and it was perfect.

Then I spent the rest of the weekend with a touch of the stomach flu.  And on Labor Day, we went to Zac's in-laws for dinner and had a great time.
And then on Tuesday, life became all about Hurricane Irma and getting prepared. It wasn't even a topic of discussion on Monday, which later amazed us.


September 6, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

I had never noticed the context of one of the most quoted verses in the Bible before and it surprised me.
It is: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil.4:13

And guess what Paul was referring to being able to do?
Be content! 
It isn't something that we humans are naturally. He said he had to LEARN it.
This helps me when I realize my discontentment.
We learn it.
And if that sounds impossible or hard remember that learning it is one of the many things he says we  can do because of Christ's strength.

"I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be content. (even geographical -LOL)
I know how to be abased and I know how to abound.
I have learned (there's that word again)
both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."



September 1, 2017

In Him we triumph

"God doesn't expect you to be happy about what has been torn from your hands...whether it's a marriage, your health, a job or someone you love, but if you are willing to trust Him, he can turn trash into triumph ." ~Levi Lusko