Friday, August 15, 2014

Moving my blog!

It has been a very long time since I posted! I am busy. Baby #4 joined our family in June. Another boy! That takes the count to 3 boys and 1 girl. I also plan to start "officially" homeschooling the 2 oldest this year. It excites me to watch them grow and develop.

I have decided to get a new blog, you may join me over here

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Depth of Mercy

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace;
Long provoked Him to His face;
Would not hearken to His calls;
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father’s mercies move,
Justice lingers into love.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

Now incline me to repent;
Let me now my fall lament;
Deeply my revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.

- Charles Wesley, 1740

Friday, August 16, 2013

Changes in our family

This story starts with my in-laws, really. My father-in-law has desired and prayed for full-time ministry for quite some time. He had been pastoring a little church in  the town we were living in, but trying to pastor, work many hours a week and do everything that goes along with being a pastor was taking it's toll. Out of the blue, (another story in itself), he got a call about a church 30-40 minutes away seeking a full-time pastor! After a series of meetings with the then-pastor, deacon board and pulpit committee, he was voted in. That is where our story begins.

We had been living in the church parsonage and when Dad was being considered as pastor for this church, we knew we would be needing to find a new home. We started looking online and found the "perfect" place for our family. A nice-sized home on 3 acres with a large 2 car garage and an attached shed. It was out in the country. We were excited--we could have animals, the children could ride their bikes in the yard (instead of the little tiny yard space we had), we would be away from the main road, we could have a garden, Billy could work on his cars and take on a project or two, there was a great playroom visible from the kitchen, etc. We put an offer on the house and it was accepted. Things seemed to be moving smoothly until the bank wanted a structural engineer to go look at the house to make sure it fit the qualifications for the type of loan we wanted. The structural engineer called Billy and told him a lot of things that didn't look good. There was extensive termite damage, it appeared the kitchen floor was sinking in underneath, it had other problems that needed fixing. Problems that would have to be corrected with this type of loan. They would loan us the money for the repairs, but a licensed contractor would have to do all the work--a lot more money. It would cost an estimated $30,000-$40,000 to fix. Wow! We definitely couldn't afford that. So, we prayed....

About the same time this is going on, a very close, dear friend called us randomly and said that God had impressed upon their hearts to offer us their RV--for a very reasonable price. They said it was just what we would need for our family (with bunkbeds in a 2nd bedroom and a bath tub). I think the whole idea made Billy's head spin--to go from thinking about a decent size house on land to thinking about an RV! It is a large RV, but a lot smaller than what we originally planned on! But God is good and after thinking and praying and talking much, we decided that it was definitely God's will for our family. We had perfect peace that this is where He wanted us to live. An added bonus is that our dear friends drove the 14 hours to bring it to us--so sweet of them, and we were able to see each other again for the first time in a couple years.

We are now all moved and working on settling in. After going through our things and having a couple yard sales we ended up taking a lot of things to the thrift store and trash dump. We are still opening boxes and thinking "Why did we keep this?!" It is a wonderful opportunity to downsize and focus on serving the Lord and raising up Godly children.

I am daily reminded of God's goodness and blessings. We are able to stay on the church property, across the parking lot from my in-laws,  (the church has a few RV hookups!) in exchange for work. Where we are, we can look out the windows and see the mountains, trees and even green grass! Who knew that southern AZ had all this green?!  An added blessing is out Nehemiah's window he can see the train every morning, if he is awake. The child really enjoys seeing trains as well as playing with his train set. It seems like such a blessing from God that he can see the train out his window when we can not see it out from any other window in the camper! God is good and I am continually thankful for how He has lead us and guided us. We are perfectly happy where God has put us and do not feel the least bit sad that our "perfect" house will not be ours. The RV has become home to us (in a temporary way, as Heaven is our final home) and at this time IS our perfect earthly house! One more blessing is, that not far out the front door, is a nice playground for the children to enjoy. Around the playground are sidewalks for them to ride their bikes on. Is it the country? No, in fact the Interstate literally runs right next to the church property!  But we could not be happier here.

In closing, here a few photos of our new location:

The Playground. You can see the old auditorium to the left and the RV next to it.

Home Sweet RV. :) Yes, the wooden steps are now in place.

Some of the scenery we see out of our windows.

One of my favorite sights--laundry drying in the sun

Linking up with: Whole-hearted Home and Growing Home

Friday, August 9, 2013

Changes and Busyness

I have neglected this blog for quite some time, but for good reason. Stay tuned for the next post where I will share the big changes that God has brought for our family! In the meantime I am busy raising 3 children, beginning a more regular "school" time with my 5 y/o and starting a few things with the 3 y/o. My baby is now 9 mos (!)--Where did the time go?!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hold Him While He's Little

I found this poem on the back of my favorite magazine--Keepers at Home, published by Carlisle Press in Sugarcreek, Ohio. I am realizing the older my children get, how important it is to teach them, to love them and to spend time with them while they are young. How quickly 4 years have passed since my oldest was born! I look at his baby pictures and wonder what happened to the little baby....who is not the baby anymore. I know the next 4 will pass just as quickly or maybe faster...and then the next 4...and the next. Mothers, hold those sweet babies while they are still little! Read them the Bible, teach them songs about Jesus. Show them the right path to walk, from the very beginning! There are times when the dishes will wait, Facebook will wait, email will wait, blogging will wait, etc.This post was directed mainly at myself--how often I fail to take the time to enjoy my small children as I should.

Me with our oldest, when he was 2 months old

Hold him while he's little-
He won't be little long;
For all too soon will come the day
He won't need Mama's song,
Nor cuddling on the rocking chair.
He's joined the busy throng.

Guide him while he's little,
And show him how to be
A good, obedient little boy;
One not obsessed with "me".
Then you will find in years to come,
A blessing he will be.

Love him while he's little,
He needs your touch of grace.
He needs the comfort you can give
In just a sweet embrace.
Thoughts of Mom will bring him back
With smile upon his face.

Teach him while he's little
To love the Bible true;
For it has all the answers
To what he needs to do
To make his life fulfilling,
And keep heaven in view.

Hold him, guide him, love him--
He'll soon be grown, you'll see.
Teach him while he still is small
And sitting on your knee.
For if you do these while he's small,
'Tis for eternity.

--Susan Nolt

Linking up with: Living in the Shoe. Whole-Hearted Home, Growing Home

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How We Met...

Since it is February, and everything seems to be focused in love right now due to the upcoming Valentine's Day, I thought I would share the story of how God brought my husband and I together. It is a story that only God could have orchestrated and I am thankful for how He brought us together at the right time.

I grew up in a Christian home, as did Billy. We were both brought up with similar levels of conservative-ness, including the idea of courtship. We both decided to wait patiently for the perfect person that God had for us, instead of following the popular system of dating.  Now, I don't believe dating isn't necessarily wrong, but it can lead to a lot of regret and heartache. There are also some stories of courtships gone wrong, so I believe it is best to seek the Lord for what He would have you do concerning relationships and potential marriage. Seek His will and He will guide you in a perfect path.

Anyway...back to my story. In the fall of 2005, I became a freshman at a Bible college that was pretty close to home. God had brought me a long way, which is another story for another day. As most girls at the age of 17 (I was almost 18), I was naturally interested in boys. Being at a college full of single young men, it was easy to look at a lot of them and wonder "Is he the one perhaps?". During that semester, I became a Christian, and started growing in the Lord. During Christmas break, I became convicted at how much I was focusing on boys. I repented and told the Lord that whoever He had for me, I would wait for him and I even prayed for him, whoever he was. I got done praying and got on the computer to check my blog (I didn't use Blogger in those days). I found a comment from a young man named Billy who apparently was also a student at the same Bible college. Somehow (it must have been the Lord!) I knew he was the one. But, I didn't want to develop any kind of thoughts or feelings towards yet another young man. I prayed that if he was the one that God would make that very clear and work it all out. A few days later, I received an IM request from him. I cautiously accepted and we chatted a bit. During the first conversation, my Mom came in the room and asked who I was talking to. I don't remember my exact response, but it was probably something like "someone from school" or something like that. She asked me if it was a boy. I said yes. The fact that she acted like it was normal was a bit strange to me. I had been brought up that it wasn't proper for young ladies to talk to young men, so her lack of reaction really surprised me!

January, 2006, we began a new semester. I met Billy in person and started becoming friends. My brother also went to the same school that semester and he was able to get to know him a lot better than I at first. The whole month of January we were friends and chatted here and there. I found out that he was also a freshman just like me and we shared a lot of the same classes but I never met him or really knew he existed! In addition, I worked in the kitchen and helped serve lunch and dinner and probably had served him more than once but I still had not remembered him. We even shared 2 of the same friends! Now, this is not a large college at all, there are around 1,000 students, so it was interesting that we'd never met or knew who the other one was!

Around the middle-to-end of January, Billy got up enough courage to call my Dad and ask permission to take me to the Valentine's Banquet that was coming up on February 6th. My dad said yes, but we could only go as friends, nothing more. One night after church, my brother got me to come outside because Billy wanted to talk to me. I was sure I knew what it was about. He never did directly ask me to the banquet, I told him I would go! Haha, I am glad I was right about him wanting to ask me! We ended up talking for 2-2.5 hours that night, in January, outside, while I was wearing open toed high heels! (I am glad I go for more simple shoes now, anything with heels is SO uncomfortable!)

We went to the banquet and had a great time as friends. It was a lovely evening in a lovely expensive hotel banquet facilities. We were discovering more and more in common with each other. In the weeks that followed we became closer and closer, yet still friends. I continued to pray that if he was indeed the one, that He would make it very clear to me.

March brought spring break. It was nice to be home with family, but inside I did miss Billy a bit even though we had only known each other in person for 2 months. Of course, growing up with 4 brothers, I got plenty of teasing about Billy, in a way that only brothers tease. I do remember one conversation that I had with my Mom where she asked me what I thought of him. I was truthful and even mentioned that he was the type of guy I would like to marry. I was clueless about what was going on while I was away at school....

Right after we got back from spring break, we sat through a Wednesday night service. Billy had told me beforehand that he needed to talk with someone afterwards. I was disappointed, but accepted it. As it turned out, the person he needed to speak with was ME! He shared how he believed God was leading us together and how he had talked with his parents. His parents and my parents had also talked on the phone and both sets had given their approval and blessing! This was a clear indicator that God was in this--for my Dad to approve a relationship between his only daughter and a boy he had never met in his life, knowing that it would most likely end in marriage! Billy told me to take some time to pray about it, and 3 days later I told him YES! We both knew we were in this for marriage and as a result, I never got an official "Will you marry me" question or an engagement ring. I didn't mind at all, since I am not really a person who likes to wear jewelry.

Billy stayed in the area much of the summer and we were able to see each other quite a bit. He worked selling hubcaps and I worked in the kitchen at a hospital. We enjoyed our visits, even though they were short and only once a week or so.

We attended the fall 2006 semester and during that time we both felt, separately, that our time at college was done and we needed to pursue other things. A degree is a good thing to have, but it was not part of His plan for us to stay and finish. We had both learned a lot, grown closer to the Lord and now it was time to  go home. We departed in early December, and as we lived 8 hours apart, we were not able to see each other for 6 months. That year went by pretty slow at times, but letters and phone calls kept us close. On December 7, 2007, we were finally married. A courtship of 1 year 9 months seems long now, but that is how it worked out for us. I look back and am thankful for how God clearly showed His will for us to be together, and I thank God for the wonderful man He allowed me to marry!
Married! Dec 7, 2007

The summer before we were married. Yes, the youth group behind us was being silly!

Another favorite picture before we were married

Linking with: Growing Home. Whole-Hearted Home ,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer

I haven't written anything for a long time, and will be back soon with a post I have been thinking about. In the meantime, here is a song that I have been thinking about and singing today.

"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer"
Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial                                 
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.