Friday, May 30, 2008

God Speaks

The past week has been challenging. We are trying to get into the swing of summer, planning for a HUGE garage sale on Saturday and I am leaving town for a week on Monday. So, it has been a full week! Wednesday night I was exhausted. I was physically and emotionally drained. I had spent most of the day working on garage sale items. Tim had taken the kids out for ice cream and they came home and scurried around the garage taking in all of the items we have for sale. They went upstairs and I broke down. I was thinking about how selfish I was to ask my sweet children to sell their stuff, leave all that they know and move to another country. Really, I was thinking that I bet they wished they could be anyone else’s kids so that they did not have to deal with all of this. As I was bawling my eyes out I really felt like God was telling me to go read some of the blogs I look at daily. The first one I went to was Bethany’s. She wrote this entry that very night.
God Knew - Didn't He
When God chose to let Jesse and I raise Jessie Lyric, Journey, Bridge, Story and baby Manhattan...

He knew what He was doing.

Didn't He?

He knew our strengths, our weaknesses, our talents, our issues, our future...

He knew it all,

And He chose to let Jessie Lyric, Journey, Bridge, Story and baby Manhattan pass through life under our watch.

What a humbling honor.

What a relief.

God knew...

He knew the mistakes we would make,

the sins we would commit,

the courage we would wield,

the lives we would change,

the hearts we would break -

He chose to let Jessie Lyric, Journey, Bridge, Story and baby Manhattan experience life through our triumphs and our mistakes.

They will be stronger, they will be wiser, they will be tested-

Somehow, they will be exactly who God created them to be.

Isn't it a relief?

God's will is done through our strengths and our weaknesses.

God knew...

Can I tell you that I needed to read that so bad! I needed to be reminded that God knew and that my children will all be stronger and wiser and exactly who He made them to be.
I am constantly amazed at how He is speaking to me through this.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

It has been quite the weekend for our little star Gracie Lynn. On Saturday, she sang at our church picnic. She has been looking forward to this performance for weeks now. She wrote her own song, played the guitar and sang. I think I can say without a doubt that everyone in the audience was smiling.:)
Sunday afternoon she had her end of the year dance recital. Of course, we thought she was the most beautiful ballerina on the stage.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It is the last week of school so today all of the kids had awards ceremonies for their achievements throughout the year. I would like to proudly share that Noah was awarded with the Highest Average in his class!! We are so proud of his hard work. He has really had a great year with some incredible teachers.
Trinity and Gracie Lynn each got a whole stack of awards also. All three kids made straight A's the entire year. I have great kids. :)

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Special Answer to Prayer

Our church has an amazing children’s music program. All of our children have been involved in children’s choirs since they were 3 years old. Trinity and Noah are part of a special ensemble made up of 4th, 5th and 6th grade musicians. Tonight all of the kids choirs shared in the service. It is always one of my favorite nights at church. One day last week Trinity had come to me and shared that she was kind of sad about singing on Sunday night. At the end of each school year, the director Mrs. Kathy honors the graduating 6th graders with a presentation of a hymnal with their name engraved on it. Trinity was sad because she realized that she would not be here for her 6th grade year and thus she would miss her presentation. I know that it might seem like an insignificant thing but it troubled her and so as her momma, I was sad with her. I talked to her and then I prayed that God would meet that need for her in some way. I prayed that He would give her a special blessing tonight so that she would not feel sad. I had prayed several times this past week about it. Tonight after Mrs. Kathy presented the 6th grade bibles she said she had another special presentation to make. She went on to share that she wanted to honor Trinity and Noah with their hymnals since they would me on the mission field when it was there turn to receive one. I just sat in my pew and cried and thought about what a wonderful God I serve. I had no idea that Mrs. Kathy was going to do that for my children! She had no idea how grieved this momma’s heart had been over the fact that they would not be here for this event in the future. God knew and He moved and once again took care of everything! Thank you Kathy, for listening to the Spirit talk to you and for giving this blessing to my children. Thank you Lord for caring about each and every need we have.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trinity had her piano recital today. She did such a great job! She played three songs and then she sang one also. I always enjoy watching her perform. She is a great artist. We are very proud!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. My sweet kids had spent much time making sure that my day was special. Since Tim and I were out last week the kids worked with Grandma to bake a special Mother’s Day chocolate chip cookie which they all decorated. (Thanks mom!) They all made gifts for me which are priceless. As they were sharing with me, I was touched by the thoughtfulness that they put into their choices. They all matched their personality so well! Trinity created a power point for me telling me why I was a great mom. It had amazing graphics and all sort of cool stuff that I have no idea how she made. Noah had chosen some kitchen towels and pot holders in a “coffee” theme. He told me that he noticed that I was getting into coffee these days and that I like to clean a lot so he thought it was the perfect gift. He is right. Gracie Lynn made me several high quality art items but the favorite is a paper graph of sorts that I am supposed to set each day with how much I love her. It goes from 0 to 100 and I have instructions to be sure and set it before she wakes up it the morning. If you know Gracie Lynn at all, you know that it is just like her to give me a mother’s day gift that will enable me to tell her how wonderful she is. Classic. I love it. Sweet Eden made several things at school that she carefully and proudly presented to me. Then she snuggled with me for a long afternoon nap. It was a perfect day.
I love being a mom. In fact, my own mother has reminded me how unhappy I was until I had kids. She is right. I can remember even as a child dreaming about being a mommy one day. I am so blessed that God has allowed me to mommy these amazing kids. I pray every day that I can honor Him as I do it.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

All Wrapped Up

Wow, what a week! We wrapped up our conference today. We have had a week full of listening, learning, worshiping and praying. It has really been helpful for us to have this time to learn about what lies ahead for our family. We have had sessions on raising kids overseas, packing, security, language, finances, schooling and a bunch of other stuff that I am to tired to remember tonight. One of the best things about this experience is that we have spent the week with a bunch of really great people who are in the same process as we are. We have all laughed and cried together and shared so much this week. It has been amazing to hear how God has led each family to this place of obedience. We will look forward to being with them again in October for our 8 week training in Virginia.
We are ready to see the kids. We miss them!! They have had lots of fun with Grandma! I bet that Grandma will be good and tired by the time she gets back to Texas. It has been a great feeling to know that they were being well taken care of.
We will catch an early flight in the morning so I am off to pack up.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dr. Visits

We spent our entire morning at the IMB doctor and after a large battery of tests both of us have been declared healthy for missions service. They are very thorough around here. As soon as we get home we have to take the kids to our local dr for a list of tests. I am sure they will be so excited. :)
After having lunch with 2 other missionary couples we had a long meeting with the Middle America and Caribbean Representative. We learned a lot about what to expect at language school and in our assignment in Panama. The more we learn about Panama the more excited we are getting. It is going to be a perfect fit for our family. It is truly a family oriented country and we are looking forward to God using our entire family to serve Him together.
We have met so many wonderful people here at the conference. It is so neat to see how God is moving in each of these families lives. One of the families that we had lunch with is heading to the Czech Republic and the other is on their way to Mozambique. We are looking forward to spending more time with them as we will all be here together in October for our 8 week training.
We are in the library now and Tim is watching videos about living in Costa Rica and trying to find some good books to take home to the kids.
We have dinner here this evening and then a presentation on wellness while living overseas. Tomorrow we have a packed day of learning sessions as well. More later.....

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

FACTS ABOUT PANAMA…. Did you know???

*The COUNTRY of Panama is slightly smaller than the STATE of South Carolina
*There are 3.2 million people in Panama
*Spanish is the official language in Panama
*85% of the country is Roman Catholic
*Panamanian law maintains freedom of worship and separation of church and state
*The country of Panama is a constitutional democracy with three branches of government
*The average annual temperature in Panama is 80F
*In Panama, rice is served with nearly every meal
*Panamanians are hospitable hosts. They are open, generous and informal in their meetings.
*Baseball and Futbol (soccer) are common sports
*Key exports include: bananas, shrimp, coffee and sugar

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Tim and I are sitting in the library at the IMB. They have prepared a bunch of material for us to look at about missionary life and specifically life in Panama. We have most of the day to research which is great because there is ton of information here! Tim has just learned that it is a sign of beauty for women to have a nose ring in Panama. I am sure it will be one of the first things the girls and I do upon our arrival. :)

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Safe and Sound In Richmond-from Tim

Tina and I arrived safely in Richmond, Virginia this afternoon for our week long candidate conference. As we left the airplane and headed towards the baggage claim area, we saw our last name printed on a piece of cardboard being held up in the air by a young couple. It was kind of funny watching everyone in front of us glance their way. We knew that they were not only our ride, but that they were arriving to experience the conference as well . We introduced ourselves and headed off to the hotel together. It wasn’t five miles down the road until off on the left, I saw a beautiful baseball park. I almost had the car stop and let me out. I mean, “sweet action”, there before me was the Triple A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. If you know me, then you know that I’m “living large” when I’m at a Braves game. Better yet since I’m almost off to Costa rica, maybe I should say “viva grande”. Anyway, I decided that I had better catch dinner and turn in early so that I’m ready for the big week. Oh well, they are playing three more games in town this week, so maybe an opportunity will open up.
As for the couple we were riding with,their names are Philip and Lisa. They are a nice young couple living in Montana and it was a blessing getting to know them this evening . We’re off to bed and are excited about what God has in store for us tomorrow.

Headed to Virginia

Tim and I are off to the airport this morning as soon as we get all the kids to school. We are headed to Richmond, Virginia where we will spend the next week at the International Mission Board getting lots of training and information. My sweet mom is flying in today to spend the week with the kids and they are so excited! I am really looking forward to the week. It will be great to learn more about what is ahead of us and also to meet some of the people that we have been working with for months now via phone and email. I will post more from Virginia.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008


This is not a theme of mine. As mentioned in previous posts, I like to have a plan and I really like it when my plan goes off well. Being a missionary seems to be a more of a go with the flow kind of mentality and God is working extra hard these days to loosen me up. Tim came home from work a few days ago and shared that he had been in touch with the IMB and the job that we had agreed to was no longer available to us. WHAT! It actually all worked out rather well within a short period of time. We are still headed to Panama and the new job assignment is just perfect for Tim. Although I have to tell you that I was not very calm while waiting for it all to work out. So, Tim and I leave Monday for a week of missions training in Virginia. We were scheduled to stay, eat and have all of our training at the International Learning Center there. They have had to close the learning center for the next 2 weeks because of an outbreak of the Noro Virus! Of course they have made other arrangements for us and I am sure that they will be great but that is not what the plan was!
I really have been learning through these little incidents that my faith must totally be on God. Recently my preacher spoke on joining Jesus by stepping out in faith. He reminded me that I can get out of my boat (my comfort zone) and walk on the water because the Lord is there with me, He has invited me to join Him and He is able to handle the situation.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

This week Eden’s school had art share day. Eden had lots of fun telling us all about the art work she had made this year. She was very proud. Eden has the most wonderful preschool teachers that have ever lived!! She has been with Sue Sue and Joanne for 2 years now. They have been instrumental in her life and have really helped her grow so much. They have truly been a huge blessing in her life, and mine!

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