Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Crazy Good Day





9- Corinne came over and we sewed some taggie blankets for the business

11:30- went for lunch at Panera and killed some time at the mall before we went to work

1:30-5- worked.

5:30-6:15- Filmed skits at church for the upcoming VBS

6:30-7- Got my hair cut!! :) My hair had gotten WAY too long. It felt so good to get it cut and I LOVE the way she cut it. It's my favorite cut so far. She did a good job. I think I look older..... but then again I can never get my hair to look like it does right after it's cut anyway!! :)
7:15-9- Experience (leadership team) meeting at church.


Six Flags tommorow and Branson Friday!! Woo-hoo!!


It was a really good day. I had a great time talking with Corinne. Probably the highlight though was looking at baby girl clothes at Old Navy. We were envisioning them on little Ethiopian sweethearts that will be coming home soon!! :) We're so weird! But we had fun and that's what matters!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too cute....

My brothers will kill me for posting this one... but I couldn't resist (I DID get permission from them). They took a couple of friends to my aunt and uncle's house to swim, do airsoft, and ride the quadrunners. They fell asleep on the way there!! I love these boys!!



ummmm....

I've written probably 20 blog posts in my head and sat down to attempt writing them but none of them have worked. The New York trip has left me with so many thoughts and feelings but I can't seem to put them into words!!! So this will be the most random post ever written. :) Here's some of my thoughts from the past few days that never made it onto their own post:



1. Sometimes I miss the "NYC fam" so much I think I could cry. I think of the Sanctus Real song with the chorus that goes, "Oh oh we need eachother, through all the highs and lows. Oh oh we need eachother. No one was meant to live alone." Those words ring true to my heart right now. The Lord was so good last week. I grew so much closer to some people and I made new friends. My life here at home feels so empty without them!! I can't wait to see everybody again!! I won't see some of you until after I get back from vacation. I'll miss you!! It's kind of funny I wrote that because only a couple of people that even went to New York read this! :)

2. I miss evangelizing. Never did I think those words would come out of my mouth. But I would go back to New York and do the surveys in the parks and do a prayer station in a heartbeat. I really do miss sharing my faith and praying with people.

3. I'm very excited for Six Flags on Thursday. On Sunday morning I told my mom I didn't want to go and that I wished we could get the money back for my ticket. So I went to church and Lisa came up to me and said, "Molly! Are you going on the Six Flags trip? Dave just asked me to go as a chaperone!!" I was SOOO happy!! So now I can't wait to go. It'll be fun. There won't be any pictures from that trip... I'm not risking my camara to the water rides!! :)

4. I'm looking forward to our trip to Branson. We're having our annual mini family reunion with my dad's side. We're staying at a resort for the week and exploring Branson while spending time with family. It will be a relaxing week, though I can't believe I have to repack my bag AGAIN!! :)

5. I feel helpless to help orphans...... does that make sense? I feel like there's nothing I can do but I want to do so much.

6. I'm very excited to start school. I know, that's weird. I've gotten so many blank stares or shocked faces when I've said that. But it's true!! I'm looking forward to it. We picked out most of my classes for the coming year and I'm ready for the challenge (hopefully!! We'll see what I say once I actually start).

7. I'm dreading my Spanish class at the community college...... I've forgotten so much over the summer and the last year. This'll be interesting. However, on the bright side, it'll be a great opportunity to experience a college class and get some good interaction in the classroom, since I've been out of the classroom for the past year.

Is that enough??? I know, my brain is filled to the brim with jumbled thoughts.

Oh, and I just got an email that Ethan has been taken to the hospital for severe back and chest pain. Please pray for him!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New York City- a memorable week



What an incredible week. I have pages full of the journaling that I did, a brain filled with memories from this past week, and a heart that is bursting with emotion. Not once did I actually cry while in New York but the tears have arrived now that I'm back!!! This post will be quite an emotional rollercoaster for me!! God was so incredibly faithful and I feel like I experienced a new depth to His love. I so want to share ALL of my stories but it would take me forever. So I'm hoping to capture some of the most monumental parts of the week and record the major lessons that God taught me. I put a slideshow of pics. at the bottom.



The week was, of course, filled with lots of evangelizing and praying for people. The prayer stations were my favorite. The parks were alot harder for me. We would go up to people and ask if they would be willing to take a survey. The majority said no but some did say yes. After asking them the 6 questions we would transition into the gospel message and try to share with them, also offering to pray with them for anything.


I went into the trip a little prideful, thinking that I was going to be the one that would be blessing all of these people. But THEY were the ones that ministered to me!!! I'm in awe of how blessed I felt at the end of the day, especially after the prayer stations. I met so many strong Christians who encouraged me in what we were doing. I had one woman ask if she could pray a blessing over me. It was incredibly powerful. We held onto eachother at the end of her prayer, knowing that the Spirit was indeed there. So I was totally humbled by the fact that I was being ministered to, even while I was ministering to them.



The second huge thing that God did starts with my passion for children. One of the pastors spoke about how God gives us burdens. It was a very thought-provoking sermon and I actually walked away feeling very encouraged. As soon as he began speaking about burdens I immediately knew what mine was!! God has burdened me with the orphans and children. He lit a fire in me several years ago, a passion for nurturing young hearts and showing them all the love that I possibly can. The best feeling in the world is holding a child's small hand, or cuddling a tiny baby. So, of course, God touched me where I feel it most- my heart for kids. Looking back on the trip, I stand amazed at how He intricately wove my love for children into each and every day. God used two kids in particular to work in me throughout the week.

On Sunday, they sent us out to Central Park to do a survey. It was my first survey ever, my first time really evangelizing ever, and I was super nervous. So my little team walks up to this family- mom, dad, and a little boy. My partner starts off with the questionnaire and I go and kneel by the little guy to talk with him. I KNEW that this was totally God. He gave me this little boy to talk with and I was going to show Him Jesus. So I drew out my bracelet and without hesititation the gospel message flowed. If it had been an adult, I would've been like um...and so...umm...have a nice day!!! :) But my heart melts with children and I wanted nothing more than for this little guy to know Jesus!!! His parents were very uncomfortable with Christianity and so they quickly made a run for it after they realized what we were doing. But I had just enough time to get through the whole story and if nothing else, a seed was planted in his little heart.



This second child that I want to mention next has made an imprint on my heart forever. Suzanne, one of the ladies from my church, was sitting next this little girl on the subway. It was pretty typical for us to hand out tracts and bracelets on the subway and so I didn't pay any attention when I saw her giving this girl a bracelet. After I finished my conversation I glanced her way again and my eyes were glued to this little girl. She was a beautiful hispanic girl, with big brown eyes, and a precious smile. My heart broke when I watched her because she looked like Claudia, the girl I fell in love with in Guatemala. The rest of the ride, I stared at that little girl and the image of her sweet face has not left my mind since. This happened in Guatemala too, after I met Claudia. It's so hard to explain, because it doesn't make sense for me to keep thinking about this little random girl I saw in New York City on the subway. But for some reason, the Lord keeps bringing her to my mind. So everytime I think about her, I pray. I don't know her name or where she lives and I feel so helpless. When Suzanne was sharing the gospel story with her, she told her the blue bead represented the sadness of the world. She asked the girl if she ever cried. With a serious look on her face, the little sweetheart responded, "Yes I do. I cry when my mommy tells me she hates me." No small child should have an answer like that!! My heart aches for her, for her family, for the hurt that she experiences everyday. So that was a really important part of my week. I doubt I'll ever see her again, but she has been lathered in prayer this week, and I love her more than she knows!!! Oh what I would give to be able to wrap my arms around her.



An amazing part of last week was getting to know people. Jeff and Lisa, a young couple fairly new to our church, came on the trip. It was SO MUCH FUN getting to know them!!! I really connected with both of them and I'm so thankful that God blessed our group with them. They were both very funny and Lisa was an encouragement to me throughout the week. It was also really cool to be able to watch them interact with eachother. They've been married for only 9 months and I felt blessed to be able to witness such a Godly marriage. I pray that my marriage will be like that as well (whenever that may be!!). The week wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable had they not been there. Their presence was truly a gift to me and the rest of the group.



The other people I got to know better were my room mates. Kristen and I stayed with Mrs. Hanes and Mrs. Gregory, some really nice women we both knew. Within the first hour of being with them, I quickly they discovered they were hysterical as well. So that's 4 new people who were incredibly funny. Of course, there were the hilarious people in the group who I knew already.



It was also great to spend time with people that I already knew. I feel like we all grew closer over the past week and we certainly made some memories. Today I'm actually feeling kind of lonely. I miss the fellowship we had. I miss the conversations I shared with people. I miss worshiping together, lifting our hands in praise to our great and awesome God. We were united in Christ and it was beautiful but I really miss everybody!!! :(



The entire week was filled with laughter and by the end of each night, my mouth hurt from smiling and my stomach from laughing. I felt like God surrounded me with people for those 7 days who were so joyful. On Wednesday night Spencer, Mrs. Haynes, Mrs. Gregory, Suzanne, Brock, and myself all went to Times Square. We went shopping and then stopped for dessert When we came out it was pouring. So we pulled out our umbrellas and went running through the rain. I laughed SOO hard! I immediately decided that running through the streets of New York city in the rain was the best activity yet. By the time we got off the subway it was raining so hard that we gave up on using umbrellas. So we ran to our hotel laughing and arrived soaking wet. The silliness, joy, laughter, and fun that we had that evening was like a little piece of heaven. When we got into our room, Mrs. Gregory said, "Oh my goodness. God must have been laughing at us tonight!" I'd never really thought of that before but after she said that I realized how much of a gift it is that we can laugh. What an incredible blessing that in this depraved world we can still laugh, smile, love, and sing!!! So thank you to all who made me laugh last week. I came back home determined to smile a little more, laugh a little harder, be silly sometimes, and give hugs more often. We have to hang onto those simple things!! They're such great gifts from God!!



I could probably write more but I feel like this is a good summary of some of the highlights. I brought home an "I love NYC" magnet and I put it on our refrigerator. I told my family that whenever they see it they can pray about next year. I really want my parents and brothers to come with. It'd be such a good experience for our family and I'm praying it'll work out!!



Thank you so much to all who prayed for me and supported me financially. The results of this trip have been life-changing and amazing. Praise be to our God.

IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE SLIDESHOW, CLICK VIEW ALL IMAGES AT BOTTOM OF SLIDESHOW TO VIEW PICTURES.








Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Adventure for the Day

I'm always so careful to check for the kid's bikes before backing out of the driveway. Nobody had even gone outside this afternoon so when I heard the crunch of metal under the minivan I completely freaked. What had I just run over? Was the car going to be ruined? THIS ISN'T EVEN MY CAR!!! I borrowed this from my parents so I could take the kids to the pool!!! I slammed on the brakes and ran out to see what I had just done..... only to discover that I had run over the neighbor boy's bike. I felt TERRIBLE. So I ran into the house to get Mrs. Cocco and of course all 6 of the kids came out too. The bike was completely jammed under the axle of the car. My hero, Dad, came right away and jacked up the car to get the bike out. I was barely holding back my tears when Mrs. Cocco told me, "It'll be fine and we'll get the bike fixed. It'll be a blessing for this boy because now he'll get a new bike." I couldn't keep my emotions in any longer and the tears started pouring down my face. GREAT! I'm crying in front of all the kids that I babysit!! My Dad was great and he handled everything, knowing if I started talking I might just start sobbing. The oldest girl, a sweetie who reminds me exactly of what I was like at her age, came over and gave me a hug. It's funny because I'M supposed to be the one drying the tears and giving a loving hug. But this time it was her turn to minister to my heart. So that was my afternoon. Quite unexpected, against the plans that I had, and a stretching experience. I suppose it was to get me geared up for New York. Learning to go with the flow, take things as they come, and trust on God's power to carry me through.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Trip to the Airport!!!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18

Tonight the Sanders came home from China with their precious Zoe. Some of us girls got together beforehand and made posters for them. Then we all went to the airpot to wait.. and wait... and wait. The 30 minutes seemed to drag. But finally they came!! I love these homecomings because the air is literally full of joy and love!! Joy radiates from every smile, every heart swells with love because a precious child and their family are coming home!! The Sanders have another adopted Chinese girl named Naomi and they left her at home with brother Isaac to go to China to get Zoe. When Mrs. Sanders walked through the gate Naomi immediately began sobbing. She had missed her mama soo much. It was so sweet. All in all a great evening!!

Less than 48 hours 'till New York!!! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Preparations

I've been preparing for New York this week, both in the heart and the suitcase. My excitement and anticipation has grown as the hours go by. I know that God has so much to show me this next week. I eagerly await seeing all that He has planned and all of His children that will come to know Him. I realized today that I had put on my application that I have "conversational Spanish." I was like, "AHHHH!!! Why did I put that?!! I don't know how to evangelize in Spanish!!" But the idea also kind of excited me so I got on the internet and looked up key "evangelizing" words in Spanish (sin, forgive, die, rise, cross). It will be a pathetic attempt but at least I can hopefully get the idea across using only infinitives. :)





Here's some pics. of my packing project.... do you think my suitcase is going to close???? I've done about 75%. My trend is normally to shut it, sit on it, zip it (while sitting on it, of course!!) and hope it doesn't burst on the way there... :)

BEFORE:

AFTER:

LOVE THIS VERSE!!!

Every devotional time has been an adventure for me. Each time I discover a new "treasure," a verse I've never seen before or perhaps a verse that takes on a completely new meaning. This love for the Word has been completely given by God. He planted that seed in my heart and now the thirsty soil is being fed by Living Water. Praise God for that!! What a blessing and a gift the Word of the Lord is. I never realized I had been in that rut for so many years, all because I had neglected reading the Bible and spending time with the Lord.

Anyway, here's one of my treasures from yesterday. I had never heard this passage and I love the part that I italicized:

"O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will life up my hands. "
Psalm 63:1-4
How beautiful is that?!!! "your love is better than life." It truly is!! God's love is extravagant, never-ending, and unconditional. It is greater than any love our earthly father can ever lavish on us. How good our God is!!

Decorating

This will be very boring to some but i was so excited that I couldn't help but blog about it!! My mom had gotten me this "family" plaque a month or so ago but I hadn't hung it up yet because I didn't want it to just hang by itself. I wanted some pictures of our family with it. I finally made it to Michael's today with my 40% off coupon in hand. I had 20 minutes to kill before work and I was determined to go in, get what I needed for the project and leave. I have a trend of going into craft stores and coming out with WAY TOO MUCH!!! :) I see cute scrapbook stuff and have to get it because, after all I'm sure I'll use them sometime!!! I walked out of the store with more than I came for but very pleased with myself. I found three items for only $1 and the scrapbook page frame was only $5. Talk about some bargain shopping!!! So I had lots of fun painting the words and frame, scrapbooking the family page, and hanging everything in my room. Had to post some pics.!! This 2-week "vacation" from babysitting has been truly a gift from God. I've had time to just rest- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I've had wonderful devotional times, one-one-one time with Noah and Caleb, good times with friends, and time to do things that I enjoy (like this project).



Monday, July 14, 2008

They're Growing Up



I've realized the past couple of months that my brothers are growing up!! It's kind of sad... they've officially left that childhood stage and are slowly becoming more mature (or ARE they?!!! Just kidding! hehe!). God has grown in Noah this sweet gift of serving and encouragement. Just in the past month, Noah has been showing me incredible love and kindness through his words and actions. He'll run out of the house if he sees me coming in with my arms full of stuff from the car, he'll open the door for me, pause the movie to go get a sweatshirt for me if I'm cold, go and grab a Diet Coke for me- all without me asking!!! Even more special, he's started telling me, "Molly, that shirt looks nice on you." or "Your hair looks good today." or "That outfit's pretty." I nearly had a heart attack the first time he said that to me. He sincerely wants to make me feel beautiful and that means more to me than I can describe. I told him last night that some girl's going to snatch him right up!! Those simple acts of kindness and love will capture any girl's heart!!


God has been working in Caleb too and although he doesn't always express himself in the same way that Noah might I've gained back his trust over the past month or so. A couple of summers ago, Caleb and I would stay up late at night and talk. He would wait until Mom and Dad put him to bed and then he would sneak into my room and we'd sit by the night light and talk for an hour. I'd missed that closeness so much and I think that God has softened Caleb's heart to me and Caleb has started confiding in me again. He has such a sensitive heart, even though he acts macho sometimes. Right, Caleb? :)


God is so good to give me these guys! For so long I thought that our family wasn't complete without a little sister but now I know this is it!! I look forward to the coming years as we grow older and branch out. I dream of reunions together with our own families and I pray that someday it'll happen!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Today....

Today we went on a bike ride to Carl's for ice cream. I wasn't hungry so I just drank water but it was nice to sit outside and talk. Here's a goofy video I took:



video


Tonight I'm going shopping for NYC!! I'm SOOO excited for the trip!!!!! I'm hoping the week goes by fast!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Full Day!

Today I went to a Star Wars marathon. I had never watched that much TV in one day so it was a first for me! :) We played some games and listened to a really good sermon in between the movies so it wasn't like 6 hours of TV straight. Overall, a fun day!!

I came home and my mom made me study for my ACT so I decided to take a practice test over English. I was feeling so confident until I started grading it..... I was missing ALL of them. I was kinda' starting to stress until I realized I was on the wrong answer key. Yep, that'll do it. I did MUCH better when I graded it with the right answer key. Whew!! A definite blonde moment! :)

There have been some tragic events in the adoption world this week. A little boy in Ethiopia died yesterday. His soon-to-be family lives here in the US. I haven't even let myself imagine what it would be like. It is so tragic. Then, another family adopting from Ethiopia had their referral revoked- which NEVER happens. Basically, they recieved their referral recently and thought they were adopting that child and were just told that for some reason they cannot. This may not sound like a huge deal but the hearts of the family are broken. They still feel a great loss even though they'd never held that precious baby and now they have to wait AGAIN for another referral. Also, if you recall, I blogged about Zoie, the little baby girl (big eyes, a couple posts ago) that is being adopted from Ethiopia. This family has had numerous roadblocks since arriving in Ethiopia and it is so obvious that the devil does not want this little girl to join their family. I just started a new book yesterday called Too Small to Ignore. It is written by the founder/manager of Compassion International, a ministry to children in poverty around the globe. I haven't gotten very far in it but the one thing he has been talking about is how there is a spiritual battle raging over each and every child. I'm sure you'll hear more from me about this book but I felt like this really applied to everything that has been happening this week. So pray for these families and for all of the children that are without loving homes tonight. On the good side, our friends the Kindreds just got orange!!! So they'll be heading down to Guatemala to get their ADORABLE baby Kella. And on Wednesday I'm going to see the Sanders (Zoe from China) come home. So exciting.

Now I'm off to scrapbook!!! My outlet for creativity! :)

Blessings,
Molly

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

Several thoughts for the day!! :)

This morning I went to a sunrise praise and worship service. 6 of us got up before the crack of dawn to meet and watch the sunrise while praying, singing, and sharing. It was amazing (i SOOO wish I'd brought my camara... i guess my brain wasn't thinking that well at 4:30 in the morning!!) I was reminded once again of the incredible people that God has placed in my life. I'm so thankful He's given me people who want to grow and be challenged in their faith and that I can be apart of it.

This afternoon I went to the pool with my friend Alexa. We don't see eachother that often but we can always just pick up where we left off last time. Our lack of routine time together doesn't affect our ability to share and trust. We sat in the sun for the afternoon and had a really good talk. We both share alot of the same challenges, feelings, dreams, and fears. I left feeling refreshed and encouraged. So often in my life, I find that I don't get past the shallow conversations. As Christians, we have the amazing opportunity to grow and learn with our friends, even while casually talking at the pool.

In less than 8 days I will be leaving for New York City!!! I'm soo excited!! I can't believe that it's finally here. I know that God has SOO much to show me and teach me and that I will be majorly stretched!! The Lord has been faithful in humbling me this past week showing me that this trip is about HIM and that I will be doing it by HIS strength and NOT MY OWN!! Praise God for His patience. I can be so prideful and stubborn!!

As we were picking out music for the service this morning I stumbled upon this song that I hadn't heard in a long time. It hasn't stopped running through my head and I keep thinking about the lyrics. God has been showing me so many things and I felt like this song is exactly what I've been praying:

Purify my heart
touch me with your cleansing fire
Take me to the cross,
Your holiness is my desire.

Breathe Your life in me,
Kindle a love that flows from your throne.
Oh, purify my heart,
Purify my heart.

Have a FANTASTIC Thursday!!!

God bless,
Molly

I've never signed my posts before but saw another blogger do it and kind of like it.... we'll see if I'll stick to it!! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Those Eyes


The Gibsons, a family that's adopting from Ethiopia just got their sweet baby Zoie today. Her eyes absolutely draw you in.
I did a little daydreaming today and decided that second to my wedding, the moment I most look forward to in life is looking into the eyes of my child for the first time. Will that not be incredible?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Melt My Heart!!


The Sanders (a family we know) is in China right now adopting their sweet Zoe. The above pictures were taken the very day they got her!! Look at how happy that girl is and how alive these children become with just a few hours of lovin'!

Had to share this short story with you that Mrs. Sanders blogged about last night:
"Zoe is fast asleep after her dinner debut. She ate everything in sight and is holding onto her sippie cup like it is her lifeline. When we got back to the lobby a Chinese businessman stopped me, looked at her and said, "I love you little one." Then he looked in my eyes and said very intently , "You know , I have always thought that there is a God in heaven who is looking out for all of us. Now, when I see you with her, I know He is real. I said, "Yes and His name is Jesus. " He said , "She is the luckiest little girl and you are an angel. I said, "No...God did this." I walked away stunned.
She came home, giggled and played with the boys, then I put her in her bed and she just laid ther unmoving-typical of orphanage babies and heartbreaking to watch. I sat beside her teary and praying -thanking God for this gift. "
Need I say more? I was near tears after reading that this morning!! What a beautiful thing God is doing in the lives of these families who are adopting!

Waiting...

Last night and this afternoon I scrapbooked last summer's Guatemala trip in my spiritual memorial stone scrapbook, a scrapbook for special moments or events that have been monumental in my walk with God. So I typed out all of the poems that I'd written and all of the "God stories" that happened. I was so full of mixed emotions. I was encouraged to read again the journal entries I'd written of God's faithfulness to the team while we were there and the incredible lessons that He taught me. My heart ached as I looked at pictures of Claudia, knowing she's still down there and knowing her family's hearts are absolutely breaking waiting for their precious daughter. So it was just kind of a rekindling of my desire to help these kids. If I could I would so totally hop on a plane and fly to Guatemala, Ethiopia, anywhere that I can help! BUT, I can't. Right now God has called me to stay here. Which gets me onto the topic of waiting. It seems in life that we are always waiting for something. Waiting until the weekend, waiting for summer vacation, waiting for graduation, waiting for college, waiting for dating, waiting for marriage, and the list goes on!! Part of our Christian walk is learning to wait with patience, resting in the arms of God! So I'm waiting and learning.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The last of Family Camp Pictures

I'm too lazy and not patient enough to blog more about Family Camp. I'm just going to put the remaining pictures in a slideshow and put the rest of the videos in this post. I think 90% of the 5 people that read this blog were there anyway! :) If you know my Dad, then go to the first video under the slideshow. The worship leader called him up to the stage at the beginning of one of the sessions to help with the hand motions to a "silly song." It's hilarious!!

I will say that one of the highlights of the week was the very last night and some of the teens went and sat out on the dock and watched the sunset. Hollie and I talked for awhile and I just really enjoyed that. I tried to take some pictures but they didn't really work out that great.

Again, if the slideshow doesn't show up just click "view all images" Is it just my computer that it doesn't show up on?!!




video

A wonderful week!! Thank you to everyone who made it so special. I miss your company and laughing with the girls!!! :)

Dinner at Monicals

Tonight we met my aunt and uncle for dinner at Monical's. YUMMY!!!

Caleb sat up front and Dad joined Noah and I in back. We played Rummy, a new game we learned (thanks Spencer!).







They took the boys over to their house for a couple of days..... I miss them already. Okay, maybe not! :P It is nice to have a little peace and quiet!!! :)


Silly Boy!!

Just some fun pictures I took of/with Noah today. Caleb went to work with Dad so he wasn't here, and he hates the camara anyway!! :)







The 4th


I was very negligent and didn't take one picture yesterday at the Fourth of July cookout that we went to!! We had a great time just hanging out and watching the guys set off their own fireworks in the Browns' backyard!

Friday, July 4, 2008

I've got the joy joy joy joy...


Yes, we all remember that fun childhood song. We sang it weekly in our Sunday School classes and at VBS. My new devotional is about finding real joy in life through Jesus. It's a great personal Bible Study and, for the first time, I'm really falling in love with the Scriptures and I look forward to my time of study everyday. This morning, my lesson talked about the difference between happiness and joy, a subtlety (spelling?!!) that often gets glossed over. The author, Jeanette Hanscome, says that "Happiness seems to be dependent on my circumstances. I see God answering prayers; I don't have any major problems to worry about, so I'm happy. Joy comes from a deeper place- a corner of my soul that trusts in God's faithfulness and love and refuses to let the downs of life keep me from smiling, laughing, and praising Him." I love that and I want that in every aspect of my life, not just in the parts of life that I have under control. I had to search my heart and the Lord showed me areas in which I haven't shown joy. When the journey gets bumpy do I still rejoice? So I'm going to start striving for a joyful heart in all things.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crazy Week!!!

What a week it has been!!! :) I feel like I've been running 100 mph! It's been fun but I am so glad for some downtime!! I babysat at 7 AM most of the week (I know!! Crazy!) and then would go to work at the office, ending the day with some sort of event.

Today was a great day. Caleb came and helped me take the kids to the Children's Museum. I was SOOO thankful that he offered to come and help. It was great to have an extra set of eyes. Best of all, he could climb up in the indoor playground thing instead of me doing it. After they tired of the museum we stopped by our house, got our snowcone machine, and took them home to make snowcones. They became super hyper after the snowcones so I don't think we'll do that again. I'll definitely need to ration their sugar in the future.....I was counting down the minutes until their mom came home because I didn't know how to calm them down!! It was a blessing to be able to spend time with just Caleb for the afternoon, even though we were busy. It was good to be able to work together as a team.

God showed his love and faithfulness to me once again by encouraging me after my rough day on Monday. I wrote that post on Monday in the thick of my emotions. Although my frustration and discouragement was probably justified I realize now that it was just "one of those days" that wasn't going well. Yet God's plan is so perfect and He meant for that day to be one of growth and after that evening, I went to bed that night feeling encouraged. So God is teaching me lots and using people to help me grow.

Some of you have asked what my plans are for next year and if anything's changed. Our plan is for me to graduate next year and attend college the year after (2010). Right now, I'm just praying that God's will would be done. There's alot of uncertainties that go along with with this. Like how I can apply for college in October if I don't get my Junior year grades until December? Or the big decision of where I want to go to college. Does the Lord want me here in my hometown or does He want me to leave? My top bunk in my bedroom is covered in letters from colleges that I might be interested in. It's overwhelming!! :) But I'm completely at peace. I know that the Lord has a perfect plan for my life and that the story He's writing is more beautiful than I can ever imagine! He knows the year of my graduation, the college that I'll go to and the person I'll room with. It's so good to know that He has it all worked and that there's no need to worry!

Everybody have a happy 4th!! We're going to a cookout and then to the fireworks.