Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wooosh went the wind, then out went the lights :)

Last night we had a wonderful evening with some friends of ours. We were long overdue to have a visit with Kelly and Brian. They are wonderful encouragers and have great kids. We always have a fun time when we get to hang out. Last night during our visit a crazy storm came up and we lost power. You would think that with six kids and no power things would get crazy, but they didn't. The kids did great. They thought of it as a fun adventure. Kelly took some beautiful pictures and blogged them. Check her out:

Thank you so much Kelly and Brian. The food and fellowship was fantastic. Looking forward to hanging out again soon :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Herring Festival

A town nearby had their Herring Festival this weekend. So we packed the kids up and went down to enjoy the day. Eden and Josiah enjoyed their first parade and the train ride that followed.

Good Friday Blessing

Our family was blessed with a precious addition on Good Friday. My amazing cousin Kelly gave birth to Lydia Joy. She is 7 lbs 13oz of red headed blessing! She is also the first of four great grand children that are due this year. Momma and Lydia are doing great.

I'm looking forward to Kelly and Jeremy paving the way for parenting three. They are awesome parents and will be a great source of wisdom and encouragement in the months to come. I hope we can be for them as well!

Welcome to the world Lydia Joy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

90 days to go!

We have 3 months to go until “Thumper” as I like to call him will be here. One of the great things about having c-section is knowing that I have a date scheduled and he’ll be here. Unless I go into labor early, then I have exactly 3 months to go until Thumper will make his appearance July 18th!

This is an exciting and scary time. I’m excited to meet and fall in love with our newest blessing, yet I’m fearful of how life will change. I went through a phase when I became pregnant with Josiah; it was a time of worry and fear. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough love to give Eden with another person needing my attention. How would I have the strength and wisdom to parent two children?
Thankfully, a dear friend encouraged me and told me that God doesn’t give Mothers a love limit that has to be shared between your children. Instead, as He grows your family, He grows your ability to love. “Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies” she said. Her words brought great comfort. As time has passed, I have found them to be true.

And added joy of having two children so close in age is that they have a best friend in the same home. I watch them each day looking after one another and encouraging one another. Don’t get me wrong. They fight it out some days so much so that they have to be put in separate rooms. But for the most part, they enjoy one another. I pray this baby will fit right in and will grow to love Eden and Josiah as his best friends.

One of the things that worries me is that is seems we have just found a balance for how to do life with two children. Now that will change. We tease we have a man to man defense plan. I get one, Larry gets the other. In about three months someone new will be added to the craziness. Then we’ll have to go to zone defense! No more one on one for us. Then comes the day after my mom and Larry’s mom leave, and Larry goes back to work and I have all three kids by myself…. Yes, I am a bit nervous about that as well.

Before Eden’s birth I was convinced I would be able to do everything all by myself. Oh how wrong I was! Now with a third C-section in my near future, I am well aware that I’ll need some help during the days that follow Thumper’s delivery. I was reminded in a Sunday school lesson that there are times when we are the blessings to others and there are times when we receive the blessings. It’s very difficult for me to accept help, much less go into things knowing I will need help. God is preparing my heart in advance, teaching me the limits of my ability only showcase the vastness of His! In my weakness and worry, I have to Trust in God’s sovereignty. It is not easy. There have been times lately that it seems there are moment by moment surrendering to the Lord. But then that is when the blessings come!

A few days ago, a friend posted this on her Facebook status and it really encouraged me. “So aware of the need for Christ and His strength as parents. pregnancy changes someone... so does the adoption process. Both are scary, risky, fearful, and so often you feel helpless and totally dependent upon God's grace because you are ever aware of your weakness.

She put into words the thoughts I’ve been having. I love how God can use friends and Scripture to bring comfort in seasons of change. I have been dealing with the worry and anxiety that comes along with this season of life. It's comforting to know others have shared in those feelings and stress. I am not alone! What a great God that brings comfort. What great blessings!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taking a walk.

Here are a few more favorite pictures with the Grandparents.

 I love that Granddaddy is skipping in this picture.

 Holding hands

I LOVE how this one turn out. So timeless :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Best Friends

On of the greatest joys I have as a Momma is watching Eden and my niece Brielle, growing to be best friends. They love one another and enjoy spending time with one another. Eden talks about Brielle every day, and prays for her every night. We've had to cancel a few visits lately because of work and sickness, so  when we realized we could go spend some time with them this week we jumped at the chance. We were rewarded with times like this, when you can see how much they love one another.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Are you living on Mission for Christ?

Tuesday night I woke up to go potty and then couldn’t fall back asleep. The Lord uses these times in my life to connect with him. I didn’t mind my middle of the night nursing times so much because they were wonderful times with the Lord; A time of focus and prayer. Life is sweet when it is slow and quiet. Maybe the Lord is preparing me for our future child. Or maybe He needed me to pay attention to Him without all the other busyness that consumes most of my days. The point is, it was the middle of the night and I was wide awake.

So what is the Lord teaching me during these times? My thoughts last night were on being missional. During seminary, I thought of being missional as living overseas in a different culture. I’ve been blessed to go all around the world for the Lord and have many friends who are currently serving overseas. They are missionaries. It wasn’t until we went to a conference a year after moving to Williamston that it hit me that Larry and I were missionaries in Williamston.
I don’t know why it struck me so late; you would think that I would know better. But in my mind, Pastor’s wife and missionary were two separate categories. I saw our role in more of a discipleship aspect than evangelistic. We lived in Eastern North Carolina after all, there are churches scattered all over the place. We did not live in some tent or a desert or a foreign country. I assumed that most people we came into contact with would be believers.

Some of my confusion was based on the false assumption that all the people in our church were all Christians. Sadly, that’s not the case. There are many individuals that sit in our churches Sunday after Sunday that do not have a relationship with the Lord. And you would think that there wouldn’t be a need for missionaries in Eastern North Carolina with all of those churches in the area. That thought couldn’t be more wrong either.

Last month, I spoke at a Sister Church. While preparing for that message I found some interesting information. There are areas overseas that have a higher rate of Christians than we do here in Eastern North Carolina. Christians in foreign countries are sending missionaries to the United States! According to the 2010 US Census, the county where I live has a Population of 23,337. According to our Baptist Association, 70-80% of our county is un-churched. Which means between 16,336 and 18,670 people in Martin County are destined to go to hell without a relationship with Christ! That’s heart breaking!

So who are these people? These are our children, our siblings, our spouses, our parents, our cousins, our friends, co-workers, our neighbors. These are the people who warm the pews of our churches Sunday after Sunday, but do not have relationships with Christ! These are the people who are cultural Christians. A cultural Christian is someone who acts like a Christian but does not have a relationship with the Lord. There is still an expectation of how people should think and act in the south. These people focus on the “shoulds” and “should-nots” of behavior; this thinking is based on good behavior will get them into heaven. Bad behavior sends you straight to hell. It’s the he or she is a good person kind of thinking. Sadly, Hell is full of “good” people. Scripture teaches us that there is only one way to heaven and that’s Jesus! Only He is good enough to meet God’s standards. And it is only by His blood that our sins can be paid for and His righteousness imputed to us. So that the Lord does not look upon our sins but instead view us through Christ’s Righteousness! WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXCHANGE!!! That should blow our minds daily!!!

Wednesday night was our final night of Revival. The message was perfect for this middle of the night session that the Lord and I had. We looked at Jonah chapter four. Darrel challenged us and asked if we (our church) were like Jonah, Camping out on the hill waiting and watching for the Lord to destroy Nineveh. (Jonah 4:5) Or were we purposeful in engaging our community with the Gospel. Are we more focused on reaching and discipline the lost people in our community or are we more interested in keeping comfortable in our way of life and worship?

Oh how convicting! I’m in a season of life when most of my days are spent at home with my children. They are my primary evangelism field. Most of the people I spend time with are fellow church members. I need to be more purposeful about engaging my community. I want to look at the people in Wal-mart, the park and the grocery store and see them as Jesus does. They are made His image and He desires to have a relationship with them. Maybe something I can say or do can help grow those relationships. So I’m trying to focus on being more missional.

For those of you reading this, please don’t make the mistake I did, and think that missions is something that happens somewhere else. Being missional happens where you are and with whom you are in contact with! I’m praying for opportunities to be missional in my church and community. May God bring about those encounters. To Him be the glory!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Haiti Update

I love getting updates from our teammates from Haiti. The work continues and my heart will always be invested in these awesome people. Dr. Vlad sent an update that I wanted to share with you.

"This week one of our team visited an orphanage in the outside of port au prince, and those kids showed a nice improvement from how sick they were when we visited last January, this is one more thing that made me see how great is our GOD and why there is HOPE FOR HAITIAN PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE ORPHANS.

 This past week the two team saw 1400 patients and Praise God, We had 13 Haitians come to Christ this week."

It is such a blessing to be able to see the work that is happening daily in Haiti. I am encouraged by Dr. Vlad's words and their continual effort to work for the Lord serving the Haitian people.  Please continue to pray for the doctors, nurses, translators, drivers, US volunteers, patients and orphans. May they all be encouraged by the Lord.

Black and White Beauties

Most of the pictures I post of the kids are in color. I love the color of my childrens' eyes and hair. I was playing with editing some pictures and loved how the black and whites looked. I guess I'll have to try more black and white editing in the future. :)

They both look so grown up!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

We've been pottied!

During dinner a van pulled in and sat there for a few minutes. I didn't recognize it but people stop by all the time, so I didn't think anything of it. After a few minutes of not having them come to the door Larry got up to check to see what was going on and started to laugh. He said, "we're being pottied!" I started laughing too. We've seen these purple potties in our neighbor's yards and knew it would just be a matter of time before we got hit. I must say, I prefer being pottied to being egged or toilet papered any day!

And the person who pottied us requested that we be pottied late Saturday so that it would be here for church tomorrow. Now we can tease our church members to see who will be pottied next. :)

We are happy to support Relay for Life. Explaining to our toddlers  (one of which love to flush the potty) what was going on was hilarious! Eden wanted to take toilet paper outside an use the purple potty. Josiah couldn't figure out why it wouldn't flush. It was worth the donation we plan to give just to laugh at them as they tried to figure out what a potty was doing in our front yard. 

 See Eden, this should make the water come..... what no water!?!
 So sad, this potty doesn't work!
Love the look on his face. :)
Maybe If I keep pushing the button it will flush.....nope, no water!