This morning started out a little batty...literally. I came out of the laundry room and found this bat taking a snooze on the screen on our front porch. Weird. It may have been some kind of indication as to how our day was going to go. Abigail came down with a cold last night so she was quite fussy and not feeling well so we gave the girls a school free pass and went to work because we needed to get finished in time for the Lowe's delivery guys to bring the new fridge we ordered. We have waited and waited to replace the 23 year old fridge and it has gotten worse and worse in leaking all over the floor most recently pretty much every day. We were hoping to wait until the Lord provided a buyer for our home in Cushing but He did something awesome. He provided a great sale and an extra shift for my husband to cover the cost. Go God! So, needless to say we were all very excited about the new fridge. The only kicker was the dimensions of the space.
We measured and measured all kinds of fridges. Because the cabinetry was built 20 years ago most (well very close to all) fridges wouldn't fit. In the store the one we really liked measure right on our measurement for our cutout. Have you ever prayed for a fridge to fit? I know that God has many other things to take care of but I sure prayed that this fridge would fit with no issues...well, guess what?
Yep, the one that was delivered to us was 1/8 of an inch too tall....so, we had more work ahead.
And when I say we, I mean my prince of a husband of course. Poor guy worked all day and came home to have to cut out the top of the shelving and then the side also for us to be able to fit the fridge into the spot it needed to go.
A small job turned into yet another 2.5 hour job. But...
We got it in! So, it was late when Dust and I sat down to eat (I had fed the kids earlier while he ran to Lowe's for a sander) and we looked out the windows and saw the most beautiful sight.
The Momma deer and her twins were back! Just hanging out in our backyard. I even got a few pics before they heard me and took off. Just breathtaking to see how beautiful and graceful they are. There is just something special about seeing twins..maybe because they are such a double blessing. Today.. started out a bit batty..then frusterating and finally ended well and breathtaking! Thank you Lord is all I can say!
I really love this. I really am not a Super Mama. I try very hard but I just cannot do it all...and ALL is a big encompassing word here with a family of six. I pray that my children see that I am just a Mama who loves the Lord and is daily seeking to follow where He leads and that daily I need Him to help me do just that. Boy am I thankful that God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There is nothing my God cannot do! I am thankful that I don't have to stand in my own strength day after day but I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
It is hard to believe that we have done 25 days of school already! The kids are doing really well and learning all kinds of new things. Abigail is working on her letters, colors, shapes and numbers. Claire likes coloring and stacking. The boys really like science and math. We have been studying the milky way...stars, planets, constellations. I had them watch Louie Giglios talk "Indescribable" and "Symphony" from the passion series and they really liked them! They tied in so well with our lessons on how Big and awesome our God is and how He made all things. They loved "Symphony" best because he puts some stars and whales singing together to the song How Great is Our God and it is really amazing. The boys have written their second story about a dog saving a little boy. The girls really enjoy them reading to them at story time. We have learned three verses so far:
1- John 8:12 "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
2- John 3:30 "He must become more important, I must become less important."
3- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Be kind to one another and build each other up." The pictures above are the kids drawing a picture of this verse and how they can be kind to others. Carson- if a guy was falling from the sky because his parachute didn't work I would push a trampoline underneath him to help him. Yes, he drew it too! Funny boy.
Well, we did it! We went to the Morehead community pool for the first time this summer and it was really fun! The girls spent the most time in the baby pool and the boys jumped off the tall diving board over and over and over again. The plus for the pool was no smokers camped right beside us. :) Is it really almost the end of July? Summer seems to be going by way too quickly!
Carson found this rock at the pond tonight. He was so very proud of it and brought it in to me. It looks just like a heart! What a wonderful reminder that the creator of the world loves us. Ephesians 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love which He loved us, even while we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive in Christ, by grace you have been saved."
Can you feel the love tonight? Oh, how they love one another!
Rastus Rumble & Roxy Rapunzel
This girl has been so fun. She has finally got the potty training thing down. Claire isn't carrying her around as much now because she is getting bigger and faster :) She is pretty quick and if she doesn't desire a Claire hug she takes off running circles in the house.
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1: 16-17
When I look at my hostas I think of this verse. God made all thing to proclaim His glory. They are so lush and beautiful. It has rained a lot lately and they have flourished. The purple flowers are just beautiful as they dance in the wind. One thing I miss dearly about Cushing is my flowers. We had seven flower beds around the house and pool that were a lot of work but I sure loved tending them and seeing them grow so beautifully throughout the summer. We decided not to buy flowers this year while we are still waiting on a buyer for our home in Cushing. I know this is a little thing but I have struggled in it. I really loved taking care of my flowers every day. I spent a lot of time weeding and watering especially in the hot, hot Oklahoma sun. It was so rewarding when they flourished and were just a delight to behold every morning. The Lord has given us a little bit different of a garden this year. He has placed us right where He wants to use us in Morehead and I am humbled to see His hand in so many ways. He took us out of a dry and barren land in Cushing and has placed us in a lush and thriving land that is hungering and thirsting for His word. He has placed us in a body of believers that are growing and committed to seeking and serving together. For this I feel greatly humbled. Last night we had our first function as a discipleship group to build unity. We had 11 show up to fellowship and play Bunko. It really was a great time and we can plainly see that our group is growing together as one. This morning we met in our new room. We have outgrown a room already and now have new larger room and a permanent place to grow, learn and share life together. I know that we should not see progress in numbers but we were so encouraged to see 17 come again this morning. 3 of those were new visitors. I found myself wanting to cry as I looked around the room this morning. When I see this new group of believers that we are with now in Morehead at times my heart still sees and longs to be with some of those in the group in Cushing that we were growing in the Lord with there. I long for them to know, understand and grasp the fullness and greatness of a committed body of believers making disciples for Jesus. I long for them to grow and flourish in their walk with the Lord. It is very much like how I miss and long to water my old flowerbeds back in Cushing. The Lord reminded me today that my flowers are here in Morehead now. We are to tend and feed the garden of believers He has placed us in here. I have the hymn Trust and Obey on my heart today. There truly is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
We will do His good will for He alone is worthy! What a great joy it is to see where the Lord is working and join Him when He calls you to obey. He filled me with joy this morning as I listened to my husband teach about Ephesians 2:1-10 during class. The gospel. Who we are as man. Hopeless without Christ and God's amazing grace. Despite what we deserve God offers us the gift of grace but only though the blood of Jesus can we receive it. Undeserved kindness and mercy. Nothing we can do by works of good acts. Amazing Grace indeed! He filled me with wonder this morning as I watched one of our new visitors to our class this morning surrender his life to the Lord during church before the sermon even started. What a joy it is to see the Holy Spirit move as he pursues and draws men to Jesus! God's beauty in creation and redemption in Christ is amazing! He filled me with great humbleness this morning as he whispered to my heart, "I have you in the garden I desire for you to grow, tend and feed." For this season we are here right where He wants us pressing on to proclaim His glory just like the beautiful bed of hostas in our new backyard.
There is something delightful and peaceful about a screened in porch. I found some bargain cushions this week at Burke and a sign I love (best $3.00 I have spent in a long time!) to spruce up and comfy up one of our favorite places, the screened in porch. We have had rain every afternoon this week and have spent time reading on the porch while the rain has fallen! So lovely! Thank you Jesus!
We learned the song Amazing Grace today. Ms. Denice told us that her mom, Ms. Shala, loved the song Amazing Grace. Today we are celebrating Ms. Shala. We learned all about the song. We learned about John Newton who wrote it and his life. We learned why he wrote it. I played the hymn version for them and the new version by Chris Tomlin and gave them the choice of which one they wanted to learn how to sing. They decided they liked the new version best so we went with it. This is for Caden and Carlie Kennedy. There is also quite a bit of silliness in it because they are our monkeys after all. Such truth in the verses! Amazing Grace!
Amazing grace How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I'm found Was blind, but now I see 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing grace The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures
My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing grace The earth shall soon dissolve like snow The sun forbear to shine But God, Who called me here below Will be forever mine Will be forever mine You are forever mine
The coolest thing about this song is it is a spiritual autobiography about the composer who penned the words. It has become one of the greatest Christian anthems today. Truly Amazing Grace! We talked a lot today about the chorus that Chris Tomlin added "My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God, My Savior has ransomed me." Yesterday, we talked a lot about Nicodemus. Jesus told Nicodemus that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. (John 3) We talked about the only thing that can wash away our sins...make us whole again...nothing, but the blood of Jesus. I taught the kids that hymn and it was a fun time. We have the opportunity to choose life because God provided a way for us to live forever by sending His only son to pay the penalty for our sins. So back to Carson, we did speak with Carson that night and he is really starting to understand that He needs a Savior. When Dustin asked Him what he wanted to do he told us "Well, maybe." We saw uncertainty. We saw a timid boy not boldly understanding and proclaiming His need for Jesus. We decided to let the Lord continue to speak to His heart. We told him we would be willing to talk with him or answer any questions for him but He would have to tell us when he was ready to make that choice boldly for Jesus. We want more than anything for Carson to choose Jesus, but we cannot do that for him. He has to understand and agree with God submitting His life to Him to receive God's grace. We talked a little more about that today and He told me, "Mom, confessing is the hardest part." Yes, even my 9 year old son gets that. Confessing..agreeing with God that sin is sin and we need a Savior really is the hardest part but oh what freedom comes when he sets our chains free from the bondage of our sin. As parents it is our desire for Carson (and all of our children) to understand God's amazing grace. We long for them to grasp that we are all born in this world lost to sin and the darkness surrounds us. There is nothing we can do to be good enough to earn our way to heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. We long for our children to listen to the Holy Spirit as He continues to reveal who Jesus is all the while calling them to Himself. We pray that they will hear His voice. We pray they will hear His knocking at the door of their hearts and that they would claim the gift God offers to them of grace through faith. We want more than anything for them to choose Jesus but when we sat with Carson and heard a timid "Well, maybe" we knew that Satan also is warring for his heart. There is still doubt there and maybe just a head knowledge. The good news is God is still working. God is continuing to pursue Carson right now. We are praying that Carson will rise up when God calls his name and that He will boldly surrender all. I will have to tell you that this morning was probably the worst day of homeschool that we have had so far. Distraction and disobedience were abundant as we began our morning. At one point I just had to stop and pray. I could tell that I was getting upset and angry at the way my children were acting and making it so difficult. The Lord really spoke to my heart and quieted me as I cried out to him as we prayed. He told me to not forget they are walking in darkness. (after all it is our memory verse this week John 8:12) He reminded me they are in training and so am I. Why would I be surprised that the days to come will be more difficult? Satan does not like what is going on in our home. Satan does not like to see the lost be drawn to Jesus. I need to expect difficulty, distraction, and disobedience. I need to offer my children the same grace my Heavenly Father offers me and continue to speak truth into them as I seek to help them to recognize and obey the King of Kings. Today as far as the curriculum that we covered was not expansive, but the Lord seems to always redeem the time especially if we surrender our hearts and attitudes to him. Amazing Grace indeed and cake in store today to celebrate Ms.Shala that makes it just a bit sweeter somehow.
You can also watch the video here on you tube if you are viewing this from a mobile device: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nxOBBvaWcs4
Today, was not just an ordinary day.. Carson and Andrew wrote their first stories about three kittens and read them during snack time today
These girls live for snack time. :)
Abigail working hard in some dry erase numbers and shapes books I found on Clearance at Burke's.
We started out with this little Christian History. It is significant to us because the Lord has given us two great families here in Morehead that are Gideons, the Hattons & the Browns. They are dear to our hearts and we rejoiced to hear that today was the day in 1899 that they formed a like minded group with the goal of distributing God's Word everywhere they went. The mission was saving the lost through personal witness and distribution of God's word. They began distributing in 1908 and today have over 300,000 members who have distributed 1.8 BILLION bibles and counting. In fact, they say that for every second 2 bibles of God's word is being handed out through the Gideon Organization. This is so awesome! I believe that the Lord can use his Word to reveal himself to the lost and call them to himself because that is what He did with me. I went to a Southern Nazarene University Basketball camp in 8th grade and was given a bible. It was a camp for Champions. I went for basketball and yet the Lord used it, the people there, and His word to pursue me and begin to draw me near to Him. I had never had a copy of a bible before. My father had one and I had used it a little bit but it seemed so hard to understand (it was a King James Version.) I love what the Gideons are doing for the glory of God because I know that the Lord can use His word to reveal, convict and draw his lost children to himself like he did me.
The past couple of days we have been praying a lot and talking a lot about losing a loved one and death. Some of our dear friends in Cushing, the Kennedy family, lost a dear mother and grandmother on Saturday. Our hearts have grieved with them and at the same time rejoiced for we know that Ms. Shala is now with Jesus. Every morning at the beginning of our day we spend time in our bibles together. We are reading through the gospel of John and really loving taking it slow and talking about God's word together. Today's scripture was over the last few scriptures before Chapter 3 starts and we were talking about how Jesus knows the hearts of all people. Our scripture this week in our curriculum is John 8:12 "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life." When we were recapping our praise and prayer requests this morning and talking through again praying for the Kennedy family and their good friend Caden, I told them Ms.Shala's funeral would be on Wednesday. They asked, "What is a funeral?" I was silent a moment. They have never been to a funeral. So the next 45 minutes we just talked about what a funeral is..I explained that there really are two types of funerals: one is a celebration and one is wrought with great despair. I went on to explain the difference and why they were different. I have been to both types of funerals. Believers in Jesus, who have the hope of Christ, usually have a joyful service that has tears but there is also great celebration in the truth that the person who just died because of their relationship with Jesus Christ is now with him in the place He went to prepare for us. Why? Because they believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. They believe what God's word says is true. They know the glory of their inheritance. They understand amazing grace and the promise of salvation. Funerals of unbelievers are wrought with despair and weeping. How could they not be? They have no hope. They do not know what lies in store for them. They do not live knowing this place we live in here on this earth is only temporary. They walk in darkness because they do not have the light of life. I then was able to share the gospel story again with my children. Such great news that God loved us so much that He sent his one and only son to die for us and pay the penalty for our sin. John 3:16. There is nothing, nothing, nothing we can to do earn our way to heaven. Satan is so crafty and tricky and leads people to believe the lie that we can earn our way by being good. Even my 7 and 9 year old understand that we cannot ever be good enough. We make bad choices. Jesus came because we need a savior. Jesus name means THE LORD SAVES! How cool is that? We talked a lot about how the Lord saves. Nothing we can do but only receive God's amazing grace. We talked about agreeing with God that we are a sinner and that we cannot save ourselves, we talked about who Jesus is and what He has done for us and then we talked about our response. We all get the opportunity to choose life or death forever in the eternal sense. We get to choose Jesus or the World which is ultimately a disguised Satan. Ms. Shala had to choose and we rejoiced in knowing that her choice was Jesus. We know that because of her walk with the Lord. We know that because of the way she was a reflection of her heavenly father. We know that because she told her family and others about her relationship with Jesus. We talked a lot. I could tell that Carson was really processing it all and becoming heavy hearted. I believe the Lord has been revealing himself to Carson this last year. It has been exciting to hear the questions he has and the spark of curiosity about God's word as we continue to share it with him. We talked about confessing (agreeing with God) and committing our lives to live as Jesus did. Just last week we learned that Jesus said you will know my disciples by the way that they love, live and serve. The boys learned what the WWJD means which is kind of funny because they had no clue. WWJD was big time when Dustin and I were in junior high...it was everywhere. It felt a little strange (well, it made me feel extremely old) to teach this from my teacher's book this last week. So back to Carson...I looked at him and saw the Lord was moving in his heart. He told me, "Mom, I really want to do that I am just afraid of everyone looking at me when I get baptized. I know who Jesus is and I want him to be my Savior." Well, this sappy mom just lost it and started crying...and I am pretty sure I freaked him out. I told the kids we were going to take a book break and I took Carson into his room alone to talk a little more with him and call his father. We decided that after all of the other children are in bed tonight we will spend some more time with Carson and talk with Him about what the Holy Spirit is revealing to Him. I ended the phone call and took my first born son's hands and prayed with him and over him. (And yes, I was still crying..controlled crying, but crying indeed) I am not sure there is a greater joy than sharing the gospel with your children. Sharing who Jesus is to you and who He desires to be to them. After we finished praying, I remembered that Denice had told me it was actually her mother's birthday today, July 1st. I shared that with Carson and told him that Ms. Shala would have found great joy in hearing how God is speaking to His heart and how He is listening on her birthday. When we joined the other crew then shortly after Andrew suggested we celebrate Ms. Shala too on Wednesday like they would be in Oklahoma since we couldn't be with them. What a great idea! On Wednesday we will have cake to celebrate the life of a very special lady who loved Jesus and was actually a wonderful cake maker herself. Today, was definitely not an ordinary day but it was a sweet day as we continue to see the Lord's hand upon us working in all and through all. Ephesians 1:23, Romans 8:28
This morning as we were getting ready to start school I noticed some pictures on the boys' bedroom door. Andrew told me he drew them to remember "The best rain day EVER!" It sure made my heart smile as we began our day.