Humility

You all know how much I love Beth Moore, right?
Read this post if you need to catch up.

Beth did another Livestream devotional on Wednesday.
Watch it here.  It’s the one on the left labeled LPM Devo.

This time it was about humility.
She focused the devotional on 1Peter 5:5-9.  Below is from the NKJV.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Beth chose a memory verse from the NET bible translation, 1Peter 5:6-7.

And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand BY casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.

Beth says that we will humble ourselves before God by casting all of our anxieties (our cares) towards him.  If we don’t cast our anxieties towards him – if we don’t lean on him and talk to him – we are being prideful.

Do you deal with anxiety?  What about worry?

I usually don’t worry about much.  I’m usually pretty good at leaving it all to God.

But, lately, I have been worrying a bit.  I keep trying to remind myself that I need not worry – that God is in control and He will take care of us.

I found this devotional very timely.  God’s timing is always good.

Beth said there is a direct link between our cares and our attacks.
What we are anxious about is what Satan will find to use against us.
He will compound our fears and worries.
He will try to take us away from our walk with God.

We have to remember to fight back.
Don’t try to ignore the anxiety.  I’m bad about this – even when I am worrying about something, I try to pretend like I’m not.  I try to handle it on my own.  This let’s Satan win.

Instead, we need to pray!
Every time we feel anxious,
every time we feel like worrying about something {big or small},
every time we are fearful,
we need to get down and pray.
We need to cast our cares on God.

Pray.
Seems so simple, doesn’t it?
Pray.
Are anxious?
Pray.
Are you worried?
Pray.
Is something weighing on you?
Pray.
Are you feeling attacked?
Pray.
Humble yourself before God and
pray!

Beth reminds us that there are only so many times Satan is going to go after you over the same care.  If you cast your cares to God after every attack, Satan will soon tire of it.  His goal is to form a wedge between you and God not drive you to Him.

Don’t give up hope, friends.
God is there
waiting to catch your anxieties,
waiting to hear your prayers.

Call out to Him.

Kneeling and casting my cares to God, logo

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My Word of the Year

I have seen a lot of people write about a word that summarizes their goals for the year.  I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like the idea of choosing a word to inspire your life.  I have thought about my goals in life, the path I think God is leading me down, and what I want for myself and my family.

The word I’ve chosen is LOVE.

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I like the simplicity and complexity of this goal.  So simple because we all know what it love is, yet complex because the meaning behind it is so deep.

Luke 10:27 says:

LOVE the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

{These verses are also repeated in Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5, and Leviticus 19:18}

If we love God and love our neighbors, our actions will reflect this.  The choices we make will be better.  We will be less selfish, less self serving, more apt to think about others.

This is what I want for my life.  I want to know God’s will – I want to walk His path.

I want to love my family, my friends, and everyone else I meet.  I want them to feel loved, important, and valued.

LOVE is such an important word.

It is what we all long for.

Franchesca from Small Bird Studios created this and I think it says it all:

Source: smallbirdstudios.com on Pinterest

What is your word for the year?

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My New House – A Blank Canvas

Sorry I have been MIA this past week.  We finally moved into a house!  We had been searching for a house since April.  Remember this post, when I flat out asked God to give me a house?  And this post, when He answered?!  It took until the beginning of December to find the right one, but God saw fit to bless us with a wonderful home.  It is as close to perfect as I think we can get!  And the price was great, too!  Here’s a tour of my new house before we moved anything into it.  I’ll be posting about each room as they are finalized.  {Probably multiple posts as I finish projects.}

As you walk into my house, you see the living room.  Take off your shoes, so you can feel the soft, new carpet.  {I’ve never had new carpet before!}

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The living room. It was difficult to place furniture in this room. I still don’t know if I like the arrangement. I’ll post pictures soon and you can weigh in and help me!

Turn around to see the entrance.

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The front entrance.

If you turn left before entering the living room, you will travel through the hallway to Aiden’s room, the bathroom, or the garage.

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The hallway and bathroom.
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Aiden’s room as seen from the doorway.
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Another view of Aiden’s room as seen from the corner by the window.

Head back to the entrance.  If you turn right before entering the living room, you will find yourself in the kitchen.  How I love this kitchen!  It is so big and has lots of cabinet space.  Be sure to check out the sink.  It is nice and deep – love that!

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View 1 of the kitchen. The refrigerator is next to the sink.
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View 2 of the kitchen. The old owners pulled out the dishwasher and put it where the range should be. That dishwasher has been removed and replaced. Our range finally arrived yesterday.
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View 3 of the kitchen taken from the dining room. Anyone know how to remove that ring spot on the laminate counter?
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View 4 of the kitchen also taken from the dining room. What to do with that space? I have plants but what else??

Head from the kitchen to the dining room.

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The dining room. I’ve never had one this big.

Go back through the living room to master bedroom.

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The master bedroom. This picture doesn’t do justice to its size. There’s a whole other corner to the left that got cut out.

Enter my wonderful master bathroom.  We had a master bathroom in our old house in Missouri for which we had grand plans.  When we bought the house, the bathroom was in need of repair (as were many other things in the house).  We never got around to finishing the master bath.  I am thankful that our new house needs nothing but a few tiny repairs. This leaves more time for decorating and enjoying!

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The master bathroom. I love all of the space.
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My tub…I’ve never had one so big. I took a bath the first night we moved in and it was great.
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My shower. I usually hate stand up showers because I’m claustrophobic. (I have to have see through shower curtains to make me feel at ease.) This shower is large enough and bright enough that I really like it. It’s like a little spa. Like my reflection in the glass?

Finally, from the living room, travel through the sliding glass door to the lanai.  I think every Florida home needs a lanai.

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The lanai.
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2nd view of the lanai (or really the sliding glass door…)

If you can’t tell, I am ecstatic beyond belief about our new house.  I can’t wait to finish unpacking everything and decorate it.  It was well worth the wait.  God’s timing is always perfect.  I just need to learn a little patience.

I hope you enjoyed touring my home.  There are many updates to come!

Happy New Year!
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Christmas Bible Verses

One of my favorite Christmas verses is Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A printable from Amy at One Artsy Mama.

Source: oneartmama.blogspot.com via Trisha on Pinterest

The story of the shepherds… {Luke 2:8-20 NKJ}

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

I couldn’t resist making a printable for this.  Left click on the picture to open in a new window.  Then, you can right click and save.

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The story of the wise men…{Matthew 2:7-11 NKJ}

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

I made a printable for Matthew 2:10…{Aiden loves stars.}

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You can see more of my printables here.

What are your favorite Christmas bible verses?

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Love,
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Birthday Memories

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post where I talked about losing my first little one.
Read about it here.

My doctor wanted me to wait a month or two before trying again.
We only waited a month, I immediately got pregnant again.
I knew immediately that I was pregnant.
My body acted differently {just like it had with my first baby}.
I was not in denial the second time around.
I was excited and hopeful.

About 6 weeks in {again}, I had issues while at school.
I called my doctor’s office and they said go to OB triage.
{I ran into one of my friend’s in the hallway – I had to track her down to ask her to teach my class – she didn’t know I was pregnant again, but of course she said go, go, I’ll take care of everything – the benefits of teaching the exact same thing as your peers.}
They ran the blood tests – hormone levels were fine.
The doctor scheduled an ultrasound for that day – she thought I might be far enough along to see the heartbeat.
This time they could see the gestational sac {no doubt I was pregnant},
but no heartbeat.
They thought it was just a bit early and probably didn’t mean anything bad.
Needless to say, I was worried.
More blood tests a day or so later – hormone levels rising – good sign.
Another ultrasound {at 7 weeks} showed the heartbeat. {Relief.}
I think it’s kinda cool that you can see the heartbeat {fetal pole} before you can hear it.

The rest of my pregnancy went fine.

Aiden was due on December 29, 2009.

He decided that he wanted to come early.
My waters broke on December 8th as I was climbing into bed.
{I had just finished grading a lot of papers and still had more to finish, but I was done.}

I know they always say that when your waters break, you’ll know.
Well, that’s an understatement and a half!
And, of course, I wasn’t contracting.
They let me wait until morning to see if I would start contracting on my own.
I did but they were pitiful – no enough.
So, I was induced.
I did not want to be induced – I knew thing would not go well.
And I was right.
Aiden was in distress, so they had to stop the contractions.
The medicine that stops contractions made all of my muscles convulse.
I was spent.
I had planned on using no pain medication or epidural.
But my worst fear was having to be forced into an epidural or spinal
because they had to do a Cesarean.
At that point, I was exhausted
and knew I didn’t have much time before they were going to do an Cesarean.
I had already been there for 14 hours – they weren’t going to let me go for more than 24.
I gave in.
I got the epidural.
I got some sleep while they started the induction again.
They finally figured out that Aiden had the cord wrapped around his neck twice.
He needed to come out quickly.  {After 19 1/2 hours, I wasn’t sure what quickly meant!}
Long story short shorter, Aiden came out blue.
That child worried me at the start of the pregnancy and at the end!

It’s hard to believe he will be two!
I thank God every day for my little one.
He is such a blessing.

Happy Birthday, Aiden!

{Below are a couple of pictures from two weeks ago – it’s the first time he ever painted. He asks to paint all the time now.}

Thanks for reading!

Birthday and Remembering a Loss

Tomorrow is Aiden’s 2nd birthday!
I’m so excited about that.
We have a party planned for just the 3 or us,
then we’re going to the zoo for the night time Winter Wonderland.
Aiden will LOVE it.

But, I also remember the little one that we lost.
Patrick and I were married for 9 1/2 years before we decided it was time to have a baby.
In February 2009, I found out I was pregnant.
I was actually in a bit of denial {even though I wanted a baby so badly}.
It happened immediately and it seemed too good to be true.
I even waited a while to take the pregnancy test.
It was positive, so I called my doctor and made an appointment.
She confirmed what I already knew –
we were going to have a little bundle of joy in October!

And then something terrible happened.
On February 14 {that’s right Valentine’s Day},
I lost our little baby.
We were at a friend’s house, and I wasn’t feeling very well.
I had a fever and was just miserable.
I went to the bathroom and was shocked by the blood.
I had no idea what to do.
I just started crying.
I, of course, feared the worst.
I was only 6 weeks along – what could be done?
I called one of my other friends.
She told me to call the nurse’s line.
They got me in contact with the OB doctor on call.
I think we decided to wait a day to see what happens.
{There’s nothing you can do at 6 weeks is all she could tell me.}
I talked to her the next day, and she had me meet her at OB triage.
They took blood and checked for hormone levels.
The next step was to go to my doctor a couple days later
{don’t really remember how many – it’s all kind of a blur}
for more blood tests to see if my hormone levels were rising or lowering.
I honestly don’t remember the results,
but my doctor sent me to get an ultrasound.

Here’s the worst part {I think it’s the part that hurts the most}:
the ultrasound tech said there was no evidence of a baby at all.
Apparently, that was supposed to comfort me.
Like, oh, you weren’t pregnant, so no need to worry about it.
But it didn’t comfort me – at all.

My doctor disagreed.
She said my hormone levels were such that I was pregnant.
{Not sure if she was just telling me that to comfort me or not}.
Regardless, I know there was a little life growing inside of me.
He’s now in heaven, and I’ll see him one day again.

I really struggled with why this happened.
I questioned God a lot.
The only answer I kept getting was, “Do you trust me?”
Well, of course, I trust You, Lord, but I still don’t understand.

I had started a Beth Moore bible study in February called,
Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman.
The first week, we had to list reasons it was tough being a woman.
I honestly had a hard time coming up with a list.
I was thinking – my life’s not hard – I like my life.
Then, February 14th happened,
and the bible study made so much more sense.
Losing my baby was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
God knew the bible study was exactly what I needed at the time.
It was a study on the book of Esther,
which is now one of my favorite books in the Bible.
{Oh, btw, I just found out that Beth Moore has a blog, so I’m totally subscribing.}
God made sure I had help during my time of sorrow.
The bible study helped me.  It forced me to talk to God about it and me.
I think my faith was strengthened because of the whole ordeal.
I still don’t know exactly why this happened,
but I have been able to minister to people because of it.

If you have lost a little one and are wanting ways to remember,
take a look at the ideas from Small Bird Studios.
Franchesca has put together the 12 Days of Christmas with You in Heaven.
A group of wonderful ladies are sharing ideas for how to remember our little ones.

12 days

I want to share the story of my second pregnancy, but I will do that tomorrow.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 NIV
{Beth Moore shared this verse.  It is an awesome reminder to just love – always love.}

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P.S. Don’t forget about the giveaway that ends today!

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Nap Time Treasures

One of my favorite things to do with Aiden is to curl up and read a few books.
We do this randomly – whenever he wants.
But we also read before nap time.
{Patrick reads to Aiden at night time.}
Aiden chooses a few books – 3, 6, whatever.
We sit in the rocking chair in his room and just read for awhile
getting lost in the stories
spending time together just the two of us.

After reading, I get hugs and kisses.
Aiden climbs into his little toddler bed.
I cover him up with his blankets.
And then, I sing to him.
He requests songs now –
I used to just sing one or two songs.
Now he asks me to sing 4 or 5 songs.
He requests
“grace” {Amazing Grace},
“baby {Hush, Little Baby},
“sunshine” {You are My Sunshine},
“trees” {the chorus of the Beautiful Trees song from Sid the Science Kid},
and “twinkle” {Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star}.

“Good night, Aiden.  Sleep well.  I’ll see you when you wake up.”
“Night, night, Mama!  Mama, night, night!”

And then there are the days {like yesterday}
that he refuses to take a nap.
He gets up and plays instead.
These days are pretty rare, but they usually end up something like this:

Aiden fell asleep in the car while we were running errands before dinner.
He didn’t wake up when I took him out of the car.
I put him down on the couch while I made dinner.
Sweet little boy.

I know nap time will be gone one day.
Aiden and I will still make time for just the two of us.
But for now, I treasure our nap time.

What do you treasure today? 

lala

Thanks for reading!
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On Mission – Part 2

Read part 1 here.

Packing for our trip was the beginning of the adventure.  Patrick and I were each asked to fill one of our checked bags with supplies for the kids.  We borrowed the largest suitcases possible and filled them full.  The people of our church donated so many things!  Amazingly, everything they donated fit perfectly into our luggage.  There wasn’t room for even one more item.  It’s funny how God works sometimes, isn’t it?

I’m going to skip most of travel details.  If you are dying to know something specific, feel free to ask.

Originally, we were going to fly out with the group from Dallas, but it proved to be less expensive for us to just meet them in Nairobi.  Bad weather made them miss their connecting flight in London, so they had to stay the night.  Another couple from Dallas flew separately as well.  They arrived in Nairobi the same night we did.  The rest of the group arrived the next day.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal about Nairobi:

Nairobi smells of diesel fuel always.  Traffic and driving is crazy.  There don’t seem to be any clear rules.  On the way to the airport, there was one stop light – that police were directing traffic through, lots of traffic circles, and 2 police checks that no one stopped at – just drove around the spike strips.  Our bus driver treated the bus as if it were a compact car weaving in and out of traffic.  On the way back from the airport, we saw our first stop sign, although our driver just slowed a bit and rolled right through it.  It doesn’t quite feel like “Africa” yet.  It feels like a big, dirty city with lots of crazy drivers, lots of pollution, but in a strange place – rainforest trees, unfamiliar bird sounds…

From Nairobi, we flew to Kisumu (on Lake Victoria), which finally felt like “Africa.”
It was much greener than Nairobi.  The air was cleaner.
The drive to Busia was beautiful.

Because of the travel delays (and a couple of blocked roads),
we missed attending the church service with the kids.
We were all looking forward to experiencing worship with them, but we didn’t arrive in time.

The kids we were going to meet are a part of a program called KidsHeart Africa.
These specific kids have all had parents that died from HIV/AIDS.
They live with relatives or other foster parents in the community rather than in an orphanage.
It is because of the KidsHeart program that these kids can stay with family.
Usually, it would be too expensive for someone to take in extra children.
The KidsHeart program helps provide the families with the things needed to take care of the children.
They get help with clothes and medicine.
There is a community garden and a well.
There is even a child development center for preschool age kids.
The KidsHeart program has affected the lives of the entire community.

Finally, we arrived at the Catholic Center.
The kids were very excited to meet us.
They ran alongside the bus as we entered the yard.
They shook, touched, or held all of our hands as we exited the bus.
Honestly, it made us feel like celebrities, but we knew we didn’t deserve that status.
After all, we were there to see them.
In our minds, they were the special ones.

Some of the children greeted us with, “How are you?” in the cutest Kenyan accents.

Every one of them had a great big smile.  Their smiles were highly contagious.

Several of the older kids spoke some English – some of them spoke it pretty well.

Most of the younger kids did not speak English.
In Busia, most of the residents speak a local language called Luhya; some speak Kiswahili;
some understand English, but don’t speak it; and some speak English well.
Kenya has 2 national languages – English and Kiswahili.
Most people also speak a native tribal language.

We spent time with the kids playing games with them and getting to know them.  They liked our cameras – they wanted us to take pictures of them, and they wanted to take pictures of us.

The mission coordinator from the Dallas church introduced us to all of the kids.  One of the local workers translated what he said into Kiswahili.

He explained to the kids that we traveled 5 days (because of all of the delays) just to see them.

He said, “I have one child in the US, but I have 47 children in Kenya.”
He told them of how the church loves them and has lots of pictures of them everywhere.
Each of us introduced ourselves to the group.

We went outside and played circle games.
Most of their group games involve singing and dancing.
We dispersed into free play after a while – football (soccer), passing balls by kicking or throwing, jump rope, and just running around.
We had tea with the kids.
Then, we played some more.

Sadly, day 1 was over, and we had to leave.

We said, “Kwaheri” to the kids and headed for our hotel.

At the hotel, we discussed the plan for the next day and got the crafts ready.
We helped make friendship bracelets for the kids –
enough for all of the foster kids plus some of the neighborhood children.

Part 3 will conclude with more interactions with the kids and the impact they had on me.

Thanks for reading!

Blogs I Love

As you’ve probably figured out, I am new to the blogosphere.  I started my blog to share my experiences raising my little Aiden.  I know this is by no means a novel idea.  There are many people out there blogging about the same thing.  I am amazed by each person’s unique perspective and style.  I enjoy reading so many of them!  I would say that my approach comes from being a teacher.  I hope to share with you strategies and tips that you can use with your little ones.  I write about my adventures with Aiden – our excursions out and about, how we occupy our time indoors, books we read, games we play, art we create – learning opportunities for little ones.  I also use the blog to chronicle my thoughts – about faith and trusting in God, about the choices we make as parents, and about other random things.  Expect also to find the occasional recipe and craft project (I just got my new Silhouette Cameo — so excited).

I want to share with you some of the blogs I currently follow.  If you are not already reading these, you really should be!

Little Miss Momma.  Ashley is awesome.  I think she blogs about nearly everything – from being a mom to fashion and accessories to diy projects like crafts and photography.  She also has the occasional post from her own momma.  I am in love with her momma’s DIY Reclaimed Wood Inspired Frame.

Source: littlemissmomma.com via Trisha on Pinterest

Casey Leigh.  I think I read Casey’s blog because she is so real.  She wears her heart on her sleeve, and I admire that.  She strives to be in God’s will and to know the purpose for her life.  I also find that I have a bit in common with her.  We both have first born sons named Aiden.  We’ve both had a miscarriage (not that I like having that in common with her, but I find comfort in her words – she has a gift for knowing what to say).  When I read her blog, I enjoy listening to the music on her playlist.  Casey shares ideas from other bloggers, so there’s always something new to check out.  I wish my messy hair could look as good as hers!

Source: thewiegands.com via Trisha on Pinterest

I Am Momma – Hear Me Roar.  Cheri’s blog is actually one of the first blogs I ever read.  One of my friends suggested her a while back, and I’ve been following ever since.  She showcases a lot of craft projects – ones she does herself plus features of others.  Right now she’s in the middle of Refashionista week.  I never knew that repurposing and personalizing clothes could be so wonderful.  I think my favorite thing that Cheri has done is the viking costume for her youngest son.  My son will totally love this.

Source: iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com via Trisha on Pinterest

There are several more blogs that I’ve just started following.  I am falling in love with them, too!  Here’s just a few.

Lee La La.  Lindsey’s got style.  And she writes from her heart.

Make It and Love It.  There are so. many. tutorials on this site.  I know I will be spending a great deal of time here once I get my sewing machine.

Momma Rake.  Another women of God.  I am inspired by her ability to trust in God as she and her husband move their family to where God wants them to be.  {Sounds a bit familiar – we just moved across country a few months ago!}

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I do!

What to expect from my blog in the next few weeks?  I will begin a series on reading to your little ones – making reading interactive and ways to help develop reading and language skills.  My friend, Rachel, is a Speech Language Pathologist.  She will be helping me out!  I will continue my story about my mission trip to Kenya – one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done.  I will share some more recipes and brag about how I have a husband who loves to cook. (Aiden loves to help!)  And you’ll get to see what I make with my new Silhouette Cameo – no promises that anything I make will be good.  I also have a few sewing projects I’m dying to start (I’m getting a sewing machine for Christmas).

Thanks for reading!

On Mission

One of most AMAZING things I have ever done in my life, I did for God.

 Here’s how the story begins.

A couple did a mission spotlight at our church.  They showcased a program called KidsHeart Africa.  KidsHeart is a partnership between Buckner International, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the All Africa Baptist Alliance, the Africa Exchange, and Change for Children.  The program strives to meet the needs of children affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.  The presenters told of their visit to Kenya where they saw the impact the church was making on the children.  The purpose of their visit was to spread the news to other churches and gain support for the initiative.  A large part of the program was the connection to churches in the United States.  The more churches that were in support, the more community centers could be built and the more children could be helped.

 Our church was moved by their story.  One couple, in particular, stepped forward and said they wanted our church to agree to support the program (which, of course, meant giving monetarily).  This was easily agreed upon by our church.  Then, this couple went a step further and said they wanted people from our church to go on the next mission trip to see firsthand the KidsHeart program and to help build one of the new community centers.  Patrick and I knew immediately that we wanted to go.  We had done mission work in the US, but had talked about doing mission work in another country.  He and I have always felt called to Africa.  This seemed like a perfect fit for us – God inspired for sure.

 We talked to the couple about our willingness and eagerness to go.  They helped us make it happen.  They connected with a few other members of our church and gathered all of the monetary support necessary for us to go.  We were ready to go, patiently waiting for the official date of the CBF of Missouri’s trip – it was supposed to happen sometime during that summer.

 The date for the trip was finalized, but much to our dismay, the trip was scheduled for October.  {my heart dropped}  October??  What happened to summer?!  I was a teacher in my 2nd year at the time.  I didn’t really want to leave my students for over a week, but for this, I so would have.  The problem was Patrick.  He was in graduate school and taking off for a week was impossible.  That did not discourage the visionaries of our church, however.  They figured out a way for us to tag along with another group – from Dallas, Texas.

This meant the purpose of our trip would change slightly.  Instead of helping start a new program and build a community center, we were going to visit a well-established program.  One that was sponsored entirely by one church.  We would get to see what the community center that our church was helping to sponsor could become.  Very cool.  The group from Dallas went every year to visit their kids in Kenya.  They conducted Vacation Bible School with them, helped with various projects, and even conducted medical missions.  They were very much invested in these kids.  We were so excited that we were going to be a part of this!

 My story will continue soon…I hope you join me for part 2 where we meet the children!

Thanks for reading!

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