Wednesday, April 30, 2008
1) We heard from Monticello last night. They are still undecided and want to hear Doug yet again. We are not totally at ease with that, but after talking to one of the search committee members in a little more depth, Doug agreed to one more visit. We will be going May 25, combining it with a weekend visit to Doug's parents in Monroe, LA (about two hours from Monticello). Please pray that the Lord will really make clear to them who they need to call to be their pastor, whether it's us or not.
2) Doug has applications out for several secular jobs. We have not really heard back from anything except some insurance sales jobs. Doug is NOT a salesman, so this would really have to be clearly directed from the Lord. Working a secular job would allow us to continue fellowshipping with the church where we have begun to establish ourselves here in our area. Or it would allow us to work with a church in Olive Branch - a small struggling church with an aging pastor. All parties are praying about Doug stepping alongside this church to help its growth. It would be a position requiring income to be provided from another source.
3) There are a few other church options. Doug has resumes out in multiple states with various associations and state conventions. He also has some resumes out with specific churches. A friend of my mom's has contacted Doug about a position at her church; a lady at our current church has given Doug's contact information to the church she attended for years and years; a church in central MS had Doug come preach for them and talk to them just last night about the possibility of moving down there.
Those are the options we are aware of, and that's where we stand. Everything just seems very iffy right now from our perspective, and deadlines are looming. But, God's never late. We constantly remind ourselves of that face. GOD IS NEVER LATE! Praise the Lord! Just pray that we will have the peace and trust to hang on through the length of time where it seems like God is late. Any of you who have been through uncertain times know that stretch of time always seems to exist, but He always proves Himself in the end! He is so good to us!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
On a different note...When we arrived at MDO yesterday, Angela shared that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart! I'm not sure what motivated the statement - I don't know what she and Olivia were discussing as we pulled into the parking lot. I asked Angie if she knew what that meant and she said no. So, we talked a bit about it as we walked into the building, and she seemed to show indication that she was beginning to process it all. I absolutely love watching the spiritual awakening in children - those moments when they begin to sense that there is more to their spiritual being than just the idea of going to church, singing "Jesus Loves Me" and living in a home where Christian principles are taught and lived.
Not to leave Olivia out! We are still progressing nicely in school. I'm learning ways to be a little more flexible in meeting her learning style needs, which are so very different from mine. As I become more flexible, though, she enjoys it even more - as if she didn't enjoy it before! Her reading is exploding. We've taken a break from her second grade readers because she was moving through them so quickly. Between her library books, her school books, and the books from our shelves she wants to read, she was finding herself without opportunity to read Little House in the Big Woods. (So unlike her Mommy who sticks to one book at a time!) So, she was thrilled at the idea of putting aside second grade books for a week or two while she finishes Little House in school. She greatly prefers reading silently to reading aloud - one area she is like her Mommy! So, we're working on improving those read-aloud skills, and we've discussed the myriad of reasons for developing those skills.
Speaking of school - time to get back to it. Science is calling!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Here are the girls after going through our science study of the five senses. They have workbook questions that follow most of their readings - here they are doing them together on the couch. Olivia does all of the reading, and together they come up with the answers. Then either Olivia writes, or they take turns gluing and sticking answers in the appropriate location. (Sometimes Mommy will write for them as they verbalize, just to give Olivia a break from writing!) One of the ways Olivia cements what she learns is to verbalize it, and talking through it with Angela is just the ticket to solidify these lessons. I can't tell you how good it feels for this Momma to watch her girls working and learning together, grasping these concepts, and having fun doing it! It's a priceless gift. Thank you, Lord!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Then there's Steven...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Olivia and Katie are playing on the swings in this picture. Katie is the homeschool friend who came to spend the morning with us on Friday.
Last night we went to our pastor's house for dinner. Olivia began crying when she thought we were leaving, and it dawned on me that it's really been a long time since she's had local friendships. Typically when we visit friends and family in their homes or they in ours, it's a "catch-up" time. We get as much play and visiting in as we can before we leave, because we know it will be a while before we do it again. All of that occurred to me as she was crying last night, and I was able to explain to her that these friends live close by, and we will typically see them several times a week! We don't have to stay and stay (although we did stay until WAY past bedtime because we were having so much fun!) because we know it's easy to visit with them again. That's something we'll all have to get used to, but we're really enjoying getting used to it again! God is so good to bless us with relationships, especially as we are approaching the time of leaving MDO.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Well, God is answering! There is a little girl named Katie whose parents Doug and I are getting close to. She is six and homeschooled, and she and Olivia hit it off almost immediately. They have sat together at church, and Katie came over this morning to spend some time playing with the girls while Mom and little brother went to the dr. God always provides! I meant to take pictures while they were playing, but it didn't happen this time. I'm sure I'll get a picture soon of Olivia and her new friend (and Angie's too!).
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So, please pray with us as we learn and grow together. Pray that the Lord will give Doug and I great ideas to really minister to a child who thinks very differently from her parents. Pray that we can get excited about creative teaching instead of being frustrated by those things. And, pray that we know when to allow creativity and when to remind her that sometimes she does still need to fit into the schedule and structure of our family and the world around us!
Time to move on to math and science. Let's see what game we can play to get through those pesky flashcards!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Well, winter is breathing its last this week! We had just found brand new peaches on our trees, so we did not welcome the news of another late freeze. The late freeze last year killed the two or three baby peaches we had. This year we tried covering the trees to protect them, but it will probably be a few days before we know if it did any good. We won't have many peaches, I'm sure, because the trees are still very young. But, it would be fun to have a few!
The cold Sunday gave the girls great delight, though, as they proudly wore the shawls Nanny had made for them. The shawls received quite a few complements at church, which delighted the girls even more.
A few things have been running through my mind as I sat down to create this post, so I thought I'd go ahead and share them with you. I know there are several prayer warriors out there who have been covering us in prayer, and this will just give you a nutshell idea of where we are right now.
Keep praying for Doug and I as we actively work to roll that anxiety off our shoulders and surrender it to the Lord. The visible provision to meet all of our financial obligations will last through May, and it's amazing how six weeks can seem like such a short length of time when you look at it from that perspective! We are truly seeking to just rest in Him. He has never let us down before, and He won't now. Of that we are confident. There are a few possibilities in front of us, including the church in Monticello, but we have not received any clear direction.
Just to let you know, we do have a For Sale sign in our front yard. It's not so much that we are actively trying to sell the house, but that we want to be open to whatever the Lord has for us. Please pray with us that if we are to sell and move that He will provide the perfect buyer.
The other desire right now is for Doug to be able to work solidly to complete his Master's degree. We are seeking a lot of direction as to whether this should be his MDiv or an MA in speech communications. He will always want to have an opportunity to preach, even if it's in an interim or pulpit supply position. But, his passion is teaching, and he would love to be a speech professor at a small university. So, our prayer is that the Lord will guide us regarding which degree he needs to seek and will provide everything needed to pursue that degree actively instead of just a few classes here and there.
So, that's it! That's what's been rolling around in my mind this morning. Let us know how we can pray for each of you, and thank you for your love and support of us!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Anyway, that's not the point of my post - my point was to say that this morning he had me rolling in the floor laughing, which has not been typical lately. We were in his room getting ready to get him dressed. I had opened his bottom drawer with all of his short sleeve shirts and, trying to engage him in the process of getting dressed, I said, "So, what are we going to wear today?" He peered into the drawer and said, "Pink!" I just looked at him and asked him to repeat himself - not believe he'd said what I thought he'd said. He repeated himself plainly! I said, "Honey, you don't have pink - we need to pick another color." (Keep in mind, I've pointed out colors to him, but he's never repeated them or shown any interest in learning them!) "Pink!" he said again. "No, sweetie," I reiterated, "we need another color." "Lallow!" came his next request. "Okay, we can do yellow!" I found a yellow and blue striped shirt and showed it to him. "Pink!" he said again! "No, Steven - yellow and blue." "Lallow" he said cheerfully, and proceeded to happily put on his yellow and blue shirt. Through this whole exchange I was trying my best to keep from hooting with laughter at his insistent on a pink shirt! Ah, the signs of a boy with big sisters!!! His daddy just groaned and decided it was time for boot camp! :-)
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Every time we get together we try to get a picture of Olivia and Emily. Aren't they sweet? It used to be easier - little Emily didn't have a problem sitting in someone's lap. As she's grown older, though, we have to catch just that right moment. It's worth it, though! They're so precious!
Then, of course, Steven had to get HIS loving in again. Poor thing - he really has to work for his hugs!
Meanwhile, the girls decided to play a bit on their own. Angie was the doctor and Olivia was the patient. They had a great time - Angie continually reminding Olivia to come for her next appointment!
Steven is proud of himself - he has learned how to respond with motions and actions to "If You're Happy and You Know It," and he thinks it's the greatest thing in the world! At bedtime he typically has a specific song in mind that he wants me to sing. If I start the wrong one, he'll say, "No! Sing song!" I'll keep trying until he either snuggles down or grins from ear to ear - either one the signal that I've finally found the right song.
Angela has her Spring Program at MDO tomorrow. Olivia will be handing out the programs for it. She's excited about her role! Please pray for us that all will go smoothly and, above all, Christ will be glorified.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
We pray for these children and this ministry regularly. Sometimes tears just flow with heartbreak and other times with joy. If you ever wonder if the fighting in Iraq has really done any good, just read some of the Shevet Achim stories and see how God is taking the sacrifice of so many and turning it into the opportunity for these children to have life!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Steven is continuing to "sound out" his words, and it is definitely obvious that it's not just mimicry. This morning he saw our "egg plants" sitting on the end of the table to catch some sunlight. They are little ceramic eggs with seeds planted inside of them. You crack the top of the egg, water the seed, and watch it grow. Steven pointed to them and said, "e-e-e egg!"
The girls are very excited because we will be starting a book about George Muller in school this week. I'm not sure I'm so excited - it's not going to be an easy book for me! If you've never heard the story of George Muller, you should look him up. He was a phenomenal man who trusted the Lord in every teeny tiny detail - and every huge detail - of his life. He built orphanages and ministered to orphans during a time in England when orphans were left on the streets to fend for themselves or die. He never asked a single person for funds or provisions - only prayed that the Lord would provide. And provide He did! I'm praying that I will be very open to the teaching of the Lord as I read this book, and that He'll use it to teach our girls NOW to trust Him explicitly - a lesson that gets harder to learn the older we grow!
Thursday, April 10, we will be having our annual musical program at MDO. This year the kids are singing the Word of God - Scripture put to music. It is amazing how He has already blessed our rehearsals and preparation for this program. Please pray that He'll continue to bless it and that parents who don't know Him might be impacted by the message. Angela will be in the program, and she knows all of her songs and the related Scriptures and their references. What a treasure. Olivia's too old this year, but she will be on hand to help hand out programs - and she's learning the songs from Angela! I love the way those two quote Scripture. Oh that they can maintain that and that I will be diligent in the same thing!
I didn't take pictures last week. There have been a few times I wish I had the camera out, but didn't. I'll have more this week...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
We've been doing Sonlight's Core 1 this year with both girls, and it focuses on ancient history - pretty much history as it coincides with the time frame of Scripture. I think I've mentioned that we have learned about Greece and Persia, and about how huge Persia desperately wanted to conquer little, divided Greece to complete the Persian Empire's control over the known world. But, little bitty Athens managed to defend itself from huge Persia and her huge army on more than one occasion!
Meanwhile, this afternoon I had a dr's appointment and I had to take all three kids. They were phenomenal while we were there, and I was so proud of them! I decided to give them a special treat, so I stopped by Wendy's for Jr. Frosties. As the girls ate their Frosties, they were discussing the consistency of the cold treat. The small amount of melted Frosty around the edge of the cup was little bitty Greece. The rest of the Frosty was huge Persia! "Persia" kept decreasing, but good ole "Greece" never did shrink (well, until the last bit of Frosty was gulped down!). "Greece" managed to survive until after "Persia" was totally gone. I just laughed and laughed. I just love this! I can't imagine doing anything else with my little ones!
Steven loves puzzles. Saturday morning he was begging for a puzzle, so I pulled out a new one. It's fish, frogs, and a few other things you might be able to fish from a pond. They are all magnetic, and there is a "fishing pole" with a magnet on the end to pull them out. He had a fabulous time "going fishing!"
We had a very busy but very good weekend trip. We headed to Monticello mid-morning on Saturday and had a nice, leisurely trip. The drive was only about three and a half hours, so we didn't feel rushed and were able to take our time getting some lunch and then later stopping at the yummy little bakery we'd discovered in Leland, MS, to buy some more of their addictive cinammon raisin bread! Yum!
We arrived mid-afternoon, and after getting unloaded and settled we headed to the pool. Our kids rarely get to swim beyond piddling in the back-yard wading pools, so we never quite know what to expect from them. Olivia thoroughly loved it! Angie took a little while to warm up to the idea. Steven finally tolerated it, but I don't think he ever enjoyed it. He did look quite adorable in his swim trunks, though!
Saturday night we had a pizza supper with several members of the search committee and their families. (Just in case some of you aren't sure of what's going on, the church in
Monticello has Doug's resume. We went down about a month ago for Doug to supply preach, and they said they might take a while to decide on a pastor, but they wanted to know if Doug would be willing to supply again. He said yes. Then they called and asked if we'd be willing to come this past Sunday, bring the kids, and stay for a "get-to-know-you" luncheon. We were thrilled and agreed! So, back to the trip...) Sunday morning Doug met with the deacons, we had Sunday school and church, and then had our fellowship lunch. It was all really good, at least for us!
So, here's the scoop - there are currently four candidates. The church is spending a weekend with each candidate (we were the second of four), and then they will be making a decision. Would we like to go? Of course! We loved the church and the people. Both of our trips have really been refreshing for us. Do we feel like God's saying, "This is it?" We have no idea, and we were honest with the church about that. We are open and excited to see where God is going to lead us, but we are also willing to stay right where we are if that's what He's telling us to do. We still need full-time income, but we know Who owns the riches of the world!!! We fight anxiety daily, of course, but we're learning that trust lesson more and more each day!