Monday, June 30, 2014

Street Reach 2014

I don't even know if I can talk about all that happened last week, but one thing I can say is that God is good.  And what a privilege to get to go and love on kids in the sweet name of Jesus!  I have tons of pictures, so this will be heavy in pictures and few in words.  Bear with me.


This was taken at church before we left last Sunday.  We met in the fellowship hall for some last minute instructions and to pray.


This was our home for the week!  Last year the boys stayed here and the girls stayed across the street in the gated area.  I might have freaked out a tiny bit at first because last year this door never locked.  And the neighborhood is pretty sketchy.  I am happy to say that the door and the lock were fixed, so we were good.

The first night we had dinner and a site meeting.  Every night after church, our group would meet and pray and worship and talk about the day.

That meeting time with just the teenagers and leaders from our church was my most favorite time of all.  Have I mentioned how much I love our teenagers in our youth?!  I do.  Prepare yourself~I might repeat that quite often in this post.


Emma, Rebecca and Amelia~just three sweeties I made pose for my camera.  :)





These pictures above were from our first day.  Each morning we would eat breakfast, have a site meeting to talk about the rundown of how our day would go with a staff member at Brinkley Heights, we would have a time of devotion, then we would end with a send off.  There are 21 sites they hold each week for Street Reach.  Depending on how many churches they host depends on how many of those 21 sites they would open for the week.  Our church had two sites~one on Guernsey and one on Treadwell.  Treadwell is one that doesn't happen each week.

Once we would reach our site, the teenagers would be separated into walking groups and they would go walk and find kids to bring to Bible club.  There are stations the kids would rotate to~craft, Bible reinforcement and recreation.  We had a worship team and a Bible story team that would travel back and forth between the two sites each day, and that was where I came in as the bus driver.  While we had the kids, Shelby County Schools comes around in a refrigerated truck and delivers lunch to these precious kids...and I know for a fact that for some of these babies, this would be the one healthy meal they would get each day.  After Bible club was over for the day, around twelve thirty, our walking groups would walk them back home.


Just one precious baby that Drew held this week.


This was in our site meeting room and the room we would meet as a church each night.  Just a silly moment I captured with my camera.


My friend Lori, her sweet girl and my adopted daughter Nancy, and me at Guernsey.


I took this picture of my coffee cup because this was our nightly tradition.  The first night that we were there, after dinner, Lori and I could smell coffee.  We never found it, though and determined that somebody from another church brought their own coffee pot.  So we went to the McDonald's across the street and bought some.  On this particular night, we skipped church and just rested in our meeting room.  All the feet you see are the feet of us tired Mom's who were there.


Just a few more lovies from our church~Kaylee, Nicole, Drew, Kathryn, Maia, Abigail, Nancy, Katie and Connor.  Each afternoon we would come back and eat lunch at one, then at two we would go do a service project somewhere in the area.  A couple days we played in a gym with some kids from the neighborhood, one day we visited a nursing home, another time we went and helped at Urban Farms Memphis.  In the picture above, on Wednesday, we had the afternoon and evening off.  We left Brinkley at three and went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, ate dinner at Stevie B's in Bartlett, then went to a park.

It was a great night off.


Most of the kids had fun...poor Griffin with his head down just wanted to sleep.


Drew is so tired of people telling him he doesn't have any eyebrows that he drew some.  ;)  Abigail makes him look a lot better, though.


I am so proud of all these teenagers.  Each morning they chose to get up extra early and have quiet time.  That forced them to get up and moving between six and six thirty each morning.  We have some very devoted teenagers in our youth...I took this picture on Thursday morning.


This was at lunch one day...I was capturing Drew's blue lips and teeth.  For lunch everyday, different churches would feed us.  Our church fed us Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  For dinner each night, Brinkley tries to get donations from places around the area we were in.  I think that for this week, all of our dinner came from The Piccadilly.  It was really good each night.



I have never been so proud of my kids...not just mine, but all of them!  Graham was saying goodbye to the director on Friday afternoon and he asked Graham when he would be finished with his junior year.  Graham told him he had two more years, and Jason invited him to be an intern at Brinkley for that whole summer.  I am pretty sure that if God opens those doors for Graham, that he will do that.

Coming home from Street Reach is really odd~part of me is so glad to be home, but the other part of me longs to be back there with these precious kids.  They are precious and long to be loved and nurtured.  I think that's why in almost every picture, you see kids hanging all over our youth.  It's attention that they get that they usually don't receive.  For the weeks of Bible club, they feel loved and cared for.  And even more important than the affection they receive, they hear and learn all about Jesus and that He loves them even more than we do.  My prayer all week was that they would tangibly feel the love of Jesus through all of us, and I believe He answered my prayers.  I know a lot of you prayed as well, so thank you!

I am so thankful that when we left, Bible clubs don't end.  Each week more teenagers come from different churches and this will go on until school starts back.  I know I will continue to pray for them and I know we will be back soon.  Our church is wanting to be more involved with this ministry and will go back on certain days throughout the year to hold Bible club.  And each time, I will be going with them.

Well, I know this was long, but I wanted to share just a small glimpse of what our week was like.  Thanks for all the prayers and thanks for taking the time to read.  Love to all.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

a little weekend

This has been the craziest week for my family, but what an amazing week.  Two little girls from our backyard kids club site prayed and accepted Jesus into their hearts.  That is so awesome!  We finished out strong on Thursday night, so Friday was all about a little rest...well, not really, but I did sleep late.

The boys and I went to church to help out with something for our inner city mission trip this week, then I had to take Jonah and Noah to the doctor.  Jonah has a nasty ear infection and Noah has poison ivy.  :/  I was glad I took Jonah especially, because he was in horrible pain.  Poor little guy.


This was him Friday night...they had gone to their friend's basketball game and dinner.  He was anxiously awaiting the ibuprofen to kick in at this point and had just gotten over crying.  Thanks to lots of prayer, the medicine kicked in and he slept really good all night.

And Saturday he woke up feeling lots better.

We had a wedding to go to yesterday!  Todd's friend and coworker got married...I do love a good wedding!  I always cry in them.


Most days I am nothing more than an emotional train wreck.  Hence the sappy feelings over people getting married.  Yesterday was no exception.

We went to the reception afterward and I made Toddley pose with me.


I love this man dearly.  He is loud and he sometimes embarrasses me publicly, like when he was singing "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" to me at the top of his lungs, but he makes me laugh and we just have fun together.  And as much as he hates taking pictures, he will always do it for me without complaining.  :)  Because I'm magic like that.

After the wedding we went to my mom's and step-dad's.


We had some amazing chicken wings and the boys and Big Daddy did this for about an hour.


Look at what Drew caught...and check out the photography skills.  His ability amazes me.  He took some more that were just as good, but this is the only one he posted to social media.  It was a great night.

We had to go to Walmart after we left their house at 8:30 to get things for Street Reach.  We leave today at 2:30!  Please pray for us~for all the kids we'll be teaching and for our teenagers who are going.  There are several who have gotten sick the past couple days, and they need to get well!

I will not be back on a real computer until Friday night or Saturday, so I hope you have a wonderful week.  Thanks for the prayers for us!  Love to all.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

night two of backyard kids clubs and a party at the Goodwin house

Last night was night two of our backyard kids club.  I am so thankful for these sweet kiddos that have been coming!  Before we got started, my friend Lori made us a yummy barbecue chicken dinner.  I took some roasted potatoes and we ate together before the kids started arriving.

We'll be eating together again tonight, but this time it'll be hot dogs and chips.  And maybe brownies for dessert, though I haven't decided totally yet.

Here's a cute picture from last night:


Our church's puppet team has been traveling to all the backyard kids club sites and last night was our turn.  :)

After BKC was over, I accidentally let Drew invite a few friends over.  Which started adding up when Graham added a few...and we might have ended somewhere around nineteen or twenty.  Teenagers.  Loud ones...and even some girls.  They had fun, I think...and attempted to watch a movie but ended up playing a game and laughing their heads off.  I loved having all those teenagers here!  At eleven they started going home, much to my relief, because I was about to pass out from exhaustion.

And Drew had to wake up early today, because...


...it's his first day of work!  We're about to leave now.

Well, speaking of that...I gotta go!  I hope you enjoy your day.  Love to all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

backyard kids clubs

I talk about my church a lot.  I can't help it...they are like my family, these people that go to the same place as me every Sunday and Wednesday.  I love them and I love the vision our church has taken on in the last couple years.  I will be honest and say that when this vision first started being implemented, it was rough on some people.  Lots of hurtful things were said during that time, and it was heartbreaking to witness.  We as fellow believers should not be out to "bash" one another and the way our churches do things.  We should lift one another up in prayer more and talk about each other less.

As for our family, we love this new way our church is doing things.  We still meet on Sundays and Wednesdays, but we have lots of opportunities to take it beyond the church walls.

One new thing we have added just this summer is something called Backyard Kids Clubs.  This has taken the place of the usual VBS we have, and let me tell ya...it is awesome.

A couple of weeks ago we all met at church one Sunday afternoon at 4:30 and we left to canvass the neighborhoods that would be hosting these backyard kids clubs.  In case you don't know what this is, it's when a host home invites kids from the neighborhood into their front or backyard and they participate in hearing about Jesus, crafts, music, recreation and snack.

In canvassing the neighborhoods, we met lots of neighbors for the first time.

Just last night, I was able to witness something precious and beyond words as my oldest son left our site for a few minutes to go talk to an elderly widower across the street from our host site.  Graham asked him if he could pray for him or with him, and then they just talked for about thirty minutes.  I have no idea if this elderly gentleman knows the Lord, but I know that he witnessed the love of Him last night in Graham.  He had been looking over at my friend's yard and was probably wondering what was going...Graham took that opportunity to go say hello and to talk to him and to pray for him.

That is what this is all about.  Planting those seeds and building those relationships.  It was what Jesus was all about when He walked this earth.  He went to the people, wherever they were, and He taught them.

I know not everyone does this and some people may not agree with what we do, and that is okay.  This is not putting down other churches that do host VBS!  I believe in spreading the gospel in any way that we can and if that is in VBS, great!  I just know that our church has taken a turn, and for us and where we are at this point in our lives, it's a perfect fit for the way we believe.  That is the beauty of having so many churches to choose from.

Last night was our kick-off night and it was a blast!  We had about sixteen kids who came to my friend's yard.  Some were from her neighborhood, some were from my neighborhood and some of the kids go to church with us.  I took some pictures...wanna see?






Is that not precious?  I love this one right above...there were a couple little boys who needed some help with writing and Drew was helping them.  I cannot wait to get back tonight!  If you are local to me and reading this and have a completed kindergartner through completed fifth grader, you should bring your kids to this!  The address of my friend's house is 1069 Brado.  We have a surprise planned for the kids tonight and something special for all the ones who bring their Bibles.

I love that we are taking the love of Jesus beyond our church walls.  It is an awesome thing to be a part of and I feel so honored to get to participate.  It truly is a privilege to serve these little ones...and this week is preparing Graham, Drew and me for next week.  We will be spending this Sunday the 22nd through next Friday the 27th at Brinkley Heights.  This is an inner-city mission trip for our youth, and I am so excite to be one of the leaders.

In fact, if you wouldn't mind, we could use some prayer for a few things:

1. The rest of this week as we have backyard kids clubs, that these kids come to know and love and accept Jesus if they don't already know Him.
2. Next week there are about 55 of us going to Brinkley...for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
3. For the hearts of our kids going~that they truly grasp the purpose of this kind of thing for what it is, and not just as a chance to pose for cute Instagram pictures or to be with someone they like.
4. For the precious little ones we'll be serving, that Jesus will begin drawing them to Him.
5. For the weather!  It looks like rain or thunderstorms or both on most of the days.

Thank you!  I know several of you who read this who will pray for these things each and everyday, and I so appreciate you.  Love to all!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What in the WORLD is the purpose of social media?!?!

Have you ever thought of the purpose behind social media?  It's something I've been thinking about lately...like why post to social media in the first place?  Why all the pictures?  (And that's a tough one for me because I love pictures!)  Why all the "check ins" and status updates?  What is the purpose of this blog I love to write on, even?

I'm preaching to the choir here, I'm not going on a rant, I promise.

I guess I've been thinking a lot about pride versus humility.  I've been reading in First Kings (today I started Second Kings) in my chronological Bible, and something I have seen prevalent in all the kings that "did evil in the sight of the Lord" was pride (and other things, too, but today I'm only addressing the pride).  Even before First Kings got started, I saw pride in King Solomon, and before him, in King Saul.  (King David had his issues as well, but I don't think pride was one of them.)

Pride became their downfall.  Over and over again I saw it in the lives of these men as I read about them and I guess the Lord is bringing it to my attention because maybe that's something I struggle with.

I kinda think it is, in fact.  I love social media as much as the next person, but why???  Why do I post and update and share?  Is it because I want people to "like" what I'm doing or what we've done?  Is it because I want them to think I'm this amazing person/wife/mom?

AM I SEEKING THE APPROVAL OF MAN?

Ouch.

I think maybe all of the above is true.  I was reading something somebody wrote on Facebook in honor of Father's day yesterday, a really sweet post about how blessed they are by their husband and the amazing man of God/dad they were or are and I was struck with all these thoughts.  I was wondering why we post stuff like that on a social media website...why don't we just call them instead, and tell them in private?

And that led me to all these thoughts again.  I've done all of this stuff that I have listed.  I'm not one for public displays of affection on Facebook, but who doesn't love a shout-out like that every once in a while?  Or who doesn't like to give one to their significant others, especially if it builds them up in the sight of others?  Like I said, I have done these things before myself, and I'm sure I'll do them again..but I'm hoping that will change for me.

I am not trying to change your opinion on social media, so you don't have to call or email me and tell me why you love it or hate it so much...but I am trying to say one thing in today's post.  And that is that I will prayerfully consider what I post to social media.  I am not saying I will never post another picture or article or blog post or status...but I will be more prayerfully considering what goes on my little part of the internet.  And if I ever have the thought of, "I can't wait to post this to _______!" (fill in that blank with your pick of social media), and then proceed to take a picture with that exact intention...well, I pray that the Lord will remind me of these words I am writing today.  I asked Him that He would do just that when I was praying about this earlier.

Because if I ever boast about one thing, let it only be about Jesus and how amazingly good and faithful He is.  I am nothing without Him in my life, and I pray that my life, my words, my actions and my social media accounts always point others to Him.

And because I don't like the pictures Blogger comes up with if I don't post a picture within a blog post, I will leave you with a picture from today that I caught:


We had to run up to our church today to help out with some prepping for our Backyard Kids Club that starts tomorrow night, and I asked these three to make crazy faces for my camera...and in the process, caught them with perfect smiles.  I love these guys so much.  Their friendship amazes me and makes me so thankful that we live where we do so they can have this sweet boy in their lives.  And not just Jonah and Noah~my older two love him just as much.  Graham and Drew were fishing with a friend this morning, which is why they weren't in this picture...after this I came home to get them, and we all went to Costco.

Fun times in the Goodwin house.  ;)  Each day is an adventure.  Love to all!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

just for the blog

I post lots of pictures to social media.  I was reminded of why I'm glad I do that last Thursday~I accidentally did a factory reset on my phone and deleted ever-thing.  Pictures, notes, phone numbers...you name it.  I was able to restore some of the pictures, thanks to Instagram.  :)

I post a lot, but I'm not necessarily on there a lot.  I actually do know how to put my phone down and "be" in the moment with my kids.  (I am so over the "Dear Mom On Her Cell Phone At The Park" letters that keep circulating on Facebook.)

Well, I didn't mean for this to turn into that kind of post.  I'll move on now.

Tuesday I took Graham and Drew to get haircuts and somebody had fun messing around on my phone.




He is such a mess.  And I do not love this boy any more than I love my other kids, but he is the one kid who loves to pose for all my pictures.  And speaking of that...here is what I caught him doing yesterday.


Please tell me my kids are not the only kids fascinated by escalators.  They went up and down these repeatedly yesterday at The Pink Palace.


I love going to this place.

I couldn't find Drew, then caught him doing this.


He was staring intently at the shrunken head that is on exhibit.  All my boys have always been so captivated by this gross little thing.

We saw the live spider exhibit here.  If you have that free summer membership, now is a great time to go.  We loved it...even if the spiders did gross me out a tiny bit.  Not just spiders, but tarantulas.  Blech.

I did get one nice and normal picture before we left.


Well, except for Jonah...he is the one who hates my pictures the most and rarely smiles.  The turkey.  ;)

Happy Saturday to you!  Love to all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

passing the time


Have you ever tried substituting the oil in brownie recipes for coconut oil???  You should.  It brings sheer joy to our faces.  We were in the process of licking the bowl after he made some brownies Monday night.  I had to wait to enjoy one when I got home from Bible study, but it was totally worth the wait.  :)

Yesterday morning, Jonah, Noah and Alex had breakfast on the car rug in the living room.


It was kinda like a working breakfast.  ;)  This rug has seen many, many miles of cars driving its roads over the years.  We've had it for thirteen years.  Graham was two and Drew was one when my mom and step-dad bought it for them.  Needless to say, it was well worth the money spent.  I will never be able to part with it, that is for sure.  We've cleaned it and spot treated it and vacuumed over it, and still, it lives on.

While they played, I did this.


Enjoyed three cups of coffee.  In cleaning out my dining room hutch a couple months ago, I found my graduating class coffee mug.  I don't even remember getting this thing, but it's a great size and I've been drinking out of ever since.  I am always sad when I think of the four of my classmates who have passed away, and at ages far too young.  There were only one hundred and one of us, so for four of them to have passed away is a pretty big deal.  One of the ones who died was a dear friend of mine, Tara.  She was so good at sending me random texts.  The times that my boys were able to meet her, they adored her.  She was spunky and more than a little quirky and just fun to be around.

Sigh.

After lunch, I sent the younger boys to my neighbor's house and I took Graham and Drew to get their hairs cut.


Don't they look handsome?  I think so...and they look so much nicer with a cleaned-up haircut!

Graham drove us home and insisted on stopping here.


He treated Drew and me to slushies, tater tots and onion rings.  For himself, he bought a corn dog.  It was very thoughtful of him to treat us to a snack!

Before this, he stopped at Lifeway, and I bought two more books to read by my favorite authors.  More about that later, though.

My hubby stayed the night in Paducah (spelling??), Kentucky.  He went there to work on something yesterday morning and got called to do another job, in which they over-nighted the parts to him.  It was pointless to drive home and drive back today, so he unexpectedly spent the night there.

Jonah enjoyed his spot in my bed and kept me company, though.  ;)  They do love to take turns sleeping in my bed when he's away.  It doesn't happen very often.

I hope your day is wonderful!  My friend is about to pick me up for lunch.  Can't wait!  Love to all.

Monday, June 9, 2014

on a lighter note...

Today has been busy!  Good, but busy.  I should start this post off with the fact that Todd worked last night and it stormed like crazy during the time I would normally be falling to sleep.  I didn't sleep very good, needless to say.  Because of that, I slept late, and it was glorious.  :)  The boys slept in a little too.  Once they all woke up, we spent the first half of our day cleaning.  I did the downstairs and they did the upstairs.

I love having a clean house!  It never stays that way for long, though.  But at least then it'll be a messy clean.

I made the boys a yummy lunch, and after that it was time to take Drew to orientation at Chick Fil A.


Doesn't he look so handsome?  I love him in this shirt.  My day was made when I ran into my sweet friend Andrea!  That is the second time that has happened in as many weeks...and since she lives in Cordova and I live in The Ville, it's not all that common for us to bump into each other.  I loved seeing her for a few minutes, and catching up.

I had plans to stay and wait on him, but after the two hour mark, a whole Sunday school lesson later and a dog that needed to use the bathroom, I left and made plans for Todd to pick him up.

And speaking of Crash, the dog just about gave a poor kid and me a heart attack by barking ferociously.


Does that look like the face of a dog who could such a thing?  Well, it is. 

As I write this, my sweet hubby is on his way to get Drew, then we will be enjoying a quiet evening at home.  We were going to have grilled chicken, but the weather made that a little more tricky, so we're switching to hot dogs on the inside grill.  I am, if nothing else, roll with the flow when it comes to all things dinner.  And thankfully, my husband is too.  ;)

I hope you had a great day!  Love to all.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

on being disappointed

One of my favorite phrases that I say to my kids all the time, is "Suck it up".  It's probably not the nicest thing I could say to them, but it's a true statement.  Because let's just face it~sometimes life can be disappointing.

So what do I do to "suck it up"?

Well, there are many things I can do, but my two favorite ways to overcome this feeling are by prayer and reading God's word.

You know how I love to memorize Scripture?  This is one of those times that it comes in handy having some verses right there in the treasury of my mind.  I was disappointed by something by tonight, and I couldn't stop thinking about Romans 12, especially the part in verses nine through thirteen that talk about "taking delight in honoring each other".

Honoring each other goes hand in hand with honoring God, and that is really something I have been thinking about a lot lately.  There are so many ways one can honor God, and there are so many ways that I have not been doing that.

I came home tonight and read Romans 12:9-13.  Want to read them for yourself?

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Sometimes I need to be reminded~am I the only one?

Well, that is my little nugget of wisdom for tonight.   To lighten it up a little, I will leave you with a picture I took of Noah and me today while we were waiting on Todd and Jonah to get back to the car.  Because what's a post with a picture in it?  ;)


Graham should have been in this too, but he chose to hide from my camera.

Love to all!

Friday, June 6, 2014

summertime traditions

There are many things we love to do in the summertime at our house, so I thought I would start sharing one or two things a week that we love.

One of the things we most love is something we only started last year, and that is the summer concerts on the square of our sweet little town, The Ville.  I adore our little town; the only thing I adore more is the town square.  It's the meeting place of all meeting places.  On it are some of my favorite shops: CJ Lilly (the BEST flower shop in all of America), Hewlitt & Dunn (a cowboy store, if ever there was one) and some of my favorite places to frequent: Square Beans (a coffee shop that would give Central Perk from Friends a run for their money), The Silver Caboose (who is famous for "Fried Chicken Friday) and Yolo's (a frozen yogurt place).

We go here in the summer for these concerts, we go in the fall because of the changing of the leaves, we go at Christmas for the tree lighting event the first Tuesday night of every December and we go in the spring because the kids love to place pennies on the railroad tracks and climb on the trains.

I am telling you, I love this town.  Have I convinced you to move here yet?

I also love the fact that The Ville has that small town feel.  It's big enough that there's lots going on, but it's small enough that everywhere I go, I run into people I know.

All that being said, last night we met some friends on the square for the first summer concert of the season!  I was beginning to think we were going to get rained out, but thankfully the rain went away and the Lord provided for us the perfectly cool evening to sit and enjoy some great music and sweet fellowship.  And, I took some pictures.


This is a huge event, and while we always take a picnic, you can eat at one of the local restaurants on the square or you can purchase food from the vendors who set up nearby.  I'm thinking we might do that next week, just to mix it up a little.  Since we took a picnic, I gave Jonah and Noah some money and they walked to a little store-front place to eat called Mensi's.  They have really good ice cream, so they each bought a milkshake.

While we were there, in walking around a bit, I ran into some pretty awesome teenagers.


These were some of the occupants from middle school camp last week.  Drew's friend-girl convinced these three guys to walk up to the square and join them.  She's on the right...isn't she a cutie?  I think so.  :)  These sweeties have been together everyday this week, since coming home from camp on Monday night.  I love their friendship.

It was an awesome night, made complete by Toddley getting "hit" by a bird.  And as in "hit", I mean pooped on.  And then the same thing happened to my friend Lori's husband, though he got "hit" twice!  Hilarious.  If you're local to me, you should come with us next week!  We'll be there every Thursday night in June and July and I can tell you where we can be found.  I hope you enjoy your day!  We'll be hitting the pool in a little bit.  Love to all!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

the pictures from my phone's camera (it should really say my 'camera's phone', which is way more appropriate and true)

I have taken several pictures the past few days that I haven't posted to social media.  Since I have nothing else to write about, I thought I would make a post all about the pictures on my phone.

First up, a picture from Drew's camp from the weekend.  I totally took a screen shot of this guy Chandler's Instagram post, so please forgive that.  It's his picture, not mine, but it's the best picture of my boy!


God did something so huge in the lives of these boys over those few days they spent on the beach.  Every one of them came back different.  I am so proud of all of them!  And does Drew not look amazing?  I believe he does.  ;)  The guy that took this picture is such a Godly young man!  His example in the lives of these middle schoolers goes a long way.

Second on the list of pictures is one that Graham posted on Instagram.  Are you seeing a theme?  I took a screen shot of this one as well.


Nice room with an even better view, right?  Must be nice.  Their camps are so much different from the one I grew up going to!  There is absolutely no comparison between the two.

Thirdly is the yummy fruit we had with our lunch today.


For your information, Kroger in The Ville has these on sale for $1.19.  I got one, but I'm thinking I should have gotten two.

Fourthly is Crash.  I took Jonah and Noah to their friend's house today and he rode with us.   I let him stick his head out the window and he was so excited that he was shaking.  This is the picture of pure, unadulterated joy.


Why yes, that is a reindeer air freshener you see.  Don't judge.

After I ate lunch and did some Bible study homework, I took a nap.  I took a selfie of me laying on the couch because I was going to text it to Toddley, but then I changed my mind.  And I will spare you that image.

Last on the list is my current nail polish.  It's Marshmallow by Essie.


Before all this happened, I had my last post op appointment.  I don't have to see my doctor again for a whole year!  Which is kinda funny, because I'm almost at the one year mark that this long journey with my problems started.  I really am married to my Super Man...not only is he my hero, he deserves the husband of the year award.  I am so thankful that the Lord was with me through it all~iron infusions, iron shots, many medications~one of which that debilitated me for an entire month, an ablation, more problems, then surgery.  He truly never leaves us nor forsakes us!  Over and over again He showed me that His timing is perfect and His ways are good.  He is always so faithful, but in the last year I have had to lean on Him as never before.  Mixed in with all the issues I was having were also some scares with my blood pressure and heart and some cancer scares.  I've had EKG's and I've had several (SEVERAL) biopsies.  Praise God it is all behind me now, but because of this last year, I have grown in my relationship with Him.

When I started reading the Bible chronologically in January, the Lord started showing me that I had trust issues with Him.  Sure, I thought I trusted in Him, but I found out I really didn't.  I only trusted Him to do what I wanted, and on my terms.  But He doesn't work like that...in fact, He often strips me down to nothing but just me and Him.  When I have nothing else to stand on, I can stand on Him, my Rock, my Redeemer, my Strength and my Strong Tower.  When I am weak, then I am strong, as Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians.  I am weak on my own, but with the Lord standing beside me, I am strong!

So...all that to say that He is good, all the time.  Even if things had turned out much differently for me health wise, if those biopsies had not been benign, He is still good.  Praise God that when I breathe my last breath here on this earth, my real life will just be starting.  Because the things in this world are temporary~the good stuff happens when we pass from this world into Glory (Heaven).  I am not scared of death because of what lies ahead for me.  (And for you too, if you so choose.)

I praise Him for his goodness.  And I pray that these words reach deep into the heart of someone who needs them tonight.  Don't ever give up, instead, give it all to Him.

I will leave you with one more picture, a couple of verses I just so happened upon today.


Love to all.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...