Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals, and her friends, for the writing of this blog post.
This has been a WONDERFUL week. I'm not kidding. First off, I cannot describe how (mostly) happy I am that all my boys are back home under this roof. There was definitely a void in the noise (and attitude) while they were gone, and I've only had issues with one of them being back, but after our talk and some prayer with my friend yesterday, we're both much less cranky now.
I'm being serious.
Also, we all know how it's my favorite when my house is full again. I love all the energy that teenagers bring into a space, and I love all the noise.
When I was praying yesterday morning, and talking to the Lord about some things, He showed me that for now, this is our ministry. We always have people in our home. For a while now, I've wondered what our ministry would be, if we ever focused on that as a couple, but the Lord was so sweet to show me this yesterday morning during my quiet time. Not everyone can have extras in their house all the time, and I don't know that we would be able to, if this wasn't a ministry that God has given us. These teenagers know that they're always welcome here, and they're all free to eat and drink to their little heart's content. I always have stuff ready, and this is why I cook enough to feed an army, because some nights, I do! Over the years the people have changed some, because friendships often ebb and flow, but the fact that they're always here has never changed.
Also, in being in prayer for helping out with youth ministry again next year, the Lord just kinda confirmed that I am to keep on going with it. I already knew that this was His plan for me again, but how sweet of Him to confirm it once again.
I love how He works, and I pray that you (yes, YOU!) have a relationship with Him. You know you can always reach out to me on here if you have questions, and I've had a few people do that. I would love to talk to you more about this subject, and how you can have this kind of relationship with the Lord.
Moving on from there, the week has been so great. It started off when my kids came home early last Friday from camp, and when we ate together for the first time in forever, and then swam that night after dinner.
We NEVER get to do that, and it was heavenly. Our neighbors have let us use their pool all week while they've been gone, and I am so grateful to them.
I thought I had a picture, but I don't. Just know that night swims are my FAVORITE.
We swam some more on Saturday, and that night we went to my mom's. Well, Drew, Jonah, Noah, and I did.
Country life is my favorite, y'all.
Big Daddy, Jonah, and Noah were feeding the fish in Mr. John's pond in that top picture, and I can just never get enough pretty pictures of the landscape out here. I love it.
That is my favorite tree, also, on the right of the work building. It is majestically huge and grand, and when you see it in person, it almost takes your breath away. Or it does to me, anyway. I love nature, and I love admiring the handiwork of God. He is quite the artist.
One of my favorite teenagers (I say that tongue in cheek, they're ALL my favorites) brought me home this gift from her vacation last week. Was that not the most thoughtful thing ever?! I love a good smelling candle, and this one by Yankee Candle is my absolute favorite. It's burning in the kitchen behind me, as I write this.
I have two dogs, and a cat, and I do not ever want my house to smell like them. Because of that, I am always spraying room spray, or burning candles, or spraying down the cushions with the new Febreeze that is safe for the air and fabric. I'm super self conscience about what people think and smell as they walk into my house.
Hands down, this was my favorite picture from social media this week. These are my beautiful twin great nieces, Kylie (on the left) and Kinsley. My niece Erika is their pretty mom, and I borrowed this picture from some she posted earlier in the week. They're twenty four weeks old nowadays, and literally, miracles from God. One or both of them were not expected to survive because of a condition she had while pregnant, but God is our Healer, and He is the Great Physician. Praise His holy name.
Every single time I look at their pictures, I smile and thank Him once again.
I've been in a slump with my quiet time lately, and I've been asking God to pull me out of it so that I can get back to a regular time with Him every morning. I am so thankful to say that He answered that prayer this week, and He has been reminding me of obedience, as I've written out scripture on this topic for the month of July. This happens to all of us, I know, but I am so glad He has changed how I spend my mornings again. This passage above is one I read on Sunday, and it's one of my favorite passages to pray over my kids, my husband, and myself. Here's how I do that, and it's taken form Ephesians 3:14-21.
"Father, I ask that you help us to be strengthened with power in our inner selves through Your Spirit, and that the Lord Jesus Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith. I pray that, being rooted and firmly established in Your love, we would be able to comprehend what is the length and width, height and depth of Your love, and to know that the love of Christ Jesus surpasses knowledge, so we may all be filled with all the fullness of You. You are able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think, and to You be all the praise and glory. Amen."
Praying scripture is so powerful! And it is within the will of God, so He always answers according to what is written.
I realized this week, that although I love to watch fireworks from afar, they're not my favorite when I'm close by them. I have been this way since my childhood, and Drew and Noah have inherited this trait from me. I think it's that they're not always predictable, and we are not careless. We like to be in control, and to know what is going to happen.
I sure do love them from afar, though! Our town outdid itself once again this year. My neighbor said, as we sat and watched together, "There goes our water bills!" I never thought of that before, but she is so right!
One of my favorite views. X-box controller, coffee, a great book. I posted this picture yesterday, and talked about how delightful this book is. The author is Katherine Reay. I highly recommend it!
Also, speaking of X-box, playing Forza is my kids' current favorite thing to do right now.
I needed to get some money to this dear friend of mine on Wednesday, and we decided a girls night out would be a good way to accomplish that. She is one of my closest friends, and I am so thankful for her! This is Andrea, and when I met her years ago at Renewed Moms, our hearts clicked.
We laugh and laugh and laugh when we're together.
Girls night out is my favorite! We ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and I had my favorite soup, then we ended at Starbucks.
I'm currently reading through Ephesians again, and it is seriously one of my favorite books in the bible. This was my quiet time this morning.
Well, I need to get up from here and send my man and my oldest son off to work for the day. Thanks for reading! Love to all.