20 Years ago Today

13528123_910655249080671_2644836525209392490_oTwenty years ago today, our oldest son was born.  This child has kept me on my toes, made me laugh and made me glad I am a mom.  Through the years, he has entertained our family.  On Friday, June 28, 1996, Dennis and I arrived at the hospital around 6:30 am for our scheduled induction.  He was born at around 5:40 that evening.  He was a dream baby in some ways.  He truly is a blessing directly from God to our family.  Oh and it would not be fair to talk about Jacob’s birth without mentioning my birthing coach – Dennis’ sister-in-law Lisa.  She was truly amazing at all the births (she coached me for all four).   I am not sure I could have gotten through the labor and delivery without her.  Stay tuned in October, when all three others were born to read about their lives.

However, this grape ape would only fall asleep some nights by his dad holding Jacob with his head in Dad’s had and the rest of him laying supported by Daddy’s arm.  From one end of our single wide mobile home to the other end of the home Dennis would constantly walk bouncing Jacob the entire time.  The two had/have an incredible bond.

Two weeks to the day after he was born, he lived through his first hurricane.  A few months later, he lived through his second.

This baby became a toddler who loved to be with his daddy.  One day, Daddy took him to the garden to dig potatoes.  However, I think all he really did was throw dirt over himself.

Then our second son came along.  The two were inseparable, and quite good at being instigators.  At the tender ages of about four and two, these two were able to put our minivan in gear (Jacob steered) and Joseph was down on the floor board pushing the pedals.  Somehow the two managed to get the van in gear and drive it into our fence (a much better outcome than  what could have happened – them driving the van into our mobile home.

The young boy grew and started school.  On his first day, I took him and picked him up (along with his siblings).  My young son looked at me that afternoon and told me, he did not want me to take him and pick him up; instead he wanted to ride the school bus.

He continued to grow.  When he entered fourth grade, he started Cub Scouts.  The following year we were forced into a situation that resulted in us homeschooling Jacob that year and then bringing all four children home the following year.    He really came into his own through homeschooling.

Then he crossed over into Boy Scouts and just sort of took things as they came.  In November 2008, we moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.  Right before we moved, his brother crossed to Boy Scouts.  Joseph had drive and determination, which helped motivate Jacob.

Soon the two were picking up each new rank at the same time.  After all, as the song goes, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”  This was their philosophy.  Although I believe Jacob was less competitive than Joseph by nature.  He just was not about to let Joseph outshine him.

He also became a Young Marine and did a fairly good job at that.

In July of 2012, both boys reached the rank of Eagle Scout.  They had their boards of review the same night.  So technically they achieved Eagle the same date.  We did a combined Eagle ceremony for them, which was a tremendous success.  We had an amazing turnout.  My inlaws drove to PA, with two of Dennis’ aunts to celebrate with us.  My father-in-law even cooked a hog for everyone.   The aunts and my mother-in-law helped with cooking everything else.  It was a wonderful day, although slightly bittersweet – since we had just moved a couple of weeks earlier from western PA to central PA.  We came back just for the Eagle ceremony.

Today, we are in Texas and Jacob is starting his work as a Youth Pastor and will be pursuing college classes starting in the fall.  I love him dearly.

So I just wanted to share a little with you.  I have to say life is never boring with my JacobP.  He is a true joy that God has blessed me to call son.

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Abiding in Christ – Happiness

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For the past several Wednesday nights at church, our pastor has been speaking about abiding in Jesus Christ.  Several times he has spoken about the fact that our happiness depends on “happenings.”  But instead of trying to find happiness, we should look for`happiness we should look for the joy that only can come from God.  God loves us with a never-ending and immeasurable love.  We must walk in the steps of Jesus Christ.  Does this mean we have to be perfect?  Definitely not, but we must strive to be Christ-like.  We need to love our neighbors, even those we deem to possibly be unlovable.

We need to spend time in God’s Word and with God’s people.  We are told in the Bible how Jesus often went off by Himself to spend time with God His Father, so we need to do the same.  We all have a choice about whether or not we abide in Christ.  I want to abide in Christ so He will abide in me.  I recognize I feel differently when I spend time in His Word and in His Presence than when I do not.

So what is going in with you?  I would love to hear from you.

Abiding in Christ on One of “Those” Days

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Have you ever had one of “those” days?  A day where everything and anything that could go wrong does go wrong.  Last week my husband and I had one of those days.  It began when we stopped by our primary care doctor’s office.  I needed a refill of one of my prescriptions, but for some reason, it was not included in the prescriptions I was given.  Getting this particular prescription filled proved to be an exercise in patience and determination.

The specialist told me we needed to bring in a copy of the authorization from Tricare.  I immediately stated they already should have that information.  The insurance specialist collected information from me so she could go confirm with her boss about our referral.  Once she pulled up my file the authorization displayed, so there was no question about our authorization.  Then we had to go wait again.  We watched numerous other patients come and go.  Finally, my name was called and we did more waiting before finally seeing the doctor.

We returned to my husband’s unit to finish out the day.  While there, I received a call from our primary care doctor saying they had no record of me telling them about the prescription I needed.  After several frustrating moments on several calls, we finally got the situation rectified by the specialist.

Later that evening, we attended our Wednesday night church service where our pastor was speaking about abiding in Christ.  It is easy to say we are abiding in Him when everything is going our way (meaning the way we want it to), but it is another thing to abide in Him when things are not going well.

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This particular series is really speaking to my heart and soul.  Oh, how I want to abide in Christ.  I want to rely on Him and recognize that He knows what is best.  But sometimes, that is easy to think and much more of a challenge to truly believe.  I want to be the one God created me to be.  I know I am loved by Him, but I can not always see myself as He sees me.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary website, here is the definition of abide:

Full Definition of abide

abode

play\-ˈbōd\ or

abided

abiding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1:  to wait for :await

  3. 2a:  to endure without yielding :withstandb:  to bear patiently :tolerate<cannot abide such bigots>

  4. 3:  to accept without objection <will abide your decision>

Did you notice the word “abode”?  Abode brings to mind thoughts of a home – like when someone says, “Welcome to my humble abode”.  I want to welcome Jesus Christ into my heart so it is truly a home for Him to stay in for the rest of my life.  Jesus Christ died for our sins.  We need to open our hearts to Him.  We need to be willing to die to self so He can live in our hearts.  When we do, we will receive a peace that only God can provide.

May you find a place today where you can allow Jesus Christ to abide in you.

 

Life of a Reluctant Writer

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Today I am beginning my 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  Around eight years ago, I embarked on my blogging journey.  We had just moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and I thought it would be a good way to inform our families about our lives.  Initially, I blogged on a homeschool blogging site.  Then changes happened to that platform, so I decided to move to Blogger.  Then, a year or so ago, I found out that if I truly wanted to build a platform, I needed to move to WordPress.  Also, in the past two years, I learned about different writing opportunities including  COMPEL (Words that Move People through Proverbs 31 Ministries), NaNoWriMo, the Ultimate Blog Challenge and the Blogging A to Z challenge.  Then I found this particular blogging challenge through a search on Amazon for resources for writers.

I adore reading.  It truly is one of my passions and is an excellent way to find out information.  So I downloaded the book and just finished reading it.  I prefer reading through a book before doing a challenge.  I know what is coming, and I can focus on the actual process once I begin.

I love to talk, especially about things I have a passion for, love or know about from experience.  Some of those include homeschooling, children, books, and family.  Blogging provided the perfect place to utilize those talents and interests.  As I delved deeper into blogging, I realized many doors could be opened if I was willing to walk through them.

I find it funny how in high school, writing was not one of my favorite things to do.  Yet now, I spend a lot of time writing and expressing my thoughts and ideas.  I tend to crave smaller gatherings, yet I married into a large family.  I dreamed of being a teacher and now I teach my children at home.  Plus, I manage to find time to proofread any papers my husband has written or will write for his college courses along with things like newsletters for his Army Reserve unit.  Writing has definitely invaded my life in a big way and right now I have no desire to change that.

So what have you reluctantly been drawn into that you love now?

#write365, #30daysbloggingchallenge

 

Unexpected Opportunities

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Back in October of 2015, we found out we were going to be moving from Pennsylvania to Texas courtesy of the Army Reserves.  My husband and I knew we wanted to find a church as soon as possible.  So once we arrived in Texas in March, finding a church became one of our priorities.  The first church we visited was a church that overwhelmed some members of the family.  For us coming from a small church background, there were just too many people.  Everyone was friendly, but the congregation was too large for us.

I was able to reach out to a member of the local homeschooling community for the second time to find other suggestions.  One of the members sent me a list of a list of three possibilities.  I poured over the websites trying to get some idea of what the different churches believed.  Finally, my husband and I talked about what church to visit.  We made our decision knowing we had different options if this one did not work out.  We walked through the doors and immediately felt welcome.  My daughter found a kindred spirit in the pastor’s daughter.  My youngest son made friends with several young men at the church.  Most importantly, our oldest son who plans on becoming a Youth Pastor and is preparing to start college courses for this endeavor found an opportunity to serve as a youth pastor.  The current youth pastor has accepted a pastorate at a church out of state, and they will be leaving later this month.  So in the meantime, my son has begun working with the current youth pastor to prepare.  Last night he had his first solo event at our home. He had some of the teenagers of the church come to sing, pray and do a devotional.  All in all, it went very well.

On Sunday, many of the regular members of the Praise and Worship band were absent, so my oldest son played bass guitar, and I led the singing.  I have to say it was quite the experience.  I usually sing either acapella (no instruments – just voices) or with a piano that plays both the melody and backup parts. However, the melody was only led by me.  But I listened to my call to use one of the gifts that God provided for me.  It is amazing to see how God works.  I thoroughly believe God led us to our current assignment and to this particular church.

Have you ever felt a calling or done what you know what is right in God’s eyes.  I would love to hear from you.

#write365