Have you ever been part of something where you just felt an incredible sense of community? For a season, I was part of such a group. The group is Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies. The ladies who volunteer are such a wonderful, loving and compassionate group. For a season, I had to step away from my role as a Facebook Small Group leader due to our recent move to Texas. However, I have been able to stay in touch with many of the ladies through Facebook. Plus, the ladies who were part of my Facebook Small group provide such a source of love, friendship, and Christian fellowship. These women truly are my sisters in Christ.
I have been waiting patiently (well truthfully maybe not that patiently) for the opportunity to return to the ministry. Today I took the first step towards returning, which involved a phone interview. Now I have some more waiting for the first steps of training to begin. But it feels so right to know I am on my way back to volunteering for an awesome ministry that touches the lives of so many. I truly feel blessed to have this opportunity. I consider today to also be a fresh start of attempting to keep up with my blogs. Intentions are great, but sometimes my “real” life has to take priority. So I am picking up where I am and striving to stick to writing now.
At the same time, I am continuing on my weight loss journey. The battle never ends, but I know ultimately it is worth the effort. I have been doing better about drinking more water and less of other things.
So what is going on in your life? I would love to hear from you!
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.
So it is another day of the #BloggingAtoZ challenge, and the letter for today is “V”. For me, “V” reminds me of Victoria, our new hometown. Back in October, we received notification that we would be moving to Victoria, Texas with a report date in February. We kept waiting for our orders to come, but there was no funding to move us. Some of our family were rally excited about the move – especially since it meant warm weather and being near beaches. Others in the family were not so thrilled. I know I am going to miss the Amish markets we used to buy our produce at locally. Plus, I am going to miss the grocery stores that carried a variety of lactose-free foods for our oldest. But, Victoria has some charms of its own.
I love that for the first time in about nine years; we live in one story. Our home, while not as big as our last home, offers many features that make it desirable. In Victoria, we have many restaurants our oldest can eat at safely. Also, we have a Sam’s Club right in town. In about 15 minutes we can get almost anywhere, we need to go. Plus, we are about 2 hours from San Antonio and Corpus Christi, which both have a lot to offer.
In Victoria, we have tw colleges, a number of churches, a ballet company and numerous activities to participate in along with a river. So all in all, I think once we get unpacked and settle in we will enjoy our new community.
So what does “v” bring to mind for you?
So we have said goodbye to one chapter in our lives and are starting the next chapter. Over a week ago we watched packers/movers pack our belongings load them onto an 18-wheeler for the trip to Texas. Then we loaded up our belongings and us into our two vehicles and started out for Texas. The first night we stayed in Salem, Virginia. The drive was fairly easy since most of it involved traveling on familiar roads. We stayed at a Hampton Inn in a fantastic suite with two rooms. One room contained a king-sized bag and was the room Dennis, Rebecca and I slept in. The second room had two queen-sized beds and was where our three sons and my mom slept.
The next day our destination was Chattanooga, which meant driving through Knoxville as well. There were a few nerve-wracking moments. However, the weather was beautiful. Upon our arrival in Chattanooga, we went to our hotel first to check in. The hotel sat on top of a winding hill. The view was spectacular. After we took our suitcases to the room, we went to Wal-Mart and out for dinner. Directly across the street from the hotel was a Logan’s Steakhouse – and surprisingly Jacob could eat there. The meal was amazing. After we finished eating, we went back to the hotel and rested for a while. Then we took the younger three down to the pool. The water was really warm. It was fantastic and I enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went back to our rooms for the night.
Stay tuned for more details of our move. I would love to hear from you.
So today is the beginning of a new year. It is a blank notebook waiting to be written upon. This year I am participating in the 365-day Writing Project. I plan on spending time every day for the next year writing something. For me, the important part is not how much I write, but that I write something every day. I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me.
Today, our family opened gifts (circumstances made this the right option for this year) for Christmas. Then the children went in the dining room where our daughter built her gift from Joseph. The three boys played a game together. Then we all watched the Lego movie together.
Now dishes need to be done. So the children are working on that. Dennis is getting ready to work on our Southern New Year’s Day feast including collards, black-eyed peas, cheesecake, pork with potatoes.
So while this is rather short for today, I want to get back to spending time with my family.
As one year winds down, another year approaches. It gives us all the opportunities and possibilities of working towards making old or new dreams come true. The door is open wide for us to step out in new directions or return to old flights of fancy. Just as Jesus entered the world as a newborn baby with the promise of greatness to come, we have the potential to make our dreams come true. We need to think about what is important to us and focus on those dreams.
It is time to focus on setting goals and writing them down. It is time for planning and focusing on what is truly important. This year I want to focus on writing and living out my dreams. I am participating in a new group called #write365. I can’t wait to get started. It is going to be fantastic to have a wonderful group of ladies to help keep me accountable and to share my successes with online. I also plan on being more active in the COMPEL community by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I want to start building my platform with dreams of speaking and writing in my future. Recently, I submitted a piece Chicken Soup for the Soul for one of their upcoming books, so we will see where that leads.
Changes are coming my way. I have always lived on the East Coast, but now we are preparing for a move to Texas in the new year. I am interested to see what possibilities and opportunities this move brings for our family. I plan on continuing to lead a small group on Facebook for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies, but am sitting out the first study because of our move. Then I plan on starting my life coaching courses through Liberty University Online once we get moved. Our oldest will also start his college work through correspondence once we move. Homeschooling will still be actively operating in our home for our younger three. I am trying to treasure every minute I have with our children. I know the days of having them all home are fast disappearing.
In this new year, I want to actively pursue building on my relationship with God and the time I spend with Him. I also want to spend more time memorizing Scriptures and working on Bible Art Journaling. I want to actively participate in His Kingdom Come and my other Art and Journaling groups. One of my goals in 2016 is to be more focused on becoming more Christ-like.
Once we move I plan on finding a church our entire family can become involved in and enjoy attending. Being with a group of like-minded believers is so important. This season we have spent having church at home with my husband leading us has been a tremendous blessing. But I recognize once we move, a new season needs to begin.
A new state, a new city and a new unit for my husband brings opportunities and possibilities for us all. There are so many things I want to do, see, create and achieve. The only thing standing between me and them is myself.
So how is your 2016 shaping up? What dreams do you have? What goals are you setting? I would love to hear from you.
Today is Day 23 of the #31DaystoWrite challenge. It also day 23 of the NaBloPoMo and Ultimate Blog challenges for October 2015 and I am still posting. I am really enjoying these challenges. Even though our lives might be rather hectic right now, I am still enjoying posting. Today’s Scripture is Hebrews 11:6 and here is a graphic for it.
But today is a very special day. Seventeen years ago today, we gave birth to our second son. As with our other children, we were induced – so that meant getting to the hospital around 6 am to check in. Having an IV started. It also meant having pitocin and all the fun of laying on my one side to help manage my blood pressure. This time we unfortunately received a hurse who was a nightmare. To begin with she stated there was no pre-certification pediatrician card in our file. But mysteriously it reappeared when Lisa, Dennis’ sister-in-law offered to run across the street to the pediatrician’s office to get one (incredibly easy for her to do since she worked there). Then, she just seemed to be lacking in the compassion and competence departments.
We really were not expecting to have a baby until sometime that afternoon. So my husband left the hospital to go do a couple of vending locations (he and his father owned a vending business). I was okay with this since he had a cell phone and we were just expecting things to go rather slowly. Lisa, my coach and husband’s sister-in-law, settled in for the day with all her perfect plans in place on how the day would go – right down to what she was going to have for lunch.
But God must have been looking down on us in favor, because another nurse happened to be walking by about the time our nurse was discussing pain medication with us, which happened somewhere around 9:30. After the nightmare with our first son, I knew I did not want an epidural. But the nurse was having difficulty believing me. So the second nurse suggested they check me to see how I was progressing. Then the second nurse brilliantly suggested having my doctor check me, as he was right down the hall. So while he and the nurses were getting ready to check me, I looked at Lisa and said I felt like I was about to be sick. She believed me and brought the basin to me. Then I looked at her and said I felt like pushing instead.
Needless to say, things happened fast – the doctor and nurses moved quickly to get gowns and other protective items on, while setting up for the delivery. I asked Lisa to call my husband back to the hospital (it was not even 10:30 yet). But she could not remember his number even though I had wrote down all the important numbers for her. So I had her hand me the phone and I called him myself. At the same time, everyone was emphatically insisted I not push. While that is easier said than done. With just two quick pushes our second son entered the world before my husband could even make it back to the hospital.
Lisa ran out to get lunch for us all. I want to say it was one of the best meals I ever tasted. Part of it could have been from the thrill of having our second son with us.
As the years have gone by, he has been a tremendous blessing to our family. He never asks for anything and will randomly come give me hugs just because. So happy 17th birthday to my darling son Joseph.
So this is the very beginning of journey to blog about my journey about being a writer and about working on my masters degree in Human Services with a concentration in Life Coaching. I never dreamed this is where I would wind up, but this is where I find myself being led to go.
I am a wife and homeschooling mother. We have three amazing sons and a wonderful daughter. We have graduated one son and the youngest is now in 8th grade. All too soon we will have an empty nest – which is how God designed things to be. But it does not necessarily make life easier on this homeschooling mom. I have been involved in homeschooling since our oldest son was in the fifth grade and he is now 19. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. But I have loved almost every minute of it.
So now it is time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life – a life that does not revolve around children or homeschooling.