Here are a few pictures of the boys "helping" us pack :)....
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Well, this week has been very busy for us as we have been packing and moving in order to be out of our home by the morning of December 15th. We will stay with friends for the rest of the week before moving in with my mom in Sumter. We will live there (or have our home base there while we travel over Christmas :) ) before flying out on January 2nd. I have to admit it has been a crazy week scheduling people to come by and pick up furniture they are getting from us and packing up box after box to go to different people. We have piles all over the house that are going 10 different directions but in my mind it is "organized" chaos!!! But God showed me something so clearly this morning and it was so beautiful....this morning I was dropping Thomas off at his school and I had to walk him in because we were a little late. I was talking with another parent and she asked how things were going and when we were leaving. I shared with her a bit and told her about us needing to be out of the house by next Tuesday. She said over and over how she did not envy me a bit and how overwhelming it must be, etc. And at that very moment the Lord spoke to my heart so clearly about what a BLESSING it is that we have to be out of our house next Tuesday and how clearly it was His timing...He wants us to have all of the moving done so that we can enjoy our last 2 1/2 weeks here with family and friends over the holidays!!! He doesn't want us to be stressed out about moving during Christmas so He chose to bless us by providing us with renters that have to be in by the 17th. I was so blown away and yet so humbled at our precious Lord and His desire to orchestrate every little detail of our lives. EVERYTHING matters to Him and as we let Him lead in EVERYTHING He will bless and direct it all!! I feel so honored that He chose to reveal Himself to me this way this morning and I truly have no burden about packing and moving because I know it will all get done since He's in control of it all!! Again, He gave me 2 Cor. 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." When I feel weak, He is strong....My God is so amazing!!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So many things have happened over the past week and we praise the Lord for all of them! Our house is officially rented as of December 17th so we have to be out of it on the 16th (which means we are working feverishly to pack and clean!!!!) We are so thankful that the Lord has rented it and we are already praying for the family that will move in--that the home will be a blessing to them. Also, our Big Brother/Big Sister at language school have found us an apartment to live in while we are in San Jose. They sent us a video tour of the place and it is actually very spacious compared to typical homes there. It also has a washer and dryer (dryers are very rare) so I am excited about that. My favorite part of the house is that we actually have a backyard for the boys to play in. Most homes have NO yard so we feel so blessed to have a yard and not just any yard--our yard has a mango tree and a papaya tree!!! I prayed for fruit trees in our yard (what silly things we pray for yet the Lord hears all of our prayers and blesses in such sweet ways!!!) I am so thankful for this home that the Lord has given us. It is a 15 minute walk to school and there is a park nearby where the "farmer's market" comes each Saturday! I am so excited about this as well!!! We are about 5 weeks away from leaving. Time is so short and we have much left to do--the most important being spending time with family and friends as much as we can before going....please pray for us that this is truly our priority and we don't get caught up in the busyness of the details that need to be done!!! Thanks for all of your prayers....we feel so blessed!!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well, Thomas's soccer season ended with a bang! They had a soccer party after the final game and he got a trophy (which he is very proud of!!). I guess the next soccer team he will be on will be with his new "Tico" friends in Jaco. We are looking forward to that! Here are a few pictures of him with his trophy at the soccer party.
This next picture is of the team doing their final "1...2...3...Gamecocks!!" I think this and the gatorade breaks every 5 minutes were some of the favorite memories for Thomas and his teammates!
What a blessing it was to be a part of this first experience with Thomas-we look forward to many more!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Well, we have had a busy few months as we prepare to leave! We have had more wonderful opportunities to share God's vision for our family in several churches in Georgia and here in Lexington, SC. We have been so blessed by the love and support we have felt by each church body and have begun relationships that we know will grow in years to come. Here are a few pictures of the churches we have visited. In October we shared at Lexington Church of Christ, Calvary Chapel Lexington (our home church), and Calvary Chapel Heartland (Fort Valley, GA). The first weekend of November we shared at Flintstone Baptist Church in Flintstone, GA.
To date, we have 100% of our outgoing expenses and 75% of our monthly support raised...PRAISE THE LORD!!! We prayed about when to order our plane tickets and we felt all along that once we reach 75% of our monthly support we would order them so this past Friday we made it official--our tickets are ordered...we leave January 2nd at 6:00AM...wow--I admit I cried as I was booking them. It was very emotional--a definite reality check in a much more "concrete" way if ya know what I mean! Now we just continue to work at all of the details that need to happen before we go.
We did have an awesome opportunity to rent our patio home to some friends in need of a place to live. We were planning on selling it and it has been on the market since July with no buyer. Well, our friends, David and Eva Daniel had 3 weeks to find a place to live (as of last week) and the Lord told them to approach us about renting and He gave us a peace about renting to them---what a blessing for both of us! They needed a place they could afford and wanted it close to the church. Well, it is within their means and it is literally 3 minutes from the church--God is so faithful even in the little details of our lives if we will just surrender even those places to Him!! It has been obvious in the past week that the Lord has saved this place for them and their 3 beautiful children!!!
Please pray for us and for all the little details--that we would trust the Lord with them as He leads...as I was studying this week I came across this verse and it has been my prayer this week and will be for a long time--- Psalm 26:2-3 "Test me, O Lord, and try me. Examine my heart and my mind. For Your love is ever before me and I walk continually in Your truth." May you walk in His truth as He leads you...
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yesterday I was praying and meditating on the Lord and kept thinking wow--daily God shows us His faithfulness...not always in things that He does or ways that He intervenes, but just for being who He is in our lives! His Word says He loves us with an everlasting love. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We are so thankful for a God who loves us in spite of ourselves. So today, I went to the mailbox and we received another letter regarding the anesthesia bill from Daniel's surgery. At this point we have 3 bills left. The Lord has totally cleared all of the others (in the amount of $26,000)!!! This bill was originally for $1800 and I paid $40 on it to show "good faith" that we do desire to pay it. Anyway, the letter today informed us that they decided to write this bill of totally!!! Yes, another miracle from the Lord--only the Lord could provide in this way as we prepare to go! I can't believe we only have 2 bills left that total about $4,000. AMAZING!!! Thanks to all who are fervently praying...we are so blessed by all He continues to do! May God be the glory!!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
What a fun 2 weeks we have had! We took the boys to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin and then they carved it with Daniel. They had a blast! Here are a few pictures from our adventure...
On Friday we took the boys to the Fall Festival at our church. Now, you have to understand our son, Thomas. For some reason he loves flags. He has a book of flags and he has learned all of the country flags and any time we see a flag around he points it out and identifies it. Well, about a month ago he told me he wanted to dress up as a "United States Flag" for the Fall Festival. I thought it quite odd, but he was certain this is what he wanted to be. I assumed he would change his mind by Friday, but on Friday he was still asking to be the US flag so we made the costume that day. He loved it and had a great time reciting the pledge of allegiance to anyone who would listen...truly a memorable night!! (And of course Jacob was the cutest lion I have ever seen!!)
This was our last Fall Festival for a long while. In Costa Rica they do not celebrate Halloween at all. It seems these days as if we are saying "this is the last time for..." alot. We are leaving in less than 2 months...time seems so short yet we have so much to do! Thanks to all who are continuously praying for us!! Please join us in praying for God's will to be done with the sale (or not) of our home. We love you guys!!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Two weeks ago we took the boys to ride Thomas the Train near Charlotte. Thomas loves Thomas the Train so he got a big kick out of being able to ride him. Here are a few pictures of our day:
Daniel has Mondays off and it was such a beautiful day so we used our last free zoo passes to take the boys to the zoo. Jacob loves all animals so we had a blast watching (and hearing) him react to every animal he saw! It was an awesome family day for us!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Daniel and I are blown away daily by the Lord's faithfulness and provision for our family as we prepare to leave for Costa Rica! Last week we received another medical bill in the mail for Daniel's shoulder surgery. (Reminder--our insurance company is not covering Daniel's surgery and we have about $25,000 in doctor's bills that we owe) At this point I couldn't even worry about it because for one, what is another $720 and two, I know the Lord is going to provide for these bills and He will get the glory. Anyway, I walked back from the mailbox after opening the bill and felt I should call Providence Hospital to see what the status was on our application for financial assistance. At this point, we have done all we can do to apply to every financial assistance program and we even wrote a letter to each provider explaining our situation and asking for mercy. So I felt in my heart I was to call Providence (this is our biggest bill--over $15,000) and check on the paperwork. The billing clerk proceeded to tell me that the day before (last Monday) the hospital decided to take care of our bill and our balance was ZERO!!!! Yes, ZERO!!! I was absolutely blown away and knew immediately that it was the Lord's provision! What is even better, I was able to share with the billing clerk how the Lord intervened here and provided for us. She said she has never seen anything like this before and the situation really ministered to her. She truly was at a loss for words...it was so beautiful to see our Lord get all the glory! Also, three other providers are waiting to hear what the hospital does for us with financial assistance before deciding what they will do with those bills so we are praying God's favor over those bills as well! God is definitely in the miracle business!! Our 3 year old, Thomas, has been praying every night for over a month for a "miracle for the medical bills" and the Lord heard his cries. We are so humbled that He chose to bless us in this way. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 Be blessed!!!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Well, Jacob got his first "official" haircut yesterday, yet it wasn't as I was planning. On Sunday, we had the privilege of speaking at Calvary Chapel Augusta and Daniel led worship for the service. It was a blessed time of fellowship as we met more new brothers and sisters in Christ who have committed to praying for us as we prepare to go.
Jacob was wearing an adorable John-John outfit and as many of you know his hair is a little long and curly. Well, many people in Augusta thought he was a girl and told Daniel one too many times that "his little girl was adorable." Daniel was insistent that we needed to cut his hair and I reluctantly agreed that it did need a TRIM. Well, Monday morning I went to the gym early since it was Daniel's day off and I called him on the way to remind him of something. No one answered the phone which I thought was odd but I let it go. About 5 minutes later I get a call from Daniel with these words, "Well, he's a boy again." I had no idea what he was talking about so he repeated, "He's a boy again." He then proceeded to tell me that he squirted Jacob's hair with a water bottle and he froze and was so still that he went ahead and cut his hair. And when I say cut, I mean cut. It is no trim--it is cut SHORT!!! I couldn't believe it but he insisted that I gave the okay the day before and I know that he was just waiting for me to walk out the door so he could get down to business. Anyway, here is a picture of Daniel's barber skills. You can't see the back of Jacob's head where Daniel cut and didn't think about the fact that because he does have curl if you cut it wet it will lift and be even shorter. He has what appears to be a "bob" in the back with no hair underneath the outer layer. I have to say he still is adorable and his father is right pleased with himself! Men, ya gotta love 'em!!
Last, we took our Youth Group to Clemson this past Saturday to a FCA Rally and Clemson game. We took Thomas along with us to his first Clemson game. He loved it and had a great time cheering on the Tigers. He also enjoyed the concession stands and didn't understand why we couldn't keep going back for more candy! He lasted until the 4th quarter and then he was DONE!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Well, Thomas has officially started playing soccer in a U-4 league. He is the youngest one on the team (and the shortest) but he is having fun! The first day was a little tough: he was soooo hot (according to him), he couldn't understand why his uniform was so big and why he had to wear shin guards, he was more interested in gatorade than playing...but when he was finally able to play and kick the ball he had a good time. He had a scrimmage last week and his first official game is Sunday afternoon. Here are a few pictures of him during his scrimmage.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
We just returned from a wonderful visit with Nana and Paw-paw (Daniel's parents) in Chattanooga, TN. They hosted a dessert for us on Saturday night and we were able to share all about our mission to Costa Rica with friends and family. On Sunday morning, Daniel taught at Eastwood Church (the church he interned with after high school) and shared about Costa Rica with the congregation there. It was a blessing to be able to spend time with old friends and to meet new ones who are going to be partnering with us as we go.
We had a lot of fun with the boys playing outside, swimming and visiting the aquarium with their cousins Lennon and Jaxson. The following are a few pictures from our time with them.
On Wednesday, we had an amazing time visiting Grace Calvary Chapel in Soddy Daisy, TN where Daniel taught and shared with the church body about our mission to Costa Rica. We felt so at home here visiting with Kyle (missions pastor) and his wife, Amanda, as well as all of the loving people we met. Every time we visit another Calvary Chapel we feel so at home and our time here was definitely a blessing! Here are a few pictures of us at Grace Calvary Chapel with Kyle and Amanda.
Lastly, one of the highlights of our trip was the entertainment we received every night by Thomas. He loves playing the guitar and Nana had one at her house that was almost his size so he had a great time playing and singing for everyone who came to visit. He played for hours--he definitely takes after his father's natural ability. I am trying to attach a little video clip of him playing and singing for us one of the days we were there but it won't work right now so look for it to be posted soon. I now know what we will get him for Christmas this year!!!
Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers as we get ready to go! We are excited about what the Lord continues to do in and through us as we follow His leading. Zach. 4:6 "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit." says the Lord Almighty.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Here is Thomas before leaving for his first day of school. He goes to Lexington Baptist 2 days a week from 9-12 and loves it!!!
Thomas and his buddy Ella playing at Harbison Park last week. They had a blast!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Our Lord is so amazing! I love when I am reading His word and He speaks to me directly about what I am dealing with or going through right at that moment. His Word is definitely living and active and such a daily blessing to me!! As many of you know, our insurance denied coverage of Daniel's shoulder surgery and we had thought all along it was going to be covered. It was definitely a slap in the face and we know it is an attack from Satan--especially since we are in the middle of raising financial support for our departure to Costa Rica. You would think Satan would be a little less obvious with the attack--we kinda expected some financial attack somewhere since this is where God has us focusing right now. But anyway, today I was reading in John 14:25-31 about how God has sent his Holy Spirit to be with us as our Counselor. In verse 27 He says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." My Oswald Chambers devotional then says, "Inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. Have you ever received what Jesus speaks--'MY PEACE I GIVE YOU'? It is a peace which comes from looking into His face and realizing His undisturbedness." I was so touched by God's peace which is truly a peace that passes all understanding. I can just feel such peace and I picture looking into Jesus' face--for He is the Prince of Peace. Oswald continues with "Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God's PROVIDENTIAL PERMISSION and, having turned over the boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort--is all barren? Are you looking unto Jesus now, in the immediate matter that is pressing and receiving from Him peace? If so, He will be a benediction of peace in and through you. But if you try to worry it out, you obliterate Him and deserve all you get." I was so blessed by this because it reminded me that no matter the trials or difficulties we are facing and no matter the source, God has permitted them--all has been filtered through His hands of love--and in Him we will find true peace as we push through these trials. Our God is so faithful...if we remain in Him and He in us, we will bear much fruit. For apart from Him we can do NOTHING. (John 15:5) I have total peace about these medical bills and now look forward to the miracles that will result as God receives all the glory!!!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
We took our youth group to Carowinds and we took Thomas along with us. He had so much fun! Some of our "Tico" (word used for Costa Ricans) friends who are studying at USC for another year went along with us. Thomas is an adrenaline junkie just like his father which makes me a little nervous! He enjoyed all of the kiddie rides and even a roller coaster with daddy.
The top picture is us with our "Tico" friends: Mauricio, Anita and Adrian. Thomas and Adrian are buddies. It has been such a blessing to get to know them over the past year and a half because they will be returning to Costa Rica as we are finishing up language school next Spring. The Lord has already given us close friends in the area that He has called us to...He is so faithful!!!