1.31.2017

A gift of love.


At 9:00 Saturday morning, six extra feet ran into our house to join the craziness of the day. The feet belonged to Henry, Grace, and Toby - our G3! We spent the morning at the park, which included a long hike up a huge hill, lunch at a certain chicken establishment, and some quiet play at our house until it was time to go home. It was a wonderful day!
When PJ and Julie came to collect their children, my friend walked in the door holding a lovely pot of pansies. She was telling me about their day and how much she enjoyed spending time at a garden store preparing to re-do their backyard when she handed me the little basket of flowers and a card.
I saved the card to read later but gushed over the sweetness and beauty of the flowerpot. There are few flowers that do not elicit a response of joy in my heart. They bring cheer to any room and, to any somber day. I just love them!
Sadly, there are not many verses about petals and stems, but the two we read most are worthy of thought!

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29

After our friends drove away, I opened the card to discover words of love, appreciation, and friendship and paused to thank the Lord for the gift of friendship. He brought this passage to mind:
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. Ecc 4:9,10


A simple basket of lovely flowers given by a friend with a huge heart.
How good it is to belong to the body of Christ!

1.30.2017

Quote.

Speak with God in the morning before you speak to the world; 
and speak with God at night after you have been with the world.
~ J. C. Ryle

Celebrating my SISTER!


In honor of 50 years of life given to her by a gracious God, our family chose to celebrate Stephanie by listing 50 things we LOVE about her! She is an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend and she makes it incredibly easy to love her.
The Lord dropped Stephanie into my life when I was a 12-year-old girl. I was excited and blessed to have a "new sister" then, and I am a thousand times more thankful for her now. 
I cannot imagine life without her.
Happy Birthday, Steph! You are a blessing and a delight, and I am grateful the Lord placed together as sisters "for such a time as this." I love you!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  1. She gives unconditional love to family.
  2. She has a kind and gentle heart.
  3. She still laughs at my stupid jokes!
  4. She ALWAYS finds time to spend with me.
  5. She smiles even when she’s feeling down.
  6. She is dependable. We can count on her.
  7. She is chipper and fun and makes us LAUGH!
  8. She is kind.
  9. She treats people with honor.
  10. She encourages others.
  11. She makes us laugh without trying.
  12. Once a cheerleader ALWAYS a cheerleader!
  13. She is LOYAL to her family and others, always wanting what is best for them.
  14. She is a great mom, and patient with her son.
  15. She is GENEROUS. Always giving time, energy, gifts, and herself.
  16. She has an infectious laugh.
  17. She is an excellent hostess!
  18. She loves the unlovable. Not because she has to - but because she WANTS to.
  19. She loves the Lord.
  20. She is the first to SERVE. In any way needed, and with JOY.
  21. She shows interest in the things I talk about. She listens.
  22. She helps me through problems and difficult times.
  23. She is a wonderful WIFE and I enjoy spending quality time alone with her.
  24. I enjoy the passion she shows when she is talking about a new show she has discovered.
  25. Fond memory: Sliding into the kitchen in her slippers and LAUGHING!
  26. She cooks and bakes our favorites for us - and we love it!
  27. She is thoughtful - constantly thinking of others.
  28. She is always ready to have FUN!
  29. She is full of optimism!
  30. She is an excellent auntie who loves to hug and hold her nieces and nephews.
  31. She loves and values her family and sacrifices for others.
  32. She is caring.
  33. She is patient.
  34. She looks for the GOOD in people.
  35. She is always kind to me and my friends even if she is upset.
  36. I appreciate her working at home and caring for our son.
  37. She is helpful and thoughtful and kind when others are struggling.
  38. Strangers? Never! Stephanie engages EVERYONE in conversation!
  39. She is an expert in geography, which is always helpful for our family.
  40. She forgives.
  41. She is JOY-filled. Always ready with a smile or laugh no matter how tough life may be at the moment.
  42. She makes people feel wanted and welcome.
  43. I appreciate every meal she prepares.
  44. She shows exceptional COURAGE and independence in heartache and difficult trials.
  45. She selflessly served her niece and nephews by keeping them connected, and showing them love when they were young.
  46. She is quick to offer PRAISE.
  47. She joyfully and willingly rejoices in the successes and happiness of others.
  48. She loves to add excitement and fun and SPARKLE to any occasion!
  49. She has a respect for the past, seeks to preserve memories, and remembers the BEST of others.
  50. She willingly serves and loves others who cannot do anything in return. She cannot help but love people - it’s who she is.

1.28.2017

Guy's Night! (with a cameo by Ellie)


Micah, Luke, and Caleb absolutely love having huge groups of guys over to hang out at our house.
When you already have five boys in your home, what's 30 more?
<insert eye-rolling, laughing-with-tears emojis here>
 We came up with an amazingly creative name for these events: Guy's Night
(We will not be opening an advertising agency anytime soon.)

Normally, I would post this photo in a "this and that" entry. This time, however, I am showcasing it all on its own because every single time I ask for a photo there is a particular group of guys who call out, "Is this for 'A Heart Surrendered'? Are we going to be on the BLOG?!?!?" And then they rally the troops calling out, "This is for the blog, people!"
They make me laugh every time.

As they assembled tonight, I was not paying any attention to what they were saying until I heard the entire group yell, "1, 2, 3, A Heart Surrendered!"
This made me laugh out LOUD.

So this is for you, guys. (You know who you are!)
We enjoy having you in our home and look forward to many more nights of fellowship and FUN!
Thank you for making me smile and laugh ... just by being YOU!

1.27.2017

This and that.

It's Friday!
And this Friday is a GREAT one because it started with a drive down south to deliver beautiful baskets filled with delicious fruits, snacks, sandwiches, and sweets for our Orphan Care moms who will be enjoying a weekend getaway in a lovely beach apartment thanks to the generosity of two thoughtful, loving women who gifted their home to them for the next three days.
I wish I could be there to see their faces when they arrive!
Three days of peace, quiet, and fellowship. I am so excited for them, and cannot wait to hear how the Lord uses the time to refresh and revive them so they can return home to serve their husbands and care for the precious children the Lord has rescued and restored.
Every time I interact with one of these women I love them more, and appreciate their willingness to struggle, fight, cry, rejoice, pray, support, encourage, protect, and love the children - who needed them.
Lord, thank You for providing this wonderful weekend of respite for these women. May they leave feeling rested and refreshed and ready to dive back into the life You have called them to live.

I am currently reading three books simultaneously, and can best summarize their impact by saying, "YIKES!"
-Sixteen years of parenting under my belt still has me feeling like I am a rookie.
-I have been a Christian for 40 years and still find myself awed by the simplicity and power of the Gospel.
-I thought I had left my people-pleasing ways behind me a decade ago, but it seems I still desire the approval of others.
How thankful I am for the wisdom of godly men who study Scripture thoroughly and seek God daily so they can share what they learn with others and encourage them in the faith. They are a blessing indeed!

Ever since purchasing a rug, our family room has been used as a wrestling arena. With five boys in the house, there is always a wrestling match or some other form of physical interaction taking place (Isaiah learned how to "tap out" at the age of two), but now that there is an 8x5 foot section of soft carpet available, there is no end to the wrestling and horseplay. As it should be with so many boys!
Even Ellie gets in on the action, being as strong as the rest and possessing the same amount of competitiveness and passion.
It's good for Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie because they are FULL of energy and rarely seem to run out of any of it between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm.
A few days ago they made a huge jump pad (one of their favorite activities) that was so fluffy and soft it even attracted the older boys.
Micah made the mistake of plopping himself right in the middle of it and soon became a human jungle gym.
Who needs a park when you have a six-foot older brother to climb on?

~~~ Did you know that fish do not lie still when they are scooped up into a spoon? I did not!
We have a new fish, Jonah IV. (Beta fish do not live forever) I poured him into a small dish so I could clean and refresh his bowl. When it was time to put him back into his round dwelling I didn't want the dirty water to follow him in, so I pulled out a large serving spoon thinking I could scoop him up and quickly drop him into his bowl. I'm not sure if it's due to watching Finding Nemo too many times, but I honestly thought Jonah would lie flat on the spoon gasping for breath until he was returned to the water. But I was wrong. The second I lifted the spoon out of the dish, he leaped out of the spoon and landed right on top of the garbage disposal. (No, I had not covered it. I thought he wouldn't move, remember?) Now, I love fish. I find them beautiful and tranquil. When they are IN the water. Out of the water, they freak me out. They are like worms with fins. <shiver> I panicked for a second, wondering how I could avoid touching him until I saw Micah standing next to me and screamed, "Micah! Get Jonah! Get Jonah! He is going to die!" Micah reached down, grabbed the fish, and tossed him into the bowl while rolling his eyes and saying, "My WORD, Mom." Rescue: successful! And Jonah lives another day.

I cannot believe it, but I am *almost* able to announce that all six Eastman children are READING!
Teaching children to read is a difficult process, and requires much patience, but teaching five children who are severely dyslexic to read is another thing altogether.
The amount of discouragement and frustration and tears (for all of us) cannot be measured, but the Lord has been so faithful to fill in the gaps and provide moments of HOPE and SUCCESS through the years - and we are thankful!
There is no way I could have navigated through the world of dyslexia without the Lord leading my steps and directing me to the people, books, experts, and research that would allow me to understand how their minds work, and most of all, what they need. Praise Him for His faithfulness in ALL things!

~~~ A new weekend is upon us.
I pray you will allow yourself to be fully yielded to God, willing to do whatever He calls you to do, and then rejoice in His work and the blessings that come from obedience.
Hapy Friday!

Quote.

Keep looking up and kneeling down.
-Corrie ten Boom

"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16

1.25.2017

An EXCITING and DESIRABLE prayer!

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14

Isn't this a fantastic prayer?
A friend sent this passage to me the other day, so encouraged by it that she plans to memorize the verses so she can treasure the words in her heart. A terrific plan, indeed!

Imagine if every believer prayed this way for every believer he/she knows. Can you imagine?
Unceasing prayer on your behalf, praying for you to ...
- be filled with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of God's will
- walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
- please God
- bear fruit in every good work
- increase in knowledge
- be strengthened with God's power
- have endurance and patience with joy

What kind of people would we be?
How would we treat one another?
How much would we grow in our faith?
How much would our passion increase for the things of God?
How would we affect the Kingdom?

It's exciting to think about, isn't it?

I am going to join my friend in memorizing this passage - and start using it as an outline for my prayers on the behalf of others in the Throne Room of Grace. Increase my prayers, Lord, I pray!

1.23.2017

It rained and poured! And we LOVED it!


 Celebrating and enjoying a wonderful winter of RAIN!
Real rain.
You-can-hear-it-beating-on-the-roof rain.
You-can't-see-through-your-windshield rain.
It-takes-three-days-to-dry-out-the-yard rain.
After three years of drought conditions, the Lord opened the heavens and poured down rain upon our land to replenish the earth - and our water supply.
And the Eastmans are THRILLED!


I had just called all the kids together to go outside for our traditional Rain Photo when a huge rain cloud broke over our house, pounding the ground with water. I looked at the older boys and asked, "How committed are you?" They mutually responded, "Not THAT committed, thanks!" We all watched the downpour through the window and then one of us (I think it was me) exclaimed, "It's not rain! It's HAIL!" Small, round balls of ice lasting only a few minutes, but hail nonetheless!
A perfect way to end our final day of severe rain and thunderstorms on the California coast.










Of course, with torrential downpours come a few problems - like flooding.
Our entire yard was under water at one point, and since the rain fell hard and steady for hours, we had approximately three inches of standing water all afternoon and into the night.
It made for an adventure, however!
Dennis and Micah filled sandbags in the middle of the shower (thanks to our city Water Department) to cover our sliding glass door and breezeway which were taking in copious amounts of water due to the slanting sidewalk that runs in front of them. 
When they finished, Dennis looked at me, dripping wet and soaked to the skin, and said, "Man, there are people who do this all winter and into the spring - daily!" He has a new respect for said people!



These are the RAINY days the Lord has made,
so we will REJOICE and be GLAD in them!

1.22.2017

Ours for the taking!

God is a tranquil Being, and abides in a tranquil eternity. So must thy spirit become a tranquil and clear little pool, wherein the serene light of God can be mirrored. Therefore, shun all that is disquieting and distracting, both within and without. Nothing in the whole world is worth the loss of thy peace; even the faults which thou hast committed should only humble, but not disgust thee. God is full of joy, peace, and happiness. Endeavor then to obtain a continually joyful and peaceful spirit. Avoid all anxious care, vexation, murmuring, and melancholy, which darken the soul, and render thee unfit for the friendship of God. 
If thou dost perceive such feelings arising, turn gently away from them
~ Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769)


I love this quote.
The word 'tranquil' is a lovely word. It evokes an image of peace and calm that is beautiful and desirable. And, it is a choice.
Even when the troubles of the world swirl around us, we can choose peace by dropping all of our worries, anxieties, and cares at the feet of Jesus, trusting Him to protect, defend, and comfort us in the midst of the storms. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7 
We belong to a God of promises!

"Endeavor then to obtain a continually joyful and peaceful spirit."
This thought echoes the apostle Paul's declaration, "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; AGAIN I will say, REJOICE!" Philippians 4:4 - and - "In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18
Life is filled with trials, but none of them change who our God is or what He desires for His children. He never changes, even in our darkest hours and greatest sorrows. He is a God of peace, and it is His perfect peace He offers us; a peace the world cannot promise or deliver, for it defies all human understanding. And it is ours for the taking if we will but do so!

Thank you, Father, for the beauty and comfort of peace. We live in a world filled with hate and anger and fear, but the believer need not carry any of those burdens on his shoulders because You promise to give peace to those who pursue it, and guard our hearts and minds when we lay our worldly cares at the feet of Your Son. How grateful we are to belong to a God who not only promises His peace but gives it freely without reproach - because You love us. Thank You, Father. We deserve nothing, yet You give us everything.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14 

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. 
And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 

Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18

1.21.2017

Quote.

All things are lawful for me - but not all things are profitable.
All things are lawful for me - but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

How would you judge the lawfulness or unlawfulness of any pleasure?

Use this rule:

Whatever . . .
weakens your reason,
impairs the tenderness of your conscience,
obscures your sense of God,
takes off your relish for spiritual things -
that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.

By this test you may detect evil, no matter how subtly or how plausibly temptation may be presented to you.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do - do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians10:31

~ Susanna Wesley

1.20.2017

Only ONE reigns.

Perspective.
It matters.

Our focus cannot be on man.
Our eyes must stay fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith - Jesus Christ.
Because HE, and He alone, reigns!

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 
I Chronicles 29:11, 12

Great Are You, Lord

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
To You only

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
To You only

All the earth will shout
Your praise
Our hearts will cry
These bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
To You only

1.17.2017

Not MORE. BETTER!

This little book was the first one checked off of my 2017 reading list. Though I did not need the practical piece of scheduling, calendars, and to-do lists (being that I am already a large blip on the OCD radar) I appreciate the biblical perspective Challies presents as well as the incredibly practical productivity assignments. It is easy to lose focus or misplace priorities as the days roll over one another, so adjusting and realigning our focus is always a worthwhile use of time.

My favorite activity was filling out the Productivity Worksheet. (I like homework assignments!) 
- Know Your Purpose
- Define Your Responsibilities
- List Your Roles, Tasks, and Projects
- State Your Mission

Listing my roles, tasks, and projects was easy since they are daily occurrences, but narrowing them down to five responsibilities and creating a mission statement for each one took time, thought, and prayer. I kept getting stuck until I decided to start with Scripture, choosing a verse/passage for each responsibility and then pulling my mission statement from God's Word. As always, once Scripture is placed in the proper position, everything else falls right into place. 

Personal
Begin each day reading Scripture and praying, and move, eat, and sleep in a way that prepares me to effectively serve the Lord, my family, and others.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1


Family
Surrender 'self' so I can intentionally seek to meet the spiritual, emotional, physical, and educational needs of Dennis and our children.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
"Outdo one another in honor." Romans 12:10


Relationships
Glorify God by loving others.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34, 35

Ministry
Be a DOER of the Word, living out my faith in practical and tangible ways to bring glory to God and encourage others to know and love Him more.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11

Homeschooling
Pray - Plan - Prepare - Surrender.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Here they are, Lord! My plans and my desires to Do More BETTER. I lay them at Your feet, asking You to do Your will, change me from the inside out, help me put off sin and put on righteousness, and look less like me and more like You every day. I love You, Lord. Show me how to love You MORE.

A quote to remind us that He is ALL we need.

"The only One who can truly satisfy the human heart 
is the One who made it."

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139

1.16.2017

This and that.

Happy New Year!
That greeting feels long overdue, yet we are only fifteen days into this new year of 2017!
350 days left for the Lord to weave His hand in and out of each of our lives, shaping us, growing us, maturing us, and making us more like Him. Such an exciting thought!
We also need His comfort, strength, mercy, and grace for the days ahead as we navigate the trials and sorrows that invade our lives and the lives of those we love. How good it is to belong to a Father who understands our pain since He too is a "man of sorrows."
Lord, this year is Yours, because time belongs to You. As Thomas Brooks says, "The great weight of eternity, hangs upon the small wire of time!" Give us the desire to keep our focus solely on You so we might live out the words of the Psalmist, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12  Thank You for a new year, Lord! May it be used for Your glory.
Dennis, Micah, Luke, and Caleb are enjoying a wonderful weekend up in Big Bear for Winter Camp. It rained for almost five days straight before they left, so the mountain is covered in snow, and they are having the time of their lives! Camp is a highlight of their winter, and the Lord always meets them in the mountains. They have fun, they enjoy their peers, they compete in games - but the best part is that each day ends in worship and sitting under the preaching and teaching of God's Word. All the fun in the world cannot replace the life-giving truth of Scripture!

We are blessed that Dennis has been a part of our boy's youth group experience since the beginning. He has faithfully served in Sunday school, at camp, holiday events, mission trips, and Disciple Now for six years, and our boys love the fact that he is part of their world. They even claim he is one of their favorite counselors! I am thankful they can do this together. Side by side in ministry and life. They make each other better and encourage, share, talk, and laugh about everything that happens in both. Thank You, Lord, for the relationship You have established between these four guys!

~~~ After months of prayer the Lord has chosen to answer a specific request with "Yes!" 
He has provided a Titus 2 woman to meet with me, disciple me, hold me accountable to the truths and commands of Scripture, encourage me, and push me deeper into my relationship with Christ.
Someone once said, "Every believer needs a Paul, and every believer needs a Timothy." Pauls pour into us and teach us how to walk, talk, and look like Jesus. Then we have the privilege of investing that same knowledge and passion into a Timothy. It is a beautiful cycle of discipleship.
I have no idea what the Lord has planned, but His timing is perfect, and when I told this lovely woman I had been praying about meeting with her for months she said the Lord had been putting me on her heart as well. He has prepared us for each other - and everything He does is good!

One of my girls has a pet Holland Lop - and I love her! She has a sweet, gentle, playful, fun personality, and if someone could guarantee the same for us, I would add a bunny to our family today! My favorite thing about this breed - the feet! They are HUGE! And fluffy. And fun. Josiah, Isaiah, Ellie, and I bunny-sat one night and we had a blast. Charlotte really is a funny little creature, and we look forward to enjoying her again soon.

~~~ Micah and Luke were accepted to the mission teams traveling to spread the Good News of the Gospel this summer! Micah will be traveling to Ireland and Luke will spend his week in Mexico.
They are already working hard to earn the money to finance the trips, and are counting the weeks before they leave.
Pray for them, if you will. The enemy is going to enter into full attack mode - heart, body, and mind - with the goal of defeating and destroying them so they are ineffective for the Kingdom. Pray they will put on their godly Ephesians 6 armor every single day as they prepare for these wonderful opportunities so they can serve with passion and not have one moment of shame for speaking the truth of the Gospel. For it is the POWER of God for salvation for all those who believe!
Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie are in 7th heaven because after four years we finally have a rug in our family room. (Does anyone else feel overwhelmed and stressed out about such purchases/choices/commitments? Me? AAAHHH!)
They lay on it, roll on it, read, play, and try to eat on it. It's the little things that bring us joy! <smile>
Oh, if anyone is looking for a great 'toy' for their children, purchase Snap Circuits! You will be glad you did! An excellent activity for small hands.

~~~ I hope your Sunday was filled with worship, thanksgiving, and PRAISE to a God who loved us enough to let His Son die for us, and chooses to pursue us and sustain us with an everlasting love.
Believers are rich, not because of what they have - but because of Who they know. Our God is an AWESOME God! He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love. Our God is an AWESOME God!