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!

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