This and that.

And my heart is full.
The Lord filled me to overflowing on Sunday morning with this sermon and a precious time of intimate fellowship in our Sunday school class. What a precious and memorable day it was!
Later in the week, He blessed me still further with a date with a dear friend. We spent four hours at the beach, walking in the sand, sitting and talking while looking at the ocean, and praying together before saying goodbye. Jill is so good for me! She is a tremendous encourager and every time I leave her I feel edified and refreshed.
Last night He brought me together with a sweet friend whom I have not seen in over a year. She was a student when Dennis and I taught/counseled at a private high school, and the Lord has kept us connected all these years. We spent four hours cozily tucked into a booth and did not stop talking from the moment we said hello until we hugged goodbye. Such a delight!
And tonight we have the privilege of spending the evening with two more former students and their children. We have not seen them in four years, though we have kept in touch through social media. So much to catch up on, so much to share, so much to enjoy! I know the Lord has a purpose in bringing us together now, "for such a time as this."
Thank You, Lord, for such an uplifting and wonderful week!

Who needs Disneyland, technology, or fancy toys when you have IMAGINATION?
As much as I like my house in order and everything where it belongs, I never discourage creative play. Especially when everyone is getting along, laughing, and working together.
This is a "covered bridge." The spent two hours building it, playing in it, making snacks to eat inside of it, and laughed and talked and laughed some more.
How thankful I am for the older women who challenged me when I was a young mom to let go of my desire for "order" to allow my children the freedom to engage and explore. How much they would have missed!

~~~ Well, no ducklings for the Eastmans. Not a single egg survived. I thought Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie would be bummed, but when they woke up to find all of the eggs gone, they looked at me and said, "Time for more eggs!" After a month of fighting with the incubator, however, I was done. Again? Are you kidding me? I told them I would think about it, and the more I thought I realized, "I was defeated by a styrofoam box! No way. We ARE doing this again, and we are going to get some ducks!"
We drove to the feed store, purchased our own incubator, told the owner our story, and she graciously offered to give us a new batch of eggs - FREE!
Tuesday afternoon we will pick up a dozen fresh duck eggs, place them in our brand-new, working incubator, and let the games BEGIN!

Everyone was excited to get our van (AKA The Thunder Bus), but they are even more happy with it now that the windows are tinted!
Driving a vehicle this size with so many large windows created a rectangular fish bowl effect. The world could look into our van and see everyone and everything. And, it was hot.
Dennis and the teens wanted "Limo Tint" on the back windows and a lighter shade on the front, so now, instead of driving a fish bowl, we are driving The Bat Cave. And the kids LOVE it!
When we first got the van, Micah, Luke, and Caleb complained, "It looks like a MOM MOBILE!" But when they saw the van roll up with black windows, however, they declared, "Now it's a sweet ride!" Sheesh. BOYS!

~~~ Last week I was reminded of one of the 3,000 reasons it is a beautiful thing to be a part of the body of Christ. One of my girls asked to meet with me to help her work through some things that were troubling her. As she shared, it became clear that I had absolutely nothing to offer her in one area. An area that needed immediate, purposeful, and expert attention. I kept listening, thinking, and right as I was about to say, "Lord! Help!" He brought to mind the name of someone in our church who IS an expert!
I mentioned it to her, she thought it was a good idea, I sent him a message asking if he would be willing - and BAM! Encouragement and support from someone who knows how to minister to her in this specific area. There are no limits within the body of Christ! Thank You, Lord!

~~~ Micah and Luke are young men quickly moving into becoming MEN, and the Lord has been challenging me to meet them where they are and encourage and challenge them as they continue to grow in wisdom and maturity.
One of my greatest passions is discipleship. It is such an honor to be trusted with the heart of another and use Scripture and prayer to encourage someone in their walk with their Lord - and in life.
As I thought about my boys I realized that they are ready for this kind of relationship. I am their mother, but I am also their sister in Christ, much older, with more life experience and a longer walk with the Lord, so it is time to pour into them the same way I pour into my girls.
They both responded with enthusiasm when I asked if we could meet once a week to talk and share and learn together. Thank You, Lord!
I meet each one individually to go for a walk or sit together in a lovely spot so we can be free from the distractions of home and fully focus on one another.
What a difference a change of scenery and intentional conversation makes!
Both of my boys willingly share their struggles, their joys, and their dreams with me, and I am thankful they, like my girls, allow me to peek into their hearts and minds, for it truly is a privilege.
I look forward to many more hours, conversations, shared struggle and successes and praising God together in the years to come.

~~~ Happy Weekend to you!
Look for opportunities to serve someone. Even the smallest acts of kindness can bless someone beyond belief. We never know the full story of the person standing in front of us ... you may be the only one to smile or offer a kind word ... just when they need it most. Don't miss it!

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