Monday, July 14, 2014

Ramps, Bibles, and VBS - Oh My!

Last week was crazy.  But wonderfully good.

The church we were members at when in Louisville sent a 63-person mission group to our area to all sorts of ministry.  Roofing, Painting, Drywall, Ramps, VBS, Ladies' Bible Study, Bible Distribution, Backyard Bible Club, Block Parties, and Evangelism at our County Fair.  There's so much I could write about all the work that was done, all the encouragement that was given, but I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

I shamelessly stole some pictures from Facebook to show work done at sister-churches.  The pictures from Mt. Olivet, Durham, Lewistown, and Alexandria belong to Chris Huff and Rick Pinkley. The rest are mine.

Drywall work at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Ewing, MO




 Block party at First Baptist Church, Lewistown in Lewistown, MO




Sherry and Me.  I've said it once and I'll say it again - I want to be here when I grow up :)


New roof at Alexandria Baptist Church in Alexandria, MO.




Painting at Durham Baptist Church in Durham, MO.



Backyard Bible Club at Lewistown, MO



Our goofy three who joined the group from Parkland to minister this week.


Rusty, our ever-faithful Backyard Bible Club dog participant in Williamstown, MO





This picture makes me smile.  M (far right) has an 18-year-old sister who is fighting cancer.  Mitchell and Cara just sat and listened to him talk about it.




Bible distribution in Williamstown, MO





Our new ramp at Providence Baptist in Williamstown, MO


The group shot!



Thank you, Parkland Baptist for blessing us last week.  Can't wait to pass the blessing along.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Three Weeks Later

Three weeks ago at this very time, I was calling James letting him to know to get Hudson to our sweet church member/neighbor's home so he could be with me at the hospital as I was going to have surgery in three hours.  Crazy, huh?

Wednesday, May 21st I awoke at 1:00 am with intense pain in my lower right abdomen.  A bathroom trip and two tylenol later and I was asleep.  Fast forward to 8:00 when Hudson woke up, and I was immediately in severe pain.  Nothing I did made it any better - bathroom trips, laying still, walking around, a warm bath, so three unsuccessful doses of tylenol later I finally called my doctor at noon.  Two hours later when they finally returned my call, I found out they couldn't fit me in and said I could wait until the morning or go to the ER.  I chose the ER.

I have a super high pain tolerance.  No joke.  I really dislike going to the doctor and other than my own birth and delivering Hudson, have never been in the hospital.  But I readily told James to get ready to take me in to the hospital, a not-so-quick 45 minute drive. Three days in the hospital later, and they finally decide I have something on my right ovary which they feel is causing torsion and they need to do somewhat exploratory surgery to see what it is and if it can be fixed.  There was a lot of talk of worse-case-scenarios like cancer.  At that point, I was simply tired of the pain and was giddy at the prospect of surgery to get rid of the pain. By 7:00 pm Friday, I was in recovery with no pain in the side, only at the incision and a severe anesthesia hangover.  Saturday afternoon, I was home.

So much happened during those three days in the hospital that I'm still processing some of it.  Some good and some bad.

Good
- So many facebook messages, emails, texts, phone calls, and visits from dear friends.
- Kind nurses who tried their best to keep me comfortable and stay on top of the doctors who were apparently taking their sweet time.
- The opportunity to encourage my first hospital roommate (I had two during my stay) and pray for her as she discovered the cause of her abdomen pain was an unplanned pregnancy.
- So many "God moments" where the Lord did something so intentional and obvious that his presence in the situation was undeniable.

Bad
- Miscommunication between the doctors. Frustrating.
- A chaplain who attempted to encourage me, not with Scripture, but with the words of Norman Vincent Peale.  Really? Hello chaplain, meet my Pastor Husband.
- Waiting and waiting some more.  I am not a patient person.
- Pain.  I learned pain makes me irrational.  It got ugly, as in many tears and crazy thoughts/fears, when I'd let the pain get ahead of the medicine.

But overall, the one thing I learned most of all during this process has been that the Lord is in control. You'd think I'd know this by now.  This sickness took me completely by surprise, but it didn't Him.  I was so afraid while in the hospital and sadly didn't always exhibit the faith I proclaim to have.  It's a good thing I didn't have a roommate Thursday evening because the Lord and I got to have quite the conversation. Thankfully the Lord is kind and gentle in reminding me that He is God and I am not. I must trust Him.

Three weeks later, I am fine.  No pain whatsoever.  My energy level has finally returned.  I must praise Jesus that all my labs returned as benign - no cancer.  I'm down an ovary, but have a new appreciation for life, my sweet family, and my wonderful Savior.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ministry Update - Spring 2014

After the winter that would never end, we've had a busy spring here in north east Missouri.

Sadly, I have practically no pictures because someone ::cough::Hudson::cough:: dropped and broke my camera.  Thankful for Best Buy's extended warranty as we were able to get another camera and warranty without spending any extra money.

March 2nd was Youth Sunday.  It almost didn't happen because of course it snowed that Saturday evening.  But we persevered.  Our youth taught all the Sunday School classes and led in the worship service.  It was great to see them stretched out of their comfort zone a bit to serve the Lord and his church.

March 30th - April 2nd the adults from the upcoming mission group from our church in Louisville came to get a visual on the work to be done.  That evening, we had members from most of our association's churches present to ask questions.  Then Monday and Tuesday we visited all the churches to get measurements and whatnot for construction needs and to get an idea of where to do VBS/Back Yard Bible Clubs.  It was such a blessing to see the smiling faces from Louisville.  It had been almost exactly a year since we had seen most of them.  Such an encouragement.

April 20th was Easter.  Our children and youth played special music that morning for the service.  Plus we had several visiting families.




May 4th I took the youth and children to visit one of our local nursing homes to be an encouragement to the residents there.  At this particular home, we have five church members in residence so they were so happy to see us and be prayed for.  It was super sweet.

May 11th, of course was Mother's Day.  James preached a fantastic sermon on living a reflective life based on the description of Mary in the gospels. All women in the church were given a journal.

Mother's Day, we also recognized our graduates.  There must have been a baby boom about 18 years ago, because between our church and the community there were 9 high school graduates! Each one received a card with money from the church and a copy of John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life from us.

Also this day (as if we could squeeze one more thing into the worship service) James received his license for gospel ministry in Missouri.

The next Sunday, the 18th was the high school graduation!

It's been a busy spring so far and the summer will be even busier:

- Church Camp (June 2-6)
- Parkland Mission Trip (July 6-11).  In our church they were redoing our ramp, updating the bathrooms, and replacing a piece of paneling in our lobby.  Plus we are doing two Back Yard Bible Clubs. One at the park in Williamstown and one at the park in Monticello, our neighboring town.
- James' ordination is set for Sunday, July 6th.
- We have in planning mode, ideas for a youth trip and more fun stuff.

Prayer Requests
- Deacon search committee.  When Bro. Bill died back in March, that left us with only one deacon.  Pray for James and Jim as they pray for the Lord to provide another deacon or two.
- Parkland Mission Trip - not only are they working at our church, but also at 6 other local churches.  They will be busy
- Back Yard Bible Clubs.  Pray for the Lord to provide children to attend and workers from our church.  
- James' ordination.  We will both be asked questions to determine James' qualifications for ordination.  I'm confident in our theology, just anxious about saying the wrong thing or saying the right thing wrongly.
- Pray specifically for D & L, the P family, the S family, and L, B, & K as we continue to share the gospel with them.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Hudson

Happy 2nd Birthday Hudson!




It has been a blessing to be your mother for the past two years.  I'm sure there were hard days, and perhaps it's the leftover pain-killers from last week's surgery still in my system, but I can't think of any right now.  You are a complete joy.



Here are some thing I love about you, because I when I am old(er) I want to remember...

- I love the way you find my shirt hem to rub when you cuddle in my lap.

- I love how when you are angry and throwing a fit, if I stick my tongue out at you or something equally silly, you start laughing and forget that you're upset.

- I love how friendly you are.  OMGosh are you extroverted, prepare yourself world.

Such a little charmer


- I love the way you say, "Oh Wow" when you open a card in the mail.  (Thank you Grandparents for frequently mailing by the way!)

- I love your unsolicited hugs and kisses.

- I love how excited you are to go to church and pray you keep that excitement always.



- I love your completely goofy grin - eyes almost shut, mouth wide open, and shoulders scrunched up.

- I love how if I'm not listening to you, you grab my face to look at you.

- I love how independent you are - finding your own snacks in the kitchen, picking out clothing, putting your shoes on (amazingly on the right feet - I have no idea how you figured that out).

- I love to watch you read books.

- I love how you follow Dada around and like to do what he's doing.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Two Year Old Photo Shoot

I love taking pictures of Hudson.  Capturing little things of his life - so much fun.  When we lived in Louisville, I used portrait studios for his milestone dates (newborn, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months).  When we moved here, when Hudson was 10 months old, I searched and searched to no avail to find someone or somewhere to get his one year old photos taken.  I have since discovered one lady who takes photos in the town over but to be honest, her work is not exceptionally impressive for the cost.  So I do them myself.  I don't have a fancy camera, but I do have a cute subject and with some extra patience I am able to get some good shots.

Just for reference, here are some shots from last year, when he was a wee one-year-old.




Photographing a one-year-old last year was so much easier than this year.  Last year, he was only just crawling so I could take my time focusing and taking the photo.  Not so much this year.  I had to be on my toes to keep up with this little bugger who never slows down.







And because no photo shoot is complete without funny outtakes, here are ones from this year.  Mostly because somebody refused to cooperate at times. Oh well, 'tis the nature of a toddler I suppose.

"Hudson look at Mama!" - I need a camera with this recorded on it.
Sorry this is sideways :(


This is the look I get in response to "Say Cheese!"  Goofy boy.


No photo shoot is complete with an appearance from the Grumpy Face.