Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good News! Great Joy!

This is Hudson's second year to participate in Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child.

To be honest, it was more fun and more challenging this year.  More fun in that Hudson was able to help pick out gifts for the little boy; more challenging because he didn't always understand that said gift wasn't for him.  Oh well, it's a hard lesson in giving to others and all in all, by the time it was all over he seemed to understand and be excited to be sending a gift to a little friend overseas.

We chose to give a gift to an age 2-4 year old boy, just like Hudson!

It was a tight squeeze!

This particular foam football was the source of much jealousy from Hudson.
Despite the fact that he has one just like it, he really wanted it for him.
But Mama persevered despite tears and tantrums and it is packed!

Some fun toys: playdoh, jump rope, a hotwheels car, a foam dinosaur puzzle,
and the ever desired foam football.

National Geographic Animal Book, Stickers, and Crayons

Mickey Mouse Shirt, Mickey Mouse Cup, and Flip Flops

All ready to take it to church Sunday!
To be honest, it doesn't take much money to fill a shoebox:

Plastic Shoebox: $1 (Dollar Tree)
Foam Football: $1 (Dollar Tree)
Foam Dinosaur Puzzle $0.50 (Found while in Vacation)
Jump Rope: $0.50 (Found while on Vacation)
Playdoh: $0.50 (Wal-mart, with coupon)
Hotwheels Car: $1 (Walgreens)
National Geographic Animal Book: $3 (Wal-mart, the splurge of the box)
Stickers: $1 (Walgreens)
Crayons: $0.50 (Dollar General during Back to School Sales)
Mickey Mouse Shirt: $1.99 (The Children's Place clearance)
Mickey Mouse Cup: $1 (Dollar Tree)
Flip Flops: $1.99 (The Children's Place Clearance)
Also included, but not photographed
Dove Soap $0.30 (Walgreens)
Toothbrush and Floss: FREE from Hudson's visit to the Dental Hygenist.

So just over $14 total, plus the $7 shipping makes a really fun thoughtful gift for only $21.

We also wrote a letter to the little boy and included some pictures of Hudson.

A local sister church is acting as a collection/distribution center so we hope to volunteer as a family.  Hoping this blesses the little boy who receives it as much as it has blessed us to give it!

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must
help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
'It is more blessed to give than to receive'
Acts 20:35

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Glamorous Life of a Rural Pastor's Wife

A few weekends ago, I went to this amazing women's conference.  I had a great time of refreshing and fellowship with other like-minded women.  Of course, the devil was present as well trying to discourage me.  Several of the speakers were the wife of a pastor, typically a prominent pastor,  I found myself sinfully doing some comparison between myself and them.  My life as a pastor's wife and stay-at-home mama is really boring compared to the life they lead.

Here are some things on schedule for me this week:


I ordered the winter 2014-2015 curriculum from LifeWay for our church this week. James is technically the Sunday School director, but he's not a computer person and would be overwhelmed, so I do it.


The lady who has been cleaning our church for the last who knows how many years is now in a nursing home due to a fall.  Honestly, everyone was pretty confident she was going to die so we're praising the Lord that she's alive.  Of course, she's in no physical shape to continue cleaning the church.  So guess who got a job? Me!


Sometime Saturday I will do Sunday's bulletin.  I have to wait for James to finish his sermon to get the title, reference, and Scripture reading.  It typically only takes minutes, assuming the copier cooperates!  While there, I go ahead and turn on the air or heat for the church so it's comfortable for everyone Sunday morning.



Sunday morning, I'll teach my kids in Sunday School (preteen class) and Sunday evening I'll lead the youth in their Share Jesus Without Fear study.  That along with parenting Hudson, cleaning and cook at home, and whatnot pretty much sums up my life.  I always tempted to be slightly discouraged.



Thankfully, the Lord is never content to leave me in a place of discouragement.  At the conference he was quick to squash any lingering feelings of comparison by reminding me that this is what he's called me to right now.  And I'm called to be faithful and obedient to this calling; not Nancy Leigh DeMoss' or Laura Chandler's calling, but my calling here in rural Missouri at Providence Baptist Church and at home.  I'm so tempted to be like Peter and question Jesus' plan for my life in light of his plans for others.  But Jesus reminds me, as he did so with Peter, "What about him?....What is it to you?"  Frankly it's none of my business.

These past few weeks, he's been extra sweet to let me see moments of encouragement.

Today, I took Hudson with me while I cleaned the church.  He of course, was no help, but he was so happy to be there and kept saying, "I love our church, Mama" or "This is Norman's seat!"  Now, I know he's two.  He loved the dead mouse that was in our garage last week and wanted to keep it.  We did not, by the way.  But it encouraged my heart to know that God can use a few simple hours of vacuuming and dusting to give my boy a heart for service and love for the church.

Because I am a stay-at-home mama I have time.  Time to go to a GA Retreat, time to really prepare for teaching on Sunday, time to serve our association in different roles, time to cook healthy meals for our family, etc...  It truly is a blessing.  One that I should be willing to share, even in seemingly mundane tasks.

In 12 days, I'll be leading a Bible Study for our association's women's ministry on contentment.  Ironic, isn't it.  I graduated seminary single and never took any of the seminary wives classes so I wasn't sure what to expect as a pastor's wife.  But I should have known what to expect when it comes to being obedient and faithful to where God has placed me.

Pray for me, pray for your pastor's wife.  Our lives may not be glamorous, but by being obedient and faithful, they can be glorifying to Him who has called us.



A man's chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31) and to enjoy him forever (Ps. 73:25-26). 
What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?
The Word of God which is contained in the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments. (Eph. 2:20)
- A Puritan Catechism



Monday, October 27, 2014

Hats Off to Missions - GA Camp

This past weekend, I chaperoned two of our girls from church to the GA Retreat.  We had a ton of fun.  Here are some pictures of what we did.

The location, about an hour south of home

Arrival Selfie


Teri, the MO WMU GA/Acteen Coordinator

The Parade of Hats - C got to wear a Bedouin head covering


Our M for camp - from Nigeria


Love these silly girls





Saturday morning breakfast

Saturday morning devotions outside in the fog

Gideons sharing about their ministry

E teaching us how to mark our new Gideon Bible with
scriptures to show someone how to become a Christian



Practicing (using puppets) sharing salvation scriptures

Worship outside

The awesome M-speaker



Prayer walking

Hats off to Missions was the weekend's theme - such fun!
Technically, we don't have GAs.  Our kids do Bible drill on Sunday nights while our Youth do a bible study (currently, the youth version of Share Jesus without Fear).  But since one doesn't have to be a GA to attend, we went and had a super fun time.  I'm praying that the Lord uses opportunities like this to draw the girls closer to him and maybe, hopefully, call one (or both) of them into Christian service of some form.

And this gospel of the kingdon will be proclaimed throughout the
whole world as a testimony to all nations.
Matthew 24:14 ESV

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Pumpkin Crate

We have now been to The Pumpkin Crate twice. Not for pumpkins because....


We grew pie pumpkins in our garden this year!  So far we've given away about a dozen; roasted, pureed, and froze about a dozen; and still have about a dozen left.  Whew....that's a lot of pumpkin.  But we did go for the fun of it!  

We went on a Friday night, just the three of us because one of our sweet church members gifted us with tickets.  The business is actually owned by the grandchildren of our sweet church member.  It was a beautiful warm day and we had a lot of fun.


God knew what he was doing when he called us to farm country, because this little boy is tractor (and gator) crazy!

Digging in the corn pool


With sweet Mrs. D - the church member who gifted us the tickets.


Just for the record, the measurements here are wrong.
Amazingly I am closer to 5' than this shows.  Seriously. :)


They have two corn mazes.  A real corn maze of several acres with seven check points (all with scripture signs) and a kiddie maze.  We did the kiddie maze.


James let Hudson pick which way we went at each intersection.  Needless to say, it took us a while to get through the kiddie maze.









Then just over a week later, we returned with some people from our church.  This time it was bitterly cold, but we still had fun.










We buried A in the corn.  Hudson wasn't happy about it.


After several wrong turns and multiple laps around, A & K finally made it out of the corn maze.




Hudson kept saying, "You're too big, Mama" Way to make your mama feel good, H.

Now Hudson keeps asking to go back to The Pumpkin Crate.  At only $5 it's a great deal. Fall Fun!