Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Don't Forget -- Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. There is just such an excitement in the air. 
I love going with my family to pick out a Christmas tree and trying to find just the right one.

Mrs. Bonnie, a lady in our church, has a daughter that sells them, so we went to her Christmas tree tent to find the perfect one. She was so sweet and helpful. The trees were so beautiful and inexpensive. We were looking at a few different ones and finally decided on the tree to the right in the picture above. It wasn't too tall, not too fat; it was just  the right one for our family.


We especially love decorating the tree together and decorating our house while listening to Christmas music.

Here is the finished tree. Doesn't it look pretty! I love all of our homemade ornaments.

 One of the things I love about Christmas is gathering around the tree and talking about what all the ornaments, the star, the presents and the Christmas tree itself means. 

This year I wanted to try to make sure that the whole house was decorated and I think we decorated all the rooms except the bathrooms, Josh's room, and Dad and Mom's room.

Another thing I love about Christmas is getting presents for my family. I like getting them as well. :)
Now we have presents all under the tree. There are big presents to little presents, and presents in all shapes, sizes, and colors. 

A few weeks ago we went to a Christmas tree lighting in High Springs. "Santa Claus"  showed up in a police car and all the kids were so excited to watch Santa light the tree and sit in his lap to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The news even came and videoed it all. 
Well, it got me to thinking-- what would everyone say and do if Jesus showed up? Would they be just as excited? Would it be put on the news and in the newspapers. In a world where Santa often gets the preeminence over Jesus at Christmas time, what would people think?  

 Sometimes us Americans, being as blessed as we are today with all our fancy cars, big houses and with all of our treats we are blessed to have at Christmas, forget about the greatest gift ever given-- Jesus Christ.
2,000 years ago God sent his only son, Jesus, as a baby. He was born in a stable/cave, and put in a manger.  There is a song that says, "He left it all." Jesus was the son of God, he's the king of kings, yet he left heaven to be born where animals lived, to later die on a cross for the sins of the world.

He died on a cross so we could be saved. He didn't have to do die for us, but He did it willingly. His Father didn't make Him, He laid down His Own life.  Jesus said in John 10:17 and 18, "I lay down my life, that I might take it again, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.'' He did this because He loves us. Because of this love, we can be saved. All we have to do is ask him to forgive us for our sins and believe in Him and trust Him as our Saviour. When we get saved Jesus gives us a promise that when we die, we can go to Heaven with Him. He also promised that He is preparing a mansion in heaven for us.

Jesus truly is the greatest gift ever given!

So amidst all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and amidst all the fun outings, and family get togethers, and when you open up all your gifts on Christmas day, stop and take time to remember the greatest gift and thank him for His love.
Don't forget, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sugar Rose

Back in February was when I got my horse, Sugar Rose. I just love her; she is so sweet and gentle. I've wanted a horse ever since I was little. Just when I was content with not having a horse, the Lord gave me the desire of my heart. It even came in the right color. I had wanted a brown horse with a black mane and tail and that's what the Lord gave me. She was the perfect horse for a beginner like me.

 When we first got her though she was really sick with worms. She would fall asleep when we were petting her. The kids could run around her and she wouldn't get scared. Even our dog tries to bite her tail and she won't kick him. Our dog Bo drives us crazy some times and at this point we're thinking, " Go ahead and kick him, we give you permission!" :)

 One time as we were taking her from the stall to the paddock, she just layed down right in the middle of the driveway and wouldn't get up. We thought she was going to die right there and we had just bought her.We gave her some medicine for her worms and she just perked up. She started doing better. She was still just as gentle as ever. I haven't been kicked or anything but I have been stepped on a couple of times. It hurts!

There is a big difference between us riding her and the little ones. When the kids ride her she goes real slow ans does real good with them, but when us older ones get on her she just wants to pick up and go.  

A couple months ago our vet came over and said that she wasn't doing good. If we didn't start feeding her a special diet and she didn't pick up weight, then one day she would lay down and wouldn't have the energy to get back up. That was a surprise to us. We thought she was doing good, because when we first got her she was really sick and we thought she was doing better. And I was going to sell her because I had been paying for her feed and wasn't able to pay for her anymore. Our vet, Dr. Miller, said that if we couldn't pay for her feed anymore that we could try to find somebody that could because we wouldn't be able to sell her. But my sweet Daddy said that it was our responsibility to take  care of her and that he would pay for her feed. Dr. Miller showed us the feed we needed to buy, along with the alfalfa cubes and hay. So began the not-so-easy process of fattening up a horse. It is more easy for a horse to lose weight than to gain it. We also learned the meaning of eating like a horse for she definitely eats like one. :) We spent  a lot of money on her feed to get her to fatten up. There wasn't any change for at least two weeks for it is hard to get a horse to gain weight.

                                                    So here is the Before picture:

                                                               And the After picture:

                                                   She  looks so much better doesn't she?

We were going to sell her since she was so much better. I was kind of sad but also thankful that God had fulfilled my childhood dream of having my very own horse; even if it was just for a little while. Little did I know that I would get to keep her for even longer.

 A lady in our church, Mrs. Cynthia, who owns a horse and boards it in Lake Butler, asked one Sunday if she could lease Sugar Rose by paying for all her feed in exchange for being able to come over and ride her whenever she wanted. Her horse was a little spirited and hadn't been ridden much in awhile and we were closer to her anyway. She is such a sweet lady. I was so excited with the idea of being able to keep her!

So that Monday Mrs. Cynthia came over to teach me a few things about riding and also got to ride Sugar Rose herself.  She loved Sugar Rose and said that she was so calm and gentle. She rode her down the dirt road and a car came past really quickly and Sugar Rose didn't even get spooked.

I hadn't really ridden her as much as I had wanted because I was a beginner and wasn't confident with riding yet. However, after Mrs. Cynthia helped me, I felt so much better with riding her. I was not as nervous and  was more confident. I still mostly ride her inside the fence and haven't taken her on the trail near our house yet but I love riding her.

One time I even got her into a canter. It was fun and much easier than the trot. I am excited about riding her more. Thank you, LORD, for giving me my own horse.

                                         I feel so blessed!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in this Present World: Part 6

  Before, we have talked about dressing modestly and pleasing God in our dress. Today, in my last post on dress, we are going to talk about dressing femininely. In my research for this post, the book What in the World should I Wear by Mrs. Cathy Corle , and Your Clothes Say it for You by Mrs. Elizabeth Handford have been a great help to me and I will be quoting some things they said throughout this post.

  Deuteronomy 22:5 says, "A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the Lord thy God."

 This is what Mrs. Cathy Corle said in her book, "In studying the subject a few years ago and examining more closely what the Bible has to say about this, it became evident to me. When God gave the distinction between men and women in dress he chose for the lady to wear a dress- a long flowing garment - and hair that is long and flowing, which is more gracious and feminine and lovely than the appearance of a man. God directed for a man to wear pants or breeches and a short haircut, which by nature is more masculine."

  Notice. She examined what the Bible had to say about the issue. Remember, God and the Bible should always govern our lifestyle. That is why  I will continue to give scripture throughout this post.
  Lets look at our verse again. The last part says, "...Neither shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all that do so are an abomination unto the Lord." -Deuteronomy 22:5 b. 

  We get grossed out about the homosexuals wearing women's clothing and we think it wrong and disgusting. Then what makes it right for women to wear pants- men's clothing?  We are doing the same thing by wearing them but we get grossed out about  men wearing skirts. Isn't it equally wrong? God calls both of them an abomination. The Bible even says that we are an abomination to God when we dress that way. An abomination is something extremely hated and makes God morally sick.

  You may ask, "Is it a sin for girls to wear pants?" First we need to look at what sin is. Sin is something that displeases God and disobeys His Word. If girls wearing pants is an abomination, which is something God hates, and the Bible says- "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."; then for girls to wear pants is a sin.

Remember when we were talking about  the outward appearance? Before my Mom started dressing the way she does now, she went to the store one day and saw some ladies wearing culottes. You know what her thought was? She thought, "Those ladies must be Christians." My Mom was saved, but how did she know that they were Christians? The Lord showed her that if she thought that they were Christians because they wore skirts or culottes, shouldn't she dress that way to so others would see that she was a Christian?

You may be tempted to choose one way of dressing over the other- dressing modestly or femininely- because it is sometimes hard to find the right clothes. But you don't have to choose between them. In Mrs. Elizabeth Handford's book she said, "Charles Spurgeon has some good advice on this problem: 'When choosing the lesser of the two evils, choose neither'...God promises in I Corinthians 10:13 to provide a way that you can escape from temptation. God always keeps His Word. So there is always, always, a way to solve this problem without choosing the lesser of the two evils. You may have to do a lot of creative thinking (and perhaps some designing and sewing). I didn't promise that it would be the easy way out! But you can find a garment to wear that is both feminine and modest."
You can also look at part 4 of my posts on dress for tips on dressing modestly and femininely.

The Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:24- "Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it." If God commands it He will help you do it. He doesn't ask you to do the impossible.

Now, I've showed you from the Bible what God says about your dress. However, I can not make you do this. In the end the choice is yours. I can't convict you of what you need to do, only the Holy Spirit can. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." 

So what about you, dear sister in Christ? Are you going to start dressing in a way that pleases God? Are you going to take a stand and dress modestly and femininely? What will you decide?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in This Present World: Part 5

  Hello, again! Thank you for joining me in our quest for pleasing God in our dress. It is so important! :)

  I Timothy 2:9 tells us to "adorn ourselves" (dress) "in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." Many girls get thrown off at that saying, "Okay, then can I not dress pretty? Do I have to wear plain ugly clothes and look outdated?"
No! That's not what that verse means. When our verse said to not dress with broided hair, or gold or costly array, if we look further it says for us to dress with "that which becometh women professing Godliness."

  I Peter 3:4 says, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."  It means that we should be more concerned with what God thinks about us and what he sees.
"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth." -Colossions 3:2

  The Bible also says- "man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart."
God does see the heart and that's most important, but since the Bible talks about our outward appearance, isn't it also important? That's the only thing other people can see. God wants you to look beautiful, that's how He created you to be. You don't have to look like you came from the 1800's. You can dress beautifully and in style as long as you dress modestly and  are pleasing to the Lord.

  My Mom was talking one day to me and Brenna; she said that we need to dress modestly, but nicely. Whenever we walk out the door to go somewhere we should look nice. We should make sure our hair is fixed and that we look put together.

  I Corinthians 14:40 says, "Let all things be done decently and in order." I tell the kids in our nursery "When God created everything He made everything just right and when He saw it He said that it was good. And it was good!" He made everything decently and in order. Because we are His children- we should dress that way.

  We are starting a church and we are inviting people to come. We want teen girls to come. They aren't going to think much of us if we look frumpy. Wouldn't they be turned away if we looked like that?
  We want to win friends and influence people. We want to be able to win them to the Lord.
   -- ''Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit  but the profit of many that they may be saved." - I Corinthians 10:33  We want to see them saved we want them to to see a difference in us, and yet be drawn to us because we have the love of the Lord about us. Remember, it can be shown through our attitude and in the way we dress.

Not every style that comes along should a lady necessarily try. If having green hair is the new fad, that doesn't mean we should go to the salon and have them dye our hair green.

 Mrs.Elizabeth Hanford  was right when she wrote the book, Your Clothes Say it for You.  When we  dress we want others to see a difference in us. We want to dress in a way that makes people say, "That young lady is a Christian." We need to dress like ladies.

--When the Bible talks about  the bride of Christ it says that the bride adorned herself with jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
-- Lydia, a godly woman of the New Testament, was a seller of purple. (Acts)
--The virtuous woman of the Proverbs 31- she made herself "coverings of tapestry; her clothing was silk and purple."
  So obviously, you can dress beautifully. We just need to dress in a way that pleases God and brings glory to His name. (I Corinthians 10:31) After all, we are all a child of the King of kings, the King of Glory.

So as we've seen, even though our heart is most important, God is also concerned with how we dress. He, in fact, has a lot to say about clothing.

 In our next and final post on dress we are going to look at another aspect-- dressing femininely.

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Summer Goals

For my blog:
1. I want to finish my posts on dress. 
2. Talk about the heart. 
3. Post on Reading your Bible.

Other goals: 
1. Help my Mom make culottes.
2. Do couponing. ( Post on it? )
3. Ride my horse Sugar Rose more.
4. Write more.
5. Go to Camp.
6. Finish Computer Science, and then...
 I'm finished with my Junior year!!!

This week is going to be busy. Today I'm going to go couponing with my Mom. Thursday, we  are having my Aunt Tabitha's family over for a visit.Saturday our ladies from VSIBC are going to go on shopping trip in Micanopy. We will be eating lunch at a place called "Old Florida Cafe." And of course Sunday is Father's Day! 
 This is going to be a good summer. I'm excited for what we have planned.

Have a  great Summer!!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Another Tip For Dressing modestly and Femininely in This Present World

   Recently my Mom found a site that sells the culottes that we like. She said that it is almost the same or is the same price as buying the fabric to make culottes. We were so excited to find it! Some of you may have heard of it before. The site is . My Mom shared it with my friend who is also looking for culottes because she was wanting to please God.
 See, it's just like God to fulfill the needs of His people who are trying to please Him and do His will! Isn't He wonderful?!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in This Present World: Part 4

Tips For Finding Modest Clothes

Tip One: When you are trying to find jean skirts, they are mostly found at the thrift store. I know you might hate thrift store shopping, but if you want to dress like a child of the King-- that's the place to go! Sometimes you can find some really cute jean skirts at Cato's.

Tip Two: You can find tank tops at just about any clothes store or Walmart. There are tank tops with adjustable straps but you have to be careful. Some tank tops can only be adjusted halfway. You need to find the kind that can be adjusted all the way to the front because sometimes the other kind can still be too low and won't help you any. One time when my Mom and I went to Walmart we saw a sale on tank tops. They came in all sorts of cute colors. However, when we looked closer, we saw that they could only be adjusted halfway and were too low. So make sure that when you get a tank top that it can be adjusted all the way. 
Sometimes, if you are not used to it, a tank top can be kind of uncomfortable. There is one kind that my Aunt found that is really comfortable. It is the Faded Glory tank top. It is still too low ,but if you turn it around so the neck line will be higher, and if  you get a darker colored tank top you won't be able to see the imprinted tag. Another tank top that can be comfortable is a boy's Fruit of the Loom white tank top.  We buy the largest size, Boys 14.

Tip Three: For active wear and those who can sew, we have a really great culotte pattern that we use that is cute.  The site where we buy our culotte pattern from is called Hook Publications.  For those who do not sew, you can find modest culottes online.

Tip Four: It's important to be persistent and creative. Have fun when you go shopping.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you. Until my next post, God Bless!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in this Present World: Part 3

  Welcome back to our posts on "How am I supposed to dress?"  In this post we are going to finish up the part on modesty.

  In our last post we saw what modesty means and what the Bible says is naked. We know that when this happens it is shameful and you are no longer called a lady.

So far we have seen that our clothes need to long enough and high enough.  But what about thick enough?  A tank top can go a long way to be more modest for when shirts are too low cut, or when they are too thin and a little see through.

Modesty is so important; we must be careful what we wear.

God doesn't want us to hide just skin, but the natural curves of a woman's body that would cause a man to lust. Now we are going to get to the bottom of it. Men are moved by sight while women are moved by words and touch.
 Matthew 5:28 says, "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

"Let us not therefore judge one another anymore, but judge this rather that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brothers way.'' --Romans 14:13

 If a man looks on a woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Likewise when a woman invites such attention and causes him to lust by the manner she is dressed, then she is an equal party.  She's also responsible.

When choosing clothes we need to ask ourselves, "Am I being a stumbling block to anybody?"

Not only in dressing immodestly can we cause a brother to fall, but more often we attract the wrong people and the wrong attention.  Jack Hyles said, " Anybody can get attention by taking off her clothes, but it takes a real lady to get attention through the sweet mystique of femininity."

This is why it is so important for us as Christian young ladies to dress modestly.  We are children of The King of Kings! We need to dress like one of His children.

 I hope you have enjoyed these last few posts just looking with me in The Bible to find the answers.  I pray that you will join me in my next post on dressing modestly and femininely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Happenings

Many things have happened since my post in January.

First, Brenna and I finally have our own room decorated in a horse theme. It is super cute and we 
love it! The pink and green sure is bright, isn't it? Next we want to add some Sister pictures of us in plaid shirts, cowgirl hats and cowgirl boots.

  Second, we finally have our own horse! Her name is Sugar Rose because she is so sweet. She's a great horse; we just love her.

                                         Now we've rented a building and started our church---

                                           Victory Springs Independent Baptist Church!      

 Our motto is "Where the Bible comes alive, there is Victory." We are on our 10th week, and we have had three people join our church. God is so good! We are so excited to see what the Lord has for us.    

We also got four chicks: Bean, Starry Flower, Mud Bud, and Rhody. Silas, Callie and Micah bought them. Sadly three of them died. One of them got killed by a raccoon. However, our last chick, Starry Flower ( she's Callie's ) is still alive and healthy.

And lastly, Josh has finally gotten his dog! He named him Bo, he is going to be a big dog.

We are so blessed!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in This Present World: Part 2

  Welcome back to our posts on "How am I supposed to dress?''!

  The first thing we are going to look at is modesty.  --"In like manner also, women adorn themselves in modest apparel..."  - I Timothy 2:9

 My mom, who was once a youth pastor's wife, did a study on modesty with some teenage girls.
 She first addressed the issue by stating what modest apparel or katastole means. The definition of katastole is "long and flowing."

 My pastor once, when mentioning lady's clothing, said " It needs to be long enough, high enough, thick enough, and loose enough."

''How long is long?" Mom asked the teen girls, "Are you worried about being too christian?"

  My mom didn't always have these modest dress standards. When she was a teenager, she didn't dress modestly. Only after she was married and really started following God did she start dressing modestly. Mom, knowing those girls' hearts and mind-set because she had been in their place, rightly said, "We find out the right way and go exactly to it -- after time it gradually gets shorter and shorter. Do you ever wonder why Christians want to live as close to the boundary line as possible? Those Christians will cross over that line."

  So how long is long?
  Isaiah 47:2-5 gives us the answer. Here is what it says-- "Take the millstones. and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh,pass over the rivers.
 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. 
 As for our redeemer, the LORD  of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms,"

These are the points my Mom gave:

  1. What does the Bible say is naked?  vs.s 2-3 "
"Take the millstones. and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh,pass over the rivers. 
Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

  2. When this happens, it is shameful.-- vs.3
  3. You are no longer called a lady.-- vs.5 "

   What is your thigh? It should be covered at all times- sitting, standing, playing sports, etc. Since God considers the uncovering of the thigh, nakedness, then you need to be careful with the clothing you choose. It also needs to cover your knees. When addressing the question about how long is long, the length of your skirt needs to be long enough to cover your knees or the line will be crossed over. If your skirt/dress barely comes to your knee when standing, then it won't cover your knee when sitting.
   What about slits? They were made to reveal sensuality. When looking for skirts,don't measure what they show when standing, but measure what they show when walking.

 What about the upper half of your body?
Genesis 3:7, 21 --"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked: and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." vs.21- "Unto  Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

 When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked. So, they made themselves aprons out of fig leaves. When God saw that their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked and made aprons, he knew that the aprons were not good enough for them and so God made them clothes out of skins. However, instead of aprons he made them coats.

  So, what is the difference between a coat and an apron? A coat covers the stomach, chest, shoulders, and arms. V,21 says He "clothed them", so were they clothed before? Since God had to clothe them they were not clothed before. They thought the aprons would work but God saw they needed coats. The Bible says, "For my thought are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways saith the LORD." His ways are higher than ours.

 We've talked about measuring our skirts but what about your tops? When measuring how high your shirts need to be, place 4 fingers, under your collarbone. If your top is lower than your fourth finger than that top is probably too low. For some ladies, four fingers may be too much so use three fingers instead.

 Thank you for joining me on this post the Lord has laid on my heart. Please join me on my next post as we finish up on the subject dressing modestly.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Dressing Modestly and Femininely in this Present World: Part 1

          As a young lady with godly parents that have modest dress standards, I have worn skirts, coullottes and  modest clothing ever since I was born. Now, as a seventeen year old teenager, I need to know what I believe and why I believe it. It's not good enough that I do it just because my parents did it.  I need to decide for myself. When I was younger I just needed to learn to obey my parents, but when I got older I needed to know the whys for what we did.

   As a teenager, there are people around me that don't dress right. When peer pressure and temptation come around, if  I don't firmly stand on what I believe, then the foundation that my parents have laid for me will crumble.

  Many have asked the question, "How am I supposed to dress?" Many have answered that question and answered it right while yet others have answered it wrong. To answer that question we need and we must answer it by using the Bible. The Bible needs to be our final authority-- not the world, and not just because that's what your mother did, or what somebody else said.
    2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  

       The Bible is God breathed; it is God's Word. It is a road map for Christians...."Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." Psalm 119:9
We must look to God's Word to find the answer to the important question, "How am I supposed to dress?"

   Only when I got old enough to understand did my parent's teach me why we dress modestly. Ever since then, I have taken these standards as my own because my godly parents took time to show me-- from God's Word-- why we had those standards. They knew that if the Bible was my foundation, it would not crumble. --Psalm 119:89 " Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

  Has it been hard for me at times?  Yes, it has-- when my sister and I are the only ones out of a whole youth group to wear coullottes during an activity-- it is hard.  But the Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  God never said the Christian life would be easy, that's why he added- "... through Christ which strengtheneth me."   I Thessalonians 5:24 says, "Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it."  He will give you the strength to do his will.

   We've seen that God's Word is the final answer (final authority).  From one teenage girl to another, if I showed you-- from the Bible--  that it is God's will for you to dress modestly, would you do it? As God's children we are bought with a price. Don't you want to please him?

   Dear sister in Christ, if you want to please Him and do his will, please keep reading.  In the next few posts we will dive deeper into the question , "How am I supposed to dress?"


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A New Home and A New Name- Part II

        We were so excited and ready to move to our new home but it seemed to take forever. To our dismay things just started to not work out with the house. It ended up that the owner owed the bank a lot of money. Dad just didn't feel comfortable about the house all of the sudden. He felt like it just wasn't the house for us. So, the search began again and we kept looking for houses in High Springs. Finally, we just started looking for fixer-up mobile  homes that were really cheap. We found a couple that were definitely that.

   There was one that Mom and Brenna found that needed a lot of work.  There was only plywood flooring. It had a big porch, though. They liked it and showed it to Dad. When Dad saw it he was like, no, not that one!  He thought it was way too much work. Later, though he looked back at it, He started to like the idea. So we planned another trip. We were going to look at two mobile homes that were fixer-uppers, cheap, and had 5 acres.

   As we drove down the road to the first one, we looked at the neighborhood. It looked pretty rough- a lot of them had junk in their yards and it looked pretty trashy. Driving up the driveway at first look we said,"No! that looks bad." The front door was open, there were leaves and trash coming out, the house looked rough, and only one acre was cleared- the rest was a forest. We knew that it wasn't going to work. Next, we went to the house that Mom and Brenna found. There was a pretty country dirt road. As we drove down the driveway we were like, Wow! 

    Unlike the other one, it had lots of trees and it had a pretty round dirt driveway. This yard was gorgeous. The outside wasn't too bad. We looked in the windows and we could tell the inside needed some work. We looked up and down the house looking at the skirting, the roof just looking to see if it had any major problems. The roof needed to be scraped off from the leaves, but from what Dad could tell, it didn't look like it was too bad. The yard was gorgeous with lots of trees. To top it off, when we were walking, out jumped a deer. That just about settled it for Dad.

 The next day we went with our realtor, Sue Campbell, to look at the inside.  Mom asked Brenna to take pictures of everything- every room and each nook and cranny. When we walked in the front door there was a long room. The first part on one side had a beautiful fireplace. On the other it looked like there was  room for a TV.  Then there was a door to the master bedroom and then a small dining room. Then looking left to right there was a washing room and then the kitchen. On the other side of the house there was three bedrooms a small bathroom and an office\ schoolroom. It needed a lot of work.  We started really looking into buying it and started planning. We knew it would be another month before closing if it was really the one. We decided to still go up and start working on the house and after a week, Mom and Brenna would go back to finish packing up the other house. Dad and I would stay to finish fixing up the house.
 December 2 was the closing date so we started heading there the first, which was Monday. We were so excited to finally move into our house. For the first two nights we stayed in a hotel. Tuesday we closed on the house, got the keys, went to Lowes to buy the supplies and late that afternoon we started cleaning. 

There was a lot of bugs. Us girls cleaned the cabinets and took down the doors while Dad worked on the water heater. Wednesday we found the post office and got some food for our stay. Dad  paid a handy man to help with fixing the ceiling, under the sink, and rotted out floor. That week we got all the cabinets cleaned and painted, the ceilings painted, some of the trim work painted, cutting in the ceiling, vacuuming the tack strips, and painting the bathroom.

   The house was really musky when we first got it and with all the ceiling paint chemicals we had to open all the windows during the day. Because of that, I had major allergy attacks- I sneezed a lot and my nose was runny. During the night I was miserable. Dad wondered if I should go back with Mom to take a break and get in the air condition. I really didn't want to go though. I had looked forward to staying and helping Dad for a long time. 

Well, the last night I really had it bad. I kept waking up sneezing and my nose was dripping. The day they were leaving even I realized that I needed to go back with Mom. On the other hand Brenna had looked forward to going back with Mom. She didn't want to paint but I did and I didn't want to clean. She had planned some fun snacks that she and Mom would get. So both of us were a little disappointed when Brenna had to stay and help Dad and I had to go back with Mom.

  I am so proud of Brenna; she did a really good job helping Dad. Her and Dad did a LOT of work. Looking back, seeing all the work she did compared to me, I'm kind of glad I went back. :-)  There was a lot to be done. While we were gone they painted every room, put up all the wanes coating, and started laying the wood flooring. 

  Dad and Brenna were supposed to pick up Josh from the airport because he was coming back for  Christmas break. Mom and I were really wanting to see him. After much thought, Dad said we could come back with the kids so we could see him. Then, the following week we would all go back, pack all our stuff in a u-haul, and say goodbye to grandparents.  

    When Josh came off the plane, we were so excited to see him. Mom almost screamed when we saw him and the kids said,"Josh!" and ran to give him a hug. 

    Josh had gone to college at Golden State Baptist College. He loved it up there. To me, he left a teenager and came back a man. I'm so proud of him; he grew up so much in that small amount of time. After he had been there awhile, he called Dad and Mom and asked them to Pray and fast with him about something. He later told them that he had been praying about coming back from college to help us with our new church. Dad was surprised and happy but he didn't want to just tell him what he should do. So he told him to pray more about it.  After a lot of prayer and fasting Josh said, "Dad, you said that if I could look you in the eye and say that this was God's will, that you would be for me. Dad, I know that it is God's will for me to come back and help you." When he told us this we were all excited for him. 

People often ask, "Did God just change his mind?"  No, God just had it in his plans the whole time. Now that Josh is coming back, our church will have at the very beginning a youth pastor, a  song leader and a junior church teacher. Wow! God is so amazing!  Not very many baby churches have all of that and a pastor, Sunday school teachers, and nursery workers. We are so excited about what GOD has in store for us.

     We did, thankfully get to set up the living room so we could have Christmas in there. We had an old-fashioned Christmas this year. We cut down our own tree from our yard. It wasn't very big and the branches couldn't hold much weight so we got to make our own ornaments. It as fun decorating  white snowball ornaments with red and green glitter.

   The next Thursday, after finishing the wood floors and some of the paint touch ups, we left for Ft.Myers.  All this was a week from Christmas.  Saturday, the Hurleys, a family from Winkler, came and helped us pack of the u-haul. They were a blessing. That night we arrived back at  High Springs and Ft.White.   After we got the trailer unpacked we still had plenty to do. We didn't even have the carpet in until the day after Christmas.  It was tight for us. There was boxes all in the dining room, we all slept in Mom and Dad's room, and there was no carpet in the bedrooms and school room. When ever we went to the bathroom, we had to put on our shoes to walk on the uncarpeted, plywood floors to get there.

   We had a fun Christmas. I guess the reason we had a good Christmas was because we realized that it wasn't about Santa, or presents; it was about the greatest gift of all-- God's Son, Jesus Christ.  Looking back, what a good Christmas we had! And what good memories we made!
  Finally, the last day of the year, our house was basically finished. It looked beautiful. Here are some before and after pictures. ( You can see more pictures on my Dad's and Mom's blogs.) 

  That night, Grandpa, Grandma and Mam-maw came to visit us in our new house. They loved it. Grandpa really liked our yard. He is still talking about it and our house to all of his Model-A friends.   It was really cold so we all had a bonfire. ( We had chosen a spot where there was a bush and trash where another fire had been. We had a few trees cut down that were to close to the house and looked like they were dying. I rolled all the logs to the bonfire and put them in a circle around it so we could have bonfires there.) Josh preached a little message for our Wednesday night service and we had marshmallows.

  After that we opened up Christmas presents that they had brought.  To Brenna's delight, Grandma had brought a big pack of cans of coca-cola. Grandpa brought me some bird seed. That was so sweet of him.  The next day we showed all of them around High Springs. They loved the old town feel of it.

 High Springs is one of those places that you would see on one of those Hallmark Christmas movies.  We took them to a really neat antique store; it had a lot of antiques. We saw a real Woody from Toy Story, a western saddle,  antique silverware, and my favorite part-- old books. Josh found one  all the way from the 1800's. I found an old Jane Austen book from the 1930's. I was so excited when Grandma bought it for me. That was sweet of her. After that Grandpa and Grandma treated us to Sonny's. It was so good. We had a really fun time while they were here.  

I know it was a long post but there is so much to catch up on.  Thanks for reading!   My next post is going to be for young ladies with hearts for God. It's going to be about one of  girls' most favorite topics-clothes. I hope you will join me in my next post!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A New Home and a New Name- Part I

A lot has happened since I last posted which was two years ago.  Mom had gotten worse so she had gone back to Florida to find out what was wrong.  In July of 2013 the doctors thought Mom had a form of cancer. Only Mom and Micah were in Florida so the rest of us flew down  to Florida to be with Mom. Thankfully, Mom ended up not having cancer. We couldn't find what the real problem was. They finally diagnosed her with tuberculosis. They gave her antibiotics to take for awhile. That still wasn't the problem so Mom became known as the lady with the mystery illness. We realized for some unknown reason that we needed to stop the work in St.Barths and stay in Florida to find out what Mom had.  Dad, Josh, and Grammy went to St.Barths and packed up our stuff to send it back to the States. We didn't know if we could ever go back to the West Indies.

  Finally in May 2014,  Mom was diagnosed with the cause of all her pain-- Lyme's disease! She had to go through treatment with a PICCline for a few months. It started helping her for awhile and we had seen a difference in her but then it just wasn't helping. So, they took the PICCline out and gave her oral antibiotics. She has done much better since 2012 but she still isn't all better.  Mom realizes that some days she will do good and then some days she will not and will have to rest those days. We are still praying though that God will get rid of all her Lyme Disease and heal her, but for now we are trusting that God knows best.

  We weren't sure what God had for us next. We knew we could no longer be missionaries to the West Indies and our work in St. Barths was finished because Mom needed to stay near doctors here in the US. Would we go on staff somewhere? Would we stay in the house that our church was letting us stay in and would Dad have to find a job? We didn't have any clue.

  We first thought we would have to resign from being missionaries with Macedonia, so, Dad and Mom decided to head up to our mission board and talk about resigning. What would we do then? We were sad thinking that we would no longer be missionaries. They headed up there in August of last year.  Macedonia was so  encouraging.  Macedonia wasn't ready to lose us as missionaries. They said we should think about staying with them and either do church rescue ( when a church is about to close their doors and missionaries go in to help them ) or we should do church planting.  Dad was a preacher through and through and didn't like the idea of a secular job so he readily accepted the idea.

    They came back and we started seriously praying about it. We knew that this was what the Lord wanted us to do but we weren't sure which one. We started looking at different states and prayerfully considered many. We thought we would go West, but one week when Dad and Mom were traveling to the doctor in Brooksville Mom mentioned Northwest Florida. So they started looking at houses for sale and for rent. Josh was already in college but Brenna and I went with Dad and Mom one week to look in the Trenton, Newberry, Chiefland and Old town area. We fell in love with the country- all of the cows, horses, rolling hills and  the old country town feel that you would see in a Hallmark Christmas movie. As we drove through that area our last place to see was the High Springs- Alachua area. We really loved that area. When we came back home we started praying more about those areas. We finally knew that God was calling us to be Church planters.

We knew that to start a church we would need to stay there at least two years or more. The houses for sale in those areas were really inexpensive and a lot of them had nice pieces of property. A preacher that we really respect said that with Mom being sick she really needed a place to settle down at for awhile and call her own, so he said we should buy a house. We really wanted to find a house that had a lot of property because we thought it would be nice to have church fellowships and teen activities at our house and also, me and Brenna wanted a horse. There were a few houses that we saw online that we really liked. Mom had been traveling every week to see doctors so they went back up to those areas to look at some houses. We also looked for buildings to rent for our church. We really liked High Springs and there was a house that we liked with 5 acres. It didn't  have any trees whatsoever but we thought it would be fun to pick out our own trees and we would also have room for a horse. The house needed a little work like new carpet ( because it was bright red ) and needed a good paint job but it wasn't too bad. We planned that we would leave the kids with grandparents and the rest of us would head up there to it up then Mom and Brenna would go back to Ft.Myers to pack up the house. When Dad and I finished the house we would head back down there too,  pick them up and our stuff and move to High Springs. We decided to try and get the house. We were so excited imagining how we would decorate the house and what trees we would pick.  We were so excited wondering what God had in store for us.