the accident

We've been enjoying having our daddy home.
God's been teaching us a lot lately and sometimes the lessons aren't very comfortable.
But I'm learning to be teachable.
To be joyful anyways.
No matter what.
To laugh because that's what faith does.
And to cry sometimes because God says that's okay, too.

Sunday night after the youth leadership meeting at our house, Joel left to check on one of the young people and a truck travelling the other direction turned across his lanes.  He was riding his motorcycle and he laid it down right before it hit the truck.  He managed to come out of the accident with only minor road rashes and a neck sprain.

I am praising God for His protection!!  This situation could have been so much worse, but God in His mercy, has spared us.  I know motorcycles are dangerous and I have covered my husband in prayer from the time he purchased it till now.  The real reason behind the purchase was to save money on outrageous gas bills.  But God's bigger than finances and difficulties, than accidents and hardships. 

I'm learning to trust.

I'm learning even amidst the trials to be thankful.  So very, very thankful for every minute God grants us here on this earth to blaze forth His glory.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

P.S.  we're simplifying over here.  needs vs wants and some wants have to go for a time...so I won't have internet service but I hope I can blog intermittently until we get it again.  (I just realized that's what I do already:  blog intermittently!  I do have grand hopes of blogging daily though, it's one of my lifetime goals...haha)

Today is a blessing!


we share germs

The last week without our daddy has not been without it's challenges.  I honestly don't think I would have made it without my beautiful mother.  Thad and Boston have ear infections, Astair has tonsillitis, Legend has a sinus infection, and now I'm feeling the effects of a sore throat, too.

Fun times, fun times.  We're not graceful sick people over here.  

Definitely not.

But our daddy is coming home tonight!  And that makes us downright happy.

The only bleak spot on tomorrow's horizon is that Grandma will be leaving us.  And Grandmas are such wonderful people, they cook and they clean and they play and they sing.  They kiss bobos and buy band aids for little granddaughters that are a bit obsessed with the sticky things. 

They take us to playgrounds, and beaches, McDonald's and Menchies...

They are wholeheartedly loved by all.

Oh how we will miss you, Grandma Dearest!

P.S. to all my friends:  My new app obsession favorite is instagram.  I Love the photo effects!  Do you have instagram?  Let me know so I can follow you!  My username is joyeful :)  I take more pictures than I have time to blog so instagram has become my newest bestest friend.


up up update on the mission in haiti and laying it all down

I just got some updates on Haiti.  Goodness.  I've been on the edge of my seat lately waiting for a word from the team there.  Praying and waiting.  But certainly staying busy :)  Oh and did I tell you my precious mother flew in from Nebraska to help me this week while Joel is over there?  She's my angel, she really is.  Every text I get from Haiti tears at my heart strings.  Oh but it's good reports!  Incredible, really!  But the pictures just tore me up.

Wednesday night I shared in Joel's place at our youth service.  My heart has been so wrapped up in missions and the great commission, and the cause of Christ that we are all called to take up, I couldn't share on anything but that.  I'm broken.  So broken.  I shared this video.  Every time I watch it I weep.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not overly emotional all day, crying into my soup, but God is certainly making me more sensitive to His Heart.  So much so that at times it gets unbearable and I wish I could just close my eyes to it all for a little while...but then that part of me that's really not me anyways (it's Christ), rises up inside me and reminds me that we MUST NOT CLOSE OUR EYES!  Not even for a minute.  Because we are the answer:  Christ in us is the hope of the world!  The Body of Christ--His Church--is  His chosen vessel to proclaim His freedom for the captives, His good news to the poor, His comfort to all who grieve (Isaiah 61)  

I get asked the question all the time, "If God is so good than why doesn't he do something about all the poverty, the aids, the injustice?"  I read a great parody to that question.  God is asking us the same thing, why haven't we done something about it?  Jesus set the standard.  He showed us how to live, modeled it for us even.  He preached the gospel of the kingdom, healed the sick, fed the hungry, brought hope to the downtrodden, and then he died for all of mankind's freedom.  He told us to do the same.  We are to follow in His footsteps.  The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us who have received the life of Jesus!! (Romans 8:11)

I'm moved.  But I want to be more than moved emotionally.  I want to be moved into action, everyday taking up the Cause of Christ.

The Mission Church property in Jeremie, Haiti: Tonight there were 350 people attending the service!!!!  God, you are truly doing something amazing in the hearts of your Haitian children!! Nick posted a video of one of the worship services and it was incredible to watch! (photo source:  Nick P.)

Joel sent me this picture and I could hear the tears behind it.  They visited a hospital and he wanted to hold every sick child there.  I'm just torn up.  Praying that we can build an orphanage soon, very, very soon and praying that God would grant us the privilege to take one of Haiti's orphans into our home.

(photo source:  Caddie C.)  visiting the village

Joel sent me this picture asking me to pray for this man, Denell, to be miraculously healed.  He is a worship leader and he broke his wrist last year and is in a lot of physical pain.  Please pray with me for Denell's healing!!

(photo source: Nick P.)

"Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands."  
-Isaiah 42:12


joel leaves for haiti and my heart is already there

Dearest Jesus,

I am in awe of the way you work, the way you choose to use us:  your church, your body here on this earth.   Your heart cares for the orphans, for the poor, for the defenseless.  And you hold out your arms day in and day out pleading with us to share your heart's burdens.  Pleading with us to love as you love, to be compassionate instead of merely concerned.

I love the story of how you brought our church to Haiti.  A painting of Haiti delivered with a prophecy that we would one day have a church there...and it hung for years in our pastor's office.  Almost forgotten.  But not quite.  Dreams, visions, and finally a visit to Haiti confirm your call.  Within months, land in Haiti is purchased, our faith is stretched, and miraculous connections are made.  It's almost as if you are reminding us this is your plan.  Your vision.  Your heart.  Your divine assignment.

Plans are underway to build a church, an orphanage, and a school.  And in the meantime, our Haitian pastors took in our first orphan boy, Kensone.  I can't explain my love for this little boy.  It can only come from your heart, Jesus.  I feel like part of my heart is in Haiti now and always will be.

Joel is leaving tomorrow and taking a team from our church to minister to the people in Jeremie, Haiti.
You know how badly I wanted to go with them, but I know there will be time for that in the years to come as my children grow older.  I can't explain my draw to Haiti but I think you also know I would take my whole family there the minute you asked me to go, no matter when and now matter how long.  Go before this team, Jesus, and prepare the hearts of these people you love so dearly to receive your salvation.  Keep them safe, Lord, and may signs and miracles accompany them.

And break our hearts, Jesus.
Won't you please break our hearts for what breaks yours.


help! i'm buried alive under thousands of photographs!

Oh, but I really hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July.
Mine was.
And I had planned to tell you Monday night.
But then I got sidetracked by the other forty fifty posts I had planned to write
between then and now.
All of them overflowing with photographs I spent hours sorting online, offline, and even between the lines.

And after my eyes went bloodshot for the hundredth time from squinting at little picture grids, I came to the conclusion that I am a very erratic blogger

There.  I said it.

Is there any cure?


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