Independence Day

I took this picture of Elijah this afternoon. We had great services today at my parents church. I always enjoy hearing my Dad preach. He preached a really good Independence Day message. He preached on 1 Samuel 8:1-22. He talked about how people give up their God given freedoms so quickly. It was very good and very pertinent to our world today.

Friday night, I took this second picture of the older four children sleeping at Memaw and Daddy Jim’s house. I had a hard time getting Jonathan to settle down, but when he did this is how they turned out.

We went to the Canton Trade Days on Saturday. There was a lady there that was a blessing to me. All five of my kids and I had gone a separate path from my parents. I was buying toys for the kids when Elijah started crying in his stroller. I knew he was hungry, and was trying to hurry the others along so that I could take care of him.

It was at this point that a lady in another booth came over and asked him what was wrong. I explained to her that he was hungry and I was about to feed him as soon as the kids were done. She left for a second and then asked me if I breastfeed. Then she offered a chair she had behind her booth where I could feed him beside a fan. I gave the kids each a dollar and she offered to take them over to a booth where they could buy themselves something to drink. When she came back she told me she had been one of five children herself and knew how nice it was to have someone offer help. I was very impressed and silently prayed that God would bless her.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40



Why did Scott agree to go to Thailand? And why am I driving 5 children to Michigan? These are two questions I will attempt to answer in this blog post. I am not only answering these questions for anyone who may express concern, I must answer them for myself as well.

If God ever did call our family to a foreign field in a long term capacity, we would have the same good questions to answer. How else would we know if it is God’s will or not?

Thailand isn’t a great vacation spot this time of year. It is hot and there won’t be air conditioning in the village where he will be helping, and he may be served foods that we in America may not consider palatable. He may even wind up sleeping on a pallet on the ground. Why would he want to go? There was a need, and Scott was willing to help. God provided the money. Yes, it was our own personal money. We did not ask for financial help and no one sent any money to help him with this trip. I realize that we might could have used our money for a lot of other things. But we both felt that God wanted him to go help in Thailand. It is one thing to pray that someone else will go help when there is a need. And another to say, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” We both knew it was God’s will for him to go.

Our church where Scott is pastoring is small and there isn’t anyone there that will mind us being gone a few weeks. They all know we will be back. The community we live in is so small that I doubt anyone will miss us much besides on Sunday. I’ve wondered in the past if the church members would have a problem with Scott being away 3 weeks this year. But since they do not have to pay him while he is gone, no one has voiced any opposition. In my mind this is one way our church is able to tithe to Missions, by allowing their pastor to go on a short term mission trip. He may not be preaching from a pulpit while there but he will be a witness to about 600 children and their teachers who may have never heard the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if even a few were saved?

I miss him when he is gone, but the joy we will have in hearing what God has done when he returns will make up for the loneliness now. I can’t fully explain it. In my mind I have often wondered in our nearly 14 years of marriage, why God had never called him to a foreign mission field on a long term basis. We are both willing to go, but I leave it up to God to do the calling. I feel God must call my husband to a field first and then my children and I would follow. But since that has not happened yet and may never in the future, maybe it is God’s plan that we just go and help others. Mostly it will be Scott going, and maybe occassionally I will go, and maybe even our children as they get old enough to serve.

While Scott is gone, I may seem crazy for taking the kids, (one of whom is being potty trained, and another who I must stop and feed every couple of hours) all the way to Michigan, without Scott here to help. I must admit I do have a little bit of nervous anticipation about it. I am going to be leaving my comfort zone behind, but I think this is for the good of Scott’s family. I have several reasons to believe God would have me do this. I have always felt that Scott’s mother needs us to visit at least once a year. There have been times that we have missed a year. But we try to see them each year when it is possible. And maybe my own spritual growth will benefit from my forcing myself to leave my comfort zone occassionally.

Some of my reasons for going are: (1.) Scott’s mother has never met Elijah, (2.) I want Scott’s family to see that even when Scott’s away, I still see our relationship as important. (3.) I want them to see that our family is committed to each other even when he is away.

I would really like to be with him right now to help in Thailand, but I also realize that Scott needs me here to help take care of our family. I would really like to go on a Mission trip as a family, but that would cost a lot more for a family of 7 to go than for one or two to go.

I also realize that maybe what seems clear to us, may not seem clear to everyone else. I value the insights of others, both for and against what God may or may not be doing in our lives. But I also know that God would want us to do what He wants not necessarily what we want. It may not even be comfortable for us to do what God has in store for us, but sometimes He still wants us to leave those comfort zones and do what he wants us to do anyway. Even if we meet some opposition along the way. Ultimately He will bless our efforts if not in this world then in the next.

I pray for Scott every night as he is waking up that God will help him during his day. Then in the morning I pray that God helps him sleep in whatever hot and humid condition he may find himself. Then I pray that God will help the days go by quickly, when He will bring us all back together as a family once more.

Isaiah 55
1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


Growing up…

I got an e’mail from Scott saying that he arrived in Taipei, China. If I have the times figured that means he should be arriving in Bangkok right about the time I’m writing this. It would be really nice if he could e’mail me from there.

The kids and I finally arrived at my parents house this evening. It took us far longer than I had planned to get everything packed. I was hoping to get to visit my sister today but we left so late that I decided to go straight to my parents and visit my sister and her husband on another day.

Tomorrow we will be going to visit my grandparents in Henderson. I think we’re planning to possibly visit Canton on Saturday on our way home from Henderson. I have never been to Canton for their trade days. I’ve always heard really neat things about it, and seen things people have bought from Canton but I’ve never experienced it personally. I’m looking forward to that. I think the kids will have fun with there as well.

Joshua’s birthday was Sunday. Joshua wanted a chocolate cake with strawberry icing. But he didn’t want it to look girly so I tried to decorate it so that it didn’t look too pink. He was quite pleased with how it turned out. We had a party for him and another boy in our church whose birthday is 3 days after Joshua’s. They both turned 12 this year.

After church Sunday we had hot dogs, chips, cake, and ice cream for anyone that would stay and celebrate the boys birthdays. They both had their own cake and candles. Then after eating we passed out water guns to all the children that came. There were 10 children present at church that day. A few of the children stayed and played with the water guns outside. He told us that evening that his birthday turned out a lot better than he thought it would. I’m glad he had fun. It’s hard to believe he’s already 12. It won’t be long and he’ll be driving.

Then to think that when Elijah turns 12, Joshua will be turning 24. I’m not even going to think about how old I’ll be when Joshua turns 24.

I plan to cherish these years while my children are young. They grow up so fast.