Patience when Discouraged

handsgardeninkI was discouraged. That may be hard to believe that I would get discouraged but I was. I volunteered to write too many posts too close together. There was a deadline and my family’s needs weren’t moving over for me to feel that inspired. You probably read the post I wrote last Friday about Jesus taking care of his mother from the cross. That one I was able to post early. Then I went ahead and volunteered to write one entitled “Put on Compassion” for the following Monday. That was a hard one to write and I almost gave up. I was burning out and I felt it. I was about to ask someone else if they would write the 3rd post I volunteered for on Patience but my husband said that it was only one more post and he knew I could do it. So I didn’t give up. I held on.

Then a friend sent me a message telling me that she noticed I sounded discouraged in one of my comments in the group and she had prayed for me. Then she shared with me a verse that came to her mind while she was praying for me. I made the above picture from the verse she gave to me. 

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

That verse gave me the encouragement I needed to not lose heart and I managed to write my 3rd and favorite post for this month on patience.
Have you ever felt like you needed more patience? I have. 

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3, KJV)

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV)

If you would like to learn how to improve your patience, check out my post 5 Steps to Improve Patience over at Ask God Today Ministries. That is the last post I am signed up to write over there for this month.

So I’m going to start my Frequently Asked Questions series here at Rock Solid Family this coming week. Do you have any questions you would like me to answer? let me know in the comments or by email. I’m looking forward to sharing more about myself and my family with you.

 

 

EmailShare

Catching Up in Argentina

We have been so busy and I haven’t had a lot of time to post. I’ve been writing everything down in my journal and will try to give you a quick overview of what we have been doing since my last post.

Sunday, September 7, we visited a non-denominational church that morning and a Baptist Church in the evening. We arranged to have dinner with a Missionary’s family on Monday and lunch with the Pastor of the Baptist Church on Wednesday.

DSC01387

Angel really liked having someone scratch behind her ears.

After services Sunday night we were a little nervous about walking back to our hostel across town in the dark. Sometimes when we are a little afraid God provides some comfort to show us we are not alone. In this case God sent us a very friendly dog that I affectionately named “Angel”.

Angel is a smart dog. She knew to only cross roads with people. If people were waiting at a stop she waited. She walked with us the whole way back to our hostel. Scott and I dubbed her our guard dog and were glad she paused to let us take a few pictures of her before we parted ways. If we lived here we probably would have kept Angel as a pet.

DSC01386

I think Angel might be asking us why we stopped here.

Monday, September 8, we visited with the missionary family we met at the Baptist Church. That is another interesting meeting. The man we met at the church Scott had actually met on Facebook first. The group that we met when we first arrived in Argentina had told him about us. He sent my husband a message saying he would like to meet us for coffee or dinner sometime. We didn’t know that his family actually goes to the church we visited that night.

He and his wife helped us with a lot of information we needed. We now know how to catch the right city bus to our desired destinations and where a Wal-mart is in Córdoba.

DSC01477

Walmart and McDonalds all in one picture.

Tuesday, September 9, Scott and I took a city bus to the Wal-mart on the edge of town. We compared prices of some of the things we would have back home. The prices are higher on many things and there are cultural differences. We were glad to see that there is at least a store we are familiar with despite some of the cultural differences in the items they carry.

Oh and they do have McDonald’s here.

DSC01488

Scott and I posing for a picture in front of the restaurant where we ate on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 10, we met the Baptist Pastor for lunch. We had a very good long discussions about Churches here in Argentina. He was able to tell us the cultural differences between the customs many Churches have in Argentina compared with the United States. He was also able to tell us some of the differences between some of the different Churches in Argentina. There are some Churches in Argentina but not very many.

DSC01495

The church in Cordoba we visited and took some pictures. We only took pictures in churches we saw other people taking pictures. Some are more tourist friendly than others.

After our visit we walked back to our hostel. There was a large Catholic Church we looked at. It was a beautiful building! I had some very deep thoughts while standing there looking around at the beautiful artistry in the room. I will need to share more about my thoughts and some more pictures in a later post.

scottluggage

I know how heavy that smaller suitcase was when I pulled it half way. I was really impressed with my husband pulling both. Oh and my luggage is actually the larger one. What a gentleman!!!

Thursday, September 11, we checked out of our Hostel and carried our luggage to the bus station. Okay, I did say we carried our luggage but according to this picture you might find it hard to believe there was much “we” involved in the process.

My sweet husband saw that I was worn out about half way to the bus station and took my burden along with his own. So I guess I should say Scott carried our luggage while I took pictures of him. 😉

At the station we caught a bus to Villa General Belgrano where we had an amazing time with a homeschooling family and their neighbors who also homeschool. There are a lot of challenges homeschoolers in Argentina face.

In order to keep this post from being too lengthy, I will share more about our stay in Villa General Belgrano in another post.

DSC01511

My husband and I about to board the bus to Villa General Belgrano.

 
So much has been happening. I have been writing a lot in my journal every opportunity I have. My blog posts are actually written in my journal before I type them into a blog post and add pictures. I find it easier to write pretty much anywhere that way. I may have to write about my writing on the go as well.

Thank you for following along with me. I’ve already committed myself to two almost 3 posts now, one about my deep thoughts in a beautiful building, another about our stay in Villa General Belgrano, and another about my writing while traveling. 

I know I am skimming over rather quickly our trip but if you have any thoughts or questions come to your mind please feel free to share them with me in the comments. I will try to answer them as soon as I can. If there is a question that I see frequently I will answer it in a blog post as well.

We will probably not have internet tonight as we will be taking a train to Buenos Aires. I am going to try to get my next post up as soon as I am able. 

Dios te bendiga! God bless you!

~~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~~

EmailShare

Hello from Argentina!

DSC01224

I laugh every time I see this picture. My dad dropped us off at the airport. Would this be considered a selfie/photobomb? :)

My husband and I are in Argentina right now. We arrived Thursday, September 4 around 4 p.m. Argentine time.

Our flight was supposed to land around 5:30 a.m. in Córdoba, Argentina. However there was a big storm and our flight was diverted to Mendoza. We waited about two hours on the plane for the storm to lift in Córdoba. Then they let everyone off the plane. We were rescheduled to fly out that afternoon.

DSC01280

Just got off the plane in Mendoza.

We found out when we arrived at the airport in Mendoza that we left our checked luggage at the airport in Miami, Florida. I now have a new appreciation for packing carry on luggage well.

We finally arrived in Córdoba and got ourselves a city bus card. We decided to try out one of the hostels. It was a little cheaper than a hotel and they usually have private rooms available.

I really think the Lord had us arrive at the particular hostel we finally chose at the time we did on purpose. You will see what I mean here in a little bit.

We arrived at the hostel and it was pretty clean. They had a room that wasn’t a private room but no one else was in it. They said we could have that room to ourselves for two nights but it would be booked over the weekend.

DSC01289

Scott and I waiting on our breakfast at the Hostel.

We went ahead and took the room. There was a double bed in the room and 3 sets of bunk beds as well. I told Scott that there was a bed for each of the kids in there.

That evening Scott struck up a conversation with the clerk at the front desk. The clerk had asked what Scott did and why we were visiting Argentina. Scott told him that he was a pastor of a church in Texas and that we were here to talk to as many people as we could and get all the information we need to possibly move our family here.

The clerk was very friendly and said that he knew a guy that led a group that practiced English. He said that they often talk about Spiritual things during their practice sessions.

We put our things away and were about to head out for the evening to find food when the clerk showed us on his computer where the group met. He said that they were having a session that very evening at 7:30.

We went out, stopped by a store for a couple of items we needed and then headed to that meeting.

Sometimes I’m a pretty nervous person… Okay, I’m often a nervous person when it comes to doing something different that might be embarrassing. In those situations I often have to give myself a pep talk that it will be okay.

So there I was knowing we were about to walk into a room of complete strangers and crash their meeting. Sure the clerk said it was okay for us to just show up but what if he’s wrong.

We arrived at the address the clerk gave us. We were a half hour late. I took a deep breath told Scott I was nervous but I knew this is what we are supposed to do.

We walked into the café and saw a lot of older people playing scrabble. Then in a back room we saw another group sitting around a table visiting. I waited a second while Scott asked them if they were the group we were told about. They were totally blown away with how we found them. They told us later that they had been praying for more Missionaries to come to Argentina.

We also found out that the hotel clerk was a friend of the session leader’s ex-girlfriend. It had been several years since they had last met. He was so surprised when we told him who it was that recommended them.

The group discussion was about God. Before we got there they had each drawn a picture that gave their thoughts about what they imagine God is like. Then they went through and discussed what they drew and what they thought of when they drew the picture. It was a very good and open discussion.

Scott was even able to share his thoughts about who God is and confirm the truths that were spoken by some of the others. During the class there were a couple of guys that believed in God but were not sure who He is.

The story came up about blind Bartemaeus and how Jesus asked him what he wanted. It seemed like it should be obvious what it was that Bartimaeus wanted but Jesus asked him anyway. Bartemaeus asked to receive his sight and Jesus healed him. He didn’t force Bartimaeus to be healed. He gave him the choice of whether he wanted that change to happen in his life or not. The question was then bounced around the room. If Jesus were to ask you what it was you wanted, what would you ask for? That my friend is a very good question.

After that meeting we went out to eat with our new friends. Most of them were actually involved in a Christian Ministry in the city and that English practice time was one of the many ministries they have to connect with people.

DSC01311

Scott enjoying some Yerba Mate during the Friday Bible Study. I will have to explain more about Yerba Mate in another post.

After we ate with them they asked if we had any plans for Friday. We told them that we did not and they asked if we would like to come to their mission team’s Bible study and meeting.

We did go to their meeting that next day and met their missionary and learned so much. They fed us afterwards and I practiced speaking Spanish with the ladies as we prepared the meal. Yo corté el pan. (Bonus points for translating that sentence in the comments.) :)

Our lost luggage was delivered Saturday night. I was so glad because that gave us clean clothes for services.

Sunday we visited two churches. The first I think was a Community Church that was recommended to us by our new friends. Then Sunday night we visited a Baptist Church in town. We really enjoyed the services there.

We also met another Missionary at the Baptist Church. Scott also met him through FB messenger. One of the friends we made Thursday had told him about us. He and his wife invited us to eat at their home Monday evening. So much to write about and not enough space to share it all here. I’ll write more about Monday on another post soon.

I must share one last little thing. Scott was telling another man in the hostel about what God has been doing for us and could tell that every time he mentioned God the man chuckled. It’s hard to say if he thought Scott was just talking foolishness or if he was just laughing out of nervousness of the subject being brought up.

Another man Scott talked with Sunday night told him that he believed the world didn’t need missionaries. According to that man missionaries take away people’s free choice. They oppress people. Scott told him that it was actually the opposite.

Missionaries come to spread the good news that can free people from their bondage. A missionary isn’t to force his beliefs on people. He presents the truth to them in love and gives them the option to accept God’s message or not. It’s really education and opening people’s minds. What’s oppressive about that?

Here is the real problem.  Those who have experienced God understand who He is. Those who have never had that experience simply can’t understand until they have that moment that they finally trust Jesus and turn to Him for salvation.

If you don’t believe what I am saying was brought about by God who sees, hears, and knows exactly who I am and what I need. Then you have never had that experience with God. You need to talk with God right now and ask him to help you understand. Ask him to let you experience Him.

You know God did that for blind Baritmaeus. He asked Jesus to return his sight. God answered and his life was changed completely.

Have you experienced Jesus? If Jesus were to come to you tonight and ask you what you want, what would you ask for? Let us know in the comments.

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, [thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” – Mark 10:46-52 KJV

EmailShare

Unexpected Blessings

The Lord is amazing! Really truly amazing. 

Have you ever doubted God’s will for your life? You may wonder if you are doing the right thing and then have everything fall right into place.

I don’t believe that is just coincidence or happenstance. I truly believe God is showing us what it is we are suppose to be doing. He is opening the doors all around us and we finally let go and step through in Faith. 

10537436_10203473154247598_5162626495376514052_nI mentioned in my previous post our plans to go on a survey trip to Argentina to see what doors God may open there. 

One thing I chose not to talk about was money. How were we going to afford this trip? It would be an adventure indeed if we were going with very little money.  Here is a list of 10 things God blessed us with this past month.

1. Scott told me that he had prayed about our finances and asked God to provide for our trip. After that prayer he went by the bank to deposit his normal check from our church and realized he had never cashed the check from the week before.

Even though that was a small thing to some people to my husband it was a little whisper from God that everything would be okay. 

After that we discussed some other ideas of raising some money. I thought about having a yard sale. We had some successful yard sales in the past. We also thought about other things around our house we could sell.

2. I really felt like I needed to explain to our karate instructor why we hadn’t been in class for a while. It takes a lot of humility to admit you can’t afford to do something. We have been trying to save money by not going places we would normally want to go. So that included our karate class. I mentioned that we were discussing the possibility of having a yard sale. Our instructor was very understanding and told us that she would pray for us.

ElisabethThat was on a Thursday that I talked with her. That Friday my husband and I were discussing the possibility of a yard sale and what we actually had to sell. Most of our items were small items and not something that would draw people to come. 

Just as I was giving up the whole idea I received a phone call from a mother whose son is in our karate class. She said that she was moving and that she heard we were having a garage sale and that if we could pick it up she had some things that we could have. 

After I hung up from that conversation I looked up at my husband and said, “I guess we’re having a yard sale!” 

We needed to have our yard sale the very next weekend. I looked at the classified ads of one of our local newspapers. It said that Ads must be turned in by noon on Friday to be in Tuesdays paper. It was 10 AM Friday morning when I got the call.

Now tell me that just happened!

I wrote out an advertisement and went to the newspaper office with plenty of time.

3. That Saturday we scurried to get ready for karate class. My husband left early in the truck with Hannah. The rest of us came later in our Suburban. After class was over Scott told me about the envelope and offering that was given to us by our karate family. I missed that exchange or I probably would have cried. 

The money they gave us was more than enough to pay both our reciprocity fees and some of our hotel expenses.  

4. We let friends at our church know that we were having a yard sale the following week. There were more items donated for our sale. We collected those items during the week and had a very successful sale and met a lot of people.

10565136_10203473155007617_1858224442171588789_n5. The following Sunday morning we had a couple visit our church that my husband was able to witness to. We also met another couple at Wal-mart that afternoon who wanted to buy one of our items that didn’t sell in our yard sale. They lived further away and so we met them part way.

6. Sunday night we had a lady stop by and give us a box of food and toiletries that she felt the Lord wanted her to give to us. She had met us at our yard sale and couldn’t get us off her mind. She felt she had to come back and bring us something.

It had to be hard for her to come to us like that not knowing what our reaction would be. Would we be offended? Not at all. God has provided our needs so many times during the years and we have learned that God’s provision doesn’t just fall from the sky. He usually provides through the love and generosity of friends. 

7. Scott had one last Friday off from work and we were able get a final visit with my brother and his family before they head back to France. We had a fun time and were able to visit my sister’s family as well and get some good siblings and cousins pictures taken. It was good to get to see them and I was glad my husband had that one last weekend off. We also found out that my sister is expecting her third child.

8. We received a check in the mail for another donation from another friend wanting to help us with our upcoming trip.

9. My husband received an email this past week. We have another offering coming in the mail. We do not know who sent it nor how much it is. We do know that our God is good and He knows what we need to make this trip successful.

Where we go and how many cities we see will be up to how much God provides for. So far we have our first week planned.

10. And the biggest blessing that I am excited to share with you all is our son, Jonathan (6) accepted Christ as his Savior Wednesday night after our Bible Study. 

He had been wanting to be saved for a long time. I will need to write another blog post about the struggle he had and the moment he finally understood. I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face. :)

I could write a whole lot more about God’s provision and blessings. It’s hard to keep these posts short. In my next post I will give more details about how Jonathan finally found Jesus and a really cute story of his witnessing to Elijah.

Only 10 days left!!! I am going to do my best to keep you all up to date on where we are and how God provides for us each step of the way. Be watching for updates and more pictures!

Thank you for following along with us. Having you for a friend is a blessing too! 

~~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~~

 

“‘Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'” Malachi 3:10

EmailShare

Choose Wisely

I really wanted to get a blog post finished this week. Perhaps doing a quick Five Minute Friday post with Lisa-Jo Baker would help me get out of this horrible case of writer’s block. So here we go. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat. No editing. No overthinking. Just write. Then link up and encourage the blogger in front of you. Today’s word: Choose.

I’m setting my timer and …

HannahBasketball

Go!

Today I am choosing to do Five Minute Friday. I haven’t blogged in so long. This month was so busy and I chose to take my daughter every Friday to her basketball practice. Then I chose to attend her basketball games with the whole family. We loved watching her play. With a family of 8 you always have a large cheering section.

In basketball my daughter wanted her friends to choose to throw the ball to her. Sometimes she was chosen and sometimes they chose to throw it to someone else. No matter who was chosen she still got excited whenever they scored.

I want my children to make good choices in life. I want them to choose to follow God. Right now my husband and I make the decisions for them but one day they will be on their own and I hope they choose to do what is right even when we, their parents are no longer watching them. I need to teach them now so that they are prepared for that day. I want them to choose wisely.

Stop.

Ooh… This was good for me. This helped open my mind and unlock the writer’s block.

So if you will bear with me I’ll continue my above thought a little bit further. :)

I have been wanting to write about friendship. But every time I tried it seemed to just fall flat. Now I know what it is I’ve been wanting to say.

I want my children to choose their friends wisely.

How do you choose your friends? Friendship doesn’t just happen.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

                                             — Proverbs 18:24 KJV

You have a choice. Who will you lead? Who will you follow? Who will you defend? Whose team will you choose to be on?

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

                                       –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 KJV

Will your friends lift you up when you fall? Are you willing to help them up?

“Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

                                                        –Proverbs 27:10 KJV

With whom will you choose to be friends?

Five Minute Friday

EmailShare

Five Minute Friday: Friend

I bet you were wondering if I was going to join in at Lisa Jo’s for another Five Minute Friday today. I know I had two other posts this week but there isn’t much that will stop me from taking at least 5 minutes on Fridays to write.

Here’s the rules from Lisa Jo’s sight:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

Today’s prompt is “Friend“.

My timer is set.

And GO!

All the bride's maids in our wedding were my best friends.

My Best Friends

When I was a child, I met my first friend in Kindergarten. We didn’t become best friends until Second Grade. I don’t even remember how we started playing together. We would play on the playground and started visiting at each other’s houses. She was very popular and seemed so outgoing. I was shy. A lot of the kids in our grade at school wanted to be her friend but not mine. That was very hard. Especially as we would play on the playground and the kids would start arguing with us over my needing to share my friend. I would cry. My friend would take my hand and we would run away.

As we got older our friendship changed. We both found new friends. Then we would meet again and it was like we had never been apart. We could carry on a conversation as if we hadn’t missed a beat.

Stop

Ha! I need to get faster with my thoughts. I did delete the last half a sentence because it didn’t make sense to leave the sentence hanging. :-)

I was about to talk about how we lost track of each other but then met again in college and then we were in each other’s weddings.

I don’t talk with her much anymore. But I think the friendships we have in our childhood prepare us for how we will be in adulthood. Now my husband is my best friend that I can talk with whenever I want. He knows more about me and my life than any of my friends in school ever did.

He actually encourages me to write. That’s how I found Five Minute Fridays. Through my writing friendships I have found in the past few months. And now I have Five Minute Friday friends. :-)

Okay. I’ll stop now. I think I might have tacked on a couple of extra minutes worth to the end there. LOL It took me Five minutes just to get the thoughts flowing.

Did you have a childhood friend growing up? Are you still friends? Who do you consider your best friend now?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the word “Friend”. Please share with me in the comments. Let me know if you are writing in Five Minute Friday and I’ll check out your post.

 
Five Minute Friday

EmailShare

The Family that Draws Together is Drawn Together

Okay, I couldn’t resist that title. I mentioned in my last post  Happy New Month! that we have been drawing pictures every Monday.

My husband set a goal to draw something every day. He set that goal when he saw my need for artwork to go along with my writing. The neat thing is that with his goal to draw something for my writing that gave me the desire to write something for him to draw for. That in turn keeps him wanting to draw pictures for me to write to.

It’s a never ending circle but I see a lot of great things to come from it.  My husband is even talking about setting up a website to connect with my website. Won’t that be great!

I’m not as good an artist as my husband but I’m not horrible at it either. I just don’t like spending too much time on it. And if it takes a lot of effort I’d rather just not. Ha!

Okay, bottom line I’m lazy when it comes to art. I’d rather just write about something than to have to draw it. So having an amazing artist in the family is a wonderful thing.

Now about my charicature…

 

20130206-104828.jpg

mrbean2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not too bad for my first attempt at Charicature. Don’t you think?

Do you recognize him now? I know my charicature  isn’t perfect. The eyebrows could use to be a bit shorter and longer. I think if I were to try again I’d do a little better.  However I’m not the artist remember. I just did this for fun with my kids.

Okay, as for guesses. Not very many people attempted to guess at who he is.

My brother, Jason, guessed correctly. He thought my drawing looked like Mr. Bean.

Thank you, Jason, for making a big sister feel better about her art work. I’ll never forget sitting outside watching your pig. I drew a picture of you and our sister. No, my drawing hasn’t really improved much since then.

My Brother-in-law, Justin, guessed that it was Dracula with his teeth pulled.

Umm… No.

I suppose if Mr. Bean had a widow’s peak hairdo then maybe he would look like a toothless Dracula. Hmm…

Alright, enough about my artistic abilities or lack thereof. Hopefully it won’t be long before I get to show off some of my husband’s work.

How about you? Is there something you enjoy doing even if you’re not good at it? Maybe it’s just for fun or for your family.  I’d love to hear about it!

Real Love Guaranteed to Last

I’ll be having a special post on Valentine’s day. I have a friend, Anne Peterson, that wrote a book about Real Love guaranteed to last.

Her book is free  Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  It would make a great Valentine’s gift for yourself and to share with a friend. Just click on the picture of the book.  Go ahead and get it early!

Check back here on Thursday where I’ll be talking more about Real Love!

 

 

 

EmailShare