Cuppa Strength

cup·pa.
NOUN
1.a cup of tea:
“a good strong cuppa”

I love tea. I love more the analogy of the cup. God gives overflowing opportunity – if we will just see it.

When I think of strength, I think of one who goes against the grain, swims against the current, trailblazes against the norms of society. And it gets me really excited. This kind of strength ignites a fire inside my soul. I read the words below this evening and was inspired to share because this is a beautifully painted canvas of strength. I decided to start recording some of my thoughts again in a blog format.

I started blogging a number of years ago and looking back, it is so encouraging to measure our growth. It is rewarding to look back and know the direction we are going. There is no doubt the plans the Lord has for us are good. Very, very good.

More to come. Welcome.

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“Sitting here in the quiet, making out this week’s lesson plan, contemplating what exactly this all means to me and what a beautiful privilege this is.

Bits of my heart really started to emerge when I made the decision to homeschool our children. When I said no to the majority. When I discarded the critics and quieted the ‘what if’s’ and committed to doing something big and beautiful and against the grain because I believed it was valuable and necessary.

I started to really hear my own voice, value my own opinions, and this began the start of a boldness that had never existed in me before. It was simply that one step toward the path less traveled that opened up a whole world of possibility. It’s a boldness that’s shown us that we needn’t worry ourselves with what the world says is ‘normal’. We need only quiet the world long enough to LISTEN to our souls and then go, strong in the direction that we’re called.

It’s the most beautiful privilege teaching them. And the better lessons are not found in the math book pages or in the midst of our science experiments.

I have confidence in knowing that we’ll look back at this journey and recognize, above so many other things, that real wisdom is found when we can just listen intently enough to hear our own voices, when we can be still enough to really get to know our innermost selves, when we can start to really discover those precious little bits that God instilled deep within us when He knit us all together… and when we make the decision to live based on what we hear, discover, and unearth in those quiet moments.

Homeschooling, for me, is so much more than academics. The most beautiful life lessons are intertwined in these plans.”

(Beautiful words by sweet soul Jamie Wolma ) #wildandfreemama #wildandfreechildren

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The BEST Season YET!

I have noticed something recently and spent a good share of time pondering it – people come and go in life for a reason. I have had many friendships fade and in hindsight, it is completely evident why! The closer I get to Jesus, the more distant old friends seem. God does this. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” There it is my friends, alas, I am NEW! Like it or not, I am new and I have committed my life to Jesus and doing all I can to live as He did. Matthew 5:17 tells me that “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Life meaning NEW life. Saved life. Eternal life. Heaven. I want to go to Heaven and there is one way to get there – Christ alone! Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, like it or not, I am new. I have my eyes set on the prize. The real, loving, powerful, peaceful, fearless, hopeful, ALMIGHTY GOD.

Friends and family have “hidden” my posts on facebook in an attempt to protect themselves from too much positivity. I mean, who wants to be happy anyway?! (Hehe) Seems silly to enjoy everyday. Afterall, “why is she always so happy?” I know too many people who spend their lives kicking stones and feeling sorry for themselves and the absolutely BLESSED life they lead. If you live in America, have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your belly, you are BLESSED. Stop it. Just stop it. Living in misery and sulk is YOUR choice alone. Choose joy. Just do it.

To answer the question, you know, “Why is she always so happy?” God. God is the reason I leap from bed every morning fist pumping all the way to my bowl of Wheaties. God is the reason I celebrate wildflowers, tea, friends, family, sunshine, a flourishing garden, rainbows and the smell of fresh-cut grass. God. I decide every night to be thankful and every morning to be hopeful. God has something new for me everyday! GRACE! Do we face trial? Yes! Painful trial and question. Confusion. Do I lay around and whine and wallow in self-pity? NO! Do I lay it all at the foot of His cross?! Yes! Does He have a plan drafted in gold ink for my family? He has a master plan!

To sum this up tonight, I just have to reflect for a minute on the friendships that have faded. They all were good in due season. They all seemed to have good reason. But God is the drafter. He knows who comes and who goes…and why. With that I RELEASE those friendships!

I believe the best season yet is on the horizon. Stay tuned for so many GOOD things to come!

Creation Unit was AWESOME…God is SO good!

We decided, as a family, a few fun tradition we would have with the start of each new “grade” for Noah. Chocolate chip pancakes the morning of the first day, followed up by a trip to shop for his “first day” outfit – new pajamas! One noteworthy perk of homeschooling? Noah doesn’t know about trendy name brands and the urgent necessity of them to fit in. I remember the horror of never fitting in and times certainly have not changed for the better in that realm. We are so excited about these things.

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The first two weeks of our curriculum work focused on the Creation story from Genesis, and will be followed by 26 hands-on, easy-to-teach thematic units that focus on the wonders in God’s creation. The sun, moon, rocks, vegetables, elephants, butterflies, and dinosaurs are just a few of the exciting topics we will explore. We had so much fun learning about Creation from God’s Word. The bible will be the primary reference book used in our homeschool. It is our map, our guide, and our hope. I do not plan to blog about every unit and nor will I be sharing nearly as many photos as I have before on facebook, simply because we are busy exploring God’s world – and that takes up most of our time.

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Day 1 – Dark and Light – We didn’t do a special snack for this day, because we were too busy hands-on-learning (ie. playing in the bathroom with a flashlight). We talked a lot about what this world would be like without day and night or dark and light.

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Day 2 – Clouds and Oceans – On this day we talked a lot about Noah’s favorite – WEATHER! The different types of clouds we discussed were cumulus, cirrus, stratus and nimbus. We also talked about water and how everything living needs it to survive. How clouds and water relate, the water cycle, and evaporation were major topics of discussion. Oh, and the main point? God is an AMAZINGLY creative scientist!

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Day 3 – Land, Plants, and Trees – We made a worm farm from “land”, identified wild flower in the wood, and found an oak leaf bigger than Noah’s face!

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Day 4 – Sun, Moon, and Stars – Day 4 was probably Noah’s fav. Noah has loved space, planets, stars, the moon and sun since he was so small. All of these topics are ones we will continue to explore as time goes on because they are areas of extreme interest to Noah. He has a BLAST at the Air Zoo Sumer Camp called “Our Star” learning so much about the sun! The Air Zoo is going to be a fabulous resource for our family in the months to come!

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Day 5 – Animals of the Sea and Animals of the Sky – Dolphin bananas jumping from a sea of blueberries? Only here!! We are going to have tons of fun with our themed units! We spent a lot of time outside observing birds, feeding the ducks, and talking about the wonderful world to discover – the seas! A little spelling with letter cookies, too! So much fun!

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Day 6 – Man and Animals – We talked a lot about how we are all unique; beautifully and wonderfully made in His image! We plan to see LOTS of animals this summer as our future unit studies coincide.

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Day 7 – God Rested – And so did we. 🙂

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After the first 2 weeks of homeschooling, we are confirmed. God has absolutely called our family here and there is no denying it. Christ has given our family an amazing opportunity with homeschooling and we are ecstatic! Our curriculum is a great fit! If you have any interest in following our homeschool journey, please consider following my blog. As previously stated, time to update fb regularly will be limited and if I do post, it will be here to collect the memories in more of a journal format.

We don’t have it all together. Not even close. Our floors go weeks and weeks with dusty tumbleweeds. We rely on God’s grace everyday and that in itself is a “homeschooling lesson” for Noah to learn. We are just working everyday, with God’s grace, strength, and wisdom to “raise up our child in the way he should go, that when he grows old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Well, we are off and running! Off to explore more of God’s world that surrounds us!

 

To My Mom…

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This is a tribute to my mom tonight. She drives from Middleville the 2nd Wednesday of every month to be with Noah while I attend a small group for church (while Steve is working). This is a photo of what I walked in to – Noah and grandma on “an adventure”. These “adventures” I know for certain, Noah will carry as a fine memory for many years to come because the moments are fun. He loves these adventures with grandma. They “shuttle off to different planets and tonight there was a tickle monster on Pluto.” I can hear his imagination grow with every “adventure.” It is such a joy to watch. Sheer laughter and delight when I came home tonight. Grandma took Noah for a bike ride and they got lost – literally, lost (I know beacue I inherited that sense of direction). Noah got them home a different way than they came saying “don’t worry grandma, I know a short cut. I have never done this without mom and dad, but I can find the way” Noah shared with delight (several times) our garden and our homeschool room. He toured grandma around the yard telling her about every plant and its progress. He showed her every detail about our homeschool days and even played for her the song we listen to when each day begins. She said he was so proud and excited to show her these things. You see, everything here has a common denominator – God, love, family, and fun. It is great hearing that he shared these things with grandma from his heart and that he confidently led the way back home from their bike ride. I love his fearless heart after God and his humble leadership. Mom, thank you.The legacy you are creating is impacting every generation to come in our family. Keep loving like Jesus did; he sees all that you do. Thank for coming to be with Noah tonight. I appreciate you – from the bottom of my heart.

 

Tomorrow…our journey begins!

June 4, 2014

To our Dearest Noah,

Good morning sweet boy. As you know, today is the beginning of an exciting new day in our home as we embark on a new adventure that God has called our family to – HOMESCHOOLING! As of today, you are a Kindergartener! Congratulations, sweetie! God has big plans for you and mommy and daddy are so excited to watch you grow! We know that preparing for this day came with many decisions, research, conversation, question, PRAYER and finally, confirmation and the beginning of something AWESOME!

Every homeschooling family does it differently and we need to thank our Almighty God for that freedom we hold dear to in our great country! As we begin to meet other homeschool families, you may notice that they do things different from us and that is AWESOME!! Let me tell you why. That means that their mommy and daddy have prayed, followed God’s lead and plan for their family, and that they are all beautifully and wonderfully made! Just like you! We are all unique and God created us all in HIS image to honor HIS kingdom, for HIS glory!

Mommy loved hearing from you the past few weeks about what YOU think our homeschool will be like. When I asked you where you go to learn new things, you responded with, “Home. I go home. I learn sometimes too at the Nature Center, the waterpark, parks, museums, all of our libraries, Air Zoo, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Art.”  Every one of the answers you gave points to the mere fact that you THINK LEARNING IS FUN! Yey! It is! Mommy also asked what one new thing you want to learn about is. I love that you said, “I want to learn how to sew and build a huge tower with wood.” I also asked what you like to do and you responded with, “Learn. I love to learn. I like climbing, taking care of Chance and Snowball, building airplanes with my legos, water, legos, looking for treasures, picking up pinecones, being home and painting things.” “Picking food from our garden and seeing and feeling the weather” were two things you mentioned looking forward to in the coming weeks of our homeschool. And lastly, mommy asked you why you think our family has taken this route for you education; “You and daddy are obeying God. You are my best friend.” “You are my best friend.” YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND!!! You are. I love spending time with you, embracing the short time you are little, and taking all the time in the world to provide you with every teachable moment that you deserve. Buddy, mommy and daddy are keeping record of your vision for our family’s homeschool. We love your ideas and your thoughts are so important to us.

We are SO proud of the little boy you are, Noah. Keep shining, continue to honor God in all that you do, and always know that being YOU will always bring you the most happiness. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Always be YOU.

Well, enjoy your sprinkle pancakes! Happy 1st day of Kindergarten! We are so proud of you and SO excited! We cannot wait to explore OUR FATHER’S WORLD WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!! J

All Our Love!

Mommy and Daddy

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Meanwhile, mommy is realizing that our “homeschool room” looks a lot like our playroom (with a few new additions and changes). Probably because it is the same room we have spent Noah’s childhood playing, exploring, learning, and growing in. Amazing how that goes hand in hand!

I took a few pictures tonight because tomorrow is our “first day.” I want to remember tonight – and how it feels to be running after God’s calling on our family. I want to, when looking back, remember what it feels like to have God’s absolute embrace, confirmation and grace surround us like a shield. It is incredible and this adventure is beginning!

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Sleep tight sweet boy! You were right in that “tomorrow is a new adventure!!!!!”

Our hymn;
“This Is My Father’s World” (and is it ever HIS!)

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“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

Run or Dye in Kalamazoo…

So in January, I set my eyes on May. I knew many changes were upon us. I made a vision board with several components: “Community”; “Homeschool”; “Our Little Guy”; and “What is Your Healthy?”. My eyes have not lost focus. Here is a picture of what it looks like. It has been hanging on the wall 3 feet from the front of my elliptical since January.

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1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” In May I set a goal to be prepared and confident enough to participate in Run or Dye 5K – Kalamazoo. Well, it is not in the budget as hard as we have tried to make it be. The cost of the first three components listed use every dime. Lol. I was just going to say forget it – until God put this verse in my heart a few weeks ago. Once speaking this verse over and over it has come to fruition that this 5k should be called “Move or Disobey”. In my mind it is no longer “Run or Dye”. I am moving and I am obeying his call. I WILL BE running a 5K distance this day in a tie-dye t-shirt.

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It is amazing what “movement” and exercise do for every part of my being. It is so spiritual. It is quite clear that God wants this to be part of my equation. Consider it DONE.

Reality Check – Gulp. I will be 30 tomorrow.

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In reflecting the past few days, I have been struck by the reality that tomorrow is my 30th birthday. I was thinking about the past 30 years and everything I have done and grown to be. I was thinking about how (or if) I would change that if I could and what things I would keep the same. I came to the conclusion that what I did in my first 25 years of life pales in comparison to the growth, opportunity, and experiences I have had the last 5 years alone.

When I was a little girl, I loved to play outside. I showed leadership (or bossy) qualities at a young age as I was the oldest of four. I once told a bully at school that was teasing me because “her house was bigger than ours” that “she must be full of shit if she needs so many bathrooms.” I ran an “Earth Club” when I was 8. Yes, I held meetings in a ditch, actually. 🙂 I rode my bike most of where I went because I remember the independence I felt whizzing to the corner store or a friends house with the breeze blowing through my hair. I was a tom boy and enjoyed nothing more than keeping my “side of the room” (I shared with my sister) neat and tidy. I have always loved writing…and reading. I’ve always been a “clipper”; cutting articles from the newspaper and magazines still bring me joy today. I liked organizing everything – construction paper by color, Barbie shoes, and colored pens. I regularly was gifted craft supplies as a child. I always had super long hair and was once Pippi Longstocking for Halloween. I enjoyed structure as a child and I normally made the chore charts and family rules to distribute to my siblings. But at the same time, I was allowed to make messes and explore my surroundings because that is what kids should be doing. My first computer had DOS processing system. In highschool, I enjoyed forcing myself to run sprints in the field next to our house. I painted my own bedroom whenever I wanted and it was always different colors (like, all four walls…none of them matched) and I am thankful that my parents “allowed” me to express myself in that way. I stared “breaking the mold” when I was very young. I was a risk-taker. I cut all my hair off in late elementary because I could. I bought a $3,000 purple Chevy Caviler convertible in high school – my first lesson in “managing debt.” There was a lot in between, but from there it seems I was the first (and only) in my family to boldly move from my hometown and graduate from college. And since coming to Kalamazoo, the rest is history! Needless to say, I’m pretty glad I came!

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and for some reason it seems like a “milestone” – like learning to walk or ride a bike. Will someone give me a skittle please? Sucker? Goodie bag? Gold star? I don’t know. I made it. The past 5 years, however, have been different from the first 25. I have learned to be a mommy, a stay-at-home-mommy, a working mommy, a wife, a homeowner, a manager, an event planner, a daughter-in-law (still working on this one), an involved community participant, a volunteer, a multi-tasker (beyond my wildest dreams), an entrepreneur, a pet-keeper, a fitted sheet folder, a gardener, a quilter, a knitter, a latte-lover, a tea drinker, a better friend, and above all, a lover of life. I love God and I love the life he has given me. His blueprint holds the truth. My truth. His blueprint holds my individualized fulfillment, success, and satisfaction. God has revealed himself to me in all the surrounds me daily – particularly my husband, our son, our church, our friends, our community and our home. We are SO blessed! Bring on the next decade because I’m ready!

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The Enemy Knows Us…He Knows You. He Knows Me.

Today I read a daily devotional that struck me in a peculiar way. It said, “He turns up the volume on the desire for food in the life of the busy mother and he offers the ease and release of the uncontrolled tongue to the mother exhausted raising her children.” Woah. It went ever further to say, “What’s your weak spot? The best way to succeed in the face of temptation is to recognize just what it is that tempts you and turn it over to God. Get to know your enemy. He knows you.” Gulp. Let me break that down in how these words, inspired by Daniel 6, Ephesians 6: 10-18, and 1 Peter 5:8, made a lasting imprint.

I have never read Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave, but I should. From what I have gathered, it dives into learning to satisfy ourselves with God – not food. I do not usually eat when I am stressed, but occasionally I will. I tend to get certain cravings when things begin to feel chaotic (or out-of-order). I can handle busyness and chaos, but I must have order to accompany that. When I read, “He turns up the volume on the desire for food in the life of the busy mother”, I was instantly struck by the absolute truth in that reality. If I am overwhelmed or  have overcommitment, I will indulge. After all, “we deserve it”; right? I know I am not alone in this. The enemy does this to us, fellow-mommy friends. He seeks us at our weakest moments and he sneaks in delivering temptation that is sometimes difficult to resist – because we all know well that food can deliver temporary release (or comfort). That is why we often hear of “comfort foods” and that very statement has even become a catchy marketing tool! Lets not be led astray. Satan knows our weaknesses and he uses them to lead us away from God.

And the second part. Whew. Nothing like a smack in the face reminder from God himself. I blogged about this topic previously; confessing the truths of being an external processor and an external expresser. The tongue. This topic is talked about a lot throughout the bible because it is important. It is impossible to remain obedient to His Word with an unruly tongue and Satan knows that. He knows all well how to get me to release in a sinful way by simply using my words. When I am hurt, my words can be sharp and hurtful. In those moments of release, I am not being a follower of God. I am not seeking Him in that moment and I am not relying on Him to provide me the tools to make it through that moment. In moments like I described, the devil has a firm grip on my tongue. The enemy knows our weaknesses and where to sneak in and attack our faith. Don’t let him.

As women, as mothers, I feel like we can fight off the enemy in these moments of weakness by seeking and surrendering to God. At a time when I am overwhelmed or unorganized in my thoughts, I need to look to Christ rather than the causes of the worldly problem I am facing. I need to seek God for satisfaction, wisdom, ideas, and strength in those moments. We all sin. Every one of us. When I read this devotional today, God really tapped into my heart. I know He is preparing me to battle off the enemy who can and will attack us. He is preparing my heart for the moments that we all face as mothers. God wants us to turn these things over to him – practicing our faith. Be aware of your weakness and look out for the enemy; he comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

 

Q1 Rice Report

I realized today that I have not taken the time to blog since January 30th, the day before Noah’s 5th birthday. So much has happened in 3 months!

With every passing day, our faith continues to grow. It is an incredible journey having God be the center of our home and family. We continue to make divine connections with people who matter; people in the homeschool community, people who have committed to a life walk with Jesus, Godly friends who speak biblical words of encouragement over our lives, and connections at church that have absolute eternal value. I continue to learn new things about God’s Word and promises for our lives that inspire me daily to be a better mother, wife, teacher, friend, daughter, and citizen. Living for God and His Kingdom leads to a truly fulfilled life – and I am forever grateful.

Homeschool. We are gearing up for something BIG and awesome in our lives and we are so ready to get started! Steve and I have conversations daily regarding homeschooling that really connect us in our following of Christ. We have absolute victory in knowing that God has led us here and because of that, we will succeed in our efforts to provide our son with the best quality education possible. The deeper we dig and the more we pray, the more we know for certain that this is exactly what God wants for our lives right now. The story goes something like this: In April 2010, when Noah was about 18 months old, in a very unforeseen and peculiar way, I was offered a job at Kalamazoo Right to Life to serve as their Office Manager. I worked there until July 2013 when I resigned to start a home daycare. However, what makes this most significant was the woman I was replacing as Office Manager was resigning to continue a homeschool education for her 3 children. I remember, in meeting and training with this woman, how curious I was about homeschooling. I am the product of a public school education, so my thinking was very much foreign to this idea. It was the day of my interview at KRTL that the idea of homeschooling was planted in my heart…forever. I am not sure she will ever know the impact she made on my heart by resigning that day…for her children…for her family…for their education…and for God. Since the original idea, God has continued to work in the hearts of both Steve and I. When I decided to resign in July 2013, I was replaced by a great young woman of faith. She is very active in her community and the pro-life movement as a whole. She was president of the WMU Students for Life organization on campus which really defines her boldness to a T! Oh, and she was homeschooled her entire K-12 education. So I started at KRTL having homeschooling planted in my heart and I left with a vivid reminder of the seed that had been growing ever since. Meanwhile, Steve started a new job in June 2013 and he quickly learned that his boss and his wife homeschool their children; and she plays a prominent role in the leadership of the local Homeschool Performing Arts organization. We started meeting families at church that homeschool. Steve started stumbling up entrepeneurs, podcasts, books, articles, research and blogs that reference homeschooling and learning of leaders that were homeschooled (and homeschool their children). Here are a select few I have stumbled across recently. In November, our church did their annual Valley Girls Give Back event and the group my mom and I were a part of was delivering wish-list items to Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center to serve our community in a really BIG way. The woman who led our group was incredible and made an impact in my life in that short time we spent together that day. After the event a small group of us went to lunch and it turns out she homeschooled her two children. Since then, she has continued to encourage me. I started (and quickly became comfortable) having conversations with people about homeschooling when the topic of education surfaced and initially, we discovered many naysayers. We believe that with those conversations, we planted seed to a new idea and people began to watch, listen and learn. Since then, many of whom were first resistant to the idea have come around in their thinking. Of course, some have not and with that we have learned that following God’s lead on anything in life will never come with ease. There will always be push-back and negative people along the way and God gives us the tools we need to overcome that. Since the thought was first planted in our hearts, it is amazing what God has done to reward our following Him. He has given us divine favor and connections that only He can provide. He has paved way for fantastic support systems, local homeschooling networks and opportunities for our family to embrace in this journey. With every passing day we grow more and more excited about what God has in store for our family. Stay tuned as there is SO much more to come!

In the last several months, God has planted people, conversations, and connections into my life that are absolutely His work – there is no question about that. I have received messages on facebook from people I have virtually no communication with, and they are seeking God and a church. They see my posts; they think about my posts. Never let evil fear you away from sharing your faith. Social networking sites are a valuable tool for reaching and loving people. I find that people who contact me are looking for “what we have” in terms of happiness, joy and contentment (or satisfaction). “How are you always so happy and positive?” “Don’t you ever have bad days?” “Where do you get all your energy?” “Aren’t you tired?” I believe people are often seeking the freedom, peace, wisdom, and empowerment that only God can provide. They are seeking the tools to do things the “God way.” That is all I do. I try to live according to His Word and EVERYTHING I do, I do it for Him. I get my energy, motivation, creative ideas, thoughts, and drive from God. It is all from God. There are 7 people, which I know of, who have contacted me for information regarding our church and have been led, by God, to VFC. Their hearts have changed, their families have changed, and their lives have changed. Ours has too! We are so proud to be a part of Valley Family Church!! 2013 was a year of incredible opportunity and growth for our family. We love being a tiny part of something so great. Our family is on the testimony page and I cried when I read it. At this point, we could write an entire book of testimony for VFC. This church has changed our family, our relationships, our confidence, our perspective – our lives! Check out their annual report for 2013. I was blown away.This church has changed our family, our relationships, our confidence, our perspective – our lives! Check out their annual report for 2013. I was blown away. I have learned to be comfortable in sharing my faith – even when the moment seems uncomfortable and when being bold is hard and seems awkward. I have learned to speak from my heart (spirit) in faith knowing that God will help me find words that are appropriate for that person in that moment. This has helped me learn to encourage others as they grow in their faith. I love that there is more – more to learn, more to do, more to plant, and more to grow in my faith as I begin to plant His Word in my heart and begin to exercise my ability to access it every day of my life! Having God’s tools and life-guide to access – in trial and hardship or in celebration and excitement – is irreplaceable.

Noah. Every day Noah is growing in his faith as a result of watching Steve and I grow in our faith. We have a Christ-centered home. We listen to WCSG-FM 91.3 Christian Family Radio station in our car always and on the way home from preschool a few weeks ago we were listening and they were doing their spring share-a-thon where they collect funds from listeners for their annual operational fund (it was ending that day, so we had been listening all week). Noah said, “Mom, when are we going to say yes to God and call?” When your 5-year-old is led by the spirit, it is amazing. When we got home, we called and gave a gift as a family and Noah gave his own gift of $1 from his “Give Envelope” (he also has Save and Spend envelopes). I was blubbering and sobbing on the phone and so was the woman on the other end. She was moved by Noah’s generosity. We listened to them announce our names on the radio and they explained Noah’s story on the air! He could not believe what he was hearing from these familiar voices on the air, “When we get a donation with $1 tacked on the end, we know there is a story behind it.” God is doing awesome things in the heart of our little guy!

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We are gearing up for an AWESOME summer of family togetherness! We have many fun adventures, camping trips, and travels planned and are so anxious to explore new things together!

In Him,

Amanda Rice

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