twelve years

Yep, this one will be sappy.  Twelve years ago...it seems like such a long time ago, and then again it seems like only yesterday.  July 31, 1999 had to be the hottest day ever to get married!! 
When I look at my former high school students now who are married or getting married, they seem so young to me, but I was the same age or younger.  I was nineteen and Landon was twenty-two.   It didn't feel too young to me at the time, and I have never thought back and said I was too young to get married.  If I had it to do all over, I would do the same thing.
I couldn't have asked for anyone better for me...one who makes me always feel loved and protected,  supportive, makes me laugh, and makes me want to be a better person.  He is truly the love of my life, and these have been amazing twelve years.  I look forward to many more together.

When Logan was born, I received a wonderful book that I really believe changed the way I would parent.  It is called Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.  I loved the book so much I immediately bought another one of her books called Power of a Praying Wife.  At the end of each chapter she has prayers typed out for everyone to pray over the particular subject in the chapter.  These aren't my words, but they could have been straight from my heart.  I literally cried when I read these words as a prayer the first time.  I wanted to share because it really changed how I looked at my husband in many ways that weren't his place to fulfil, they were God's.  I continue to pray this prayer that it will bless and strengthen our marriage so nothing would ever tear us apart.  May it be a blessing to someone else who reads this powerful prayer. 

Help me to be a good wife.  I fully realize that I don't have what it takes to be one without Your help.  take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them to kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to hear all things.  Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.  Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation.  Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, patience, and joy.  I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment.  Only You can transform me.

Show me where there is sin in my heart, especially with regard to my husband.  I confess many times I've been unloving, critical, angry, resentful, disrespectful, and unforgiving toward him.  Help me to put aside any hurt, anger, or disappointment I feel and forgive him the way You do--totally and completely, no looking back.  Make me a tool of reconciliation and peace, in this marriage.  Enable us to communicate well and rescue us from the threshold of separation where the realities of divorce begin.

Make me my husband's helpmate, companion, champion, friend, and support.  Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to.  Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him.  Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind, soul, and spirit.  Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is his wife. 

I lay all my expectations at Your cross.  I release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where I should look to You.  Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him.  I realize that some ways he may never change, but at the same time, I release him to change in ways I never thought he could.  I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect and never will be.  Only You, Lord, are perfect and I look to You to perfect us. 

Teach me how to pray for my husband and make my prayers a true language of love.  Where love has died, create a new love between us.  Show me what unconditional love really is and how to communicate it in a way he can clearly perceive.  Bring unity between us so that we can be in agreement about everything.  May the God of patience and comfort grant us to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.  Make us a team, not pursuing separate, competitive, or independent lives, but working together, overlooking each other's faults and weaknesses for the greater good of the marriage.  Help us to pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  May we be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement" (1 Corinthians 1:10).

I pray that our commitment to You and to one another will grow stronger and more passionate every day.  Enable him to be the head of the home as You have made him to be, and show me how to support and respect him as he rises to that place of leadership.  Help me to understand his dreams and see things from his perspective.  Reveal to me what he wants and needs and show me potential problems before they arise.  Breath You life into this marriage. 

Make me a new person, Lord.  Give me a fresh perspective, a positive outlook, and a renewed relationship with the man You've given me.  help me to see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion, and new acceptance.  Give my husband a new wife, and let it be me.

Happy Anniversary Landon!! 


All Nations Camp

One thing that I really want to do sometime in my life is go on a foreign mission trip.  I think it would be life changing, but right now, at this point in my life, it's just not feasible with my children. 

Back in April, I got a phone call from my former pastor, Bro. Dave Shelley.  He asked if I would be willing to do a music program one night at All Nations Camp in the summer.  I told him I would love to and I asked if I could just come all week and help.  He said he needed a teacher for the middle school age group, so I was set to go.

I had been wanting to some kind of mission trip this summer that I could take my children also.  Our church had a group go to Savannah, GA for a mission trip, but my kids were too young to go, so I was thrilled when I received this call.  However, this was before I found out I was pregnant.  I have had some major not just morning sickness, but ALL day sickness for the last month.  I was concerned that I wouldn't feel well at camp, especially in the heat.  Thankfully, I felt okay most of the time. 

When I was in high school and college, our church had groups to go to All-Nations camp to serve as counselors.  I always enjoyed going then and looked forward to getting to go again.  There are many different nationalities represented in this camp, and it is good for me and my boys to see and talk to people that are different from us.  You see, in our small town, there isn't much variety☺  Lucas came back from bible class one day and told me about his new friend with a blue shirt with a brown face.  I just laughed my head off!   

I got the privilege to teach the middle school class.  We had some wonderful, in-depth discussions, and I pray that that time spent together helped them to grow in the Lord in some way.  I enjoyed getting to know them.  There were several in the the group that were extremely knowledgeable in lots of Scriptures.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.  They actually participated and discussed openly to what I was asking.  Landon and I teach the high school class at our church and sometimes they just stare at me like I am an alien.  It is much more enjoyable when the class participates☺

It was also great to get to work with Scott Foshie all week.  We really miss him at Bear Cove, but I know that God called him away to serve in another church.  We just really didn't like it or approve of it!!  He is truly a man of God with a servant's heart.  He is quite an example for us all in the way to love others. 

It was also great to work with Bro. Dave as an adult.  He left our church not long after I was married.  He has a heart for children's ministry and has a gift for recreation.  It was interesting to see him working with the kids from a different perspective.  I grew up with him, his stories, and his games because he was our pastor for around sixteen years. 

Games, games, and more games...they were divided into four teams for competitions all week. 
Logan and Lucas' team.  Lucas didn't do too much playing, though.
He liked to watch the big kids.

It was also great to see Ryan Shelley.  I babysat him from the time he was in diapers until I got married.  He moved shortly after, and I don't think I have seen him since.  I would not have recognized him if I saw him in public!  I have lots of fun memories of when he was little.  He is now 21!!  Man I feel old!

Soccer was amazing to watch.  I guess I am used to watching little kids play, but I was impressed with the skill of many of the campers.  Also, if there was ever any free time, there were people playing soccer.  Watching some of them play barefoot made my toes cramp up.

The older kids championship game was exciting to watch.  They went into overtime and Bro. Dave said the next score wins because they were tied.  This kid scored an amazing shot to win it for his team. 

Who knew tether ball was so much fun????  Logan loved it and wanted to play it all week.  I want to set up one in our yard it was so much fun.  How Napoleon Dynamite would that be?

On Tuesday morning, Logan came running into the cabin to get me frantically.  He said Lucas was bleeding!  I ran out to see him with the nurse with a bandage on his head.  Of course he was crying and I was just trying to figure out what happened.  There was a boy chasing a girl and she fell onto Lucas' head.  Her tooth cut him on top of his head. 

The really bad part of it was the girl cracked her tooth.  Scott took her to the dentist the next day in Sparta.  She ended up having to go home because she had to have an oral surgeon remove it due to the fact it was broken to the gums.  She was such a sweet and bubbly young lady.  She was in my middle school class, and cried because she didn't want to go home.  I felt so sorry for her!!!  I told Lucas he must have one hard head. 

He recovered rather quickly and that evening, our children's choir from church came to perform our musical we have been learning all summer.  I was so proud of them all!  It was their first performance and they all did a wonderful job!!  The campers all loved it and were a gracious audience.
I don't know what got into Lucas.  During practice at church he would barely sing even though he knew the songs.  When he was in front of an audience, he was a ham singing his heart out!  It was really cute!
Logan was Goliath...a little unbelievable, I know.  When we perform for our church, he will be up on a platform so he looks taller and more threatening.  I was thrilled to hear Logan say he actually enjoyed choir and he was looking forward to doing it again in front of our church.  He didn't want to even be in children's choir, but he didn't have a choice because I am the teacher....it's good for him☺

Well, if you have made it this far after such an enormous post, you will hear the best news of the whole week!  Twelve campers made a first time profession of faith this week.  I don't know if they are all genuine or not, but time will tell.  I pray they will be nurtured in their home churches and grow in the Lord.  Since I am not able to go on a foreign mission trip right now, this was the closest I could get.  It was a blessing to be a part of this week!

“Go into all the nations preaching the gospel to all creation.”  Mark 16:15