Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Great Thou Art

I know it has been a while since I was on here.
Our journey through life hit an unexpected curve.

Exactly one week after we had relocated to California for itineration purposes, I received a call from my mom. She had just been diagnosed with cancer. That was on a Monday, by Wed I kissed Dave and the girls goodbye, and bought a one way ticket back to South Carolina, to help my mom learn more about her diagnosis. On Thursday of that week she had a liver biopsy. As more time passed, we learned all the devastating details. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to her liver, brain, and bone.

So just like that, the plans that I thought I had, were changed. I am so glad I serve a Father who has better plans for me.

Dave remains in California with Maggi and Emma. They are staying in Placerville, California with Dave's mom, Judy. They have set up their school area in her basement, and are adjusting really well to homeschooling. Dave and Judy take turns with different subjects, and the girls are doing well. They have also joined a co-op and participate in drama, art, and an astronomy class with other children.

I have the privilege of being back at home with my mom. Between my sister, brother, and aunts we are loving each minute we have with my mom. My mom, Teresa, is doing better. She decided to do palliative chemotherapy. We know that her diagnosis is terminal, but her eternity is held in someone els's hand. My mom has gotten strength from her Bible, prayers of friends and family around the world, and her relationship with our Father. I wanted to thank all of you who have offered your prayer support for her. She and I were humbled to know that you would spend a few minutes lifting her up in prayer.

As part of our daily routine, my mom and I go outside in the afternoon, and sit in the rocking chairs for a few minutes. Yesterday, as we sat outside on a beautiful fall day, enjoying the breeze, the deep blue sky, the changing leaves on the huge oak tree hovering over us, and just being with each other, the song from church on Sunday came to mind. We had sang "How Great Thou Art". So thanks to modern technology, we pulled the song up and immersed ourselves with the "Sonlight" and the words. . .

O Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
consider all
the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder
the universe displayed;

when through the woods
and forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down
from lofty mountain grandeur
and hear the brook
and feel the gentle breeze;

then sings my soul,
my savior God to thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come,
with shouts of acclamation,
and take me home,
what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
and there proclaim,
"My God, how Great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul,
my savior God to thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!

I hope that wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, that you have a few minutes to let Joy fill your heart and are able to proclaim, How Great He is. . .
How great Thou art!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tears for our daughters

"Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of stregth"
Billy Graham

I am not sure where to start.
I have tried for a few days to articulate what my heart feels.
And there are just no words.

Dave and I have been in Kansas City, Missouri for a series of meetings. It is called the Compassion Forum. From Monday till Wed, we were part of a forum on human trafficking, and it has shaken my world.

It will forever change the way I think.
I will pray for Maggi and Emma very differently now.

I learned things like. . .
In India cattle cost more than children do.
(I can not wrap my mind around that. )

There are more slaves now than any other time in history.
There are 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.

Here in the United States, there are at least 100,000 children are used in prostitution every year. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13.

The average age is 13.
I can not comprehend that.

I caught a glimpse into the 3 largest industry in the world, next to drugs and weapons. That fathers will sell their children to brothels. The trafficker could purchase a little girl for as little as $150, that girl will then be sold to customers as many many as 20 times a night, and can bring in $10,000 a month.

I learned that father's are selling their daughters younger and younger to brothels, because there is a myth that if a person infected with AIDS has sex with a virgin he would be cured. So these men are infected 6-7 year old virgins with AIDS.

Girls and women are being beaten, drugged, and abused while living in the brothels. That they have no chance for escape.

Some families have been tricked into selling their children into the sex industry. Some knowingly sell their children, but sadly others are tricked into thinking that they are sending their children to a better life, schooling, or better jobs.

Many of these girls are forced into prostitution.

This is hard to understand all of this in statistics, the numbers are to hard to understand. Human trafficking seem so far away from home. . .

But is here in the United States. There are 100,000 children used in prostitution every year in the United States.

This tears my hear to pieces. I look at it from the perspective of my daughters, and the lives that they would be living, if but not for God's grace.

My heart is broken for these girls.

And today, I was thinking how much more must my Father's heart hurt. How much more grief does he feel?

I know that His hand is not short and His ear not deaf, so I know that He is reaching out to these daughters of His.

But what am I supposed to do about this? I can not sit by and do nothing. The country that He called me to is a destination for sexual tourism. Because prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, and because we live in a deprived country, we now have a large population of children who have been forced into prostitution. Costa Rica now rivals Thailand and the Philippines as a hot spot for human trafficking in the world. There are no official statistics, but an estimation is that there are between 10,000 and 20,000 sex workers in the country, and 25,000 to 50,000 sex tourist who visit each year, 80% of whom are U.S. citizens.

What will I do about this. What does God want me to do about this?

My heart has been stirred, my soul is seeking and I am waiting. . . I want to do something to impact this. To change the destiny of a little girl, before she is forced into this life.

Please join me in prayer for this, these women need to be reached, by the power of our Father, and His reconciliation, hope, and healing need to be offered to these women.

I don't know what our ministry will look like in Costa Rica. But I want to make myself available to show Christ's love to the most marginalized of society.

I have been reading, for the 3rd time a book by David and Beth Grant, Assemblies of God missionaries to India, called Beyond the Soiled Curtain. Below are some of the statements that gripped me.

"it is too easy to relgate girls caught in prostitution to statistics. But it is crucial that every girl be recognized as a daughter-a daughter of God and a sister to every believer. Perhaps then when we see them as members of God's family- we will be more inclined to make the sacrifices necessary to welcome them home."

"But how does one confront the dark and dangerous face of evil called suxual trafficking and see victims. . .changed? The answer is found in God's Word, where it says He works through His people. He gives us strategies, courage, power, ideas and resources to be used for His glory, to reach out to women and girls in need. He desires to rescue and restore them more than we do. He is simply looking for people who are willing to do their part, to raise their hands and say, "Lord, show me what I can do".

That is where I am tonight. . .Lord here I am, with my hands raised. . . asking. . ."Lord, show me what I can do". . .


Monday, August 15, 2011

Survival Skills

"It's totally empty," says an AAA counselor. "There are no points of interest. We don't recommend it." The 287 mile stretch of U.S. 50 running from Ely to Fernley, Nev. passes nine towns, two abandoned mining camps, a few gas pumps and the occasional coyote. "we warn all motorist not to drive there," says the AAA rep, "unless they're confident of their survival skills."

a quote from Life Magazine describing Nevada's U. S. 50 as the Lonelist Road in America.

I suppose everyone needs a desert experience, Moses had one and a burning bush appeared, the Israelites wandered there for 40 years, Jesus had one and was tempted by Satan. So I guess it was time for the Cartwright's to have a desert experience.

We were driving across country from South Carolina to California, as part of a bigger journey to Costa Rica. We are relocating there to finish raising our budget. We had a two week trip planned. We stopped along the way to visit some friends, see some National treasures, and to attend General Council in Phoenix Arizona. On our last day of driving, we hoped in the car to make the last 7 hours of driving, and we noticed the car making a really odd sound. If you read the previous blog, you know that we had heard the noise from before, and I asked for prayer. The noise had stopped, and I really believed that God had answered the prayers, and "healed" our car. The noise turned into the car not acting right. This was at 8:00 in the morning. We had already loaded the car, and had checked out of the hotel.

Just to give you a picture of where we were. . . we were smack dab in the middle of NO WHERE. We had just driven about 4 hours the night before with only passing a few gas stations. Dave had been counting the cars that passed us, and for about 5 hours there had been 9 cars total that had passed us going in the opposite direction. When AAA named it the Lonelist Road in America it was for good reason.

Anyway, realizing we needed to find a place to have the car looked at, we realized we needed a plan. Right away we prayed. All four of us. Dave took us back to the hotel, and the girls and I were able to go back into the room. Dave took off with the car, and the trailor that has the things that we have left, after yard sales, give-aways, and long term storage. He manages to find a garage that can look at the car. They inspect it and tell us we need a new transmission.

Have you ever been at a place like this. . . a desert place. . . a lonely place. . .

It was a defining moment for our family. I really believe this.
I believe that God gives us what we need for that day.
And that day He gave us what we needed.

Writing this all out, I feel so silly for feeling like this was such a big defining moment, "so ya'll broke down in the desert, no big deal"
But we had just left our home, taken our kids out of a life that they loved, left family, dear friends, full time jobs, and a beautiful home, to follow after what we believed God had for us, only to be left alone in the desert.

We were not able to rent a car, as the closest place was 3 hours away, we couldn't rent a uhaul truck because there would have only been room for 3 of us, we had to be on a plane on Thursday, so we couldn't wait for it to be fixed. We were out of options. We were in a hotel room with 7 pieces of luggage, 2 girls, in the middle of the desert. It was a surreal experience.

There were so many emotions. .. they came in waves. . .But the common one, the one that prevailed, was

Thank You Lord. Thank you for keeping my family safe. Thank you for not letting us break down in the desert at night. Thank you for providing a hotel for my girls to be in. Thank you for keeping me in the palm of your hand, I don't deserve your kindness.

We were able to have family come and get us, and we made it back to Cali with all of our stuff, Our car is still in the desert, Dave and I will pick it back up on our back out, We flew back for a service we had scheduled in SC, and to pick up the Honda and drive it across country to a meeting called the compassion forum.

I am usually not a silver lining kinda girl. Normally I would be like, why did that have to happen, the cost of the repair is all we have left of our personal money, Maybe God is saying we shouldn't be doing what we are doing, we are not praying hard enough. . . ect.

But I was this time. I believe that it was exactly because people are praying for me, that God allowed us to make it to that town, and I believe that my family could have been harmed along the way except that we had prayer. I received 4 text messages and 1 facebook message from different people all telling me that they had been praying for my family. One person even woke up from a dream about us and begin to interceed for us.

So to end this very long post, We discovered that we have survival skills, we are confident of this. We spoke with our Father, We got on our knees, and we had faith. With these skills we can survive whatever the enemy tries to discourage us.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

In the middle

We are somewhere in the middle tonight.

*We are in the middle of the country (in texas)

*we are in the middle of our budget raising (we are in the low 40% now due to a budget increase)

*we are in the middle of transition (someone asked where we lived today and Emma said "the car")

We packed up our house and our last day there was Wed. Maggi had her honor star crowning, and for that I hope to post some pictures and make a big deal about it.

I had friends come over for some heavy lifting, and some helped vacuum, others prayed for us, it was an emotional day. We were able to fit all of what we were taking with us in an u-haul trailer, with a few things strapped to the top. That was an amazing accomplishment. Some of the things in the trailer will not be going with us, like pictures, I hope to find time to be able to scan them in, so that I will have the electronic copy at my fingertips, wherever we are. The girls will outgrow some of the toys they are bringing with them, but we shaved off alot.

So our final destination flag, according to our gps, will be California. We will most likely live with family while we are there. We have a few stops along the way, one of which will be general council in Phoenix, Arizona. We are planning on taking the girls to the alamo, the grand canyon, and brice national park.

We could use some prayer during this time in the "middle". We are all experiencing different emotions in relation to the "middle". I tried not to cry when I was saying good bye to my friends and family, and then not infront of my girls, but today, I couldn't hold back any longer. Emma had a break down with each goodbye, but has moved on to planning her birthday party which happens to be when we come back to SC in the winter. Maggi has been edgy, not her sweet natured self. Dave is just tired physically, and tries to have tissues ready for whichever of his girls need them. So we could use the prayers.

At this point, if someone were to ask me what the hardest part of the process is. . . it is not the budgeting raising, or giving up things, they are hard, but the hardest part is listening to Maggi and Emma cry themselves to sleep, over saying good by to family,friends, and a dog.

So I don't ask this alot, but if you could remember us in prayer, we would really appreciate it. We still have a long drive, and tonight our car started making a strange sound. . . so we need traveling mercies. . .and with the trailer on the truck, our gas mileage is awful. . . we need winds to speed our journey :) (and lower gas prices

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead(kinda sounds like the middle to me) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3 13(b)-14


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Before and After Pictures

What a crazy life we are living.
Time seems to evaporate.

We have been on a wild ride.
I wish I would have taken the time, to write on here in a more consistent way, but found little time to actually log on and hash out my thoughts here.

Instead, alot was written in my prayer journal.
Thoughts, that I wasn't ready to share.

Since we last wrote, we have been busy. The girls finished school,which was a milestone for the girls. Maggi and Emma love their school, Larne, and were very sad about loosing that part of their lives. Especially Maggi, she was going to be a 5th grader, which is the big kid on campus.

Dave and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. We were in the beautiful foothills of the western North Carolina Mountains for training that week, on Community Health Evangelism. We were staying in cabins that only had electricity two hours a day. Talk about living the high life! (Dave did surprise me with an overnight stay in one of my favorite places)

We left there on a Friday afternoon, picked up the girls, packed the car, and headed toward Springfield, Missouri for our Missionary Training. This is about a three week period of training. We learn things in regards to our budget, the girls school, cultural adaptations, etc. The girls had medical testing and dental appointments, and training on life the MK (missionary kid) way. We learned a ton, but also met some incredible people. Our last night in Springfield was our commissioning service. This is like our sending out service. We are prayed over, given a Bible in the language we will be using, and actually commissioned as new Assembly of God missionaries.

It was an amazing time. My dad, and Step mom were able to come and be apart. It was a very special time for us.

We finished our time in Springfield, with two amazing services in South Carolina, and felt so energized and embraced by the churches we visited.

Since being home, we have continued to itinerate really hard, meaning packing in as many services as we can. But we have also started a new transition in our lives.

Transition. ugh. Some people thrive on it. . .
I am not one of those people.

We made the decision, months ago, to make the transition from South Carolina to California during this month. We wanted to be settled in Cali before school started. So here we are now. The time on the calender is here for us to make the transition.

So, I have begun to slowly disassemble my home. One closet, one drawer, one item at a time. Everything in our home falls into one of three categories, Take to Cali/Costa Rica, Long term Storage, Toss.

Earlier this week, I started taking pictures off the wall. I had no idea the events that would follow. It was soooo hard. I held back tears as I did. I am not much of a decorator, but I love pictures, they make my house a home. And taking the picture off the wall, meant that my house was just a house. The blank wall was very painful.

I thought, Oh No, I should have taken a picture of what it looked like before, so I can remember.

And then. . .

The Lord whispered. . . But wait till you put the pictures in your new home in Costa Rica. (maybe not in those exact words, but you get the "picture")

and my perspective changed.

Now, I am going to take the before pictures of my blank walls and the after pictures of my walls in Costa Rica (or wherever the Lord leads).

The name of the crazy blog, is the Cartwright House.

The crazy thing is, right now, we are in our house for 6 more nights, and then I don't know what our address will be. We aren't sure if we will be staying with family or mission housing in California.

But our house isn't about the address, or the pictures on the wall, or how many bathrooms we have but if we are living and "moving" where He wants us to. Unless He builds we labor in vain anyway right?

We are almost all packed up, and the boxes have surprised me. I thought we would have an overwhelming number of boxes, but not really. I have more boxes of pictures, than clothes (true story). I never knew that :)

And I am happy. Truly happy.

(except the leaving family and friends part)

This crazy, amazing, journey is teaching me so much. And it is so worth it. I don't want to miss one single thing God has for me, hard lessons and all.

From the devotional Jesus Calling, for yesterday.

Bring me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn't have. Fear and anxiety still plague you... Blazing missiles of fear fly at you day and night; these attacks from the evil one come at you relentlessly. Use your shield of faith to extinguish those familing arrows. Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. If you persist, your feelings will evtually fall in line with your faith (THANK YOU JESUS).

Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn't there. Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth you fear of fear; a monstrous stepchild. Bring your anxieties out into the Light of my presence, where we can deal with them together. Concentrate on trusting me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you.

I am so thankful for my shield of faith tonight.
(and my empty walls).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Best quotes of the week

The last week has been packed! We had a district council, a ballet recital, a 12 hour shift, school lunches, etc. My mind sometimes can't stop at night, thinking about it all.

It has been a crazy week. But listening to what has gone on around me has brought a smile to my face, during a crazy week!

Some of the best quotes are as follows:

"God told me to give twenty dollars at church today" from Emma before we head out the door. Dave and I look at each, and are so proud, that our daughter has conversations with God. Then about 5 minutes later, Emma hollers, "God changed his mind, I am giving a five".

"Mom, can we use our goggles in the bathtub, and use bubble bath and turn on the jets?"

"Happy Mother's Day Part 2!"

"GO EMMA" from Maggi as she cheered her sister on during her ballet recital, when the rest of the place was completely quiet. I love that they are each others best cheerleader.

"we are at about 40% of our budget", THANK YOU LORD.

"let me introduce Amy, my best friend" from Dave as he introduces me at a service.

"Cartwright Family, you are the first team to arrive. . ." from Emma who wants her entire family to be on the amazing race.

"your testimony ministered to me" from a dear lady I saw at district council

and today, my dad said, "I am proud of you" (enough said)

These are just a few things that made me smile. I think I had a few more, but at the moment they are not coming to me. Next time I am grabbing a pencil. . .

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I love you so much
There is no way I can possibly put into words how proud I am of you
You're absolutely beautiful
Sometimes when our eyes meet
it's like gazing into a reflecting pool,
I see in you glimmers of my past.
do you see in me hints of your future?
You are everything I ever prayed for.
There's nothing about you I'd Change.
I love you more than you will ever know,
more than you will ever ask.
There's nothing I wouldn'g give for you,
nothing I wouldn't do for you.
You are my daughter,
And I willl always love you
with a love so immense
so eternal
I could never find a way to squeeze it into words.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I am not a yardsaler.

For one, I worked the weekend shift for so many years, I didn't have the opportunity.

Secondly, I like to sleep in.

The thought of getting up early, and going through someone else's stuff, does not sound like fun at all.

But to have my own yard sale.
Different story entirely.

On our journey to get to Costa Rica, we must "purge" our house.
When we board the plane we will have the ability to check in 20 suitcases.
That is it.
So how do you go from a home, to 20 suitcases?

You guessed it, YARD SALES.

I have only ever had one yard sale before and it was with my sister and sister in law. We all only had a few things, but collectively we did well.

So the thought of putting my things on a table, for all my friends and neighbors to look down on was not all exciting. In fact, the thought of it is humiliating. But to have my "home" on those tables, has been a heavy burden for me. See my stuff is not junk. It is what makes my house, my home. I had to put a price tag on the water fountain I got for mother's day, the turkey plate I use every year, the "this" and the "that". It was too much for this mama.

For months, I have tried to plan, how will I decide, what will I keep, how much is this worth, will it fit in a suitcase, is it worthy to be in the precious 20 suitcases. . .

And today was the day.

We have gone in the attics (I have 2), closets, play room shelves, bedroom closets, sock drawers, shoe baskets, videos, kitchen drawers, holiday decorations, garage bins, garden tools, under the couch, and sort, priced, and decided what was going where.

It has been so hard for me. It has been a process. I have tried so many times, to "Count it all joy", and then I think, "it is just stuff" or "you can't take it with you" or from Dave's now infamous sermon "don't store up your treasures where thieves and moths destroy". . .

So many thoughts.

During the yard sale, my girls and my sweet friends little girls, sold baked goods and coffee, and later icees, for victims of the Alabama tornadoes. And it occurred to me, that those victims, didn't get to pack their 20 suitcases. They had a few seconds to grab their most precious things, their family members, and get to safety. And how blessed am I, to have the time to sort through my stuff, and choose what I want to save.

I would be a liar if I said, that is how I approached it, or even now that is where my thoughts ended up. I still feel a little sorry for myself. But I am much better than I was 24 hours ago. Being at the top of a hill, it a totally different view than the bottom. Looking back down this, I can say things like, "I really didn't need that beautiful centerpiece from Pottery Barn, I mean who want something from a barn in their house anyway". . . or "who really needs dishes to match the season".

I surprised myself a time or two, I let go of my water fountain, but kept my Grandma Lamm's deviled egg platter. I mean come on, who but a bride from the South needs a deviled egg platter? But my aunt gave me that, and it is the only thing from my Grandma Lamm I have. I can't sell that.

I have a long way to go on this journey.

I was recently given a journal, and it is speaking directly to me some recent passages are . . .
"when you are shake out of your comfortable routines, grip my hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for my kingdom, say "yes" to the ways I work in your life. Trust me"

Do you see how that was written just for me?

and today. I was up at 2:30 this morning. Feeling really sad for myself, and this is what I read, as I was faced with the challenge of the YARD SALE.

Do not fear what this day, or an day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting Me and doing what needs to be done. Relax in My sovereignty, remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.

So here we are, with the first step done. We did great today financially. God blessed us richly.

I was also blessed by a friend who stayed with the me the entire time (minus the hour she was gone to a soccer game for her children) she gave from her own home to contribute to our success. She spent hours over here, sorting things, pricing things, cleaning things, and praying over me. She made sure I was well the entire time. She counted it as her own success.

Another friend, has spent hours listing things on Craigs List. She has her own busy life, full time job, and the demands of her own household, but she makes sure that I am at the top of her list of things to do. She even took our leftover unsold things, and will have a yard sale at her home next week to try and sale those items. Who does that for a friend? As a result of a craigs list sale, one man came over late at night to buy an icecream maker. He paid an inflated price, but walked away with a prayer card, and a promise to make a financial pledge. (Is God awesome or what)

I am so humbled by it all. My mind can not comprehend it.

I am sorry that this is so long. . . I am trying to settle my mind down, and this was one way.

I thought that I would be so sad tonight. But I am relieved. Glad that is over, thrilled to have clean closets, attics, and drawers, and even happier that I can park in the garage again.

And I feel

just a little closer to Costa Rica.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Its just geography

Dave is from California.

And I am from the Carolinas, I don't even say North or South, because I lived so close to the line. . .

We met in Romania.

Crazy, huh?

Who but God could orchestrate something like that.

Our new address will be Costa Rica.

These are all just places on the map. Just geography.

We have lived on both sides of the country, SC when we were first married, then moved to Cali, and then back to SC.

It is all pretty simple, until we applied to be missionaries, and the directors asked us where we were from. Well, Dave is an ordained minister from the Northern California district, and I am licensed in South Carolina.

So we said we were from both.

And that is the truth.
Dave grew up under Royal Ranger Commanders, then grew spiritually under the leadership of the Nor Cal Nevada, and graduated from Bethany in Santa Cruz.

And I grew up under the awesome children's and youth programs of SC, and attended a few years of school at Southeastern.

We both felt we were "from" the perspective sides of the country.

We actually had to declare one district as our home district. Easy right?

Well. . . we were endorsed from South Carolina, but according to the leadership in the Assemblies of God, we had to declare Dave's district as our sending district.

Then it got tricky.

But we serve a God, who has all these details worked out.

As it turns out, the leadership in California accepted our endorsement from South Carolina, and welcomed us in their district AND South Carolina embraced us as being from here as well.

So I guess our Father knew that we would need both sides of the country to pray for us.

We have been blessed to start our itineration process here in South Carolina, and I have had the unique opportunity to be able to go to the churches here in SC to say Thank You. Thank you for giving to the young people. Giving them the opportunity to go to summer camps, to go on AIM trips, and to Southeastern. For praying for the youth, and the providing the leadership in the state that poured into my life.

And this week, we were announced as one of the new missionaries from the Northern California Nevada District, at their district council. We felt so humbled to stand before the men and women who serve in that district. From the children's department, the Women's Ministry (and the invitation to speak at luncheons. . . and to participate in retreats and meetings), to the Pastors, and the leadership of Sup. Braddy, we were overwhelmed.

I was overwhelmed by a friend who gave me a special gift with a handmade journal, a veteran missionary who tucked me under her wing, to the family who anonymously bought our dinner, through it all, you overwhelmed us.

We feel so loved, from both sides of the country. After all, where we are from, and where we are going. . . its just geography.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"Create a quilt of memories to keep me warm
An inner warmth that comes from light of happy times
Weave in the threads of holidays of friends and families. . .
Delights of seashore, fields of city parks.
The simpliest happenings threaded out in love
become a pattern for my quilt of memories."

author unknown

Monday, February 14, 2011


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"

I John 3:1

I feel "lavished" on.
So many sweet things happened on this Valentine's Day.
Dave let me sleep in, but HE got up early to take the girls to school. I heard him tiptoe through the room to get Emma's matching bow. (that makes mom and Emma happy. The girls had to be at school today early for an extra practice which meant he had them at school at 7:05! That was better than a store bought card.

He then made my favorite breakfast (which ofcourse involve potatoes)

I got to go to the girls school and help out in their classroom parties! I love doing that. But as soon as Emma saw me she said, "daddy made us heart shaped pancakes for breakfast, what did he make for you?" Then scene was repeated in Maggi's classroom, She added "I knew yours was going to be really good cuz he loves you so much".

There in the fourth grade class room, in the middle of redvelvet cupcakes and stinky silly fourth grade boys MY HEART MELTED. For real. My girls were so excited about the love that their Father lavished on them.

I am proud that my husband thinks it is just as important to show my girls how importnant they are in his life, and instead of looking for a special sweetheart from their classroom, my girls were bragging on their daddy.

It made my day complete. Really. There was more, I am looking at fresh flowers in three rooms, and have a hot date planned as soon as we can find a free babysitter and save some money.

But my before the day was over. . . I got something extra.

Emma said she needed some new jazz shoes, that the ones she had hurt her feet. Well money is tight right now as we are transitioning to a missionaries budget. Dave asked Emma if she could make them work for 3 or 4 more months. Dave didn't realize that these were the shoes from last year, and that her toes really were crammed in them. I emailed a few moms to see if I could swap or borrow them for a while, to no avail. Well I asked our beautiful Ballet teacher if she had any extra shoes in the shoe exchange? Emma started trying on the shoes, and found a pair with MAGGI's name written in them. We had let a friend borrow them, and I guess she donated them, and so since they were obviously once ours, Miss Stacia GAVE them to us.

That my friends is how MY Father has lavished his love on me. Answered prayers.

I know that My Father has Lavished good gifts on you to.

Happy Valentines Day

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is it really 2011?

I can't believe it is 2011.

The month of December just disappeared.
We filled it with lots of good stuff though.

We enjoyed friends and family, food and fellowship, laughter and giggling, decorations and pine needles, and lots of traditions.

We are so blessed to be going into a new year, with such rich warm memories.

Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far?
II Samuel 7:18