A few post ago I shared with about Lysa going to Cambodia in March~ and the yellow flowers. You can read that here....
Lysa is in her senior year at college. She completed an internship this summer in Thailand. She again worked with Rapha House. The stories she shared and the work they do is overwhelming to me. The Hope she says she feels ..... the girls express themselves through ART. Lysa and one of the girls became very close. I loved hearing her share about this young girl that has been rescued.
One day as they were leaving the site.... she saw these yellow flowers. Isn't God great. Every time I see yellow flowers now.... I think of those girls... rescued, filled with HOPE.
Lots of privacy so not many pics .... but she did do some site seeing and I love seeing them!
Thursday, July 25, 2019
In November we will be married 39 years. We were high school sweethearts. We lived in the same town as our parents.... a couple years in and we moved to Georgia. Not far from where we live now. We lived next door to my grandmother for a couple years and then Billy joined the Navy. We were stationed in California and our first child was born. Our second child was born in Southern California and during that time~ Billy started having panic attacks. When she was four months old he was diagnosed with agoraphobia with severe panic attacks. Our life would NEVER be the same.
At the time of his diagnosis we were stationed in Meridian, Mississippi. Our children were 4 and 6 months. After the diagnosis they sent him to NAS Pensacola. We were there for a year before his medical discharge. We decided to settle back in Georgia and bought a small, wooden home in the town my grandmother lived~ Broxton. Billy loved the Navy and hated it being taken from him.
The following year our little house burned down and we moved out of town ... onto 5 acres of land and a mobile home. Michael was 6 and Mandi was 2. Life was hard. The fire took so much. The people of Broxton, home school friends and our church were so supportive. It was in August and it was so very hot.... from the time of the fire till we spent the first night on our place here... was only 2 weeks. All we had were the clothes we had on and a few things we salvaged from the house. Again, people poured out their love.
Billy continued to struggle with his illness and it affected all of us.... but mostly I saw it robbing him of his life...
Four and a half years later our fourth child was born. Two girls and two boys. 12, 8, 4 and newborn. Life was full. Still homeschooling. Four years later our 5th child was born... at 33 weeks because of pre-eclampsia. Seventeen month later our 6th child was born. Half a dozen.
That 6th child just turned 16 this month. Only 2 years left of homeschooling. My last year with 2 students. Life continues to change. I have so enjoyed this home schooling journey. So thankful for each one. We have always felt God called us to home school~ it has had its ups and downs. Two of my 6 wanted to go to school. That's hard. I choose JOY.
Agoraphobia has been the theft. All these years and it has been a battle. I feel like a single parent. He self medicates with alcohol. Very rarely going places. Home bound.
Sometimes I feel I can't go on. I get weary. I'm not some great person. God just gives me grace daily and I fail daily.
I'm lonely. But have so many friends and family that love me. God's ways are better than mine and even though I don't understand I can trust Him.
I question myself often and doubt myself. I love taking pictures and posting on instagram... looking for His beauty. Giving thanks. Counting my gifts.
I can't do any of this without HIM.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
We are enjoying our summer. Each year we volunteer at our church's kids camp. We love it more than the kids do. I love seeing all the orange team (volunteers)! It is long and tiring but each year we can not wait for the next year. This year was our sixth year. Our second one with out Lysa. I know times will continue to change.... I pray we have a few more years with the boys volunteering before they are off doing internships and such!
This is our children's pastor/assoc. pastor. Six years ago when he had this vision for Summergize~ we had 34 campers. This year we had over 200 with about 65 volunteers! That is the most the camp group can hold~ so we have a waiting list. This is the picture of my boys with Archie (leader of summergize). Look how much they have grown!
Summergize 2019 is in the books. So thankful to have these memories with my Gracepointe tribe and my kiddos. Waiting for 2020!
Change a life forever~ sponsor a child!
Monday, July 01, 2019
Lysa flew to Cambodia in March. To minister at Rapha House. Rapha House is a non profit safe house that rescue girls from sex traffiking. As always God connected the dots and I was able to peek in.....
She told me about these three little girls that she met and how they opened up to her a bit. One made the heart sign with her hands and one gave her yellow flowers. She could see HOPE there. These girls at Rapha House have been rescued from sex trafficking ...... and Lysa felt HOPE there....
She shared with me through messenger. Of course, no pictures are allowed.... for privacy and safety. I told her that I would pray for those girls and I would buy some yellow flowers and place them on my kitchen sink. Every time I saw them I would remember and pray for those girls.
Later that day I was reading in my devotional by Bonnie Gray. Whispers of Hope and this was my devotional for that day!!!
We all need encouraging reminders of peace. I love that Jesus points us to look at flowers in the filed. Behavioral research at Rutgers University found that simply looking at flowers improves emotional health. The presence of flowers triggered happy emotions in participants, increasing feeling of life satisfaction. Flowers are a natural mood enchaner. Harvard University even demonstrated that those who aren't morning people, who start out with morning blahs, reported a boost in energy, happiness and friendliness that lasted through-out the day by looking at flowers first thing in the morning, placed in a room they frequented often- particularly in kitchen. ~ Bonnie Gray
IT ACTUALLY SAID THE KITCHEN!!
TODAY'S BELOVED CHALLENGE
Buy Flowers for Yourself
Place them where you can enjoy them
May the flowers remind you how valuable you are to Jesus. He is your peace
Love how Jesus connects the dots. Love yellow flowers. They will always mean so much more to me now.