Tag Archive | God

A Humbling Day

Hey all! Jenn here!

Sorry for the silence on the blog, but my sis in law had her baby-a handsome little man so obviously she is quite busy!! And I have been busy with teaching, home, and the holidays :). It’s a busy time of year!

But I wanted to share a wonderful experience I had this past Saturday.

On Saturday ladies from our congregation went and visited the shutins-(People who are members of our congregation, but can no longer get out due to age/health/etc.). I have never done this before, and was eager and nervous all at the same time! I didn’t know most of these people so I had no idea what to expect or to say…..

Well I tell you what! I was amazed at how humbling this experience ended up being for me. There were so many lessons I learned from this short amount of time!

The first house we went into was a sweet older woman that I had seen a few times at services, but not very often….she sat on the other side of the building so I only saw her in passing and would smile. She was so excited to see this group of women come in her house! She lit up like a Christmas tree! She just hugged us and held on to us and talked about how we were her family and how excited she was that we were there. We didn’t stay long, just a few minutes. We went in hugged her and then sat and talked for a few and left.

The next house we went to was also an older lady. This woman I had never met or seen at services. (We moved here after she was unable to get out anymore). She also was so excited to see us! She came in and sat down and smiled and started talking. She couldn’t hear what was being said to her unless you yelled….but that didn’t matter…at all! She was just so happy to see her church family. Then she did something I have never seen. She started to talk about how much she missed being able to come to services and how much she missed being able to be with her church family….and she cried. It really hurt her so much that she couldn’t be with us. I have never seen someone so upset because they were unable to come to worship or fellowship activities. Talk about humbling and inspiring, and touching!! Then she talked more about her family and asked about other members and we said goodbye and left.

I have never been so humbled by 2 older women in my life!

These women were so happy to see their church family! They were so happy to hug us! They were so happy for us to just be there! It didn’t matter what we said, it didn’t matter if we brought them anything, all that mattered was that we were there!

I am still so touched by the tears shed from such a sweet woman because she was unable to attend worship! How many times do we take that for granted! How many times do we miss an opportunity to go to bible class, worship, or a fellowship activity just because we don’t feel like going…and this sweet woman is crying because she can no longer come! Talk about humbling! I know I will not be taking for granted my ability to get to the building and to be with my spiritual family anymore! Cherish those moments! Learn from them!!

I think it is so easy to not make visits to people because: we are busy, we don’t know them, we don’t know what to say, we don’t have anything to bring with us, we don’t have a lot of time to stay…..Saturday taught me that non of those things matter! (Ms Janet has been saying this repeatedly for sometime, I guess I had to see it first hand to be convinced) They will just be happy you stopped by and they will know that you care about them…..it’s worth a few minutes out of our busy schedules! I mean isn’t that what we all want-to know someone cares about us!

Well I hope you enjoyed this post….trust me this is an experience I will be replaying in my head for quite awhile!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer

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Page-Turning Mondays: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Hey y’all! Jess here with a new P-TM post. Ok, so I know it’s the middle of August, and the official beginning of fall is still about a month away, but here lately in my neck of the woods, we’ve had lots of cool weather. It has felt so much like fall, my favorite season! I’ve had to restrain myself from pulling out all my pumpkins and scarecrows and fall scented candles. Not too much longer, though! The book I’m sharing with you is considered a fall book, but my boys, especially my 3-year-old, love to read it year-round. It’s..

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This is a fun book about a little old woman who encounters some spooky objects on her walk home one evening. I think my 3-year-old loves it so much because of the repetitive phrases used throughout the story. I’ll randomly hear him walking around the house, chanting the words from the book. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it, but once you read it, you’ll probably know what I’m taking about. It’s a fun read, and a good one just in time for fall!

I don’t have a particular craft to share, but I know when I googled it, there were several cute ideas that popped up, like some sequencing activities and using a flannel board and felt pieces to retell the story. You could also use this time as an opportunity to talk about anything your child fears, and how with the Lord on our side, we should never be afraid. When our sons are frightened, we always take a moment to pray with them and encourage them to take their fears to the Lord. Our 5-year-old will do this all on his own when he’s nervous or frightened about something. It is inspiring to see one so young go to God for help!

And, check out Pinterest too! Always good ideas there!

Happy reading! And happy almost fall, y’all! 🙂

Vacation Bible School! What Can You Do?

Hola All! Jenn here!

It is that time if the year! Time for Vacation Bible School! I LOVE VBS! I love watching the adults and children have fun while learning about God.

My first year helping with VBS I did snacks, and the next three years I taught a class. I have always had so much fun with it. I love teaching a Bible class, decorating, door knocking, kids, and being with my spiritual family so it’s no surprise I love VBS so much.

There is so much that goes into that week! My hubby was the VBS coordinator for two years before we moved and I really got a whole new respect for what is involved and the people who so willing volunteer there time and resources. There is always a need for teachers, decorators, door knockers, snack coordinators, craft coordinators, recreation coordinators, prayers for it, and depending on what you do, a need for someone to organize a cookout the last day.

During VBS we have a chance to teach children about God, and some of those kids get no home teaching about God. Just think about that! We get a week to spend time with those kids showing them Gods love through our excitement and love! And we get to teach them in the classroom, where we also can show them our excitement for God and learning about Him.

When we register those kids we get their addresses! What an awesome resource. We can then send invites to them and their parents to join us for gospel meetings, trunk or treats, Bible studies, Bible correspondence courses, anything we can think of! What a great tool for evangelism!

We get to meet their parents and make them feel welcome, invite them for services, show them we care about them.

We get to spend time studying our material, which I have learned helps me learn more about God.

We get to come up with fun ways to teach the Bible which we can then use in our classes and at home.

We get to make fliers and then mail them out or take into the community via door knocking. Which helps us be seen in the community and can open doors for studies and invites to services.

The building gets decorated so fun! I LOVE decorating!! And of course then it all has to be cleaned up the last night…..it is always sad to me to see the VBS stuff come down 😦

There is so much that goes into those days!! A lot of it you never see or hear about!

Get involved with VBS I promise that you won’t regret it! If you want to do something talk to your VBS coordinator, if he doesn’t need anything….then ask the different people if they need help: teachers, snack coordinator, activity coordinator, decorators, craft coordinator…..I am sure there is something you can do, just ask!

We are blessed with different talents and all those talents used together can make for a wonderfully evangelistic VBS!

Don’t forget to pray for a successful VBS!

Until next time,
Jennifer

Another 4 Weeks

Hola y’all. Jenn here.

Last month I shared a post title “A Long 4 Weeks” that gave you a glimpse of the 4 weeks that started with my daughter having a seizure and ended with her starting medication and being diagnosed as epileptic.

We have been living on pins and needles wondering when she would have another one, I have been sleeping with her just in case. We haven’t left her alone at all. Every time she falls down or gets quiet we worry. She hasn’t been able to sit with anyone else during services or run off to play while we fellowship, she hasn’t be allowed out of our sight…..that has been very hard for her.

I can not even begin to tell you how touched we have been by the care and love that has been showed to us and our daughter over the past four weeks. We have gotten so many cards and calls from friends to check on us and her. We have gotten cards from people we haven’t seen in years just to tell us they are praying for us. One of my aunts had been messaging me via FB to check on her and sent her a card with ice cream money. I got texts and messages from from friends to check on us and to tell us their own battles with seizures. One of my friends even sent me contact info for a woman who has 2 children having seizures for me to have someone to talk to that has/ is going through the same thing, that was so touching and heartwarming! We have gotten cards from members of other congregations that have put our daughter on their prayer list. My daughter has gotten cards with stickers in them from members of a congregation that we have never met. She has gotten cards with money in them. I have had so many women just call to say they are here for me. I have gotten hugs from people that I really needed. She was sent a prayer blanket from a church that put her on their prayer list. She has gotten gifts from friends. We have had so many people tell us that when are ready they would watch her for us to go out. I have been blown away by the outpouring of love and tears shared by friends. We are so blessed with such wonderful friends and family.

My husband and I had our first date night in a long time while she stayed with his parents. We went to watch a movie and he leaned over to tell the couple beside us that we would be checking our phones and we weren’t trying to be rude but our daughter was epileptic and it was our first night leaving her…..we found out that the man had seizures as a child and was able to come off medicine in elementary school and hasn’t had one since. It was so amazing to me that we just happened to sit next to them and have the chance to talk to them!

As of Sunday June 2nd she has been seizure free for a month! Yay for answered prayers!!

We are still nervous, but like the neurologist said the longer we go seizure free the more comfortable we get. But our first trip to the pool I was so nervous! Even though we were in the kiddie pool I was worried the whole time. I know it will get better. I know that God is in control!

I want to thank everyone for their prayers and continued prayers. You have no idea how much it means to hear prayers for her and us, and to hear we are bring prayed for.

I am so blessed that we have had four weeks without a seizure!

Thank you all and if you ever have questions or go through this yourself know that God is in control and I am here for you if you have any questions or need someone to talk to and I will gladly pray for you.

Love,
Jennifer

Blooming in Christ: How is your blooming going?

Hey Everyone! Jenn here!

I wanted to take sometime to check on you and see how you are blooming. So how are you doing?

Below is the list of things that I was going to work on and I added how I have been doing…..I thought that it might be time to reflect on how I/we have bloomed in praying over the past few weeks.

1. Return to writing in my prayer journal everyday.
I have not returned to writing in my prayer journal everyday. I want to, but I have not made the time to do it. I used to do it after my daughter fell asleep, but lately I have been going to sleep when she does or I have let other things distract me (Pinterest mainly). So I have a new goal of making time to write in it. It is so easy to let other things take my focus….I really need to work on that!
2. Pray before I get out of bed every morning.
Sadly I have not gotten in the habit of doing this every morning, I am doing better…but it does not happen every time. I am still working on it, and hope to get there soon!
3. Pray before I go to bed every night.
I have really improved in this! It does not happen every night, especially when I am laying with my daughter and end up asleep. But I have gotten much better!
4. Pray before meals (currently when it is just my daughter and I she says the prayer and I don’t)
This one has been difficult. I started out the month strong, but then my daughter started asking me to not pray. She says she wants to say one by herself, so we are working on her getting used to us both saying a prayer. It really surprised me that she said something, but I think it is because she says a fairly short prayer and I say a longer one. (She wants to hurry up and eat)
5. Pray when I see an ambulance, police officer, fire truck, or solider.
Alas, this one is a failure. My daughter does good with it, but I have not been doing good. I definitely have to work on this!
6. Pray when ever I think about our country.
Our country hasn’t really been on my mind lately…..I have been focused on my daughter. You can refer to my post A Long 4 Weeks to read more about that.
7. Pray whenever a child in my life crosses my mind.
I have done better about this. I have been praying for my own child a lot, but I have really improved when it comes to other kids. I recently went back to visit some wonderful kids I miss dearly and I found myself praying for them and thanking God for them, without really thinking about it.
8. Pray whenever I start to feel discouraged, angry, upset,or that I am slipping away from God.
9. Pray when I am happy.
10. Pray when I think of all my blessings.
These last three I have been working on, and I seem to be improving. I have been praying a lot for my relationship with God to grow and I feel as though it has. And I think that improvement has come from my focus on it and my focus on praying for different things.

Well….this reflection has been good for me…..I have not bloomed as much I would like, but I am blooming! So if you haven’t bloomed as much as you wanted just take comfort in knowing that I haven’t either. But we can still bloom more! That is one of the best things about blooming in Christ….you can always grow there is not a time limit. All that matters is that we are honestly trying our best to bloom in Christ.

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer

A Long 4 Weeks

Hey, Jenn here.

As I write this it is 12:32 am and even though I have to be at preschool in a few hours and I know I need to sleep…..I can’t. I am sitting in my daughters bed watching her sleep. I am watching every movement, every twitch, every breath…..yesterday my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy and tonight is her first night taking her medication…I am scared of how it will effect her….so I am wide awake when I should be asleep.

One Sunday afternoon almost 4 weeks ago now, my daughter was laying on the couch watching tv and I was downstairs doing laundry. When I came upstairs I found her stiff, drooling, eyes half open, and unresponsive. As I talked to her she just kind of sounded like she was humming or groaning under her breath. Whe she finally opened her eyes she looked at me as though I was a stranger and asked through slurred speech “who are you?” To which I said “I’m mommy” she said “your a mommy?” And I said “yes, I’m your mommy”. I then ran to get my husband who was outside mowing, and he came in. By that time she was more awake and knew who we were and her name and age, but her speech was still slurred (very unlike my child) and she kept falling back asleep. We would talk to her and get her awake, but when she was awake she would just cry until she fell back asleep. So we ran to the truck and raced to urgent care who said we had to go to the ER. once at the ER she was given an IV, had a chest X-ray, Head CT, blood work, and a urine test….all of which came back normal. So we were sent to a children’s hospital for 24 hour observation and an EEG. She was quite happy to ride in an ambulance…..she talked that poor EMT’s ear off I think, but that is my little girl. Her EEG came back normal so we were sent home with medicine to give if she were to have another that lasted longer than 5 minutes and were told if she had another she would have to see a pediatric neurologist and more than likely go on medication. But that all children were given one seizure before any medicine was used and it was not uncommon for children to have one seizure.

Well as you can imagine we were on pins and needles watching her.

My husband and I were signed up to counselors at the teen retreat for the local Bible Camp which was 2 weeks after her seizure. Well everything had been fine, so I took her down to stay with her granny. I left her on a Thursday and I texted my husband and my best friend that I was having a very hard time leaving her. Friday at 1:38 I got a phone call I will never forget. I still hear it at least 5 times a day in my head. My mother in law out of breath and panicked calling to tell me my daughter was having another seizure. I don’t remember what my first words were to her, but I know I told her to make sure she was on her side and couldn’t get hurt and to call 911. Luckily my brother in law lives behind them so he was able to come up there and be there with her. I got off the phone and tried my husband who I couldn’t get the first couple of times…..the next minutes are a blur….I know I screamed a lot, cried a lot, screamed some more, and managed to put on a shirt before I ran out of the house. I didn’t know what to do. I was shaking from head to toe. I was flying down the road with my hazards on. Knowing that my only purpose at that moment was to get to my child who was 200 miles away. Once I talked to my husband I called down more. Then I talked to my brother in law who told me she was out of the seizure and I calmed down more. Then I talked to the EMTs who told me all vitals were good and I calmed down more. Then I talked to the preacher and a doctor from our congregation and I calmed down more. Then I met my husband and we drove to our little girl, and I cried the whole way down there. There are not words to describe how my heart felt when we pulled up and I saw my little girl playing with her cousins and my father in law as though nothing had ever happened. Just to see the smile on her face while she rode on his shoulders and run bare foot through the grass…..there are no words for the feeling of holding her and telling her I loved her. We came back home that day.

I called the doc office and left a message that she had another seizure so we needed to get into a neurologist. I was called back with appointments for July and told that was the first openings at 2 different clinics and they would put us on a waiting list for cancellations. I cried she I got off the phone and we discussed talking to doctors at church to see if there was anyway in sooner. This was on a Friday.

Sunday morning in between Sunday school and worship my daughter was sitting in her daddy’s lap and had just given him a hug when she leaned backwards…we thought she was playing. Then we saw her eyes…it was a look of surprise and then fear…then her whole body went stiff…she was having her third seizure. I still see her like that so many times during the day, it is not something you forget. We yelled for a doctor….I meant to call one but said another, but he was there fast. I grabbed my phone to check the time and grabbed her medicine for if it lasted longer than 5 minutes, my husband had checked his watch and was still holding her. The doctor walked us out to the foyer and we layed her on the couch….another member that’s a doctor was there….I am still not sure how he got there so fast. They watched her and talked us through it and made sure that others gave us space. I don’t know who was with us when we first went out there, I know there were people there because one of the doctors asked them nicely to give us some space. I do know that I was knelt down so I could be as close as possible to her and that I was scared out of my mind and crying and one of the women knelt behind me and hugged me and put her hand on my shoulder and that meant more than I could ever express to her. I know that it lasted about a minute and a half and she opened her eyes and one doctor asked her who I was and it took a few seconds, but through slurred speech she said “Mommy”. Then she fell asleep. Then the doctors asked us questions and talked and reassured us she was fine and she would sleep because that was normal after a seizure and that it was unacceptable to wait until July to see a neurologist. One of them said he would call our doctor after services and get things moving because she needed to get in.

On Tuesday we went to the pediatric neurologist and he answered all our questions and
told us that she was epileptic and we needed to start her on medicine. He explained the medicines and the side effects and was very helpful.

The drug store had to order her medicine so tonight is her first time taking it. She took it before bed and I am not sure if it was the medicine or just that she has had a long few weeks but she was very sleepy tonight and as I type this she is sleeping soundly….although tossing and turning, but she’s a wiggler or mover (how she describes herself when she is asked to be still).

I think I write this as an outlet for all that has been in me over the past month, but I have really come to realize something. Gods providence is amazing. I had been thinking about this and my mother in law and I talked about it today. We were so blessed with our move to this town and this congregation.
– I am blessed to get to be a stay at home mom now, I had a hard time handling working while Kaitlyn was healthy…..there is NO WAY I could have handled leaving her knowing that she could have a seizure at any moment.
-I am blessed that Kaitlyn goes to preschool at our church. I help out there a few days a week so I get to be with her and not leave her. They also are my friends and sisters and understand that I don’t want to leave her and they are okay with me staying there even when I am not working. That way she gets a sense if normalcy and I still get to be with her.
-We are blessed with doctors in our congregation who have helped us with advice in the ER, over the phone, administered to her and us during her third seizure, helped with getting in to a neurologist, and have told us they are there if we need anything at all.
-We are blessed with a sister in our congregation who is epileptic. So she has lots of knowledge, experience, and understanding to share.
-I am blessed with a congregation that has kept us in its prayers, sent cards, gifts, visited us at home and in the hospitals, called, texted, offered to be there to listen, been there with hugs, the list goes on and on.
-Since the first seizure we haven’t let her out of our sight for very long…this has led to some unexpected bonding time. She sorted laundry all by herself and had fun! We play more. We color more. We are together more.
-We have wanted a second child for a couple years now, and I am always disappointed when it doesn’t happen, but the doctor feels the seizures are genetic…from me….what if I passed that on to another child? What if we had a baby and I was distracted with the baby and Kaitlyn had a seizure and I wasn’t there to get her to a safe place?

I would much rather she not be epileptic but she is, now we know, now she is on medication, and now we can move forward. But moving forward is so much easier knowing that God is in control, and knowing that he has given us such a tremendous support system between our family, friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter how sad you may be, no matter how it may seem that things aren’t going your way, no matter how scared you are, no matter what……remember God is in control and working in your life. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but one day you will.

Bye for now!

Jennifer

A Valentine’s Craft and Cookie You’ll “LOVE”!

Hey, y’all…Jess here with a couple of fun ideas for you and your little loves this Valentine’s Day. At our house, we love making crafts and/or special foods for nearly every holiday. And Valentine’s Day, with its hearts, pinks, reds, and other frilliness, was no exception!  This post will feature both a fun craft and a delicious dessert you can make with the help of your kiddos.

For our Valentine’s Day craft, we made these Tie Dye Coffee Filter Hearts I found while perusing Pinterest one day. We made some Tie Dye Coffee Filter turkeys back in November for Thanksgiving, and the boys had a blast making them, so I knew these hearts would be a hit. (They were!) The materials you’ll need are coffee filters (any size will work…you’ll be folding them in half and cutting them into a heart shape anyway), markers (your choice of color…we went with pink, red, and purple, since my oldest said those are “Valentine colors”), and a spray bottle of water (or you can use an eye dropper or simply hold the filter under some running water from the sink. We went with the spray bottle because, let’s face it, my boys love spray bottles and I love the boost of fine motor skills it gives them).

Then, let the coloring begin!

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We were so fortunate that Buzz Lightyear could join us on this intergalactic Valentine mission!

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After the hearts are colored, it’s time to get spraying! I placed the hearts (folded in half) on a paper plate covered with a paper towel to help absorb some of the water.

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These turned out super cute! They are currently hanging in our dining room windows and looking “love”ly! Sorry, couldn’t resist!

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After we made these hearts, we had a short devotional about why we give Valentines (my oldest wisely said “To say ‘I love you’”) and how God showed us how much He loved us by giving us His only Son (John 3:16). We also talked about how God is love, and if we love God, we will love one another (1 John 4:7-8).

Now, for the deliciousness…

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I found this recipe for Chocolate Valentine Cookies on Pinterest (what would we do without our dear friend Pinterest…all of my fellow PinHeads know what I mean!) and thought it looked SO good, and then as I looked at the ingredients, I realized it was SO simple to make! You can click here to see the recipe. The key ingredient? A box of Devil’s Food cake mix. The rest of the ingredients are staples you probably already have on hand. See the picture below.

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You could use any variety of sprinkle or decoration for the top. We had some mini heart sprinkles left over from making treats last Valentine’s Day, so we used those. I had a good time with my funny Valentines making these goodies! They are such good helpers!

Pouring in the cake mix

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Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’….

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The cookies didn’t turn out quite like the ones pictured in the recipe, but that’s ok by me! They were delicious (I’m striving to exercise more and eat healthier, but I did eat one. Ok, two. I can totally vouch for their yumminess! Now it’s off to jog a mile and do some yoga…), looked very festive, and were just the right size for little hands.

I hope each and every one of you have a special and wonderful Valentine’s Day! Enjoy each moment with those special people who have captured your heart, and let them know EVERY DAY, not just on this one day out of the year, just how much YOU love THEM.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return.”-from “Nature Boy”, sung by Nat King Cole

“We love, because He first loved us”– 1 John 4:19