Hello friends! Thought it was about time for a little update on what we’ve been up to the past couple of months. We’re still kicking around Texas…trying not to die of a heat stroke! Ha! It’s hot, but there are some things you don’t get to see any other time of the year like these gorgeous cactus blossoms! (I’m trying really hard to be positive…can you tell? LOL!)
The last weekend in March, we took a little road trip with my brother and family to Austin to check out a boat he wanted to buy. We had a lot of fun! While we were in Austin, we took all of the kids to the Austin Aquarium. So fun! There are lots of hands on activities and opportunities to feed cool critters.
We got the boat, but unfortunately, we lost all of the tires off the boat trailer within the first 2 miles! Oops! Unfortunately, this all happened at about 6:30 pm on Good Friday. We ended up staying an additional night and having to have quite a bit of work done on the trailer for it to be road-worthy. Thankfully, everyone (for the most part) had a great sense of humor about it! LOL!
We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday with the entire family. I absolutely love taking up an entire row on Sunday mornings when the whole family is there. It’s really special to worship together. We had a yummy lunch at my parents’ house and then an Easter egg hunt for the kids.
We moved to Belton, TX for 10 days or so to do some filming and prep work for some of our friends who are planting a church in the area next spring. They are in the fundraising and planning stages and have hired us to help them get the word out. It’s been a lot of fun designing a website, print materials, promotional videos, and doing their social media for them. Bonus is that they are good friends of ours! We had a lot of fun reconnecting and even making new friends in the process! We had a cookout at our campsite which also doubled as a filming location for the video we were working on. It was really fun introducing our new friends to our lifestyle and giving them tours of our home. 🙂
When we got back, we had another weekend of birthday parties. My Grandmother turned 93 and we threw her a little party at the nursing home. She’s so cute! Emily and I made her cake. We’ve become the cake ladies I think! LOL!
We also celebrated my niece, Ashley’s 7th birthday. Emily made and decorated her cake and cupcakes. Little cutie!
We headed back to Belton for the Renewal Church campaign launch on April 29th. That’s a huge advantage to being mobile! We had a great weekend exploring the area. We found lots of fun things to do. Chalk Ridge Falls was beautiful with lots of trails. We even stumbled upon the Annual Turtle Festival! Who knew??!!! LOL!
The first week of May, we moved our oldest into a new house. Happy for her!
The following week, both of our littles decided they want to go to church camp with our home church here in San Angelo. Kids Kamp is the last week of June and Youth Camp is the second week of July. Holy cow! Do you know how HOT it is in Texas this time of year??? Not to mention, we intentionally keep to a very tight budget. Church camp costs for two kids were way out of that budget, so we decided it was time to get creative. We recently found my Great Grandmother’s Coffee Cake recipe that everyone thought was long gone. I put a post out on Facebook and in the first weekend of our little Coffee Cake fundraiser, we made 24 cakes from scratch, paid for Tyler’s camp in full, and paid Emily’s deposit. Praise the Lord! We are doing another weekend of baking this weekend and already have orders for about 30 cakes. Incredible! Both camps will be paid for. God is so good! The kids have worked so hard. This wasn’t one of those things that Mama did all the work. I definitely helped, but they both were completely involved in the process. I think they both know the recipe by heart now! Ha! We are very thankful for my mom’s double ovens though! LOL!
Last week, we felt like it was time to go somewhere, so we found a spot at Lake Corpus Christi State Park and headed out for the week. It was hot and humid, but we had a great, shady site (which helped a little). We were about an hour from the beach at Padre Island National Seashore. Paul and the kids made sure I got to put my toes in the sand for Mother’s Day! Wish we could have stayed longer. Tyler went fishing at the state park, and caught the craziest “fish” I’ve ever seen – an alligator gar! So weird! He was so excited though. The funniest thing was what came out of his mouth when he realized what it was, “An alligator gar! What do you do with an alligator gar?” LOL! My response? “I don’t know, son, but don’t let it bite you!” LOL!
We are always aware of God’s leading. When He prompts us to go, we go. Paul and I have both been very content to stay put until the week before last. We both had a feeling we needed to move that week. Little did we know, the week we were gone, they we hit with severe thunderstorms, hail, tornado warnings, strong winds, and flooding. Thank you, Lord! We avoided all of that, which is not fun anyway, but especially not in an RV!
My last blog was all about the words God had given me constantly this year, “Be Still”. You can read about that here. As it turns out, our oldest daughter, Vicky, needed us to be here for a while. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about 2.5 years ago. I blogged about that terrifying experience here. She’s been doing pretty well, but has recently been fighting a side effect of it – severe anemia. She is going to have to have iron infusions to get her levels up. It’s a tough thing when your children have problems and you can’t fix everything for them. I think it’s even harder when those children are technically adults. Keep her in your prayers if you will! Here is a picture we took recently of all of us! Good to have all my kiddos in one place. Does my Mama heart good!
It’s always interesting though when we follow God’s leading in our lives and then something comes up and we suddenly understand the “why” behind it. Leading a faith-filled life isn’t always easy. Sometimes we have to put aside our desires for what we want, to be where God needs us to be. If I’m honest, when He gave me the “Be Still” words, I did not exactly throw a party. I don’t like to be still. I like to explore and have big adventures! But, I also know that when we listen to Him and are where He needs us to be, He gives us peace and understanding. Without going into too many details, the last few months have not been easy for our family. Satan always attacks when we’re walking the closest with the Lord. He has come at us from every angle the past few months. It is so frustrating, but he can’t steal our joy and he can’t rattle our faith! Not today, Satan…not tomorrow, or the next day either!
The most recent blessing and answer to prayer in our lives happened just today. As I mentioned earlier, the kids are both signed up to go to church camp this summer, but there was an additional leadership camp that Emily really wanted to go to though our church. Unfortunately, we missed the sign-up deadline because, at that point, we hadn’t decided if we were going to stick around or head north. But, when God’s in control, He works everything out! I got an email this morning saying they had….you guessed it….one spot come available for an 8th grade girl! Praise the Lord! Emily is pumped! She is all registered, and after our coffee cake baking this weekend, it will be mostly paid for, if not completely!
All I want to do is walk by faith. I actually have that embroidered on the backs of my shoes. Every morning when I put them on, it is a reminder that regardless of what life throws at me, God is in control. I just have to put one foot in front of the other, follow His lead, and walk by faith…even when I can’t see what’s around the corner.
I would love to hear your stories of how God has led you on a faith journey! I truly believe that our stories inspire and encourage each other! Will you share your story with us?
Be blessed friends, enjoy the journey, and walk by faith…