Well I have SO much to talk about and have had such a hard time finding the time to hop on here...
First things first. I got a new haircut! =)
I decided I wanted a fresh new look, so last Friday I chopped off about 4 1/2 inches and went super blonde. It's been a nice change and the perfect cut for summer. Not to mention, it makes for the cutest little pony tail ever. ha ha. I usually keep my hair really long, but I thought why not change things up a bit. My life has changed so much and so have I.
Also, over the weekend, God was really moving and working in mine and Rick's life. He preached on Sunday morning a message about "Don't waste your Valley." He talked about making the most of the trials in our lives and honoring and praising God through them. I think the entire Church was in tears and before the service even ended, people were making their way forward to the altar. Rick was still preaching! It was amazing to see a revival break out in our Church. The altar was flooded and people were talking to the Lord. I even saw 3 elderly couple's come forward as I was going back to my seat. God was moving in an amazing way.
It reminded me of a service that Rick preached back at Camp Victory when we were just teenagers. You could feel the Holy Spirit across the auditorium just like I remember feeling that night in Somerset, KY. I enjoyed watching the Lord use my precious boyfriend then in the work of the Lord, and now 13 years later, He's still using him. It's moments like that, that I'm so very honored and thankful to be in the ministry. It's emotionally and physically exhausting at times, but I'm so happy to be a part of it. God is really working in the lives and hearts of our Church and we will be forever grateful for what happened on Sunday the 5th of June. As Rick said "Services like that can't be manufactured, it was ALL GOD."
Sunday afternoon on our way home from Church, I decided to stop by the cemetery. Maddie would have been turning 5 months old the next day, and I was really missing her. I thought that it might be a little easier to go back this time since some time had passed and I have been having brighter days, but it wasn't. I found myself really sad and crying the whole time I was there.
I sat and just talked to Maddie Grace that day. I told her all about what was going on and our family. I told her how much we missed her. I told her how proud she would have been of her Daddy for preaching a revival that morning. It maybe sounds silly, but just talking to her in that quiet cemetery really helped me. I was asking God to give me strength and to take care of my baby girl. I know He is. She is with the One who created her.
As I pulled away, I felt better. Yet, I just don't think I will ever get over the fact that I have a child who is no longer with me. I will never be able to wrap my head around the fact that I have to go to the cemetery to visit her. It's just such an unnatural thing. I'm just so thankful that we have kept her little memory so alive in our lives. Even that morning, Rick was talking about her in his message. She will always be with us.
So, this week it has been all VBS, all week. Rick runs our Vacation Bible School each summer and I have to brag on him and say that he does an amazing job. This year our theme is "Ministry." We have life size game boards with a spiritual application for each one of them. We decorated the entire gymnasium like the game Monopoly and called it "Ministry." We made poster board size cards in place of all the game cards with the books of the Bible on them. We also built a jail and a bank. It's going to be so fun! Instead of get out of jail free cards we have the gospel on "get out of hell free" cards. I'm really praying that God will use next week to allow many boys and girls to come to Him and get saved.
My room is a Candy Land theme aka "Promise Land." We have been working hard to make it look like the actual game. It's looking great! I really think the kids are going to love seeing the room and hearing all about the true promise land, Heaven.
Please pray for us as we prepare this week for next week. If any of you live in the Lebanon or surrounding area, our VBS will be held Monday June 13th- Friday June 17th from 6-8 pm. It's going to be a blast!!!
One more thing, that I am so beyond thrilled to share!.... My brother and his precious wife are expecting their second baby! We have been praying that God would bless them for a while now and this week, He did! They are due in February and we cannot wait to meet this new little boy/girl. I absolutely love being an Aunt to their little boy, Kaelan and I am thrilled to become an aunt again.
God is really working in our family. After so much heart ache and loss for us all, God is really blessing. He is pulling us closer than ever through the lives of these new little ones on the way. I'm so thankful for the smiles on the faces of my family again. I'm so thankful for these new lives that will be joining us this winter. Please pray for them, along with us and our pregnancies.
I feel like it is quite a testimony of just how good God is on our lives, that we are able to find such happiness and joy again. God is blessing and we are so grateful for that.
In closing, I would just like to thank ALL of you who continue to write me and encourage me. I appreciate all of you who have shared just how much Maddie Grace has made an impact on your lives. She sure has on ours as well, and it's nice to know that even though she is no longer here, God is still using her little life to do great things on this earth. I'm still so proud to be her Mama. I miss her dearly, but I'm so thankful for what she has done and continue to do with her life. What a blessing.