What a blessing this semester has been to us. We have had the honor of discipling several students, one of which is pictured with Todd. His name is Will, and he has been a joy to get to know. This young man felt God call him to rush a fraternity, just to share the gospel in a relevant, receivable way to his Pike brothers. Also pictured is my Freshman Bible Study. We have met weekly all semester, exploring Jesus' claims of who He is in the book of John. Next semester we will be studying Hebrews. Lastly, we held a workshop here in our home, entitled: God, Sex and Men. Over 50 women came, ate breakfast, and participated in the workshop. I spoke for over 30 minutes, beginning with how we gain truth in light of living in a Post Modern Culture. We explored how that affects our decision making, especially in the area of sex. Next, I taught on the Prodigal Son Story, looking at it through the lense of how the father incurs shame upon himself, just to reveal his overwhelming love for his two sons. In light of that, unless we understand God's heart for us, we will never trust Him. If we don't trust Him, we won't obey Him. I shared my testimony in detail, as well as the baggage that follows when we violate God's will for our lives. Lastly, I discussed different tools to use, both to heal and live a godly life when it comes to God, Sex and Men. What a wonderful morning. The Holy Spirit was on the move, and what a joy to watch the girls react to different parts of the talk, as the Spirit nudged them in just the areas needed. Go God!!!
Life is moving at a lightening fast past now. We have visited my Aunt Doodle at her farm in Paris, IL, we have been to Destin, FL for Navigator training and three days of vacation. While there, we celebrated Halloween with the boys, Garrett was Buzz Lightyear and Joshua was the cutest pirate anyone has ever seen. Thanksgiving has happened, the picture is of the boys with their cousins, and then the last is our family Christmas photo. Whew! Sorry for the lack of updates. I will give a better go at keeping this updated!! Blessings to all! Tami
Yeah! We are pregnant, with baby #3! I cannot believe that there will be another baby here. I am 8 weeks pregnant, and feeling like poop. My official due date is April 9th, but both boys came almost two weeks early, so we will see if this one arrives at the end of March!
Wow, where did time go? What a blessing to have Garrett and Joshua in my life. Almost daily I whisper in each of their ears: You are my gift from God. I will love you forever, and ever and always.
And yet, I struggle, have I made the right decision in homeschooling? What a burden of responsiblity. And yet, daily, I see that God has blessed me with their hearts. They have such tender hearts, and they are willingly molded. They love God, and they can't wait to read God's word. Tonight, as we began (we are reading John) Garrett's first words were, "God is light!" Wow, he is really getting it! This isn't a little kid Bible, it is scripture. God's word truly is alive and active, and even my five year old is reaping from daily reading!
Between Oxford and Cincinnati, there are many corn and soybean fields. The Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 stirs in my mind. The farmer wasn’t counting how many seeds he threw, rather he understood the value of good soil. He knew less than half of the seeds thrown would take root and reach complete maturation. Even if only a quarter of the seed took solid root, can you imagine the bounty each seed would generate as each year passes? It is almost unimaginable- almost hard to comprehend. Yet, the unimaginable is happening, here at Miami University. The Navigator staff has labored for many years, pouring life into students, not knowing what type of “soil” they would become. And, God’s faithfulness is being revealed as the good soil is beginning to produce a crop thirty, sixty and even one hundred fold of what was sown. This is what we are stepping into! This past week, 43 students, sophomores through seniors, took time out of their summer vacation to receive training to reach their peers for Christ. They sat in a hot, non air-conditioned church from 9am to 9pm, training, casting vision, and digging deep so they could be used by God. This is the scripture that both staff and student leadership will be focused on: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. Isaiah 54:2-3
These 43 students understand that to “strengthen their stakes” means deepening their Bible studies, their prayer time, and their memorization to reach students for Christ-incredible! These are not your typical college student!
During the first week of classes at Miami, we have been working the street fair and the cafeterias, handing out surveys as a means to connect with students. We have been in the dormitories, meeting students, sharing the Gospel, and inviting them to Inner Mission(our large group meetings on Friday nights) and to Bible studies in their dorms. We have been meeting with students with whom we are co-leading Bible studies, we are praying for the harvest, and meeting with students in one-on-one discipleship. This has been a fruitful month in ministry!
We have successfully sold our home, moved homes, settled in for the most part, celebrated Joshua's third birthday and now we look forward to starting campus ministry(all because of God and to His glory). As the quiet settles on the house at night, I am blown away at God's faithfulness in His word to me: I have called you from the ends of the earth so that you can serve me. I have chosen you, I am not throwing you away. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be dismayed, for I am your God. I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.Isaiah 41:9-10
Here are some photos from the new house... blessings!
Hey there Moms, are there any other moms out there who have lived through a move with a 3 year old? This move has been emotionally and physically exhausting, with temper tantrums, melt downs and whining as the icing. This mommy is tired. Any suggestions are invited. Today, I napped the boys at different times, which cut out all the problems, praise God! Nonetheless, the house isn't finished being unpacked. Sometimes, I close my eyes, and wish for little helpers to magically come out of my walls and finish all my "jobs". Strange maybe. If it happened, you know you would be delighted! God bless all, from Oxford.
What a blessing to have family in town. Each set of grandparents have kindly taken both boys one day each week to allow us to pack up the house. Wow, what a difference. I am not stressed, and I actually look forward to the day! I turn up the radio really loud, sing and pack for hours. God is good!
What a great Father's Day! My family came to our house for the last time :( before the move, and we celebrated the gift of Dads. We ate super yummy food, and bounced on the trampoline. My sister is quite the accomplished bouncer, as you can see. She managed to do front and back flips with grace, and had a ton of fun too! You go Tara!
Without a doubt, we had more fun in two days than I can remember having for a long time. We were delighted to spend some time with my Aunt Doodle and Gary on their farm in Paris, Illinois. The boys climbed on tractors, rode front seat in an RV, rode in the back of a pick-up truck and helped plant flowers, and got to ride on their riding lawn mower. I am not sure who had more fun, me or the boys... Best statement of the trip, Garrett yelling, "I am a farm boy Mom!" Love are first sight, and best of all, Doodle rates number one for the boys! Thanks Doodle!!
At times I feel like I just had Garrett, and yet, here is my big boy, starting to play organized sports. I use the word, play, loosely! Sometimes he played, sometimes he played(with the other kids, not soccer!) Nonetheless, I am learning that if he is having fun, that is all that matters. I cannot believe how fast he is growing. What a joy!
Since we are moving up to Oxford, Todd and I decided to take our first camping trip at Hueston Woods. The night was super cold, 40 degrees maybe. There was a bird festival at the nature center, so the boys made masks, and had animals painted on their faces. We even saw an eagle, hawk, vulture and a cougar-to name a few. We made Skyline chili for dinner, with smores for dessert-yum! Next time, we will go when the low is in the 60's... Any we would love to take some friends too! Let us know if you like to camp!
When did Easter become complicated? I cannot tell you how long I have processed whether or not to look for Easter eggs. To be honest, I am not a fan of the Easter bunny. Actually, I am close to hating him... I just am tired of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny stealing God's glory. They take away from the real reason we are celebrating. Back to the problem, I finally decided to do eggs, knowing I cannot avoid it. It really shouldn't be this complicated. My heart issue is this: I want to honor and glorify God, while leaving my life open and transparent. I want my family to be welcoming to those who don't know God, so that they can see Him through us. So the entire issue of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny gets really complicated, maybe when they shouldn't...