Sunday, November 12, 2006

Harvest Sunday

I was raised in a family that loved missions. When I was in the 5th grade some of my parents good friends moved to South Africa. My parents told them that they (and their 4 kids) would be willing to make a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa to spend their first Christmas with them. So for Christmas of my 6th grade year, When my youngest brother was around 2 we all 6 went.

What happened on that trip in my parent's hearts was life altering. What was planned as a once in a lifetime experience became so much more in a way only the Lord could do....My dad has been back to Africa almost every year since then. My mom has made countless trips to Africa and elsewhere. I have been to Africa I believe 7 times, many of those by myself, the last trip with Tony, as well as spending summers in Russia and in Thailand. I believe my brothers have traveled overseas many more times than I have...but I lost count a long time ago. My sister, as many of you know, has now given 8 years of her life to the people of Benin, West Africa. Payton and I (you will hear more about this later) took a step of faith this past week and sent off for his passport. The two of us hope to make the trip in February to see Kelly and her family. We will miss Tony and Benjamin like crazy....(but like I said, more on that later.)

Today is our churches Harvest Sunday...the day we bring before the Lord a goal (This year 1,332,359 dollars) and then our congregation raises or pledges that money to be given in the next year. Every year I walk in to the auditorium and see that banner with those numbers I pray the same prayer..."May it be, May it be..." It is a prayer filled with memories of faces I have seen around the world, faces that are hearing about Jesus for the first time, faces that are longing for a kingdom not yet seen.

Today has been special.This is the first year Payton is aware of what is happening and understands ( a little bit) of his part. Harvest Sunday always kicks off with a flag ceremony where the flags from all the nations are walked into the auditorium. This year Payton is a flag bearer. He woke up at 4:30 AM ready to go to the church to parade his flag. We have been excited throughout the day to hear updates as the money comes in...excited... because the Lord is enabling us to reach a goal, but even more thrilled because for every dollar that comes in even more of Him goes forth.

Harvest Sunday always brings with it great anticipation for me...Anticpation that more of His Kingdom is coming and anticipation that our family, can once again, play a part. Today I anticipate that as Payton pours his can of coins into the wheel barrow, as he carries the flag, perhaps the Lord is planting in him a heart for missions, a heart that longs to see the Word of God go forth, a heart that might one day go himself. May it be Lord, May it be.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Meet Maggie the Dog

When Tony and I were dating we talked several times about how someday he wanted to own a champion bred Lab. He had visions of them hunting together, this dog running through fields of a ranch with our boys (that he just knew someday we would have), of this dog being a part of our family. My family has always been a mini-dachshund family...(We still have Cooper that I bought while I was teaching in Abilene and we love her!) so this is quite step up size wise into the dog world. This past month Tony has been so excited to receive Maggie. We knew she was born at the end of August and have been prepping Cooper and the boys for this change. We got her, all her papers, special foods, special bed, special everything on Friday. It was so fun to see Tony so excited. This weekend as the boys ran around the ranch with Maggie running right behind them our hearts smiled!

This picture shows Maggie praying for her life. We have told Benjamin, "gentle hands" at least 2000 times in the past weekend.

Payton is loving Maggie...He wants to hold her at all times. He has called her his sister with fur. I think we have finally put a stop to that. .
I snapped this picture of Payton and Benjamin watching TV at the ranch! Love these boys!

These 3 boys have spent almost every minute of October together and some of September and November. Timothy heads back to Benin next Thursday. It is so much fun to watch them love each other...sometimes with hugs, sometimes with wrestling matches that do not end until someone gets hurt...:) We are working on that last one- They are a delight to watch!