Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello again...

Hello! I know it has been quiet around here lately. I apologize. We have been crazy busy with many of the people we love the most in this world. If you are interested, feel free to check out my sister's blog. She has posted a few of the activities that have kept me from here. :) We have had a wonderful time with friends and family lately. I will try to update about all of our activities soon.

In the mean time, I'd like to leave you with a verse that the Lord has impressed upon me lately. Ephesians 6:10~"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." This verse has served as such and encouragement to me. I can must rest in God's strength and power!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Mom, My Friend

Words cannot adequately express how much my Mother means to me. She has been an amazing Mom and I count myself privileged to be her daughter. Each day as we talk I am reminded of just how blessed I am. She offers encouragement, counsel, and most of all love. God made my Mom to be a Mom. It is in her very nature to mother.

In a feeble attempt to pay homage to my mother, I want to take a few moments to share some of my favorite things that my Mom does for me. This list will not be exhaustive but merely a sampling of what makes my Mom one in a million!

  • She taught me. Some of my earliest memories are of my Mom teaching me. She taught me the academic must knows and household how-tos. She even threw in a few practical just becauses; however, the most important things she taught me came from God's Word. Even today, most of my pleas for help are met with a ready verse and encouragement from the Bible.
  • She modeled for me. When I wonder what the Proverbs 31 woman actually looked like, I simply need to look to my Mom. She taught me what it means to be so many of the traits found in the Proverbs 31 woman simply by how she lived her life. As commanded in Titus, she has taught me by her example how to love my husband and love my children, to be sober, discreet, chaste, good, a keeper at home, and obedient. 
  • She loved me. That almost seems anti-climatic that a Mom would love her children; however, it truly is a gift. She loved me at my best and at my worst. She loved me when I needed it most and somehow always knew when that time was. Now, she loves me and that love spills out to her love for my husband and boys. She is an amazing mother-in-law if I do say so myself. :) She is a Grammy extraordinaire. A natural out pouring of her love for me is that she fiercely loves those  near and dear to me (even my friends).
I love you Mom! You're the best!

My Mother-in-law, my Friend

The general sentiment that when you marry someone, you marry their family too, is very true. My husband has a wonderful family and I am so thankful that they let me in! They are such a kind and loving family.

My Mother-in-law, or in-love (m-i-l) as we often say, is a special lady. She is kind and gentle. She has such a sweet spirit. She raised an amazing son (well, three if you poll the sisters-in-law :) for which I am so grateful. Marrying her youngest son not only granted me entrance into the family but into their hearts as well. As Mother's Day nears, I wanted to take a moment and let her know how much I love her.

The mother/daughter in law relationship can be tricky. I applaud my  m-i-l for making ours so easy. She has done many things in the past 15 years to bolster the relationship. Today I share a few:
  • She included me. That means in conversations, in decisions, in helping when we were visiting, just everything. She has always made me feel a part of the family.
  • She encouraged me. Despite my well-intentioned but pitiful attempts at times, she is a source of encouragement. Whether it be my attempts to make HER special bar-b-que recipe (which I have conceded will never happen), a botched try at caring for her son, or even parenting two of her grandchildren, she never tried to one-up me, even when she clearly could! Her words remind me of the Proverbs 31. She speaks with the "law of kindness".
  • She befriended me. Not willing to settle for a mediocre relationship, she has gone out of her way to become more than my m-i-l, but my friend. When we speak on the phone she asks and cares about me. How I am doing  as a person, wife, and mother. And then again, in our conversation, she encourages me.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is several core principles which guide our relationship. As a mom who one day faces the possibility of her two sons finding young women who capture their hearts, I am trying to take heed now. I want to build a relationship with my future daughters-in-law that is as sweet and uplifting as the one I share with my m-i-l! I love you, Mom Schaffer! Happy Mother's Day!

The Birthday Boy

Today was a special day in our house. My little Daniel turned 7 years old. I love how they say it here in the Bayou, "He made 7." :) He has been such a blessing to our family. To know Dan is to love him. He brings joy wherever he goes. He (generally) wakes up happy and goes to bed happy. He is just the brother that God knew Charles needed. Despite their 4 year age difference, they are becoming very good friends.

Dan has been blessed with a mind that quickly understands math and he is growing in his love of reading. He loves when he gets to pick our family night activity. He usually wants family exercise night. :) He loves to ride bikes, take hikes, and play sports of all kinds. His latest hobby is tennis. Game night is another favorite activity of his. He could eat his weight in pizza and ice cream.

My favorite thing about Daniel is his deepening love of the Lord. He has been earnestly praying for about 7 months about whether God wants him to be a pastor when he grows up one day. He is a prayer warrior. If I really want something prayed for, I ask Dan. He almost always stops right then and prays. As a Mom, it brings me great joy to see him grow and mature as a Christian. I feel so blessed to be his Mom.

Daniel, I love you!!! Thanks for being an amazing kid!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Just wanted to give you a quick update on my last post...Our friends are arriving any minute. Praise the Lord for a safe trip in wet and gloomy conditions. Thank you, to all who prayed for me to get my "chores" done the past few days. They have been challenging, but I think we're ready (well, mostly...just don't look too closely at my desk :) Adding to our "normal" schedule has been a graduation, funeral preparations, and a one-on-one discipleship Bible study. God has blessed and helped me make the most of my time. Also, my boys are amazing helpers. In a moment of honesty, I was unsure when they were little, that the day would ever come when they would truly help more than they hindered. Praise the Lord!!! The day has come!!! They're awesome! As I was typing that sentence one of my Guys came in to ask, "Mom, are there any jobs you need me to do?" Ah, it does a Mom's heart good to hear that. :) So for now, I am off to go enjoy a few busy days with my Chum, enjoy celebrating my little Daniel's 7th birthday, and spend a few moments thanking the Lord for the amazing Mom and Mom-in-Love He gave me. God bless!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Time for People

This coming month holds lots of exciting events for both our family and our church. May is always just a little bit crazy around my house. This year is will be even more so for several reasons...all good ones. I am excited about what God has planned for the next few weeks; however, if I dwell on all that will happen in the next four weeks, I start to hyperventilate just a little bit. I. need. a. plan. My Dad (who is Mr. Organized...) taught my sister and I the value of a good plan. Somehow, she caught onto the execution part of it a little better than I did. :) So, after a day of feeling like we are a ship taking on water I have settled on a plan. Want to hear it? I am going to make time for people! There...that is the bulk of all that my plan entails. Now my dad is hyperventilating. :) Just kidding!!!

Sometimes we are so busy in ministry that we do not have time to minister. As my Mom is fond of reminding me, Jesus was never too busy for people! We are trying not to let that happen this May. As mentioned earlier, May is an intensely busy month, but it also holds several unique ministry opportunities. We are going to try and capitalize on each one.

In just a few days, some friends that serve on the mission field of the Northwest Territories of Canada will be here to spend some time with us. We are so excited to open our home to them. While they were on deputation, they were frequent guests at our home in Tennessee. The Bayou is a little out of their way, but they are making a special trip to see us. We want to enjoy every  single moment of our limited time together. During the week that will be here, in addition to our normal schedule, we also have a funeral, teen fundraiser, a graduation, and a recital. During all of the busyness, I do not want to lose sight of the few days God has given us to encourage our friends. So please pray with me that I can balance it all in a way that glorifies God. How do you juggle an extremely busy season of your life?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Who Am I?

While visiting family recently, my boys (especially my little guy) found a new game. My Mom, a.k.a. Grammy, started playing Who Am I? with them. Gram thinks of a Bible character and tells a little bit about the story and sees who can guess it first. Sounds simple, and it is; however, it is a blast! After a few short minutes we exhaust the "easy" people (like David and Goliath, Joseph, and Moses) and find yourself reaching to the back of your memory for  characters a bit more obscure. It is a fun way to get the family involved in talking about the Bible! Many times the little ones get to learn a Bible story they've never heard before or do not remember. It can even spark a healthy debate which must be settled by looking into the Bible. :) I am all for talking with my children about God's Word every chance I get. This is an entertaining way to pass a long car ride or wait somewhere, while still following the Biblical principal found in Deut. 6:5-7,"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

What ways do you diligently teach your children God's Word?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family Time

We were so blessed to be able to see family this weekend! It is always a joy to spend time with our family. We live quite a distance from all of our family so each trip is special. This weekend we were on a trip to speak at a church in GA (more on that in a future post) and we detoured to FL. We enjoyed one evening of family fun with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. I love you all! We ate the most delicious steaks ever (Thanks Dad!), told stories, and laughed until our sides hurt. Family time is like taking a vitamin. I feel better afterward and it is good for me. I am so blessed to have a family that is still so close. We even had a "surprise" birthday party for my little guy who will be seven this Saturday. My sister made a cake with the best frosting ever! (Thanks, Em!)

Being a close family takes work! We have some basic principles we all try to live by which make remaining close a possibility. As our family has grown and distance now separates us, staying close can be a challenge. We talk every day...that helps. :) We do lots of communicating (Eph. 4:15)  and forgiving (Eph. 4:32). We do lots of loving one anothe r (John 15:12). I miss them all so! My two nieces are growing up far too quickly. I treasure each moment with my family! I am so thankful my husband loves them all too. :)

My heart hurts each time we back out of the driveway; however, I am thankful. We leave simply to obey the Lord. There is great joy and contentment that comes from serving God. So as mile after mile passes on the Interstate, I am thankful we are going home. Home to our church family. Our church family has become so dear to us. In the absence of "real" family, our church family stands in the gap. In fact, my boys are blessed with "family" all over the world. God has blessed us with not only a family by blood, but a family of the heart. This weekend we were able to visit some of them in GA. Another such family will be arriving here to spend a week in just a few days. Some are serving on the mission field in faraway lands like Africa. We are blessed to have such a "big" family! God is good!

I am capturing my two nieces (I hope!) this summer for a few weeks. We are trying to get schedules to coincide. I will have several weeks on non-stop fun activities to plan, What is your favorite family activity?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Random Thoughts...

Hello. Sorry that I have been MIA lately. It has been an incredible busy few weeks. God has blessed in many ways (more about that later) but whew...I am tuckered! I would love a day to sit with my feet up and read a good book. Thank you all for your continued support during my absence.

Once again inspired by my sister's blog,, I am going to do a completely random post. So here goes...

~We are only a few weeks away from completing another school year. That makes me so very happy and sad all at the same time. :)  :(  :)  :( 
~We get to see some family very soon. We live quite a distance from either set of parents/siblings. It has been too long! I cannot wait to see my family!!!
~My husband has been working some crazy hours trying to get a new website up and running for our church.
~I have been privileged to do one-on-one discipleship lessons with two ladies the past few weeks. I absolutely love spending time teaching them from God's Word! It is so much fun to watch them learn and grow. They have been so faithful doing their lessons and learning their verses. I am thankful for the opportunity.
~My heart is full with all of God's blessings lately.
~My heart is heavy/prayerful  for three families that I love dearly, who are going through some challenging times in their ministries.

Today, I'll close with a verse that I am claiming for the afore-mentioned families. 

Jeremiah 33:3~"Call unto me,  and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and might things which thou knowest not."