Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Singing

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...for He is good, all the time. Even in the midst of struggles that may sometimes seem overwhelming, the Christian can know that he or she has at least one thing, one great big, wonderful thing, to be thankful for, and that is the grace given to us through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So today, whatever your troubles, if you love Jesus, please set those troubles aside, or even better, give them to God, and send up some songs and prayers of praise for all He has given to you. I will be praising along with you.

Have a blessed Easter. 

Many happy Easter blessings to you and yours from all of us at Blessing Farm,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Updated Photos of the Blessing Farm Family

Mr. and Mrs. Bubba are doing well after two years of marriage.
They sold their first townhouse and bought an older home on 36 acres
in a nearby town. He built this awesome 18 stall boarding and training barn
for her to run their own equestrian business out of. It has been her dream for many years.
He's still a farrier and a he's a great husband. He amazes me with his resourcefulness.
Awesome barn, eh? He got the uber cool window at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
I love it that we have so many alternate sources for good quality products
than just the mainstream vendors now. It makes so much more to recycle, barter,
and repurpose. I am especially pleased that Bubba has perfected the art of getting
the help he needs and always making sure he returns the favor.
Tex is now 16 and looking towards college.
Wow. Time flies. I am so proud of the man he is becoming.
He loves computers, animation, programming, photography, writing, cooking, and reading.
He is still my right hand man and is becoming my good friend.
He will help with anything from fixing computers to putting up fences and doing dishes.
I couldn't do all of what we do without him. Thank you, son.
Ladybug is 10 and developing a style all her own.
She loves reading, drawing, sewing, cooking, writing, and her ponies.
She's a sweet helper and loves to organize creative projects.
She's interested in sign language and music.
She's the one who helps keep everyone in line, yet is always sympathetic to their needs.
What a blessing.
Cowboy is 8 and has plans to become a Park Ranger.
He says he can do all of his favorite things as a ranger:
explore, hike, help animals, teach people about plants and animals,
ride four-wheelers, have a petting zoo, have a Lego building area,
fight forest fires, and be outside all the time. I think it is a great plan.
He's still our encourager and loves to teach the little kiddos.
His smile lights up our days and his eagerness to learn is a challenge.

Firefly is now 6. What a cutie!
She taught herself to read and reads voraciously.
She has a sweet heart and loves reading, helping, the new foster kids,
giving hugs, crafts and coloring, playing the piano, and her karate classes.
She's our "happy place..." You simply can't be sad with Firefly around.
Her enthusiasm is contagious. She is a fierce warrior in her karate classes!
She likes to teach the little kids and read to them. What a treasure.
Boo is 4 now. He's as adorable as ever.
He's a bit of a handful at times, but he's the best hugger ever.
He says he will stay with me forever. Awwwww...
I don't think that's precisely true, but I'd be happy living in a cottage near his home.
He likes to help, play with Legos, learn to read, play outside,
and he still loves his blankie and his Beary dearly. He's my baby.
These two cuties are Princess P and Jack Jack (JJ),
so named because she loves anything Princessy AND she is learning to read
already at age 3 (reference the show Super Why).

His name is derived from the fact he is a mighty
tornado of destruction at 18 months (think The Incredibles), but most of that is curiosity.

I can't wait to see what they become. They already smile a lot more than when they first arrived here.
They are our newest foster children, since Jellybean moved on to her forever family.
Our little kids absolutely dote on them, and JJ dotes on Tex.

I am so grateful that my kiddos love being with each other and are best friends. 
One of the biggest blessings of homeschooling
is that they are each other's playmates and have the best times doing things together. 
They are never bored and rarely perturbed with each other. 

When there are problems, redirecting activities towards reading 
or school work or playtime outside usually mends the fences. 
Time out from everyone ALWAYS works its magic.
Funny how you can be annoyed at someone one minute, but when separated
from them, suddenly you can't wait to make up and get on with the fun.

Thank you for checking out our updated photos.
It is always a pleasure checking in on blogging friends and seeing how their
children and families have grown.
I hope you enjoyed your brief visit with us today.

Many blessings to you.
Feel free to comment with links to updates on your families.
I would love to see them!



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sermon Sunday---What a Beautiful Morning!

It was a beautiful morning at Yorktown Beach. A perfect day for a baptism. Or three baptisms. Today would be the day that the Three Amigos chose to be baptized together in the York River.

What an amazing day for us as know that not only had three of our precious gifts from Heaven chosen to give their hearts and dedicate their lives to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (each at different times, on their own, over the past two years), but today would be the day they chose to publicly profess their faith before their family, friends, and the body of Christ.

The gang's all here...Nanny, Poppy, Mr. and Mrs. Bubba, my brother and his family, and many friends, both from church and the community, chose to join our church group on this special day. Our location, Yorktown Beach. 

The weather was a gift from God, after many days of rain, grey skies held off and gave us a gorgeous background for our occasion, and a cool breeze made the summer heat comfortable for both church services, the baptism, and a luncheon to follow.

We spread our blankets around a stately old tree and the church praise "band" (whichever of the pastor's 14 kids happened to be in town home from college or mission trips) led us in worship that made our hearts sing. I think even the birds were singing along.

Then the pastor's oldest son gave a marvelously challenging sermon about being the person God is calling you to be. He called everyone to do the simple things, the hard things, the unexpected things that the Lord wants you to do because we are all important parts of the Body, and if one of us fails to do what we are asked to do, then God has to find someone else to do that job and we miss out on the blessing we might have gained from following His leading. 

This was particularly meaningful to the children, since being baptized so publicly was a challenge for Ladybug, in particular, and for our family as a whole, as we have been traveling the road to pursuing foster care and adoption, and it hasn't been an easy road.

Then it was time for a refreshing walk around the bend to a small beach away from the crowds where we would hold the baptism. Of course, we had to stop for photo opportunities on the way there...

Here are the "before" pictures. 
I took "after" ones, too. Look for them later. 
Can you see a difference?

We gathered alongside the river and the pastor talked about the significance of baptism in the life of a Believer, and offered that if there was anyone who wanted to accept the Lord's free gift of salvation who hadn't planned ahead for it, they would be welcome to join our joy, someone who had been visiting the church from time to time, decided to be immersed, along with our kids and a few of the pastor's kiddos. What a blessing!

The big moment came first for Ladybug, which was probably good, since she was the most nervous about it. She knew it was what she wanted to do, but the idea of being at the river was a bit intimidating. She told me she'd do anything for Jesus, though, so she boldly walked out to her dad and the other men, who prayed over her, then her father blessed her, then she was asked if she accepted Christ as her Savior, to which she answered "YES!" and then she was dunked in the river, just like Jesus.

Cowboy was next, which was probably good, too, since there was so much to see at the river and he is easily distracted. I was worried he'd not pay attention the way he ought to, but when it came down to it, he listened attentively, answered boldly, and walked out with a smile on his face (though he said later that it was surprisingly of the disadvantages of not having a heated baptismal in your church! But you can't beat the views at the river, for sure).

Firefly went last of the three. As the youngest Amigo, I wondered if they were concerned that she really knew what she was doing, but I had told them how she'd come to me on her own and asked if she could ask Jesus into her heart because she loved him and wanted to live in Heaven with Him forever, and that she was very concerned with pleasing God by being obedient to His Word, and asking for His forgiveness. They agreed that she obviously knew what she believed, so she, too, had her dunking beneath the waters as an outward showing of the inner change that occurred when her sins were washed away the moment she asked Jesus to be her Savior.

Everyone watched from the shoreline...I couldn't resist taking pictures. As you can see, while the last person was baptized, the kiddos couldn't help but join them in the river. I think we carted home at least two dozen "special" shells and rocks, and at least half the beach's sand.

Family pictures after the event...
We are so proud and happy!!

 Here are the "after" pictures of the Three Amigos, and Boo, the up and coming Fourth Amigo. Three down, one to go...

 We saw this seaweed heart on the sand on the walk out and couldn't resist taking a picture. We felt it was there to remind us of God's unfailing love for us, in spite of all of our faults and imperfections. It is a heart made from seaweed...not expensive diamonds, or gold...but instead is made from a single strand of a simple sea plant. To me that is even more meaningful, because just like that plant, we are simple people who have but to be willing to be shaped by the Lord and we too can reflect His love to others in so many important ways.

 Thank you for joining us on our special day.

"For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but would have everlasting life."  John 3:16



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