Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There ain't NOTHING gonna steal my joy!!!

I LOVE this song by Zach Williams:

My precious littlest grand baby Becca! She truly has amazing joy! 
Old Church Choir
There's revival, and it's spreading
Like a wildfire in my heart
Sunday morning, Hallelujah
And it's lasting all week long
Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?
It's the rhythm of a gospel song
Oh, once you choose it, you can lose it
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
When the valleys that I wander
Turn to mountains that I can climb
Oh, you are with me, never leave me
Oh, 'cause there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steel my joy
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Till you find that gospel beat
'Cause it's all you'll ever need, all you'll ever need
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Till you find that gospel beat
'Cause it's all you'll ever need
All you'll ever need
I've got an old church choir, singing in my soul
I got a sweet salvation, and it's beautiful
I've got a heart overflowing 'cause I've been restored
There ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
No, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy
Oh, there ain't nothing gonna steal my joy.
So get lost enemy! You are NOT going to steal my joy! 
This song has been my mantra these last days. Truly.....I need to keep it fresh in my day because there is nothing the enemy likes more than trying to steal my joy....trying to get inside my head and discourage me! I just need to say...."sing louder church choir!"....

Monday, December 18, 2017

One year ago.....


Good afternoon faithful blog readers....I'm so sorry about the fact that it's was one year ago today that I last wrote a blog post. Will you PLEASE forgive me? You see, life as I knew it has ramped up, and gotten even livelier! Our family has grown 2 more times since my last post! And AnnaBella has been home for one full year now! From orphan to beloved sister and daughter! Incredible! 

I call them my triplets! 

Last year at this very time, JoyAnna was in the Children's hospital recovering from a serious intestinal surgery. She ended up recovering nicely, and has done really well with her stomach since then. 

We had a really nice Thanksgiving and Christmas season. 

Rosie turned 5 in January! REALLY hard to believe! 

Jon and Jerry started 2 brother's shoveling business and had a WONDERFUL season serving 4 customers locally! Gotta LOVE the entrepreneurial spirit! 

In February, JoyAnna and AnnaBella (who we call Peppy) started at the Barnstead Elementary school. JoyAnna in 3rd grade and Peppy in kindergarten. They really did well that school year!

This is us at Peppy's kindergarten Christmas brunch! Such fun! 

My view as I sit and write to you all! 

Fast forward now it's December 2017! Truly this is how hard it is for me to be able to have the time to sit, and focus and write to you all. Again, I apologize. Such is my life right now! Sometimes I've been known to say this to my kids....
"This is the story of my life!
A movie starring me!":) :)
Just the truth of things right now. 
Today is Monday, December 18th.  JoyAnna and Peppy are at school. Glenn and Edward are at work building a house. Ellie is at work at Hobby Lobby (can I just tell you how much she LOVES this job! ??) Jon and Jerry are working on Christmas creations in the basement. Nicole and Rosie are doing art projects in the kitchen. So me...WOW....I'm able to sit by the wood stove as it's super cold here today, and try and get caught up on blogging! I recently has a friend say to me..."Why aren't you blogging right now? Are you having troubles with blogger?"....NOPE...I'm's just that carving out the time is hard! VERY hard....but here I am trying to right now! 

I can't even begin to believe that Christmas is one week from today. The time has truly flown by, each day melding into the next. I'm always trying to remember to build monuments to God for all He has given us each and every day. hmmmm...where was I?? Oh yes....Just as Joy and Peppy were finishing their school year, God added to our family with a precious 8 year old little gal named Meira. What a blessing she and her family are to us! She came to us in June. 

Also in June I celebrated one year at our local Cross Fit gym! Oh how I LOVE working out there! It's been such an amazing blessing as my body has changed and gotten sooooooo much stronger! I'm actually signed up to do a Spartan Sprint in May of 2018!! It's a 5 mile course with 25 obstacles!  (pray for me with this one! it's a HUGE stretch for me!).....I'm told that fitness goals should be a bit scary and this one certainly is!

Barbels are my FAVORITE for lifting! 

one year at gym...eating mostly clean! 55lbs and countless inches gone! Even though I'm embracing my "crown of glory" a.k.a. no longer coloring my hair...people say I look waaayyyy younger! What do you think??

I was also introduced to a new to me sport this calendar year. It's called Rucking. It's basically walking/hiking with a weighted back pack. I LOVE it! It centers me and helps me to focus and really just think and pray!'s an incredible total body workout! I can't even begin to describe it! Just try it! I'm up to carrying 55lbs in my rucksack. Glenn actually bought me an official rucksack and ruck plates. 

 I'm also signed up for a Ruck Light challenge in September! That's totally more up my alley! :) :) It's a 5-7 mile course that you do with a team and a drill sergeant, etc! FUN!!

We had a pretty wonderful summer albeit VERY busy....Glenn's business was busier than it's EVER been! What a blessing though! We were able to purchase a wonderful new to us travel trailer/camper!! It's pretty amazing! We were able go camping 2 times at Grampa Dave's house....a.k.a. "Rest Awhile Park" one site campground! What a blessing it was to be there with him!

 I was invited on a cruise to Bermuda in August and that was quite an experience for this small town girl! Wow!

 Glenn and I also were able to attend A Mother's Rest Retreat in Virginia for parents of special needs children. We stayed at a glorious bed and breakfast and really had some wonderful time together just being us and resting. We can't wait to do it again! 

We continued to have an amazing garden this year. Our asparagus bed gave us a bountiful harvest of over 20+ pickings! We LOVE asparagus! We had a GREAT strawberry harvest, too! Lots of yummy veggies!

This year was the year of Edward and Ellie doing Spartan races! They both did the Sprint and the Super. Edward also did the Beast which completed his longed for Trifecta! (3 races in one year!) I'm so proud of them! They both turned 18 this summer, too, and got their licenses and they both have full time jobs now, too!

Our pool continued to provide us with cool fun enjoyed by all! What a blessing it is! We still make great use of our in-ground trampoline, too! 

In October we got to have a dinner with Grampa Dave before he left for Florida along with Uncle Matt! We also got to go to our semi annual lunch at the Sky Light Dining Room, too!  That was super fun! We cherish those times together!

We celebrated National Adoption day at our state house again this year in November.  We got to meet our new governor, too! That was a HUGE blessing. We also added Edward and Elisha's old babysitter to our family this year! Her name is Amy, she's 28, she lives in Concord, and she comes to church with us now each week. God is so good to have given her to us!

In November of this year, our daughter Grace began a new adventure for her! She now resides with her biological sister Magnalie (pictured below with her) in Massachusetts! God is so good to have orchestrated all of this! Grace was able to transfer to the Marshalls in her local area, which was great for her! 

Yesterday was our church's candlelight service. Before attending it, we watched the Nativity together. What an amazing movie. What a GREAT reminder of the reason for this season and the greatest gift of all! CHRIST! 

We were able to do our annual gingerbread house making day with Brittany and her girls and Maddie and Becca, too! What a blessing it was to us! 

As I sit by our wood stove updating you all, I'm reminded of all of our blessings! This year our family has decided that instead of spending money on gifts for each other, we would pool together our gift money and spend it on gifts for families in the Samaritan's Purse ministry gift catalog! 

Did you know for 14.00 you can buy a family a dozen chicks that can provide them with protein daily and income? How about feeding a hungry baby for a week for 9.00, or buying a dairy animal for a family for 60.00, or sponsoring a farmer for 45.00, or a bicycle for a missionary for $100.00? Seriously...the possibilities are incredible! The impact even greater! And know what? with each gift comes the gospel message, too! I'm soooooo excited to be storing up our treasures in heaven in this way this year! 

As a family in our gift envelope we have 508.00! So we can give a HUGE variety of things! What's even better.....our children are completely on board! Their hearts are so soft toward giving and others. I'm truly humbled by this beyond measure! 

Prayer requests for us:
*In November, Glenn got hurt. He has an MRI on his knee on Wednesday of this week. Please pray for God's will with all of this and wisdom for the doctors and for Glenn, too!
*Please pray for our testimony in our community.
*Please pray that JoyAnna could get in to the Monarch school in Rochester, NH. A day program for students with special needs! It's amazing!
*Please pray for our adoption of Meira and Amy this upcoming year.
Just had to sneak in a picture of one of my granddaughters little Miss Becca Lyn. Maddie's baby girl! She's so precious! 

Okay....this note and the photos catches you up somewhat. I promise now to try and blog at least once a week from now on! 

Oh and we LOVE comments and encouragement and blog visitors! We LOVE questions, too! 

Love you guys all so much! You mean so much to us! We thank God for ALL of you!

We are on Facebook:  Winslow Gang
We are on Instagram, too: Glenn_ and _Mary _Winslow

Bye for now! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

He Knows

I'm so thankful that "He knows!"...I was listening to this Jeremy Camp song today, and it really ministered to me! 
He knows
He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows
He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the one
Who knows
He knows
We may faint and we may sink
Feel the pain and near the brink
But the dark begins to shrink
When you find the one who knows
The chains of doubt that held you in between
One by one are starting to break free
Today I am resting in this very fact...He knows....And He has known ALL along. None of this is a surprise to Him! Not one thing! 
Another song that gave me comfort today was this one, by Ryan Stevenson. "In the Eye of the Storm".
In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
And in the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I've been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm.
This is a storm we are in right now, and it's such a comfort to know that God is right there with us, right here in the eye of the storm. He is in control! He is our anchor! Praise be to God!
Today during my Bible reading I was reading Philipians 2:14..."Do All things without murmuring or complaining!"....Very convicting! 
I must I was feeling like I really wanted to just pack up and go home, feeling a bit sorry for myself and my circumstances....and was really discouraged during breakfast, and then I was sitting with 2 mamas of premie babies. And they were saying to one another...."Will you go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or will you stay here?"....This was a great reminder to me that I have NOTHING to complain about! Even if I have to stay another week or even two weeks, I'll be home by Thanksgiving and Christmas! And then I read that Bible verse later this morning and realized....I need to be joyful no matter how hard it is! 
Today I was also struck by God's Grace and mercy new each and every day and I was so overcome with thanksgiving for this gift! It truly is like the song says....This is Amazing Grace:
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory
His love NEVER fails, and it NEVER gives up on us! His grace is greater than ALL my sin! And I totally LOVE this song, too!
If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine
And you know what?? I'm so thankful God has me right here, right now, where I can tell my story and it truly is of Him! Glenn always jokes....give me 1 minute talking to someone and I will start to tell our story in one way or another. It's really true! Since I've been here this time, I've given out 10 or so family business cards and even more photos of all of the kids. Such a blessing! 
So....JoyAnna had her MRI this afternoon. It was as the surgeon had feared. There is still a blockage and some leaking that needs to be fixed, and it needs to be done with a more major surgical approach and a complete incision. He has booked the surgery for tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. So Dr. "C" loves to draw pictures showing me what is happening and what he is going to do. For tomorrow's surgery, he is going to have 2 options depending on what he finds when he gets in there. So I've included a photo with this post. 
The first option is pictured on the bottom and is the easier of the 2. He's really hoping for that one. If he can repair the damage by stitching 2 ends of the tubing together and if they are close enough to one another, he will do that and insert a plastic "t" in there as well that can be removed in 6-8 weeks after healing takes place. He's hoping for that option which would take 3 ish hours, or so, maybe. Then the top photo is the longer more complicated one. If the ends aren't close enough together, then he will have to re-route the intestines and make a "y" with them. This will take double the amount of time. The surgery is scheduled for 1:30 or so tomorrow! Sure do covet your prayers for all of that! Can I tell you something, though?? One of the nurses mentioned to me that it was really a "God thing" that Dr. C. decided to check this all out whlie we are here and not wait for us to come back in a few weeks like he first said. He couldn't sleep that night after surgery and came in the next day to tell me that he wanted to check it all out. Dr. C. shares our faith! What a blessing! 
Not sure what Joy's recovery will be like...but she will have had major abdominal surgery and she'll need to be pain free, and eating and drinking well, and doing all of her other bodily functions, etc. So probably it's going to be sometime next week. We shall see! 
Would you please join me in praying for some families and babies today that we have met??
There is Ashley. Her little premie baby boy is still very lethargic and having a lot of troubles breathing. He's still not interested in feeding and so he is tube fed right now. Ashley has 2 little boys at home, too, that are 6 and 3. This is hard for them!
Ira that I met a few days ago is going home with her baby McKenzie tomorrow! She is super excited about that! Her husband and pastor are coming to get them in the afternoon! 
Please pray for a little girl Danielle. She is 11, and was a premie baby and is still having troubles and is here for some checkups with her Dad. Sweet little girl.
Also met the most wonderful couple tonight. They are Chrisians and have 3 adopted children from Romania. Truly kindred spirits for sure. Their little guy Caleb was born by emergency c-section at 35 weeks about 2 weeks ago. The mom Natasha hemoraged and had to be med flighted to Dartmouth and they almost lost her. She spent a good amount of time in the ICU here, and her baby boy joined her up here, too. They are better now, and might be here a few more weeks. They are both miracles to have survived! Truly miracles from the Lord! 
You could also pray for my family back home, too. Especially Rosie. She asks every day when I'm coming home, and she's really worried that JoyAnna is going to go to heaven while she's here. Pray for peace and comfort for her and the other kids, too. I think Glenn is going to bring everyone up here on Saturday to visit. That will be sooooo nice! 
Jon and I are hanging in and doing pretty well. JoyAnna, too. Thank you all for praying! Truly, truly, God is here with us, in the eye of this storm, and we will purpose to be joyful, and share His love through our lives here. For such a time as this! <3 <3 <3

Saturday, September 10, 2016

We are Here and AnnaBella is with us!

Just a quick note to my awesome blog readers! Grace and I arrived on Monday the 5th here in Sofia Bulgaria. We picked up AnnaBella on Wednesday the 7th. She is AWESOME!! She ran right to me when we got there!

Can I just tell you, she was sooooooo well cared for! When she came to the center 1.5 years ago, she was NOT mobile, and very unresponsive! They have cared so well for her, that now she is running and VERY interactive! What an amazing blessing they have all been!

We have just a little more than a week left in country before going home! Tonight we got to face time with everyone back home and introduce AnnaBella to everyone! That was awesome! We did FaceTime with my Dad, too! Yay! Grampa LOVES AnnaBella.