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.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

What a blessed Week...What a gift from the Lord!

This past week has been packed full of blessings as only the Lord can provide! Get yourself a cup of nice tea, or a cold refreshing drink and take a peek at our week!

Saturday, August 27, 2016
We were invited to attend a wedding of the daughter of some dear friends of ours. Edward and Ellie were asked to help serve the food. It was a lovely country outdoor event! A bonus for me was a ride in my cousin Harold's Jeep Willys. It's something he has always wanted, and it was so much fun! Just like the good old days!

Mitchell and Maddie and baby Becca had their first official outing at the wedding! 

LOVE my precious grand baby! 

Josh and Cierra

They got to drive on in the jeep! 

Abby LOVES her daddy! 

Serving truly is Edward and Ellie's gift!  What a blessing they are! 

It was a wild ride! Through a cow barn, into a fenced in sheep pen, and all around! Even catching up to Mitch and Maddie! 

The barn was decorated beautifully! 

The Collomy sisters have matching dresses! Cool thing is I have these same dresses for Nicole, JoyAnna, AnnaBella, and Rosie! 

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
This was the last Sunday in August. The last Sunday of the month is our beloved nursing home ministry. This is our 15th year doing this ministry and it's such a blessing to us! Let me share some precious pictures with you as they really are worth 1,000 or more words! There were probably 15 residents there this day, and Glenn did the message. He spoke on letting your faith be bigger than your fear! Y'all, these are precious, precious people in the winter of their lives, and this service monthly is such a highlight for them! For some of them, it may be their only visitors. And they just LOVE the children!! 

Jon and Miss Annie. They LOVE each other!

This resident LOVES Rosie sooooooo much! And Rosie is soooooo giving with her hugs and kisses! 

Auntie Ellie is a favorite with the littles! 

A panoramic view of everyone there!

This is Joan, and she's a Christian. She told me that she prays for our family every single day. What an amazing blessing she is! 

Rosie LOVES to hand out the song books! 

The kids sing and play the piano. Jon and Grace sang "Secret Place". Ellie played the piano. It was awesome! 

Marlie (age 5) who has been taking piano lessons from Ellie for a few months played a lovely duet!

It's been such a blessing to have Chris and Brittany come to the nursing home with us! 

Nicole loves to hold the song books while Dan plays the guitar!

This time we had a great niece of the DeHarts there for a visit! 
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Elisha and Edward and I planned and decided to do the batch cooking for 2 weeks worth of meals for either while we are gone to Bulgaria or when we return home! We are so blessed that our church family is going to also provide us with weeks worth of meals for Glenn and the kids while we are in country! Such an encouragement! 

Thursday, September 1st, 2016
The Winslows go to Storyland! 
2 years ago, Edward and Jon started their little firewood business at the end of our driveway. They sell 10 pieces of firewood for 3.50. Most weekends, it sells out! They have cut and split all of the wood themselves! They purposed 2 years ago that they wanted to save the profits for us to go to Storyland! Well, they met their goal! We decided to go Thursday. They had saved $276.27 to be exact. The total for all 10 of us to go would be $333.00. We were blessed with a pass for one free person and so it brought our total down to $300.00. So we'd only need to provide $23.73! What a blessing!  It was an amazing, amazing family day!! We truly needed it!  Take a peek! **To add to our blessing, our dear friends the Collomy's were already planning to go on that day, too! AWESOME! 
My little entrepreneurs! Hard work really does pay off! 

 On our way! Martha came, too! She's such a blessing to our family! 

We have arrived and are ready for some fun! 

Let's count out the total!!! 

Such an amazing deal! 

Oh how Rosie LOVES nursery rhymes and LOVES Humpty Dumpty! 

Rosie loved the old woman in a shoe! They truly bonded! She went back 7 or 8 times!

Grace wasn't so sure about Miss Muffett's tuffet! 

Martha even got into the day! She's such a trooper! Peter Pumpkin Eater had NOTHIN' on her! :)

Oh the tea cup ride! Twisty fun! 

The 3 little pigs was a hit, too! 

We took the pumpkin coach to visit Cinderella in her castle! 

We loved the Merry Go Round! 

This little guy, soooooo many firsts! So very many. He LOVED our day! 

So did this precious girl! She was even able to go on some rides, too! 

Everyone enjoyed "milking" the cow!

Everyone loved the flying wooden shoes! 

We ALL went on the Polar Coaster!

A quick trip to Heidi's mountain top home! 

Sure do LOVE our dearest friends! 

The flying fish are always beautiful and a hit! 

We ended the day with a train ride around the park! 

On the way home we ate our supper at Subway and then had a wonderful ice-cream nearby! 

We sure are counting our blessings! Naming them one by one! We are counting our blessings and seeing what God has done! And now, we are off. Tomorrow morning Grace and I are headed to Bulgaria to pick up our precious little AnnaBella! 

Our bags are packed and we are ready to go! We sure do covet your prayers!