Where Would You Like To Go?

June 30, 2012

Thankful for College Breaks!

Loving having our house guest here for the summer (for her)/ winter (for us)
On the beach in Ifaty
and clearly, I'm not the only one who is fond of her being here...
eating a popsicle Aunt Alanna brought with her!
Playing on the rocks in Ifaty
New favorite game?  Making faces through the door!
Warm enough for swimsuits...too cool for the pool!
Celebrating Mada's Independence Day with fireworks!
Playing with bubbles - SO FUN!

She's making our day - to - day a lot more fun - that's for sure!

June 28, 2012

Jonah & the Big Fish

This past week Alanna & I went to visit the deaf school.  Ryleigh was not feeling very well that day, so we just had a short visit BUT it went so well!  I shared the story of Jonah and the Big Fish.  This was actually the first time that some of them had heard this story! 

Their precious teacher, Hasina, is beyond patient with me as I stumble through my Malagasy and then she translates into Malagasy sign.  The children here are taught to read lips so I do the best that I can!  Last week was the 1st time I asked them to try and tell the story back to me...and they DID!  It was very exciting to me to watch them each stand up and help each other sign the complete story back to their teacher.  Not to mention, this was also the 1st time Hasina retold the story all by herself - which means she is learning the stories too!!

This is yet another example of how faithful the LORD is to use broken vessels to glorify Himself and make HIS name known among the nations.

June 25, 2012

Teaching the SIMPLE Things

Ryleigh teaches me things all the time.  I'm not sure she knows that she does but nevertheless (that's for you mom!) she does.  The hardest thing I'm trying to wrap my brain around is our parent/child relationship and how it is such a powerful reminder of my relationship with my heavenly Father.  For instance, I start to get Ryleigh's attention.  I call her name once.  She doesn't turn around.  I call her name again.  She looks at me with a silly grin on her face.  I tell her what's expected of her; "Ryleigh, when mommy says your name, you need to turn and look at me the very 1st time.  That's how you honor your parents.  That is how you obey your parents, which brings honor to the Lord."  The same scenario with actually asking her to do something..."Ryleigh, I need you to put the crayons back in the basket before playing with your toys.  (she continues towards the toys)  Ryleigh, I need you to follow directions the 1st time I say them." 

SIGH - then I have to stop myself and think about ALL the times that the Lord might have to say my name to get my attention...or all the times He repeats instructions to me through prayer, bible studies, songs, Christian friends, etc.  The truth is my struggle as how to be an obedient child of the Father greatly affects my ability of how to be a mother to Ryleigh.  Sometimes in my relationship with the Father, there are consequences & other times there are 2nd chances - and still other times He gives both.  My Heavenly Father is perfection in every aspect of His character.

No matter my mistake...
He is there as Love
He is there as Grace
He is there as Forgiveness
He is there as Judge
He is there as Righteousness
He is there as the Example

What huge shoes to attempt to fill and follow in!  James 1:5 is so encouraging to me - the Lord promises to give me wisdom - His wisdom - in whatever shape or form that I need it.  Oh and not a day goes by that I don't need it!  I don't say all of this for you to think that I expect Ryleigh to be a perfect child.  Ha!  I know Perfection intimately as my Lord and Savior and I still fail everyday.  I pray for the day that she does know Him personally and until then I also pray that I only lead her closer to Him being her Heavenly Father by being a constant example of Him through every opportunity He provides. 

Praying today and all the days that may lie ahead for wisdom in showing grace and how to discipline according to His word.

June 21, 2012

It's for me too...

Before Ryleigh was born, Steve & I talked about having a "life verse" for her.  A verse that we would start praying over her then and continue to throughout her life.  A verse that would be a beautiful truth for her to always reflect on, no matter her age.  After some searching we stopped on Zephaniah 3:17-
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
From the moment I read those verses while praying over what her verse should be, I knew it was the one.  It's beautiful and sweet - just as I imagined my precious little baby girl to be.  What gorgeous truths for her to grow up hearing about, learning about, and loving the God who made this promise.  Every day Ryleigh hears these words in some fashion - usually in the form of a song.  I deeply desire for her to grow with an unquestioning trust of how much her Father loves her. 

As I was singing to her this morning, I stopped suddenly as the beauty of this verse washed over me.  The Lord reminded me that this is a life verse for me too!  He is always in my midst.  He is a mighty one who will/has/and continues to save.  He rejoices over me with gladness.  He quiets me with His love.  He exults over me with singing. 
Do you hear Him? 
Do you get it? 
The Lord, my Savior, the Creator, the Rock of Ages, the King of Kings...
He does all of these things over His beloved. 
He does all of these things over me. 
What joy literally floods my soul... 
Praise His Name!

June 18, 2012

my daddy

he's flying back to MS today.  he's going to be missed...greatly.  he was my 1st example of the type of man that i wanted to marry.  he was my 1st example of the type of daddy that i wanted my children to have one day.  as i grew up, i started to realize just how invaluable he was and is.  there are not many men in this world that are like him.  he loves Jesus.  he serves Him with all that he has.  no, he's not perfect but he serves a Savior who is.  i love him.  i love how no matter how old i am, he'll always be my daddy.
 i also love how much my baby girl loves him too.  please remember him in your prayers today as he returns home!


June 17, 2012


Our family wants to wish all the daddies out there a very happy Father's Day!
Steve and I are grateful for the role our fathers' have played in leading us closer to our Heavenly Father throughout our lives.   We love them both very much!!

Ryleigh wanted to do a special tribute in honor of her daddy today & Steve, as your wife, I'm equally  grateful for what an amazing daddy you are to Ryleigh as I am thankful for being married to such an incredible husband! 

1st picture as a daddy!

Father's Day 2011

favorite place to sleep
glad he's sport savy b/c everyone knows I'm not!
daddy's little girl
love them both!

June 15, 2012


"This thing we're doing is deadly.  Terrifying.  I feel sick.  I feel exhilarated.  He said not to fear those who can only kill the body.  Think past the pain.  What about our families?  What does all this mean?  I feel like hoards of demons have been unleashed on us.  There are angels.  Real, live angels - and some of them appear in beams of brilliant light.  We may be captured, but we may be rescued.  We may see horros, but we may see wonders.  We may lose our heads, but we cannot lose our souls.  The stakes are up. 
The fire is lit. 
It's time to live like those who cannot die.

WELCOME to the life of those called Christians."

- Beth Moore - James, Mercy Triumphs

June 13, 2012

A Monday in Ifaty

We left Monday morning and drove for an hour to Ifaty.  It is dirt/sand/rock roads the whole way but provides some gorgeous views!  Our 1st stop was at the orphanage.
Pictures could not be taken of the children but we did manage to get a few of the team! 
We all took a turn at helping Michael with all of the balloon animals (atleast 80+ for sure!).
Dad and Alanna passing out more of the shoes - the kiddos LOVED them and were SO proud!
Midway's GA group + a few sweet ladies -
helped make these dolls which we passed out to all of the little girls!
After the orphanage visit, we headed to a nearby hotel for lunch -
and part of the crew took a boat out!
Our view during lunch
Thankful to the Lord for such a beautiful and enjoyable day!!

June 12, 2012

True Love Waits

Sunday morning, we visited a local church for worship

and then enjoyed lunch at a nearby hotel

The afternoon was spent back at the church doing a True Love Waits session.  This was the 1st time a focused study on TLW had been done with this group of believers.  We had over 40 people show up!  Flint, Patti, & Steve stayed outside and played games with the children who were there.  Michael, Alanna, the rest of the SW Mada team, and I helped teach through an overview of what Love looked like and how it could be reflected in our relationships.  TLW is counter cultural - to put it lightly - and we value your prayers for all who were in attendance. 
The girls group
Alanna giving her testimony
Michael giving his testimony
She's always making new friends!
Patti teaching the kiddos "paper, rock, scissors" :)
Rock playing with his favorite kiddo :)

We ended the night with a balloon animal training party to get ready for our time at the orphanage on Monday!

June 11, 2012

A Relaxing Saturday

The girls spent the morning preparing for True Love Waits (on Sunday) and organizing things for the trip to the orphanage (on Monday).  Of course, we also found time to play with the cutest little gal in Mada!
Once the guys got back from the bush (and got cleaned up!) we did a little souviner shopping...
Then we ended our night eating out with the rest of the SW team - good food & fellowship!
Please be lifting up our trip to the orphanage and our afternoon as we plan for future trips with MBC today!

June 10, 2012

Bush Time

Friday, the guys spent the day visiting different villages in Mahafaly land.
Michael with children in Besatra
The guys opening the boxes of over 1,000 pairs of shoes

Getting ready for the distribution of shoes

People lining up for shoes

After distributing shoes, they made their way to Itamboino (Midway's Adopt A Village - for more info on that check out this site Adopt A Village).
They enjoyed their trip and have made it back to Tulear safely.  Looking forward to the ministry opportunites that the Lord has led this vision team to share with Midway!