This season of our lives has brought many sweet memories, and we give thanks to our Lord for His unfailing goodness. Jonathan & Ryan had a difficult year farming with a combine that kept breaking, too much heat, too many bugs, poor rice prices, etc. BUT God has provided for our every need and probably too many our wants. Farming is a way of living that constantly keeps us reminded of God's sovereignty and providence!
We have spent another year living on the farm and in the home that Jonathan's Grandfather gave us. There are so many wonderful things that we get to experience as we live in the wide open beauty of God's creation. Ian, who is now 3 1/2, loves the fact that his daddy works on a tractor (sometimes in the front yard), that we have barn owls, that horses roam near by, that on clear nights the heaven's come alive, and above all he absolutely loves to play in the fresh plowed dirt! Ian is quickly developing the fine art of being able to sit on tractors for hours at a time. I must say I am pleased at this not only because it allows me some free time with only two children, but because I think it helps him see that there is a time to "be still and know that I am God". Jonathan uses their time together to teach him about farming but also to plant seeds in his little heart that will hopefully someday produce fruit! Ian enjoys watching Deigo and many other cartoons that we have to limit him to. He has a sweetness about him that I pray God protects, but I must say he is quite firery when his sister becomes too opinionated.
Jada Kathryn loves the farm as well but for many other reasons. She loves the fact that her Uncle David lives right down the road, and he comes to visit fairly often with ice cream bars, rides on the four wheeler, horse rides, and lots of hugs and kisses. And he is only allowed to call her "honey" which she adores! Jada really enjoys summer time when she can run half-clothed through a sprinkler in the front yard...OK, well no clothes if she thinks she can get away with it! Jada is very aware of her adoption, and she is often full of deep questions. A few months ago, while we were saying her bedtime prayers, she asked me if Mirna carried her in her tommie. I explained to her that Mirna only took care of her until we were allowed to bring her home, and that we were never told the name of the lady that carried her in her tommie. Her reply was one of great depth. She simply said, "Mom, Can we call her Grace". So for some time now we have been praying for a lady that we call "Grace". Jada spends a lot of her time coloring, looking at books, and talking! For a four year old she has a pretty impressive vocabulary, and I pray God uses this gift of gab for His glory some day.
Then there's sweet little 19 month old Eli. As the baby child he takes his role seriously. He spends his time following Jada and Ian around watching their every move, and he has just recently begun to mock Ian with every step. Words are coming more easily now, a few weeks ago he repeated back to me "I love you", and of course he melted my heart. I will have to say that he melts his daddy's art as well though. When Jonathan goes to leave for work Eli will try to put on his shoes and all the time saying "Me too" "Me too"! While Ian has a sweetness, Eli has a gentle, loving spirit that draws you to him. Eli likes to play with cars and tractors and he has already spent several hours on the tractor with his daddy. As spring time draws closer I think he will follow in Ian's footsteps and begin longing for long days at work with his daddy.
Jonathan has been busy this past year working on renovations to our home, and I must say I have been very impressed! He and his brother Ryan must have gotten their Papa's carpenter abilities. The have taken walls down past the studs and rebuilt rooms, laid tile, sheet rocked walls and ceilings, put in recessed lighting, and the list goes on! It has been such a blessing not only financially but also relationally as I have watched my husband of now 10 years make a home for his family! Jonathan spent the past few weeks entertaining friends and family with duck hunts on the farm, and he took Ian on his first deer hunt (they've killed ducks, but no deer).
I still work three days a week as a "pharmacy tech/accounts person" at Coker Hampton. I love my bosses, and they have blessed me in so many ways. God has provided this job so that our health insurance is taken care of and I am still allowed to be at home the other four days. I treasure my days at home with my children, and I try to invest every moment that I can into training them in the ways of the Lord. I pray God helps me do it better in the months and years ahead. I have always ran as a hobby, but this past year I decided to use my hobby to raise money for causes that I thought were important (like Easter Seals). I ran my first of what I hope to be many more 1/2 marathons. Jonathan has joyfully taken care of all three of the kids when I leave early on Saturday mornings to go run my 5k/10k's. Running in races has also opened up the opportunity for new relationships with other ladies that run. Some are Believers and some aren't, but having something in common to talk about helps build bridges that normally I wouldn't have. My prayer is that God uses my hobby for His glory, and when it's time to move on to something else- that I will without hesitation.
Now that we can access our blog I hope to do better in posting things that are going on in our family, and in posting the many ways that God is teaching our family and me personally as a wife, mom, and child of the King. I look forward to 2011 and I'll begin this year with a prayer from Scripture, "Two things I ask of You, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God (Proverbs 30: 7-9)."