Tuesday, December 29, 2015

CHRISTmas Letter 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from South Georgia!  This year, we have decided to do something different…instead of our normal CHRISTmas letter, we are writing a Thanksgiving letter.  A Thanksgiving letter just seems appropriate because we have SO MUCH to be thankful for!!  The two things we are most thankful for is God finally revealing our next call and moving into our new rental home after moving out of our townhouse 14 months ago.

So much has happened over the last year, I (Sara) don’t even know where to begin.  As many of you know at the end of August 2014, we moved to NC to seek and wait on what the Lord wanted us to do next.  We didn’t think it would be very long because Chris had been applying to a lot of churches for associate pastor positions and was moving along in the process with quite a few of them.  He was in the final two or three with several churches but when it came down to the final decision, he wasn’t chosen.  The search committees frequently told him that they wanted to choose him and our family, but when they took the vote they just felt like the Spirit was telling them no.  They felt like God had another plan and purpose for us.  He then started applying for senior pastor positions thinking maybe the Lord wanted him to stretch him.  Chris never had the desire to be a senior pastor.  He was content specializing in a certain area of ministry.  So, Chris began applying to senior pastor positions.  Again, he moved along in the process with several churches.  Again, he was in the final two or three.  And again, when it came to the final decision, he wasn’t chosen.  Again, we heard the same thing of the search committee wanting to vote for us, but when it came time to vote they felt like the Spirit wanted them to say no to us because He had another plan and ministry for us.  In October 2014, after three people in one week asked Chris if he had thought about starting a discipleship ministry, he sat down at the computer and typed up a ministry plan for a discipleship ministry.  When he got done, he was amazed what was written on the computer screen, but thought it would be impossible for this type of ministry to happen.  Chris continued to apply to churches and to our surprise we kept getting the same answer…the search committees wanted to say yes, but just felt like they need to say no.  So, in December 2014, we began filing the paperwork we needed to make this ministry official and in January 2015 Mathetes 268 Ministries was born.  In January, we got a phone call from a church in VA that we had a relationship with and they informed us that their pastor was getting ready to retire.  One of the elders at the church wanted to know if Chris had gotten a position at a church yet and if not, would he be interested in applying for the position.  We took a couple of days and prayed about applying for this position and felt like the Lord was saying yes.  So, Chris applied to the church and then we waited…and waited…and waited some more.  During our time of waiting, the Lord continued to fine tune Mathetes 268, us as a family, us as a couple and us as individuals.  When Chris applied for the position in VA, he felt that if the Lord didn’t work it out for us to move there, then we would need to officially launch Mathetes 268.  I agreed with him.  In September 2015, we found out yet again that we weren’t chosen.  Again, there were some on the search committee going into the vote who felt like Chris was going to be the one they were going to call to their church, but when the vote approached they just felt like the Lord all of a sudden wanted them to choose a different person.  As soon as we found out, we took a day to just process the information.  It was a day of grieving because when this door closed in VA, we realized that we would not be a pastor or a pastor’s wife for the foreseeable future and that saddened us.  Chris asked me after we found out that we weren’t going to VA, if we needed to go back to applying to churches again.  My response was, “If we go back to applying to churches, then I think we are just running away from what God is calling us to do.”  We began letting people know that we hadn’t been chosen as the next pastor at the church in VA and then we started making plans to move to Valdosta, GA. 

We have been on a whirlwind of a ride as we moved our family to Georgia, started Mathetes 268 Ministries, continued with homeschooling, found a place to live and got the Hooties settled into a new routine.  But God has been AMAZING, and we can see how He has gone before us and prepared us and pastors for this ministry.  To read about some of the amazing things He has been doing, there are some websites you can visit at the end of this letter.

Now for the Hooties…  They have done so well over the last 14 months as we have waited on the Lord to reveal to us this next chapter.  As their parents, we are so proud of how well they waited.  At times, they waited better than we did.  I guess that may be the faith of a child that Jesus talks about in the Bible.

Josiah turned seven in June and started second grade in the fall.  We got 268 Academy established shortly after moving to Georgia and continued with our studies.  Josiah really enjoys art, math, and spelling.  He took an art class this summer and really enjoyed it which helped him to grow in this discipline.  Math comes very easily to him just like it does for his dad.  As for spelling, he likes the weekly challenge of getting 100% on his pre-test.  I made a deal with him that if he got a 100% on the pre-test, then he wouldn’t have to take the regular test on Thursdays.  Well, he has stepped up to the challenge and has passed every pre-test thus far.  Josiah is in his last year of being a Spark at AWANA (it is a weekly program at a church where children learn scripture memory verses, Godly characteristics, and team work through games).  He continues to amaze us in his ability to memorize verses and the books of the Bible.  On his first night of AWANA here in Georgia (he hadn’t started AWANA in NC this year because they started the week before we moved), his teacher gave him his new book.  His teacher opened up to the first couple of verses (they were review verses), and he told them what they were.  Talk about being convicted by your child!!  The last time he looked at those verses was in the spring and here it was in the fall and he remembered them!!  Another activity that he is getting involved in is Chess.  Our local library offers a chess class twice a month.  The first time he went, he came home talking non-stop.  When he does that, I know that his cup has been filled up and he has really liked what he has done.  This chess class also does chess tournaments which Josiah is very excited about attending. Josiah will be doing basketball for the first time in January through Upward Basketball.  We let him think about it for a few weeks, and he decided he wanted to try something new.  We look forward to going to the games and cheering for him.

Sophie will be turning six in January and started Kindergarten at 268 Academy.  She continues to do really well in school. Her favorite subjects are math, handwriting, and art.  She has started speed drills in math and also began doing subtraction…two of her favorite things. She also likes handwriting…writing her numbers is one of her favorite things to do.  And then there is art…this girl LOVES to write a “story” and then draw a picture to go with it.  At night, we often hear her over the monitor telling her brothers and sister an imagination story.  I love seeing this creative side to her. As the one who is the most reserved about new situations, Sophie has done an AMAZING job with the move.  She has done great as we visit new churches and have been meeting new people.  She has also jumped right in there with AWANA and has earned her first badge as a Spark.  She is doing a great job with her scripture memory and tries to memorize at least two verses a week.  She thought about doing Upward Basketball, but then decided she wants to watch her brother play first and maybe play next year.  She continues to be very athletic and competitive.  You can find her riding a bike or running in the wind…she even went running with me a few times over the summer and was a lot less winded than her mom was!! 

Kyrie turned four at the beginning of November and started Preschool at 268 Academy.  She continues to do really well in school and has really taken off with her reading.  She really likes the “Dick and Jane” books.  The two older Hooties learned to read with these books, so I decided to keep with tradition.  She is really growing in her fine motor skills and is getting really good with her coloring, cutting and handwriting. Kyrie has also started AWANA this year and is in her first year of being a Cubby.  She is doing a great job with her Bible memory each week.  Kyrie enjoys dressing up in fancy clothes.  I am not talking about dress-up clothes, but dresses that most little girls would wear to church on Sunday.  She would do it every day if I allowed her, but sometimes our activities require something a little less fancy!  Kyrie was a flower girl for one of my friends in September.  We did a dress rehearsal…put on her dress, high-heeled shoes, hair bow and gave her the bucket that would be holding her flowers.  We practiced walking and dropping flowers.  When we got all done, I was praising her for doing such a good job.  Then she told me that she wasn’t a real flower girl yet.  I asked her why she thought that because she had all the stuff to be a flower girl. Then she informed me that she wasn’t a real flower girl yet because she didn’t have any earrings!!  So off to Michael’s I went to buy some stuff to make clip-on earrings for her to wear to the wedding.  She continues to be such a maternal little girl.  This girl has more babies and baby doll stuff than I know what to do with.  She does a really good job taking care of her babies and real people when they don’t feel well. 

Tobias turned two in June and is attending 268 Academy for the first time.  He has been doing the “Your Baby Can Read” videos and is doing really well with recognizing the words.  He is also learning his colors, shapes and the letters in his name. He can count to ten by himself and after that he needs a little help.  Tobias is definitely ALL boy!  He loves trucks, cars, wrestling with Daddy and collecting rocks and nuts when we go outside.  He definitely likes to be outside and he spends most of his time in the swing while the other Hooties play. Tobias is such a happy, full-of-life little boy.  His smile and laugh are contagious and he often tries to make people smile and laugh with him.  Tobias started AWANA for the first time this year and is a Puggle.  He doesn’t do scripture memory like the others, but he is learning some of the Bible stories and does a craft.  The first couple of weeks were a little hard for him, but he is getting better with being dropped off.  There is a definite conflict that goes on…he wants to go like his brother and sisters, but at the same time he misses Mommy and Daddy.  But we know it is good for him to be introduced to these Bible stories and to be around other kids. 

As for me…well, we have spent the last 14 months waiting on the Lord.  For me it was a season of being patient for His timing.  I am a planner.  I am an organizer.  So, it was hard…real hard…waiting for Him to reveal His plan for us. During my time in NC, I was able to reconnect with old friends from my teaching days and make some new friends. I also stayed busy by helping a good friend decorate for her rustic barn wedding that happened at the end of September.  I had SO much fun helping her take her vision from paper to reality.  I have decorated for quite a few baby showers, bridal showers and birthday parties, but have never done an event to this scale.  I am so thankful for the opportunity, and I must say that it gave me the desire to maybe start a business one day.  Right now is not the time because a lot of our energy and focus is getting Mathetes 268 Ministries started.    So, while we are getting Mathetes 268 off the ground, I will enjoy decorating for smaller events for friends and family.  In the immediate future, I will be spending my free time decorating our new rental home. I am SUPER excited to have a home again!! I am very thankful for the season of living with family while we waited on the Lord to reveal His plan for our lives, and our children have been able to create wonderful memories with their grandparents.  But let’s be honest…we are A LOT of people and we take up A LOT of space, so it will be nice to spread out and have our own space.  Chris and I spent a couple of weeks looking for houses.  We found a couple that we really liked, but we were second in line and ended up not getting either one of them.  We heard about this house through one of the rental companies in town and from what we saw on paper this place looked like it would fit our family perfectly.  The only drawback was we couldn’t look at it because there were people still living in it.  We had to wait about a week for the people to move out and you better believe we were the first ones there to check out the keys…we weren’t going to risk losing out on this place!  They day we looked at it, Chris picked me up at my parents’ house after he got done have a business meeting.  On his way to pick me up, he got a phone call.  We drove to the house and I went ahead in while he finished up his call in the car.  As I walked through the house, I felt like this place could really work for our family.  Chris walked in the front door and he said to me that this was going to be our house.  As he sat out in the driveway, he just felt like this was where we were going to live.  I was hesitant to claim that since we still had to apply for the house and since the rent was over our budget.  We went back to the rental company and told them we were interested, but wanted to know if there was any negotiating on the price.  One of the ladies contacted they owner and he was willing to come down!!!  So, we applied for the house and within a couple of days we found out that we had been approved.  We just spent our first night in our new home on November 17th and we are beyond excited!!  We have a guest room, so please let us know if you want to reserve a spot at the Greenwood Inn.  We love to have visitors! 

Hello All, Chris here! I hope this letter finds each of you well and stuffed from your Thanksgiving celebrations. J I wanted to write a quick section about my own journey over these last 14 months. Sara has done another masterful job of condensing our lives into a few readable paragraphs, so I won’t go over anything she has already shared. What I do want to share is that this journey has been a very difficult one for me in particular. I have had to let go of some dreams and plans in order to let God bring about new ones. I have seen that my desire to want to be in control also demonstrates in visible ways my lack of trust. These last 14 months have brought me to a place of total abandonment to the plans and purposes of the Lord. I have read about it, taught about it, counseled others to seek it, but until about four months ago I had not truly reached it. For the arrival of that place, I am beyond thankful. I am also thankful this season for a few other things in particular: 1) I am thankful for a wife and family who has supported me each step of this journey (It is hard to overstate this one). 2) I am thankful to our parents and the Hooties’ grandparents (both by blood and adopted) who have offered our children consistency and love over these last 14 months. 3) I am thankful for a new home in which to make new memories with our four wonderful children. 4) I am thankful for our brothers and sisters in the faith who have prayed for and encouraged us through this journey. 5) I am thankful for the financial provision of the Lord through His people and those not yet His people that is allowing us to take this journey. 6) Lastly (for the sake of brevity in this letter), I am thankful for the hand of the Lord going before us and preparing each step of the way. He is indeed Jehovah Jirah.

One thing that seems more real to me than ever before is that, as we look forward into 2016, we have absolutely no idea what lies before us. We have no idea what lies ahead of all of us on a global scale, for all of us as a country, for us collectively as the Body of Christ, and for us individually as the Greenwood family. This ministry venture could all fall apart. It could take off beyond what I can manage. It could be somewhere in between. All I can say is that, regardless of the outcome, these last 14 months have been worth it. Sara and I unwaveringly believe the Lord has called us to do this. Called us to do what we can to strengthen the American church for the dark days ahead. All I can do is reach out my hand and ask churches to let me walk with them through this journey (Acts 3:1-6). I am just a willing vessel.             May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His continence upon you and (through His Son, Jesus) grant you peace. Happy Thanksgiving and merry, merry CHRISTmas!

With Love,
Chris, Sara + the Hootie Hoos

Mathetes 268 Ministry website: www.mathetes268.org
Find Mathetes 268 Ministries on Facebook

Monday, December 14, 2015

Home of the Hootie Hoos

We are just shy of one month of living in our house.  The last four weeks have been a whirlwind of a ride, but every stay-up-late-and-unpack-some-more-boxes has been worth it!!!  We have a few more things to do get done.  Like paint the dining room...someone in our family keeps putting that at the bottom of the list of things to do, but I keep trying to move it up to the top!!!  Maybe if I start looking at fabric to make new curtains and re-upholster the chairs, he will move it back to the top!!  :)  We have curtains and pictures to hang, but that is always the hard part...making such a decorating commitment can be hard!! Anyways, I am super proud of all that we have accomplished in the last four weeks.  Along with getting our home settled, we have kept up with homeschooling, Chris has studied and passed his bus driver license tests, watched the ministry continue to grow, hosted our first visitors, decorated for Christmas, had a yard sale, written our yearly update letter, kept up with daily chores and just spent time as a family enjoying our new home.  The other night as Chris and I were preparing for a Bible study that we are leading, we realized how good of a team we make.  The chapter was on birth order.  Chris is a firstborn, and I lean more towards a firstborn with a splash of last born characteristics.  It was interesting reading the chapter and how most of the time when two firstborns marry it can be very catastrophic, but every once in awhile it works.  Well, I am thankful that we work. We had to give an example of why we thought we worked well as firstborns.  My example?  The fact that we have gotten our house settled, kept up with daily life AND decorated for Christmas in less than a month!!!  We both saw a task, and we have given it our all.  Both hardworking in completing the task, but humble enough to not control every little detail.  So, without further ado...here is what we have completed thus far.

The Hooties' bathroom

The boys' room...Tobias' bed

Josiah's bed

The boys' room

We haven't gotten very much up on the wall, but this definitely made it up quickly.  Our dear friend drew this for Josiah
The girls' room...Sophie's bed

The kitchen and baby area...this where I find Kyrie most of the time. :)

Kyrie's bed

I made some chore charts for the Hooties...seems to be working well! :)
Our living room

The play area

The entry way

The dining room...waiting to be painted an aqua-y color. :)
Dining room from kitchen
Our kitchen...many a meals have already been made here

Our classroom
Our guest room...ready for some visitors

Chris' work space...it's a work in progress. :)

Our HUGE backyard!

Screened porch

Right now our porch is a play area...may turn into a seating area once we get the garage play area complete

Our bedroom...still a work in progress...need to make a head board, hang curtains and pictures

Our bathroom...it is HUGE

This is the first time in our married life that we have shared a closet!! :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of our house.  It has been fun opening up boxes and remembering what we have.  I have been having even more fun finding just the right place for our things.  If you are ever in the area and need a place to stay, know that our guest room is ALWAYS ready for visitors...and I know a few Hooties who would LOVE to have some visitors!! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

So, we weren't able to do our normal Thanksgiving Tree this year.  We were moving our family of six into our new home after living 14.5 months with family.  I know, I know...it seems like a lame excuse, but what a task it has been!! :) But I didn't want to skip out on this time of pausing each day to find something that I was thankful for...especially in the hustle and bustle of moving, homeschooling, starting a ministry and having the holidays approach us.  My spirit needed this reflection time each day...it kept me grounded and less overwhelmed at times.

Thankfulness Day 1: I am thankful for my Lord and Savior...the One Who gives me strength to get through each day...the One Who shows me grace when I do things in my flesh...the One Who loves me unconditionally.

Thankfulness Day 2: I am thankful for my hubby. The one who shows me the love of Jesus on a daily basis. He is far from perfect, but he is humble enough to seek Jesus on how he should love and serve his family. ILUVM, Christ, and I am thankful to be your wife.

Thankfulness Day 3: I am thankful for this sweet and sassy girl. She definitely has an opinion on things, but is also one of the most encouraging people know. She is quick to tell a person they look pretty or to thank you for cooking a meal. I love how girly she is...she would wear a fancy dress everyday with high heels. I love her independence...the girl of the third option...but it shows me she thinks outside of the box. So, for today...on her birthday...I am thankful for Kyrie Eleison!

Thankkfulness Day 4: I am thankful for this boy. He is the one that made me a mom. He is so full of love and hugs. He goes above and beyond to help others. He is a thinker and a problem solver which means he is full of questions. Thank you, Josiah Potter, for making me a mom...I love you more than you will ever know!

Thankfulness Day 5: Today I am thankful for this reserved, full of life and animal loving girl! Her quietness in a new situation is a lot her momma. Just like me, she needs to observe the people and the situation before opening herself up. But when she feels comfortable, she loves and lives passionately! This girl loves to write and draw. She loves to tell imagination stories at night to the other Hooties...and they want her to tell them a story. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be your mom and that God chose you to be a part of our family! I love you, Sophie Sugai!

Thankfulness Day 6: Today I am thankful for this little guy. He is the one who wasn't planned, but God knew we needed him in our family. From this little guy, we have learned that His ways are better than our ways. He is so full of life and laughter. Already at his young age, he tries to bring a smile to people's faces. Some of my favorite moments with him is when he wakes up from his nap because he loves to cuddle with me...a rare moment in the day that he isn't bursting with energy. I am thankful for you, Richard Tobias, our unexpected blessing! 

Thankfulness Day 7: Today I am thankful for this young lady!! I don't even know where to begin. She has touched our hearts in ways that I can't explain. She has loved on our children and given them so many wonderful memories. She started off as the "World's Best Babysitter" and has ended up being a part of the family. I love her creativity whether it is painting, repurposing something or dancing! I love her free spirit...traveling somewhere in the spur of the moment. But what I love MOST about her is the way she loves and lives passionately for Jesus. I love you, D, and I am SO very thankful that God allowed our paths to cross! Now, plan that trip to GA so we can give you some BIG hugs and stay up late eating ice cream!!! 
 Thankfulness Day 8: Today I am thankful for this group of people who love on our children in ways that we can't as parents. They are able to do fun things like give them sweets before dinner, let them stay up past their bed time or get up SUPER early in the morning! They have invested time into our children and have created wonderful memories with them...ones I pray that our Hooties will never forget. So, today I am thankful for Mimi, Bup-Bup, Pa T, Lin-Lin, Bob-Bob and Mimi. We love you and are thankful for you.

Thankfulness Day 9: Today I am thankful for Mathetes 268 Ministries. It took A LOT of waiting and growing and the Lord preparing us for this call He has laid before us. I am thankful for a husband who has grown in his faith and obedience to do whatever the Lord asks of him. I am so thankful for going on this journey and beyond humble that the Lord chose us. Thank You, Lord, for giving us a heart for discipleship and allowing us to be a part of Your vision. 

Thankfulness Day 10: Today I am thankful for my sister. Being seven years apart has been hard on having a close relationship. When she went off to college, I was starting sixth grade in England. Distance has been hard on us, too. The last 11 years I have lived away from home. But in the last month since we have moved back to GA, we have been able to spend more time together. I have enjoyed our time preparing for my many projects that I want to do. I have also enjoyed watching you with the Hooties whether it is buying a dress for a princess birthday party, making crowns for a birthday girl, playing a game that doens't require you to move :), you reading books to them, letting a little fashion diva pick out your outfit, or you being awakened by your "alarm clock" in the morning. I look forward to this new opportunity of living in the same town again. I love you and am thankful for you...for the woman that you are...inside and out!
Thankfulness Day 11: I am thankful for all the Veterans who have fought for the freedom of our country. Whether it is a soldier on the front lines or a doctor taking care of the soldiers, they all play an important part in keeping our country safe! Thank you to you and your family for the sacrifices you make!
Thankfulness Day 12: Today I am thankful for these ladies. The Lord's plan for our lives have put us miles apart, but because of our love for Jesus our love for each other is still strong. I can text or call these ladies with a prayer request and know that they will stand in the gap for me. If I am having a rough day, I can call and know at some point in the conversation there will be a good laugh. I am thankful for the love they have for me and the rest of my family...especially the way that they love the Hooties! We aren't sisters by blood, but I am thankful that we are sisters because of His blood! Love and miss you ladies! 

Thankfulness Day 13: Today I am thankful for being able to homeschool the Hooties. This is just a small sampling of the books we will use this year. At 268 Academy, we aren't just about book knowledge, but we spend time each week learning about life skills (comparison shopping, cleaning, cooking)...about our character...and most importantly how to live and love like Jesus. I am thankful for a husband who supports and encourages me to do this because believe me there are hards days...real hard days, but he reminds me that this is the calling God has put on my life. So today I am thankful for the calling God has given me to teach the Hooties!
Thankfulness Day 14: Today I am thankful for new experiences. After 37 years of being a sister, 13 years of marriage, and 7 years of being a mom, we rode on a float for the first time in the VSU Homecoming Parade and threw candy to the all the people watching the parade. I love watching the Hooties experience new things. Thankful for a hubby who goes along with my crazy ideas and a sister who made it happen!

Thankfulness Day 15: Today I am thankful for finding this letter as I was unpacking. This letter came at a dark time in my life. It reminded me where we were as a family and how far we have come from in the last couple of years. What we thought was best for us in reality doesn't compare to what God had planned. It made me realize we weren't ready to handle Mathetes 268 two years ago. I am thankful for God's timing and how He knows what is best for us. I am thankful for the one who penned this letter. Even though she didn't know all the details of what was going on, she knew that I was struggling. I am thankful for her obedience to speak His word into my life. I am thankful for this letter and seeing that GOD's timing IS PERFECT!

Thankfulness Day 16: Today I am thankful for my marriage. This past week has been CRAZY busy. Chris has been moving us into our new house, working on getting his bus driver license, doing stuff for Mathetes 268 plus making sure to spend time with his family. I have been unpacking boxes and getting our home organized, homeschooling, doing stuff for Mathetes 268 plus taking care of everyday things to make sure my family is taken care of. We have had to do a lot of tag-teaming to get these things done. (We even had to ask for help from my dad, sister and niece. THANKS!) But I am thankful for how Chris and I can come together in busy times, get everything done and then crash into bed still talking to each other!! (Not always the case, but the case for this past week!  :)  Because of all our teamwork, it looks like we will be spending our first night in our home TOMORROW!!!
 Thankfulness Day 17: Today I am thankful for what this doormat represents. The Greenwoods will be spending their first night in our new home! This momma is beyond excited to tuck the Hooties into their beds tonight. I am beyond excited to wake up and fix them breakfast. Welcome Home, Hooties! Welcome Home!

Thankfulness Day 18: Today I am thankful for my bed. I wish I could spend more time in it, but reality is these boxes will not unpack themselves. But in a short while after getting a few more things done, we will be reunited and hopefully there will be no party crashers in the form of Hootie Hoos! 

Thankfulness Day 19: Today I am thankful for finding this book!! All the other Hooties have had this book read to them and they did great with potty training. It is now Tobias' turn to have this book read to him! With this book though there has been many laughs with our former youth. As I read it to T, I will remember all those late night story times!!! 


Thankfulness Day 20: Today I am thankful for staying up until 12:30am going through all off the Hooties' toys. Watching them play today and use their imagination has brought joy to this momma's heart. So today I am thankful for imagination play and sibling relationships.

Thankfulness Day 21: Today I am thankful for having a table to gather around to eat meals with my family. I pray that when we gather for our meals that there will be heartfelt conversations along with LOTS of laughter. That we will never be too busy to hear about each other's day. (And there was a lot of laughter as Tobias at "worm" soup for the first time today!) 

Thankfulness Day 22: Today I am thankful for all the different churches we have been able to attend the last couple of months. Part of being a pastor is you already have a church you attend and you don't get to experience how other brothers and sisters in Christ worship. So, even though it has been hard not having a church home...today as I sat in a new church I realized the creativity of God and the beauty of being able to see how different people in the Church worship.

Thankfulness Day 23: Today I am thankful for the Lord being all knowing. Last night Chris and I went looking for a bookshelf for our classroom. We went to Target and I found one that I REALLY liked. Then we went to Walmart and found this one that was 3x cheaper. I REALLY wanted the one at Target even though it cost more, but I felt like we needed to get the cheaper one, so I obeyed even though my flesh didn't want to. When I got home and started unpacking our school supplies I began to realize everything wouldn't fit in one bookcase. Because I obeyed in that moment we have enough money to buy a second bookcase so I can finish our classroom. So, today I am thankful that God sees the BIG picture and in that moment my spirit was in line with His Spirit.

Thankfulness Day 24: Today I am thankful for this lady! We first met when I was teaching in NC and she was the assistant principal. We didn't hang out outside of school, but because of technology and being moms of young kids who are close in age our friendship has grown. Over the last year she has checked in faithfully each week to see how the job search was going, how I was doing emotionally and spiritually and to see how our kids were doing. After God revealed our call, she has checked in to see how the house search was going, how the know kids were adjusting, how the ministry is going, and how the church home search is coming along. She has been an encouragement and a prayer partner, but most of all an example of what it looks like to walk with someone through life. So, thank you for your friendship and praying that one day we can get all of our kids together and I can meet that wonderful husband of yours!

Thankfulness Day 25: Today I am thankful to have one room in our house completely done. I am thankful that I was able to get all of my teaching stuff out of boxes and put up on shelves. I am even more thankful that my parents live right down the road and the Hooties were able to spend a good portion of the day with them so I could accomplish this task. Slowly we are getting settled am turning this house into a home.

Thankfulness Day 26: Tonight I am thankful for a date night in with the hubby. That we don't have to go and spend lots of money, but can enjoy playing some games while lounging in bed. For parents who are willing to keep all the kids so we can have some time together. That yellow face character is going to be Chris' face after I dominate him in Boogle!!! 

Thankfulness Day 27: Today I am thankful for an impromptu breakfast with my sister and hubby before getting some work done.

 Thankfulness Day 28: Today I am thankful for Chris' genius idea of the kids giving us a "haircut" in bed...it gave us some extra time in bed. This is Kyrie's finished product for my hair. Thankful for lazy Saturday morning #creativeparenting #needmoresleep 

Thankfulness Day 29: Today I am thankful for being able to hang up our CHRISTmas wreath on our front door. CHRISTmas is my favorite holiday. It was hard not being able to decorate last year, so this year it is especially special to be able to decorate.

Thankfulness Day 30: Today I am thankful for what this tea set represents. My mom got this set when we lived in England while my did was serving in the Air Force. As a child it was hard moving every 3 years or so...I don't have long time childhood friends like some of my peers do. I didn't grow up in a childhood home. But because of all the moving we did, I was able to see some really cool things. As we finish unpacking the last bit of boxes, I am also thankful for all the moving we did because it has prepared me to follow my wonderful husband wherever God calls him.

And with this picture I will say, "It's a wrap until Nov. 2016!"