I've Moved!

This little blog has moved over to the official AHeartSurrendered.com! Check it out; can't wait to see you there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Modesty- More Than What You Think...

Our family has been defining our standards of modesty over the years and it has been a tough road.  It's hard giving some stuff up.  It's hard when you buy a shirt at the store that you love, bring it home, try it on for your dad and him to look at you and say (not wanting to burst your bubble but having to tell you the truth anyway), "I don't think so...."  Seeing the puzzled look on your face he gently continues on to explain how this is too tight here and could draw attention to there and so on and so forth.

I found this morning something that I thought you all might enjoy to give you some perspective and inspiration- throw some light on what is going on inside the mind of guys- so that when we go to buy something from the store we won't have to save the receipt. ;)

TheRebelution.com: The Modesty Survey

(Click the image)

Also as we are on the topic of modesty  (I could go through a whole study- but I won't- for your sake :) )  I feel as though we should look a little bit at the heart.

Modesty is more than the way we dress.

It's a whole attitude.

You can wear completely modest dress but have a rebellious and flirty attitude and attract the same kind of attention as though you were not wearing modest clothing.  Your posture, the way you walk, the way you laugh, talk, and interact with young men- it all screams who you are.  Loud and boisterous?  Soft and feminine?  You choose.

The clothes are only the first impression of you.  They don't define who it is that you are- they only provide a little first impression insight into your personality and character.   Once someone gets to know you they see the "real" you.  Whether you are lying about your "modesty" by your clothes or not they will soon find out.

"Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness."

1 Timothy 2:9-10

(Emphasis Added)

So do you have integrity in the way you dress and act?

Do the two go hand in hand- are they integrated- or are they two totally separate elements?

I don't know about you but I feel that I need to work on that a little more myself...


"Your adornment must not be merely external -braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses ;  but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."

1 Peter 3:3-4

(Emphasis Added)

I hope you enjoyed this...

I hope to be posting more on the topic of fashion soon- hopefully more practical tips! ;)

P.S.  Guys (or girls, tell your dad and brothers), they are still accepting signatures for the Modesty Survey Petition, so this is an opportunity for you to still share your voice on the topic of modesty!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do Everything You Do...

I heard this song a week or so ago for the first time on the radio and loved it...

It echoes what I say all day to my little brothers and sisters, "Clean your room/take out the trash/clean the sliding glass doors/vacuum/mop/clean the kitchen/dust/whatever to the glory of God!"   Every once and I while I need a little reminder too (big surprise I know! :P )- that's why it's been awesome to have this song playing in the back of my head ;)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Introducing Courageous- and a little hint of perspective...

I am so excited about Sherwood Pictures' newest movie, Courageous, coming out in September!


Their past two films, Facing the Giants and Fireproof, were awesome- leaving me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next movie to come out by them...

Thinking about Courageous got me thinking about their other films and on some wild hair I decided to Google them.  (Just for fun I guess... I don't really know why! :) )  What I discovered when I looked at them in Wikipedia astounded me.

Did you know that the budget for Facing the Giants was $100,000?

The movie's gross income was $10,225,767.

What about Fireproof?

Budget: $500,000

Gross Income?

Here' what Wiki says:

Fireproof's advance sales accounted for 40% of all Fandango sales the week before the film opened. It was released on September 26, 2008 in 839 theaters and grossed $6,836,036 in its opening weekend, placing at #4. During its run, Fireproof had a domestic gross of $33,456,317, more than triple the lifetime earnings of its predecessor, Facing the Giants, and moving it into the top 6 grossing Christian films of all time. It was the highest grossing independent film of 2008.

On its first weekend of DVD release, it ranked third in retail sales and fifth in rentals with a rental index of 51.02. After the upcoming weeks, it sold $28,507,308 in DVD sales.


It was astounding to me when I read that!  But it was more amazing when I looked up another Christian film to get some perspective.

"Letters to God is based on the true story of Tyler Doughtie, who was played in the film by Tanner Maguire. Parts of the story are real, and others were fictionalized, such as the character of a drunken mailman named Brady McDaniels (Jeffrey Johnson), who receives Tyler's 'letters to God.' The film was released to theaters on April 9, 2010, with mixed reviews. Despite opening at #10 at the box office, it fell just $150,000 short of its $3 million budget with a final gross of $2.85 million."

I would say that Letters to God was a pretty good film.  What was different about it than the Sherwood films?  What made them get such a better reception?

The difference that I saw was that Letters to God was a good movie- Christian and wholesome- but Fireproof was a great movie- on fire (ha- literally!) for Jesus with no compromises (no excuses for disrespect toward parents- in Letters to God, this is accepted as "normal").

Maybe people just want the "real deal"... it's possible.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 6:5-6

"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men."

Proverbs 22:29

Thank you, Sherwood Pictures, for making movies that aren't "watered down"- that my family and I can watch that are not only "clean" but also edifying and encouraging in our faith!

God surely seems to have His hand on Sherwood Pictures...

Don't miss Courageous coming out on September 30!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Idea...

Ah, pleasant thoughts of bright, fresh prints, smooth fabrics, free tutorials, and what-would-i-ever-do-without-them patterns swirl through my head.

What you are seeing, my friends, is the direct result of my "fever".   My closest friends know it well... I get crazy excited about a certain project or subject, I furiously work and work and work at it- then after a little while I realize the "impracticality" of it (that I just couldn't see before) and move on to the next subject.  Yep- that's about how it goes with me... that is probably why I know how to do a little bit of pretty much everything but I can't say I'm good at any of it...  ;)

Sewing is my current passion- Etsy has inspired me...

Has anyone seen camera strap covers?  I saw a friend with one once but until I saw the ones on Etsy I wasn't too concerned about them!  Check this one out.  (Sorry- I don't want to infringe on any copyrights- that's why I didn't put the photo on here)  Isn't that ADORABLE?  Did you see the PRICE?  Do you know how much I can make that for?

So I got looking around- I wanted to figure it out myself but then I figured I'd check it anybody already had a tutorial out there... sure enough...

Here are three tutorials on how to make camera strap covers:



http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com/2010/08/gathered-camera-strap-cover-tutorial.html      (I love this one!!!)

If you love photography and you love to "accessorize" (like me ;) )  then you need to make one of these (like me)!

Anyway... that's what's been going on inside my brain recently...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Baby Saved!

Wow... God is so amazing... even when we don't realize what He is doing at first...

We were standing outside one of our local clinics bright and early last Saturday morning with the R. family and Ms. Beth G. and we saw a young girl and her mother (among others) walk into that place of destruction and death.

Praying, singing, preaching our hearts away- we were encouraged to see one (other) young lady hardly set foot in the door before she turned on her heel and bee-lined it for her car.  Her boyfriend lagged behind her- What are you doing? said the look on his face.  We don't know their story- they drove straight away- but we believe that God worked through us to bring that young lady to an understanding of what she was doing.

After an hour or so we kept seeing the mother of the first young girl walking in and out of the mill.  Mr. R. kept trying to speak to her as she passed by but to no avail. We hadn't noticed until later that the girl had come with not only her mother but a friend (with children) and her father.

Still we stood, the friend left- probably thinking it to be hopeless at that point.  The father of the girl left as well.  We plugged along, not wavering, singing to those sitting smoking in front of the door, preaching to them.

We hadn't noticed but the friend had returned.  The girl and her mother started walking out the door and down the brick path that led to the sidewalk which in turn would lead to their car.  Mr. R. started speaking to her, encouraging her in her decision.  "Thank you for choosing life!"  he said to her.  He asked if we could pray over her, she nodded.  He invited her mother to join but she waved us off and kept walking to the car.  Hmm....

After we had surrounded and prayed for her, praising God for her decision, Daddy, Momma, and Mr. R, walked her to her mother's car.  They continued to speak to her, encouraging her, all the while she had remained silent except for the fact to tell them her name, Rhoani, and I guess that she was 16 years old.  The children and I prayed at our van- this was a war- something told us that she wasn't really sure about her decision.  I could feel an uneasiness...

I saw Mr. R. go to his truck and pull out a gift bag.  I turned around to tend to my brothers and sisters.  Next time I turned around and Rhoani was being led by her father into the clinic.  (Not dragged- she seemed willing enough)  What?!?!? cried my heart.  Is it my fault???  Did I not pray hard enough? In her hand was a pro-life pamphlet.  She had all the information- her father had all the information- they knew what they were doing.

With heavy hearts my family and I knew it was time to go- actually past the time that we were supposed to leave.  We knew that God was at work- even though we could not see it at the first.  We packed up the strollers and buckled everybody in.  We left for our local Planned Parenthood.  Mr. R. was going to meet us there after dropping his boys off.

At planned Parenthood we were so blessed to be greeted by so many smiling faces.  The week before there had only been one woman and her son- this week at least five to eight people!

As we once again sang, prayed, preached, there was no response- not even negative.

When Mr. R. arrived (an hour or so later) he told us the wonderful news that after seeing the ultrasound Rhoani changed her mind and really did leave!  Her father said that it was her decision and it seemed that after being so cold and hard that his heart was changed as well...

[caption id="attachment_376" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rhoani, her father, and Mr. R."][/caption]

God is good!

"And we know that God works all things together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:28


Please be in prayer on behalf of Rhoani, her baby, and her parents.  That He will provide for that baby as well as reveal Himself to them- that they might be saved.  Pray that the church that she is attending would come alongside her and be an encouragement- to lead her onto the narrow path.


I hope that you were blessed by reading this story :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So... you want to go back to Egypt???

  In the 17th century a small band of people huddled into a cargo ship bound for an unknown land- yes, unknown, but it promised freedom.  They were running away from religious tyranny- slavery, bondage.  King James severely punished anyone who would dare to believe in God any differently than his own sick and twisted Catholic views.
  So a small secret church formed.  They met until it was unsafe to meet any longer in England.  They moved to Holland and lived there enjoying religious freedom. Soon, after 12 years, the “Separatists” as they were called, began to fear for their children's heritage.  Would they forget their mother tongue- English?  Being around the Dutch children so much they had begun to be majorly influenced by them.  That was one of the major points that drove the pilgrims to leave Holland and set out for the unknown land- America. 
  The journey was hard, the sea was rough, and space was cramped (I would love to go into more detail on this but your attention span warrants that I move on...) but the pilgrims made it to America- in the dead of winter. Now you know the rest of the story- of the first Thanksgiving that took place that next year after the harsh winter.  
  So let's move forward about 100 or so years. Ah, you know the time- 1770s the American Revolution.  Don't you remember learning about all of the brave generals and soldiers that fought for our freedom? Your freedom here in America was bought with a great price- blood.  The winters were tough- the air was cold, the food was short, diseases thrived.  Our men were not professional soldiers as were the British, but were common people- farmers, blacksmiths, doctors...  giving up pay for several years to fight for freedom- that of their own, that of their children, and that of you.  The odds were stacked so far against them; one would wonder how they survived much less how they won the war.
  I believe that God had His hand on this nation from the beginning.   

  From when Christopher Columbus- “Christ Bearer” set his foot on our soil believing it to be India to now, I believe that God is holding this nation together.  When His people, His children adopted into His family by the blood of His Son, were in distress, unable to praise His name as they believed that He told them to, He delivered them out of their bondage, fought the battles for them, and gave them a desirable and fruitful land as an inheritance.  Have we all forgotten?  Have we forgotten the mighty hand and outstretched arm that delivered us?  We aren't the only ones.
  Several thousand years before 1776 God's chosen people, Israel, were in bondage in the land of Egypt.  They were slaves to Pharaoh, unable to leave.  They grew to so many that Pharaoh declared for all of the baby boys to be thrown into the river- to drown.  They cried out to the Lord for deliverance.  And He heard.  He sent Moses to set His people free, to smite Egypt with wonders- to reveal the power of the Lord God.  Finally, they were permitted to go.  After 430 years of bondage, Israel was free. 
  God led them by a cloud through the wilderness as they made their way to the Promised Land. Soon, the road got tough.  The children of Israel complained- they were thirsty, they were hungry.  “Would that we were back in Egypt!”  they cried out.  Then the Lord provided drink.  He provided food.  But after being temporarily satisfied (they got sick of the food that He provided) they again cried out- “Would that we were back in Egypt!”
  What does that have to do with us?  I'll tell you.  Back at the revolutionary war, we fought for liberty- freedom.  Freedom. Freedom of religion.  Freedom of speech.  Blood was shed for this cause.  Lives were spent.  People sacrificed their money, their time, themselves. For this cause:  freedom. God moved in a mighty way to deliver us from the bondage of England.  From having to serve a human king (“No King but Jesus” was a motto of John Hancock and John Adams) from having to keep quiet about what we believe to be true. What happened?  250+ years ago we cried out for freedom to govern ourselves. 
  Now, we cry out for the government to take care of us.  We don't mention the name of Jesus publicly because we are afraid of offending someone. We aren't allowed to speak out against people because it would be a “hate crime” (Freedom of speech?)  The cross has become offensive, the Ten Commandments are banned from the walls of public schools (They might convict somebody or something like that). We don't pray in public schools- we aren't allowed. (Freedom of religion?) We murder innocent babies on the altar of self but we call it “abortion” or a “medical procedure” and squabble over the fact of whether an unborn  baby is really a person or not.  (All men are created equal- unalienable rights?  Life? Liberty?)
  It seems to me that we are throwing away everything that our forefathers worked so hard for.  They shed their blood for the cause of freedom- what would they think if they knew that in 250 years we would be murdering our own children?  What about their freedom? It looks like we are shaking our fists in the face of God saying, “We want to go back to Egypt!  This is too much work!”  The road has gotten tough- and now we are complaining about what He has given us. Do you know what happened to the Israelites when they did that?  When they despaired and cried saying, “Would that we were back in Egypt!”?
  It was after Moses had sent out spies to the Promised Land.  When they returned all but Joshua and Caleb told of the horrors of the land, frightening the people, causing them to forget all that the Lord had done for them and all that He had promised. The people despaired and said, “Would that we had died in Egypt!...Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword?  Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2a-3 emphasis added)  Then Moses fell down before the Lord and the Lord spoke to him saying, “How long will this people spurn Me?  And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them... (Numbers 14:11b-12a emphasis added)
  The Lord has provided us many signs.  He has done countless wonders in our midst.  How long will we spurn Him?  How long will we refuse to believe in Him as a nation?  The Lord is indeed slow to anger- for we have yet to see His full wrath on our country.  There is still hope...  We have a choice:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  So choose life in order that you may live, you and you descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers...”
Deuteronomy 30:19-20a
(emphasis added)

And we have a promise:
“and if My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

There is hope for America.  The Lord always has a way for us to be redeemed.  If we humble ourselves, repent and cry out to the Lord He promises to hear, forgive us, and heal our land. Our nation is in distress; she is sick, she is hurting- she desperately needs healing. She needs the fire rekindled that was lit at her birth- a fire for the Lord, that she would be a blessed nation in His sight- a city on a hill, glorifying Him.
What choice will you make- life or death?
Blessing or curse?
Humility and healing- or pride and destruction?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's been going on around here....


It feels good to sit down at the computer with a cup of coffee.  But as my mind is flooded with ideas of cupcakes, spinach artichoke dip, a lawn that needs mowing, a house that needs cleaning, a party that needs to be thrown tomorrow, laundry .... need I say more?  my bliss is beginning to dissipate...  Ah well, that's life ;)

I figured that you all might enjoy an update on what has been going on in our neck of the woods... er, suburbs.

First of all, I didn't post anything yesterday because it was Daddy's birthday and I slept in... sorry :)

Last Saturday we went to two abortion mills in Orlando and met some new people...  what a blessing it was to meet such faithful saints!  One family has been going to that particular mill every Friday and Saturday for SEVEN YEARS!  Praise God for His remnant...

You may be wondering why in the world spinach artichoke dip is on my mind right now.  Well, we are hosting a party tomorrow for my sister, Emma, and her two friends, Gracia and Gabby, for their birthdays last month.  We have been "talking" about doing a party for years now, and we finally took the plunge this year :)  Therefore on my list (to go on the "mom's menu") is to make spinach artichoke dip.  Mystery solved :-D  (that explains the cupcakes too)

Over the last couple of weeks we have been furiously organizing and cleaning our house in preparation for the upcoming school year.  Re-organizing bedrooms, the wall unit that houses all of our school supplies, the computer desk area (Momma, it's is SO nice to work at now, thanks! :) ), and we aren't done yet- still more left to do and only a couple more weeks to do it...

As the summer comes to a close and my favorite half of the year begins- I realize that there are only four and a half more months left in the year... 2011 is more than half over... What am I going to get accomplished in these remaining months?

My mind is a full- in case you couldn't tell ;)

What has been going on at your house?

(I think I'm going to create a new tag for posts such as these... called "Ramblings" :) )

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Goodness

Recently I had the pleasure of making an old favorite recipe to bring to a friend's house for dinner.  I love this recipe so much that I absolutely MUST share it with you all.  You HAVE to try it now- no backing out of this one- you are looking at it- you have to make it now and if you don't like it DON'T EAT ANOTHER BITE- send it to me and I will dispose of it properly.  (I can tell you right now though- I'm pretty sure you'll like it :)  )


Chocolate Toffee Goodness




  • 40 saltine crackers (about one sleeve, Do not use unsalted)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (or one package)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin heating the butter in a medium saucepan to melt.

    Cover a jellyroll pan with foil; grease the foil and lay down the saltines.


    Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar.  Stir and bring to a gentle boil.


    Boil for 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and stir...

    Pour over prepared saltines and spread.


    Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.

    Immediately after you remove it from the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips over it.

    Let the chocolate chips sit for several minutes until they look gooey and melty... (I don't think that's a word but you get my meaning :) )

    Once this occurs, take a spatula and spread the chocolate evenly.

    Now put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

    Break it up into pieces... and dig in!

    (I hope you don't get mad at me after you try this- it may become an addiction...)


    <evil laugh>

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    ...and Sometimes Big Things

    I told you I would write more about the week...  so here I am :)

    Saturday was the very last day.  We went early that morning to Planned Parenthood Orlando to hold up signs, pray, and preach.  We had gone there twice earlier in the week (Tuesday and Friday I believe) and both times they had illegally turned on their sprinklers to deter us.  Think it worked?  Not a chance.

    Saturday was no exception- except they decided to wait to turn them on until we were all standing on the sidewalk unsuspecting.  As the cold water sprayed on our faces and on our denim (you know that was fun), we were thankful for it- it was so hot standing right out there in the Orlando sun.  Really hot....

    It was a bit later in the morning that I saw Daddy from the other side of the parking lot calling to a young man who was at his car and seemed undecided in whatever he was doing.  His wife was already in the clinic and he didn't appear to be moving from his position at the car- ignoring my father's pleads to just come and talk- so I walked back onto the sidewalk in front of the mill.  I didn't notice that his wife had come out of the clinic until Hannah came and said to me, "That guy and his girlfriend have just been sitting there talking..."  I turned to look over and saw them hand in hand walking over to the fence where my father had been beckoning.  A surge of joy flooded my body as I raced over- I wanted to see God work!

    Believe me, I did.  As I listened to their story I kept feeling the urge to fall to my knees and cry like a little baby.  The Lord's Hand was revealed to me and I felt so much joy that I wasn't sure how to handle it.  Allow me to explain.

    If I can figure out where to begin...

    The couple, aged 22 and 23, had 3 children already. The first was born when they were 15 and 16 years old.  Now, expecting their 4th, they felt as though they did not have the financial means to take care of another child nor did they have any support from their family.  They felt like the abortion would be a quick and quiet way to take care of it.

    They thought the baby was very small- between 6 and 14 weeks.  But when the young woman went in for the abortion, she laid down on the ultrasound table and felt the baby move. She found out that she was actually 20 weeks along.  She said that she knew that there was no turning back now.  She couldn't have the abortion- in her mind now it was a real baby-she felt it move.

    Her husband had been hesitant about the whole thing.  He dropped her off and began driving back to their home to relieve his brother from watching the other children.  As he was driving he prayed, "God, if You are there and you don't want us to go through with this- have her call me right now."  He took the cell phone out of his pocket.  It rang in his hand. Guess who it was?

    He turned the car about face and drove a half hour back.  that is where you first came into the story- she came out, they talked, and they came over to talk to Daddy.

    That in itself if awesome- but it was actually everything else on top of that that blew me away.

    They had been waiting weeks before they could get the money for the abortion.  If they had the money when they first wanted it, she would have had no reason (in her mind) not to abort the baby.  Not to mention that it happened to be the week of Operation Save America's National Event- the week we just so happened to be there...

    Everything seemed to be going wrong, creating more and more financial trouble.  Their transmission in their SUV was messed up, their home's roof started leaking...

    Their 1-year-old son, who usually sleeps all through the night, was up all the night before crying.  They were up with him, trying to calm him down, and having more time to think about the next day's "procedure".  I believe that child was crying for his little brother or sister's life.

    The young woman had a Christian friend that had been trying to talk to her and sit down with her.


    They appear to be the mighty hidden hand of God to me!

    God's hand is on that little baby...  She has already touched lives, drawing them closer to the Lord.  She will be a mighty warrior one day- she has already conquered Satan's attack to take her life.

    I hope that reading this story was as encouraging to you reading it as it is to me writing it.  That whole week was an encouragement- to see other believers practicing what they preach- to hear stories of persecutions, babies saved, people turning their hearts to Christ- it was awesome.

    God is surely at work among His believers!

    "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    It's the Little Things...

    Yes, I am finally back :)

    A couple of weeks ago my family and I attended Operation Save America's national event in Orlando, FL.

    The week went beautifully- we witnessed at least one baby that was saved.  I will be writing more on this later but I wanted to share this little faith building story...

    UCF was one of the places that we went to share the truth of the gospel, the truth about abortion, and to get Personhood petitions signed.   We went there a few times during the week but the particular day I'm talking about was Wednesday...

    It was a HOT day...  we were all sweaty, thirsty (the water bottles we brought weren't very refreshing tepid), and dog tired.  Momma promised James a special drink.  Most of you already know this but our family drinks water exclusively- rarely do we ever drink anything like juice or soda- so when Momma promised this to James he wasn't going to let her forget!

    It was lunchtime and we all hopped into the van to go get something to eat before going home to relax and freshen up before the night rally.  We were driving around until we found a Checkers and went to the drive thru.  (Ok, normally we do not do fast food it's - so bad for you!- but this week was an exception ;) )  Daddy ordered burgers and a few fries and drove through- knowing that we had water bottles for drinks.   James piped up, "What about drinks?!?"  Momma remembered her promise.  "Oh!  Sorry, sweetie, maybe we will get something on the way to the rally tonight- I forgot..."  He was satisfied with that answer- he knew he would get it- eventually.

    We got up to the window and a middle aged man inside took the payment and told us that we would have to wait a little while so to pull around to the parking lot and they would bring it out to us.  (I guess it might take some time to prepare 10 burgers at once)  As he handed back the receipt he glanced into the back of our 15-passenger van.  I'm not sure if he could see the sweat, the grime, or the exaustion but...

    "You have a lot of kids back there, eh?"  Momma grinned and said, "We have 9 childen."  He nodded (wheels were turning) "Ok, you guys pull around and I'll see about 9 surprises."

    We waited- what seemed like a half hour- and someone came out with our food.  We figured the kind man must have forgotten so we didn't worry about it and began to pull out.  As we neared the exit we saw the man with two drink trays and a few extra cups on top.  I couldn't help grinning- like really, really wide.  as he gave them to Daddy he said, "Any time you come by here I'll make sure your kids are taken care of."

    As we passed them out we discovered to everyone's delight (we would have been happy with just ice water at that point!) that each of the 9 small cups contained Sprite.  Violet, having apparently never had it before, dubbed it "spicy water".   :)

    As we drove away I asked James, "Who do you think told that man that you wanted a special drink?"

    God did.  He knew that we had been working hard all that morning in obedience to His Word.  He knew that we where hot and sweaty, He knew we were all tired, He knew that we needed a little faith building.  So He sent it- in the smallest for that nobody else would have really considered.    He told that man, "You take care of those children- they are Mine and they have been about My business today."

    I am planning on writing more on the subject of that wonderful week but I figure that is enough for now.  Be encouraged that God does see all- He does care about even the little things...

    "You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me..."

    Psalm 139:5-6a