Mi Hijos

Mi Hijos

Friday, August 14, 2015

Every good and perfect gift

My last post shared of the trials we have been through the last 6 months.  We have also experienced many blessings as well.  I write them so that I may never forget to see the good amidst the storms.  God is good, always.  We can lean on Him and see His goodness shine through.

James 1:17-
 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.

June: Jim graduated seminary!  What a huge accomplishment, Jim has a Master of Divinity, after 6 long years of intense studying, endless papers, learning Greek, vacations that always included course work, and through adopting 5 children he was able to complete this wonderful degree.  I am so proud of him and how he has grown during this time.  His faith is deeper, knowledge is greater, and love for God stronger.  He will also be auditing a class in Philadelphia this fall under the teachings of Rev. Kent Hughes.  We were also able to take a wonderful trip to KY in June, the kids stayed with my parents while Jim and I attended an ECFA conference for pastors in California, one of our favorite places to visit.  It was a wonderful time of rest and relaxation that was much needed.  We also celebrated our one year of ministry at Christ Church!  It has been an amazing year and we really feel at home in Beaver Springs.

July:  Camping with friends at their cabin, (well, Jim and the boys camped, while the girls enjoyed indoor camping and plumbing).  After a long, hot summer day filled with doctor and dentist appointments I went through the Starbucks drive through and received a free Frappachino due to the long wait.  You may be thinking, Mel, really?  And my response is absolutely!  Anyone with 5 kids in the summer knows how long those summer days can be and how important caffeine can be.  I appreciate all of life's blessings no matter how big or little.  That same week I received at $25 gift card to target photo because they didn't have my order when I went to pick it up.  Again, a big deal as we are on tight budget and I was able to buy Jim's bday present with the gift card.  The kids worked very hard at having a garage sale this year and they did amazing!  It was a joy to watch them connect with each other during that time.  Derly, Estefania, and Ryan all went to Camp Orchard Hill this summer.  They had a great time and it is such a blessing that it is Church sponsored.  Camp costs nearly $400 per child nowadays which we would not be able to afford.  At the end of July we had VBS at church and I was able to lead the preschool age kids with a wonderful friend of mine, what a joyous time teaching kids about the love of Jesus.  Birthdays are always a blessing, another year to celebrate the lives we have been given.  Summer Birthdays: Jhon-14 in May, Prospero-6 in July, Ryan-9 in August, and Jim-36 in August. 

August: Back to school backpack program where each child received a free backpack and large amount of school supplies.  This was a big blessing for our big family.  Finding $3 paint at Lowes to paint the kids rooms.  For the first time ever I have been able to paint and it adds such joy and warmth to a room.  Jim's mom moves into a more handicap friendly home this week!  She has been waiting a year, struggling with stairs after Parkinson's dx last year.  We also had the chance to visit the Atlantic Ocean for the first time with the kids this month!  The kids loved it and we had a very nice family vacation.  It was probably one of my favorite vacations, I loved seeing the joy on their faces when they were swimming in the ocean.  We were also able to visit our wonderful "Colombia" friends in Connecticut.  On the way home we had a tire blow out and were seconds away from losing the whole tire.  We had to sit on the shoulder of a very busy freeway while Jim called many tow trucks, none of which could come under 2hrs.  It was too dangerous to change the tire on the road, finally after calling the PD a tow truck and shuttle arrived within 5 min.  God kept us safe during the blow out and while cars and trucks were zooming by us. 

I look back on this summer and am thankful for the blessings we have received:

-Evenings BBQing with friends
-countless hours on the trampoline (best investment ever)
-free swimming pool in McClure where Prospero mastered the diving board and was always the smallest kid in line
- library reading program that helped the kids want to read this summer and they received rewards = free meal at Applebees and free books
-multiple clothing donations for our large family-always appreciated
-new friends I have made this year and visits from MN friends
-letters/cards of encouragement I receive
-finding Colombian restaurants to keep our children's heritage alive
-free childcare from friends so Jim and I can date
-family spending time with our kids and helping watch them for us
-prayer warriors who ask me often what I need prayer for
- being a stay at home mom and watching my children grow up....

The list continues as I know there are many other blessings that we have experienced that I may be unaware of.  I am grateful for each one and encourage you to count your blessings often.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Peace in the Storm, Summer 2015

The title of this blog is Peace during the Storm.  Just as Jesus calmed the storm that terrified his disciples, He calms our hearts during life's challenges and hard-times.  The last six months have been filled with moments that tests a mother's heart in every way.

February: Derly had an emergency appendectomy and mono at the same time, she missed 10 days of school, her soccer season ended early, and the bonding that occurred between mother and daughter was deep and needed.  Derly asked deep questions like "What if this would have happened if I was in Colombia?" She knew the answer to this question and how God knew this is where she needed to be at this time in her life to receive the life saving care she received.  Praise God for His timing and healing of Derly physically and emotionally.  

March: Jhon fainted in the shower and was spared from injury.  Dx: Orthostatic Hypotension, his body doesn't handle growth spurts very well, a result of years of malnutrition.  Praise God for keeping Jhon safe. 

 June: Jim and Jhon were involved in a roll over go-cart accident, the go-cart rolled 3x, Jhon was unconscious, but miraculously they walked away with concussions, staples to the head, and a scalp hematoma that is still present but healing on Jim 6 weeks later.  This was the first day of our vacation and trip to California for a Pastor's conference.  The kids stayed with my parents who were amazing and took wonderful care of them while Jim and I had time together.  I hated leaving my son who was just injured.  Jhon is amazing and wanted us to go, he had a great time at his grandparents and wants to spend all summer there next year.   Praise God for safety and healing.  

July 2nd:  Jhon had a mini dirt bike accident (2 weeks after his go-cart accident) that resulted in a broken clavicle.  He had to miss summer camp, mission trip, and countless hours swimming and jumping on the trampoline, to allow his collar bone to heal.  Praise God for safety from head injury.  

July 17:  Jim and Derly were on a missions trip to Staten Island, NY and I receive a call that starts with "Don't worry, but....."  The missions team were on lock-down for a possible terrorist threat just blocks from their living quarters.  They were locked in for several hours and then finally received the "All-Clear", Derly hates big cities, brings out fear and nervousness in her, so this just added fuel to the fire.  Praise God they were ok and this experience helped Derly learn to trust in God through all circumstances.  She said she doesn't want to go to they city for a long time.  Praise God for safety.  

July 22nd: (Prospero's 6th Birthday) I received a call at midnight from the camp nurse that Ryan fell, hit his head on a rock, loss consciousness, and had vomited twice.  He then had a trip to the ER, Dx: Concussion.  CT of head was good, praise God.  He is an amazing kid and wanted to stay at camp the remainder of the week.  It was extremely hard for me to not be by his side while he was in the ER and to not hug and kiss him as he was going through this.  I wanted nothing more but the drive in the middle of the night to be by his side.  It is a 2hr drive and I knew that the drive would not have been safe and was best for me to stay at home.  Hearing his voice the next day,  I knew he was feeling much better and was proud of him for wanting to continue his week at camp.   Praise God his CT scan was good and Ryan was ok. 

I praise God for peace through these recent storms.  The first year of Jim being a senior pastor has not been without trial and hardship.  I draw comfort in this, however, because God is good and we are to:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)

So, whether life is amazing or life is challenging for you right now, lean on God for your strength and I pray you will find peace through the storm.  

 Jim and Jhon moments before accident

 The Staten Island Missions Team
 Camp Kids- So excited!
 A friend made this for Jhon after his second accident
 Thankful for amazing parents who love our children, take midnight phone calls for wisdom and prayer, and who live life to honor and praise God.
 I am blessed to be married to my college sweetheart, who loves God more than anything and who is an amazing husband and father.
This was when Derly was in hospital.  A blanket she received while in the hospital, it is her favorite blanket and she brings in to every sleep over she goes on.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Pictures

 A visit from Grandma and Grandpa so Jim and I can attend a marriage retreat with church.  We are so thankful they make the 12hr journey to be with us!

 Friends from MI that we havent seen in 3 years!

 My friend Jodi made this for me, I love it and look at it everyday!
 Hiking the trails at Tall Timbers

 Derly loves her new purple bike from Grandpa and Grandma!

 The cross walk with our church, 3rd annual, the men walk it 30+ miles on Good Friday.

 Easter 2015



We enjoyed a nice day with Grandma Matthews.