Monday, March 29, 2010

All Things Girly!

Little Girls

Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty cat purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.

Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow

And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.

Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls

Little girls are made of sunshine and cupcakes and fresh morning dew,

And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you.
Author: Karen Barnes

I love having a daughter! And I love all things girly! I love everything that comes with having a little girl... BIG bows...Wearing Mommy's lipstick...Playing with her brothers like only a lady can (all decked out in pink, flowers, bows, and a necklace)...BIG hats... Wearing Mommy's necklace...

Finding silly "girly" things at the store...Pigtails....

Lots of pink...
Shopping with Mommy, beginning at an early age...
Fluffy, sparkly princess dresses...
Sweet little braids...
Headbands and dollhouse toys...
Having a girl is SO MUCH FUN! And, in honor of this post All Things Girly!, I would like to direct you to my friend Tara's online hairbow shop (with unbeatable prices!). Tara is a pastor's wife with two little girls of her own (and a boy!). She is a great friend who is beautiful inside and out... and talk about a Proverbs 31 woman! Tara and I sat in Christian Womanhood class together in Bible college and memorized this "virtuous woman" chapter together as a class. And, it is so great to see her following the Biblical principles of working with her hands, making fine linen and selling it!

[For homeschooling resources and advice, you can also find Tara here. And you can find her husband Josh with some great articles here about Baptist history and doctrine.]
My own little Brianna and I hope to follow Tara's example and start making our own hairbows... not to sell, but just to make for our own pleasure. We already have all kinds of great plans for our "girly" fun together! (And did I mention that I love having a sweet, little girl to do these things with?!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

An Amazing Missionary Kid!

I'll start this post by telling you I am NOT a paper saver! No one sends "snail mail" these days anyways, but my process for dealing with correspondence is simple: answer letter, throw letter away. The only things I keep are letters and papers from family and the occasional, so-special-you-can't-bear-to-throw-it-away letter. To give you an idea of how many of those kinds of letters I have... they all fit into one small shoebox! Josh Gimenez's letters are among those few treasures I have kept in that shoebox.

Josh is the most amazing missionary kid, and I personally do not even know him! He and his family are currently in Canada learning French, preparing to serve as missionaries to the West Indies. So, how do I know this very special missionary kid? Well, it all started out with a letter in the mail 3 1/2 years ago.... and $10 tucked inside. I have included pictures of those letters in this post. And, in case the pictures are hard to see, I am typing below each picture exactly what Josh wrote, exactly as he wrote it:
Dear Sloans,

God has put on my heart to support you for a month at ten dollars a week. I am ten years old and my name is Joshua. I am in 5th grade. The reason I am going to support you is because my Dad wanted us to have more faith in God. So he had us pick a missionary and I picked you. We are also missionarys to the West Indies.

Joshua Gimenez

Next, we received this letter, another $10, and Josh's family's prayer card. (And, it is possible I am missing a letter here... sounds like that may be the case by what he writes; however, I can't be sure because there were only 4 weeks in November 2006, and the entire promised $40 is mentioned...):
Dear Bro and Miss Sloan,

I have been supporting you for three weeks. God has been sending the money in. I have been praying for you to be safe. This week at a missions conferance I surrenderd to preach. I am glad I support you God has really mad faith real to me.

Your Prayer friend,
Joshua Gimenez

P.S. I sent you a prayer card of us Please pray for us.
Then, we received this card with $20:

Dear Bro and Miss Sloan,
I am sorry I didn't get off last weeks support so I put both weeks in for this week. This the Month I pick a new missonary. It was fun supporting you
Joshua Gimenez

P.S. Sorry my Handwriting is bad we are on the Road again.

Let me tell you... these letters brought a lot of emotions to my heart. First, I was overwhelmed that a 10-year-old child could have such faith. I was also ashamed... ashamed for every time in my own life that I have not relied fully on God to provide for my every need, just as this child so whole-heartedly did. I also felt fear... fear of using a single penny in a way that would not be pleasing to God. You see, we as Christians all know and understand that everything we have belongs to God. But, for a missionary... every single thing we own not only belongs to God, but is also the sacrifice of dear Christians in supporting churches. We spend our time and money as wisely as possible... but I spent Josh's money with fear and trembling, begging God to bless it and his sacrifice.
Josh is nearly 14 years old now and has his own blog! Go visit him here and encourage him! His sweet mother (who, by the way is a lady I want to learn from... I mean, how many mothers are out there teaching their children how to support missionaries?!) has written a post about Josh where she shares her burden for missionary kids. Go read that post here and begin praying fervently for missionary kids! And, here is their family blog!
Josh, you're a great kid! Thank you for teaching a "seasoned" missionary how to truly give and how to live by faith! You are one of my heroes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sloans meet "TV" Duggars!


I am sure the Duggars need no introducing. They are the amazing family with 19 children who have a TLC and Discovery Health TV program. They are also a family that I just truly adore. Now, by my title, I am sure I have given you the impression that we were the ones who got to meet the Duggars. But, sadly, it wasn't us. We have a big family too, and it was an extension of our family who had the honor....

So, for a longer title to this post, here is the whole story: Tommy and Mona Sloan, Missionaries to Mexico, Meet the Duggars and are Given a Van For their Radio Ministry. (That was for those who like the Reader's Digest version of a story! For those of you who prefer the Encyclopedia Britannica version, read on!)


My brother- and sister-in-law are back in the States raising money to begin a radio ministry in Chiapas, Mexico. They will be traveling until the beginning of 2011 from church to church, raising money for a ministry they have estimated will reach 700,000 to 1,000,000 souls with the Gospel. The van they had was a 1996 Ford E-350 van with 175,000 miles. An aquaintance of Tommy's, also a missionary to Mexico, had recently bought a van from the Duggar's oldest son, Josh. This acquaintance mentioned to Tommy that the Duggars were interested in selling their own 1999 Ford Diesel 15-passenger van with only 83,000 miles. Tommy was interested and went for a test drive with Jim Bob Duggar. When Tommy asked how much he was asking for it, Mr. Duggar replied, "If you think that you can use it in Mexico, we have decided to just give it to you - you know, donate it to the work in Mexico." Mr. Duggar then sent Tommy to a shop and paid $280.00 to have the windshield wiper motor and relay replaced. He said that he just could not let him drive off with it like that.



Amazing, right?! Now, ever since I heard of this family and then read their book, I have admired them. Their message of "children are a gift from God" is very timely for Christian families, and I have been personally blessed by their testimonies. If you remember my Christmas post, I shared that I had received their book as a gift and read it within 48 hours of opening it!I do not know if I will ever have the opportunity to meet this dear family. After all, they are rather busy! But, I want to publicly say, "My hats off to you, and may God bless you richly for the way you have blessed our family!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ladies' Day Banquet

The beautiful auditorium-turned-"banquet hall" on Monday morning:
We were so happy to see that most of the balloons that we had blown up the night before were still inflated!:The place settings:Head table: deaf interpreter - Alla, deaf pastor's wife - Tanya, hearing pastor's wife - Judy, and special speaker - HelenThese were my three special guests (below) who traveled overnight by train to be with us. Jessica Curtis, a missionary's wife in Kharkov, Ukraine, and I have been keeping in touch though we had never met until banquet day! She brought her interpreter and a lady from her church with her, and it was a joy for me to host these gracious ladies! By the way, you can go see Jessica at her beautiful blog here. The meal: chicken cordon bleu, rice, crab salad, and a roll - Dessert - a beautiful rainbow jello that was perfect for our theme!:Gift to our special speaker (who also traveled on an overnight train to be with us)...(Below) Jeff and Helen Christian, missionaries in Odessa, Ukraine, who serve with their two sons, Jacob and Jeffrey.
Skit "Blessings from God:"Special music by the group of faithful church men who graciously served us:
Skit by "Mary, Martha, Miriam, Ruth, Deborah, and Esther" on the topic "How to get a man to church." Each Biblical character gave her own ideas on how to get a man to church in light of her own story. (For example, "Mary" suggested washing his feet, "Martha" suggested cooking a meal, "Esther" suggested preparing a banquet....) Very creative!
Tickets were randomly drawn and door prizes were given throughout the program. However, Lena, (who broke her right arm the day before the banquet!), won the final prize... a beautiful quilt!
Special song, "God hath not promised..." Words can be found here.
Ladies enjoying themselves, while being served by our "bow tie" waitors:
At the end of the banquet, pictures were taken by our rainbow-balloon prop. Here is an example of one of those pictures. (This is a family... two sisters, with their two daughters)...
Group shot... 87 ladies attended!... Not only were the men great servers, but they cleaned up after us as well!A back-breaking job, as illustrated by Pastor Bob! Guess we ladies can only expect this once a year!