Welcome! Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa ...Our house is your house

A glimpse into the life of Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 precious blessings. Thank you for visiting; we pray that what we share here may always bring glory to our wonderful God and Saviour. May you praise the Lord with us for the great things He has done and continues to do as we serve Him sharing the gospel here in the little town of Cuidad Insurgentes, BCS Mexico. He alone is good and faithful!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love


Does that first page on a new calendar stir up feelings of a new beginning, clean slate, fresh start etc...? I know for me it does. There are always so many areas in my life on which the Lord is continually, patiently, and lovingly working. Now January 1 is no better a day to follow the Lord and repent of those things He's convicted you of than is May 7 or October 21, but I think the approach of a new year causes many to do some heart felt assesments.
2009 was a year of great trial and difficulty for us in so many ways. Yet the spiritual groweth and blessings they wrought are more precious than gold. I have been under conviction for many things and oh how long I resisted before I surrendered...beautiful, sweet surrender. You know, when the Holy Spirit convicts your heart of something and you try to jusitify it, you lose your joy. It's ironic (in my human view) how that the very thing I may need to surrender to my Lord seems so hard and difficult, yet when I resist, there is nothing no peace or joy and everything seems to go wrong. But when I by faith, yield to the Lord whatever He asks of me, no matter how hard it may seem, how soon and sweetly I find that His yoke truly is easy and His burden light!
Most of you know that I write up a schedule each year as a tool to direct our days and guide us in accomplishing what the Lord has called us to do. I am constantly working on being faithful as I have found day to day faithful in the small things soon yields blessed fruit. So as I have been evaluating the last year thinking of what needs to change in my life, it wasn't things that I need to "do" or not to do.
But one area in particular stood out as something the Lord has long been impressing upon my heart...my motives.
Why do I do what I do? Is it for the love of my Lord or for another reason? The Bible is so clear when it tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul mind, and strength. It says this is the first and greatest commandment. How much do I love my Lord? He tells me to do all I do unto Him and for His glory. But how often do I work for another purpose.
Take caring for my home for example. Let's say Daniel is away all day working. I am home with our 12 children teaching, training, disciplining, loving, cleaning, washing, cooking, playing etc... I know that Daniel will be home soon, so I work hard to have the house picked up, the children clean and quiet, and have a hot meal waiting for him. Let's say he walks in the door and has had a hard day. Say he doesn't notice how hard I've worked or doesn't seem to appreciate the food. I know how hurt I can be over something so silly.
Why? Because I did all I did so Daniel would appreciate me. I expected him to thank me or praise me. And so when he didn't, I felt cheated.
But take the same situation, but different motive. If I had done all I had done unto the Lord wanting only to please Him, how different I might feel. Of course, I love pleasing my husband and really, pleasing, loving, honoring, submitting to, and obeying him is pleasing, loving, honoring, and obeying the Lord. But when I do what I do for my God who never fails and works all things for our good, how much more peace and joy I have. Oh, His ways are so perfect!
God also tells me to love my husband and my children (Titus 2:4). How many times my crabby attitude, frustrations, or anger is a result of not loving the Lord or my family but rather loving myself. I Corinthians 13 is a chapter I have memorized but how I need to meditate on it more. It tells us what love is...longsuffering, kind, not easily provoked, bears all things etc... That love only comes for God Himself for He is love.
I have been praying the last few days for the Lord to help me to love as I should. As much as I want to, it is something only He can work in me. How I desire His work in my heart! How much I need it!
Love covers a multitude of sins. How often I can be as the unforgiving servant in holding on to a tiny little offense someone has done to me when I've been forgiven an enormous debt I could never pay. Love easily and quickly forgives. The Lord, this past year, has shown me so more and more how He sees my sins. Oh, how sad and horriblee a realization, yet how marvelous and blessed His saving grace has become to me!
God also tells me to love my neighbor as myself. Yesterday was our official last day of Christmas vacation (meaning no school, modified schedule giving time to special activities and projects). Daniel and I had big plans...many things we both wanted to accomplish before we needed to get back to the normal routine of things. Daniel was going to put up a fence in the back yard. We haven't had one since the hurricane blew it down and how I have missed it...keeping little ones in and keeping out, well, mainly drunks and theives both who like to cause trouble :) I needed to get the shopping done, had some organization projects around the house I was looking forward to doing, and anticipating a date night with my hubby to a taco stand later that evening.
Well, Timothy, Elijah, and Abigail woke up sick. The older boys are Daniel's biggest helps and how he needed them to help with the fence. Still, we carried on. After breakfast, we had just begun our day and seven visitors from church came over. So we stopped our work, made them some coffee, and sat down to visit. Four hours later, they left. It was now time to make lunch and I was beginning to despair that we'd get anything done. Before lunch was finished, we received 4 phone calls and Elijah said he was going to throw up. I finally finished the quesadillas around 2 pm, we all ate, and the same people who had come to visit earlier called asking for a ride to the beach. Daniel said he'd go over in a little bit when our neighbors showed up. Another phone call and an hour later, Daniel left to go give a ride to those who'd asked. When he got there, they decided it was too late and asked if they could get a ride the next day instead. I spent the rest of the afternoon just cleaning up the house and doing the daily laundry as I hadn't been able to do either yet. Night soon came, baths, supper, devotions, tucking children into bed and Daniel went out to do a little bit of work on the fence.
This type of day would normally frustrate me to no end! Or should I say that differently...Daniel always says that no person, no circumstance, nothing can make us angry or say/do things we shouldn't; it is what is already inside us. How easily it can be to let our sinful flesh fufill it's desires...all of which are contrary to God and His holiness. I have found that praying without ceasing is a life line. How often do I need to cry to the Lord for His help in keeping my heart right. Time each day in His Word gives me the strength as I meditate on and follow by faith what I read. How precious it is!
Yesterday, I kept thinking to myself, "Love thy neighbor as thyself". How would I want to be treated. Daniel asks the Lord each morning as we pray together as a family to direct our day. And yesterday, it wasn't how we had planned, but I know it was directed by the Lord. While my cupboards I wanted to organize stayed closed, my home stayed open to those who came and I'm so glad it did.
Well, that's just a few thoughts that have been going around in my mind the past few days. We had a wonderful Christmas together.
Here in Mexico, Christmas Eve is the "big" day. We went to some of our church people's homes that evening to enjoy some food and fellowship. The next morning, we read the Christmas story from the Bible together, watched the children open their gifts, cleaned up, had a late cinnamon roll breakfast, and played together all day. How I love to play! I'm so glad the Lord gave me so many children who naturally love to play too!
Last night, our neighbors (the mother and teen-age daughter just got saved and want to get baptized) had us over for lamb tacos. They were so thoughtful and had a little bon fire for the children with marshmallows and hot dogs for them to roast on sticks. Daniel was able to witness again to the husband and brothers. I'm so excited knowing that some of you will soon be praying specifically for this family.
May the Lord's peace, love, and joy fill your hearts this new year.


New aprons made by mommy :)


Last year, my parents gave the older boys compound bows. They've always needed a good place to store them, so Daniel surprised them and built them a rack for their bows and bb guns.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank you for your response!

So many of you responded...several by comment and even more by email...wanting to pray this coming year for a specific person in our church here. I'm so very excited knowing that the Lord will hear each and every prayer. In fact, we've had so many respond that I may be able to assign a couple of people to each person. How wonderful to think that each person in our church could have a couple of prayer warriors each standing beside them as they grow in the Lord and share Him with others!
Over the next week, I will be compiling the list/assigning names, making sure I have a current picture to send, and putting together the information/prayer requests for each one. Each year, during Christmas break, I enjoy working on a special project that I wouldn't have time for during our normal schedule, and I'm so excited the Lord laid this on my heart for this year.
So if you haven't already contacted us and you want to be a part of this, I ask that you let us know by the end of this week. My goal is have the emails ready to send to you all by early next week.
A few of you mentioned wanting to be given the birthdays of those for whom you will be praying, and since I am needing to update our church birthday list/calendar for the new year, it will be no problem to include those (although there are some older people and a few children who do not know their birthdays).
A few also mentioned being pen-pals with a child. I think it would be wonderful if you feel led to write a note of encouragement to the person for whom you are praying anytime. Try out any/all Spanish you know...they would love it. And provided you don't write a lenghthy epistle :), I wouldn't mind translating short notes outloud which are written in English. You should send the notes to our address which is located on the lower right hand side bar (making sure you put our name on the address but also include somewhere on the envelope the name of the person to whom it is for) and we'd be happy to deliver them.
But as far as another child or adult writing back, I would not expect that. To mail a letter from here to the USA would cost over a dollar which is quite a lot of money to the people here (the average wage is $10-12/day). And writing isn't something they do a lot of here, but maybe somebody will surprise you and write ??? :)
If you are going to write, we ask that you do so through regular mail and not email. Often times, our printer is out of ink, so we aren't always able to print. :)
Finally, some have asked about getting updates on the person for whom they are praying. I would love to be able to send each one of you regular updates, but I don't want to commit to doing something I may not have the time to do. Daniel thought this summer would be a good time to send out updates, so that's a possibility. But I do want to post more specifically on the ministry here this year as the Lord has given us such a love and burden for these souls. And as I post, you very well may see a picture and/or update on the person for whom you are praying, so watch for those :)
The burden the Lord laid on my heart is prayer. I've been deeply convicted myself on the amount of time I spend on my knees. And also, we so covet prayer for the people here. And from that, the idea of asking you all to pray for somebody specific came.
May the Lord work through the prayers of His people!



1 Timothy 2:1- I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

Ephesians 6:18- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

1 John 5:14- And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.

Psalms 34:15- The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Will you pray for him/her next year? (And pictures/video below)

A couple of Sundays ago, I was sitting at the piano in the church playing for the services listening to the beautiful sound of the voices of men, women, boys and girls singing to the Lord. As I sit to play each Sunday, the piano is situated where I am facing the people. I often smile at them as we sing or mouth the words to a boy or girl to encourage them to sing along. They almost always smile at me and sing with all their might.
After the song had ended that Sunday, an idea came to me. Of course, many ideas come to me and many of them are quite laughable :), but when I ran this one by Daniel, he too thought it would be good.
Four years ago, there was no church here. Praise the Lord, there are now 15 families who have come to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ...men, women, children...our brothers and sisters in Christ. Imagine living in a town where there are only 15 Christian families. Imagine going to a school where you may be the only one who knows the Lord.
These families come to church each week giving testimony of those with whom they shared the gospel...family members, neighbors, co-workers. We rejoice with them in the good response they find and pray with them as they often hurt over those who will not listen or believe.
We go to their homes and talk with them...how their lives have changed since coming to Christ! And as they too begin to live for and serve their God, how the times of both trial and blessing come hand in hand.
I know many of you pray for our family. When I tell you one of my little ones is sick, you pray for that one by name. And as I sat on the piano bench that Sunday, I wasn't just seeing a group of faces...I was seeing dear individual souls...I was remembering their hurts, joys, and their stories. My heart was burdened to pray more for them. And then I thought...
Maybe some of you would like to pray for one of your brother or sisters in Christ here too. I thought how wonderful it would be to have another Christian man, woman, boy or girl take special interest in a man, woman, boy or girl here.
So this is what I was thinking...If you would like to, I would love to send you the name of someone here in our church (you can specify man, women, boy, girl). I would love to send you their picture, a little of their story, and ways in which you can especially pray for them. Oh, I know they would appreciate your prayers so much. And while I often ask you to pray for the people here, I thought it would help if you had a specific name/face/requests for which to pray making it more personal. You could even write them a little note of encouragement from time to time. Maybe your son or daughter would like to have a Mexican boy or girl to remember in their prayers or to which they could send a letter or a picture they drew.
The longer I live, the longer we serve here, we are made more and more aware of the spiritual battle that rages. And the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Satan loses ground as we are on our knees!
Would any of you like to commit to praying for a brother or sister in Christ here for 2010? If you would, please comment here or email me (lockwoods2mexico (at) juno (dot) com ).
I will begin assigning names and sending the information as soon as someone asks.
You know, I thought to myself this morning, "What if nobody wants to do it?" And as soon as I thought it, the Lord spoke to my heart...If nobody does it, nothing's been lost; but if just one does, those prayers will be heard by our Almighty God and only eternity will tell the gain."
Evening Service
Youth Choir Singing for our Christmas Service (See video below)
Church Adult/Teen gift Exchange

The children's class exhanged gifts as well
The two ladies on the right are our neighors (they live right behind us). They want to get baptized next baptism service.

Hna. Rosa serving up those goats :)

Hno. Aorelio helping serve tables

How I love to hear them sing!
video

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Box Distribution 2009




For the past several weeks, we have all eagerly awaited the day when we would go to pass out the Christmas Boxes we received.
This is the 3rd year we have done this and while each year has been a blessing, this year was very special.

We only received about a fifth of the amount of boxes we received the previous years. We know that there are many who desired to give, but were financially unable to. Living internationally, we have come to very much understand the costs involved in shipping, and we know it has been a hard year for many. We considered not doing it this year, but felt the Lord wanted us to and we wanted to give this opportunity to give to those who were able.

We had originally planned to go to a new area where Daniel has been wanting to begin preaching. We were going to take the boxes along with some tracts and New Testaments and go house to house covering that area.

But with fewer boxes, we didn't want to go and only give some of the children a gift and not the others.

So we began to pray about where we should go...43 boxes sent and while we knew they would be gladly received by any boy or girl, we felt the Lord would lead.

As many of you know, Daniel has gone out to preach each week in the village of Jesus Maria and its surrounding areas for over a year now. It is a very hard area and after a year of preaching, only a few have listened, many have rejected the message, and not one has come to Christ. Daniel has been met with resistance we've never seen before.

Daniel's uncle, who pastors a church in our hometown area and has a deep burden and heart for missions, encouraged Daniel to seek ways to help the people there...show them that we love and care for them.

Daniel was first allowed to preach there because the door was opened by us giving them clothing. Daniel recently worked for hours fixing a couple of guitars for a man who lives there.

There are not many children who live there; it's strangely quiet and lonely especially during the week as the few children who do live there are sent to and board at a school in town.
Knowing that schools were out on vacation and
seeking ways to reach out to these people, we felt the Lord would have us give boxes to the children there. We certainly had enough to give to them!

I had to be very careful about taking pictures. While a couple of the homes have always allowed Daniel to enter, many of them have not. He told me that he wasn't sure if we would even be allowed to give a box away a some of these homes as they have been less than friendly to him often yelling at him or hiding when they see him coming. But we determined to make an attempt at each house where we knew there was a child.

We are so glad we went! Daniel was able to see and talk with people who he hasn't seen in months; they allowed us to give their children a gift and were truly grateful. One home in particular who has completely ignored Daniel for months smiled and waved at us as we left. Daniel was shocked. It's the first friendly gesture the have ever shown towards him.

There was only one home where they would not accept the gift; another lady from the village went with Josiah and I to try to give the boy there a box, but the lady of the house yelled at us to get away. Even the lady who went with me was surprised at the anger.

It is Christ that they continue to reject. Please, please pray for them. Daniel is anxious to go back to preach this coming week.


With the boxes that remained after covering the village, we went to the homes of some of our most faithful church children. Sunday, I found it it was the only gift they any of them received this year as times here are hard too. How very happy they were and what a joy it was just to see their faces.

Thank you so much for giving and for praying.


















I was able to get some shots from the car of some of the homes in the village.









Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

As wonderful as today is as we remember the birth of our Savior, it will pale to compare with the glorious day He will come again to reign as the King of Kings forever. He was born to die so that we can live. What a wonderful Savior! May your day be filled with the wonders of His love and joy!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas From our Family to Yours!

I have so many things I want to post...Nehemiah's birthday, our church Christmas service yesterday, our church children's choir singing last night, and an exciting idea I want to share with you all that came to me yesterday morning.

But in the meantime, I just want to say Merry Christmas! The Lord is so good and faithful!

video

While waiting for Daddy to come in for supper the other night, I taped the children singing "Noche de Paz" (Silent Night). I was going to have them all say "Feliz Navidad~ Merry Christmas" at the end, but I had to cut the video short as Susannah yelled out "Nehemiah! You are eating and we haven't prayed!" You can hear her gasp at the very end :)

There are not really many "silent nights" in a house of 12 children, but amidst the laughter, cries, squeals, songs, and other noises that only boys can make, there is much joy! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It is good to remember

Tonight I was especially thinking of all you mommies who have "a few" children. What is a few to some may be many to another. One, two, or three little ones...maybe four or five. As I was sitting in a pile of mega blocks, Lincoln logs, railroad tracks, staples, and spit up, I was remembering and thinking of you.
And while I have 8 chicken leg/thighs in one crock pot and a kilo of cooked pinto beans in the other all waiting to be assembled into a meal, I thought I'd first sit here for a few minutes to tell you what I remembered.
The past couple of days, I've had a couple of hours of having only a few children at home. Daniel's had to run some long errands in preparation for our Christmas service this Sunday and since we are officially on our "Christmas break", several of the children have gone along for the ride.
Daniel asked me to do a couple of things for him while he was gone and then suggested I take some time to catch up on emails or whatever else I needed to get done.
Tonight, I have 3 children here with me. How quiet the house seems! Although, 9 years ago, 3 little children running around didn't seem quiet to me :). Samuel is 9 months old now and last week got his very first tooth! And by his runny nose and fussiness the past few days, I think another one is working it's way through. He's here with me sitting on my lap right now as I type. Twenty month old Eliseo is going through Josiah's pencil cup and 6 year old Josiah is up working on something at his desk.
While I sat down with to work on emails this afternoon with thoughts of how quiet it was and thinking of how much I could accommplish knowing it would be 3 hours or so before Daniel came home, I soon realized something. Or I should say remembered something...I remembered those days when I only had a "few" little ones and it would be close to the time Daniel would be coming home from work and I would think, "He's going to think I didn't do anything all day!" Between feeding babies, cleaning toys and other messes, holding, playing, washing, chasing etc..., I would be so tired and seemed like I couldn't do much of anything for more than a few minutes without someone needing me. Now I have wonderful memories of those days and wouldn't trade them for anything...I was truly tired but truly very happy!! But I LOVED nap time when I felt like I could actually finish one task completely at one time :)
So with Samuel fussing all afternoon/evening, Eliseo filled with his bountiful energy exploring, squealing, and playing, and Josiah who only stayed home because he was a bit under the weather so needing/wanting extra time/hugs/water/toast/head rubs/back rubs/blankets etc... I soon found that not much on my "to do list" was getting done. In fact, it seemed I get more done on a "normal" afternoon.
With twelve children, there are many hands to help. Girls and boys both who love to hold Samuel or play with him when he's fussy and mommy needs to start supper; many eyes to help keep an eye on Eliseo or announce if he's about to go fishing in the potty or dump out something he shouldn't; always someone around who will help with the little things that really add up over a day...make a bottle, bring a diaper, tie a shoe, peel a potato, pick up some toys, etc...
Samuel finally settled down and I set Eliseo in the play room with a couple boxes of toys so I could get to the things Daniel wanted me to accomplish. Eliseo was very content to play and while he got into a couple extra boxes of toys and managed to sneak the stapler off my desk right under my nose, I was able to do a couple of things.
Knowing that Daniel will be home soon, I went to clean up the play room so I could then finish dinner. I sat down on the floor and made a game of sorting the toys into the boxes with Eliseo (of course, to him I think the game was one of "slam dunk" and it was never in the right box!). :) It was then I thought how long it has been since I have sat down like this to sort/clean toys. There is always a older brother or sister sitting along side the littler ones playing too and they clean up afterwards.
I thought of how often I have heard mommies say, "Oh, I only have 2 (or 3 or 4) little ones and I am so tired and haven't had a hot meal in 2 years. How do you manage with 12?"
And then I thought, "Yes, they do get older and and the days, while equally full and busy, do get easier in some ways." What good helpers you will soon have! I was also reminded of how often us mommies with many children get cut "a bit more slack" sometimes. So I just want to encourage you who have a few young ones right now. I remember very well :)
I was reminded to enjoy each season of life the Lord gives. I would type more, but there's a pile of 3x5 cards being carried around the house right now and still some chicken and beans to prepare. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Too tired to type much...but love to share some pictures :)

How good is our God who gives us each new day.
Days to work along side Daddy
Days to chat with a brother who is recovering from the flu
Days to build a fort
Days to work with our hands...(shh...Christmas nightgowns for the girls...)
(...and an apron for Susannah)
Days to ride with the goats??? :) (Soon to be our Christmas Service Supper)
Days to..... I didn't even ask
Days to laugh and have fun together
Days to bake goodies
Which are about to be consumed as we leave to go Christmas caroling with the church
Hope you are enjoying the many blessings each day of the Lord holds.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Writing from my heart

The past couple of days I felt discouraged over many things. Cranky children, the house being a bit disorderly, continuous battling with skin infections, feeling like the children are "falling behind" in school, cold house at night brings on trouble with bed wetting for a few little ones thus more laundry, some discouraging comments, and frustrated over how I was reacting to everything.
In the midst of all this, a dear friend of mine wrote me an email. She had a "bad" day and asked me a couple of questions...
"Do your children talk nicely and work cheerfully all the time? And do you always talk sweetly? And is your house always kept clean and in order? "
I had to laugh thinking that think I have had to ask for forgiveness almost every day from the Lord or Daniel or one/all of the children for years.
I wrote my sweet friend back this morning and wanted to share here a couple things that I shared with her. I didn't write back right away because at the moment I got her email and that entire day in fact, I felt on the verge of tears. But she got me thinking about a couple of things. Yesterday afternoon, I took out my journal and wrote down all the things that were weighing heavily upon my heart. And as I knew I needed to do, I opened my Bible and read for a while asking the Lord to encourage and covict me with His Word. As I prayed for Him to help, I knew He would answer. Then last night, Daniel, who was the "blessed" recipient of my cries, gripes, complaints, and struggles the past couple of days, asked one of the ladies from our church to stay with the children after we put the little ones to bed and then he took me out and gave me food for my tummy and for my soul.
How I thank the Lord for my husband! He is always so wise and often so much righter than I. That is not to say he doesn't have his faults or is by any means perfect. There was a time that it seemed my eyes only saw his faults. Even as the Lord gave him victory over so many of them, I continued to focus on all I thought he did/said wrong.
How I praise the Lord for how He's worked in my heart! No matter what fault my husband may have, the Lord can and wants to use him to guide, direct, and lead our home. As I have continued to realize this and asked the Lord to help me to truly love, trust, respect, and submit to the man the Lord gave me as I do unto Him, I have been blessed in my life more than I can share!
And how the Lord has given Daniel wisdom and a heart for Him. When I have a problem, sometimems I think Daniel isn't listening or doesn't care or doesn't have time (yes, I can get very boo-hoo-y :) ). But he does listen and it is me that often doesn't. While things look so overwhelming or complicated to me, to Daniel, everything is quite simple, cut/and dry, easy.
He always says something like, "Jaynee, 'this' is your problem and 'this' is what you need to do." He encourages me constantly through the Scriptures as well. I always think I have listened but then I say, "But you don't understand...." and I go on to explain such and such. He usually interrupts and says, "Jaynee, trust me. You need to do this."
When I listen, I find what he says is just what the Lord wants me to do.
Yesterday, he told me that I have been taking on myself things that I do not need to. I am striving for 'perfection' in many things and when it doesn't turn out that way, I feel like I've failed. And he reminded me of what I knew was true.
The Lord wants me to do my best each day. He wants me to do all I do for Him. Somedays, my best may be that I only get done 30% of what "needs" to be done. I remember having days so morning sick that I could hardly walk. Often times I would get overwhelmed with all the responsibility of caring for such a large family.
I will be very honest in saying I have even had days of wondering if I made a big mistake. Of course, one look at any one of my children and I think how could the word "mistake" even cross my mind.
But those thoughts come at times when I am not thinking on what is true but letting my own thoughts or thoughts of others...man's wisdom rather than God's wisdom...fill my mind.
The Lord wants me to do my best each day. He wants me to teach my children to love and know Him every day when we wake up, walk during the day, sit down to eat, work, play, and lay down at night. Daniel and I have written down goals for our family and I am to do my best in working towards those goals each day. Daniel always tells me, "Jaynee, you are doing great. Keep doing what you are doing; don't give up or get discouraged". Of course, I tell him he just says that because he's my husband, but he assures me he's not :). Okay, that sounded funny...I mean Daniel is my husband; but he is not just saying that to make me feel good. :)
And know that for all my short comings and weaknesses, the grace of God abounds in my life and the lives of each of my children. I was reading in my devotions the other day in James...chapter 4 verse 6 says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble.
How proud I can be at times. I think I can figure things out or have an excuse for why I reacted how I did or said what I said. But as I humble myself, ask for forgiveness when I fail, and give my life as a living sacrifice in service to my Lord, His grace will abound! He will fill all those gaps I cannot. He want to use me to do what He will do in the lives of each of my children. I am just His instrument and what joy to know how much He cares and how His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I began thinking how often we compare ourselves with others. How often do we find our acceptance in what others think or in comparing ourselves to what another does or doesn't do? 2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
I wrote to my friend this morning and said
Blogging is something that I do not really know how to approach sometimes. Originally, our blog was set up as to simply update on the ministry here. Daniel wrote the original posts. Within a short time, he turned that responsibility over to me. I love to write, and while I do try to update on the ministry, often what is on my heart/mind is what is going on here in the home or in my/our lives. I often wonder what is the balance in writing publically. I want what I write to always bring glory to the Lord; I want to be honest; I want to keep everyone updated on the ministry and family and how they can pray best for both. I don't want to paint the picture at all that we are anything close to perfect. The longer I live, the more I realize how very proud, selfish, and sinful my flesh is. The more I realize how wrong I can think. The more I realize how wrongly and hypocritically I have judged others. And the more I truly love the Lord as I see more and more of His amazing love, mercy and grace in saving me! So often I wonder what all to share and what not to share; where is the balance in keeping things private that should be but being open and honest and encouraging/blessing others through sharing??
I want to assure any who may read here, we do fail. While we daily teach and train our children, we are teaching/training them not in what comes naturally to them but what doesn't. They naturally hit when hit, have a bad attitude when something doesn't go their way, say things they shouldn't, do things they shouldn't, and like the Bible say, foolishness is truly bound up in their hearts. The Lord gives me sweet glimpses of His work in their lives which make all the tears, prayers, and work more than worth it. But having young children, you are truly in the "trenches" and I always like to think to myself each day "Little by little, step by step, precept upon precept." Be faithful each day and know we serve a God who loves to give grace to the humble.
Of course, we've gotten many emails/comments telling us how wrong we are and how much they disagree with what we do/say. :)
I'm not sure if this has all made sense or not as sometimes I just write what is on my heart and as the time for typing around here is short, I don't give the needed attention to grammar, spelling, and order. :)
Thank you all for your prayers. I love hearing from you and usually get back to anyone who emails (although it may take a while). I look forward to someday serving our Great King together forever in His presense! What a day that will be! And until then, His grace is sufficient!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Timothy's Bottle Cap Gun Video

As I went into the boy's room the other day, I noticed several big boxes and other odds and ends scattered upon each of their beds. I was about to call them inside to clean up a bit; we have a rule around here that beds are to have enough room in them that one can comfortably sleep. This limits them to having a few stuffed animals/dolls, a pillow (and sheets/blankets of course), and a backpack (where they can keep anything they want...books, flashlights, games, toys...as long as it all fits inside and is not alive). I made this rule last year when I discovered the musty smell coming from the boy's room was from a "vegetable garden" which one of the boys had planted on the side of their bed between the matress and wall. It was a bit "squishy" to sleep at night and some of the plants got tipped over. I could have made the rule "No gardens allowed in your bed", but that would leave room for zoos, Lincoln Log forts, rising bread dough and other things of which only children could possibly imagine. Therefore, the "backpack rule" was started :).
I peered into a couple of the boxes on the beds and then realized what it all was...wood, nails, screws, string, tools, and several projects in the works. The girl's room has the same look...thread, material, buttons, glue, paper etc... Lots of secrets being put together to give as gifts Christmas morning. I have a few of my own I'm working on...I was a bit frustrated last night as an entire sleeve had to be ripped out of a certain gift I'm creating...45 minutes lost...but another lesson learned. :)
Timothy wants to show you a gift he's made before for his siblings. They all have a lot of fun with these. (I had to divide the video into two separate ones to get it to upload). Remember to not point these at people or anything else you don't want to break! They can shoot far and hard! :)

video video

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's popping!

I'm letting the children sleep in a bit later this morning as we were up later than normal last night doing our next Christmas activity...eating stringing popcorn. Sundays are wonderful but very busy days around here. We get up early to get ready for the day, start bus routes, set up church/children's classes, hold services, children's choir practice, clean up, eat lunch, get ready for the evening service, and start the routine all over again for the evening. How thankful we are for our dear brothers and sisters in Christ here! What a blessing to fellowship together and hear testimonies of what the Lord is doing in our lives!
Last night, the children's class made a chain to count down the days until Christmas. I had also showed them how to cut out snowflakes so they could make a simple decoration for their homes and wow, was there a lot of paper on the floor afterwards! :) Remember the mess blizzard that 10 children and their mommy made on Friday? Well, with 32 children all cutting, you about need a snowplow to clean it all up! :)
So the children and I got home a bit later than normal after cleaning up the classroom. While they changed into their pajamas, I stood over the stove popping popcorn. I gave the oldest 7 a threaded needle, grabbed my camera, put on some Christmas music and told them to have fun and to not make a mess (I was hopeful...at least we are developing some good sweeping skills!). I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted to because my children can consume/string popcorn almost faster than I can pop it.
After the children went to bed, I sat on the couch with only the tree lights on waiting for Daniel to get home. The days of December pass so quickly and are so full. It can be easy to let our personal time with the Lord or family time around His Word falter. While the activities that fill these days are enjoyable and even Christ centered, how He still longs for us to humbly commune with Him each day. How much we need Him!












Friday, December 04, 2009

It's snowing!!!!


There's a blizzard blowing all around our dining room windows :). Yesterday, the children and I made snowflakes together to put upon our windows. How we miss the snow! But the Lord gave us all wonderful imaginations and with some paper, scissors, time, and lots of little hands, we got ourselves a beautiful winter storm.

Only God can make something as pure, beautiful, and white as a snowflake, each one so unique and complex. I told the children how He has uniquely and wonderfully fashioned each one of them as well. And not only that, He takes our sin filled hearts and washes them as white as snow!

Making paper snowflakes was so fun! Nobody wanted the time to end...we cut, laughed, and hung snowflakes together for 3 hours! We ended up making over 100 snowflakes...48 for our dining room windows, a big 3D one for the living room fan, and then the remainder for the children's bedrooms and some for our church bulliten board.

Noah here will show you how easy and fun it is to make a paper snowflake:


You must start out with a square sheet of paper.

Fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle
With the triangle right side up, fold it in half again.
You end up with another triangle.
With that triangle right side up, fold one of the sides half way down middle at the top point
Fold the other side over as well
You should end up with this
Now you simply cut off those two points at the bottom
Which will leave you with this
Now have fun cutting! Cut on all sides and the bottom. Be careful not to cut through both sides at once.

When you are done cutting, carefully unfold your paper and look at the beautiful snowflake you made!

I tell you, we had a blizzard in our dining room! You can always tell when we've had lots of fun around here by the amount of mess that is left! :)

(Note to self: When you take a lunch break in the middle of your snow flake making activity and have everyone sit around the table with a hot cup of noodles, and you have many little ones, some of those noodles will fall on the ground.

And when the ground is already covered with paper, when the noodles meet the paper and get stepped on by little feet, when you go to sweep up the mess, the noodles will have acted like super glue and the paper will be firmly attached to the floor and require the use of a special tool to remove. Next year, weather permitting..which it almost always is here...eat our cup of noodles outside.)


If you make a mess, clean it up! :)



And since I make my fair share of snowflakes, I will clean too. Here, I am realizing that the broom is not effective at removing paper that is stuck to the floor by noodles.
Was all the mess worth it? Oh yes!!!
We also made a chain to count down the days until Christmas. The chain is make of white and red paper. The red links have the name of a Christmas carol written inside, and the white links have a reference from either Matthew 2 or Luke 2. Each day we remove a red and white link. The one who removes the white link looks up and reads the Scripture passage and the one who removes the red link names the song we will all sing.Here is the 3D snowflake I made to surprise the children. The funny thing was that I was making it at the table right along side them while they were making their snowflakes, but it wasn't until I was almost finished that they realized what it was. They were impressed which is really saying something because Mommy is not artistic like Daddy. But I can copy directions pretty well :)
Carlos continues to heal and apart from the normal pain one has after an abdominal surgery, he is feeling well. He's still in the hospital and we hope he can come home soon. Daniel was at the hospital most of the day with him yesterday. When he got home, the children were soooo excited to show him everything we had made.
He sprained his ankle last week playing basketball with some of the youth from church, so it was hurting him from being on it all day. He sat down to rest and put his foot up. I was sitting on the couch holding baby Samuel and I just knew what was coming. This is what always happens when Daddy has been gone all day and sits down to rest.


Today's activity...decorate over at the church.
May each of your days be filled with wonder of God's love.