Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our Brazilian Summer

So while the northern hemisphere is enjoying the winter season, we here in the southern hemisphere are experiencing the season of summer!  

Sophia was out of school for her Christmas/Brazilian summer vacation from December 17th until just two days ago.  I enjoyed having long days at home together with all three of our kids, and we also went on a few special day outings and trips. 

I wanted to share and document here some of our favorite family photos of our Brazilian summer!

A fun afternoon at a park near our house.  They have a sprinkler area and the girls love it!

Celebrating Christmas!

We played Monopoly Jr. lots over the summer vacation.  It was one of our favorite Christmas presents!

New Year's with our friends and coworkers, the Meikle family!

One of our biggest accomplishments during the past weeks is that we finally had time to paint and finish making Josiah's baby room!

And now for some photos from some of our adventures at the beach!
Read a little story about God's provision for one of our beach trips here

We are now getting back to our normal schedule, but we are super thankful for the special time we had as a family during our sweet Brazilian summer this year.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tears of Thankfulness

"Hi Laura, I want to give you an offering to spend at the beach. 
And take the girls to the amusement park..." my sweet sister-in-law messaged me.

My eyes began to fill with tears of thankfulness
at the goodness and generosity of God.

It is summer vacation time here in Brazil, and we as a family have been able to take two separate day trips to the beach (since the ocean is just a short hour and a half away from our home).  We decided on day trips to keep costs low, however I was really longing for our family to return to the beach again, but this time for a few days.

My sister-in-law had no idea how she was being led and used by God to bless us...

Literally just hours before sending her message I had said dreamily to Felipe, 
"I would love for us to go back to the beach,  but this time for a few days... and it would be so nice to take the girls to the amusement park too. BUT, the financially responsible thing to do is NOT GO."    
I was feeling a little sad and disappointed that evening about the decision to not return to the beach, so the timing of my sister-in-law's message could not have been more perfect.  Only the Lord knew our desire and our dilemma.   I was so touched and encouraged by the provision of God to meet a desire that we had as a family.

Through this the Lord is reminding me of so many truths:
He sees my longings.
He knows my thoughts.  
He knows me, little me.  
He cares.
He is close.
He is a generous Father, a giver of good and perfect gifts.
He provides, not only for our needs, but also for our wants.
He is faithful!
He is a good! 

I am always amazed at how even in the littlest things God shows up and chooses to bless and love us, even though we do not deserve it. This is grace!

My heart was filled with much gratitude this particular night. I cried many tears of thankfulness over this special gift from the Lord and also as I meditated on His faithfulness to us through so many faithful supporters who give to us on a regular basis.  We are so thankful for you!

God's sweet care of our family astounds me! 
I wanted to share this story here to give praise and glory to God! 

Soon we will be taking a family trip to the beach for a few days, and God has provided specifically for this trip.  We are SUPER thankful!  

"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul..." 
Proverbs 13:19a

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." 
James 1:17a