Yep, I still stink at posting consistent updates... at least I'm predictable:) And you're getting jipped because this is going to be a speedy one.
I cannot believe Bella turns FIVE next week!! How insane is that?!?! I will be a good mom and post TONS of pictures:) She is so excited about starting kindergarten in the fall. She is definitely my girl-LOVES to read, has a wild imagination, and is such a little sponge. I'm amazed every day at her HUGE, beautiful heart that is on fire for the Lord and how amazingly gorgeous she is inside and out. She is constantly full of energy and keeping me on my toes trying to find fun, creative ways for her to channel it (instead of going into spastic, wild Indian mode LOL). She loves to explore and tell stories (somehow they always end up incorporating baby Jesus, Jesus dying on the cross, and Queen Esther). And my girl LOVES to sing!!! She is a talented little songwriter without even knowing it-always coming up with her own special little melodies that Hunter loves to hum along with.
Hunter is ALLLLLLL boy and I love every moment of it!!! I call him my rough and tumbly rollie pollie:) He loves to cuddle with his Mama and play with my hair (and, of course, as a good mama I never deny him LOL). He has really become a chatter box the past few months. It is so fun to see what he will say next. He LOVES dogs (just to look, isn't too fond of being up close and personal with them yet), balls, cars, and all things boy-except getting his hands dirty. The kiddo cannot stand to have messy fingers. The rest of him can be caked in mud, crusty pizza sauce, and grass stains, but will high tail it to the box of wipes the minute his hands get dirty. He has a gentle soul that loves giving his sister an apology hug and kiss when he gets too rough, and adores the ground she walks on. He loves to sit and have her tell him stories (which she just eats up).
Future kiddos are still very much a part of our hearts and our plans. God has been providing in awesome ways so we can eliminate our debt and start building up our savings (and sloooooowly revamping the house to either accomodate a bigger family or sell in the far off future). I'm amazed at how God has worked on our hearts to open the door for the child(ren) he has created us for. It is so incredibly refreshing to all be on the same page and be fired up!!! Bella is insistent that she have a baby sister... or a big brother and a big sister... or a baby sister and a baby brother. Glad she can be flexible:) God is definitely molding us all for what He has in store-we've become totally open to older, younger, infant, toddler, preschooler, boy, girl, siblings... it is going to be beautiful to sit back and see what he does with our family:)
We are doing AWESOME!!! I never knew a couple could go from where we were at when we first met to where we were 5 years ago, 5 months ago, 5 weeks ago, to today. WOW!!! God is truly amazing! We are still definitely striving for "progress not perfection" but it is verrrrrry nice to not only now be in the same book but most of the time on the same paragraph and sometimes even the same sentence:) God has healed so much and has remotivated us to stay focused on being a team and staying strong against the enemy.
Ben got a promotion!!! He is with the same company but doing regulatory compliance. It is a more in-depth version of the research that he was doing before in his previous job so he is totally rocking!! He seems to really like the team he is with and his new boss. And he is working at the Bentonville lab so he is closer to both the kiddos during the day and doesn't have to drive as far. Super duper proud of my awesome guy!!
I'm still at Freeman in Joplin. We are the hospital that didn't get hit by the tornado but our office is a tiny block away from some of the hardest hit areas. It has been a life changing month and something that I am thankful to God that I have been able to be a part of. Our office was closed the week after the tornado because we had no power so I was able to come up a few days through the week and volunteer with recovery efforts. I met some of the most amazing, humble people and am still praising God for letting me be His hands and feet. I have never seen such devastation in my life. Pictures from Baghdad bombings pale in comparison. There is still tons of work to be done but it is encouraging to see progress being made little by little. The people of Joplin are amazingly strong and they love their city. It has been beautiful to watch them come together and to be supported all around the world. Hearing the stories of those first days in the ER have made me incredibly proud to be a part of the Freeman team.
Obviously we are not currently pursuing mission opportunities at FamilyLife as we had discussed in a previous post. We did go ahead with the interview but early on felt convicted that while God definitely had put a fire in our hearts to serve others, especially those going through marital crises, right now was not His timing. We were a little disappointed at first and almost decided to not even go through with the interview but I think God was preparing us for the feedback we received from FamilyLife which was "wait." So we weren't disappointed when they said that but almost kind of relieved because if they had said, "Yes. Now." we probably would have felt a bit leary because we knew it was not God's time. In that moment we did not WANT to wait but we also knew that God thoughtfully created us with a specific purpose in mind. And, His timing is perfect. And He is moving everything into its proper place so we can live out that purpose. We both definitely still feel a daily yearning to be in THAT place where God designed us to be. We want to be serving NOW. He is showing us that we can bloom where we are planted-right here, right now, even in the mundane daily "stuff" of living life and loving Him. We can bring him glory and serve by simply being and showing God's love in our family. I love learning life's lessons on God's terms-always soooo much more beautiful and forever when it comes from Him.
So that is where we are at. I have a million other things I want to update on and to share what God has been showing us but I've gotta run! More later:) I promise!
Oh, and PS-in case you didn't notice, I DID combine every single blog into one big fat one. At least the blogs I could remember and locate LOL