Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finally Home!!

Oh I am so glad to be back home with you girls! Our vacation was wonderful, don't get me wrong... but there is just something great about being home!!! It was about 4:30 in the morning on Thursday night (our last night in Deep Creek) and as JD was getting out of the tent to go the bathroom he asked me if I needed anything. I rolled over and said, out of a deep sleep, "I want to go home." I must have been dreaming about my bed or something - because I really wanted to go home!
Well, we are finally home and happy to be here. Last night we watched The Prince of Egypt... and I started thinking about how much it makes me dream of our heavenly home and how much I cannot wait to get there and see our Heavenly Father! But... as JD reminded me... until then, we have work to do! So lets get down to the business that we were put on this earth to accomplish! I love you girls ~ and I cannot wait for the day that we can all get together and do a Bible study or a night of praise and worship. Who knows...

Keep up the prayers - the Lord is certainly listening!

With My Love,
Susan Elaine

*pictures from our vacation are coming soon :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vacation & Valentine

Hey all! I am so glad to be writing to you this morning. I have to be quick because JD and I are leaving for vacation in a few short hours - YAY!!! Unfortunately, we are not going to be backpacking in Tennessee like we had originally planned. L Instead, we are going to be car camping in Deep Creek, Maryland J. We are very excited because it is supposed to be beautiful with tons to do! I am nearly jumping out of my skin, I am so excited.

Anyhow, I want to leave you with a picture of a man named Hal Valentine – a man who our mission team worked with while in Tennessee…

While on our trip, we were able to hear Hal’s story and how he is living his life in dedication to God – a completely inspiring man! He takes people whose lives have gotten out of control and helps them to put everything back in order and get back on their feet. He does this without being paid… and if anything, spends most of his own money trying to help them turn away from their addictions and turn toward our Holy God! I have been praying fervently for Hal and I am asking that you girls add him to your prayer list. He is a true example of someone who is using his whole life to grow the kingdom! Let’s pray him into oblivion!!

Well, I am off to vacation – I will miss you girls and will write in a week… pray for traveling mercies! I love you ladies!

Much Love,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Womanly type of Wise

Today’s Treasure: Proverbs 14:1

“A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Oh how excited I am to show you what the Lord has given us in today’s treasure:
As I read through this verse, my eyes really stuck on the word “wise” and what it means to be a “wise woman”. You see, I love this verse because it is so broad and can be applied to anything, but today I want us to be very specific with it.

Are you ready to think UP? Okay, here we go!

The transliteration for the Hebrew word “wise” used here in Proverbs is the word chokmowth. And this word is used only 5 total times in the Old Testament (4 of which are in Proverbs). Within these 5 mentions, it seems as though the author connects wisdom to two things – (1.) building and (2.) words

My dear sisters… I wonder how often we truly realize what our words can do – how our words can build up or tear down some of the most important things in our lives – our relationships. You see I really believe that the Lord is trying to tell us something through Solomon that is so obvious, something that we so easily pin point in others, but rarely apply to ourselves – that our words actually mean something! Darlings, if we are going to say something, anything… we better wise up and learn to think before we speak. How many of us women today have relationships that have been broken by words. I know I am a victim of my own words – so many times I have hurt and been hurt simply because I didn’t have the wisdom to think about my words well before I actually spoke them. Let’s use this day as a spring board to a new way of life – a life that is focused around wisdom that builds up… not tears down. I ask you to think of one person who you often tear down (who oddly enough, is usually the people that mean the most to us – family, spouses, etc.), and use every opportunity that God gives you to build that person up. When we can start living a lifestyle of building, who knows what kind of openings the Lord will put in front of us! I hope that you are as blessed as I am by this incredible view of wisdom.

Today is a building day… lets get started!

I love you all!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

God-Given Talent

Hello Darlings! I am writing to you on this beautiful morning and am just amazed at the awesome gifts that we have all been blessed with. With the Olympics in full swing, I am in heaven – ever since I could understand what it was, I have absolutely loved watching the Olympic Games! I can remember being really young and thinking to myself as I watched the women’s gymnastics team, “I could do that – that’s nothing special… I am definitely going to be in the Olympics some day.”

Well, as the years have gone by I have slowly and reluctantly come to the conclusion that I just might never make it to that incredible blue podium where they give out the gold medal. L And I am convinced that when I do get to see my Savior in Heaven, that He will have some kind of Olympic welcome for me! Oh how funny that would be!

Now, back on topic (I am so easily distracted today). As JD and I came home last night and were getting ready for bed, we turned the TV on just to see what was happening with the Olympics and if we had missed any exciting news. As the channel darkened and the announcer’s voice became clear, we realized that the camera was focused on none other than Michael Phelps – our absolute favorite Olympian of the year! He and three other teammates were about to compete in the 400 meter freestyle relay – there is no way we were going to miss this! We huddled up by the TV like the puppies off of 101 Dalmatians and waited for the event to start. When it did, we cheered on our team like crazy and were so excited for them. As the US drifted behind in the race, our cheers got quieter and we found ourselves praying silently that God would perform some miracle that pushed our team into the lead. Low and behold, He did – as Jason Lezak was swimming the very last leg of the race, and looked at first to be in a distant second place, something amazing happened. In the last 50 meters of the race it was almost as if Lezak turned on a power jet and quickly made his way to the front of the pack – winning the race by 8 hundredths of a second! JD and I both let out these monstrous screams, which I am still quite embarrassed about, and jumped up and down in excitement for our team! It was an absolutely incredible race – one that I will never forget in my lifetime.

As I crawled into bed after all that excitement, I started thinking about how I used to truly believe that I could someday be in the Olympics. Then the Lord so softly spoke to my heart and said “Child, I have given you talent to do great things – you are mine and I have incredible things in store for you.”

Today my dears, my prayer for us comes from John 14:12 where Christ says “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

It is mind-blowing to think that we will do greater things than Jesus himself – but He not only says it, He promises it by saying “I tell you the truth” – Ladies, He is not lying… He is not even exaggerating – If we let our Father in Heaven work through us and give Him complete control over our lives… we will certainly do greater things than Jesus Christ himself (and most definitely greater things than any Olympian).

You have no idea how you brighten my day – I love you and I cannot wait to hear what amazing things God is doing through you on your journey!

With Incredible Joy,

Susan Elaine

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back and Forth to Tennessee

Hello Darlings! I just wanted to hop online real quick and let all of you know that our Tennessee mission team has made it safe and sound back to western PA! We had a long day of traveling yesterday, but it was worth all of the amazing work we were able to do down south. The Lord blessed us with an amazing trip and I can’t wait to give you all of the details (as well as some incredible pictures). For now, I am trying to catch up on my ginormous (my favorite word from Elf) loads of laundry as well as some much needed sleep – siesta here I come!!

Remember to boast in the Lord!! I love you girls – we’ll talk more soon!

With All My Love,
Susan Elaine