Thursday, October 4, 2018

Isaac is 1!!!!!

Oh, be still my heart! Our little baby, Isaac is one year old today. How? It's seems as if I had just learned I was pregnant and would be having a new little one in just a few weeks. My "shortest" and probably best pregnancy ever resulted in this precious little boy joining our family. And what a gift of laughter he has been throughout.

As his name says, Isaac loves to laugh! And he has the best laugh. I can't even describe it, it's just beautiful and completely his. He loves silliness and goofiness and just having fun. James can always make him laugh with his crazy antics. He makes himself laugh by shaking his head or other silly games. He loves his tickles too.

This big boy started crawling before 6 months and has had one foot ready to walk since then. This week he has been taking a few steps here and there and his crawl now looks more like a gorilla. Isaac loves to go and wants to play with the big boys. He is also getting good at climbing and is ready to tackle the playground as soon as he can walk.

With all of this exploring, Isaac is into everything. Currently, bookshelves are his favorite, much to my chagrin. But he is also learning to bring things to me and carry what he needs.

Isaac was such an amazing gift to our family during a time of great trial, stress and transition and I'm so thankful God has giving him to us for this time.

Father, Thank You for Isaac and is precious life. Begin stirring his heart now for You, that he may see his sin at a young age, repent and receive Your amazing grace in Jesus. May he bring You glory all the days of his life. Make him a man after Your own heart. In Jesus Name, Amen

Friday, September 7, 2018

Reuben is 7!

Another seven year old! How can it be??? It's been seven years since Reuben joined our family outside the womb, officially making us a "large family" by many people's standards today. And how grateful I am that God used this little boy to move us into this phase of life.

Reuben is usually very mild mannered, quiet and likes to keep to himself. Gentle with others he loves being a big brother and helping take care of the little ones. His smile is contagious and he can make anyone laugh. He goes with the flow and rarely causes a fuss. He is such a joy to our family.

But with all of his natural bent to be "good", Reuben is very prideful and always sure of himself. So when he does believe there is injustice, especially toward him, he lashes out. But he is very sensative along with that to others who are hurting and he does not like to see anyone upset. He's a very tender soul.

This past year, Reuben has been learning how to read and is now amazing at it. It's always a pleasure watching a child strive to learn something and then sore when they finally get it. That has been Reuben this past year. He now does most of his school work without needing a lot of extra direction or help, which is a huge blessing! He also enjoys reading for fun now and will read for an hour with a stack of his "Star Wars" books.

Reuben also loves to watch. He watches movies, games, TV shows, sports. You name it, he will watch it.

But his mind is also ready to build. He loves to build anything out of anything. Legos, magnets, K'nex, blocks, tracks, paper. If it can be made into something else, Reuben will figure out how to make it and make it right.

Reuben is still growing in learning Bible and prayer and little by little we see God working on his heart.

Father, thank You for the precious gift of Reuben. Thank You for his love of learning and building. You have given him an amazing mind. Please turn his mind to You and You alone. Show him You are the One Who is good and right. Show him without You nothing is good. Convict his heart of pride and arrogacne and make him wholly Yours in Christ. In Jesus Name. Amen

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Malachi is 2!

What can I say? These two years have flown by since we welcomed Malachi into our arms. Sometimes it seems like he really was just born yesterday.

And yet, here we are two years later and he is so big! And every bit of 2!

Malachi is spunky and energetic and keeps everyone smiling. But he is also mischievious and likes to push the boundaries. (Original sin anyone???) So far, by God's grace, he has been quick to learn, and I pray that continues.

Recently his vocabulary has exploded and he is picking up on everything from body parts to animals, letters and counting. Malachi is so eager to learn and it is such a blessing to see this love in him. He also happens to be an excellent eater, which is a huge blessing. He loves fruit and hot dogs and any kind of dessert. Chocolate is his favorite.

Currenly Malachi is really into reading. He wants to read all of our books over and over again. He is picking up so much just from reading and it's such a blessing. He is also beginning to be trained in prayer. He has not yet begun to pray on his own, but He will repeat and recite prayers. He also enjoys singing especially "This is the Day" and "The Doxology." I love to hear this boy sing!

I also love hearing "Good morning, Mama" when I come to the table for breakfast. His little voice is so precious. He also has all of his siblings names down, which is amazing. Malachi especially loves taking care of Isaac with James. He is growing into his big brother role well.

While very sweet and caring, Malachi is also all boy! He loves to wrestle, body slam and run into people full force. He jumps, climbs and gets into whatever he can. He has very little fear. He loves tickles and time with family as well.

We are so thankful that God gave us this precious boy! He adds such joy and laughter to our life.

Father, thank You for Malachi's precious life. Even now at this young age, begin breaking his heart for sine. Open up his eyes to his sinfulness and show him how much he needs You. Please pour out Your grace and save him that he may bring You glory all the days of his life. I pray in Jesus Name, Amen

Monday, July 16, 2018

1 Year Back in Smyrna!

It's been a year since our family returned from a seven year stretch in Louisville. We took a leap of faith returning to Smyrna, just as we took a leap of faith moving to Louisville. In taking that leap I know I expected God to do for us exactly what He did in Louisville: provide a job and a house within a couple of weeks. God did it before, so of course He would do it again!

Reflecting back on it now, I realize how foolish of a thought that was. As I search Scripture and all of my life I remember that God doesn't do the same thing twice! He is always seeking to stretch and grow His people so that they will be conformed to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

So we returned to Smyrna, 7 years to the day we left. God's perfect number. We moved in with my parents and settled in. Jim applied for jobs, we looked at houses and... Nothing happened. No job offers, no houses that were right, nothing. It was humbling. We prayed, we cried, we wrestled, but still nothing.

A month after returning, we found out we were expecting our 8th baby! Not only were we expecing child number 8, but he was due in 6 weeks! God's grace and provision through insurance and Jim being home with us was evident through it all. Especially since our precious Isaac spent 10 days in the NICU! By God's grace everything was covered and Jim was able to be with us throughout the whole time. What a blessing!

Finally, in December, Jim was offered a home health nursing job that was almost everything we had prayed for and we took it. But the hours we had expected were not there. So we could not move forward with a house and had to stay with my parents longer. Jim worked whenever he could get hours, but it still was not where we could buy a house.

Again, we waited, prayed and asked for God to provide. In March Jim received full time hours and we were finally able to look at houses and that exact house that God had put in my mind came available! In April we closed on our place in Mableton and finally had a permanent home! How thankful we all were.

It took time but in the last couple of weeks we have finally gotten mostly settled and are finding our rhythms.

In the midst of all of it God has stretched us, grown us and made us more like Jesus. He has revealed more of Himself and our relationships to God and to each other have grown deeper. While the entire transition has been extremely difficult, and at times very painful, we have been made better, by God's Grace, for it. It has strengthened our faith and taught us more about the One True and Living God who is always Faithful and His Word and Promises are always True! God is God and I'm so thankful to serve the One True God and I'm so thankful He has brought us to this place.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Our 3 Year Old Nehemiah

It's been three years since we welcomed Nehemiah into this world! It was a crazy time in our lives and he came fast and furious! But we could not be more thankful to have him in our family.

Nehemiah is petite and full of life! He fully believes he can do whatever his older siblings are doing, whether he can or not. He is quick as a whip and his verbal skills always take me aback! He loves to talk and he is usually very thoughtful and very precise in his words. He is also cute with such a little voice and he knows it. So he is also an expert at manipulation because everyone believes he is younger than he is. If you're around Nehemiah, don't be fooled! Generally, he understands everything you say.

Nehemiah loves to play with his siblings and being a big kid. He is also very sweet and sensitive, which is a huge blessing! Playing outside and reading are 2 of his favorite activities. If it were up to him he would have a full school work day! Nehemiah loves to learn. Currently he is learning basic pencil hold and excels at Mighty Mind Puzzles and Memory Games. He also remembers most of what he hears and enjoys figuring things out.

Nehemiah loves going to his class at church, being loved on by his teachers and time with his friends. He readily reminds us, "Jesus died on the cross for our sins!" How I pray this truth will take root in his heart and God will save him. Singing is also huge for Nehemiah. He will sing anything and it is precious hearing him sing songs of the faith. Sometimes he will dance too! He is just so full of life!

Father, thank You for our precious Nehemiah. Thank You for giving him to our family! He is such an amazing gift. Father, stir his heart for You that he may be a man after Your own heart and be a comfort and help for others. Make Nehemiah wholly Yours by Your grace! In Jesus Name. Amen!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Year 14

Yes! 14 years ago, Jim and I said "I do" and began this rest of our life journey together. The 14th year has been major to say the least! We started it on our last mini vacation to Elk Creek Vineyard and a month later packed up everything we owned and moved back to our hometown of Smyrna, GA with Emmie's parents. Just like 7 years previously we took a leap of faith moving to Louisville, we took a leap of faith and moved back to Smyrna. In Louisville we were blown away with how quickly God moved everything after we arrived. Moving back, it was quite the opposite. God was teaching us that slow steady trust that God is not slow as we think of slow, but that He does everything according to His timing and He knows what He is doing even when we don't understand.

How God has grown us in this! How God has grown us together! Everything God works for the good of His people as He makes us more like Jesus, and while we still have a LONG way to go to be fully sanctified, I can say that today we are more like Jesus than we were a year ago.

We are also closer and stronger in our marriage than we were a year ago. We have learned that God alone is the One who sustains us in everything. God alone is the One who provides exactly what we need when we need it. God alone is worthy of all of our praise, honor and glory. And God alone is the only One we can fully trust to never let us down.

While it has been difficult and unpredictable year, we would not trade it because of where we are today, both in our relationship with God and our relationship with each other. The past four years have been filled with pruning, molding, stretching and growing and this past year was another level. We know this will continue until we are with Jesus in Heaven and we pray that no matter what comes our way we will hold fast to our faith in God, not only as individuals but together.

I can't tell how you thankful I am for the past 14 years. They have been full of emotional, physical and spiritual trial, but Jim and I have both become more Godly. I'm so thankful for Jim and how God has grown him in trusting our God.

Father, thank You for 14 years of learning who You have made us! Please continue to grow us in what it means for us to be the couple You have designed us to be. By Your grace we will be even more like Jesus next year. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Jim is 35!

What an adventure year 35 has been for Jim! He has led his family on a crazy ride as we have followed God to the next phase of His life for us. It has been hard. It has been trying. It has pushed him to the depths of trusting God. And He is still alive!

It can be easy to forget that God is working all things for the good of His people and His glory, but by God's grace Jim has perservered. The man known as Jim Manor today is an amazing man of God, whom I love and trust with our family. God has grown him in leadership and made Jim more like Jesus in all areas of his life.

This year Jim has read a lot while waiting for God to provide a job for him and has learned more about what it means to be the head of his family. With all of this, Jim is working toward getting his blog going: Broken Archer at I'm so excited to see how God uses Jim as he steps out in faith to do something completely outside of his comfort zone! He hopes to get it set up soon and begin writing on it regularly. Come on over and check it out!

Father, thank You for how You are growing Jim in Your likeness. You are amazing! Please continue to stretch and grow Jim. Show him Your kindness in the every day moments. Thank You for how You provide and teaching him that You are all he needs!

I love youm Jimbo!