Friday, March 29, 2013

Kentucky Bound

My firstborn, Will, is about to go on his 2nd Mission Trip with our beloved church's 8th grade youth group. (last year they went to Houston) They will be going to serve in Redbird, Kentucky.
This year's trip is extra special because Will is part of the *Worship Team. He's the one on the far right playing guitar.  This fabulous foursome put in hours of hard work to make this happen. 
A copy of his support letter:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. ______,
Spring break week (March 15-23), I have an opportunity to go to Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky, with Asbury's Breakaway Student Ministries. We will have the chance to plug into the work Red Bird Mission does in serving the rural poor. We will be building porches, doing minor home repairs, and helping create handicap accessibility through ramp construction at various homes. The objectives for this trip include exposing us to a wide variety of cultures and needs as well as challenging us to see what our role and responsibility is as Christians. Red Bird Mission will be a rural setting, allowing us to experience and learn about the Appalachian people of Kentucky. I want to go on this trip because I really want to spread joy to other people through service. I look forward to sharing with you the stories of lives changed and how this experience has impacted my life when I return. In Return of your gifts and/or prayers, I would like to do a service for you such as shoveling ice or snow (if the need arises), babysitting (I've been through the red cross babysitting course), raking and bagging leaves, or yard work. Thank you for partnering with me in mission. It is an honor to be an agent of joy in our world.         Love, Will Ruley

Words cannot express how proud Greg & I are of this boy. He is everything we prayed for in a son. His dedication to his Faith is so moving to all who know him. He truly loves church more than any human being I know. He will choose it over anything...and I mean anything.
Oma, Grandpa, & Mimi all came to watch Will perform 
Will's lifelong best friend and his sweet Momma came to support Will as well
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” — William Carey
BF's since 2nd Grade
“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him — Hudson Taylor
Mark Fowler, Asbury's Jr High Youth Director, a.k.a. *Huge Mentor to Will!
God is interested in every part of your life, not just the spiritual part.  As we live by the Holy Spirit’s power, we need to submit every aspect of our lives to God – emotional, physical, social, intellectual, and vocational.  Paul says that because we’re saved, we should live like it! The Holy Spirit is the source for your new life, so keep in step with his leading.  Don’t let anything or anyone else determine your values and standards in any area of your life.

Momma's 1st born love
Matthew 28:19-20  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
March 31st, 2013
Thank you so much for helping me on my mission trip to Kentucky with prayer and financial support. Without the help of my supporters, my trip would not have been the same. I have been able to accomplish so much on this trip with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My work group and I had the privilege to stay at Red Bird Mission and work on building a porch for the long-term dorms. We finished our project in two and a half days time. Once our project was finished, our group was fortunate enough to help another group demolish old cabins.
During the trip, the Lord led me spiritually in ways indescribable. Seeing how poor all the residents in the stick hills of Kentucky changed my perspective of people. The people in Kentucky were some of the happiest people I have ever seen. They had nearly nothing, yet the Lord was with them, and they loved their lives. The residents in the stick hills of Kentucky were so grateful for us to come and fix their homes. I now realize that back home, my family and I live like kings and queens compared to the residents of Kentucky.
While I was in Red Bird, three of my good friends and I had the amazing opportunity to lead worship for everyone that had gone on the mission trip. My whole perspective of playing the guitar was completely blown away as we led worship for God. Although we only knew eight songs, we played eight amazing songs that were awe-inspiring for everyone there. My favorite moment during the trip happened on Wednesday night when my friend Hunter gave his life to Christ. Forever we will be changed.  
With love and thanks, Will

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Joy-Full Day

I had the honor of celebrating one of my very BEST friends that God has ever blessed me with. 
I've known Stephanie for over 9 nine years now...we met at our beloved church, Asbury. We have spent numerous hours together over the years ~ Girls of Grace (GOG=Bunko/Bible Study), Precious Moments with Sisters (PMS=accountability group), dinner dates with our hubbies, Ark (our Sunday School class) events, Oscar Parties, the list goes on and on. 
We needed to find a gift to fit a *Queen as Steph is the *Queen of Kindness! But, more than that, she is FULL of JOY - so...we felt it fitting to have the scripture that we felt best summed her up engraved on a Rustic Cuff. It was Perfect!
Here's the bracelet wrapped with the Birthday Menu full of Clues!
*~A Day of Joy with our Stephanie!~*
You are our *STAR* Friend
We are so LUCKY to have you in our lives
Thankful to have you by our SIDE
The JOY that you share with others is your utmost strength. 
We pray that your cup overfloweth in the coming year as God pours out His Amazing Blessings on your life!
“love is best rooted in friendship”
 We began the day at Steph's fave...the 'Bucks!
The best of life is when your family become your friends and your friends become your family.   Robin Roberts, GMA
Us arriving at our 2nd stop...T.A. Lorton ~ for some shopping.
This is Steph seeing that our dear friend Brent had driven in from Little Rock to help celebrate!
Loved this sign we saw...
The girls tryin' out some swanky hand lotion
Taking joy in life is a woman's best cosmetic!" - Rosalind Russell
Time for B'day Cake! 
Flourless Chocolate Cake....ummm
Grace was in all her steps. Heaven in her eye. In every gesture. dignity and love. -John Milton
“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.:  Prov 27:9, The Message
Make a Wish!
(have to put a plug in for how much Steph and I enjoyed Lucky's coffee...she and I are huge coffee lovers and this killer tasting java made our day!)
Stephanie Locher ~ The Joy of the Lord is your Strength
Ta Da!!!!
My hubby's quote: “You know you’ve arrived when others’ joy is more impt than your own”
We ended the day with some browsing on Brookside
Seriously…how did I get so blessed as to have a friend like you. You have so many traits that are awe inspiring. You truly do exude grace in all you do. Your self-discipline is incomparable. Your compassion, contagious. And, most importantly, your love, a treasure to those who get the privilege to receive it. You are My Forever Friend!
No better way to end this post...