Sunday, June 24, 2012

Compassion International

In my previous post I mentioned how my sister and I are going to Colombia to visit our compassion children sometime this fall.  Daddy gave me the idea to write a little bit more about Compassion International.

My little girl, Jennifer!
Founded in 1952, Compassion gives Christians an opportunity to tangibly effect the lives of young children in poorer countries who do not have the privileges of education and religion as we do, through a small monthly fee.  This fee pays for the child's education, health-care needs, and assists them in rising above poverty and being effective for the Kingdom.  You have the ability to write letters to them and encourage them in their studies and their walk with the Lord.  Unlike other such organizations, Compassion is distinct in it's Christian approach to everything and encourages you to pray not only for you child but also for his/her country.  They frequently send updates in the mail regarding your child and the country he/she lives.  These updates will open your eyes to the world they live in and the small way in which you are helping them to be overcomers, regardless of their circumstances.

Jennifer is 10 years old as of April 7th and I have been writing to her for the past 3-4 years.  I can't wait to know more about her in person; her personality, the way she receives love, and the way she shows love.

We have participated in Compassion International for over 10 years and have been exceedingly blessed by the relationships we have made with our "children".  Kimber and I look forward to actually visiting them in person and experiencing their world.  If you would, please pray for safety and that God would use us to encourage and bless them.  Also, that we would learn from this new experience.

I highly recommend for you to check it out!  Please go HERE!!  

May the Lord bless you all this week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."  
Psalm 37:5 
First things first, I apologize for my tardiness in getting this post up for your viewing!  Things have been pretty busy over here on the farm but I'm back...for now :).

I had the wonderful privilege of being able to graduate with one of my best friends- my sister!  Kimber and I have shared so many memories together over the years and it's been a blessing doing school with her over the years!

We were able to get ready at our grandparents house, which was about 15 minutes from the place where the ceremony was being held.  Alexis, my wonderful sister, took pictures of us while we got ready.

Don't ask ;)...

My lovely sister!!

About 9 months ago we found some beautiful, modest dresses online which my generous grandparents bought for us as our graduation gift.  After getting our make-up on we slipped into our "princess gowns".  They fit perfectly and we loved them!

After getting things situated and decorated we headed to the Richmond Convention Center for the graduation!

Virginia has one of the best graduation ceremony's available for homeschool grads.  Thanks to the hard work of HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) we were able to participate along with 196 others.

My sister is 2nd from the left (blonde hair) and I'm right behind her.
 After our 2 hour long rehearsal we graduates got to know each other a little better while waiting for the actual ceremony to start.  Finally, it was time to enter the ball room.

My sister and I are somewhere in the sea of blue and white :)
 This picture do not give full justice to just how big this room is.  I think it could hold about 20,000 people!

"Greatness- no excuses" was the title of the address given to us graduates by Rick Boyer.  He challenged us to be "Josiahs" in today's society; to stand up for the truth and to be great for the excuses.

Having a last name that starts with a "W" means we were (almost literally) very last.  But we had a fun time getting to know the people in our row.  It's so neat to see that many homeschool graduates at the same time.  After listening and participating in 2 hours of clapping it was finally our turn to receive our diplomas from our wonderful parents.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures but I do have one of us after the ceremony.

L-R: Mamma, Kimber, Myself, Daddy
My kind Paw-Paw and Na-Naw allowed us to host our graduation party at their house since our house is sort-of a mess right now due to the new kitchen addition in progress :). 

 We all enjoyed the fresh fruit, veggies, chips, pasta salad, gold-fish (what...I like goldfish :), and pizza.  We enjoyed wonderful fellowship with friends and family while eating.

My friend Kelly and I
Then we had cake...mmm!

Home-made ice-cream cake.  Delicious!
After cake we had present time.  Everyone was very generous in the presents they gave to us!

The last gift we opened was from mamma and daddy.  Inside a cardboard box was a beautifully engraved photo album with a card that informed us that we were to fill this album with pictures from our trip to Colombia!  That's right, sometime this fall daddy is taking us to visit our Compassion children in Colombia.  We're looking forward to it!

Saying "thank you" to papa-bear!

A hug for our beautiful mamma!

After all the presents were opened and "thank you's" were said Kimber and I stood up and read our letters to mamma and daddy.  We really wanted to do something special to thank them for all the time and energy they invested in not just our education but also our lives.  I have attached a video of both speeches for you to view below (see next post).  It was a tear-jerker but I'm so glad we did it!

While some of the adults finished cleaning up the rest of us gathered in my grandparents living room to watch a slide-show that we made of our growing up years. 
 Finally, after a long and exciting day it was time to say "good-bye".  

June 9th, 2012 will forever be a memory that I will look back upon with pleasure.  Everything went exceptionally well and it was so special to celebrate our special day with family and friends that we love!

Well, there's my graduation you have one?

Learning to delight in Jesus,

P.S.- You can view some of our graduation pictures HERE.

Video of our Letters to Mom and Dad

Here is a video of the letters Kimber and I gave to our marvelous parents!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Convention Tips

This weekend I was able to enjoy with my wonderful family the annual Virginia Homeschool Convention, hosted by HEAV.  This convention hosts many speakers and covers many topics which we all enjoy.  My sister and I attended one session by Woody Robertson, the co-founder of CollegePlus!, about after high school.  I would like to share some of what I learned below.

The title of his session was called, "Eight Practical Steps to Life After High School".
Step #1~ Identify Your Purpose.  God has a purpose and a plan for each one of us and it's our responsibility to find out what it is and to follow it with the best of our ability.  One way to discover what your purpose is to know your passions.  What books, music, movies, speakers do you gravitate towards?  These things could easily point out your passions and interests.  Your purpose will always have something to do with people.  Unfortunately the world today defines purpose by what you possess, what is pleasurable, and the pride of life.  God's Word says differently.
Step #2~ Build a Foundation of Character.  "People don't care how much you know until they see how much you care."  Here is a list of character traits he believed were most needed in today's society.
Committed to Excellence
Honor (make others successful) 
Step #3~ Develop Communication Skills.  People form 75% of their opinion of who you are in the first 5 minutes.  Attempt to be slightly above everybody else in the way you dress (that is the first thing a person sees :).
Step #4~ Find A Mentor.  Not just a spiritual mentor but perhaps a mentor in business or something else you're interested in.
Step #5~ Land an Internship.  The best way to learn is in a one on one relationship.
Step #6~ Be Purposeful in Marriage Relationships (young men); Guard Your Heart (young women).  Marriage is a huge step in life and we need to seriously consider all angles of a relationship.
Step #7~ Know What Businesses Are Looking For.  Like my daddy always says, "It's not hard to find a job you just have to be willing to do what nobody else wants to do."  If you see a need see if you can fill it (if that's the Lord's will for you).
Step #8~ Land Your First Job.

Well, that's a little bit of what I learned this weekend.  Next post will be about my graduation (with my sister)! :)  Stay tuned....

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Do Not Fear

"Do not be afraid...I am your shield."
Genesis 15:1b
"Fear not, for God has heard..."
Genesis 21:17
"Do not fear, for I am with you..."
Genesis 26:24
"Do not fear to go down to Egypt..."
Genesis 46:3
"You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you."
Deuteronomy 3:22
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord you God, His is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6
"Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed..."
Joshua 8:1
"Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand."
Joshua 10:8
"Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong...And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them."
Joshua 10:25-26
"Peace be with You; do not fear you shall not die."
Judges 6:23

"Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."
2 Kings 6:16-17
"Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God-my God-will be with you..."
1 Chronicles 20:20
"Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."
2 Chronicles 20:17d
"I will fear no evil for You are with Me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
Psalm 23:4
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid."
Psalm 27:1
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear.."
Psalm 46:1-2a
"In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust, I will not fear.  What can flesh do to me?
Psalm 56:4
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?"
Psalm 118:6
"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe."
Proverbs 29:25

"Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear!  He will come and save you.""
Isaiah 35:4
"Fear not, for I am with you..."
Isaiah 43:5a
"Do not fear, O Jacob...for I am with you;"
Jeremiah 47:28
"You drew near on the day I called on You and said, "Do not fear,""
Lamentations 3:57
"O man, greatly beloved, fear not!  Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!"
Daniel 10:19
"Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
Matthew 10:31
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18

Learning to delight in Jesus :),