"...in Your generous love I am really living at last..." Psalm 63:3

RefresHer begins!

We are thrilled that RefresHer begins August 30 & 31!  We are so excited about our upcoming Romans study.  When you arrive, you will be able to purchase your notebook for $15 (cash or check only).  If you are the mother of a preschooler, please contact the Preschool office to pre-register for childcare at 239.596.86– ext. 360.  See you then!

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Reflections on our son’s wedding…

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Many of you have prayed, celebrated, and encouraged me on the journey of our son’s engagement and wedding. I have been so overwhelmed and grateful for your words of support, texts, emails, and cards!  I have posted some pictures on FaceBook and Instagram but some have asked for my thoughts and reflections on the wedding and I thought I would share my heart by posting my “speech” at the rehearsal dinner.  

Of course you all know (most of you know) that CJ is our only child.  He would quickly tell you that no pressure came with that role but I will say not knowing he would be our only one … I am forever grateful to God for him!  Many of you have heard me say that CJ, though he is an only child, has given us a multi-child experience.  He has been the source of great joy and adventure in our family. He is strong-willed and fiercely loyal.  I have been crazy about him since that first time I laid eyes on him.  I have watched him face great adversity (some of it self-inflicted and some not) and stand back up and be tenacious.  I have seen him extend kindness to those who are broken.  I have watched him grow in his faith.  I have come to admire and respect him.  Next to his dad he is the person I enjoy just being with.  We have also been locked in times of great struggle … I have loved you hard and long and I wouldn’t do it any other way!

Here I am! Send me.

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” Isaiah 6:8

“Mom, I’ve been doing some research….” Eleven year olds don’t typically begin an email to their mom with those words. But- this 11-year-old has never fit the mold of a typical girl – so it didn’t surprise me. Last Spring, my very eager youngest daughter clearly outlined for me her plan to follow what she believed to be God’s call in her life by participating in a 10-day Mission Trip to Uganda. My immediate response was, “Allie, we will think and pray about it.” Her immediate response was, “Mom, I have thought and prayed about it and the longer I don’t do this, I’m being disobedient to what I know God has called me to do.” Well- what mom can argue with that logic?

Fourth of July

“Welcome to The Army Mrs. Bare!”
In the Fall of 2002, my thoughts about the Army were that of any other regular “civilian” who celebrated our brave men and women in uniform. I’d stand in honor of their sacrifice when the Star Spangled Banner played, dress in American colors on patriotic days and held a healthy albeit distant respect for how brave they are “to do what they do”.
Then it happened. A man in uniform swept me off my feet. It was our first date. First meeting. Pick-up truck, crew cut and strong arms to boot! That was my Joe. My GI Joe to be exact. He was a Sergeant First Class at the time we met that November afternoon. Did I know what that meant? Of course not. I didn’t have a clue what made the difference between a First Sergeant, Staff Sergeant or Sergeant First Class.  “So, would you be my date for the Division Support Command Military Ball next month?” he asked at the end of our date.  I thought, “Wait, what? You’re asking me to an official military briabarepicBALL?!” Shouldn’t he bring someone he knows better?!” I was floored! I was honored! The next month I meticulously searched for the perfect dress. I had it hanging on my closet door every day, getting more and more excited as the day approached.