Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy birthday Jordan

8 years ago a very special little boy was born. His mother had just showed up at our church the Sunday before and I remember meeting her and telling her that if she didn't give birth soon she just might pop. She smiled and agreed and within the week Jordan was born.

Jordan's mother had come from a difficult past and was doing what she could to get her life straightened out for her new role as a mother. She wasn't a teenager, she had "lived" a life and as they say "been around the block a few times". She was living at our local Hannah House, a maternity home right next door to the Crisis Pregnancy Center.

When she returned to church she was carrying the cutest little boy I think I had ever seen! I sat with her a few minutes and she shared where she was living and that she was going to be working on Saturdays at the local sandwich shop across the street from Hannah House (the girls are encouraged to work after their babies are born). I offered to babysit if she needed someone and she said most of the time the other residents will help in babysitting but would call if she needed me.

Jordan ended up being our "Saturday baby" most weekends. He was such a joy and went with us wherever we were going that day. We would pick up Mom and take her to work, keep him until she was off and then pick her up again and take her home.

We all got to know one another very well. My youngest daughter, Lindsay, had a homework assignment in her photography class and so we took Jordan to the park and got some fantastic shots.

All through the years we have stayed in touch. Jordan's mom has no family and we have become a sort of replacement. It's been such a joy to us and even though we've been gone for a few of his birthdays we remember.

Last year I even got to share in his birthday cake and watch him put together a quite challenging Lego project. This year he and mom are spending the day at the fair and the park tomorrow. We will get together for a birthday lunch sometime this week.

Why do I write about this? Jordan's mother is an amazing lady in my eyes! From the day he was born she has turned her life around, lived every moment for him. She works full time and doesn't have a car. She takes a city bus that causes her to be in transit for nearly an hour. Her work is about a mile away! She donates plasma twice a week just so she can have a bit of extra to do things for him. They don't have TV, they get free movies from the library. They don't eat out, they don't go to movies, they don't have all the "things" that we have.

But . . . they have each other. They have unconditional love and you only have to be around them for a minute to realize and see it. He is her priority and no matter what -- she is doing the best she can to raise him properly. He has manners, he has rules, he has chores, he has love!

So today --- I not only say Happy 8th Birthday Jordan --- I say "good job Jordan's mom!" You are an inspiration for every mother and I pray God's richest blessings on you both!

Until next time . . . no further updates on Mary so we must go to the old saying "no news is good news" and don't forget to include her in your prayers!

Enjoy thanking God for all your blessings when you attend church tomorrow!

Susan and Monty

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pray for Mary

Just got word that Mary, our IGO school graduate who arrived in Ecuador for her mission of teaching English at the university had to have emergency surgery last night for her appendix! It nearly ruptured and although she is doing okay I can't imagine how lonely it would be to be in the hospital in another country with no family nearby!

Also, we got word yesterday that one of the Ecuadorian pastors was attacked and nearly beaten to death! This is the pastor who is dedicating his life to reaching the people living in the mountains and jungles.

God has some amazing plans and blessings for both of these dedicated and obedient missionaries. That's why satan is trying to "take them out" in the literal sense!

Let's all band together and saturate them in prayers! satan will not succeed!

Until next time . . . blessings and healing to you, Mary! We love you! Susan and Monty

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Results

What an incredible day! She took FIRST PLACE!!!!! Thank you for the prayers!

You can see why! Okay --- I am her mom and I can say that! :)

You can also see the first thing she did when the final evening show was over --- drink water, lots of water! That's one of the toughest things the competitors must do -- limit their liquid intake. No, I don't know all the science behind what they do but I know she was enjoying every drop!

It was humbling to watch and know the "behind the scenes" dedication and work and courage it took for each one of those competitors to get there!

This morning's message was more timely than Pastor Dave's son (who is filling in while his dad is taking a much needed break) knew! His final words to us; "be strong, be courageous, do the work!" That's exactly what my daughter has done! She has been strong when being weak would have been the easy way and the more comfortable way. She has been courageous when courage was costly. She has done the work and seen the results! God has given her a gift and she is using that gift to reach out and help others, to show them that with strength, courage and "doing" you CAN succeed! She even had clients that she is training come to the show yesterday! I loved it when she left the conversation going on between us, her sister, her niece and her fiancee and literally ran to greet and thank one of her clients for coming! She has a real heart for them, a true passion to help and the strength and courage to do what it takes, sacrifice what it takes, and to give of herself when it would be easier to sit back and enjoy the results herself!

She is my daughter -- I love her (obviously), but most of all I love her obedience to the calling God has placed on her life!

To D.A. (who preached this morning) -- you have no idea just how God was using you this morning! The smile on your face showed the joy of the Lord shining right through you -- your obedience to break out in a solo song is REAL strength and courage and the example of "doing the work." Thanks for telling us all what we needed to hear!

Another extension of that message ---- we have a new family in our church --- from India and although they have only been in our country for 3 or 4 weeks they have been in our church each Sunday. Monty has gotten to know them a bit and when we saw them walking home from church last week in the heat he decided to ask them about their transportation this morning. They said they had no transportation and were looking for a couple of used bicycles. Monty came to me and said we were going to go to Walmart after church and purchase a bike and take it to them this afternoon.

Now we don't have the money to do such a thing but we've learned that God holds all our finances anyway! We decided to ask a couple of friends if they knew of anyone who had a bike so we could come up with more than 1. Surprise! Monetary donations came in and one man spoke up and said he would go with us and purchase a 2nd bike!

I decided to ask one more friend who was just finishing a conversation with the Indian family. His face lit up like a lightbulb and said his neighbor had just asked him yesterday if he knew of anyone who would like bikes as he and his wife have sold their home and are going into RVing full time.

So . . . within a few hours Monty and I had not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 bikes loaded in the truck and were headed for a surprise delivery. And . . . the couple who donated them also has a beautiful dining room set to donate to them and wanted us to see if there was anything else they could use!

Isn't it amazing how God can surpass our wildest dreams if we just "be strong, be courageous and do the work" of being obedient??!!

It was an amazing day yesterday! It was an amazing day today!

I wonder how many amazing days we could all have if we would just "be strong, be courageous and do the work?"

To my daughter, Lindsay --- congratulations! You ARE strong, you ARE courageous and you DO the work! You've earned the blessings!!!

Until next time . . . what amazing blessing is awaiting you? Susan and Monty

Friday, July 22, 2011


Feeling better today. Still pounding liquids and quite tired but improving.
The temperatures here actually hit 100 yesterday -- the first time in years and years and years!
We are staying inside, Monty isn't working today, and resting.
Tomorrow is another fitness show for my daughter, Lindsay. Please keep her in your prayers. Her goal is to place in the top 3 this time --- I have no doubt she will --- they need me on the panel of judges!! :)
Hope you all have a safe and blessed weekend.
Until next time . . . aren't we thankful God is a healing God? I am! Susan and Monty

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The salvation of IV's

They say we learn the most from our mistakes --- well . . .

I started mowing yesterday at 8am, only had one full yard and the front of another. Drank a gallon of water in the 90 minutes it took to complete both. A neighbor came over and we sat on the front porch and visited for another hour. I then decided to go and check on Monty as he was skirting a trailer in this heat and I wanted to make sure he was okay.

Grabbed a to-go cheeseburger, came home and puttered around with a couple more things (small) outside and then came in to shower. Then --- it hit me like a brick wall. The dizziness, the nausea, the inability to sweat. I immediately started drinking the Pedialite Monty brought home the night before. He came home early, showered and was napping when I realized this was going downhill fast. My trips to the bathroom started and then the chills. It was time to head to the doctor.

We have a wonderful walk in clinic less than a mile from us so away we went. By this time it was difficult to walk and keep my balance and I was shaking as if it was below zero! They knew what do do immediately and we got started. They pumped one liter of fluids in, checked my bloodwork and realized my sodium was still critically low so they pumped another liter in with some medication in that one.

It took awhile but after the second liter I could feel a difference. Balance was coming back and the chills were subsiding. It was now okay for me to go home. By this time it was after 8pm so we ordered a pizza and within the hour I was in bed. Exhausted.

I did sleep very well and maybe due to some of the meds they infused but atleast I slept.


No more mowing in this kind of weather, no matter how early I get started. I just cannot tolerate the heat like I used to. The doctors told me the heat stroke I had back in 2007 in Missisippi changed my body -- and nearly doing it again yesterday didn't help things!

So today I rest -- am still very tired. Have a couple of short errands to run, later on, and in air conditioning!

So ---- for all of you, watch the signs and don't let yourself be as stupid as me!

I thank the Lord for not only His healing hands but His forgiving hands!

Until next time . . . I'm staying inside! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Super Hot

About 8 or 9 years ago someone gave me some seeds to a plant I had never heard of -- a Moon Plant. The plant itself isn't the most beautiful thing but the blooms are huge and smell like heaven, or atleast what I think heaven surely smells like!

This plant, and 3 more beside it, came up volunteer this summer! After all these years these 4 plants just came up from nowhere and are blooming every night. Oh yeah -- that's why they are called Moon plants -- they only bloom at night and when morning comes the blooms close up and eventually fall to the ground. Then a huge seed pod builds where the bloom was and there must be a million seeds in each pod!

I think these plants and their blooms are one of God's ways of saying we ARE still supposed to be here at home!

This morning was my weekly Bible study and as always, I leave feeling renewed and ready to conquer the world! Atleast I could come home and start printing out our newsletter and getting it ready to mail.

Monty came home early this afternoon. The heat got the best of him and no wonder -- the heat index is in the 100's and since he is working outside . . . We both know the signs of "done" all too well. I suffered a heat stroke back in 2007 and I NEVER want to go through that again! I literally thought I was going to die on the bathroom floor of the hospital emergency room in Mississippi! So when we hit "done" we are done! After a shower and a nap he will be better and ready to go again tomorrow. Although in these temps people should go to work at 6am and stop by 2pm.

Got an update on Mary, our IGO class missionary who is trying to get settled in her new environment in Ecuador. She hasn't started teaching English at the university just yet and although her lost luggage did finally arrive she is struggling a bit with the drastic changes. If you would like to also follow her blog you can do so at: She would appreciate your prayers along her journey.

We (missionaries) are not called to comfort or to success, but to obedience!

From a missionary in Iraq who died in 2004:

"Missionaries care more than some think is wise, risk more than some think is safe, dream more than some think is practical and expect more than some think is possible."

We surrender our "plan" to God -- we have to let go in order for His plan to be fulfilled!

What an awesome God we serve!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Sunday, July 17, 2011


All of the 8 yards I mow weekly are done and may not need to be mowed this week unless it rains! We did get a break for a couple of days but the warnings are back with no end in sight.

Please keep my dad and brother in your prayers as they are farmers and this drought is not what they need!

This week appears to be rather calm -- for now -- and that would be a nice change of pace! Monty will be working on repairing the mobile home he's been working on for awhile. He has the plumbing redone and the deck on the front with an awesome set of steps on the back so he's ready to move inside and get things wrapped up. He's going to need a fan!

I am working on a newsletter -- a long overdue newsletter! Usually I try and get one out 3 or 4 times a year but this past year . . . it just hasn't happened. If you haven't gotten one in the past and would like to receive one (by email or snail mail) just leave your info as a comment here and I'll make sure you get one. Just so you know, your comments come directly to me first so any personal information will be deleted and not posted here. My delay right now is the purchase of printer cartridges -- seems stores are out of them and I pray they haven't discontinued them! We just got this printer less than a year ago! Anyway, as soon as I can find the cartridges I will be getting them sent out.

Tomorrow I get to take my grandkids to lunch. We're going to Burger King this time. It's all about the kids toy! It's always so fun to pick them up and take them. Luke has turned into quite the eater and has his cheeseburger gone before I even get seated! Liv, on the other hand, would take hours if not encouraged! And she's the one who loves to ride in Grandma's "sweet ride".

This Saturday my youngest, Lindsay, will be competing in another fitness competition in Indianapolis. We have our tickets on the 2nd row and will be ready with camera in hand. Please keep her in your prayers as she rounds the bend in this final week of preparation!

We pray all of you are well and getting some fun in during this summer.

We are keeping a close eye on the weather and waiting on God's call . . .

Until next time . . . blessings and thanks to all. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

29 years ago today

Has it really been 29 years? Where did they all go?

Yes, today is my youngest's 29th birthday! This photo was taken at her first fitness competition where she placed in the top 5. Her 2nd competition also had her in the top 5. In 10 days she will be competing in her 3rd competition with the personal goal of placing in the top 3. When she puts her mind to something she is the most dedicated and determined girl and has the willpower to accomplish whatever she puts her mind to!

I still can't believe it's been 29 years ago that I woke up from surgery to learn I had a little girl. My heart was overflowing with joy. And then . . . the doctors came in and said we had "a problem" and she was in trouble. Seems she was delivered over a month early and her lungs weren't fully developed. One lung collapsed early afternoon and the next one that evening. So today is a double birthday for her --- it's also her baptismal birthday! The Pastor came and cracked open a baby bottle of water in the newborn intensive care unit and baptized her mid afternoon. 72 hours later she was off the oxygen and doing well breathing on her own. She stayed in the hospital a total of 9 days and came home healthy and a survivor! The doctors "warned" me about babies that are survivors --- and I know that's where her determination comes from!

Happy Birthday Lindsay! I love you!

Until next time . . . treasure every day God allows us to live in His world. Susan and Monty

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Skirting 101

Yep -- today I was the "free"labor for Monty!

He got the mobile home re-anchored yesterday and all the railings on to be ready for the skirting. After 10 hours with the heat index quite high he was done!

Today we set out at 6am and got over two thirds of it completed before the heat just got too intense. It really looks good and I got a big lesson in just how much work goes into skirting a trailer! Monty is a perfectionist and in this case that's a really good thing! It is beautiful and straight as an arrow! We will both return very early Monday morning and should be able to finish it. VERY early is the key in this sunshine and temperatures!

Prayer updates --- please continue to pray for Ms Judy who had the hip replacement and then got an infection and needed a second surgery. They started the proper antibiotics yesterday evening and hopefully will be able to go back home in a day or two.

Also, received a note from Mary and she made it to Ecuador intact! :) One of her five bags of luggage went somewhere else but she is doing okay. She said the most difficult thing is not speaking English! Her Spanish is excellent but didn't realize how tough it is to not speak your native language hardly ever!!! Please keep her in your prayers also as this mission will not be an easy one but it will be one filled with amazing blessings and I can't wait to hear about them!

Until next time . . . give God some praise when you go to church tomorrow! Susan and Monty

Thursday, July 07, 2011


First of all, if there are spelling errors here please ignore them. On Tuesday I had a run in with the muffler on my lawn mower and lost -- big time. I bumped into it and now have 3rd degree burns on my thumb -- the right one, of course. It's been a tough couple of days and thanks to the aloe plant my daughter in law got me for Christmas the pain is gone. I actually split one of the leaves and layed it under the bandage to get relief from the pain. It worked and now it's just healing time.

Monty has been more than busy with building the deck for a mobile home and tomorrow starts a job for an elderly lady who has damage from the tornadoes the last of May. He will be putting 12 anchors underneath and then skirting the whole thing. Hopefully the rains will hold off and the temps lower just a bit.

And today is a huge day for one of our missions training school students --- Mary is on a plane heading to the country of Ecuador where she will begin her year in missions. She will be teaching English at the university in the capital city of Quito -- an answer to their prayers --- 10 years in the asking! She will be living with one of the local Pastors and his wife and their son. It's a huge step for her so please keep her covered, saturated, in prayers!!! Go Mary --- you are literally going to the nations and we love you for obeying the calling on your life!!!

An added prayer request for a dear friend of Monty's mother and who has also become a dear friend of ours, Judy. A few weeks ago she had a hip replacement and did extremely well in rehab and went home last Thursday. Today she is back in the hospital with an infection and had another surgery. She was feeling good when she called me this evening and hoping the drainage tubes won't have to stay in long. She's already wanting to get home! Let's pray for supernatural healing.

Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Monday, July 04, 2011

Graduation Pictures

There they are --- from start to finish!

What an awesome night it was!

Blessings to all and Happy 4th of July!!!!! Susan and Monty

Sunday, July 03, 2011

What a celebration!

Pictures tomorrow!

The graduation party was a huge success!!!! We had over 30 people and enough food for double that - and then some!

It was such fun decorating and getting things ready. And boy am I glad I actually cleaned underneath our couch as it was moved out of the way for the entertainment! It's those little things that make me smile -- God's hand all the way.

My parents made it, Randy and Charlotte from the IGO headquarters in Mobile, AL made it, our neighbors made it, families of the graduates made it and Pastor Dave even made it back after his trip to Florida -- he hadn't slept since Thursday night but he and Lisa made it!

We had a wonderful cookout, thanks to our neighbors letting us borrow their grill. Like I said, food for an army! After the meal we were able to give the graduates their certificates. Randy had a few encouraging and supportive words for them and Monty and I had some "fun" certificates to give them. Mary and Bruce got certificates for perfect attendance. Pastor Dave got one for being the world's best host and coffee maker (when he was gone we didn't have coffee -- he said those weren't official classes without coffee), Del and his wife, Jean got one for being the world's best square donut providers and Karen got one for earning the most stickers on her homework week after week!

Following the meal and presentations we let the entertainment begin. Terry and Cheryl and their 9 kids made the trip and just as we promised --- incredible! They sang and played their instruments and brought tears to everyone before the night was over! Their harmony is amazing and every single person was blessed. Our neighbor got to hear the song that was played at her mother's funeral, "10,000 Angels", we paid tribute to the 4th of July and all of us felt the love of God right there in our family room due to their incredible talents! My Dad also got his request of "God bless America" with us all joining in. It's extra special when all of them join together and sing!!!! That's alot of kids and that's alot of blessings!!!!

We are so thankful, so honored and so blessed to have facilitated this education over the past 6 months! What an awesome God we serve!

This morning we headed south to Bedford to meet up with Randy and Charlotte and "officially" give Mary her certificate. She is our youngest student and this Thursday she will be heading to Ecuador where she will begin putting her education to use! She will be living with one of the local Pastors there and teaching English at the university. She will also be working with the youth at their church. It was an honor to not only present her with her certificate but to also let her church congregation know that she has had extensive training and also has a family of support going with her. It was also the opportunity to let the congregation know how important their support and prayers are for her!

After a wonderful lunch where we could finally talk with Randy and Charlotte they were headed to get some rest and we headed home to do the same.

For me this afternoon has been a time of reflection over the last 6 months -- seeing God's ultimate plan and being so thankful that He always has the plan! We, including Mary, had no idea she would be heading into the mission field, some of the students had no idea why they were signing up for classes but they just knew they should, and to see it all come to completion is awesome. I am so anxious to see God's next step with all of them!

Until next time . . . what are we all going to do on Tuesday nights with classes done?
Blessings and congratulations and love to each and every student -- Pastor Dave, Chad, Mary, Del, Bruce and Karen -- good job to all of you! God's mighty army ready for the front lines!

Susan and Monty