Tag Archives: Noah

Our Budding Missionary

Standard
Our Budding Missionary

Before we left for Kenya the first time, we were intentional about calling our children missionaries. We told them that God had called them just as much as He called us. We prayed with them every day that God would help us to be the best missionaries that we could be. We still believe that the boys are missionaries both here in the States and in Kenya.

my four monkeys

Our four little missionaries. February 2013

BUT…Let’s face it, their ministry is mostly made up of shooting each other with Nerf guns, climbing trees, and playing soccer. Yes, they play these games with the nationals. Yes, they participate in our outreaches to the hospital, community, and orphanages. Yes, they are all missionaries, but I have one child in particular that is showing true signs of owning this title.

447A2163 copy

Missionaries. Fall 2015.

Noah, our firstborn, has always been strong-willed, a force to be reckoned with. I swear he cried 100% of the time he was not held for the first 2 months of his life. Then, we figured out that he enjoyed the swing! We gained a little freedom then, but we still, 10 years later, spend much energy teaching him to submit his will to ours, and ultimately God’s.

Sweatshirt-4

Baby Noah.

Noah is also our artist. Although he flat-out refused to color in kindergarten, he loves to create things out of random mediums, draw (and color his drawings!), and make scenes out of Legos or dough. One of my favorite creations was a 4-foot paper dinosaur made from construction paper and tape. I think he was 3 or 4 years old at the time. I wish I could find that picture!

IMG_1340

Family.

Now that he’s a big fourth grader, he has decided to use his God-given artistic abilities to serve others. After praying about it for a few weeks, he came up with a plan. He drew some pictures, had me post them on Facebook, and sold them to some generous buyers. Then, after he sold several pieces of art, he purchased some Bibles through Voice of the Martyrs. This is a great organization that supports the persecuted church and provides Bible to people in closed countries.

IMG_1379

His most recent item sold.

We are so proud of him. He especially has a heart for Muslims and would love to work in Egypt someday. No matter what he does in the future, we pray that he will be guided by the Holy Spirit and that he will live in obedience to Christ.

To God be the glory!

Praises and Prayer Requests:

  1. Praise God for our sons! We know God has a special plan for each of them, and we pray that we are helpful in them seeking the Lord’s direction in their lives. Please pray for us as parents and for the boys as we all learn how to obey God’s voice.
  2. Praise God for good travels and connections in February. We were able to speak 3 different times, and we have been blessed by our supporters. Please continue to pray that God would raise up our support team.
  3. I praise God for Noah’s love for Joshua. He is so good with babies. He often does his school work with Joshua on his lap. Pray for Noah’s heart to soften and for him to begin to hear God’s voice on his own. (He has been asking a lot of questions about how we know when God speaks to us.)
  4. I praise God for Jacob’s studious, helpful nature. He just finished Level 2 in spelling! (Yes, he’s in his pajamas! That’s a perk of homeschooling.)
  5. I praise God for Levi’s faith. He has committed to pray every day that we would get back to Kenya as soon as possible.
  6. I praise God for Joshua’s budding personality. He is so busy and curious. It’s hard for me to keep up with him!

  7. Please continue to pray for our unborn boy. Everything is going great!

Isaiah 54:13 “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

 

January Blessings

Standard

January has been a busy and blessed month!

I’ve decided to make this year about blessings. My overriding goal of the year is to bring glory and honor to God by giving Him thanks as often as possible. I’ll be using my blog to highlight ways I see God working for our good. January was a good start to the New Year, so it has been easy to brag on God.

It all began January 1 as I brought in the New Year with Joshua. Everyone else in the Kelley clan had fallen asleep, but Joshua was eating. We heard some shouts of celebration off in the distance while we quietly enjoyed the beginning of 2015.

Then, our firstborn, Noah, turned 9 years old on the 18th! (Am I really old enough to have a 9 year old??) He decided to throw a Spy/Nerf themed party. We held it the day before his birthday, and 4 boys came to celebrate with him. They ate cake and ice cream and drank Kool-Aid.

IMG_0836

After consuming a ridiculous amount of sugar, we sent them through a laser maze to claim their weapons for a Nerf war.

IMG_0863

I’m not sure which team won the battle, but they came inside for presents and goodie bags. Noah got a lot of Legos and games this year, which came in handy for the following day.

Noah’s birthday was on a Sunday this year, so we began the day bright and early. He awoke to balloons and gifts at his seat at the dining table. After he opened more games and Legos, we ate his favorite breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, toast and bacon, and we drank white grape juice. (I realize white grape juice isn’t a huge deal in the States, but we are so excited that our favorite juice brand started making grape juice! Noah requested that we save some for his birthday breakfast.) After church, Noah spent most of the day building his new Lego sets and challenging people to a game of Sorry, Pictureka or Labyrinth. He loved all the food for the day because he planned it all. I made fried crabsticks, French fries, coleslaw, and Red Lobster biscuits for lunch. Then, for supper, we ate soup and subs in an attempt to feel like we were at Subway. Although all this was wonderful, Noah’s favorite part of the day was watching Thor with his daddy.

IMG_0894

Another exciting event: Joshua became an American citizen this month! We had visited the U.S. Embassy back in December, and this month we received notice that his documents were complete and ready for pick up. I trekked to Nairobi alone (yes! I left Joshua home with Aaron!) on January 20. I left at 6:30 a.m., shopped from 10:30 until 12:30, and then headed over to the Embassy at 1p.m. After a little waiting and a lot of questions, I had Joshua’s U.S. passport and U.S. birth certificate. It’s a relief to know that he can join us for our furlough in June!

Daddy and the boys managed quite well without me. Joshua is such a good baby. He takes a bottle like a champ and is very easy going. Levi helped Aaron take care of Joshua while Noah and Jacob went to school. The Roberts had us over for supper, which was a huge blessing to me even though the purpose of the night was to celebrate Noah’s birthday. The Roberts boys couldn’t attend Noah’s party, so they threw one of their own. It was complete with a laser maze, a feast of yummy food, cake and ice cream, and sparklers!

IMG_0914

A few days later, on January 22, we celebrated Hannah’s 3rd birthday. The day began and ended as usual, but we took time at 5:30 to have a community celebration of our baby girl.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joshua turned 3 months old on the 25th. He is such a happy, easy-going baby. He is sleeping through the night, becoming quite the chatter box, and bringing much joy to our family.

image

And yesterday, January 29, marked our 2-year anniversary of missions! We first boarded a plane to move to Kenya on January 29, 2013. Had we known what God had for us here, I’m not sure it would have been quite as easy. (It didn’t seem easy at the time, but the first flight here was much easier than the second!) Through the valley of grief and in everyday life, God proves Himself faithful and trustworthy. We are so happy that we said, “Yes!” to God when He called us here, and we pray that He will bring us back here after our furlough.

IMG_1781

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ! God uses His children to minister to us in so many beautiful ways.
2. Praise God for answers to prayer. We have been praying about our upcoming furlough, for we have so many decisions and plans to make. God is beginning to close and open doors for us. Please pray that we hear God clearly and correctly so that we are in the center of His will.
3. Praise God for our boys! Please pray for us as we parent them. Pray for wisdom in both the big and little things.

What are you doing?

Standard

What are you doing, God?

Have you ever asked that question? I know I have. I’ve been asking it for both small and big things all my Christian life, and I’m sure I’m not alone. For example, why does God allow children to be forced into prostitution? What good can come out of that? Why doesn’t He protect them from such evil? The list of big issue questions is endless.

But you don’t have to save the “What are you doing, God?” for big issues. I’m sure you all have asked God what He’s doing or where He is during the day-to-day tough stuff. Recently, I’ve been tempted to question God about my life. I’ve been sick for over 4 weeks since Joshua’s birth, and he’s only 11 weeks old! Why would God allow 3 different illnesses attack our family in such a short time, especially with an infant in the house? Doesn’t He know that we don’t have access to a PICU? Couldn’t He just block all viruses from entering our family? Do you care, God??

Of course, God does care. He loves Joshua (and all of us) more than I can imagine, much more than I love him (and all of us). God is capable of stopping viruses in their tracks. God knows our place of residence, our lack of American-standard medical care, etc. He also knows my areas of weakness. He knows what causes fear in my heart, pride in my life, and the desire to be independent. And maybe that’s why He allows illnesses in times like these.

God searches my heart and sees that I fear losing another child more than I fear His wrath. He recognizes that I struggle to trust Him ever since Hannah’s death. He can tell that I take more pride in my accomplishments than in His, that I am tempted to think that the world can’t go on without my contributions, and that I’d much rather do things my way. He knows I need to slow down and spend more time in prayer. More than anything, He knows that I need practice trusting Him with EVERYTHING.

Yes, everything. That includes Joshua’s health, the timing of illnesses, the dates of both births and deaths, when I succeed and when I fail, etc. God can be trusted to work everything for good for those who love Him, and I sure do love Him! I need to rest in that promises.

No, I may not like how things work out for my good. I may not get to see the good while I’m on this side of heaven. Those things aren’t parts of the promise.

I like the New Life Version of Romans 8:28: We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.

Praises and Prayer Requests:

1. Praise God for Joshua’s health! I know that he’ll get sick from time to time. I’m thankful for the times he is healthy and happy. He is growing so quickly. In fact, it’s time to put away the 0-3 month clothing and get out the 3-6 month clothing!

Look at that belly!

Look at that belly!

2. Praise God for His sovereignty. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, He is in control. He is Abba Father, the Great Physician, our Provider, and so much more.

3. Praise God for Noah! He will turn 9 on Sunday!

4. Please pray for us as we celebrate Hannah’s 3rd birthday on January 22. May all the glory go to God that day no matter what emotions it brings.