Thursday, December 29, 2011

prayer cards

Thank you for praying for us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Water for All video

This is a video shot by Water For All International while we were in Bolivia this summer.  This video will explain what we will be doing in Uganda. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

North Carolina Christmas

Josh and me...First hug in 2 years!

Me and Cassie Lou, my little sister.

Cain taking part in the Christmas season

Out side the Life and Science Museum in Raleigh

Checking out the wildlife exhibits

3-D tornado movie.

Second floor above the whale bones.

We wore each other out!  I even fell asleep with a coffee in my hand!

Don't Break The Ice...A family favorite.

Making Christmas cookies with my sweet boy!

And it wouldn't be any fun if Colin and I didn't burn something up!

Colin and Josh on Christmas Eve.

Me and Josh on Christmas Eve.

Just wanted to post a few pictures of our time here in North Carolina.  We have had a great time and loved the time spent with family. 
It was amazing how fast Christmas was upon us and now gone!  It feels like we have only been here a few days, but then I look back and see just how much we have done and where we have been and realize that much more than a few days have gone by.  Yesterday Colin and I got to see his cousin and her husband and met them for lunch.  It was perfect timing and had we not made the trip we wouldn't have seen them til we returned from Africa!
Today Colin and I celebrated our third year of marriage!  What a blessing the last three years have been.  I am so thankful for our marriage and for Colin.  It has been so wonderful to watch him grow as a strong Christian man, the leader of our home, and a selfless husband.  I am excited to see what happens in the many years to come!
We will head home to Texas on the 4th and then we leave for Africa on the 17th!!  Thank you for all your prayers and support!  We need every single one.
We hope you all had a great and wonderful Christmas and have a very blessed New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone! 

2011 has been a wonderful year for us.  It has been a year full of blessings and wonderful memories made.  We have so much to be thankful for.  More than anything we are thankful God had a plan to send His only Son to be born in a dirty barn knowing full well that His only Son would one day be killed on a cross, and through that He would take on the sins of the world so that we could be called children of God. 

Here are just a few of the blessings we are thankful for this year: 
This year we have made a number of new friends.  We were able to travel to North Carolina to be with Ronnie's side of the family for Christmas and New Years.  We were able to move closer to Colin's family in Texas so we could spent much more time with that side of our family before we depart for Uganda in January. Our every need has been met this year.  God has provided for us in miraculous ways.  This year we have had the opportunity to work with Water For All, participate in several well-drilling courses, and meet numerous missionaries from all over the world who desperately want to help solve the clean water crisis in their countries.  Colin has been able to work daily with his brother, Devin, which has been a treat for him.  In a couple of days we will celebrate being married for three years!  We have been hugely blessed by the outpouring of support by our friends and family.  We were able to travel to Guatemala in the spring and spend a week in an orphanage.  This summer we were able to spend six weeks in Bolivia drilling water wells.  We were able to sell our prescribed burning equipment to a friend of ours who is getting into the business.  We finally went to the dentist and took care of all of our dental needs.  Colin's aunt and uncle held a benefit in our honor in Miles, TX to raise money for our move to Uganda.  Dana, Colin's sister, had a baby boy named William Barret.  Ronnie was able to find the perfect home for her horse Ranger. 

These are only a few of the many many things we are thankful for this year.  2011 was a great year and we are thankful we were able to share it with you.  We hope God blesses you this coming year. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Part Two of The Details...

In my last posting I talked about how God has continued to take care of the small details that I had let wake me up in the middle of the night for the past six months.  Our moving had the potential to stir up a world of uneasiness.  I found myself on a couple occasions in a panic about silly things.  I felt guilty over our furniture taking up room in a shed at my in-law’s home, and God through His ways, took care of that! 

One thing that continued to wake me up, or cause me to not fall asleep at night, or just plain ol’ panic, was what in the world was I going to do with my horse!?!?  This horse and I have a history.  He was given to me when he was just two years old and he is now 8, so for six years its been the two of us.  On a few occasions I came close to selling him, but am so thankful that I didn’t.  My last year with him was by far the best year I have ever had caring for him.  This next part may be a bit silly, but it will forever be engraved in my mind.  I have always wanted a horse that I could just jump on bare back and take off and ride!  Last fall that is exactly what I got.  My dear friend rode her horse over and I rode back with her.  It was late in the day and I didn’t feel like going through the whole deal of tacking up, so I just put a bit in Ranger’s mouth and off we went.  I parted ways with my friend and Ranger and I took the long way home.  I’ll never forget riding him through the tall grass of the pasture with sun about ready to set behind us.  I remember pausing for a moment to just thank God for that ride, for the beauty around me, for where He had brought me, just everything I could be thankful for.  It dawned on me that in that very moment, this was what having Ranger was all about.  Two of God’s creations enjoying His creation!  There was no need to be the fastest, the best, the perfect rider, the showiest, the best with a rope, the quickest around poles or barrels --- just peace and quiet and to Be Still!  The moment didn’t last for hours or days, but to date that moment stands out as one of the best times I have ever had on a horse’s back.  I will forever be grateful for that time spent with God and Ranger.

Ranger and me at a clinic last fall...

Needless to say that four legged beast holds a dear place in my heart and I just could not bear to think about selling him to the wrong person or giving him to someone and have him become a burden to them financially.  With hay about $12.00 a bale that would not be hard to do these days!  I continued to wrestle with finding a home for Ranger on my own rather than to just let God work it out.  I really should have known that what He was going to set up for Ranger was going to be WONDERFUL! 
Last fall I became friends with a lady who came to a dressage clinic and we just hit it off.  We only spent that day at the clinic together but became friends on the great Facebook!  She is the Equine Director at a YMCA camp a few hours away and is tremendously great at her job.  We continued to “like” each other’s horse pictures and status updates every now and again.  Even a comment or two was posted here and there.  I hadn’t given much thought to why God had placed her in my life until I felt Him telling me to contact her about Ranger.  My intentions were to give Ranger to her, but what happened was far better!  I emailed my proposal and got a great response.  Due to the fact that she just purchased her third horse, Ranger would not work out for her.  But he would fit right into her YMCA youth program at the camp!  He would be ridden on trails and more advanced riders would get to fool with him in an arena setting.  The most wonderful part of the whole thing is that if we come home for whatever reason, I get him back!  He is still mine!  Thank you Lord for that wonderful blessing!   The time we spend in Africa, Ranger is getting excellent care and no doubt spoiled by a bunch of horse crazy kiddos.

Ranger being sweet with Luke and Colin.
I know for many this may seem like a silly detail, but it was one that was important to me.  The fact that God has worked this out so perfect is just more confirmation that we are doing just what He has called us to do!  Another great detail about this is that in telling my friend that she has answered a huge prayer of mine, she told me that Ranger is in fact filling a void in their program.  That most of their horses stand only so tall and they needed to find a good level headed horse that would be big enough to carry some of the bigger kid riders and adults that wanted to ride.  Well, any of you that know Ranger know that he is plenty BIG enough for the job!

Colin and I took Ranger to his new home this last week.  There was no sadness to be had on my part.  This is just what God knew needed to happen and I am grateful to Him.  I was informed later that day with a picture on FB that Ranger was the easiest horse that my friend has ever had to introduce into the herd of 24 horses that are already there!  Thank you Lord again!!! 
Even now as I sit here and write this all out I am amazed at how faithful my God is with taking care of me and knowing what is on my heart.  He has given me peace about where Ranger is and that is a blessing.  It is just a small detail, but it proved to me that God cares and is a great Father to His children.     

My friends husband riding Ranger in his new home.

The Details...Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

I must confess, these last few months have really drawn my attention elsewhere and I have been lacking in my efforts to keep our blog current.  I need to be better about informing our friends about what is happening in our lives! 

We settled right in here at Paint Rock and just adore this sleepy little town.  Coming from the experiment station, which was in the middle of nowhere, there has been a little adjusting.  We currently live right next door to the Post Office and our front yard is HWY 83.  When we were in Sonora we could tell you who was coming down the road just by the sound of the truck or car.   Here the traffic has taken a bit to get used to.  Still hearing people pull in to pick up their mail makes me think we have company!  It is even been an adjustment for our dog who barks whenever he hears a door slam shut next door.  We do find it opportune that we live two doors down from the little convenience/bait/cafĂ©/Mary Kay or Avon distributer/proud supporter of Paint Rock Indians T-shirt selling store.  If you need it, they have it!  I am pretty sure there is a country song or two written about such a place.  It is a great town and we have been blessed just by being here!

We have been on the receiving end of God pouring out His blessings over us ever since we completely surrendered our lives to His will and He continues on a daily basis to reveal more of Him to us!  Sometimes I have to just stop and think of ways to describe what and how I am feeling, and I am lacking the right words.  When we knew in our hearts that we were going into missions, I knew that we would be giving up most all of “things” in order to be obedient to His calling.  To be honest, it was a bit of an internal battle for me when I thought of having to sell my stuff!  I panicked at the thought of what I was going to do with my horse, dog and cat!  I let my mind worry about all the details and that in its own way could have kept me from an experience with God.  BUT thankfully He is faithful and He to cares about the details of my life and can handle them in a much better fashion than I can on my own.

We moved all of our furniture into Colin’s parents shed, which is full of other children’s things and other family member’s belongings, as well as my in-law’s seasonal decor.  So in a shed that is big enough for two cars to park, with all of our “stuff”, the only thing that could park in that shed was the riding lawn mower!  The thought of having a garage sale was just overwhelming to me, and I have no idea what to charge people for dressers and tables and books and DVD’s.  Bottom line is I just didn’t want to go through boxes and price things that wouldn’t sell.  But I was feeling horrible about our “stuff” just taking up room, collecting dust and dirt dobbers, and over time getting ruined.  However the Lord had plans for our things that we did not know. 

Colin was about to leave his parent’s house one night a few weeks ago and head to Paint Rock, and when he went outside he saw that one of the neighbor’s homes was on fire!  In good Mereta fashion, Colin, Devin, and William put on extra clothes and went to get the fire truck.  Needless to say the family lost their home.  The family was not home at the time of the fire so thankfully everyone was safe.  But in losing their home, they lost all of their belongings.  Before Colin and I had a chance to even talk face to face about it, I knew what we needed to do, and sure enough Colin was on the same page.  A few days later Colin went by to see the family and told them about our shed full of stuff and that they were welcome to it, and all off our things were now theirs if they wanted to pick them up.  So this past Friday we loaded up our tables, beds, dressers, refrigerator, lamps, curtains, and dishes and gave them to a family that lost everything!  Thank you Lord that we were able to help them!  I think it is so awesome to see that through a horrible event, God was still able to do something neat.  I know that we probably could have found someone that could have used our things, but God wanted to use a family much closer than we could have found!   I am also reminded that He knew my heart.  He knew that I felt bad for our things taking up so much room in my in-laws shed.  Just a small detail, but still great to see how God worked it all out and to Him be all the glory!

This is just one of the things the Lord has done in regards to the details I have worried over, so in order to keep these postings not incredibly long I’ll just post more about how awesome He is!