Friday, July 29, 2016

Hidden Sanctification of the Soul

It is good that we should have to submit to what we do not understand.  It teaches us the laws of faith and hope.  

It is good that we should have to do what we would rather not, in circumstances not of our choice.  

It is good that there should be always something to prick us on, something to remind us that we are in an enemy's country, belong to a marching column.  

It is good that we should meet with checks and failures in what we undertake, to keep us humble and prayerful.  

All these things belong to sowing in tears.

God seems to have laid out the order of things in His Church, not for a general and brilliant triumph but for the hidden sanctification of the individual souls which compose it.
~ Janet Erskine Stuart in Prayer in Faith


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Obedience today means God's guidance in tomorrow

"Let us not make the mistake of directing our energies toward what is not today's business.  
The best preparation for the future is always the conscientious carrying out of what is given us today.  
Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today?  
How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience!  
Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend on it, you will be shown what to do next." 
~Elisabeth Elliot, excerpts from Quest for Love, chapter 20

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Couldn't resist...

Couldn't resist sharing this precious picture of our little sweetie pie that her mommy sent to us! Look at that grin and those little toothies!  Isn't she just darling?!  Love our little niece/granddaughter! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Encouraging Quotes on Prayer and Trials from the book War Room

Recently I read the book War Room and was so blessed by it!  Many similarities, obviously, to the movie, but the book was so much better!  There were many things that I walked away with from reading it that challenged and encouraged me, so I thought I would share a couple of those with you all to hopefully be equally as encouraging to some of you.  Both quotes are from "Miss Clara".

Sometimes the best gifts God gives us are not the easy times when everything goes our way.  The best gifts are the hard times when your life is reduced to a couple of good questions: What is this all about? Why are we here?  God is not interested in making me comfortable or happy.  His goal is to make me holy, like His Son.  And I've never met a follower of Jesus who hasn't encountered some suffering and pain.  God doesn't tell us to pick up a memory foam cross.  It's rugged and it's heavy.  You can run and try to find some easier way, but eventually He leads you through the thorns and the briars and that valley of the shadow.  But I promise you, if you trust Him, He will lead you to green pastures and peaceful waters.  Not just when you get to heaven, but right now.  Peace and contentment in the middle of the storm.  In the middle of the disappointment and fear and anger.  The bad times are really the good times in disquise.

The goal of prayer is not to change God's mind about what you want.  The goal of prayer is to change your own heart, to want what He wants, to the glory of God.  When we pray, we participate in what God is doing.  He gets the glory, and we get the privilege of walking with Him, and in that process we are changed.  And guess what happens from that change?  He gets the glory. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Random Recent Summer Fun Pictures :-)

Truth be told...I've been meaning to do a blog post of recent pictures and happenings for a while, just hadn't happened yet.  And if I wanted to still be more truthful yet...right now instead of posting, I should be working on little Benjamin's year scrapbook that Elizabeth and I have been working on the last two weeks, or... well, let's just say that summer months are almost always filled with busy and productive days and we wouldn't have it any other way! We feel so blessed!  So, all that said, this is a VERY random post.  :-) Much more random than I hoped it would be, but I hope you all enjoy it anyways. :-)

Memorial Day Weekend
We had a great weekend spent with family at Grandpa Alexander's in Missisippi 

 The Alexander side of the family
What a special and rare thing to have all four of Grandpa's children together with him.

The get together and meal was at a kind of park not far from Grandpa's. 
 The kiddos had a blast!  Aren't they all just gorgeous?!

This blesses us so much.  At Grandpa's there was a swing right beside where we parked our camper and Titus grabbed the girlies to read to them.  He often goes and gets the girls to read the Bible to them during his morning devotions.  Truly, there is no greater joy than to see them in the Word and Titus having a heart for it and to lead his little sisters in it.

Father's Day
I cannot even begin to express how thankful we are for this amazing guy!  He demonstrates daily sacrifice, love, devotion to the Lord and his family, uncompromising conviction, steadfastness, servant-hood, and leadership.  A man who would work all day and then come home and work all night caring for his children and home along side his wife.  A man who every Sunday dried little girl's hair and made the most awesome breakfast ever, and doing it with such joy.  A man who never thinks twice of pitching in to do whatever needs doing, not just because it's his responsibility as a father and husband, but because he wants to and wouldn't want to do anything else.  A man who has always places his family's needs above his own and loves us more than I can even begin to describe. A man that was climbing the corporate ladder, gave it up in faith so that he could be the father and husband that he knew God had called him to be.  A man that was finally living his dream with working along side his children in many entrepreneurial endeavors, gave it up and moved his family 15 hours south for the deep conviction of his family needing to be in a sound and biblical church body.  A man who has modeled what it means to live a life devoted to God, loving and serving his wife and children. We are so thankful for you, Dad, and love you so very much! 

Dad set up an object lesson with an obstacle course and was expounding on 1 Corinthians 9:24.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."

Visit with Uncle Trent and Aunt Deena this past weekend
We love them so much!  They are truly spiritually encouraging and have us laughing often!

 What special times!

Picture before they left with their fun ride included. :-)

Garden blessings
In south Georgia, gardening is a hot job, but so rewarding!  I (Breanna) was in charge of the garden this year and, well, let's just say that I prayed and prayed over that garden.  The Lord was merciful and faithful as always and we have been very blessed with garden yumminess this summer to eat fresh, give to others and put up for later on.   I especially want to mention the precious and hard working helpers that have been so diligent to come out and weed the garden- Brittany, Elizabeth, Titus, Esther and Sarah.  They've been troopers! Not to mention that big sis Britt and big sis Bree have had an awesome time using gardening time as teaching moments.  All of life is learning, for ALL of us! :-)

 Yay for green beans!

What could be better than fresh summer squash and cucumbers?!
We tried growing our cucumbers on a trellis for the first time this year that my sweetie pie Titus helped me build.  What would I do without him?! It was a success and something we plan to continue in following years.

Putting up spaghetti sauce.  Sister and canning fun-what could be better!
Especially with little baby boo on the table with us. :-)

Now onto simple and sweet randomness :-) ...

 Esther and Sarah introducing Benjamin to the new kittens.  The girls have had so much fun with these kitties!  Thankfully, our dog Daisy has even made friends with them instead of seeing them as property invaders. :-)

 Dad makes hauling tools to the barn fun. He has a special way of doing that. :-)

Blessed with a new refrigerator.  After having served us well, our old one gave out on us and we were super blessed to get a great deal on this one.  Got to love the scratch and dent section at Lowes!  Only, they didn't have any out, so Mom asked about it and the lady just so happened to remember that they may still have one in the back.  After checking and finding one, she gave us an even more discounted price.  
We were very thankful.  Not to mention how much fun the kids have had with having an ice maker now. ;-)

Precious brothers!  Love these two!

 Reading with one of my favorite little snuggle buddies!

Mama teaching Esther how to use the serger.  She did a great job with super guidance.  Mom's are always the best at that.  :-)

 Sarah having some special time with her little buddy on the rug looking out the window.  He's too heavy for her to hold for very long, so she finds creative ways to be able to spend time with him and keep him happy at the same time.  Such a good big sister!

 Dad noticed and heard about how often we took Benjamin out to the kid's swing set to swing him.  So he  brought up a swing that Tayte and Martha had left for us that was still down at their old place. We have enjoyed that so much!  Benjamin also approves. :-)  Here Mom, Elizabeth and Benjamin are taking advantage of this quiet and peaceful spot.

These two girlies love their little buddy! They helped Brittany and I during his photo shoot for his five month picture. Somethin' about those girlies can bring an instant smile to his little face. :-)

Another peaceful swing moment on a Sunday afternoon when we had some sick ones and couldn't go to church.  Can you tell that little Benjamin just doesn't get any attention? ;-)

 What would summer be like without a pool?!  The kids have spent many a summer afternoon out in the pool, but their favorite is when Daddy comes out with them.  This time they even had Benjamin out there for a little bit.  He remains totally expressionless, but he does seem to really enjoy it.

Brittany researching pool care to hopefully take care of our currently green swimming pool.  
I love this girl!  What could be better than having your best friend be your sister?!  

 Though my attempt at stealthily taking this picture was a complete flop, the preciousness of it was so worth capturing.  Dad, doing as he faithfully does each night, praying with the children before sending them to bed.  What a blessing to have such a faithful and diligent dad!

Oh the look on his face! Priceless!  Who knew that meeting a Pooh nearly as big as you and then meeting a "baby" Pooh, as the girls call it, could be such an intriguing thing? :-)  Mom seems to be soaking in every moment of it. I think if she could, she'd make the time slow way down, as her little baby is getting big so quickly!

 Setting up Benjamin's crib with my little "tiger", as I fondly often call him. :-)
A little intense at moments, but we had a great time and successfully finished. It's amazing how much things change as little boys grow older, with such different gifts, abilities and thinking than us girls have.  I'm so thankful for those differences and their many abilities!  It's lots of fun having brothers!  Don't know what we would do without them!  Titus is such a blessing in our home with eagerness to help with fixin' stuff and puttin' stuff together. :-)

Hot but happy blueberry pickers!  We were so tickled to be able to go as a family blueberry picking this year and had a great time doing it with friends from church.  

Hum...does this count for "fun" or school??? ;-)
Having fun playing Money Matters board game on a hot afternoon.  

Sleepin' and snugglin' with Esther.  So precious!  
Good job Esther at getting buddy to sleep!

 4th of July cinnamon rolls with tracts all ready to be delivered to the factory where Dad works.
We seek to use the opportunity at each major holiday to try to put the gospel into the hands of those that God has placed in our lives to be able to touch.  We can't reach the world, but we can reach those that the Lord places in our world!  It seems to go down better with some sort of baked goods. :-)

Oh these two!  They are the best of buds!  Today they were dressed up as pretty princesses.  When I saw Sarah make a smoothie, stick two straws in it, and go over to the table with Esther, I couldn't resist a picture!

 Special snuggle time with Daddy at the supper table today.  Dad was singing him a song that he made up.  Something like "Rock a bye baby, think about mama..."
lol!  He had Benjamin's full attention when he started laughing.  
What sweet moments that we treasure so much!

 This little princes found one of her favorite after-meal-spots.  :-)

 Our precious three girlies, so full of life and creativity!

 We recently figured out how to take selfies on the cell phone. :-)  
This picture of Brittany and the girlies attempt at a selfie was just too cute!

Talking with Grandma on the phone. :-)
Grandma misses her "Baby Ben", as she calls him.

 Oh what special times!  
This was "supposed" to be quiet time.  But you can only imagine what happened as one after another came onto Mom's bed while I think I was trying to get someone to take a nap.   The room quickly became a silly one and wasn't quiet at all.  lol!  Love these kiddos so much!

Titus with the truck that he made for Dad for Father's Day out of Popsicle sticks.  He is so creative! 

 Titus and Tayte had those signs on their door for a short while before Tayte got married.  After he married, Titus kept them there and just this week added one for Benjamin and put the picture of the three of them together.  Such precious boys, all three of them.  Titus loves and misses his big brother so much, but is so thankful for a little brother to share his room with now.  

 Snuggles with Bell, a blankie and his favorite pacifier. :-)

 These four and those smiles! 

 Have you ever seen cuter laundry? ;-)
Bell's little laundry helper. :-)

Benjamin in his new swing!  He loves it and can stay out there for an incredible amount of time without getting tired of it.  He's getting so big!

Dad is also working on putting in a side walk along the back of the house.  
We listened to a webinar on essential oils and have been going through a teaching series on cancer that has been incredibly educational.  
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Elizabeth and I have been scrap booking, trying to catch up on the 4 months that we are behind on Benjamin's year album.  
Brittany always seems to be sewing on something, often mending.  Bless her!  
We're working on a baby quilt for our little grandbaby/niece Alexandria.  
And I have to mention this too...I didn't have many pictures of Mom on here, but she is probably the busiest of us all keeping things running, the house guided and supplied, and always seeking to be a step ahead of us all.  Not to mention the hours spent talking to and counseling us.  There's no pictures for that, but as any mom knows, it's HUGE!  

Well, that is a very brief and random overview of what's been going on here at the Alexander's, but at least gives a little taste. :-) 

We hope you all are having a blessed summer as well!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

God is Working in Your Life to Train You

This short (1 min. and 50 sec.) video clip by Mike Morrow so blessed and encouraged me tonight! What a privilege and blessing that God allows us to be in His boot camp- training us, molding and making us into the image of His dear Son so that we may "be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21  Oh to always keep this perspective in focus and embrace the training that He gives, even when it is the most difficult.    I hope you'll take a moment to listen to it as well and that it is equally as encouraging to you. :-)