Sunday, June 22, 2008

Serving Him in Nicaragua

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing...

I will be in Nicaragua with a medical mission team from June 22-30 serving Jesus and some sweet orphans. We will be holding a medical clinic, painting, and VBS for the children. I am packed and all ready to go and so thrilled about this first overseas mission trip.

The Lord has blessed me with such supportive and encouraging people to help prepare me for this trip. Beginning with generous monetary donations from many for my team and me ...a conversation with Emily hearing excitement in her voice because this place I am going for the first time is so special to her because she has been several times before....432 toothbrushes and 6 Spanish/English children's books in the mail from Kelly for me to take to the orphans....Amy calling me the day before I left with such joy about what the Lord has planned for me over the next 9 days....a package from Melanie full of goodies for me and blessings for the orphans....lunch with Jenny the day before I left for my short trip and hearing what the Lord is doing to prepare her for her upcoming long sweet mom sending necessities for my trip with my Dad this past week....Ashley buying flip flops for 10 little orphans after she had already been so generous...and getting dropped off at the airport by Carl and Beth, two of the people I love most in this world....

How sweet of the Lord to prepare me in such a loving way. He used these people and more to encourage me to go and share about Him and serve and glorify His Mighty Name. Thank you all for your prayers!

....Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus ~1 Thessalonians 5: 11, 16-18

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcoming Baby Julia!

Julia Dees Spainhour...Precious in His Sight...8 weeks old...
This past Saturday Nana and I gave Melanie and Julia a baby shower in Greenville. We wanted to give some of those living in Greenville a chance to welcome little Julia into the world. Here are some of my favorite pictures...
I love old friends....It was so good to my faithful and generous friend, Leslie. She is going to be having her second little girl very soon!
I made my very first diaper cake for Melanie for the shower Saturday. I put these little sunglasses on it, and took some pictures of Hannah and Sara wearing them after the shower. Aren't they funny and beautiful?!
And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them~Mark 10:16

Monday, June 16, 2008

From Tucker Dorm...

to 11 years of friendship!
About a week and a half ago I finally got to spend some time with my college roommate, Lisa, her husband, Chris, and their 2 year old, Cole. They live in Durham, and I went over for a delicious lasagna dinner. It was so fun to see little Cole. He is so smart and handsome. I loved hearing about how he has grown and seeing this special family interact and love each other. It was really a blessing.
Believe it or not, but Lisa and I were potluck roommates our freshman year. I wonder how many potluck roommates end up living together all four years of college. I remember being so relieved after talking to her on the phone for the first time that summer before leaving for college. She was so nice, and I was just so thankful it wasn't awkward. I remember meeting her for the first time on that scorching hot move-in day at NC State. Her family and Chris were all so friendly. She was so beautiful, just like she is today. We ended up living together in an apartment at Gorman Crossings for the next three years. When I was at her house last week, we were talking about those times in college, laughing and remembering. When I look back, of all the new people I met in college, she is the one that has influenced my life the most. I have learned about faith and forgiveness and responsibility and maturity from her. I love that those qualities have carried on into her marriage and motherhood. I have loved watching those qualities become even more significant in her life as these 11 years have flown by. She is an amazing mother, even better than I thought she would be. I love her relationship with her husband and I love her relationship with her son. She is a blessing in my life. What a sweet surprise that the girl that was "randomly" chosen as my roommate ended up being one of my closest friends, one of my forever friends. It's obvious to me that it wasn't random at all...God specifically chose Lisa to be my roommate and to have an awesome impact on my life and to be my faithful friend. I just love that about Him.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Today is a special day because not only is it Father's Day but also my brother-in law, Travis', birthday. We celebrated both at my parent's house in Greenville. My sister-in-law, Beth's, parents (Art and Joanne) also came over to celebrate with us. I think it is such a blessing that Beth's parents and my parents are such close friends...they are pretty much like family. I am thankful for that. (I am also so thankful for Beth's sister (Rebecca) and brother-in-law(Tyler)...they couldn't be there because they were with Tyler's dad...I definitely missed them!) Oops, I almost forgot to mention Rivers...Rivers is Carl and Beth's little dog. Rivers and I are pretty good friends ;)

Happy Birthday, Travis! You are totally soop-ah phat, bro :) *See the card we gave him below...

It was a blessing to have all of my family together. I love my family very, very much. There is just something so comforting and joyful about having us all together...having lunch together after church on Sunday's...laughing and being silly. We don't get to do it often, but when we do, I am thankful.

I could never adequately express how much I love and appreciate my Dad. There is just no way. But...When I think about him, I smile. When I talk to him, I almost always laugh. When I see him, he hugs me...every time. When I leave him, he hugs me...every time. When he hugs me, I feel comforted and safe. No other hug in the world feels as good as my Dad's. When I leave him or end a phone conversation, he says "I love you" every time. When I need him, he is there for me every time. Even when I don't need him, he is thoughtful and generous and thinking of me. When I pray for him, I am thankful that his love for me is a reminder of my Heavenly Father's love for me.

I am thankful for all these things. I am thankful that my Dad and Mom raised me in a Christian home. I am thankful for the special way that he loves my mom and that he loves my mom even more than he loves us kids. I am thankful for that because I feel that is the way he can love us kids best. I am thankful that he hugs my mom and holds her hand and serves her and takes her on trips and surprises her with flowers and buys her thoughtful gifts and tells her that he loves her. I am thankful that I see him do these things because not many other things can make me happier than seeing my parents love each other. I am thankful that he brags about me to his peers. I am thankful for his outgoing personality and fun spirit. I am thankful that he knows how to say "I am sorry." I am thankful that my Dad helps me with whatever I need, even when I don't ask. I am thankful that my Dad encourages me and is proud of me. I am thankful for the special notes he writes me on special occasions and that he isn't afraid to share his feelings with me. I am thankful that my Dad loves me and that I have never, ever had to doubt his love for me. I am thankful for all these things.

I love you, Dad! Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend in the Mountains!

My best friends from high school (Amy, Kellie, and Kelly), their husbands (Mike, Clay, and Charlie) and I went to Highlands, NC last weekend for Chris and Liz's wedding. Kellie and Clay's little baby girl, Bailey, also came with us. It was truly one of the very best weekends I have had in a while! There are a lot of pictures on this blog, but I took about 500 over the weekend...really, 500, so in comparison, I really just chose some of my favorites!

When we all got there Friday night we met at Skyline Lodge for a BBQ dinner given by some of Chris's family friends. It was nice to go there and relax and catch up and begin a weekend of fun!

Liz and the wedding party arrived from the rehearsal dinner just as the bbq was about to end. It was so good to see her! We were all excited about the wedding the next day!

We all rented a cozy, little house in Scaly Mountain, which is about 10-15 minutes from Highlands. Saturday morning we hung out around the house and then had a little baby shower for Kellie and Bailey.
Here are some pictures of our house and the scenery around it. We were hanging out waiting for Kellie to get little Bailey ready for our next adventure.

We headed out to Glenn Falls. We took a hike down to see the waterfall. We didn't have time to go all the way down because we had to get back to start getting ready for the wedding, but even still, it was incredible. It was so awesome....God's creation is amazing! Isn't it beautiful?!!

This was definitely one of the most fun and beautiful weddings.
I sent Liz an email earlier this week with a list of my favorite things about her wedding:
  • The Scripture, so challenging and thoughtful (Romans 12:1-2, 9-13; Matthew 5:13-16)
  • Bridesmaids dresses, very classy
  • Liz's dress, perfect
  • Chris and his groomsmens' tan suits and plaid ties, totally my style
  • The band, Fun...FUN...FUN!!!!
  • Seeing Liz, her mom, and her sister cute dancing together
  • Seeing Liz and her friends thankful that she has such sweet friends
  • Seeing Liz and Chris together, so happy
  • Liz's mom's toast...what a special way to honor her special Dad
  • The location...the mountain scenery...such a reminder of God's power and love for us during the ceremony

    I can say without hesitation that one of the biggest blessings in my life is my continued, constant, encouraging friendships with these girls that I spent this wonderful weekend in the mountains. So many times since high school, people that I meet are shocked that my best friends from high school are still my best friends today. It is a rare and special thing. I cannot say enough times how much I love these girls (and their husbands and children!) There is something so comforting about the friendships I have with them. I love our history and I know I am going to love our future. I am so excited about how the Lord will continue bless our friendships because I certainly believe that He will. Amy, Kelly, and Kellie...I LOVE YOU!
This is a picture from our senior year of high school. We were at Kelly's house celebrating her birthday in May of 1997, just before we graduated. (In case you girls forgot)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Today is Jenny's birthday! Jenny is like a little sister to me. She is Kelly's little sister. Even from the first time I met her when she was in third grade and Kelly and I were in ninth, I have adored her. My three favorite things about this birthday girl are her maturity in Christ, her humility, and her determination to follow God's will for her life.

I thought her birthday would give me an opportunity to give a shout out about her plans for the next two plus years. She is leaving to be a missionary in Bolivia as a teacher for two years in less than two months. She has to raise A LOT of money. Check out her blog to learn more about her and her ministry. If you would like to support her, here is how to do it....

Want to be a part of God's work in La Paz, Bolivia?
Donate to Jenny's Ministry:
Destination: Missionary Projects

School: La Paz, Bolivia

Person: Letchworth, Jenny (003076)

Happy Birthday, Jookey! I love you!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I look back and I am thankful...

This is my friend, Liz, and I in 10th grade. The summer before 10th grade Liz became one of the closest friends I have ever had. It is now 14 years later and Liz is married! She just got married this past weekend in Highlands, NC. It was such a blessing and honor to be there celebrating with her.

As her wedding had been approaching, so many memories from high school flooded back into my mind. I have never had a friend that I am as silly with as I was with Liz. I remember...making up silly names for each other and others like Frucci and Tutti and Pookey and Rockas...fake falling in my upstairs hallway...getting after-school detention in Mr. Smith's class because we talked too much in class ("Do be do be do...sisters" is what he would say to us)...taking pictures with peanut butter and jelly and beans and all kinds of other crazy stuff...sleepovers with the five of us staying up so late eating cookie dough and talking and laughing all night...hiding little gadgets in her stuff at Yearbook camp...snapping to the Eagles in the backseat of my Mom's station wagon on the way to school in the morning...laughing about Mr. Snoryman in my living room late at night...spending the night at her house and trying to push each other off the bed...the list really could go on and on....

I also remember more serious times like the time I took her breakfast in bed the morning after she won Pitt County's Junior Miss...I remember learning about Jesus together in our Small Group Bible Study...I remember sitting at her kitchen table one night crying because she was the friend that had the guts to call me out about my moodiness...I remember long talks about Jesus and boys and school and college and friendships...I remember going over to her house the morning after her wonderful father passed away, sitting on her bed with our friends, and witnessing her still be able to smile and laugh and tell funny stories because her faith in Jesus was so strong.

I remember my friendship with Liz. She was my one of my best friends for 3 years of high school, one of the most fun, special, and fulfilling friendships I have ever known. After high school, somewhere along the more and more time went by, we gradually weren't best friends anymore. For a while, that bothered me. I do not like for my friendships to fade, especially ones that are so close. But my feelings about it have changed now. Liz and I keep in touch, and even though it's not near as often as it used to be, and even though we aren't near as close as we used to be, I look back at our friendship and I am so thankful. I love that our friendship was so fun and special, and I know I will never have another one just like it. When I was watching her and talking to her at her wedding this past weekend, I couldn't help but notice that she is the same Liz that I knew in high she is just more mature, more classy, and even more beautiful. I am so thankful for the Lord's seasons of friendships. I am so thankful for my friend, Liz.