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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Currently... Thankful!

I love reading everyone's 30 days of Thankfulness. And since doing a daily post is not possible for this mama, I thought I'd throw them into one post. I could post hundreds of things that I am thankful for, but I'll stick to 30 because I don't wanna bore anyone:)

  1. the hand full of people who actually read this blog
  2. the way my hubs leads our family so well
  3. new friends from all over the world
  4. old friends that we miss like crazy
  5. family who love and support us
  6. wifi
  7. the staff at YWAM that love & encourage us
  8. teachers who speak biblical truth to our kids
  9. Target
  10. Starbucks in Target:)
  11. Adoption
  12. friends who say "Yes" to God
  13. beautiful Hawaiian sunsets
  14. little girls with freckles
  15. the gift of Down Syndrome
  16. amazing books by missionaries {I want them ALL}
  17. amazon.com
  18. teenagers who make me laugh
  19. a roof over my head
  20. friends that let us borrow their cars
  21. washable markers {don't ask}
  22. laundry rooms with 2 washers & 2 dryers
  23. essential oils {they're amazing}
  24. Kahakai Elementary
  25. Ms. O {C + L's teacher}
  26. clean water that taste good from the tap
  27. my bible, journal & good pens
  28. amazing worship music
  29. Charlie's service dog Toby
  30. the Joy that only God can give me
I will give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart…I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.     ~Psalm 138:1-2

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Heavenly Birthday Pop!

A year ago today we traveled with the Harper Family to Cleveland Ohio to surprise Sid's dad for his birthday. It seems like it was just yesterday. We made some amazing memories on that trip and we are so thankful that we were all able to be together with Pop for his last earthly birthday & Thanksgiving. It was such a special time and we will all forever keep those memories in our hearts.


Today I am forever thankful for all the things I learned from this mighty man of God. Johnnie was such an inspiration to me. He showed me what it means to be intentional with every person you meet, to love every person unconditionally and to laugh, and laugh and laugh. As God continues to take our family on a new journey, I now sit back and watch my husband walking around meeting new people, making new friends and inspiring others to live life to the fullest. He is truly amazing with people and every day I learn more about what it really means to love people like Jesus loves them. I am beyond thankful for the incredible example that my Father-in-law was to my husband and to my children. Because of his great love and because he led his family by example his legacy will live on for generations. I miss you Johnnie more than words can express and can not wait to hug your neck again one day.

"Nothing great was every accomplished without enthusiasm." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

...in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. ~Titus 2:7-8

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Currently... Updating. It's been a while:)

Our plan was to post weekly updates. Ha! We had no idea our days would be so packed and staying on top of that has been difficult. Here are little bits and pieces of some of the incredible things we've learned, heard and seen over the past few weeks. We just completed week 7 of the lecture phase and have 5 weeks left before we depart with our team to Northern Uganda for 10 weeks of outreach. Every week has been so good and we have learned so much more about the Character & Nature of God, Identity in Christ, Hearing God's voice and Lordship of Christ. We are so thankful for your continued prayers.

We are still in need of monthly partners. If you'd like to partner with us at any amount. Click on the DONATE button and join our team!

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So Proud of ALL of these kids!

Currently...

appreciating ~ all that God is teaching us here

watching ~ kids hearts transforming

reading ~ Imprisoned in Iran by Dan Baumann {everyone should hear him speak}

laughing ~  at Levi laughing at himself

eating ~ chicken A LOT!

attempting ~ to squeeze a lot of stuff in every day


dreaming ~ God Size DREAMS

planning ~ for our future, but letting God lead the way

wondering ~ what Thanksgiving in Hawaii & Christmas is going to look like

brainstorming ~  creative ways to repack for Uganda

wearing ~  the same clothes over and over

preparing ~ our hearts to leave new friends


continuing ~ Doing the laundry!!

making ~ friends from everywhere

remembering ~ how much I love Fall & Missing it

getting ~ Stoked about heading to Uganda--5 weeks!

studying ~ the word

loving ~  my hubs ALOTTT

wishing ~ that God would turn on the AC in Kona

listening ~ to Bethel's YOU MAKE BRAVE album

enjoying ~ My new ROCK STAR STATUS BABY!!!

hoping ~ to find a bargain on rain jackets x10

missing ~ Tex-Mex, Chick-fil-a & sweet tea

praying ~ for peace in South Sudan

knowing ~ that God is in control

Some of my favorite quotes & points that stood out to me the past few weeks:

  • The Gospel is Freedom. Freedom is the Gospel
  • We should go against anything that get's between us & LOVE.
  • Do you have enough faith to walk around the walls of Jericho for 7 days?
  • Stop looking at sin and look at Him
  • The ALL of your surrender will be the measure of your experience of the ALL of Jesus!
  • LORDSHIP of Christ is knowing Jesus, having a heart like HIs, Acknowledging & hating sin, taking up the cross, denying self, and following Him
  • At the end of the day have I displayed God's character or just mine?
  • We spend so much time trying to pay the bill, but Jesus already paid the bill

And of course some pictures of class time, worship time & play time...

Darlene Cunningham co-founder of YWAM sharing her heart


Darlene shared so many incredible stories of making how we must make ourselves available & let God do the rest. So many things stood out in her teaching. Here's a few that really encourage and spoke to me personally:

  • We do the possible expecting God to do the impossible.
  • The amount of effort you make is the amount of miracle you'll receive.
  • The safest place for your kids is for YOU to be in the will of God.
  • Do you have a better plan for your kids than God?
  • Your brokenness gives you a greater capacity to LOVE God.
  • Perseverance leads to Faith.
Loren Cunningham co-founder of YWAM sharing God's story

And this man I could listen to his stories for hours...

  • God is on a mission of Restoration
  • Our goal is to be disciple makers
  • Be careful with the short-term. Live for the LONG-term
Placing our feet in ALL Nations and praying for the World 

This is by far one of the coolest things I've ever been a part of. We spent an hour prayer walking over all the nations. Such an amazing time.
Levi worshipping
Mark Nelson ~ Bringin' It at FREEDOM Week!
Super cool Bayan Tree! We had to climb it.
A few crazies jumping off a 40ft cliff
These two cuties at black sand beach 
At Queen's Bath practicing snorkeling 
Every day God paints the sky

"Faith is trusting God's character when life has given you a reason not" ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy 15th Birthday Bay~Bay

Happy Birthday to this beautiful girl!

Baylie Grace Harper you make life a little sweeter around here. We love your compassionate heart, your love for others, your servant heart, and optimistic spirit. Thank you for keeping things in perspective, stepping in to help when Mama needs it, and for being such a good role model to your brothers and sisters. We love seeing how God is growing you everyday & you make us SO proud! Love you to the moon and back!

HAPPY 15th Birthday Bay-Bay!!!

Loving
Crazy!
Beautiful
Adventurous 
Friend
Inspiring
Compassionate
Sister

"I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." ~ 2 Peter 3:18


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 2 ~ Hearing God's Voice... Holy Spirit

So even though we are well into Week 4.... Here's week 2 update that was lost somewhere in internetland never to be found:( Finally was able to sit down and type again....


Ah! Where to start. Week 2 has been seriously sweet. Putting into words all God has done & is doing in our hearts & our children's hearts is tough.

This week we dug in deep to God's word on hearing his voice and discussed the "3 Brothers" aka God, Jesus & Holy Spirit and how Holy Spirit is within us and we have to make ourselves available to Him. It was a week full of some incredible time in worship, the word + intercessory prayer, really learning to seek to hear God's voice in praying for others, as well as hearing God in our personal lives. Ya'll this week rocked my world! I began to seek God in a whole new way. Learning more about hearing god's voice and how better to study His word has altered my time with Him. I am excited about continuing to dig in deep and apply all God is teaching me to my daily life. No longer living life as a convicted sinner but as a converted saint.

A few things that stood out to me this week:

  • The Holy Spirit is our connection to Jesus {Christ In Me}
  • The Holy Spirit is our advocate
  • God is relational & personal
  • The Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of God's new covenant
  • Our emotions are our gift they should NOT be our guide

Have you given all of YOU to the Holy Spirit?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We ended the week with most of our campus volunteering at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon. Where we saw such dedication and inspiration. It was so fun to be a part of it & to even see God working among the workers & competitors. Here's a few pics...

Along the running/biking route
The Finish Line

 And some exciting news...

When we were planning to move here for Discipleship Training School we had said that we would just "make do" with Charlie & Levi attending public school. Taking them out of their school with their amazing teachers was SO hard. We thought, "well it's just 12 weeks it'll be fine." Our expectations were low and we knew nothing about the school here. But we serve a God who is in the details, who loves to surprise us and show us that we should seek him ALWAYS with expectation in ALL things. Not only do the boys get some of the services they recieved in the past but they also get Physical Therapy, One-on-one aides which allows for more inclusion, more one-on-one speech, a therapy dog, therapy ponies, snorkel day with Deep and Beyond from the YWAM campus, and the most exciting part Toby (Charlie's service dog) gets to attend school with his boy!!!! 

Update: Toby spent this past week attending school with his boy & Charlie had 4 great days in a row, was more focused, behavior was better, and the teacher said a marked improvement in his entire day. We were thrilled. Another bonus.... Even Levi's days were better! We are amazed at how having Toby with Charlie over every area of his life has transformed him. Woohoo! Go God!

Toby's first day of school
2nd day of school
 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. ~Psalm 5:3

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Currently... Dying To Self

You know how we talk about starting fresh every day, taking up our cross, putting our selfishness aside and following Jesus? Yeah, That. Over the past week it has taken on a totally different meaning. Yes, I've felt like I've done this in the past, but there's always something that I've held onto for my own selfish reasons not even realizing that it's not mine to hold onto. It's ALL God! It's ALL about God! All of it! Lord, I pray that you will reveal the areas where I am selfish, help me to be a converted saint & not a convicted sinner, help me, my hubs & my children to hear from you like we never have before & most of all may we bring you glory in it all and lead people to you.

YWAM Week 1:

Family Night with our Trailblazers ~ Games, Food & Campfire Worship
Worship in The Prayer Room
Orientation with our family of 1500+
Where are your passions, dreams, sphere of influence?
Thursday Night Worship


Currently...

appreciating ~ neighbors who share their extra fans (it's a tad humid here/no AC)

watching ~ my children make new friends from all around the world

reading ~ my bible

laughing ~  when there's 6 people in our 1 bathroom

eating ~ in a huge outdoor cafeteria (Church camp style)

attempting ~ to figure out our new schedule


dreaming ~ of sharing Jesus with people who have never heard the name 'Jesus'

planning ~ to buy stock in sunscreen or full body swimwear 

wondering ~ what God stories I'll be able to tell in 20 years

brainstorming ~ creative things to cook on a griddle & Crock pot since we have no stove/oven

wearing ~ shorts & tank tops

preparing ~ for another day of digging in deeper with God

continuing ~ to die to "SELF" daily so that I can glorify God more

making ~ new friends from Korea, Brazil, Norway, Finland, Hawaii, England, Australia...

remembering ~ when I thought this day would never come

getting ~ rid of more clothes:) Why did I bring all these?

studying ~ my bible


loving ~  our new "Ohana"{Family} All 1500 + of them

wishing ~ my besties were here to experience this


listening ~ to people worshipping outside my window

enjoying ~ the view from my window

hoping ~ I can speak truth into someones life every day

missing ~ my family & friends

praying ~ for a little more energy and cooler days

knowing ~ God has us exactly where He wants us

Some of my favorite quotes from the speakers we've heard this week:

"Where's the safest place to be in the world? Right where God wants you to be."
 ~ Dan Baumann

"There's no heart too hard for God" ~Dan Baumann

"I'd rather move forward and follow God than stand back with my insecurities" 
 ~Dan Baumann

"He is not our Savior unless He is first our Lord." ~ Fred Markert

The word "GO" is said 6000 times in the bible


Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Adventure Begins... YWAM Kona, Hawaii

Alaskan Airlines flight, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean
September 23, 2014

Today was day two of the beginning of our journey from Texas to Kailua Kona, Hawaii where we will spend 12 weeks at Discipleship Training School with YWAM(Youth With A Mission) followed by 10 weeks of Outreach in Uganda with YWAM, followed by a minimum of 3 years in Africa.(exact location TBA) We have been so encouraged over the past months and especially the past couple of weeks as friends and family have held us up, loved us, and spoken so many encouraging words and scripture over us. We pray that we have been the same for all of you. You are all greatly loved and no words can truly express how much you all mean to us.



And for memory sake…
We traveled from Midland, Tx to Seattle, WA with a change of plane at DFW yesterday with 10 people + 32 checked bags + 10 backpacks + 2 guitars + 1 dog kennel + 1 service dog. It was an uneventful day of travel. Seriously;) We picked all the previous mentioned luggage and loaded it into 2 shuttles and headed to our hotel for the night. Super fun! Then because we weren’t exhausted and hungry enough we got on the seatrac at the airport and rode to the end of the line in Downtown Seattle, walked a couple of miles, people watched, saw a beautiful sunset on the bay, ate at the Hard Rock CafĂ© at 9:00pm, bought gum at the City Target, walked to the ‘Gum Wall’, blew bubbles, stuck gum on a famous wall with millions of other pieces of gum (gross), road the seatrac all the way back to the other end, walked to hotel, and finally crashed at 10:30pm which felt like 2am. Ha!

This morning we loaded all of the above mentioned people & items into two shuttles, also known as passenger vans and headed back to the Seattle airport, where we turned in approval for Charlie’s service dog and where 4 amazing Alaskan Airline employees checked 32 bags at NO CHARGE. It saved us almost $1000 and I cried! As I sit on this flight surrounded by my family snoring, talking, reading, and arguing I am so blown away at God’s timing and how he continues to be in all the details. We have been able to share our story with half a dozen people already as we’ve been traveling & pray that they might see just a little bit of Jesus and want more of Him. Thank you again for your continued prayers. This afternoon we’ll turn in our Hi Ya’ll for Aloha.

Next up arrival in Kona and settling into our apartment on the University of Nations campus.

Let the adventure continue…


**The upcoming weeks will be busy & updates on the blog may be few,
you can see quick updates on our

Instagram: @harpers_all_in and @waharper
OR

Facebook: Harper’s All In

Our Apartment, U of N Campus, Kona, HI
September 27th, 2014

We arrived in Kailua Kona, Hawaii around 2:30 on Tuesday. We were greeted by our DTS team cheering as we pulled onto campus. We hit it hard and got unpacked, settled in & picked up some things we needed from Walmart including some extra box fans because it is so humid here right now & we have no AC. Everyone has adjusted well. Jetlag is beginning to disappear and we are learning our way around the campus. It has been amazing here. We are all Ohana (family) and you definitely feel that way. We have met people from all over the world already. There are 44 countries being represented this quarter and it truly is sweet to be in community with people from so many other cultures
The kids spent a few hours at Foundations school orientation followed by a birthday celebration for one of the students and sang in 4 different languages. Emmy said she is going to help her Norwegian friend learn English and hopes to learn a little of her language as well:) We toured the campus, went through orientation and spent time worshiping in the prayer room. Our day concluded with a Luau complete with Hula & Fire Dancers, testimony from Lauren Cunningham the founder of YWAM followed by amazing worship.
Charlie & Levi had their first day at Kahakai Elementary school yesterday where they were welcomed and are looking forward to riding the bus soon.



Please continue to cover us in prayer as we continuing to adjust to life in a new culture & with new schedules. Pray that while we are here people will see Jesus in us, that they will see we are just an ordinary family that loves, argues, serves and wants to bring God glory in all we do.  Pray that God will draw our family closer together as we grow to know Him more.

To know God more & to make Him known...