Monday, September 27, 2010

Graduation Testimony

I wanted to post my graduation testimony speech in May, but couldn't find it anywhere...not on the computer or on paper. But I finally came across a copy of what I shared.

Twenty years ago this month, I celebrated my graduation from high school. It is amazing how twenty years ago can seem like a very long time, and yet still feel like just yesterday. In 1990, I was still a child who had no idea what lie ahead down the path God had for me to travel. I've heard it said that the verse in Psalm 119 that says "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path", gives a good picture of God's direction in our lives. It seems as if the light that God sheds just in front of our feet shows us where to step next, but not where the entire path will lead us. I believe that God provided direction for me these last twenty years, but if I had known the whole picture of where God would take me, and what I would go through to prepare me along life's journey, it may have been too overwhelming to take in.

Now, I can look back to even my childhood and see the evidence of a loving, sovereign God, gently guiding me. My parents' testimonies, and their example to me were instrumental in God's shaping of my worldview. My parents are seekers of truth, of information, and of God's ways. They are wonderful examples of the way God uses His people... willing vessels to minister to the Body of Christ; in their case by pastoring, teaching, and leading. God was preparing me as a child, to seek knowledge and then be willing to pass it on, to teach, to make my life a ministry.

Even as I was graduation from high school those two decades ago, my head was in the clouds as I planned my wedding and prepared to head to college as a newlywed. I was on top of the world and dreamed of love, adventure, and white picket fences. I married the man of my dreams, my strong and steady protector and provider. I became Mrs. Kurt Maddox, and God merged our paths together. It is because of Kurt's support, encouragement, and desire like that of myself and my parents to continuously keep learning, that God made a way for me to finish my senior year of college here at Ecclesia this year.

I had entered college all those years ago, with a dream to become a teacher. After three years at the University of Arkansas, I found that God was pulling my heart towards educating a family of my own instead of the classroom full of students that I had imagined. My desire to become a mother and have children of my own that I could love, nurture, and teach kept me from finishing my education at that time.

God has given me six incredible children: Austin, Sydney, Andrew, Macy, Tessa, and Janie. Like I spoke of earlier, had I known that I would be a mother of six, it may have been overwhelming to imagine. But God's lamp that showed the way for the small steps along my life, brought me to desire and treasure each of my special students that God has placed into the Maddox Family's HomeSchool, where love of learning goes hand in hand with love of God. And had I known beforehand that I would take on finishing my degree at a time when I had a newborn and five other children, was homeschooling, and would be helping my husband with life-changing business and political undertakings, I would have said it can't be done. But I have found that it is the times like these in my life that I have ended up exactly where God wants me to be... in complete dependence on Him, trusting Him, and leaning on His love, grace, and mercy. And I am excited about the future: to see what lies ahead next on the path that God is preparing for me.

Again, I want to thank my parents, for being my example. Thank you to my incredible husband and children for all of their support and extended grace. And thank you, Ecclesia College for making it possible for me to complete my degree this year. God bless you all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer in Review: Janie's birthday

In August, Janie Kate celebrated her first birthday...

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer in Review: Anniversary

We celebrated 20 years of marriage this summer! Yay for us! I've planned for a couple of years that when we hit 20 years we would take a big romantic trip. Well, real life, politics, and a nursing baby dictated otherwise. Maybe we'll do that next year... who knows? But in the middle of the "summer of craziness" we decided it might be fun to go down memory lane on our anniversary. We took our camera with us on a tour of all of the places we've lived throughout our marriage... and that's a lot of homes! What we both thought of as a great idea, nostalgic and memory filled, ended up having us laughing at ourselves trying to get our faces in front of each house in the snapshots. You'll see that most pictures have us caught in the various stages of forced smiling while trying to keep from completely cracking unintended but fun result of the tour. We each recorded a memory at each stop, and I'm hoping to some day compile our recorded memories and photos into a memory book.

Here is the cross where Kurt proposed to me:

This cross overlooks the city. In the evening you can look down and see the city lights... very pretty!

The duplex we first lived in is now demolished... too bad :(

The one right next to it is still standing... ours was just like this.

We rented this house, and then Kurt talked our landlord into letting us buy the house from him without a down payment, because of all rent we had already paid.

We eventually sold the previous house and rented this one for a very short time.

This was Kurt's parents house. We bought it from them, remodeled it, and settled in to have our first baby here.

From country life to condo life! We don't let things get boring.

We rented here from a very dear, sweet friend of the family.

Time to stop renting for a while and buy a home again. We ended up staying in this home for nearly five years!

We survived the trial of building a home! It was actually fun most of the time... and it turned out so pretty.

On the move again... (Syd took this picture for us while we were still close to home)

Finally, my Taj Mahal Kurt built for me!

After our anniversary, we did end up moving again. But as of our walk down memory lane, this was the completion of the tour. Thank you God, for giving us the grace to be husband and wife for twenty years! I pray we are blessed with many, many more years to come!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer in Review: Macy's birthday

On July 2nd, Macy celebrated a birthday!

A Princess Birthday for one of God's little princesses

5 Years Old! That's a big one!


God's little princess devotional

A big hug for a great big brother who bought her a present with his own money

Summer in Review: Look-a-like Cousins

Here are Macy and her look-a-like cousin, Kassandra, during cousin camp...

Three red-heads! So cute!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summer in Review: Cousin Camp

What's a summer without cousin camp? It just wouldn't be the same!

Cousins Bethany and Lauren in the pool...

My Macy with Cousin Lauren...

Macy getting ready to dive with Cousin Kortnie waiting in line...

My Andrew preparing to dive...

Cousin Kassandra with an abundance of flotation devices... cute! :)

Almost the whole gang (at least the whole gang present this year)...

Cousins Kristen, Cailey, and Kortnie playing cards with Grandma...

Cousin Hannah...

Cousin Kristen...

Playing pool and more cards...

Cousin Karley...

Cousin Cailey and the Queen of Cousin Camp, Saint Joanna!

Summer in Review

The summer was crazy, stressful, and nerve wracking! It was hard to blog much. But now that "back-to-school" time is here and life is getting more of a schedule again, I'd like to post some of our highlights of the last few months.

Warning: Lots of pics on the way!!!
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