Tonight I am joining in The Ultimate Blog Bash 2011 hosted by Women Living Well Ministries, so if you are visiting for the first time, welcome! And to my regular reader(s), please bear with me as I introduce myself, my family, and my reason for blogging.
My name is Manda, or at least that's what I prefer to be called, though relatives and doctors continue to put a capital A at the beginning. I have been married to my dear Donald (generally referred to as Don, though I actually never, ever call him that) for seven and a half years, and we are looking forward to celebrating our second anniversary in February. (Yes, you read that correctly. Did you figure out when we got married?) He and I are opposites in many ways, which has made our relationship challenging at times, but I am ever thankful that the God of grace has helped us stay together through our mutual faith in Him. I am blessed to have a partner in life who loves the Lord and desires to lead our family in His ways. I am always learning from my husband, too, since he is an expert on computers, gymnastics, guns, hunting, fitness, politics, a myriad of science topics, and, umm...video games. It is his visionary and adventurous personality that leads us to dream up what I used to refer to as "our latest life plan of the week." We are always considering moving or changing careers, and of course we keep things interesting by adding new members to the family every few years.
My handsome husband and me
All of our children have been given to us in God's perfect timing, and by allowing Him to plan and space them, He has so far blessed with a pretty perfect blend. Donny (technically Donald the Third) will be 7 in December, Hayden will be 5 in November, Lydia turned 2 in June, and Abigail Joy was just born this month. I am privileged to homeschool our boys, and since I have been teaching them together, both of them are just about to finish the My Father's World First Grade curriculum. Lydia doesn't realize that she is only two; she wants to do whatever her brothers are doing, whether it's writing with a pencil or reading a book. Now that she is a big sister, she showers "Baby Abby" with hugs, kisses, and general lovey smothering. Little Abigail is a typical newborn, existing to nurse, sleep, cry, and melt our hearts with her tiny sweetness. I am so thankful to be a mother. God's Word says that children are blessings, and though they may be loud and messy and annoying at (most) times, I know it is a great honor and a wonderful responsibility to train these little ones up to know and love the Lord!
Our four gifts from God
Being a wife, mother, and homemaker is my dream job, but it is also full of challenges that would be overwhelming were it not for the grace of God. He is my strength, my hope, and the reason that my routine domestic life has any value in eternity. When I started blogging back in 2008, I was inspired by one of my favorite verses, Isaiah 40:11:
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
I love this picture as the Lord as my Shepherd, tenderly caring for me, and gently leading me as I strive to raise my little lambs for Him. We are so blessed to be carried close to the heart of a loving Father! With this in mind, I strive to keep my blog centered on Christ and the inspiration of His Word. You will find lots of tidbits about our family's experiences and my personal struggles, but woven throughout, I pray you will see a testimony of what God is doing in my life, to mold me into the person He created me to be, as I daily walk through the fields of life with my Shepherd.
Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave me a comment and say hello!