Thursday, November 5, 2015

Howard Family Recap!

     Oh my goodness. How long has it been since I wrote on this blog? It's actually been almost 2 years to the day. I cannot believe how fast time is flying... In the last 2 years we've had so many life changes occur that it's hard to even know where to begin... 

     Most significantly, we now have 3 kiddos and not 2! Pax Elias was born in August of 2014 and has been such a joy. He has so much personality already. He's a jokester. He loves laughing and making others laugh. He is pretty peaceful most of the time (though he's already starting to test the waters as far as obedience goes!). He was the easiest baby out of our 3 kids (rarely cried) and I seriously cannot believe that he's probably considered a toddler now!!
     As of about 9 or 10 months ago, Sonny started working for Caldwell Companies to work in retail development (and a bunch of other things but I'm pretty unfamiliar with the lingo). While we miss our former students dearly, we trust that this new season is part of the plan King Jesus has for us and Sonny is enjoying his new job even more than I thought he would (I expected him to like this job but didn't realize how much =)). He absolutely loves the company he works for and enjoys getting to be creative and work with other like minded people. He loves getting to represent Jesus in this new environment. 

     We are continuing to homeschool and are involved in a Classical Conversations Co-op in Tomball that meets weekly where we get to join with like-minded people to challenge our children academically as well as shepherd them spiritually. We LOVE it. While we certainly have challenging days, I'm continually thankful for the opportunity to be my children's primary educator in these early years. 

     We recently found a new home church at Bayou City Fellowship (the campus at Northwest Forest). We love having a place to worship as a family and it's wonderful that most families from our weekly small group all attend there as well.

     I'm continuing to work as a photographer in the Cypress/Tomball/Katy/Houston area. I love having this outlet to be creative and contribute a little bit financially to our birthday/holiday/vacation fund! It's also wonderful that I can work around our school schedule and I have help from my mom and mother-in-law with the kids when sessions are during Sonny's workday. 

    Overall, these last few years have flown by. More than anything, I have felt so secure in trusting that the Lord knows what is best. Isaiah talks about how foolish it is to make plans without regarding the Lord. This is an area where my sweet husband really does so well. Whenever we feel that one season might be coming to an end, Sonny is SO diligent to take time and seek Jesus for our family's future. The Proverbs remind us that in an abundance of counselors there is much wisdom. I love that my husband seeks the Lord's wisdom from older men in his life. He is never hasty to make a decision. Through each of these seasons, the Lord has been so kind as to lead us patiently and gently and remind us constantly that He is in control. Nothing is outside of His sphere of influence. He is always seeking to lead His children in truth and righteousness if we will just wait to hear from Him and if we will be quiet and still enough to listen. 
     We have genuinely loved each season that the Lord has let us walk through. We have not loved each season because they have been easy or without trials.... we have loved each season because we have felt that each of those seasons were ordained by the Lord and we have sought to be sanctified by each trial as we know that trials help us to grow. We have sought for 8 years to pour out our lives for the advancement of the gospel in the lives of students in the Tomball/Cypress/Hockley area and now we are seeking to advance the gospel by pouring our lives into those that the Lord continues to bring to us through Sonny's job and through our various homeschool and sporting activities. 

     I've been reading Isaiah lately and it has been wonderful to be reminded of the Lord's view on pride. His goal is for His children to walk in humility, trusting that He is in control and that He is leading them for His glory and their good. This is my sincere hope. I pray often that we would be clothed in the humility of Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for our good and His glory. I've been reminded often through Isaiah that Jesus is "our strength every morning" (33:2) and He is the "stability of your (our) times" (33:6). Because we are His children through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf, He longs to be gracious to us. He seeks to lead us tenderly as a shepherd leads His flock (40:11). He is our Rock. He is our Redeemer. He sustains us when we are weary.

   "Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God."
-Isaiah 41:10


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