Sunday, September 30, 2007


This is really dumb, maybe a little silly, but I guess perfect for a blog. I have a very strong sense of smell, (unfortunate for me at times). But I got to thinking the other day how much I love to wash my hands with our Dove soap. Nothing smells better to me than my little ELijah freshly bathed in that Dove soap. I use the sensitive skin one for him. :) So, I was wondering is there anyone else out there that loves the smell of certain things? I think that is one of my favorites, second would be the smell of carnations! ha, ha, I know that's probably weird too. (the funeral flower) but I LOVE getting carnations! Third would be freshly brewed coffee ready right when you wake up. Yum, Yum!!
So, what's your favorite smells???

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gotta Give God the Glory!

Once again, God shows his provision...I think you remember Keith's bite he had recently that got staph in it.Well, he went to the doctor and had it cleaned up and all that. Well, we did not know it was considered "surgery" in the office and there was something sent to the lab. Well, I got a bill for the lab and it was 120.82 after the insurance paid. I found out after many calls and minutes on the phone that our insurance has a preferred lab that it pays 100% for. So, I called and talked to a sweet, understanding lady at the docs office who went to work for me. I was in tears because the charge could have been avoided IF we had known it was going to be sent to the lab and IF we had known there was a preferred lab. She made some calls for me and talked to people and got the charge taken care of. Now I won't give her the credit because things just don't work that way these days! (if you know what I mean) I figured that once the charge was made by a hospital lab then it was a done deal! The doctor's office and lab are 2 different businesses. So, thank you Lord!! for taking care of us and showing favor to us in this provision! We are trying our best to get our bills paid off (several doctors & surgeries) and get things in order before the end of the yr. and Keith is no longer with Mabel White. Thank you God for caring for this small thing in our lives!!

Also, I have posted my cousin's blog post from today because it is just awesome!! I am so excited to see God using them to love on their 3 boys adopted from Ethiopia and in the process grow their own faith. I hope you are blessed by it as much as I was.
What's in a Name?
My son's have very strong feelings about their new American names. It is a matter of absolute pride for them. They wield the name as a weapon sometimes by giving it back to us when they are angry. "I'm not a McConnell!", they sometimes shout. I usually simply shrug and say, "Ok, but you still must obey". There are a couple of instances that have revealed to me how much their name means to them.The day before school started the boys had an orientation at their school. It was a very exciting time and the whole family went to encourage them and give them support. They were enthralled by the desks, art on the walls, and they were especially encouraged to see that they had their own desk and their own locker. It was truly a thrilling moment for them. And then (I hate writing those words because it seems to happen so often..."and then") they noticed their name tags. Noah was first. Laminated on colorful plastic it read "Noah McConnell". He picked up his name tag, looked at it and then threw it down on the table with absolute disdain."Not my name!", he exclaimed. I picked it up and looked at it. Yes Noah, this is you. NO!! He became angry. Noah McConnell is not my name, no Patrick. Ah, I thought I got it and had a quick answer for him. It's ok, they just shorten your name for school. When Dad goes to work, people do not call him by his full name, just Patrick. At school you are Noah McConnell.But he would have none of it. My name is "Noah Zelalem Patrick McConnell"! Why no Patrick in name? I said, "Noah, you are still Noah Zelalem Patrick McConnell but at school your name is just "tennish" (short). It's ok, I tried to assure him. Josiah and Caleb had separate but identical responses. They were deeply offended that the name I use (Patrick) was not attached to their name. You see, in their culture the child takes on the father's first name as their last. The boys actually wanted to hack off the "McConnell" and just have "Patrick" as their last name.Tonight was another great example. I was trying to explain to Josiah how North, South, East and West worked on a map and he just couldn't get it. So I wrote his name in the middle of the compass and told him "this is where Josiah stands" and here are the ways you can go away from Josiah. He said, "oh, ok, I understand" and then he pointed to his name. "My name is Josiah McConnell when I am at school." I know son, but I am just trying to explain how a compass works on a scrap piece of paper and the important thing to know is that you are in the middle of the compass. "Ok. My name is Josiah McConnell." And he sat there and looked at me, waiting. I scribbled McConnell under Josiah on our little scrap piece of paper and he smiled."Thank you Daddy". You are welcome son.We played soccer the other day at a friends house. The McConnell boys (me included) were on one team and the other family competed against us. It was a very laid back and unstructured game to be sure - I have no idea about any of the rules in soccer except that you can't use your hands. We won the little game 5-2 and you should have seen my sons. They were running around the yard like they had just won the biggest soccer game in the century. And you know what they kept saying? "The McConnell Family won, the McConnell Family won, the McConnell family won." They were absolutely ecstatic.Today I was meditating on 1 Peter 2 and I noticed that Peter thought very highly of what is in a name. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession,"Peter was using several Old Testament pictures to describe the believer's position and relationship in the New Covenant with God and he used names. They are names or descriptive titles loaded with meaning and value and as believers we can study the meaning behind those names and have an even clearer picture of who we are. With titles comes a purpose, a direction; with an identity comes security. My son's are learning to find great security in carrying the McConnell name and we should find great security in caring the name of our Father.I have learned a great lesson from my son's and from Peter - knowing who you are means a great deal and it should impact the way that you live.
Posted by Patrick at
11:46 PM

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Sad Season Indeed

Here is an email I received today about John Piper's grandbaby who died this past weekend. The funeral is tomorrow. Once again, the question...why?

Felicity Margaret PiperSeptember 23, 2007 By: John Piper Category: Written Posts by John Piper, Ministry Updates
In the hopes that you will pray for us, I’ll give you the news about Abraham’s daughter. Abraham is my son who serves as the Web Content Manager for Desiring God. He and Molly were expecting their second child on Sunday, September 23. Molly was big and healthy. Everyone was happy and excited about Orison’s little sister.
There had been no movement since Thursday. Molly had read this was nothing unusual, but the doctor said she could come for a check-up if she wished. Saturday morning (September 22) they went to Hennepin County Medical Center. No heart beat. Ultrasound confirms: the baby is dead.
The phone call came to me first. It was Abraham through sobs, “We lost the baby.”
Noel and I arrived in a half hour. No explanation of the loss, not yet. After a couple hours they go home to get ready to induce later in the afternoon. At 1:30 PM they come to our home on the way to the hospital. Abraham’s brothers Karsten and Ben and their wives Shelly and Melissa are there. I read
2 Samuel 12:15-23, John 9:1-3, and 1 Corinthians 15:58 acknowledging that the word play on “labor” in verse 58 is not meant to be cute. We gathered around them and prayed. Ben drove them to the hospital. I went to church and dedicated 9 babies and preached from 1 Samuel 12:1-25, “The Sinful Origin of the Son of Man.” Then I went to the hospital to keep vigil.
At 11:54 PM, September 22, 2007, labor complete, Felicity Margaret Piper was born—lifeless. Abraham and Molly spent an hour or so with Felicity alone. Then the grandparents came in. (Molly’s parents, Bob and Darleen Dillemuth had flown in immediately from Erie, Pennsylvania.) Then Ben and Melissa and Karsten and Shelly and Millie and Talitha came in. All the adults held Felicity. I took lots of pictures and made a slide show to the music, “Be Thou My Vision.” It brings tears.
Abraham and Molly went home the next morning. The funeral is set for 11 AM Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at Bethlehem.
I have wept on Abraham’s shoulder with firm embraces. I have watched other men weep with him. I love the ready tears of strong men. I did not know Felicity. But I have known my son since he was Felicity’s age. When he is broken it affects me deeply. I cry when I see him and when I think about him. He loves being a father. He and Molly were both so excited about their girl. We are all numb with incomprehension. She was so ready and so healthy. The doctor who delivered her said the cord was tight around her neck and that was probably the cause.
Noel and I lay in bed at about 3 AM after coming home from the delivery thinking: This seems so preventable. By God and by man. Yes. So easy. But neither man nor God prevented this. Man, because he did not know it was happening. God, because he has his wise and loving reasons that we wait to learn with tears and trust.
Thank you for praying for us.
**On a Watson family note: please pray for us, especially Keith. The spiritual warfare and attacks are huge right now. We will only survive through prayer and constant guidance and strength from Our Provider, Our Sustainer, Our Comforter! We need your prayers!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Very Difficult Season

Keith did a very difficult thing Sunday afternoon...a graveside service for some close friends who lost their newborn baby girl: Kendall Mason Crabb
born August 26, 2007
date of death: Sept. 20, 2007

As I stood watching as two friends grieved the loss of their baby, looking at that tiny casket covered by a beautiful white blanket with a pink monogramming of Kendall, I kept asking "why?"
And all I could tell them was "I love you" and "I am here for you". Ivey went with us and was able to hug and love on Chad's 12 yr. old daughter who stood and grieved the loss of her baby sister. I prayed for my husband who had the very difficult task of delivering the graveside, I wasn't sure if he was even going to be able to speak himself.

I think we share a special bond with this couple because they were in our church family in Eastman and we were able to minister to them when Kristi, underwent surgery for cervical cancer (similar to me) with the hopes that she would still be able to concieve a child in the future. We delighted with them when she became pregnant and prayed for them as she was on complete bedrest for months and then when she delivered at 6 months we prayed for Kendall.

So, I thought I would share his thoughts with you on such a difficult season in this couple's life.

Here is a copy of his blog from Saturday:

While we were in Raleigh for the Acts 29 Boot camp I received a dreaded call from a good friend. Kristie had recently (about a month ago) given birth to a daughter - Kendall. Kendall came at only 6months and weighed less than 2 pounds. We prayed for Kendall. Every time my phone would ring and I would see it was Chad calling, I would be momentarily gripped by fear - afraid that Kendall had taken a bad turn. That's what the Thursday night call was about. I awoke several times during the night and begged God on behalf of Chad and Kristie - I pleaded that little Kendall be strengthened and that she hold on - I prayed that she would live and grow. She didn't. Chad called Friday morning to let us know that during the night Kendall lost her fight. I don't know why - though I ask.Why would this family have to endure such a loss?Why would such a hard conception, carrying, and birth be followed by this?Why would YOU allow THIS?Nothing.I do not know why.Today I will do the grave side service for 2 good friends who have lost a precious and beautiful gift. The truth is I have no idea what to say - but this...The Gospel speaks to this day. The story of redemption includes this day - it includes Thursday night. THIS is not what we were created for. This is not what the garden originally looked like. This is the result of sin's curse, passed on from one generation to the next. I thank God that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has intervened and offers us hope - even in a day like today. I praise God that today is not the end for Kendall - or for Chad and Kristie. I praise Him, that in Christ, for all who believe today is only a sad and horrible pause in what will be forevermore. I do believe that Kendall is now enjoying fellowship with her heavenly Father - the fellowship that as believers Chad and Kristie will one day enjoy as well. I long, especially on days like today for that final day - the day when our redemption is ultimately consummated - and in it there will be no more suffering, no more pain, no more death - and we will live in the glory of our Savior. I pray for Chad and Kristie, even now, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would speak to their heart - that they would not only know the hope of their future in Christ, but that they would know - fully, completely, experientially know that Jesus Christ is their rock, he is their strength, he is their comfort, their joy, their delight. I pray that they would know that he will never leave them and never forsake them. I pray that they would have the confidence in him today to know that he loves them and cares for them - even now.The Gospel has much to say today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Second honeymoon...or...Boot camp??

ooh, what a week! I had such a great time enjoying my hubby's company on our 7 hr. drive to Raleigh, all of our time together at the conference, dinners out each night and then our 7 hr drive back, not to mention 3 nights alone in our hotel!!! We even got to sleep in a couple of the mornings. Plus, I did not have to prepare one meal all week!
I loved being with Keith, hearing other pastors say the same things I have heard Keith say over the past year. For example: Chan Kilgore (lead pastor at Crosspointe church in Orlando Fl., ) said in his talk that he at one time was working in his cushy pastors job at a large church and one day realized that all of his time was spent inside the church building in meetings with christians and he had no time to spend outside with nonchristians
sharing the gospel, which was where his heart's desire was... I have heard my hubby say the same thing!
Keith finally was in a place this week where he felt he was not the square peg trying to fit into a round hole, a place where the pastors hearts desire was to preach the gospel, and live it everyday.
Everyone we met homeschooled their kids too!! I couldn't believe it. We had so much in common.
We heard from a great line-up of speakers: Chan Kilgore, Tyler Jones, daniel Montgomery, Mark Driscoll and Ed Stetzer. They were full of wisdom and insight, and encouragement. (see Keith's blog for more on that).
One thing that I loved was there push for strong marriages and families. Mark Driscoll pounded the importance of dating your wife and family day with your kids. Keith was encouraged to study at home and be more of a part of the kids schooling, have a time to share his sermon topic on Saturday with us and get feedback. Each pastor strongly encouraged the importance of:
#1 relationship with God,
#2 relationship with spouse,
# 3 relationship with kids,
and then
#4 church.
Even in our interview on Friday, our 2 assessors asked us how we live this order out and gave us advice and encouragement to keep this order. One interesting idea was to have a date co-op where you swap out nights to go out with your spouse and another family watches the kids for each other so you don't have to pay a sitter (cause church planters don't have any money). When you go out split a meal or get coffee and dessert, just do something to be together. Great ideas and such encouragement to keep the marriage strong and your family strong!

I'm just so thankful to be in ministry with my hubby and know that I am to be a supporter and encourager to him. My first priority after God is to be there for love and support him. So, I will fight to keep our home as a refuge, and our family unit strong, our marriage strong and healthy, because I am aware that Satan will prowl around us looking to devour at any chance he can get.
So, I encourage you to pray for your pastor and his family. They are "out there" in that place where they are a threat to satan and his destructive work and therefore in the midst of spiritual warfare if they are working for the Lord and for the spread of the gospel.
To my friends, I encourage you to love your husband, encourage him, stroke his ego!!, don't make him wait in line behind the kids, he deserves first, not last! I know I constantly have to ask the Lord to help me with keeping things in the right order and not just giving the left-overs to my hubby. Let's honor God in being the helpmate He intended us to be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New City Church's First Service

Welcome to New City's First Service...
Worship was incredible...

Here sits the family patiently waiting for the service to begin.........It was so much fun having the Dollars with us on this special day. It was an incredible experience, so many people excited about what God has put together.
A great example of how the body of Christ was intended to work...Christ's Chapel volunteers came to work in our kids areas.

Friends smiling and loving the day! I have never seen so many happy people at a worship service!

The Word was truthfully and passionately fed to eager ears. I saw my husband doing what He loves to do...delivering the Word, laying out the gospel in an understandable message before a room full of people. He was where he longs to be, doing what He was created to do loving every minute of it! Thank you God for allowing us to be a part of Your work! Can't wait until our next service!! To God Be the Glory...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I've been tagged!

Don't really want to do this, I'm not in the best mood right now. A little overwhelmed with life right now, so much to do and so little "mommy time". AAGHH! Anyway, because Page asked me I will participate, but I am using the name my Daddy always called me when I was growing up.
J - joyful that my kids are at home with me (joyful almost all of the time)

A - always have LOVED Christmas Day!!

N- Neat freak!!

E - Excited about our first Sunday at New City - one week away!!!

So, there I did it! So, now I have to go put away laundry, because I can't leave the house with it still sitting out on the couch. Going to the Ray's home to eat and watch the GA game.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

New nephew

Keith and I welcomed a new nephew into our family today. Keegan McGinnis was born early this morning to Todd and Kelli McGinnis (Keith's younger sister), Micaela, Addi and Cate (older sisters!) This boy doesn't stand a chance with 3 older sisters. He was 9lbs 1 oz, the smallest of them all. Kelli said they all weighed over 9 lbs, three were born on Sundays and he was her third child to have their water break at home. They rushed to the hospital, which was an hour away and made it just in time to push a little and he was here! Yikes, it was a close call. 911 was called to welcome them at the doors of the hospital. Todd said everyone there had gloves on ready to assist them when they pulled up at the entrance. We are thankful that everything went quickly and smoothly. He is a cutie and I will post a picture when I get one!! Or You can see him at our first service in 2 weeks!!!
On another great note of praise: while I was visiting at the hospital the Lord worked it out for another provision for New City!! Todd and Kelli's church wants to help us in the purchase of a TV/Dvd for our children's ministry.i was told this right before leaving the hospital and right after their pastor and family had left the room!! Praise the Lord for arranging that today!! God is so cool!!!!!!!!!