The Bates Family

Inner Joy

by Kelly on March 31, 2012

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I had opportunity to eat lunch with a friend recently who shared some growing she had done in her personal life. I noticed a new glow and an incredible peace about her, and commented on the change I saw.

She gleefully shared how God helped her realize her true worth to Him, enabling her to gain freedom from envy, gossip, and bitterness. Not that she won’t face these struggles again, she admitted, but now she has a new motivation… Comparing herself to a princess of the King, she knew these responses and wrong attitudes would not be fitting to represent her position in Christ, so she purposed with God’s help to conquer these “old weights” that had burdened her down.

She acknowledged that she had expected her joy to come from other people and other things, instead of Christ. Now, however, she is able to gain her confidence and contentment through Christ alone! She shared a quote from J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) that had helped spur this great change within:

“To be content is to be one who hangs on no created things for comfort and has God as his portion. Such a one is the one who is always happy. Nothing can come amiss or go wrong with such a one. Afflictions will not shake him, and sickness will not disturb him… He can gather grapes from thorns and figs from thistles…”mulrooney

(Note: Mrs. Virginia Mulrooney has battled with lupus for 8 yrs. while still managing her home and homeschooling her 7 children. In spite of suffering, she exhibits a beautiful example of finding hope through Christ in the midst of difficult trials! I am so grateful for her humility, her desire to encourage others, and her strong faith.)

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Jolene (Homespun Heritage) March 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I’ve had a similar inner joy experience lately. The Lord has worked very hard to help me understand that I am priceless in His eyes. Recently, I began silently singing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart” as a reminder of that freedom we have in the Redemption of Christ. How easily we forget how precious we are!

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Amanda March 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm

There really is true peace knowing that your worth comes from GOD alone. People and material things will let you down. CHRIST will lift you up. HE is so good and ever to be praised ;- )

Have a blessed weekend in THE LORD!

Amanda
Matthew 6:33

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Johnna March 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I have just recently learned how to turn things in my life over to God and let him sort things out for me. It has given me incredible inner peace.

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molly March 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

do u have plans on writing a book? you totally should! then go on a a book tour with the duggars! please consider it!

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Donna March 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thank you for sharing this. It is amazing how God will put the things in your path you need to see and hear. During a season of spring and new beginnings I feel so unworthy. Depression is my burden and I trust in the Lord daily to guide me through this difficult time. I am so blessed.Thank you.

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Emily Raynes March 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Thank you so much for this encouraging update! This was very edifying to read…. Thanks again :)

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Marie-Louise March 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Dear Kelly,

Congratulations on Jeb Colton! Thank you for your posts, I especially loved this one and the one called: ‘Lessons of life’. I am very blessed by the godly example of you and our family. Do you know the book ‘The pursuit of godly seed’ by Denny Kenaston? I think you’ll like it very much!
Could you give any ‘tips’ for having inner joy and contentment for a single young lady (I’m 26)like me? To be honest I sometimes envy friends who’re getting maried and are having children.
Another question: my maried friend and sister in Christ is in love with another man. I adviced her to avoid contact for the moment and to focus on God and on her husband. I want to give her the ‘Love dare’ (from the movie Fire Proof)to help her with that. Do you think it’s a good idea to give her the diary? Do you have any other tips?
May God bless you and your family richely!

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Gil April 5, 2012 at 12:35 am

Dear Marie-Louise,
Since I’m married, its hard for me to tell you to be patient and content. I’ve not walked in your shoes… However, I have had to learn those qualities reguarding many other desires. Remember the old saying, “The grass is greener on the other side”? … and then you get to the other side and look back where you’ve come from only to realize you had failed to appreciate what you had enjoyed?! Marriage can be delightful and so can single life… enjoy every moment right in your present circumstances… Marriage can be hard (as your friend is experiencing) and so can single life. Make a commitment that with God’s help you’ll purpose to live each day for Him, whether married or single… then ask Him to give you joy as you draw nearer to Him. I think your advice to your friend to avoid temptation is wise. Run from it!! Yes, she should read that book and others to encourage her commitment, get in a church for accountability and help, go to a marriage seminar for revitalization and direction, and pray for strength to make wise choices! Love, Kelly

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Beanie March 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm

So true! Lots of trials in my life right now, and God has been giving me His great joy. :D

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Linda March 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Thank you Kelly for sharing about your friend. Very inspiring to read espcially with the challenges she faces.

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Angelak March 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

AMEN!

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Ruthie April 1, 2012 at 12:45 am

Thank you so much for writing this!!! I really needed to hear it! I have oftened compared myself to others and was getting depressed. Now I am beginning to realize that I am a princess of the King, and that I am valuable !!!

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Mrs. M April 1, 2012 at 12:55 am

Dear Kelly, thank you for this post. I am really struggling with a co-worker that finds fault with everyone in our office, talks bad about them behind their backs, and is overly nice to their face. Is it because this person does not have peace in their heart that they
must be this way? The whole thing makes me sick. I have been asking God for strength and patience or to maybe even open a new door.

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Gil April 5, 2012 at 12:26 am

Dear Mrs. M,
I’ve noticed that envy and bitterness are often underlying causes for backbiting. People who are not confident in who they are as a person will often compare and complain about others.But I think we all struggle with our tongue, that’s why the book of James talks about the littlest member of our body that can do such great damage! May God give each of us wisdom to learn self control in this area and may he help us commit to not being “two faced.” It’s important for you to not become bitter at this co-worker or you may fall into the same snare. Try to keep your eyes on Jesus and pray for your offenders! Love, Kelly

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aaron April 1, 2012 at 12:56 am

I really like that hymn too.

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lisa April 1, 2012 at 1:46 am

I to have lupus and i know the daily hurdles all to well. i choose to live my life with dignity and thankfulness for all that Christ has done for me and continues to do for me. He has been with me and my family through more than a normal humane life for most and as for bitterness i really don’t see the point.God is Good All the Time,

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Fiona Walker April 1, 2012 at 3:18 am

I used to be terrified of dying , suffered from anxiety and have panic attacks frequently, now that I have given my heart to the lord … all my fears are gone! I feel a peace I have been searching for my whole life, it’s amazing.Now when I have a particular struggle it’s very clear I need to work at a certain area of my life and can usually find that area very quickly through prayer. At the moment it’s people judging me … it’s a biggie, judging me for being a christian, speaking my mind, removing toxic people and bad influences from my life and my mother in law thinks I am to blame for the world’s demise! I know this is just a trial and I’ll come out the other side with my love for God stronger than ever.

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Gil April 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Dear Fiona,
We’ll pray for God to give you wise and gracious responses! May God Bless, Kelly

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jaguarangel April 1, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thank you for this meaningful message. :)

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Kate April 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

Dear Kelly,

That is such a lovely message, thank you for sharing that with us.

I also wanted to let you know that a few weeks ago I was saved! It was you and your family who encouraged me to take that huge step. I am so grateful that you share your life with us. I do not think that I would have realised that God is my saviour for a long time (I am almost 16) if it were not for following the example of your family(and a close friend of mine). I do not come from a Christian family and therefore I look to you and your family for encouragement (as well as the Bible!). Thank you so, so much.
God Bless
Kate, London

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Kate April 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Dear Kelly,

What a lovely message, thank you for sharing that!

I wanted to let you know that a few weeks ago I was saved. Owing to the fact that my family are not Christian I began my journey by looking to your family (and a close friend of mine) for encouragement and I believe that it was because of you and your family that I realised that God is my saviour. Thank you so, so much for sharing your life with others so that we may be encouraged to seek forgiveness from God. I will continue to look to your family (and the Bible) for encouragement as you are such a good example.

I just wanted to thank you! [:

God Bless,
Kate, London.

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Gil April 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Dear Kate,
Welcome to the family of God! I’m honored to call you my sister in Christ. May God give you wisdom and guidance as you grow in Him. We rejoice in this good news! Love, Kelly

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Kate April 1, 2012 at 9:07 am

Aaah, I am so sorry – I double posted because thought it hadn’t worked…oops!

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tennesseegal April 2, 2012 at 2:18 am

Thank you for sharing with us!
So looking forward to your shows coming up in the summer! What are they going to be called?

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Gil April 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Dear Tennesseegal,
We don’t know what name they’ll pick yet. Love, Kelly

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#1BatesFan! April 2, 2012 at 4:53 am

Dear Mrs. Bates, what are some of Erin, Alyssa, and Tori’s favorite songs?? I have seen all the youtube videos of them singing, and they are just wonderful!….do you think you could post some more? I also really liked all their singing on your tv show! Thanks for the answer in advance! P.S. please tell Alyssa I said hi! :)

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Gil April 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Dear #1 BatesFan,
They love hymns… Someone just posted one of Erin’s piano solos on you tube. Type in “Erin Bates It Is Well” and it should come up. I’m sorry I don’t know how to post things on youtube myself. Love, Kelly

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Hailey April 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Mrs. Bates,
I was just thinking about this while on my morning walk. Thank you for posting. Although I have experienced many trials in the last week, I gave everything to God and decided to be joyful and content in him.
Thank you for your encouragement!

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michelle April 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Dear Kelly,
Do you happen to know if and when Rick Santorum is planning on coming to TN? I have tried Google and asking family/friends but no one knows.. I would love to hear him speak if at all possible… I just have to know when! lol
Thanks,
Michelle

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Gil April 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

Dear Michelle,
I’m not sure. He did come to Crown College in knoxville, TN several weeks ago. Love, Kelly

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tennesseegal April 3, 2012 at 12:35 am

thank you very much I’ll watch for it!

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Jaime April 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

A couple years ago, I was extremely jealous of my best friend because she basically has my “dream life”–lives in the country, has 8 siblings and wonderful parents, etc. However, I had to examine myself and allow the Lord to become my joy. Having a big family and living in the country are good things…things I still hope to have someday. However, those are not the things give me have joy. The Lord is. He is the only one who can give me contentment where I am, and no matter what I’m going through. =) =) =)

Thank you for all your encouragement!

His Princess,
Jaime

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Franicia White April 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

What a beautiful testimony and story! Thank you for taking the time to share it Kelly. :-)

Love in Christ,
Franicia for the family

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Marilyn April 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hello,

Just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy Easter! Any special plans for the weekend? Do you celebrate with both sides of your familiies? Will Zach see Sarah over the weekend? Do the little children hunt for Easter Eggs after Church?

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Jen April 7, 2012 at 12:21 am

Thank you for this encouraging post! You always give such great counsel. I wondered if you (and other readers) could include my family in your prayers. We have recently learned our youngest child will have lifelong special needs which means we need to find a way for me to be home even more (I only work part time but earn half our income in that time). I would appreciate prayers as we learn to trust this to God and find peace in all of this and also for my husband’s conversion.

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Gil April 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Dear Jen,
We will pray for you, your child, and your husband… May God give you all the strength and grace you need to help this little one. Love, Kelly

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Jen April 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Thank you so much. Have a happy and blessed easter season. Hallelujah! He is risen!

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Julianne Alloggio April 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Dear Kelly,
My husband and I wrote you an email asking you about “Easter”. If you could please answer a few questions for us, we’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much and God Bless =)

Julianne Alloggio

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Gil April 10, 2012 at 1:28 am

Dear Julianne,
So sorry for the delay… I’ve had to postpone posting the messages that required me to take time to answer due to some busy schedules and sickness these past few weeks. I’ll try to catch up as soon as the other household responsibilities fall into order! Much love and God Bless, Kelly

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Beanie April 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

This is early, but Happy Birthday, Carlin! :D Praying for you! :D

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Carol April 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Yet again a post that calls to my heart about the shortcomings in my own life. The Lord truly provides help for us just when it is needed. I am always encouraged and uplifted here, and to know that I am not the only one who struggles with these issues helps put things in perspective. I will trust in the Lord to help me to not be affected by the negative work environment and pray for those who make my working life miserable in a lot of ways.

Blessings
Carol x

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Vikki Goedmakers April 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

Kelly,
thank you for sharing this~ as a homeschooling mom that battles Lupus this was a great encouragement. I have found that the Lord literally is my one and only strength.
Blessings,
Vikki

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Julianne Alloggio April 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Dear Kelly,
I totally understand =) take as much time as needed to tend to your babies, they do come first. I am just so thankful to be able to reach out to you for advice. I just wanted to make sure that y’all got our message. Thanks so much! God Bless =) ~Julianne

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Beanie April 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I’m sorry to here that Mr.Santorum pulled out. I hope his daughter Bella is doing okay…

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Meagan Biddison April 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Is your family okay? Who is sick? Wth what? Meagan

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Gil May 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Hi Meagan,
I think it was actually just bad sinus infections, but everyone is better now… Thanks so much! Love, Kelly

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Meagan Biddison April 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I really hope Carlin is not sick!! No one wants to be sick for their birthday tomorrow!!! Meagan

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Meagan Biddison April 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Happy Birthday Carlin Brianne!!! I hope your day is filled with laughter and cheer and the Holy Spirit and Christ!! I can’t believe you are already 14 years old! You are just a growing blessing! I hope I can meet you one day and if not, I can’t wait to see you in Heaven!! Happy 14th birthday!! :) :) :) :) :) :)
With all joy, Meagan Ashley Biddison

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Anola April 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Both my sister and my oldest daughter suffer with Lupus…it is such a frustrating disease, and since one “looks perfectly normal” others often forget they are ill. I see them struggle every day to care for their families, in spite of the pain and exhaustion. I love that they praise God for the good days, as well as in the bad days. I cannot imagine them going through this without the hope of the Lord! Praise His Name!

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Rachel April 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Kelly, I know this is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if you had any babies/toddlers devotionals to recommend? Our oldest is about to turn 2 and we also have a 3.5 month old baby. We are planning on incorporating a family devotional time and would like to use something that both of them can enjoy and learn from. Also, what age do you typically start homeschooling your children? Thanks so much, God bless.

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Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:52 am

Dear Rachel,
There are probably several at the Christian bookstore. We always just read from the Bible… We often dramatize what we’re reading to hold the little ones attention. We sing and memorize Scripture as soon as they can talk well. We read character based books and try to apply Bible lessons from them. For that age try Carl Sommer’s children’s books by Advance Publishing.We begin teaching colors, shapes, alphabet, numbers, and writing between 2-4 years old (based on speech and attention). We begin official schooling at 5. Love, Kelly

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Sheila April 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I must say i’m always amazed by people who have faith in god, i once had it but long gone..i really miss that feeling. Maybe it will come back again or is still there and needs a rising. When your kids were singing the song i got the Joy in My Heart it reminded me of my First Communion it was a song we learned for the celebration.

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Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:46 am

Dear Sheila,
Your note saddened my heart as I hate to hear you’re missing out on what could bring such joy in your life! I’m praying God will spark your faith again and that faith will bring a lasting, satisfying relationship with our Creator, Deliverer, Defender, Provider, Comforter, Savior!! Then “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart” won’t be just a childhood memory! Much love, Kelly

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Sheri April 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi Kelly,
I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I know you are an ATI family and we are new to ATI. We are attending our first conference next week in Big Sandy. We haven’t gotten anything yet that tells us what day to arrive or when exactly to show up for check in, etc. I’ve tried to call and email but I haven’t had any response yet and we are trying to make travel plans. Do you know if ATI typically sends out a schedule or some “first day” instructions before the conference? If not, do you know what day we’ll need to arrive to check in our children? (They are in Alert Cadats and Excel programs) Thanks so much in advance. You’re sweet to answer all these questions on your blog.
Love,
Sheri

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Gil May 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Dear Sheri,
You might be able to find the schedule online. If not, they are available Tues morn at check-in. Love, Kelly

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Lisa April 16, 2012 at 4:39 am

Kelly,
I’ve always had great love & relationship w/the Lord. These past few years I’ve felt the Lord has placed somthings on my heart. Wearing skirts was on of the few things. I really want to do all that I can to please the Lord cheerfully & be an example for my daughters. I do love to wear skirts also, 7 have been doing so along w/my daughters for sometime now but this is a new change for me. I have had a few days when I felt I was struggling w/the feeling of my own “flesh” where I just felt cold or tired & wanted to through on a pair of slacks. I know I can if I want to but I made a commitment w/my girls & they love it. Just wondering did u switch to skirts before your girls were born & when u did finally make that transition in the beginning or ever have u struggled w/ur feelings of the “flesh” where u just did not feel in the mood to wear a skirt, even if u did not act on it. Well, God bless. I hope to hear from you Lord willing.
Love,
Lisa

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Gil May 10, 2012 at 3:35 am

Dear Lisa,
I began wearing dresses after Alyssa was born. I think as humans, we struggle with every choice… no matter what that decision may be, because it is hard for all of us to yield ourselves to Christ’s control. We naturally like being in charge… so whatever God may ask of you: whether its attending church faithfully, tithing, reading your Bible, etc… is all somewhat of a struggle at one time or another. When I was young I heard a preacher say, “Obey because you’re supposed to, then the ‘want to’ will follow!” Love, Kelly

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Janet April 17, 2012 at 7:40 am

Dear Kelly,
I have lupus too!!! Would you like to meet up for lunch sometime soon? However, I can’t eat ice, so we would have to choose a restaurant where they don’t put ice in my drink. I am also going through a rough divorce and I could really use an encouraging woman like you to talk to and share my burdens with.

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Bayley April 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Dear Kelly,
I hope that you liked the collages I sent to your sister, Kim.

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Kay April 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

When you get a chance, could you update your “About Us” page not only to include a picture of Jeb but anything new about all the kids (including up to date pictures).

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Beanie April 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I’m going on my first ever missions trip in May!!! :D I’m going on deputation with my sister and her husband, who are missionaries to Alaska. Praise the LORD!!! :D :D :D

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Brenda H. April 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Hi !
I read in a prior post that you have had some illness in the family. ( And busy schedules!) I hope everything is going okay. I miss your postings and hope to see another soon. I look forward to your positive words. Know you and your family are in my prayers!
God Bless,
Brenda

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Betty April 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Dear Kelly, I would love more messages from you are your family. I have read the last one several times. You messages are a great blessing. Thanks

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Kay April 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

When you get a chance, could you update your “About Us” page to include Jeb as well as more up to date pictures and news about all the kids?

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Gil April 30, 2012 at 2:38 am

Dear Kay,
I’m so sorry for the delay in updates (especially Jeb’s on the about us page). We haven’t had internet access in the past month. Hope to update soon! Love, Kelly

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Amanda P May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

AMEN, Praise the Lord! That was an inspiring story, Thank you so much for sharing.

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