Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Patchin'

Last week we made our annual visits to the pumpkin patches. Kendall loves picking out and playing with all the pumpkins!



Daddy and Kendall picked a pumpkin to carve.



The only difference this year is that Daddy got to be home to actually carve it. This is new for us! Daddy works really hard to provide for our family! In the past he worked 3 jobs and went to school. While we were in Africa God told Joe he needed to be home more and now he is! We are loving have him home more! Especially in times like these! 


Here's what they came up with! Kendall of course loves it! She can't wait every night to light it! 

Hope your fall is going well! 

Happy Fall y'all!

Love, 
The Hennis Family

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shelf Check: Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie Downs

Book Description: Annie Downs admits she's not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents' home in Georgia, she's never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she's on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging readers to do the same.
As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and popular blogger, Annie shares this journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.
Let's All Be Brave is more than just a book, it's a battle cry. In it, Annie challenges us to live boldly, calls us to step into those places that require courage, and gives us the help to take the next step forward-even when it's scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage-nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

Book Review: I knew I was going to love this book when on the first page Annie makes these statements, "Some people live for an adrenaline rush. I live for a sugar rush. " That's what I'm talking about! In her book, Annie encourages Christians to be brave in their walk with God. While being brave in your life other people can be brave in their lives. Don't do someone else's brave thing do the brave thing that God is calling you to do. Do the thing that God's calling you to that makes your stomach drop, and that your scared to tell your family and friends about. 

I loved reading this book. Annie writes like she talks and it makes you feel like you're having a coffee date rather than reading her book. After doing the bravest thing I thought I had ever done (move to Africa with my family for three months), her book encouraged me to continue doing brave things. I loved that she used biblical stories of bravery to reinforce her points. I also love that she writes with wit. 

I recommend this book to anyone who feels like they're not brave. Or to someone who feels like they are- you'll be encouraged to continue. It was a fun, encouraging, and easy read!



*BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.The opinions are my own.*

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ecuador

So now that we've been home for a week. We want to share some pictures of Ecuador with you. The pictures won't do the people or the place true justice. Ecuador is beautiful and the people we met matched that beauty inside and out. 












Beautiful right? We know that we're not supposed to be full time on the field until Joe's done with school. The call to go never leaves us though. So until then, we say yes whenever He tells us to. There's other places that God has whispered on our hearts to go to. For now, it's Ecuador. In 2015, our family will be going to Ecuador TWICE! We are so excited for what God will do while we're there again!

Will you pray for us? Pray for the people we'll meet and pour into, that their hearts are open to what we share with them, and that most of all they see Jesus! Pray for us that our focus is on Jesus and we rely on the Holy Spirit. Thanks for joining us in our next adventure with God!

In His Love, 
The Hennis Family

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shelf Check: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty

Book Description: In the age of fingertip access to answers and a limitless supply of ambitions, where do we find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found him when life stopped working for her. She found him when she was a young adult mired in spiritual busyness and when she was a new bride with doubts about whether her fledgling marriage would survive. She found him alone in the night as she cradled her longing for babies who did not come. She found him as she kissed the faces of children on another continent who had lived years without a mommy’s touch.
In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well.
Whatever lost expectations readers are facing—in family, career, singleness, or marriage—Every Bitter Thing Is Sweetwill bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more. What does it look like to know God’s nearness when life breaks? What does it mean to receive his life when earthly life remains barren? How can God turn the bitterness of unmet desire into new flavors of joy?
With exquisite storytelling and reflection, Hagerty brings readers back to hope, back to healing, back to a place that God is holding for them alone—a place where the unseen is more real than what the eye can perceive. A place where every bitter thing is sweet.
Book Review: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty is a beautiful story of one couples journey in marriage, infertility, adoption, but mostly with God. Sara expounds on Proverb 27:7 and how that lived out in her own life. The first few chapters of the book were hard for me to get into. It felt to me a little choppy and at times hard to follow. I loved the subsequent chapters though! Reading Sara's story was also hard for me where our stories aligned in marriage, infertility, and our relationship with God. One of my favorite parts of this book were the correlating verses at the end of every chapter! I loved seeing how God worked in her adoptions and the relationships with her children. You could almost feel how they were all knit together. Sara's book asks you to take a deeper look into the hurts in your life and your relationship with God. In every situation we have the opportunity to be ruled by our circumstances or to adore our Creator. This book inspired me to continue to delve into what it means to adore God in every aspect of my life- no matter what. 

I would recommend this book to others. If it seems hard to get into at first- keep going it gets better!



BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.The opinions are my own.*

Saturday, October 18, 2014

a walk in the clouds


Last week, we spent our days in Ecuador serving the Quichua people. Like most trips I wasn't sure what to expect. The men would be split into two groups; the pastors would be teaching the Quichua pastors and the rest of the men would do construction work. The women would try as best we could to minister to the Quichua women.

As long as Reaching & Teaching has been in Ecaudor there really hasn't been much opportunity to minister to the women. They've been really closed off. Thankfully, we watched God do something totally different this week. 

Our first day of ministry we did whatever we could to help. The ladies and I all had a decent knowledge of Spanish, but the Quichua women knew very little Spanish. Spanish was also their second language. They speak Quichua or as they refer to themselves, indigenous. We did whatever we could to help them through small increments of Spanish and a series of gestures. 

Everyday we helped the women make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By the time breakfast was served, eaten, we ate, and cleaned up it was time to make lunch. By the time lunch was served, eaten, we ate, and it was cleaned up it was time to make dinner. By the time we made dinner, it was served, we ate, and we cleaned up it was time to leave. Everyday we worked side by side with these women. We peeled potatoes with knives, hand shucked corn piece by piece, cut up chickens and beef, chopped vegetables, peeled garlic, and washed dishes to name some. I also got to go up the mountain and help pick garlic and move around livestock. They even let us make lunch one day, which thankfully was edible.

Normally, you don't see Quichua women smile. We were able to see them smile many times throughout the week. We played catch with two of the women, Claudina and Maria, one day. We had them laughing so hard they were doubled over giggling uncontrollably. We were working with them enough to notice some needs like having a table they could sit at in the kitchen. Or that they needed their food storage cabinet raised up so it was their height and not on the floor. They grinned from ear to ear with each of them. It was something small, but it was for them. 

Each day we got to see them open up more and more. They shared their stories about their lives with us. Sometimes they just shared about their children like how many they had, their names, and ages. Other times it was real stuff like medical issues they faced, fears for their children, parents dying young, and more. One of them even asked if one of the ladies on our team had Jesus in her heart. By the end of the week they had stopped calling us gringas and started calling us hermanas or sisters. 

It was a week of really hard work out of our comfort zone, but we gained the friendship of these beautiful women. We spent a week with them walking in the clouds, literally.



Would you pray with me for them? There is a women's conference at the end of November for the Quichua women. Pray that the women would come and pray for the women that will be pouring into them! Thank you in advance!


In His Love, 
Jennis

Saturday, October 4, 2014

/ˈôrdnˌerē/


Ordinary- or·di·nar·y (adjective) With no special or distinctive features; normal. (noun) What is commonplace or standard. (synonyms) Common, usual, regular, normal, habitual, customary.

I've always heard people use the word ordinary. It's a funny word without much expectation. People use it a lot with their testimony of coming to Christ. "Oh, my story is so ordinary." 


Interesting...


My husband has a "shocking" testimony. He came into this world 3 months early and all of 2.8 lbs. No one thought he would make it the first day let alone the first week. He did though. Growing up he played sports. He lived in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Was dragged to church on Sunday's or paid to go. In high school he played football and was on the wrestling team. He did really well in wrestling.  He even made it into Sports Illustrated, got a scholarship upstate, and was fifth on the Olympic ladder. During his time in college he got heavily involved in drugs. Cocaine was the drug of choice. His addiction haunted him his whole life. When he was 25 his whole world collapsed in on him. We were freshly married with a 1 month old. He was on drug offender probation, working full time, and nursing a habit. We went to church every Sunday. "Pew potatoes", we went but never heard what was being preached. For sure we weren't living it out! He came home after a night out of using and I had my bags packed. I was done. After I left, he sat on the floor for the second time in his life and tried to commit suicide. Joe was Baker Acted and an ambulance came to bring him to the hospital so he could be put on suicide watch. During the drive the paramedic started to talking to Joe. Asked him what was going on. Joe told him.  At the end of their talk Joe told the driver that he wanted to know Christ he just didn't know how to do it. The paramedic pulled over the ambulance jumped into the back with him and my husband prayed to receive Christ right then. Everything was different about Joe after that. The way he walked and talked. Everything. Since then Joe has felt the call to ministry and was ordained as a pastor. He is in seminary and loves sharing the Gospel wherever he is. I don't say that to boast of Joe. Only what God has done in Joe. 

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

I don't think that any of our individual stories are more or less amazing to God. We are in awe of other people's stories, but not God. To Him they have to all be beautiful stories stitched together and laced with grace. From a parent's perspective, as our Heavenly Father, they must all be amazing. Especially knowing our hearts and all of our thoughts. Each one of our testimonies He uses for His glory. The weak moments, times we've had to peel our brokenness up off the floor, tears, joys, fears, pain-- it isn't for nothing. Share your story of His glory, even when you think it's ordinary. There is someone who can relate!


In His Love, 
Jennis

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shelf Check: Women of the Word


The title caught my attention scanning through a list of newly released books after we came back from Africa in August. I was a little behind on current events, books, and music. Playing catch up, I came across this book- Women of the Word. How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. The hearts and minds part got me. By nature, meaning because I'm a girl, I handle most things subjectively or with my heart. Logically, I want to build up my weaknesses.

In the first few pages of her book I was hooked. Statements like, "Women, in particular, are leaving the church in unprecedented numbers." Or, "When women grow increasingly lax in their pursuit of Bible literacy, everyone in their circle of influence is affected." Why? They weren't reading the Bible with their minds as well as their hearts. We have to have an equal balance of objective (truth) and subjective (feelings) in our relationship with God.

Throughout the next chapters Jen went through why Bible literacy is important, steps and questions to study your Bible, and how to pull it all together.

At first, I was a little overwhelmed with her process of studying the Bible. There was a general theme and smaller themes, 3 questions to ask yourself, and then five things that pertained to the text you were reading. Plus continually reading the same text over and over for a period of time.

However, as I got further into the book it made more sense. Imagine that! It was a new way for me to study the Bible. Things for me to look for that I may have never realized before.

Jen Wilkin challenged me to know God better and to be more Bible literate. Who doesn't want that? Consider any relationship you hold dear, is there anything you wouldn't do to build on that relationship? What if not knowing the most important person in your life well affected everyone else?  Is there anything you wouldn't do to know them better or love them more? The answer is no. It should be the same in our pursuit of God.

As a result, I have renewed perspective on my personal Bible study and quiet time. Right now, I'm going through Genesis 1-11 again. After that I plan on doing Genesis 12-50. Plus, I get the added bonus of sharing with my husband and daughter new truths as I learn them! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to study the Word deeper and know more about God.

You can buy your copy of Women of the Word here.


*Crossway provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review. The opinions are my own.*

In His Love, 
Jennis