V is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsV is for
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 13:38-14:1

A Hymn to Impart“God Be With You”

How Our Week Was Spent
Shepherd ants guard flocks of aphids. They protect them from Ladybugs. The ants milk the aphids by rubbing their antennae on the aphid’s back and that squeezes out the aphid’s honeydew (by Titus and Joel).

Teacher’s Two-Cents
“I go to prepare a place for you…” When I think of our current nest, I think of that verse. Tom and I literally stumbled blindly to this place but the Lord had prepared the way and was leading us every step. That is the ONLY explanation for how we ended up in this condo by the sea on the Big Island of Hawaii. With only 2 weeks to prepare for our move here we had no time to secure a place before our arrival so we searched the internet for a short-term vacation rental to crash in while house-hunting. The beauty we ended up in was brand new to the market and was being rented at a greatly reduced price so as to secure good ratings by guests. We fell in love with the location immediately but knew we could never afford to live here long term. Our budget pretty much limited us to the sketchier areas of Kona, run-down shacks, or basement Ohanas, but for a single school term (which is fully how long I expected this mad adventure to last) I was willing to settle anywhere. Unfortunately, with four little boys in tow not even sketchier places would take us, so we bounced around from vacation rental to vacation rental for a couple months. During that time I had remained in touch with an elderly lady who lived next door to that first spot we had landed in and I was excited to see that a place was available for long term rent above her. It was way over our budget but it came fully furnished and included utilities so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a look. Only problem was the property management company wouldn’t even let us in. After they had stood us up for the 3rd time I mentioned to Shirley, the dear older lady downstairs, the trouble we were having trying to see the place. Well she got busy talking to people until she had tracked down the owner’s email address. As soon as she handed it to me I knew this was our nest. The address began with the words “gracegift” and that was enough for me. I contacted the owners in Japan and they agreed to rent to us at a reduced rate and 3 years later we are still in the same place. I’ve heard grace defined as “getting what we don’t deserve” while mercy is “not getting what we do deserve.” Living here has truly been a gift of grace and everyday that I wake up in this beautiful place I am reminded that His mercies are indeed new every morning.


13 thoughts on “V is for…

  1. What a testimony to God going before you! It is an amazing praise to the Lord who provides for all our needs! And you have only shared a glimpse of the countless blessings of mercy and grace! Hugs to all!!

    1. I know it’s only a glimpse, but I’m trying to stick to my “nest theme” right now. The Lord really has shown himself to be the Ultimate Provider, even in the smallest things, throughout our tenure here. Hugs back at ya!

  2. Wow! Shepherd ants guarding a flock and the Good Shepherd guarding His all in one post! 🙂 Love reading about your adventures. It is so neat to hear that Shirley helped YOU settle into your nest! I’m always amazed to see the Lord’s work!

  3. Well, I certainly don’t like THOSE ants! I had heard that ants would “raise” aphids. We LOVE ladybugs and really don’t love what aphids do to our garden. 🙂 So interesting and fun to read your miracle story again!

  4. Ants, aphids and ladybugs. Thank you, Titus and Joel! This is a new realm for me. I was fascinated by the video, so did a little more research.

    The aphids are pretty stationary, sap-sucking bugs that excrete a sweet liquid (yes, that’s the poo-poo, actually) called honeydew, which is eagerly eaten by ants. Actually, the ants trigger defecation by touching their antennae to the aphid, and the aphid often raise their behind to facilitate the uptake of the sweet droplet (ugh!). In exchange for food, the ants defend the aphids and care for them. Ladybugs, a beetle species, on the other hand like to eat aphids, they and their larvae can eat an astonishing amount of aphids and thus play a huge role in gardening and pest control. The ants are not amused by this and the aphids are not too bright. Apparently they have no idea what ladybugs like to eat.

    So, the ladybug tries to eat aphids, while the ants are trying to defend their livestock. They viciously attack the much larger foe by biting it and hitting it with acid, but due to the beetle’s thick coat, they can’t achieve much. The ants also try to bite the ladybird’s legs, but the beetle lowers its hard-shelled body to cover them. And if the pestering gets too much, the ladybug moves to a calmer spot on another leaf, or it would simply fly away if the ants are too aggressive. Good job, guys. I’m learning a lot!


  5. The LORD goes before us and He does provide for our needs. Thus, our faith and trust in Him gets stronger as we rely on Him to meet our needs for each day. While reading your post I was reminded of Matthew 6:25-34. Our LORD will always provide for His precious children.


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