The Lord is My Shepherd

"And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace." Micah 5:4-5

I remember first learning the 23rd Psalm in my K4 preschool class. Mrs. Mays made posters for each part of the psalm to help us memorize it. I don't remember what the poster looked like for the shepherd. I remember the picture for "your rod and your staff, they comfort me". It was a hooked shepherd's staff. It was brown.

One night when I was young and I couldn't sleep I went and talked to my mom and asked her how to go to sleep. She told me I could count sheep or she told me that my Grandad would recite to himself Psalm 23 over and over until he fell asleep. I lay in my bed that night confused on how to count sheep I couldn't see and finally surrendering to the pictures on Mrs. Mays posters, over and over until I fell asleep.

The definition of shepherd is: 1. a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep; 2. a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people; 3. a member of the clergy; 4. THE shepherd, Jesus Christ; 5. sheepdog; 6. (verb) to tend or guard; 7. to watch over carefully.

Main Thoughts:
1. Jesus, my Lord and Shepherd, guards me and guides me, and watches over me CAREFULLY
2. A member of clergy, a person in ministry, a shepherd, must guard, guide, watch over his sheep CAREFULLY. He must count his sheep whether he can see them in front of him or not.

The 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

[****This is the night the Lord gave me the name Shepherd for if (when) we had a son. So thankful for His faithfulness to show himself as my Shepherd and honored to pass that name to my son.****]

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Welcome to Privacy!

Thanks so much for sticking with us through this transition!

Please be praying for us as we head to Lubbock this weekend. General plans: we will be at Turning Point's Fall Festival at Vintage Township on Saturday (6:00-8:00), First Service at Redeemer on Sunday, Second Service at Turning Point, and Monday night we are have a prayer/update/fellowship meeting at the Olivo Home at 6:30 (6205 Knoxville Drive). We hope to see you (if you are a Lubbock-ite)when we're in town!
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Safety/Privacy...where's the line?

Ok, sweet blog reading friends....

The reason I havn't blogged in a while is because I've been thinking and praying about whether to take our blog private or not. There are some safety and privacy issues that have been heavy on both my heart and Kyle's. We've been weighing the pros and the cons trying to decide where the line is between paranoid and making healthy choices for our family.

Our main concern is that we post pictures of our family and there are several risks that come with that. We have had several friends negatively affected by posting pictures of themselves and their children. It opened our eyes and made us think about what we should do.

One of the main things we've struggled over is that we use our blog to give updates on our ministry at NEXT. It is very convenient when on the field with limited internet access to post a quick note on the blog to update friends, family and ministry partners. But, do we keep it up and not post family pictures? or does this outweigh the risks?

We've come up with what we think is the best option for us and our blogging.
  • We want to continue to blog on our family blog and post pictures BUT we are going to make our settings private. If you want to continue reading and enjoying the Wiley blog, please leave a comment with your email address. We will go to private in 2 weeks!
  • We are creating a separate blog for NEXT/ministry updates. We'll let you know what the url is once it is up!
Thanks for understanding and don't forget to leave us your email!

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God's Words, A Child's Voice

A few years ago, in the spring of 2006, Kyle and I were engaged and were spending some time at my parents house. We were watching American Idol with my parents, my mom's friend Amy and her kids. Whenever a new song would come on, Ashton, Amy's then 3 year old would twirl and dance around the room. She then started singing in between the songs flitting to each person and pointing all while singing "and YOU are safe and YOU are safe and YOU are safe and YOU are safe". Over the years, Kyle and I will randomly start singing that and smile at the memory.

I've been thinking about safety lately. I don't really know why, but it's been on my heart. A lot of things come to mind when I think about it: locking my doors at night, driving the speed limit, I think about my Grandpaw's job when he worked construction (safety consultant), and most important I think about the Lord's never-ending, secure, holding love for me. When I worry about safety it tends to be about the future (i.e. where are we going? will I still be safe?) or about things I can't control. And sometimes, I let my mind wander to what could happen. I think it's an issue of trust - trusting God to define what my safety means.

Last Saturday I was driving down 121 to meet some girls for lunch. LK was in the back seat, it was raining and people were driving way to fast and my mind started wandering....what would happen if one of those cars drove too close to me and lost control in the rain? What could happen if I lose control and spin out? ....(you get the picture). I started praying, trying to trust the Lord with the things I couldn't control. And out of that moment, the most unexpected, sweet little voice flitted in my head and in my heart, singing softly "And YOU are safe and YOU are safe and YOU are safe". As the chill bumps ran down my arms, I KNEW those sweet words and that sweet voice was the Lord comforting me, His beloved.

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12
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Welcome, Autumn!

It's Autumn in the Wiley House! We decided to start celebrating the Fall season on September 1st even though it is early for the official start of the season (We just couldn't wait any longer). THEN, I have Bible Study tomorrow night, so we started tonight! Last year we started the family tradition of welcoming in the Season with prayer and a scent to match the season. It is when we pull out our Autumn decor and when we start Season One of Gilmore Girls! Below are some pictures of our night.

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A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

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Learning to Love

"We love because he first loved us" 1 John 4:19

Have you ever wondered if we are born with the ability to love or do we learn to love? or both? I don't know the answer to that question. I do know parenting has an affect on how early we can learn to show our love.

I believe my parents were extremely instrumental in teaching me how to love. They told me they loved me. They showed me they loved me by making the best decisions for my well being. I think they modeled for me that love is a choice. We choose to love from when we are very little. Example: we choose a stuffed animal to snuggle with. It may seem small or insignificant, but it is something that grows. It grows until we are adults and choose to love our spouse on the days when they make us mad or choose to love our neighbor when we are jealous of them or choose to love that random person in traffic by letting them over into our lane.

Ultimately, I think it's a cycle. We love because He first loved us. I love because my parents first showed me love because Jesus first showed them love. Hopefully the same will be true of Laura Kate.

Here is a video of Laura Kate learning to love her baby, Macy.

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...I Can Hardly Wait!!!!!

I love the Fall/Autumn. I mean really really love the Fall. I am so ready for it to be here.

I am highly anticipating when the smell of the air changes to smell like fall.

When the edge of the heat is gone and the wind blows small breezes across your face.

When the leaves change colors.

When Football starts (Tech football - 38 days away!)

When Halloween and Thanksgiving whisper news of Christmas just around the corner.

When I re-start my Gilmore Girls DVD's to Season One, because the box cover of Season One reminds me of Fall.

When we start wearing sweaters and jackets and long sleeve t-shirts.

When all of the kids go back to school with their new backpacks and sparkling white tennis shoes.

When Fall TV starts back.

When I start drinking my hot Irish Breakfast Tea or Chai because the drink will be warmer than it is outside.

ooooo....I'm so excited!
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Laura Kate's Barn Dance

(Don't forget to scroll down and turn off the music!)
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3 Years with my Favorite Man!

Today makes 3 years being married to Kyle. There are so many things I love about him, but I wanted to share just a few with you!

  • He can handle me....all the tears, goofy-ness, loud and social personality, fickle-ness, crazy new projects, and more. He handles it all with incredible grace.
  • His smile. When he sees me he smiles and his eyes crinkle a little bit in the corners.
  • His big beautiful eyes!
  • He lets me rub my ice cold feet on his!
  • He loves Laura Kate SO much. I love watching him be a daddy!
  • His vocabulary - I mean really, it's amazing! I learn new words from him every day!
  • I love his hunger for knowledge...he loves to learn and to study
  • He seeks out truth in everything
  • He works so hard to lead our family in every area of life
  • He loves me with the kind of love that never fails (1Corinithians 13)
  • He loves Jesus with all that he has and everything he does
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Machakos, Kenya 2009

Sorry it's taken so long for me to update. We are finally starting to get settled in our new home and I'm finally sitting down to update you on an incredible trip.

When I first met the group from Kentucky (and the one student from Illinois), I knew they were a great group of students - maybe the most mature I've ever seen. This group was so well trained and so ready to serve, I knew God was going to do great things through them because of their faithfulness to Him.

We worked with a committed, passionate, smart, loving, sweet sweet group of nationals and translators. They didn't need us, but the team that God put together between these students and nationals was exquisite. We worked together like we have trained together and worshiped together for years. We became fast friends that will pray with and for each other for years.

I think all of our expectations for what He might do were well exceeded.

324 people committed to the Lord and 4 new churches were started.

We did have some fun before we left. We went on a day safari, went shopping at the market and ate at a restaurant called The Carnivore (similar to Texas de Brazil but with wild game meat like ostrich and crocodile.) On our safari, we were incredibly blessed to see not just 1, not 2, but 3 different lioness which is not always guaranteed.
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Carrie, Why havn't you updated your blog for all of your friends to know exactly how Kenya and Romania went?

Well, we are moving houses right now, but know the trips were amazing and I will have details and pictures very soon. I have to pack!! Keep checking!!
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Quick Update!

I only have a few minutes if I want to eat some breakfast before our morning begins, but I wanted to let you know how things are going as well as give a few things to be praying for.

How are things going? GREAT!

Today we start our first day of leadership training and field ministry! Pray for the following things:

1. That God would truly grab these kids hearts and continue to mold them into the leaders that they are becoming.
2. This area is rich in witchraft and demonic activity. Some of the students are nervous about it. God has given me an incredible peace about everything.
3. Lost luggage - we still have 4 pieces from our group missing including our projector and leadership videos. We are just going to have to start without them. PLEASE pray we can locate them safely.

Ok, I've got to go. I will try and update again if I get the chance!!!

I really feel that the Lord has told me that He is going to move this week. I am resting on YOUR prayers. Please please keep going before the Father for this campaign.

(Also, Kyle leaves on Tuesday for Romania. Please pray for him as well.)
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Kenya and Romania

Dear Friends, Family, and Ministry Partners,

Our offices at NEXT are bustling as the excitement of campaign season has set in! Kyle and I have full couple of weeks in front of us and we wanted to ask for your prayers. We know we could not do one minute of ministry or travel without your prayers on our behalf. So we ask you to please, diligently go before us and behind us with your prayers to our Lord. We are so grateful for such an incredible group of believers that we know we can lean on – THANK YOU!

We want you to be as informed as absolutely possible, with specifics for both the Kenya campaign (Carrie) and the Romania campaign (Kyle). Listed below are specifics to be praying for both campaigns.

Travel Dates:
(both Kenya and Romania are 8 hours ahead of CST)

Going: Depart DFW 4:50 p.m. Thursday, June 11th, Arrive Nairobi 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 13th
Coming Home: Depart Nairobi 11:45 p.m., June 19th, Arrive DFW 7:26 p.m. Saturday June 20th

Going: Depart DFW 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, June 16th, Arrive Timisoara 2:25 p.m.
Coming Home: Depart Timisoara 1:55p.m. June 23rd, Arrive DFW 10:20 p.m. June 23rd

  • Pray for safe travel. This includes (but not limited to!) no lost baggage, no flight delays or cancelations, safety in the airports, no turbulence, smooth landings, good weather, and no travel sickness! All of this is SO SO SO important and can really make a difference in our campaigns getting off on the right foot.
  • Pray for the hearts of the people both in Kenya and Romania. Pray that the Lord would soften their hearts and make them ready to hear the good news. Pray in expectation with us that the Lord would truly invade their hearts and rescue them from the darkness of this world. PRAY PRAY PRAY that they would be receptive to hear the hope that we are going to share. Pray for true repentance and salvation that can only come from the Lord
  • Pray for the new churches that are being planted in Romania and Kenya - four in Kenya and one in Romania. Pray that through the mother churches, we would be able to effectively work to evangelize and share the good news of a brand new church in these areas. (Remember that most of these people walk EVERYWHERE and it will be such good news to have a church in their neighborhood for them to walk to!)
  • Pray for the students and their leaders coming from the following churches and cities: Eastwood Baptist Church (Bowling Green, KY), Pontiac Bible Church (Pontiac, IL), Houston, TX, First Baptist Euless (Euless, TX). Pray that the Lord would truly do a work in their lives from the inside out as they devote over a week of their Summer Vacation to study how to be a better leader, and with a boldness that can only come from the Lord, walk door-to-door to proclaim the gospel and the great news of a new church! Pray against nerves or jitters when it comes to sharing their faith. Pray that the Lord would give them the words to say and discernment for how to relate to these people of completely different cultures. Pray that the Lord would do a new work in their hearts to encourage them and inspire them to come back to their local mission fields, changed and on-mission for the Lord.
  • Pray for the entire NEXT Staff. In addition to these two campaigns we have 2 other campaigns that overlap (another Kenya trip and an Ecuador Trip). Pray for supernatural energy to lead these trips. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and clear teaching. Pray for all the families at home – PRAY against the enemies attacks on our families!!!!!!
  • Pray for Laura Kate who will be in Lubbock with Grammy and Papa. Pray against, teething, diaper rash, fussiness, tummy aches, and other random ailments... Pray for fun, joy, peace, good naps, lots of hugs and kisses and spoiling!
  • Most of all pray for FUN, safe campaigns (Did I mention FUN?!)!!!!

Thank you so much for all that you do for us. It is an honor and a privilege to represent your families on the mission field! We COULD NOT, WOULD NOT, be able to do this without you and the many many ways that you support our family and ministry of NEXT Worldwide. THANK YOU!

Kyle and Carrie
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In case your hopes were soaring with the terribly advertised "new" season of Gilmore Girls airing on abc family in June, let me burst your bubble.....It is the abc family premier of Season 7. There is no Season 8. Read the truth here....

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New LK Video and Pics!

We've been really busy lately, but not too busy to have some fun! We just had LK's 12 month check up and she got A+'s on her "report card" she weights 20lbs and is 19 inches tall! We started real milk and she L-O-V-E-S it! FINALLY no more formula!

Kyle and I have been so excited about getting LK a swimming pool for the backyard and we decided today was the day! We found the Fun Froggie Swimming pool at Toys 'R US (Daddy had researched online to find the best one!). Scroll to the bottom of the post for the video (remember to turn the music off at the bottom of the blog!)

Here are few pictures of our fun!

Sookie is growing and growing......she loves playing with her sheep.

LK loves to stand at the back door and point (we don't really know what she points at, just points)

We got her a tunnel for her birthday because she loves crawling in small spaces!

This is us in her new pool! I had to get in with her at first because she was a little nervous and wasn't quite sure what to do.

Even when she's nervous she's still beautiful! (Look at those puppy dog eyes!!!)

After no time at all, she decided she liked it - a LOT!

The pool has a little sprinkler that sprays water! She loved that too!

Here is a video of LK in her pool! (don't forget to turn off the music at the bottom of the blog!!)

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Cardboard Testimonies

ok, I just saw the Carboard Testimonies Video from Turning Points Easter Service. It's powerful. I couldn't get the youtube video to work on my blog, but here's the link to the Turning Point blog to see it (I know it's more clicking, but you can do it and it's worth it!)

TPCC Cardboard Testimonies - Easter 2009
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IC Blog!

Check out my new blog for Imagination Creations, my mural painting business!
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Dear Laura Kate (12 Months)

Dear Laura Kate,
Here are a few highlights from the party on Saturday!

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Happy Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day.....

A Mother's Footsteps
by David Langerfeld

It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California, home. But then, with 6 children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores -- all because of one little boy. Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times, I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied. "Wouldn't you like to play on the swing set?" I asked again.

But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, "Oh, that's all right Mommy. I'd rather be in here with you." Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me.

After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eyes and said, "Well, Mommy, in my Sunday School class my teacher told me to walk in Jesus' footsteps. But I can't see him, so I'm walking in yours."

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." (Deut. 6:4-9)
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One Fast Year

This time last year I was also miserable, although for an entirely more wonderful reason than a kidney stone.

In less than a week, my sweet girl will be one year old! I was just noticing the other day when Kyle was holding her, how much like a little girl and less like a baby she looks. I am having a hard time letting go of the baby time. While I'm reminiscing, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite memories from the past year:
  • The first things I noticed when I held Laura Kate for the first time, were her long eyelashes. I just never thought about babies having eyelashes, but hers are still especially long.
  • I remember being awake in the middle of the night in the hospital that first night holding Laura Kate and listening to Kyle snore. I don't know why that sticks out, but it does.
  • I cried all day the first day Kyle had to go back to work.
  • LK's second bath (the first one she screamed through) was so fun, she smiled and didn't cry!
  • I remember holding her late at night one night and crying happy tears and thinking about how blessed I was to have such a beautiful baby girl.
  • She first turned over from her back to her tummy when she was 2 1/2 months old. I remember waiting with my camera for her to do it again. She did only one more time until a couple months later!
  • I remember the day she really and truly discovered Lucy, our cat. She would laugh and laugh anytime Lucy would walk by.
  • She used to make this little bird face where she would scrunch her lips together and say "oooooooo" sweet
  • It was a monumental day when she could feed herself puffs (Thank you, Kyle, for teaching her!!!)
  • And who can forget her hairbows? SO SO cute! I know, a little ridiculous, but it showcased her personality!
  • Halloween was great, we loved our little pixie fairy!
  • When she first started "talking" (making sounds out loud) she make noise, and cooed all day long, every minute she was awake.
  • For a while, whenever we would play the song, "Mighty to Save", she would coo along. To this day, it is still one of her favorites.
  • I love when she first learned to clap.

**Do you have any favorite LK memories? Feel free to share in celebration of her birthday!
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