Blessed to Be A Blessing!

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As our family cuddled up to a roaring fire that keeps us warm in the blustery cold temperature we are experiencing this winter, I hear conversations of cleaning out closets and donating items we no longer use and it puts a proud smile on my face to know that Dan and I have passed on the trait of blessing others to our kids.

Throughout our life together we have always lived by this old adage, Blessed to Be A Blessing.  I remember when Alyssa was born, we didn’t have to buy clothes for her for the first two years of her life.  People would constantly give her clothes! It would be so much that I ended up passing on to friends and family members that were expecting and I ended up saving some too incase we had another girl.  It was then we decided to start a tradition of sorts.  Dan and I found that since people blessed our first little one, we would do the same for other parents-to-be.  It had touched our hearts so much we felt we had to extend the blessing.  We later had Alaina, and her blessing didn’t come in clothes, rather diapers! I kid you not.  We didn’t need the clothes because we had from Alyssa, so her blessing came in diapers.  People would buy diapers for her, slip us money to purchase what we needed and it always fell right around the time she needed diapers. Now our third bundle of joy came around and you are probably wondering what could we possibly be blessed with now? Well would you believe if I told you formula?  Yes–Formula!  I don’t go around saying this is what I want or this is what she needs but it just fell into place.  She will be five months soon and honestly we have only bought her one can of formula.  Just this past week she started drinking more milk and the formula goes, oh so quickly, and with each scoop, a little prayer would slip into my heart over this blessing.  Lo and behold, before the last bottle was made someone blessed us with a check to buy her four cans of formula.

I challenge you to look at your life and see where you are being blessed. We are often reminded to count our blessings but let’s dig a little deeper and be that blessing to others.  How are you or your family being blessed?  Is it at work, does someone buy you coffee or lunch out of the blue, does someone encourage you daily or just has showered you with things that you needed to get through this life? Are you willing to show the same grace and favor that was shown to you? For us, we have seen the pattern with our children so we have extended that same blessing that was given to us to others. Our desire as a family is to Be So Blessed that we may in turn Be a Blessing to others!

Proverbs 11:25 (MSG)  The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.

How’s it going?

This very week last year changed the course of our life tremendously.
This was the week, Dan was approached with the decision of a lifetime and as you have read over the last few months it has been quite an adventure! (One Little Yes)
So how is the Feliciano family doing?
I do get lots of texts/emails/messages asking how things are, how the girls are adjusting and so forth.  I figured it’s time for an update.
We are doing great overall!  We have settled in to our new home quite well and getting used to the culture of Florida life. The girls love their new school although it is more challenging they both have stepped up to the plate.  They have made new friends and are excelling in their studies as well.  Alyssa has gotten straight A’s this past quarter and will be in the Spelling Bee representing her school.  Alaina is constantly singing her alphabet, the months of the year, telling us about her science projects, and just loving Preschool.  Aliyah is now 13 months and has four teeth (that she no doubt likes to use on her sisters) and hopefully will be taking her first steps soon as her goal seems to be to keep up with her big sisters!  Dan is busily working his 9-5 and then having to do the church plant as well–his biggest task is to put together a worship team from scratch. So he definitely has his hands full in balancing right now but God is faithful. Me? Well, I’m simply happy.  I am home with Aliyah and that is a huge blessing as we felt it’s definitely worth the sacrifice since we are in a new environment and didn’t want to put her in daycare.  I am also working with the lead pastor’s wife as we have to set up the children’s ministry as well. But I will be honest–I am BUSY!  I don’t know where the time goes during the day.  Before I know it I’m leaving to pick up the girls from school and start our nightly activities.  But let me save that one for another day/another blog entry.

How is life different?  Well for one–us Northern Virginia folks are always rushing around.  So for Dan and I we haven’t really found our rhythm where we find it enjoyable waiting at a traffic light or waiting for service folks to call us back when it’s convenient for them or even getting it straight in our minds that it really is ONLY 15 minutes or less away to our destination. I wouldn’t say grocery or  gas is any cheaper but the fruits and vegetables do taste sweeter.  We are learning the city life in comparison to the suburbs where we grew up. We don’t have the leaves changing but I will say we all take notice of the amazing sunsets that paint the nightly sky.  We do spend more time outdoors, walking on the beach, playground/parks and especially fishing.  In VA, we had no problem eating the fish we caught but fishing here has opened our eyes to a whole different array of colors and types of fish.  So yes we have been catching and releasing, just seems too sad to eat such pretty fish!  We have taken advantage of the Florida residents rates at Disney so any chance we can sneak in a visit to the park we try to. People here are definitely more friendly and we have had to open up more than the usual culture up north would. One of the biggest differences here in St. Pete compared to Northern Virginia are the highways are pretty much empty.  When we first moved, we just couldn’t understand it.  Everyone uses the side streets and everything pretty much intersects one way or the other.  There is no just take I95, I395 or 66!  There are at least three different ways to get the kids to school but watch out the traffic lights will get you!

To sum it all up–our family has gotten closer over these past few months as we do and experience everything new together.  The two older girls share a room currently and they are already trying to convince us that they want that set up permanently (who would have thought) because they love laughing and talking to each other before drifting off to sleep.  To think back to last year at this time that I would be writing about our family living and setting up ministry in Florida seems impossible. But here we are, a year later from when Dan was approached with this opportunity, and that impossible dream is our living miracle each day!
Thank you all for your loving support and your constant prayers.  There is so much to be done in the next few months as we approach the launching of our church, Church By the Bay (CBB) and we covet those prayers as we not only focus on ministry but our family life as well.

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