We’re the Higgins’…Vernon, Amy, Devin (19), Destin (15), Daniel (7), and Deeken (4).  I was raised in a small town in southeast Arkansas called McGehee.  I was brought up in a small Baptist church all of my life.  I was saved at vacation bible school when I was 11 years old and baptized the following week.  I decided to get my college education at Arkansas State University.  I graduated college in 1999 with a degree in social work.  It was during that time that I visited and joined NBC (Jan. 98).  I immediately fell in love with Bro. Ron and Jan Langston as well as all of the (at that time) young married couples.  After college graduation I began my career at Greene County Children and Family Services.  It was at that job that my co-worker Robin insisted that I meet Vernon.

Vernon was born and raised in Paragould, Arkansas.  He graduated high school from Greene County Tech.  Unlike me; however, he was not raised in a christian enviornment.  Vernon was 28 years old before he came to know the Lord as his personal Savior.  He attended church off and on at various places as an adult but did not ever call one certain church his home.  Vernon worked at Prestolite Wire when we met.

When Vernon and I met he already had 2 sons Devin who at the time was 8 and Destin who at the time was 4.  They both quickly became mine as well.  We prayed for a long time to have a baby.  After trying for many months I found out I was pregnant; however, I miscarried.  It took several more months before we were pregnant again and that pregnancy gave us Daniel, June 9, 2005.  We decided that we had 2 older children so we needed 2 younger children.  We got pregnant and had Deeken December 3, 2007.  At that time we made a decision our family was complete.  Raising our children has been an absolute non stop rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs.

Our marriage has been marked by many events.  Vernon had a bad car wreck in November 2005 where he broke his hip, tore up his knee and was off work for 3 months.  When Deeken was born he had 3 holes in his heart and we had our very first trip to Children’s hospital on the second day of his life.  We received terrific news he was going to be fine.  Deeken had several stomach issues and one of those caused him to be placed on very expensive formula for the first year of his life.  In August right after Daniel turned 3 he had a grandmal seizure and was air lifted to Children’s hospital where we learned he has a brain abdnormality and seizure disorder.  When Devin was in the 10th grade he made some poor choices and because of those poor choices he was placed at a Baptist Boys Ranch (which NBC supports) for 10 months.  During that time Vernon and I participated in marriage counseling thru NBC.  Our latest event was Vernon’s heart attack and triple bypass surgery in April of this year.  You are probably wondering why I have mentioned these things…well I did for one reason only.  We have been loved, supported, cared for, thought of, prayed for and held accountable by our family at Nettleton Baptist Church.

One of the greatest blessings a parent can have is seeing their child come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  He has allowed us to experience that with 3 of our oldest children.

We love our christian family at Nettleton and pray God’s blessings on them and our church.Image

We are the Wilson’s, Scott, Shannon, Nathaniel and Elijah. Our oldest son, Nate is four years old and our newest addition Eli, is four months.  He was born January 1, 2012. Scott and I grew up in a small community south of Jonesboro. Scott enjoys hunting; fishing, camping, and can build just about anything out of metal! I love reading, shopping, fishing, and camping.  Our favorite thing is spending time with our boys!  Scott and I were both raised in Christian homes and were saved at a young age. Our families have known each other for years but we had never met. We met in February of 2004 during the passing of Scott’s grandmother. We began dating shortly after that and were married in June 2006.

In the fall of 2006, I decided that I wanted to go back to school and work toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Both of us were working full time and I was taking college courses at night. Even though both of our lives seemed to be busier than ever we wanted to start a family. In June of 2007 we found out I was expecting. This was a very exciting time in our lives. We were raised in church and wanted to raise our children in church. We were attending a church at that time, but never really felt a connection and were struggling to find our place there. Nathaniel Scott (Nate) was born on March 7, 2008. He is such a wonderful blessing and we loved being parents! Our family began! Scott and I continued to work full time and I was still going to school full time. It seemed like we weren’t going to make it at times but we continued to live our lives for Jesus and he carried us through it. In May of 2010, I lost my job. This was one of the most trying times in my life due to always having the security of employment, but I decided to trust God and just focus on finishing my education and spend the summer at home with Nate. This turned out to be such a huge blessing because I had always worked full time and wished I could stay home with him.

We started attending Nettleton Baptist and Nate loved the preschool program. Scott and I felt God leading us to Nettleton Baptist and we started looking for a Sunday school class. We visited a couple and then found the class that was perfect for us. In the fall of 2010, we decided we wanted to have another baby. I had it all planned out. I was going to be due in the summer after graduating in May. That would give me the time I wanted with our new baby and I could begin teaching that next fall.  In October we found out I was expecting. Once again we were so excited. We told our families and I told some of my close friends. I really thought my plans were starting to come together.  A couple of weeks later I miscarried. I was so devastated and it was definitely the hardest thing that I had ever been through. I really struggled with bitterness during this time and I just couldn’t understand why God had not let my perfect plan work out. I gradually started the healing process and found others that had experienced the same loss I had. One morning I was driving to the school where I was doing my teaching internship. I was listening to KLOVE as I always do and I heard the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. I began to cry and I felt God’s love just surrounding me like never before and I was able to let go of the bitterness that I had dwelling inside of me. I was finally able to accept God’s plan for my life. I knew he had something better in store for us and it would come in his time, not ours.

After this I focused on enjoying time with the family the Lord had blessed me with and finishing school. We had been praying that God would allow me to get pregnant and be able to carry and deliver a healthy baby. In early May about a week before I graduated we found out I was expecting again. This time we were a lot more hesitant and only told our parents. We went to the doctor and everything looked good, we thanked the Lord, then be began to tell others. That summer I focused on trying to get a teaching position. When I wasn’t hired anywhere, I decided to substitute teach. I subbed throughout my pregnancy and Elijah Cole (Eli) was born on New Year’s Day. Our prayers were answered and Eli is such a blessing! He was dedicated to God three weeks later. I am still trying to obtain a teaching position. Through all of this, God has taught us to put our faith in him. God has always provided for us and I know that he will continue to provide for us. I am so thankful for our Nettleton Baptist Church family. I feel like we have grown so much as a family since attending Nettleton and it has always felt like home there. I have never been around a more loving group of people and it is such a blessing to see our son excited about church. We are so thankful for all of the teachers and volunteers in the preschool program that dedicate their time to our kids. Nate loves learning about Jesus and that fills our heart with joy.

We are the Campbell’s – Randy, Kim, Sarah 20, Stephanie 17, and Garrett 6.  We are a blended family – sometimes like smooth, sweet, and creamy Sonic twist ice cream, sometimes like oil, vinegar, and water.  With either one, if you shake it up, you still get something good.  Every blended family’s situation is a little different, but God is always faithful. 

First a little history . . .

Randy grew up on a farm in Lonoke, Arkansas and later helped his dad build houses.  Randy attended UALR for a year before moving  to Jonesboro to enter the Engineering program at Arkansas State University.  He worked at Hytrol for 8 yrs before accepting a job at LA Darling in Paragould in 1996.

I grew up inParagould, worked at Dairy Queen and graduated from Ridgecrest (Paragould) High School and Arkansas State University.  My first job out of college was at Paragould Light Water and Cable and I’ve been there ever since.

We both went to church as kids, were saved when we were 12, grew up, strayed a little, then a lot, but are so thankful for the grace and forgiveness of the Lord.

We met on a blind date in 2001 and dated for a year before we were married.  Sarah and Stephanie were 9 and 6 at the time.

Randy was a member of NBC when we met.  We attended the single’s class and then moved to a couple’s class after we were married.  We love our Sunday School class and have made some lifelong friends there. 

Randy is happy and calm ALL THE TIME. I am a little OCD.  Just a little.  Somewhere in the middle, we balance each other out.    

Becoming a step mom was more than what I had expected – in good and not so good ways.   Not only was there this new person for the girls to learn, who I’m sure they thought was all up in their business, but I’m also sure their mother was just as uncomfortable with another woman having an influence on her children as I was with another woman having a huge impact on our home.  Poor Randy – all of these women to keep happy.  When you marry someone, you marry their family too . . . ex’s, crazy cousins, the whole gang!  I’m not going to lie to you, it was really, really hard at times and still is on occasion.    Then there were the early teen age years.  All I have to say about that is we all lived to tell about it! 

Randy is our leader.  Period.  I support him even though we disagree on occasion.  For a long time, when I would get down, I would look to Randy to help me through situations, and I often felt hung out to dry.  What I learned was that I was looking in the wrong direction!  It wasn’t that he wouldn’t help me, it was that he couldn’t give me what I needed in those situations. Only God knew my heart and could give me the peace I was looking for and desperately needed.  The thing about giving something to God, is that you have to leave it there.    I’m still learning to get out of His way and let Him handle it.  Time and time again, He has just taken care of things that were completely out of our hands.  That is exactly how Garrett came along.  What a special gift!   Garrett really ties us all together.  He knows that the girls have a different mother, but to him, the only steps in our house lead to the junk room upstairs!   

Right now, for the first time ever, the girls live with us all the time.   Even in the best of situations, going back and forth,  not having all your stuff in one place, loyalty issues, different rules, and different expectations is hard on a kid, even a grown one!  Things have changed a lot over the years – custody agreements, weekends, holidays, etc.  We have remained strong and steady, even when situations seemed impossible.   The girls are older now and I believe they have come to appreciate the stability of our household.  There is no way we are able to hold it all together without God as our foundation and trusting Him with every situation.   I thank Him every day for the blessing of family and this time of all of us together, under one roof.  As the kids get older and more changes are on the horizon, I hope that we can all look back to this time, for however how long it lasts, with sweet memories.   

We are blessed way beyond what we deserve.

We are the Stadlers, Louie, Linda, Lyndsay, Luke, Amber, Jody (my bonus kid), Robbie (son-in-law) and I get to be Nana to five beautiful grandkids! I LOVE being part of this family…now, on with the story.

Louis was an Army brat. His family lived in Cherry Valley when they couldn’t travel with his dad. He graduated high school in Izmir, Turkey, and then returned to the states to attend ASU. Louie was saved in 1978. He got married, had Jody and Amber, and went to work at Dupont in Jonesboro.

I was raised in the country. I went to Bay school, had a Lake City address and a Jonesboro phone number. I was raised in a christian home. We went to an Independent Baptist church. My dad was a deacon and an ordained minister. My mom was a Sunday school teacher who showed me how to be saved when I was five. I graduated from Jonesboro Christian School and in 1979 and I started to work at Dupont.

1987 was a year that changed both of our lives. In April, Louie and his wife got divored and she moved with his kids to Wyoming. Louie was devastated. In October, Dupont informed us they would be moving the plant to Puetro Rico over the next few years. In December, with no reason to stay in Jonesboro, Louie transferred with Dupont in Atlanta. Over the next year and a half, Louie would come back in town to visit his parents and would stop by the plant to see everyone. I began to really notice how cute and nice he was (of course all the older ladies pointed that out everytime he came for a visit). We talked when he came in town, then called LONG DISTANCE (no cell phones back then). In July of 1989, we were married and I took a transfer to Atlanta. It was hard leaving my family and friends to move where the only person I knew was my husband. Wow, was my life about to change!

I had lived on my own for a few years and only had to think about myself. I had come and gone when I wanted, and cooked when I wanted (and when he ate my cooking, he knew that wasn’t much). Now I lived in a place where I could only go certain places by myself. Louie and I worked together, road together, and took our breaks together. We were together 24/7 which was a great thing for us. We really got to know each other and not only loved each other but LIKED each other! Things were going great for us. We found a wonderful church to attend and a year later Lyndsay was born. Two and a half years later, we still worked for Dupont but in different areas. The same building, but sort of different companies. Louie worked for Dupont Diagnostics and I worked for Dupont Merk Pharmaceuticals. The diaganostic side sold to another company and wasn’t keeping any employees. My job was safe as far as we knew. There was a job opening with Dupont in Brevard, NC so we decided to take a trip to visit the town. Louie had an interview on a Thursday, was offered the job on Friday and had to let them know something by Monday. He accepted the job and had to be there the following Monday. Everything moved so fast. We had a house to sell and that meant Lyndsay and I would be in Atlanta until our house sold. As you remember, we were together ALL THE TIME. I was really geting nervous, but we prayed and asked God to let our house sell soon. We listed it in the paper on Friday and on Sunday, Lyndsay was sick and she and I stayed home from church. Before Louie came home, I had a phone call about the house. The first people that saw it bought it for what we were asking. Thank you Dear Lord, I knew we would be together soon! A month later, Lyndsay and I moved to North Carolina. Moving there was a big change from Atlanta. The two biggest changes were,number one, the speed limit. We went from driving 85 miles an hour on interstate 85 to driving 35 miles an hour in our new town. That almost killed Louie! Ha! Secondly, we lost my income. Again we had moved to a town where we knew no one. Now we had Lyndsay and I coundn’t stand to put her in daycare, so I was staying home with her until she was older. Now we needed a house. While I was still in Atlanta, Louie had been looking for houses and he found the perfect house for raising kids. Three acres, a few woods, a pond, a creek, and hills for sledding. Just a wonderful place. But it really wasn’t for sale yet. It had been in the owner’s late husband’s family for almost 100 years. She and her Sunday school class had been praying that if she was supposed to sell, it would be a Christian family to buy it and be her neighbor. Louie took me to meet her and we just clicked. She was the sweetest lady and she said she knew when she met us she had an answer to her prayer. God was looking out for us again. The house payment was less than our house in Atlanta, and our car insurance was cheaper. I really learned how to cook (a thank you, Lord, from Louie) and be a homemaker. You know, we never missed my income! We found a wonderul little church and began working in Awana when Lyndsay was four. When Luke was born, about a year later, I was still staying home. God had blessed Louie with extra hours to cover everything we needed.

When it was time for Lyndsay to start school, Louie was working crazy hours. He was off in the middle of the week and working on the weekends sometimes. We started checking on schools. Henersonville, NC was a great place to live but lots of things were going on we didn’t want Lyndsay exposed to so young. So we prayed about it and felt it was best for us to home school. As you have read, we are used to spending time together. Home schooling worked out great for us and for working around Louie’s hours. We were off hiking in the middle of the week, then having school on Saturday when he was at work. Life was good for us. God had blessed us so much.

Well, Dupont sold again, and so again, we were going to be jobless! But God provided another job for Louie. This time he worked nights but off weekends. This job lasted almost two year, then another layoff. When we realized he was losing his job, I started working part time. After he was laid off, the store offered me a full-time position with insurance. So, Louie was home with the kids and working part time with some men from our church. There was no full time job for him this time, but God still provided for us. Since our kids really wanted to be around their grandparents, we knew our parents were getting older and would be needing us, we prayed about what we should do. I remember Louie praying and asking God to ring a bell or something so we would really know what to do, because he was afraid if it was something suttle, we might miss it! Well, our prayer was answered. Our house sold before it ever ran in the paper. The people who bought it had passed our house for years and wanted it for their kids. So again, we packed up and moved back home with no job but we know God had a plan for us.

We lived with our family for a couple of months until Louie got a job. I started babysitting so I could still be home with the kids and home school. Then after a couple of years, Louie’s hours changed and the noise was too much for him to sleep so, I stopped. Not long afterward, I saw an ad in the paper for office work from home. I doubted this could be “for real” (like God couldn’t do that) but it turned out to be the best job for me. I was able to work, take care of Louie and the kids, and still home school. “I” could do it, which “I” did for seven and a half years. My job worked out great for us.

Well, in September 2011, God changed our lives again. As you know, when things are going well, we sometimes think “we” are the ones doing it. That was me! My dream job at Sonrise Shuttle was closing as of October 7 and I was just sick. What would I do? I still had almost two years until Luke graduated. Then, Louie went to the doctor and was told he had to have a total knee replacement on both knees! Now I really was worried…me with no job and Louie on disability. What would we do? I seem to have forgotten all the year God had provided for us. Louie had his first knee surgery on October 4th. Everything went great, as a matter of fact, they had never seen anyone recover so quickly. He was out of the hospital in two days. The pain was bad, but the pain meds helped and he was able to sleep. We were up and down every two or three hours changing ice, remembering meds, and making sure he had lots of protein to help with the healing. He had physical therapy three times a week. I never had time to miss my job and I sure couldn’t have worked and taken care of him (which is my first responsibility). God knew I couldn’t do it all! Once again God had shown Who was really in control! Louie was off for six weeks, then worked seven days and had the other knee done. This knee wasn’t so easy. The meds made him sick, and the new meds they gave him didn’t help with the pain. He couldn’t sleep day or night for more than a couple of hours. So again, we were up two or three hours changing ice, and taking pain meds. He had physical therapy three times a week, I was trying to cook meals with no sleep and it wasn’t getting better. He had missed some therapy because he was sick from meds and lack of sleep. He was depressed from the pain and being sick and I was a BEAR without sleep. His helpmeet who was used to taking care of him for all these years was having trouble remembering what it means to serve! During these past months my daily devotional has been all about tursting God, leaning on Him, and not worrying. He knows what is ahead so just trust Him, and have peace knowing He is with us. Wow, was He talking to me? All I had to do was ask and He would give me the peace and rest I needed. Maybe not sleep, but rest and the patience to do what I needed to do. I learned again to be thankful for today and not worry about tomorrow.  God changed my attitude from getting irritated with Louie for needing something every time I sat down, to having a heart more willing to give, and an understanding of how hard it was for him to be totally dependent on me. God has blessed me with an amazing husband who has worked many, many long hours so I could stay home with our kids and THIS is my time to honor him with love and kindness. These past months have opened my eyes to God’s goodness, His love and just how much He wants us to depend on Him. You know what? I don’t have the time or energy to worry, because that just makes me miss God’s blessings today! We’re not sure how much longer Louie will be off work or what God has planned for me. What I do know is that God is in TOTAL control and being dependent on Him is where the blessings are!

The man of the house is Brad who was born and raised in Michigan. He is very hard working and takes care of his family. Although Brad’s family believes in GOD, he was not raised in church. He was 24 years old when he accepted GOD into his life.

I am Renea, the women of the house, who was also born and raised in Michigan.  I was raised  Baptist, went to church every Sunday,and was 10 years old when I accepted GOD into my life. In 2011, I became a stay at home wife and mother.

Brad and I meant in Michigan and then moved to Tennessee in 2004. We moved to Arkansas in 2007 and started attending NBC with my parents.
Right away, we felt welcomed. Our lives started out backwards, in 2007 we had our first child,Collin but it wasn’t until 2009(after hearing a message from Brother Stan) that Brad and I decided it was time to get things right. We married on April 4th, 2009 and were both baptized on April 5th when we became members of NBC.

Collin, our four year old son, is amazing. He is very smart and happy. He brings pure joy to our lives. He loves going to church and learning about GOD. He was dedicated to the Lord at NBC. When we sit down for dinner, he always reminds us to pray and also has to pray before going to bed.

Makenzie, our 17 month old daughter, is also amazing. She is a very happy little girl. Makenzie was also dedicated to the Lord at NBC . She is a true miracle from GOD! When she was four and half months old we were told she had HypoPlastic Left Heart Syndrome( basically she has half a heart) and should not have lived more then a few days without treatment. To me, the only explanation that she did survive is GOD.

Over the last year, my faith in GOD has grown even stronger. Being a heart mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through but it is also a blessing to witness a true miracle everyday. I do believe GOD has a plan for Makenzie and putting her in our lives was part of that plan. She has changed us for the better. We look at life in a whole new way. We have learned that you have to hand everything over to GOD, even your children, and trust that He is doing the right thing. We have had many ups and downs with Makenzie’s health and although we do not know what her future holds, we have realized we do not know what the future holds for any of us. We just live each day like it our last by showing both Collin and Makenzie tons of love. Makenzie can not go out in public so we can no longer attend church as a family. Brad works almost every Sunday so my parents take Collin to church and I stay home with Makenzie. Although we are not at church often our amazing church family at NBC reaches out to us and helps us so much. It is not easy being out of church and it is hard to hear all the  stories we hear about other heart children but we  keep up the faith. GOD has blessed our family so much and I know He will continue to do so.

ImageWe are the Lee3 – Randall, Abby and Henry.  This is written from Abby’s perspective.

Randall is the leader of our trio. He was born and raised on a farm outside of Augusta,AR.  He has a love for the outdoors because of his upbringing.  He has wisdom beyond his years and the ability to fix just about anything. Jesus came to live in his heart at age 17. He earned an ag business degree at ASU and moved to Memphis,TN to go to work in the real world. This is where he met me.

I am Abby and I am the crazy glue that holds our little trio together. I was born and raised in Fort Smith,AR. My upbringing was different than Randall’s. I lived in a subdivision in the middle of town and had never visited a farm until I met his parents. I asked Jesus to come live in my heart at age 9. I earned a degree in speech communications/public relations at UCA, after attending OBU (the other one…in Oklahoma) and the community college in my hometown. I like to experience life a lot and it took me a while to learn what God’s direction was for me, as you can see! I met Randall on a blind date on New Year’s Eve during my last year of college. I moved to Memphis after finishing school to live with my aunt and uncle, with hopes Randall would ask me to marry him!

He did. Randall and I married in 2003, after meeting each other 13 months earlier. We just knew it was meant to be.  We lived in Memphis for about a year and then built a home outside of Byhalia,MS. I had never lived outside of city limits before, so it was a new experience for me. I grew to love it and the 45 minute commute to Memphis each day for work. We enjoyed serving in our local church and being able to travel in our spare time. We were content and comfortable and then God moved us.

Randall accepted a new job that required us to move to Jonesboro in the summer of 2008. It was a bittersweet time. I loved my job and having family near. I cried a river as I drove my car over the Mississippi River into my home state, knowing it was the last time I would cross it as a resident of Mississippi. God knew best though…He always does. We adapted to the change and slowly grew to love our new place in life, but felt something was missing.

That something was Henry Patton. He was born in December 2009. Our world is such a softer, more meaningful place because of Henry. Loving and teaching him about Jesus is such a sweet reward. It is so neat to see how God changes your priorities when you have a child. We are learning as we go and relying on God to show us how to help mold and make him into the man God wants Henry to be. Henry is full of personality and loves life. He is strong-willed and passionate about his things and his people. I pray God uses all of these traits to do great things for the kingdom. Henry loves to pray and sing his Bible songs. It is the sweetest sound in the whole world.

Our trio came to Nettleton after a long and exhausting search for a church to call home. We started visiting in late 2010 and joined in May of 2011. We were able to dedicate Henry on the same day we joined the church. It was such a blessing to find a church family to attach ourselves to. The love and acceptance extended to us by NBC has been more than we could have ever asked for. The preschool ministry is what has made the biggest impression on us. The way they have loved Henry and cared for him from the very beginning touched our hearts. We hope our family extends that same love that was shown to us. It is a joy to serve and also be served at Nettleton Baptist Church.

Over the course of the next year, we will be introducing several NBC preschool families. It is my prayer that their journey with the Lord will be an encouragement in your walk with Him!

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