Where The Orange Blossoms Grow....

Hello! Welcome to the Stricklen's blog. We hope to keep our family and friends up to date with what is going on with our family. You will find a variety of experiences posted here -- you may find pictures of the never ending project of building our house, Callie helping William with his first steps, Mary studying a rare insect species, or perhaps you may be terribly bored with Molly's numerous fruit trees, berries, vegetables and rare plant pictures! Who knows what we may find Chris and CJ doing -- probably something having to do with a tractor or machine of sorts. Abby and Margaret will keep us entertained with costumes from other lands or a fairy story. Whatever we post, we trust it will lift your spirits and bring honor and glory to our Lord!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crossroads '09 Conference

While traveling I-75 on our way to the Conference we
passed a huge Confederate flag flying in the wind.
Chris whipped off on to the closest exit. He said "I've passed that
flag too many times. I'm going to see where it is and
what the story is behind it."
It is at the Suwanee Farmer's
Market and it was erected there along with a
Memorial to the Confederate Veterans by the
Florida Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Chris was born and raised in Florida and
as always been proud of his Florida/Southern heritage-
now even more than ever - as he is truly understanding the
real history and philosophy behind what our Southern
forefathers believed and the Christian culture they


A little reflection time. I'm sure
many of his ancestors served the Confederacy proudly :)
Callie gladly researches the details!

Now this person may be one of MY Confederate ancestors!
This was among the names on the memorial.
Look at the 4th row down.
My Great Grandmother on my Mother's side
was named Ethel Holt and was from North Carolina.
We'll have to research this as well.
My mother was born in North
Carolina and is a truly southern lady!


I consider my heritage to be Southern as well.
My roots were planted here in Central Florida.
God sovereignly called my Grandparents and Parents
to Central Florida over 35 years ago and I have
lived here ever since(minus 1 year in KY).
I was honored to be part of a family that was instrumental
in starting 5 Christian schools in the Central
Florida area. I met my husband at the last one
we started. I watched the hand of God providentially
take care of our family all those years while we
were doing His will in this region. I watched
my Grandfather and Father face
jail time for standing on their
Constitutional rights at
one of our schools. I watched and experienced
God's Sovereign hand
on our family as He led me and my sister
to our husbands in that tiny Christian
school in Central Florida. I have listened to
and been fed by my Father as
my Pastor for over 28 years
and my husband has had the privilege of
being under his teaching for over 20 years.

The place God
planted our family those
many years ago and all of these
experiences and memories make up my Godly,Southern
heritage for which I am truly grateful
and would not trade for anything in this world.
Our extended family
has had a tremendous impact for God's kingdom in
this particular area over the past 28 years!


Now enough of being side tracked, on to the



(The following was excerpted from my sister, Beth's, blog www.thedischerfamily.blogspot.com
She did such a GREAT job condensing the entire Conference, that
I decided to post her summary here - hope this is ok, Beth! Thanks!!)

A conference which enlightened our family and refocused our vision.
We in America are truly at a crossroads.
We are all aware that this out of control spending of fiat currency
cannot last forever. We are financially and morally
bankrupt and under God's judgement,
yet as Christians, what is the "next step"?

At this inspiring convention, we were very much encouraged in this area.
A few things we brought away from this conference were to...

-- Plan as a family for the future - both physically and spiritually.

-- Have goals as a family in order to be proactive in confronting our culture for Christ

-- Train our children (and ourselves!) to think beyond an entertainment based lifestyle -
encourage a productive lifestyle instead

-- Even and especially in the face of disaster, we have opportunities to impact our society
the kingdom of God

-- Children are a blessing from the Lord and are the arrows that we send into the future for His

-- Encourage our daughters, to give her heart, her time, and her talents to her father and
his vision, and she will be ready to do the same for her husband

-- Encourage our sons to be ready for marraige with a 200 year plan for his own progeny

-- Ensure that all entertainment is compatable with the vision God has given our family and not
detracting from it

-- Encourage siblings to work together in harmony

"Where there is no vision, the people perish..." Prov. 29:18

By: Beth Discher

"Redeeming the Time Because the Days are Evil..." Eph 5:16

Mr. and Mrs. Botkin
The entire Botkin Family

Wills found a friend

And was quite taken by her!

The little boys did a good job of keeping
quiet during the long sessions

Margaret made some friends
(So did the older girls - just no pictures!)

I guess one session was just too long

The Botkin sisters play the harp beautifully!!!

My dear mother and I. It was a great time for our
entire family (minus the Millers in AK and my
brother Jason who sent Ashley and Savannah with us :)

~Mary and Grace~
The children appreciated the Conference as
much as the parents!

Patriarchs of the Families

These men are serious about

the spiritual and physical

futures and well being of

their families

We pray that God will

give them wisdom and guidance

in these coming days.

My Father leading in prayer

My dear husband

Beth's husband, Eddie



Mr. Special!

Wills and Mommy

Mary enjoying fried pickles

Beth and Chris' Mother, Susan
Decisions, Decisions!
Anyone who knows Eddie knows
he doesn't like deciding what
to order!

One sweet face

And another
And another!
Grandma Sue and Wills at breakfast


The Best of Friends

We will cherish these moments in time;
hold them close to our hearts

And think of them when we miss
you most


Lunch with the Whiddons by the River

The Conference Center was right on the Chatahootchee River

Brooke and Callie
Sweet Nina

Laney ~ Who is sweet as well ~

Timothy and Michael
CJ's great friends!

*~*~*~ Little Timmy Willie*~*~*~

*~*~*~The Whiddon and Stricklen girls*~*~*~

See you next time!

God bless and thanks for reading!

Posted by: Mama


Bonnie said...

Oh, Molly, what a precious post! I can tell there is much on your heart! What a great deal of reflection and praying you must be doing right now.

God truly has blessed us here in central Florida -- it is a special place with many wonderful memories for our family.

The pictures of the family patriarchs were so touching. Thank God for faithful men with an understanding of the times.

I love you,
Your Mother
who invites you to an updated
"Clearly Seen"

Christie said...

It was so lovely to meet you at the crossroads conference! We were truly blessed and encouraged by everything we heard.

Whiddon Family said...

Thank y'all for posting on the conference! We really enjoyed seeing ya'll!
Oh my! what a wonderful picture of me 'stuffing my face'!! Hahaha!


The Dischers said...

I so enjoyed reading about the Confederate Memorial. It was very exciting to see the Holt name! "Etheldred" What a name! The fact that grandmother Whitley's name was Ethel seems like there is a real possibility of a relation. Wow! It's great that Chris was spontaneous to stop like that.

Your summary of our family's history here in Central Florida was so wonderful. Thinking back on all those years, God's providence is truly evident. Thanks for your thoughtful reflections on God's faithfulness and the way in which He has used our family. Praise the Lord!

You are of course welcome to use my summary. It WAS a great conference and I loved seeing your pictures! (although I daresay there were maybe 2 or 3 hundred more? Like on our own camera! ha ha!)

I love you!

Kitty said...

I am reading Gods and Geneals again and I am realizing again just how important the War of Northern Agression was to our country. Most men on both sides would turn in their graves if they learned what has become of the land that they loved. Thank you for that wonderful post! May the principles that my southern forefathers faught for continue to survive and grow in the hearts of those still serving the Lord today!!!

Now for the more lighthearted pictures. :-P That was a very nice post. It was a wonderful weekennd (anytime so much of our family goes anywhere it's bound to be wonderful! :-P)


Bonnie said...

" (anytime so much of our family goes anywhere it's bound to be wonderful! :-P) "

Those are my thoughts exactly, Kitty!


Kelly said...

Looks like ya'll had a great time. You know, I think CJ can sleep just about anywhere! Thanks for sharing!

The Miller Family said...

That was a great post...so many topics!

Thanks for the info on the Confederate flag. I've driven by and never stopped, either. Of course, R.G. informed me of exactly how when and why it got there!

The "reminiscing" was very touching. Central Forida was a special place to live in and grow up, and I love it.

The conference looked great. Everything I heard about it sounded great, too!