We love their family! They have been an incredible blessing to us and a great encouragement!
We're not interested in negative words or debate. (In fact, there's so much of that online that we most likely will not approve and publish those words so that we could have a relief from all that here and be a source of uplifting words.)
We want to be a small voice letting others know more of the wonderful side of this precious family. If I have the strength, I may write more in detail.
(Note: When I first started writing this, my intention was to write something quick but good enough for some easy-sharing social media outlets and not our website. But this may be best for now. So please excuse the way a lot of this information has been put together. It's not meant to be formal but a way to share some quick thoughts that come to mind.)
They are some of the most generous, loving, hospitable, friendly, humble Christians and friends we've ever known. We know they are not perfect and no one is. In fact, they say it many times themselves. But you know what? They are pretty awesome! :-)
Here are a few memories of ours starting from 2012 and I'll try to keep this short for now so I can rest. I felt like I needed to post something --- anything. These pictures haven't ever been shared in almost 3 years except with them and a couple of close friends.
Note that this was the first time we were invited to stay with them in their home for a week after meeting a few of them at a conference days before.
One of my favorites here is sweet Michelle preparing a snack and lunch for us as we were about to head out one of the days that we were there. She didn't have to do that and we could have easily bought take out somewhere. They had already been feeding us the whole time!
I was texting back and forth to Jill before our arrival and offered to pick up groceries for our share at least since we would be staying with them for so long. We had 5 children at the time and that's a lot of food. Jill and Jim Bob (at the house waiting for our arrival) said there was no need. We offered to pick up anything numerous times even toilet tissue --- whatever they needed. We wanted to help pay for our stay. They politely declined and said that we were to be their guests and encouraged us to relax.
They were glad to have us -- strangers that some of the girls and Michelle had just met. Jill even with her busy studies wanted to prepare our dinner so it was ready when we arrived. They also got all of our bedding really nice and comfortable and you could tell it took a lot of work to get a place ready for a family our size.
Also in the picture is Jinger. She was amazing and had such a helpful loving spirit. She offered to help me especially with my youngest nursing boy at the conference many times. She even offered to carry him so that I could get food at a cooking class. Jinger wanted to help me so much that after I told her I was too embarrassed to call her for help (like she said I should) when I needed it that she stayed with me during the entire class.
We were in the middle of cooking classes that were being filmed. She said she wanted to stay and help me watch my children (5) and a missionary family's children (5) (their mother was not feeling well, and I had offered to watch them while their father attended the class) during the full duration of the second class.
I was so impressed that she wasn't interested in relaxing, participating in the second class, or being filmed for it since we had been sitting close to the front with some of her sisters and Michelle.
And Grandma Duggar -- she is so sweet. She asked to ride with us to church service so that we wouldn't get lost going to the building and would find everyone for sure. She told us neat missionary stories that we enjoyed. Back at the house she offered to do some of our laundry so I didn't have to keep coming back to check on it. When she needed to leave I was glad to help her with laundry too.
The younger children are precious and so generous! Not once did they make my children feel unwelcomed. They shared everything with a big smile and even woke up early to play with them.
Many of them offered to help many times or found ways to be a blessing to us. One of our favorite things about visiting their home is hearing them play hymns on their instruments and seeing so much of their lives revolve around Scripture and loving others the way Christ's loves! It is always such a great blessing to be encouraged by people who love the Lord and desire to please Him with their lives.