faithfulness

10 whole years ago today…The Yes over the No

10 years ago today we were in revival services at church.

I remember it like it was yesterday…

Jeremy came down and poked his head in the nursery where I was serving. He had a sly grin on his face.

“David from the Summit Church just called and asked me to pray about being their Kids’ Pastor.”

I laughed…out loud!

“You’re a Student Pastor. Not a Kids’ Pastor.”

And we forgot about it. Didn’t pray. Moved on.

Because we were somewhere special. Somewhere sweet. Surrounded by people who had cared for us the past year like we were blood relatives. (Union Grove…we LOVE you!)

And who in the world would move from a place like that?

A week passed and he called back. And Jeremy and I began to figure…huh…maybe we should actually ask God about this.

So we did. Over and over again.

“God, we don’t want to leave. Really. We love these students. Their parents. This staff. We’ve seen You move. We’ve got events planned. Surely this is some kind of test.”

But it wasn’t. And time made it clear. God was calling our family to the Summit Church.

Stephen was 2. I was due with Caleb in 8 weeks. The timing was bad.

We went to Lifeway and purchased a book about Kids’ Ministry. We poured over it like a college textbook.

A few months later we said some hard (really hard) goodbyes. And joined the Summit family.

And holy moly…only God could have known what He was doing!

10 whole years!

It’s been fun and hard and I’ve cried some and we’ve been stretched lots and I love the people here and still love the people at Union Grove.

Too many emotions and grace to even put down.

God has been faithful. He’s changed us. He’s taught us. We’ve gone deep in the Gospel and tried to impact wide.

To all those who journeyed with us before 10 years ago. We love you. And to those who believed in us while we struggled through new town and new ministry. We love you. And to those who still hold our hands and believe in God’s good plans for us. We love you.

What a 10 year ride it has been!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21)

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The week we moved.

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Where has the time gone? (And where did all those kids come from?)

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Our Family’s Word…2018

Happy New Year! We woke at 5:00 AM to a chirping smoke alarm.

(Why does this always happen in the dead of night?)

I’ve already failed on most of my 2018 “resolutions.” I didn’t get up early. I didn’t exercise. I’m tempted to eat leftover cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

And I’m blaming it all on the smoke alarm. Because I’m tired. And couldn’t drag myself out of bed once I’d finally fallen back asleep.

Jeremy held me in the wee morning hours. And I thought about how I don’t know what 2018 may hold. And how I’m tempted to get all scared and choose fear instead of faith.

I’m tempted to forget that “His mercies never come to an end.”

Our family has chosen not to coast this new year. I don’t even know what that means.

My life already feels likes a roller coaster. And if that’s what coasting means, I may go ahead and get off now.

This morning there is one thing I do know…Nothing takes Him by surprise.

Not smoke alarms.

Not coasting.

Not 2018’s that may prove anything but what we expected.

So we’re buckling the seat belt. Pulling down the arm bars. And raising our hands in expectation of His faithfulness.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

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10 Years Ago Today…

Today…10 years ago…things changed.

I couldn’t have imagined that morning what lay ahead.

I couldn’t have held Stephen tight enough or kissed Jeremy long enough…if I’d known.

Who could have predicted that by 7:00 on the night of August 27, 2007 that we’d all be fighting for our lives in a hospital?

But we were. And we did. And 10 years later I wake up some mornings and still fight.

Fight the tears. Fight the questions. Fight the hopelessness. Fight the anger.

Because maybe some fights never end.

But maybe His faithfulness doesn’t end either.

He was close to us then…more close than I could possibly describe.

He held me when I couldn’t hold Stephen. He loved me when love couldn’t wake Jeremy up.

And today…10 years later…I just want to praise Him for His faithfulness.

Then. Now.

The Cross. Today.

He has always been and always will be faithful.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-21)

(And here’s to letting you read all the real-time pain and faithfulness in the book we published a couple years back.)

A couple weeks before the wreck…

 

A couple months after…

 

 

 

“Be strong and brave”…Today

The microwave clock blinks blue-4:41. It’s too early. I’m fighting the sleep and exhaustion from 2 unexpected visits to babies’ rooms. But I must write this to you. Now. For some reason.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Ya’ll, He’s so close. Always there. Wherever we go. Even when we don’t want to.

I’ve been here and here. It’s been ugly. He’s been faithful.

Yesterday I held her as we rocked. And I whispered outloud, “Let’s stay  here, Esther. Let’s let the world move on by us.” Holding her is grace. It reminds me of His constant presence.

I don’t have many answers. Usually, I’m the first to say, “This just sucks.” But I know one thing, God keeps His promises.

He never leaves us.

He’s only loving us.

There is a world of perfection waiting for us.

Serving Him only makes sense.

How could I doubt the love of a Father Who gave His Son for us?

How could I doubt Cross love?

“Be strong and brave.” Today. Just this moment. He is close.

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The Truth about My Time with God

I should get up before them. I know. I should exercise. And pray. And read my Bible. I should. And I have. But to be transparent, that’s not happening now. Not normally. Not in this season.

We’ve got 2 babies who feed off each other. If one wakes up at night crying the other is quick to follow. Most days I am bone-tired. And I lay in bed a lot of mornings til one of the babies forces me to get up.

That makes it hard for the things I consider necessities. I could condemn myself. Some days I do. In the past I probably would have thrown in the towel in all things related to pursuing God. If it couldn’t be perfect I would have thrown it out.

I used to believe that time with God meant quiet. It meant highlighter in one hand. Pen in the other. Journal close by. I hope it will mean that again soon.

But ultimately in this season I’m learning that God loves me no matter when we get to chat.

He loves our morning walks where I push 2 babies in the stroller and form half sensible prayers as the day’s plans threaten to take over. He loves it when I sneak into the bathroom with my Bible for just a few quick minutes. He just loves me.

And He sees my heart. He knows I’m a sinner. I can’t hide it from Him with my organized quiet times and perfectly executed plans.

He just wants me to want Him. He wants me to love Him.

And in this season He faithfully keeps speaking to my soul…no matter where we may find ourselves together!

Be encouraged…

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Little hands help me keep my place (and expertly crumple pages!)

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Here’s to time with God in the floor where I unzip Kenan’s pj’s in hopes he’ll stay calm a little longer!

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

“If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient ; if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” -Amy Carmichael