Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Can't I Find the Time....

Why can't I be one of these people who blogs my thoughts etc, everyday?  I mean it's not like I have anything else to do right?  I just hate that the times between blogging are longer and longer. Crazy....pathetic...please forgive me.
God has been doing so much in my heart and life in the months of May & June.  Honestly, these 2 months have been REALLY hard for me!  Let me start off by saying this....being a godly wife and mom is hard work, then throw in being a wife to a church planter-boom, enter craziness!  Honestly, I NEVER thought things could be so hectic and stressful and busy and amazing all at the same time.  God has been teaching me so many lessons that it is hard to sit down and really write about them all.
The church plant is going well, do I wish it was going my way-absolutely! (hehehe)  I am so glad that I am not the one writing this story of Harvest Bible Chapel, Greenville, because I would have messed it up a LONG time ago.  A few lessons I have learned so far:

  • Faith-my faith is so much weaker than I thought!  I have doubted God so many times in the last 2 months, honestly I am ashamed to really admit it, but more than that, I was really surprised that I felt so weak.  I know Satan has been attacking me because if he can discourage me then that is exactly where he wants me.
  • Blessings-these don't come always the way I think they should.  I mean, I have a list of the way I want God to provide for us, but He has provided in other ways so that He gets the glory, and we learn the lessons!
  • Ministry-ministry is HARD!  Not that I went into this thinking it was easy, but I have been reminded of the perseverance it takes to be in ministry, especially married to the senior pastor.
As I look over this list, I amazed at how God continues to grow me and shape me into who HE wants me to be.  Sam and I have talked multiple times about how this process of church planting is growing and stretching us in ways we have never thought possible!  Watching Sam step forward and lead our core group has been amazing!  How you can pray for us:
  • We are actively looking for someone to head up our children's ministry.
  • The search is on for a launch location!
  • Financial provision
  • Continued growth of our core group, both numerically and spiritually.

So, beyond that (which is a heartful), I am enjoying the kiddos all being home for the summer.  We have been able to swim at least twice just about every week, thanks to some kind friends.  We are also involved in the summer reading program, and working towards free passes to the waterpark.  Bryson and Madelyn's birthday party is coming up this week, they will be turning 9 and 4 on the 10th.  Really? am I old enough to have a 9 year old already?  I really am amazed how time just rushes by and I am so guilty of not taking time to just breathe and enjoy the stage I am in.  We are moving out the "baby years" and I have to say I am not missing that, well at least not when I remember that they turn 2.  Although, raising kids is no easy task, and discipling them is even harder.  God has really grown me in this and I am trying to be a little more intentional on taking the small things of life and making them teachable moments.  I said to a friend recently, God is changing my own heart, and that is what makes me a better parent! (instead of thinking my kids are the ones that always need to change)  I am thankful that I can look back over the last 5 years and see how God is moving in my life and that gives me hope for what is to come!
Fathers Day 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Really, I can explain...

First of all, I can't even believe that it has been 2 1/2 months since my last blog post.  Really, I have good intentions, as you have heard before.  I can't believe how fast time goes by, and again it is just a reminder of  the fact that our time is limited and passing quickly.

  • Sam is crazy busy.  I love watching him lead and grow and God change him into something more beautiful and amazing than I could ever imagine.  
  • Bryson is such a good big brother.  I love watching his concern and care for his siblings and family.  Please pray as we make some decisions in this next month about possibly retaining him in 3rd grade next year.
  • Landon is blossoming at school and recently won an award for character-that really made me proud.  
  • Ashlyn is so ready to start school in the fall.  I frequently find her "reading" books and trying to sound out words.  I love her love for learning.
  • Madelyn is growing and always has such interesting things to talk about, never a dull moment with her around.
  • Hudson is taking on new words everyday.  He has no problem keeping up with the big boys and often wants to do everything they are (including the naughty things). 
  • I am crazy busy being a Sr. Pastor's wife to a church planter, mom to 5 kids, daughter to a widow, friend to some great people and whatever else falls into my lap.  (oh and loving every bit of it!)

  • We just returned from Harvest University.  This is an annual leadership conference held by Harvest Bible Fellowship.  Wow!  So hard to put in words how much of a blessing this was.  This was my first time to attend.  Sam had gone last year as his first introduction to Harvest.  We were blessed to be able to take 5 others from our core group with us.  Can I just say how excited I am about what God is doing in our church, Harvest Bible Chapel Greenville South.
  • We were able to connect with lots of people while we were there (Sunday-Wednesday).  It was great to see our fellow friends and servants from our time at the training center.  We also were able to meet others who are much farther ahead of us in this church planting process.  I was able to attend the track for Sr. Pastors wives and was so encouraged and challenged.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, Sam was commissioned by Harvest Bible Fellowship.  Can I just take a moment to say how proud I am of my husband.  His humility and steadfastness have been amazing.  I am so thankful for how he has lead and continues to lead our family and watching him make this next step of accomplishment was amazing!

  • We start meeting every week beginning this Sunday night for our core group meetings, which is an awesome next step for us. 
  • Please continue to pray for us as we continue to build into leaders for our future church, which will launch this fall!
I really am hoping to get more regular on this blog thing....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


As I have said many times before, time seems to go by so fast and life seems so busy, that I would like to sit down and blog, but don't do it.  I ended my last post sharing about the book "Choosing Gratitude" that I have been reading and studying.  I really want to come back to some thoughts on how God has been working and changing my heart, but for today's post I am just going to update what's been happening with us for the last month.
We finished up our internship at Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC at the end of January.  We stayed with my mom for 3 nights while moving into our house!  That feels very weird to say after being "homeless" for 15 months.  It has been fun finding all of our stuff again and also cleaning out what we really don't need anymore.  Slowly but surely things are starting to come together and find a place.
The boys both started school right away.  They both seem to be in a good routine and I am pleased with their progress.  This is our first experience with public school.  I at first was a bit nervous, but they have great teachers and I am excited to watch them grow.  The school is literally 1/2 mile up the road which is nice!
Finally, let me say that I am so excited to watch God building Harvest Bible Chapel Greenville South.  I stand amazed at the people He is bringing to our path and them getting excited and burdened about our church.  I feel so blessed to be just a part of what God is doing.  We are having our first core group meeting this Sunday night.  One of the couples from our group that I from Iowa will be here this weekend too! (They will be moving here this summer....that is an awesome story in itself)
So, my heart is overflowing with gratitude and excitement of what God is going to do!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Choosing Gratitude

So I am continuing some thoughts on how I have grown over the last few months.  To be quite honest, being transparent is sometimes a hard thing.  To admit to others that I might actually NOT be so perfect? However, I have learned that it is very "freeing" to not have to be perfect and know that God is growing me and changing me into something for HIS glory.
Let me start off by saying that if you asked anyone who knows me well (husband, kids, close friends, parents, etc) they would probably say that I tend to be a negative person.  I get in this rut and nothing seems to go well, or maybe I should say, nothing goes my way.  I really do know that I can go to this place of "yuck" and at times it is hard to get out of it.  I know that ultimately it is a lack of trusting God and where my heart is so wrong.  Well, about 6 weeks into arriving at the training center, the wives were given this book called, "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  If you have ever read anything by Nancy, you know how awesome she is in calling sin what it is and speaking the truth through God's Word.  At first, I set the book aside because I was working on reading another book that we were given (I will talk about it at a later time).  After I finished the other book I picked it back up and started reading.  Honestly, I wanted to throw it down because I was so convicted by the truths that were penetrating my heart.  It was so practical.  I want to share just a couple thoughts today that I have pondered on from chapter 3.  So yes, I am giving a plug for this book!
Chapter 3 is called "No Thanks" and it begins with this awesome quote by Elisabeth Elliot, "Thankless children we all are, more or less, comprehending but dimly the truth of God's fathomless love for us."  If you asked me I wouldn't really say that I was an unthankful person or had ingratitude.  But when the following list was given I was really convicted. Here are some signs, feelings or attitudes that can set off ingratitude in our hearts:
  1. unrealistic expectations-sometimes I expect a lot from others around me or situations around me and when they don't live up to what I expect then where do I go?
  2. forgetfulness-we were talking in family devotions last night about the Israelites and how they complained and forgot what God did, but how true of us that we forget what God has done in our lives (even if He just saved us)
  3. entitlement-I have to say that this was a big one for me....I think, "really God?  Look at how I have sacrificed to serve you and do what you ask and this is what is happening?"  Or I think God really owes me some things....
  4. comparison-This is really easy to do, especially in the ministry.  You see other people that God is blessing in different ways than you and you start to compare and feel like you are getting the raw end of the deal.  The whole time our focus in on me!  How crazy!
  5. blindness to God's grace-This is where the rubber meets the road for all of these mentioned.  Think of all that God HAS given and done for us.  The Bible even says, "His mercies are new every morning." Lam. 3:23 So everyday, I have new grace and mercy from God to go through what He sees fit to put into my life.  Sometimes things aren't really as bad as it seems.  Look can find someone else hurting worse, or experiencing God's grace and mercy in a different way than you.
Just some random thoughts that God is using in my the way, at then end of the book there is a 30 day devotional focusing just on Gratitude.  I am on day 4 and looking forward to how God grows me in this over the next month.

Monday, January 9, 2012


First of all, let me say I have totally missed blogging.  I think at least twice a week, I want to sit down and just blog, but either the computer is preoccupied or its a moment where I know I will be interrupted 100 times by my 5 lovely children.  So, with that being said, while we are here in Hickory, Sam has a computer at the church, which frees up our laptop for me.  Also, I am writing this blog at 6:30am which is pretty unusual for me.  God woke me up "early" this morning so instead of trying to roll over and sleep, I got up, made coffee and am sharing my heart today.
Last night I had the opportunity to slip out of the 3rd service (Hickory Harvest has 3 services on Sundays all identical) because I was working on a headache and wanted to take something for it before it was worse.  I ended up in the lobby area talking to some great people.  The lady asked me once I told her the journey we have been on if I was keeping a journal.  In some ways I feel like I have because I have blogged some, but then I was thinking I better sit down at the beginning of this year and just start writing about how God has changed me through all of this.
I am not the same person I was before.  I have grown up in church my whole life, literally.  I was saved at the age of 14, but I have grown MORE in the Lord in the last 2 years than I have since that point.  Does that shock you?  I hope it does, but I dare to say there are others like me.  There came a point in my life where I got tired of going through the motions and putting on a smiling face and pretending to be the "perfect Christian" that everyone else wanted me to be.  I felt like even though my sufficiency was in Christ, I was adding other things to that.  This is SO not what the Christian life is about....doing things to gain/earn HIS favor?  The moment I stopped trying to earn God's favor by doing a list of things and understood the fact that HE alone was who my sufficiency was in, it was a life altering moment for me.
I know, some of you say, "my sufficiency is in Christ," then you say, "but you still have to...."  If your mind starts saying or thinking but....then its not in Christ alone!  This may be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you have been raised this way your whole life.  It's an exhausting way to live my friend.  There is so much freedom in trusting Christ alone.  This is not a one time deal at salvation.  We have to be reminded daily of the gospel and what it means to us.  I want to share some more things (hopefully this week) about how I have been changed.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  II Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)