Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Gratitude:The state of being grateful; thankfulness.

Over these past few months with being a part of a church plant, I have a whole new perspective of gratitude.

We decided that we weren't going to take a paycheck until the church we are a part of is fully funded and instead, we decided to raise support for our salary until that was able to happen.

Those of you who have, or are currently raising support understand the time it takes to raise money.

My husband and I started support raising February of 2011 and right now are at 40%. I don't think I've ever spent as much time in my life worrying about what percentage we are at, or what is in our bank account.

There have been days where we have only had $10.00 in our account and have often been left wondering how we will make ends meet.

Before we stepped out of paying jobs, saying thank you to someone was almost like a habit.

Thanks for dinner, thanks for the gift, thank you for inviting us over, thank you for the bottle of wine.

I started to lose the meaning of "thank you", and started to get in the habit of saying it casually.

Now, when we can't buy groceries, go out to eat, not be able to put gas in the car, or even pay our rent the words "thank you" feel so much more tender when I say it.

When God shows up and places someone in our life to go out of their way to buy groceries, fill our car up with gas, pay our rent, or give us a gift card so we can have a date night, I am at a loss for words.

I feel that "thank you" cannot suffice the gratitude that is in my heart. I cannot explain to them that I am so grateful for their help that I feel a lump in my throat and my eyes fill with tears. Tears of relief, gratitude, and thankfulness.

God has used this season we are in to put a new perspective in my path.

I am no longer in the habit of saying "thank you" casually. I say "thank you" with intentionality, intensity, and love; to all of those who God has used to provide for us during this season.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Milk Or Eggs

A few weeks ago I had to run out to the store to pick up some milk. My husband had to stop at a friends house to pick something up so we agreed we would stop on the way home.

Earlier that day, some of our friends asked if we could make them some banana bread...Odd question to ask someone I know, but for those of you who have not experienced my banana bread simply don't understand the heavenly goodness they want to eat.

The problem was...I didn't have any eggs...

Now, eggs are not expensive, but when you are planting a church and raising support, you sometimes have to pick and choose what you are going to buy at the store.

And because there were only $3.00 in my wallet at the time, I had to make a decision: milk, or eggs.

But while we were at that friends house, they asked again for banana bread.

I love to bake and cook. Especially for other people. It has been hard to not be able to have all the ingredients that I use to have in the house accessible to me pre-church plant.

I didn't want to tell them that I was going to the store on my way home but had to choose between milk or eggs, so I just told them I didn't have eggs.

One of them went upstairs and brought down a dozen eggs.

It is moments like that, where God uses little things to bring me peace. With not having our support raised, each month is a bit of an unknown financially. But that night, God provided 12 beautiful eggs for me to use. So when I walked into the store, I knew that I didn't have to choose, because God chose for me. It's reminders like that when I realize all I have to do is trust and have a faith that is not lukewarm; and he will provide just what I need.

Luke 12:24
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Necessary Endings

Sometimes I feel like a newborn helpless, just waiting for someone to scoop me up, swaddle me, and hum softly to me.

There are days where I want to feel that safe and secure; embraced by someone, anyone who cares and loves me.

When I feel that way, I think of babies. I think of how carefully they are held, cherished, and loved.

They are so new, untarnished, and full of hope.

Babies don't know what hopelessness feels like because their needs are constantly met. When they cry for something, the parent often comes and meets their needs.

There are days where I feel my needs aren't always met. There are days where I am filled with hopelessness, and I just want to be swaddled, and loved.

There are days where I am hostile and unkind, but in those moments I long for love. I long for hope. I want someone to scoop me up and tell me it's all going to work out.

My life right now is chaotic, unknown, and this season my husband and I are in is very new, scary, and hard. Church planting is hard, and raising support is hard. It's so easy for me to worry about not being able to pay the bills. It amazes me how much stress finances can cause. There are days where I am not loving toward my husband, and it is not because of something he did or didn't do, it all goes back to wondering how we are going to make it, and when God is going to open a door to provide and take the weight off of my chest that I have felt for months.

The longer it takes to raise support, the more I question myself. Is our support not raised because I'm not working hard enough? Is it because my heart gets angry and upset when things are uncertain? Am I a bad wife? Am I a good leader? Am I not capable of raising support? Why is this taking so long? Is God teaching me patience? Is he testing me to see how much stress I can bear?

I have to remember to pause, take a deep breath, and move forward. My fear sometimes gets me stuck. It keeps me from moving forward and running toward God.

How do you move forward? How do you push on when you are in a tough season? Do you have people to encourage you, and that you can lean on? Do you have hope? Are you afraid to end something in order to have a new beginning?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

written on a napkin

Do you have dreams?

Where do you write them down? On a notepad, in a journal, on corners of the newspaper, or do you write them on a napkin?

I write my dreams in lots of spots... random scraps of paper, notebooks, journals, but never a napkin.

I was given a napkin tonight at church and that napkin represents my dream. The speaker, Dave Ferguson was sharing his story of how the church he planted started on a napkin.

I think if I want my dream to start becoming a reality I need to start dreaming big...even if it is on a napkin.

I dream of having camps for "high risk" students where they can come ride horses and learn about Jesus and the remarkable things He said and the story He left behind for us.

I dream of being able to have a farm where that can be a reality and where I can have a food pantry in that farm and send the kids home with either a home cooked meal, or a bag of canned goods for their family.

Today I start dreaming big and leave my little dreams behind.

Have big dreams, and dream big and hopefully one day soon that dream will become a reality.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Heart break

My heart breaks more easily lately.

I become weary much quicker, and my patience is very thin.

The season of life my husband and I are in right now is hard. There are days where I put God on a shelf because I don't want to grow. I don't want to learn. I just want to be, and I want things to be easy.

I read a friends blog recently and she talked about her walk with God in a way that was to raw, so real, and it made me think about where I am with God.

It made me realize that I'm not the only one who struggles with their relationship with God. There are days where I feel on fire, and days where I just want to do my own thing and leave God in the dust.

I can't do that. God never leaves me in the dust. He never forgets about me. The fact that He never forgets about me just warms my heart. It makes me open my eyes to the beauty of my relationship with Him. It makes me long for that connection and it breaks my heart and makes it ache for others to experience the same love and growth I have... Even when I don't want to grow.

I need to grow.
I am going to grow.
I am growing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Passion and dreams

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there…to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would never realize your potential, strength, will power or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create whom you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things. Make every day count. Appreciate everything that you possibly can, for you may never experience it again. Talk to people whom you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create you own life and then go out and live it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's been a while...

I don't really know where to start. Or how to start. Do you ever feel that your life is at a stand still, but also moving a million miles an hour at the same time?

I hate that feeling. I hate being in ruts. I hate when I am not quick to adapt to change. I hate being left behind. I hate that certain commitments in my life cause me to say no to the things I actually want to do.

I feel distraught. I feel uneasy. I am trying to wrap my mind around why things happen the way they do. I am trying to understand the will of God.

Life is hard. Life is short. Life has a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns. Sometimes I just want the path of life to be smooth, easy, and enjoyable. Sometimes it is easy, pretty, and relaxing. Most of the time it is hard, taxing, and draining.

How am I suppose to handle life, my life? There are things I struggle with that I don't like sharing because I don't want others to see me weak.

Vulnerability is hard. Trusting is hard. Having faith is hard. It's just hard.