Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Being Brave

We took the kids to see the movie "Brave" yesterday afternoon.

Such a good movie...such a fun time...

And even that movie ties so closely to what we are doing now.
One of the lines that Merida says has to do with "writing a better story" for herself. Living life not just to please others. Doing what she was meant to do. Being who she was created to be.

That's what Lee & I are doing. We are writing a story worth telling.

It's not that we weren't making a difference in Lafayette. It's not that we were leaving there because we hated it...we didn't...we love the city and the people...the university and the students...the amazing church that we were a part of...the fact that we were close to family and friends.

But God has asked us to do something different. To use the gifts and talents that He's given us to reach a group of people who don't think that they need a relationship with God...

And this is a hurting metro area. The shooting in the Aurora movie theater happened about 45 minutes away from our house...but Columbine is much closer...and those people are having to re-live the tragedy that they faced over a decade ago.

These people need Jesus. And we are here to share with them that they can have an attractive, authentic, healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.

So, again, God can use anything to encourage us...to ensure us that we are on the right path. And "Brave" did that for us yesterday.

I'm in awe of all of God's blessings. I'm amazed at the relationships that He is providing for us. I'm blown away by the opportunities to minister already...and our church will begin in a little over a month. It's an exciting time!!!!!!!

There is so much to be done. We would appreciate your prayers. There is just so much to be done! We are part of a very organized team with an efficient timeline. But we know that the enemy of our souls does not want this to happen smoothly or effectively. There are people who are moving here (even today) to specifically be a part of this team. This is huge!!!!!! We know that greater is the God inside of us than the enemy who is in the world. Thanks for agreeing with us in prayer!!!!!!!

We will keep you updated on all that is going on...Just as much as we are here, you have a part of this with your prayers (and financial support for those who have been able to continue to support us)!!!!!

Knowing that God is with us and you are behind us...that has made us "Brave!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making Our House into a Home

I think we're about to buy a dining room table. I've been shopping on Craigslist...I've been looking. And I actually missed a few deals. But I think I've got one. And it's a great price.

It's the last piece of furniture that we really need for our house. The rest of it is just minor decorations...pictures on the walls...things that really personalize it.

But everything is coming together, and it's really exciting.

And we even got a new fridge...some friends got a newer one (from Craigslist) and gave us their older one (which is only about 3 years old). And we are getting a new stove/oven range because the ancient one in here is not really cooking our food. The landlord told us when we were moving it that it could stand to be changed...and after a few unsuccessful baking/cooking tries...he's getting a newer one (this one is from the Habitat for Humanity store in Littleton...I don't think our landlord knows the power of Craigslist just yet)

It's kind of our thing...move into a house and get newer appliances :)

Anyways, we sold most of living room/dining room furniture when we moved up here, so we've had fun finding some awesome deals to replace what we needed. We love shopping at IKEA...always fun there. And usually unbelievable prices.

Lee spent a lot of time organizing the books...as I sat on the couch and watched. It was definitely a pregnant woman moment...as I sat with my feet propped up and pointed to where a few things should go. He handled it really well!!!

Anyways, it really is starting to feel like a home. It is becoming more and more inviting...more and more of a place that I love coming home to. That's a good feeling.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Immediate Obedience

It's amazing and humbling how God is teaching me about myself through my kids. 

We've been saying to Bella, "you are not listening..." when she does something that we tell her not to do. But when she can repeat to us what we've told her not to do, I realized that it is more of an issue of disobedience and not "you aren't listening" or "you didn't hear me." 

And this is a new arena for us. She listens to us when she wants to...and disobeys when she wants to. Selective willful disobedience. 

And what God is showing me about myself is that I do this too. I am guilty of selective willful disobedience. 

There are times when I know God is asking me to do something. I either choose to do it or not do it. And sometimes I choose to do it, but at a delayed time...not immediately like I should. 

And this has happened in my relationship with Lee. 

He's not a dictator. He doesn't command and demand things of me. But there are times when he gives me instructions of things that need to be done...or he asks me to do something...

And I don't do it...or I don't do it immediately.

And even without words being spoken, my kids are watching this behavior. 

How can I expect Bella to obey immediately if I'm not doing it myself? 

This is humbling. Because it is often my pride that keeps me from immediately obeying. I either don't agree with Lee or God or whoever is asking something of me...I feel like I know what is best. I don't agree...and it shows. 

I know that this is an area that I desperately need to work on. I want my children to be obedient at home and in public. There are times when they can have the freedom to make choices - and we do our best to allow them to exercise that freedom when it is appropriate. 

But there are other times when we need them to obey us because we know what is best for them. 

And God knows what is best for me. I can trust Him. I may be challenged...it may be something that I don't want to do...but it is what is best for me. 

I am thankful for God's grace in this area of my life. I'm thankful that He is exposing it to me and letting the Holy Spirit work on me. 

I do not want to be the same. And I would rather work on this by humbling myself now than to be humiliated by disobedience later. I choose not to ignore the gentle nudgings I've been feeling from the Holy Spirit. 

So, my goal is to work on immediately obeying the Holy Spirit when I'm asked. And I will show this to my kids by working on immediately obeying Lee when he asks something of me as well...even when I don't agree with him. 

Submission is not just about "sitting on the outside but standing on the inside." It's about showing that my heart agrees with my outer actions. 

I want to fully submit to God and to Lee...fully. wholeheartedly. Therefore my pride can no longer be an issue. I am not always right. I will show this by my own immediate obedience. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Even When I Don't See It

This move has been a big step of faith for us. I mean, I'm not a risk taker...I'm not adventurous...I know that I need to loosen up and be more playful.

And non-adventurous people just don't move across the country...for anything...especially when nothing is really set in stone.

Can I tell you that I wouldn't really have this adventure any other way though? Ok, so maybe I wouldn't have Brennan throwing up in the car the whole way here or the rest of us getting sick the first week we were here.

But it has been amazing seeing God's faithfulness and provision. My heart is so full. So encouraged.

We've been visiting other churches in the area as we lead up to our own launch on September 9th. When I've picked my kids up from the nursery, the ladies have been so kind and encouraging. One lady who moved with her husband and child from Portland, Oregon to be a part of a church plant in Denver friended me on Facebook right there in the church. We'll probably meet up at some point to let our little ones play and encourage each other. That's amazing. That's Kingdom-minded.

I am just blown away by all that is going on right now. And what's exciting is that I know that this is not the end!!!! It's only the beginning of this adventure. And I know that God is going to do better, bigger, greater things because He has done it before...He is not going to stop now. And even if He did, I would be ok because I don't serve Him because of what He's going to do for me...I serve Him because of what He already did...He forgave me of my sins. He chose me to live an eternal life with Him. Forever. That's priceless.

I hope to stay in this atmosphere of gratitude...of expectancy for great things...in this peace of knowing that God is taking care of me and my family. He is working things out way in advance.

When we first got here and were super sick...we didn't really get out of the house much. There's a beautiful park in this neighborhood, and we had seen signs that there would be a concert in the park on that Saturday. We decided to go, even though we really didn't feel up to it. It ended up being a ton of fun for us and the kids. There was a fun jump that Bella loved, the weather was gorgeous, and the drummer from the band gave Brennan his drum sticks.

Of course Lee talked to the guy who put the whole thing on and then the whole band, and he found out that a lot of the band members were from the south (like Alabama and Mississippi) and were now living in the Denver area. They covered a lot of songs with a lot of soul. It was just what we needed to lift our spirits. On our way back to the house, Lee was saying God must have known how much we needed that night. And it hit me, that event has probably been planned for months - even a year now - and God knew that would be our first Saturday here...and how much we would need some "comfort" from the south.

I believe that God is always working...even when I don't see it. He is doing something. Always.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

We have been living in Colorado for a little over a month now. Sometimes it feels longer, and other times it doesn't feel that long at all. It's such a huge difference from Louisiana. 

God has been extremely faithful to us during our time here. It's been amazing to sit back and watch Him work things out for us, provide for us, and just be with us. We definitely feel like we have drawn closer to Him during this time. 

There has been so much going on lately...

We've been shopping for furniture deals to replace the furniture we sold before we moved up here. We've found some amazing deals, and we are really excited about decorating our house. Most of the boxes are unpacked, and we are really enjoying our house...and the wonderful views we have from our back deck...on the swing that was left here by the previous renters.  Just amazing...

It's exciting to know that God has led us on this journey. We know that He has brought us here, and that He is with us in our comings and goings...every step that we take is ordained by Him. 

We all miss our family and friends, but it has been a lot of fun developing relationships with the people who are building this church. It's a great group of people!!

And it's awesome to be meeting new people in our neighborhood...(and to actually live in a neighborhood!) This morning, some of our neighbors brought over a sweet card and homemade brownies with nuts and butterscotch chips. Oh my word!!!!!!! The family has a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy...staggered with our almost 4 and almost 2 year olds. The mom is super excited about getting our kids together to play...which makes me super excited too!!! 

This is an awesome adventure that our family is getting to experience together. Priceless.