Aug 29, 2011

30 years

Happy 30th Anniversary mom and Dad!

(Picture taken at the same church they got married in. They look pretty snazzy uh?!)

"The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine unity, and the most wonderful of all things in life."- Sir Hugh Walpole

We are SO blessed to have such caring parents who are so dedicated to each other! What a wonderful legacy to leave! Thank you for honoring the gift of marriage, and for giving us the gift of stability and enduring love.
I love you!

Aug 17, 2011

What are you believing God for?

**(This post is looong, and it's more of an outpouring of my heart. Just wanted to give you a heads up, in case this kind of post is not of interest to you.)

Lately, God has been expanding my thinking. He's been showing me glimpses of His power that I haven't been noticing, or that I've simply taken for granted. Thankfully, He's opened my heart and my mind to possibilities of His splendor and work in our lives that, honestly, up until this point I probably just never believed.

Because of the culture we live in, it is so easy to rely on ourselves. And honestly, because we are so blessed to live in this country, we often find ourselves not even asking God for the "big" things, because, to be frank, we simply don't need him. 

Likewise, God has been showing me that I've been running to my own solutions for situations, rather than going to Him first. I know that that sounds so cliche, but let me explain. A few weeks ago Jackson got incredibly sick with Bronchitis, and had to take lots of medicine, and complete some breathing treatments. Up until that point, praying for God to show up in the middle of that was just something I didn't do. Oh I would have prayed for Him to get better or feel better, but for God to actually show up and do something miraculous, was just not something I would have prayed for.

But, God, my sweet sweet heavenly Father has been challenging my thinking.
He wanted to show me that not only could He do something miraculous, He wanted to. 

At the doctor's office, I was told that Jackson needed to take some breathing treatments twice a day at home for a few days to open up his breathing. When I got home and told Adam, we both admitted to thinking the same thing, "There is no way Jackson is going to sit still with a mask on his face, hold it there, and breathe 5 times, TWICE." We opened up the breathing treatment parts, and at first, hoped for the best. Oh but God is too gracious to just allow us to "hope". Before we gave him his first treatment, Adam and I decided to pray out loud with Jackson for God to bring peace and stillness to Jackson, to calm him, and to help him take his treatments. Adam was so sure God would do it. 

And you know what? God did. Honestly, when Jackson sat still and did the treatments peacefully and calmly, I wanted to cry. I think I did actually. In that moment, I just realized that I needed to be praying and asking God for help for everything.  Adam is not perfect (although I think he's pretty close), but for the most part, He has such a strong trust is Jesus' provision. Me on the other hand, I really struggle with that. BUT God has been changing me. 

Now, I find myself praying and running to Jesus for everything. It's like a switch went off and I realized that God wants to do something powerful in my life. He wants to surprise me and show me His glory. 

A few weeks ago one of our two cars died. The truck has been so faithfully running for several years, but after hundreds of thousands of miles, it finally just died. Which meant, we were left with one car. My first thought was, "Oh dear, what are we going to do?" BUT, God spoke to me again. 

6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:6-8)

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

I knew, not only does God know what we need, but He says He will meet our needs. So I've been praying those verses and believing those verses and expecting God to show up. The truth is, in my opinion, we don't "need" another car. We could certainly make it work, until we could afford to buy another one, but I wanted to see God show up. I wanted to trust God to provide. I knew that our circumstance only provided God an opportunity to do something miraculous. 

And you know what happened? No, we weren't given a car. (Although I'm still not totally convinced He won't do that. Wouldn't that be nice? :) ), but we were "given" a car. Adam meets with several men on Monday mornings for a bible study. He shared with them some prayer requests we had, one being making our financial situations work for another car. They prayed, and another man prayed for God to provide us with a vehicle. Seconds after they said "amen" another man spoke up, and told Adam that this may be the quickest answer to a prayer he has ever received. They were blessed with 3 vehicles, and we could use their third car.

When Adam came home and let me know that so and so would let us use their car, I cried. I knew that this was God. I prayed for God to provide, and He did. I don't know how long we will use it, or when we will buy another vehicle, but I do know that God knows my needs, wants to meet my needs, and wants to grow my faith in the way He meets my needs. 

And the truth is, He wants to do the same for you. 

God wants to show up in your life. What are believing Him for?

Aug 4, 2011

BigStuf '11: Part 2

Here are some of my personal highlights of the week. Enjoy!

1) Listening to students talking on the bus ride down to the beach.  Incredibly amusing yet slightly awkward conversations. :)

2) Speaking of the bus ride down there.....watching Adam chat it up with the bus driver.  He could make friends with ANYONE. Love that man!

3) Watching the opening act for the first night session. The smaller dancer was a little creepy to me, but creepiness aside, I could appreciate their 'mad' dancing skills.  They reminded Adam and I of the Jabbawockeez. Don't ya think? I guess that was the idea.

4) Watching these girls get to know each other and become friends. Watching God form friendships never ceases to amaze me!

5) Writing letters to children in Kenya. (We wrote on dry erase boards, took pictures of ourselves with Ipads, and Bigstuf sent our messages to an orphanage in Kenya).

6) Watching hundreds of students spending time with their creator on the beach. Beautiful right?!

6) Worship on the beach.

7) Praying over this sweet girl before we baptized her in the ocean. 

Two years ago she accepted Christ at this camp, and this year she went as a middle school leader. Since Bigstuf was where she became a Christian, she wanted to be baptized there. So we took all of our students out to the beach one night, and baptized her in the ocean. It was a sweet, sweet moment.

And lastly, I wanted to share with you a link to hear one of the songs they did that week. Love the song, love the lyrics, love the overall message. God's love NEVER fails. This song is a beautiful reminder of His faithfulness to us. Enjoy!

Your Love Never Fails   performed here by Jesus Culture 

Aug 2, 2011

BigStuf '11: Part 1 A trip down memory lane...

Hello again friends!

This past week Adam and I, along with a few other adults, bravely took 60 or so middle and high schoolers down to Panama City for BigStuf '11, which is a week-long summer camp on the beach. This camp is pretty special to Adam and I because not only was this year our church's 7th year to go (Adam has gone 6 of those years, and I've gone 4 of those), but it was also the first summer camp Adam and I ever took a group of students to, back in 2005, when we were 20 and took the kids from the church we went to in Mobile.

Here we were all young, and silly, and "surferish":

Here's another one of Adam from that week that really highlights his long hair. Whew!!  I was (and am) smitten for this boy! 

Fast forward 6 years, same hallway at Bigstuf:

Not the BEST picture of the two of us, but how fun to see the difference. Adam's hair is still long but not quite so long, and thankfully I got rid of that awful hemp and shell necklace, and replaced it with this one, (you can barely see it in the picture) only mine has the letter "J" for Jackson. I love, love, love it! And  I would say that was a bit of an upgrade- hemp to silver. 

Anyway, that's all I have for today. Be back later with more highlights from the trip!