Friday, March 27, 2009

Roots Run Deep


I recently downloaded Jadon Lavik's album Roots Run Deep: A Collection of Hymns. I'm a sucker for well done classic hymns. I love his acoustic takes on Tis' So Sweet & I Surrender All!

Check it out here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday My Man


This week we celebrated Chris' birthday. Oh how I love this man! He is truly a man after God's heart. Passionate about God's word, gently in how he leads me and a loving father to his children. Who knew that in His 33rd year he would be leading a church plant team to Peoria AZ?! God did. And he's used the past 33 years to prepare him for this time. It has been so fun to sit back and experience Chris' gifting and leadership in a new way as he leads our family and our team through preparing for beginning Grace church. I know I speak for the team when I say he is doing a wonderful job!

There is not another man on earth that I would desire to follow with my life, another man I would desire to be a father to my children and not another man that I would want leading me on a church plant!

I love you Chris. I love that God has given us to each other to help one another throughout life's storms & rejoice together in life's joy's. Most importantly I'm so thankful for how you point me & all those who know you, to God's word and the glorious gospel news.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quick Trip To The Pines


A friend offered up their cabin to us for a night this week. Actually they offered it up to us for a few nights but Chris is officiating another wedding so we only had two days to spare. It was an amazingly, beautiful 4 hour drive. We played, searched for pinecones, explored, not much sleep was invovled, but it was well worth the drive. And get this, while we were there we met two families from the valley. And guess where they live? Peoria! How crazy- we drive 4 hrs and connect with people who live where we are going! It was great and we exchanged information. We look forward to having them over to our new Peoria home once we get there.

It's been an insanely busy month of moving, sort of getting settled, gearing up to move again all the while building with our church planting team. We were so thankful for the opportunity to get out of town as a family for the night! Thanks friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Roller Coaster Ride


I've never liked roller coasters. I don't enjoy the ups or the downs, twists and upside down turns. I don't even like the nice smooth parts because you know from watching others go before you that you are going to be dropped any mintue and the smoothness will be no more. Recently we went to Disney World's Animal Kingdom. There was a ride a new ride there called Expedition Everest (see picture above)

"Careening into the darkness, you might get a glimpse of the denizen of this icy domain. Nail-biting hairpin turns hurl you forward and down sudden drops on the mountain slopes in a race to escape."

Sound like fun? Not to me. No thank you sir. I'll take the boat ride that's calm and quiet with some cute little animals that you can admire along the way. Not real animals cause they can go CRAZY on you and eat your head off when your not looking. I like fake, little, animals that look real but you know there not so well, your safe. But here we are at Animal Kingdom and my husband comes to me with this gleam in his eye saying "I've got an extra fast pass!?" Knowing this chance may never come again, I take the pass thankful that it'll at least be fast and I won't have too much time standing in line to plan out all the many ways I could die. I get on, take the ride and lived.

Almost a year ago my husband came to me with that same gleam in his eye and said "Honey let's plant a church." He had said this many times before but I knew this time he meant it. Fasten the safety bar, let the ride begin. Along the way I'm tempted to think about all the many ways this ride could fail. The hurt that could come by getting on. It's not safe for sure. However, I'm thankful that this roller coaster isn't run by some teenage kid completely unaware of what's at stake if this ride was to fail me. No it is run by my faithful loving Father. He has gone before me in every twist and turn and when I'm going through the dark tunnel unable to see what's coming next, He promises me that darkness is as light to him. He sees. He knows. He provides.

even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you Psalm 139

He has also promised ultimate safety. My eternal home with him will never be taken away or put in jeopardy. He will lead me there, granted it'll be a roller coaster ride but I will arrive one day in the presence of my King. I do not know what this church plant's future will be but I know that I would regret it if I had said, "No thank you sir, I'll stay here on the nice, safe ride. Go on without me".

Thank you Chris for giving me the joy to take this ride with you. I'm excited to see God's faithfulness meet us at each and every twist and turn.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Family Friendly Community Theatre

Some friends of ours at church have started an acting company called Command Performers. They are some of the most gifted people I know and also happen to be in the upcoming movie "Come What May". This is produced by the same company who made Fireproof. Their company's first performance, Little Women, is in a few weeks and I would highly encourage any who live in AZ to consider attending. I know I'm excited to see the play with Taylor!

For more information on Command Performers and what they are about as well as purchasing tickets for Little Women, check out their website: Command Performers

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Helper In Progress


*my lovely mascara that rylee found this morning and decorated her eyes and hands with

This picture pretty much sums up my week :) Complete with many more memorable moments. Like on weds when Trevor yelled in the face of my new neighbor because she told her son that it was time to go in. Trevor apparently didn't like the news of his new playmate having to go in and right in front of my very eyes screamed "NOOOOO!!!" in her face. Great way to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Well I took him inside quickly for discipline and left him in his room to give him a chance to regain some self control. Meanwhile I come out, say goodbye to my neighbor and put rylee in the car instructing her to get in her seat and buckle up. I run in to grab trevor, and come out a few seconds later to find that Rylee had managed to close the automatic door and look herself in, with my purse & keys inside. Nice. Learned THAT lesson the hard way. So Taylor and I talked with Rylee for 5 minutes pointing and motioning where she needed to "unlock" the door. She'd kept locking the door over and over and I'd say no "lower" so she'd go down to the floor looking for the button. My mind was racing as to what to do. Fire department? Call my dad? I was just thankful that it wasn't in the middle of a hot AZ summer. So I stopped and prayed and sure enough within moments she was back at the lock button and happened upon the unlock button instead. This is all in front of my other new neighbors who live across the street and leave their screen door open all day listening to the world outside. I'm sure I was quite the sight. Kind of like this morning while I'm in the restroom and I hear trevor yell, "Rylee is outside!!" So there I am again, in front of this screen door, running in my PJ's with a child who just keeps running farther away from me.

It's not easy being a mom. It's not easy being a mom when your husband is out of town for five days. Chris left monday to take a class at the Pastor's College. There were times early on in our marriage where I would be overcome with fear when trips for Chris drew near. Not being the quiet type I would often voice my "fears" in a sinful way to my husband. Making him feel "oh so great" for leaving town, essentially for doing his job. Over time the Lord has convicted me of my sinful attitude and with each passing trip and by his grace I can see growth in trusting the Lord for Chris' extended times away.

This last weekend I had the privilege of attending a Susan Hunt conference. It was amazing and I'm sure will be the source of many blog posts to come. Being a helper as defined by scripture was one of many topics she covered. Helper in the bible is the Hebrew word ezer as seen in Gen 2:18. "Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” In the Old Testament the same word ezer often refers to God as our Helper. What a thought! I have the opportunity to be Christ- like in my role as a helper to my husband. She gave us a list, not exhaustive, of ways the word describes God as helper:
Defends- Ex 18:4
Sees and Cares for suffering- Psalm 10:14
Supports- Psalm 20:2
Protects- Psalm 33:20
Delivers from distress- Psalm 70:5
Rescues- Psalm 72:12-14
Comforts- Psalm 86:17

I can't think of a better way to prepare for a week alone then being washed by the word. Going into the week I had the chance to be a helper to Chris by joyfully embracing his call as a Pastor and seeing and supporting this trip as a means to help him in his role. He went to be taught by Andreas Kostenberger who has written commentaries on the book of John. Which happens to be the first book Chris preaches through for our church plant in Peoria. So in a sense not only did I have the chance to be a helper to my husband but to our Peoria church as well. What an amazing opportunity! When I embrace my role as helper, I am free to release my husband with joy, not begrudgingly, and pray for him while he is gone. I am also free to laugh at those funny moments of insanity that come and go all week, instead of resenting my husband for being gone. God's grace is sufficient for each and every circumstance that I encounter and I can say with joy that His grace has been sufficient for me this week!

Sadly, as I have confessed, my attitude has not always been one of a joyful helper. I am thankful that I am forgiven and helped by THE perfect helper, God. There are implications reaching in these scriptures that far surpass this trip. I'm excited to see how the Lord uses Susan's teaching and His word to encourage my growth in biblical womanhood! And I'm also excited to have my husband return home tonight :)

Boot Camp Results


Ok so not to brag or anything but boot camp is over and the results are in... I scored in the top five of most inches lost! WOOT! Of course I gained a pound... go figure :)

All I have to say is "who's the cheater now?!"

*picture taken by my 6yr old :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Looking To Jesus


I can look to a lot of things inside of me or circumstances I find myself in moment by moment to define my faith. I'm so thankful that I do not need to rely on the ever changing world around me or my sinful nature that falls short daily to define my faith. I can look up to the perfecter and author of it all!

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2

If, then, your faith is feeble and tried, do not be cast down. Faith does not save you; though it be an instrument of salvation, and, as such, is of vast importance, it is but the instrument. The finished work of Immanuel is the ground of your salvation, yes, it is your salvation itself. Then, make not a savior of your faith; despise it not if it is feeble, exult not in it if it is strong, trample not on it if it is small, deify it not if it is great: such are the extremes to which every believer is exposed. If your faith is feeble and sharply tried, it is no evidence that you are not a believer; but the evidence of your acceptance in the Beloved is to arise from Jesus alone; then let your constant motto be, "looking unto Jesus;" looking to Him just as you are; looking unto Him when faith is feeble; looking unto Him when faith is tried; looking unto Him when faith is declining; yes, looking unto Him when you fear you have no faith. Look up, tried and tempted soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sustainer, and He will become the Finisher of your faith. All you need is in Him; one glimpse, dim though it be, of His cross, one touch, trembling though it be, of His garment, will lift you from your lowest depths, lighten your heaviest burden, gild your darkest prospect, and when you arrive at Jordan's brink, will bear you safely through its swellings, and land you on the sunny and verdant shores of Canaan.