Thursday, July 30, 2009

When God Calls

When God call sometimes it is as a billowing wave

We know His voice and see his strength

And then there are times it is a still small voice

A nudge, a desire and an inexplicable pull

No matter the way His call comes to us

Our path is already set on course

for as His children, we have no choice

He has set us apart to do His will.

He never said His ways would be easy

He never said the path would be smooth

His promises are clear throughout His word

Obedience is commanded

His constant presence is assured

And Love is promised

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

11 years ago this week...

11 years ago this week we began our life in full time ministry. Looking back, I know that God had us hemmed in on all sides with His protection. I was about 4 months pregnant and Greg was graduating from Piedmont and we had no idea where we were suppose to be heading.

Practicality told us that it would be a wise move to get a job as an associate or youth minister and gain some experience before Greg became a senior pastor. We had interviews in Richmond, Dublin and Pembroke,Virginia but never felt a peace or leading to these positions.

The churches were still in the hiring process when Greg was at graduation practice and the president of Piedmont, Dr. Howard Wilburn mentioned to Greg he would like for him to hang around after practice, he needed to talk to him about a church in WV in need of a pastor.

After talking to Dr. Wilburn about the church and sending a resume. We called the other churches, told them no thank you and waited to see if Daniels Missionary Baptist would hire a 23 year old kid.

Going up to visit felt like home and we clicked so much with this congregation that they voted 100% to call us. God knew Greg needed that confidence as he approached the task of shepherding a flock of about 100.

I feel like there, with that sweet family, is where I did most of my growing into the person I am today. We had three children while we were there and we were graciously given the opportunity to build a house. I discovered I loved longaberger baskets and antiques while living in those mountains and I learned how to make a pie crust and homemade salsa and to appreciate simple things.

As Greg preached to and loved on the members, the church itself grew to almost triple what it was when we came and I was so thankful to see God bring many more friends into the family.

Leaving Daniels was truly one of the hardest things I have ever done and I have spent many a homesick days pining after that simpler time of raising babies and trusting the Lord to supply our needs....and He did, every time.

There isn't another life I would ever want to lead than that of a preacher's family.I love my life. I love where He has placed us now. We are blessed beyond blessed to answer this call and Daniels is one of the many reasons why.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend in WV

We had the opportunity to go up to Flat Top Lake in WV this weekend and stay with some friends. We had an awesome time and we were able to see some friends that we have not seen in years! Greg and Nathan even got to play the guitar some. Nathan said the Lake and the hot tub was fun, but pickin was his favorite part of the weekend!

Weekend at the Cabin

4th of July

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adoption prayers

There have not been a whole lot of adoption posts made on here in the last year and that is because there have not been a lot of news. We were told when we moved to NC that we had to wait 6 months in state before we could proceed. After that, we made an appointment and were told that we would have to start completely over in NC. Actually, we were farther behind in the process in NC than we were in Florida. After that initial meeting we decided that the foster system and us are just not a good match!. There are so many hoops to jump through and Greg is just a little too vocal on pro spanking and against behavior meds for "the systems" comfort zone!

We have been praying for the past few months and have begun cautiously to research international adoption. A few years ago we applied to All God's Children's Guatemala program only to have the government in that country place a halt on all international adoptions. They have since open a program in Ethiopia. A few of the reasons I like this program is that:

~ The time from application to travel is about 13 months as opposed to closer to 30 months in countries like China.

~ The babies come to AGC's orphanage Hannah's Hope at just a few days old and stay there until the parents come for them.

~ In country stay is only 5-6 days

~ The babies are only about 6 months of age when you go get them, so the separation anxiety that children over a year feel toward their caregivers is not as strong.

One of the main reasons we went with the foster care system is that the cost of international adoption is so high. Fortunately there are many grants and tax credits you can apply for, but you have to be amid the process in order to receive these benefits. AND getting to that point of the process takes money!

We feel called to adopt and are more than willing to take the steps to make it a reality and so now we are asking the Lord to provide financially if this is the path He would have us take. I am asking all my blog readers to join us in this prayer. Thanks!

Below is a video made from a family that used AGC. They tell their story much better than I can, so please take a few minutes and watch.

** I know that there are many people who read my blog and never comment and that is ok, but if you will partner in prayer with us or have prayed for us would you please comment and let me know? It makes such a difference to know that we are not alone in this process. Thanks!

*** If you click on the video twice it will take you to the youtube site and you can watch it in full screen. I promise you will be blessed by it!

Adoption update and prayer

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Being Prepared..not really my strong point

So we have had a crazy July. People staying with us, us travelling every weekend plus church things and kid activities. I have a list of chores and "to do's" every day, but the one that I have been putting off is cleaning my shower and it is nasty.  It is in the master bedroom in the far corner of the house and nobody goes in there much, so each weekend when we are packing up to go somewhere I think," Oh, I'll just do that Monday."

Well, this weekend we went to western NC to visit Greg's parents and then we brought his grandmother, Mammy, back with us for a few days. Before we left, I made sure the guest bedroom and the main bathroom were pristine ( well, as clean as you can get with three kids and two dogs). My bathroom, same story. I decided to put that at the top of my list for this coming week.

We get home tonight and Mammy gets to see our house and mentioned to Greg that she would really like to take a shower, but doesn't see how she can climb over the bathtub in the bathroom , does the master bathroom have a walk in shower? Why, yes it does! It just happens to look like the before picture on a Tylex commercial!

So, I beg Greg for 20 min to stall and I run to the bathroom with the puny little cleaner that I have on hand. ( Another reason for my procrastination is I was out of the heavy duty scum cleaner) As I try my best to clean this bathroom, I  realize that getting it clean enough in 20 minutes with this wimpy dollar store cleaner is about as possible as me baking a 12 layer cake in that amount of time....Impossible.

Mammy would more than likely not say anything about the bathroom, but I know how clean she likes things and how the bathrooms in her house look. Not to mention, I wouldn't even let my own mother look in the shower stall for fear she would ground me for a week for my negligence.  As I scrubbed my little heart out, the Lord reminded me of how often I unfortunately go about His work with the same attitude and preparation.

Soooo, this is a busy month for us, but 2 reasons it's so busy is we are taking our church youth to teen camp and also we have VBS coming up. Two important events that I should be diligently praying for and asking God to work in young people's lives through. If I go into these weeks with very little prayer time and thought, I am going to feel a lot like I did tonight when someone I loved wanted to use my shower.  Ill prepared, off guard and scurrying to make it better.

I very much want camp and VBS to be a time that no matter what the enemy throws at us, we can walk right through it. I want to be mentally prepared to face difficulty, answer hard questions, impact young lives for eternity and have the patience needed for two long weeks. 

The Lord reminded me tonight with my crazy cleaning fit that I have 8 days until camp and now is the time to stock up on the heavy cleaner of His Word and put a little elbow grease into my prayer life. Just being on my to do list isn't enough...I have to actually do it!

That way maybe I won't get caught on my hands and knees at dark trying to do something that could have easily been taken care of earlier if I would have only given it some priority.