Friday, December 28, 2007

Our journey

Robert was sick for a few days, so it gave us some good family time. It's hard because financially it was bad that he was home, but it was sure good for our marriage and family. He has been working so much that I feel like we haven't had a chance to just sit and talk and pray like we need to. So, we've been doing that a lot the past few days. I think God knew that we needed it. Over the past few months God has really been working on us (well, really over the past year and 1/2). He has been working on Robert in the spiritual leader aspect, and he has been teaching me how to be more submissive and support my husband. He has also been making our desires the same. Since we got married, I always thought that I wanted a "normal" life. Camp was too crazy- Robert didn't have an 8-5 m-f job, we didn't have a house that was our own, we didn't have the opportunity to go to church like "normal" people, Robert didn't get paid much (at least we thought!!), etc. Through this past year 1/2, I have realized that Robert and I aren't the "normal life" type of people. We are now both called into camp ministry, and it is an amazing thing. For me to have the realization that the "normal life" isn't for me is HUGE. I always told Robert how much I wanted a normal, non-crazy life, and now I think it's boring! I feel like we are not doing what we were created to do.
As we both sit back and look at all that we have done throughout our marriage, the thing that we felt the most fulfilled by was being an open home for the staff, interns, and SMT's at the camp. We LOVED having them over almost every night, playing games, having "American Idol nights", eating, listening to music, talking. I look back now and think that it could have been much more productive, though. Whenever we end up back at a camp, I know what I will do the same, and I know what I will do differently. I was always so caught up in myself to actually love on and minister to the people that were always in our house. I always thought that my life was so hard and bad that I couldn't see past my anxieties. Now I know how blessed I am and am thankful that God has allowed us to go through what we have gone through and desire to share that with others.
I've finally come to a point in my life in which Robert and I are on the same path- where ever that path may take us. It doesn't make the waiting any easier, but it will help us get through it day by day. Please pray that God will open the right door, in His time and that we will just have peace until that happens.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Do you trust Me?

Yesterday during worship, God kept asking me a question over and over again... "Do you trust me? Do you trust me?" I say that I do, and I think I do most of the time, but I really wonder if I do. I constantly try to take things into my own hands and He has really shown me lately that it doesn't work. Robert and I have no idea what to expect even next week, and I know that God wants it that way. The only way to get through is to learn to trust Him. To know that He knows what's best and He has a plan. I have been frustrated with Him because in my eyes He wasn't providing for us. All of our bills have constantly been late (not because we want to!) and we don't have enough money to cover our expenses (we've been paying bills late in order to buy food and gas). To me, it felt like God was just hanging us out to dry. I was angry and didn't want to praise Him. I see how He has provided for friends and family by randomly giving them money from people, and that has never happened to us. It's selfish to think that way, but I'm human.
I don' t know how, but things are working out this month. I don't know what next month looks like, but if He was able to make this month (the worst so far!) work out, then I know next month will too! It looks like we might be able to buy a few gifts for Karis even! And go to a movie for our anniversary! Those things aren't much, but it's a huge jump from where we were a few weeks ago. Praise God for His provision. I don't know why I doubt and why I don't trust, but it is difficult when things just keep getting worse. He is stripping everything away until I am completely dependent on Him. I still don't know how we're going to get my transmission replaced, but again, I know God will provide.
We have no idea what's going to happen after the 1st of the year... we're just living each day with a vague idea of the week and we'll go from there! That's all we can do.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Live for today

So Robert and I have had a rough, long few weeks. We've decided through everything, that we need to just live as if we are staying here. We are still praying through where we are to go from here, but for now, we just want to be content with where we are. We're still going to pursue camps for a while, but if a door doesn't open, we'll be okay. Hopefully we'll know soon if we are supposed to stay here or go to a camp! Until then, please be praying with us!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Life is full of uncertainties... praise God that He never changes

Through the uncertainties that we've had lately, we've been praying through some things. One, is God just pruning us and putting us through these hard times so that we can grow to be more like Him and be fruitful? Two, is He pruning us, but also showing us that we are not doing what He has called us to do. Since we moved here, Robert hasn't felt like what he's doing is what he is called to do. He's good at construction, but it's not where his heart is. Over the past few weeks, through some specific situations, we have been questioning if we are where we are supposed to be. When we left the camp, we left because I just thought it was too hard, and wasn't willing to stick through it. Since, I have found out that life is just hard, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Through the hard times, you learn to rely on Jesus and you become more like Him. I am also beginning to learn how to allow my husband to be the leader- submitting to him no matter what. Lately he has been feeling that God is calling us back into camp ministry- where he feels like he has belonged for a long time. We're not really sure what that means right now, where we will go, when, how, anything... we are just praying and checking out the possibilities. A change could happen in a few weeks, a few months, or maybe longer... only God knows right now. I do know that Robert's passion is at camp, and if that's where God wants us, I am willing to go and follow. Since we have moved to San Marcos, we have moved 3 times... to the first 2 bedroom apartment, to the 3 bedroom apartment, and now to the house that we're living in. We have felt unsettled the whole time we've been here. I have applied for I don't know how many different jobs, tried to stay home, tried just about everything. I feel that there is a reason why I don't have a permanent job right now. Of course, there is a reason for everything, whether or not it makes sense to me. So, in the mean time, we're just living life, serving God, praying, not knowing where we're headed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

God is the Orchestrator of Circumstances

It's funny that when I think things are so perfect... imperfections show their ugly face quickly, and life is thrown more kinks. I guess I need to just get used to that! Life is full of imperfection, and change...
Robert's job is so "iffy" right now (I can't go into details), even though I like my job, I have to take the week of Thanksgiving off, and 3 1/2 weeks for Christmas, which means a small paycheck. Then, I only have one full month of a paycheck, and my job ends on March 7th.
So... I don't know where we're headed right now. Please be praying for us, yet again. We have another option, but I'm not sure about it right now. We're just praying. When will we ever just settle into one place in life? Things have been up in the air for the past year...

The funny thing is, I don't know that I'm as frustrated about things changing, or about how silly we look to be making so many changes in such a small amount of time... that it probably seems like we're trying to find some kind of "perfect life" that we're not going to find. The thing is, we know that nothing is perfect... if we've learned anything over the course of the past year, it's that the grass is NOT greener on the other side... but we just want to feel like we belong. We want to do something that we know we were created to do. If we knew that we were doing what we were created to do, we would have more perseverance to get through the hard times because those will never go away.

I was reminded when I read "My Utmost for His Highest" this morning, that God is the orchestrator of all circumstances (he does things and allows things to happen for a reason)... so I can rest in that.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I don't know if this makes sense...

It's interesting that when things start to go well, it's so easy to start relying on yourself and not on Jesus. You would think it would be the other way around. But, its in the times when life seems out of control that you have to hold on hard to Jesus. In those times, your identity is drenched in Him. I spent the afternoon today at Mochas and Javas just praying and seeking God. It was refreshing. I need Him in the good times and bad. I need Him when life is falling apart and when everything is going as desired. Just a few days away from Him creates a huge space. Because of that huge space, Satan can put a lie into my mind that I don't need God... look how well things are going. But, it's not about the circumstances. That's what God has been teaching me. I could feel that space, and it was making me look at things in a more wordly view.
Thank you Jesus, for putting me in my place. This life isn't about me, it's about you, no matter how good or bad things are. I wouldn't be who or where I am today without you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My job

Life is wonderful. God has blessed me tremendously. I have gone through these past few months (well, really past year) for a reason! Praise God for His faithfulness, even when I'm not faithful. I don't understand His love for me. I don't deserve anything!
I started my job on Monday, and I LOVE it. I am doing math intervention at the school that I worked at last year, and my experience so far has been so much more positive than it was last year. The person that I work with is awesome! Currently, my job is pretty easy and stress free. I am working (with the MI teacher) to pilot a new assessment for the kinder and 1st grade teachers. Then, once the assessment is done, the teachers will begin doing interventions in the classroom (with our help for now). After that is done, then we can begin pulling them out of the classroom for interventions. This is a new program, and takes a lot of work on the teachers part, so they are struggling with the idea. The point is to keep the kids in their classroom as much as possible (pulling them out is sometimes harder because then they miss what's going on and it's a spiraling effect). Our job is to help them in that process. Once the assessments are done, my job is to input the grades onto this website, and we will get charts to see which kids are low, average, and high and in what areas, so we know how to help them. Anyway... it's very different than what I imagined I would be doing, but I'm learning a LOT.
I'm sure you really don't care to read about the details of my job, but to me it's pretty cool. I know that I was supposed to do this! Everything happened at the exact perfect moment. I was supposed to only work part time for a short period so that I could do this job. Next year, I will probably be a full time teacher, but this is a great way to begin.
The pregnancy is going pretty well so far... to read about that, go to I try not to be too detailed on my regular blog because some people don't want to read about certain things :). A lot of times I forget that I'm even pregnant because I have so much going on! But, I am quickly reminded!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I found out on Wednesday that I'm pregnant!!! And, I was offered a job in the same day! I was also called for an interview at a different school!! God is GOOD!

Robert and I decided on Monday that because of our financial situation, the preschool wasn't going to suffice. So, we decided that I would start looking for a job. We also decided that we would wait to try for another baby, maybe a year or two (God was probably laughing at us!). Anyway, I went into the school that I used to work for, and the principal is looking for someone to do math intervention (basically the pay of a permanent sub). It wouldn't be a "full time teaching job," but it would get me back in there. Next year she's moving to a new school, and I would pretty much have my choice between the two schools!! Then, yesterday, I got a call from another school (well, a message) to interview there (it's in the same district). It's also not a full time teaching position, but it's possibly closer to one. It's a math intervention teacher 1/2 time position. I'm going to call today to get more info about that. And, I found someone to watch Karis (and the new baby!) from home, that I'm comfortable with, and have known for years. God is Good!!

I didn't think that I wanted to work full time, but I truly miss being in the schools. As much as I love the people that I work with at the preschool, I'm not really a preschool teacher... it just feels like babysitting to me. I want to TEACH! I will miss being able to spend the day with Karis though... it will be an adjustment :(. But, I know that God is providing the things that we need, so I'm trusting Him! I need to just suck it up! :)

After I was offered the job at the school I worked at last year, I found out I was pregnant! (actually, late that night!) I'm still in complete shock.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What will people think?

As a woman, I have spent my entire life comparing myself to others. “Mommy, am I fat?” I asked my mom as I lifted “weights” at the age of four. Over the years, through the magazines, TV, internet, even just being around others, my fears of not measuring up have grown to new levels. I tend to live my life by what others think (or what I think they think). Through years of anxiety issues, every bad circumstance has become all that I can think about. With the question of how can I better myself and create a healthier environment for my family, I feel like I don’t measure up to the perfect person that I desire to be. I have constant guilt that I don’t do things the way this person does them, or this person does them.
As an individual, the things that I focus on are that I need to lose weight. I need to wear a smaller size and get rid of this “baby belly.” I need to exercise more, I need to eat better. I need to read more, I need to learn more, I need to be a better friend. I need to be a better wife, mother, daughter, grand daughter. I need to have it all together. I need to stop judging others. I need to stop worrying.
As a wife, I need to love, serve, and support my husband better. I need to keep the house clean, food cooked (and it be good!), be more organized, and stop nagging my husband. I need to trust him with everything and allow him to be the leader of the family.
As a mother, I need to spend more time with my daughter. I need to play with and teach her all day long. I need to discipline her better. I need to be more consistent. I need to hold her more. I need to love her better. I need to take her outside more. I need to feed her better. I need to be more patient with her.
As a follower of Christ, I need to make sure that I am always following God’s will. My fears are, what happens when I miss the mark and make a mistake? Will my whole life fall apart? How can I overcome my mistakes, when they are constantly staring me in the face?
Through all of the hard circumstances, I am truly beginning to understand how much I am loved by God. All He wants is an intimate relationship with me, and for me to trust Him and His will. Why is that so hard to let go and give control to my savior? A savior that is so amazing that there are no words to describe Him.
I am never going to be perfect, people are always going to judge me for what I do or don’t do, I will probably always judge others, and I will always struggle with anxiety because this is my “thorn.”
It’s at the moments that I feel like I can’t go on anymore that I feel the power of Jesus lifting me up. My anxiety causes something that I wouldn’t have otherwise- the need to have complete reliance on Jesus Christ.
The more I run away from Jesus and try to take control, the more my life is going to be out of control. The more I try to handle things on my own, the more space I create between me and Jesus, and between Robert and me.
The more difficult situations that I push through with the power of Jesus, the stronger I become.
I can’t just keep running away when things get hard. My anxiety won’t get better just because a specific circumstance changes. The more I allow Jesus to be the one to control those circumstances, the more I will see His power in my life. This will decrease my anxiety, and increase my faith and trust in Him.
It’s okay that I’ve made mistakes, and that my mistakes are causing problems now. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love me, it just means that sometimes mistakes cause consequences, and I just have to deal with those consequences. My past mistakes with getting into debt are causing a lot of problems now. God doesn’t hate me because I got into debt, I just have to live a much more simple life now because of that. Is that really a bad thing, though? I have to spend each and every day trusting God to provide. I have to trust that we will eventually get past this, with the power of Jesus, if we really want to and choose to live in a way in which we can. I have to give up some things that I wouldn’t have to otherwise, but that’s okay. Who needs a bunch of “things” anyway? I have an amazing family, amazing friends, and an amazing Savior who loves me more than anyone. That’s all I need. Who cares what other people think.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

There is a Reason

Caedmon's Call

late at night I wonder why
sometimes I wonder why
sometimes I’m so tired
I don’t even try
seems everything around me fails
but I hold on to the promise
that there is a reason

late at night,
the darkness makes it hard to see
the history of the saints
who’ve gone in front of me
through famine, plague and disbelief
His hand was still upon them
cause there is a reason
there is a reason

He makes all things good
He makes all things good
there’s a time to live
and a time to die a time
for wonder and to wonder why
cause there is a reason
there is a reason
i believe in a God who sent
His only son to walk upon
this world and give His life for us
with blood and tears on a long, dark night
we know that He believed that
there is a reason
there is a reason

for the lonely nights
and broken hearts
the widow's mite
in the rich man's hand
and the continent whose blood
becomes a traitor for
the child afraid to close their eyes
the prayers that seem unanswered
there is a reason there is a reason

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Update on life

So much has been going on, so I think it's time to update.
I started working at the preschool a few weeks ago. I started out as a floater, and my second day of work I moved into a classroom. I am teaching 4 and 5 year olds. Right now I'm only working 2 days a week, but in November the 4 day teacher is having a baby so I'm moving to teaching 4 days. It's more than I originally thought I would want to work, but it'll be fun. It's still only 24 hours a week, and I still get to take Karis with me for free (all four days). It's not much money, but it helps.
Robert and I moved (again). It's really a long story, but lets just say that we are in a "fight" with our apartment complex. We had 4 leaks in the 5 months that we lived there, and each one took a long time for them to even come look at them (one took almost 2 weeks... this time made it worse). Two of them had water coming through the wall, so much that the wall was discolored, and all they did was bleach the outside of the wall and paint over it (cause that does a lot for the inside). So, there's probably mold growing inside. It was soaking wet. We didn't want to live in that kind of place, and the lease says that if they don't take care of the property, that we have a reason to leave. So, we did. We have everything documented, including pictures. Robert tried to call the corporate office 7 times (and left 7 messages) and we never heard back. I went back on Tuesday to take pictures and turn our keys in, and as I kneeled down to take a picture, my knees got soaking wet. Yes, that's another leak (in the same spot as the last). So, I'm so glad we left. We still don't know what's going to happen with our lease, but they can't hold us to it because they have been horrible. The manager was less than professional when we confronted her. She did everything she could to try to make herself look good, but it didn't really work. Anyway... all that to say, we now live in a house :).
Robert (and Brian Guenther) were renovating a small house here in San Marcos as a side job. We told the owner that we would live here, therefore, he kept asking us if we were serious. We found out that we couldn't get out of our lease, so we told him that we couldn't. A few weeks later, our 4th leak happened (and it didn't get handled well at all), so we decided that we should leave. We called the owner right as he was about to call someone else who was interested (he told me that he didn't feel right about calling them so he kept putting it off). He's a spiritually led man, and he knew we were supposed to live here. Our rent is $10 less a month than our apartment rent was (and Robert is the maintenance man so we know it'll get done right!). The main reason for wanting to live here, though, is that it is right in the middle of the mission field that I feel called to. Across the street is the San Marcos housing authority (sounds ghetto, huh haha). It's actually much nicer and quieter than the ghetto apartments that we lived in. Anyway... my vision for our children's ministry is to reach out to the children and families of San Marcos. A lot of San Marcos is poor and in poverty. Those are the kids that I want to share Jesus with. We have a beautiful, city playground right next to our house that kids are always playing on. Perfect opportunity to build relationships! Our KidsRock ministry does something once a month called "Kids Night Out." It's an opportunity for parents to go on a date, and an opportunity for us to build relationships with kids. We're going to start advertising in my neighborhood for next month's. I'm so excited about this wonderful opportunity to share Jesus!!
I've already had a glimpse of what God is going to do. The day we moved in, a boy (probably about 11 years old), asked my dad if he could help us. My dad told him no (before telling me!), but I watched him on the playground (through the window). If I wasn't so caught up in myself, I would've gone to talk to him, but we had so much going on. He kept watching us and everything that we did. I was so glad that he decided to come back. A few days later he came and knocked on our door to see if we would buy something for his school fundraiser. We got the chance to talk to him. He's a sweet kid. He has 2 brothers and 1 sister. He's the oldest. He doesn't like being the oldest (I'm assuming he has a lot of responsibility). Anyway... I can't wait til he comes back with what I bought so we can talk more. Praise Jesus for the opportunity to be light to a dark world. I just hope that I don't get so caught up in myself that I miss opportunities. My daily prayer is that my worries will become less and less of a focus so that I can focus on Jesus and others.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Praise God that He loves me no matter who I am and what mistakes I make daily. I have been (and still am) so focused on myself. The trials haven't stopped since my last post- they have only gotten harder. Every day, Satan hits me with something else. I know that my life could be much harder, and that I am truly blessed, but I have a hard time looking past the trials of this life. I guess everyone does. I say over and over again that I don't understand why doing something that I KNOW is God's will causes so much struggle, but I know why. It says in the Word over and over again that trials are part of this life, and those trials are what produce steadfastness, patience, trust, and faith. Without the trials, how else would we learn to trust God to provide? Also, when Satan knows that God is going to use you to further His kingdom, He will do anything and everything he can to get you to change your path.
There are so many things that I could go into the details about, but I won't because those details don't really matter. The thing that matters is that I need to begin looking at others, and see what I can do to serve them and pray for them. That will be the only way to get the focus off of myself, and on to God and others.
"Lord I want to yearn for you. I want to burn with passion over you, and only you. Lord I want to yearn."
This is my cry and my desire. I meet people, who, I can see Jesus all over them. That's the person that I want to be. I don't want people to look at me and see stress and anxiety. I want people to see Jesus. I want to have so much passion for Jesus, that He's all that I can talk about or think about. I want to love like Jesus, live like Jesus.
"Great is the Lord. So worthy of praise. Great is the Lord. One generation will commend your kingdom, to one another they will, speak of you. And I will meditate on your wonder, and they, they will speak of your glorious splendor. Of your majesty, every day I will praise thee. For ever and ever. Every day I will praise. Every day I will praise. For you open your hand and satisfy desires of all things. My God, the King.
The Lord is gracious and slow to anger, He is rich in love, He is good to all. The Lord is gracious and slow to anger, He is rich in love, He is, good to all. All who call on Him. He hears their cry, and saves them, He saves them.
Lord you are gracious, you are slow to anger, abounding in love, you are, good to all."
Psalm 145- Shane & Shane
This Psalm speaks of God's amazing character. It speaks of His love, His will, His grace and mercy, His provision, His greatness, His splendor, His salvation, His glory,... Of course, these are merely words, and there really are no words to speak that suffice. Just like the song, Indescribable; He is truly that.
"Indescribable, uncontainable. You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name. You are amazing God. All powerful, untameable. Awstruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim, you are amazing God."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Continually stripped away

“Use me, break me, waste me on you. Ruin me. Take me. Waste me on you. To starve is to feast and less of me is more of Jesus. Lord, I want it all. Lord, I want it all. If I lose my life, I gain everything. Lord, I want it all. Lord, I want it all. Use me. Break me. Waste me on you. Ruin me. Take me. Waste me on you. To starve is to feast, and less of me is more of Jesus. Lord, I want it all. Lord, I want it all. There is power in the blood. There is victory in Jesus. Come in power, wash me clean. Overwhelm me with your presence. There is power in the blood. There is victory in Jesus. There is glory in the cross. Help me find my gain in loss.”

These words of a Shane and Shane song are powerful. I'm truly experiencing this right now. Satan has been tormenting me ever since we've made our decision about me just working part time and doing our children's ministry. Robert went about 4 weeks without a pay check (long story), so instead of being ahead financially (all bills paid, money in savings), we are now behind. Automatically I think, did we make the right decision? And automatically Jesus tells me, "yes, just trust me." I desire to be used by Jesus until I am no longer the person that is seen. I want to be someone that sees Jesus when they see me. I want to be completely stripped away of who I am in the flesh.
I had been taking anxiety medication and stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago and I feel myself really struggling again. I am exhausted all the time (which I know now is a result in be anxious 24/7), and I am fearful of making it from day to day. And I continue to hear the words of Jesus, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O You of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'what shall we eat?' or 'what shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:25-33. "Count it all JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be make known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
I could go on forever, but I will leave you with words so much better than my own :).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Amazing Daughter

Being a mother is the best, hardest, and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Karis amazes me every day. I always tell everyone that she is brilliant, but of course I would think that :). Today she has been showing me how much she can do, and it amazes me. She has grown up a lot even over the past week. Today when we were at the store, she was trying to write with my pen on my grocery list, like she was copying me. When she did it, she would say some random letters. She'll just start singing the alphabet song at many points throughout the day (of course, it's her version, but I love it). I gave her a block to play with when we were in the car and it had the letter E on it. I didn't tell her that, I just gave it to her. She looked at it and said, "E, E, E, E..." over and over again. She's a genius! Haha. And for the second time in the past week she walked up to me while I was cooking dinner and gave me her shoes to put on her. I told her, "go get your socks." She turned around and went back to her room. She brought me one. I said, "go get the other one," and she comes back with both of them and sits down for me to put them on her. She knows what eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are. She knows A LOT of words. Duck (she loves ducks), Bath, Juice, Book, Hi, Night Night, No, Baby, Puppy (then she barks), Dadda, Mamma, PawPaw, NaNa (supposed to be Granny), Meemaw, Thank You, I Love you (kinda), I do it (well, her version is more like "I do"), and Bye Bye being a some of her favorites. She mimics words all day long. She is growing up so fast. Part of me is excited about the new journey of toddlerhood, but another part of me just wants my little baby back. Although, I do like the fact that she likes to cuddle more now, and she likes to give big hugs and occasionally a big wet kiss. She's a very loving child. She'll hug me and pat my back. It's so stinkin cute. She's pretty easy too. We just recently got her a toddler bed, and she transitioned to it really easily. It only took a few days, and now she seems to love it. We made her room into a "big girl room," complete with the play kitchen and food, a table and chairs, and educational posters on the wall. She plays in there all the time now. She loves it. I think it's my favorite room in the whole house :). It's fun, yet not too busy (so she can go to sleep).
I emailed the director of the school that I'm going to be working at part time (and the one that she will be going to) and got the curriculum so that I can add to it here at home. I'm real excited about it! I am going to be able to put my passion of teaching into my child :).
Anyway... I haven't talked about Karis in a while, so I thought I'd just update everyone on how much she has grown up :).
I can't wait to have another baby, but I'm also scared because Karis is so easy, we'll probably end up with a terror child for our next one :). That's what people keep telling me! Haha... Oh well!

Monday, July 23, 2007

God is so amazing

God has been transforming me and stripping me away for the past year or so. The move to San Marcos has been very difficult, but has been the best thing for me and for my family. I have been so unsure of what to do with hard decisions, and after truly seeking God and seeking what He has planned and not what I want, I have finally made decisions that have been a long time coming. Of course, God's timing is much better than my own, so I think it was really just the right time. I finally feel like I am going to be doing what I was created to do. I ran away from it for a while (not really sure why), but I have surrendered, and I couldn't be more at peace.

Starting pretty much immediately, I am going to be co-leading our children's ministry (Kids Rock). When the church first started, I was the Kids Rock coordinator, but because we lived at the camp, it was too hard so I quit (plus I didn't know how to delegate so I got burned out). It's amazing to see how God orchestrated all of this. A few months ago I emailed my pastors about a vision that I had for our children's ministry, but I told them that I didn't know what to do with it because at the time I was looking for a full time teaching position. Well, about 2 weeks ago, I went for coffee with two friends (my pastor's wife and the person that is now going to be co-leading with me). Somehow the topic of Kids Rock came up and I found out that Ashley (co-leader) was going to be meeting with Jason (pastor) the next day. She said that she's been having a lot of vision and passion for our children's ministry, but she wasn't quite ready to surrender to it yet, she just wanted to share with Jason. We met the next day before she and Jason did, and we found out that we had the exact same vision (kind of wierd for a children's ministry). So we both met with Jason and he told us that we would have to give some other things up, and would we be able to do that. He told us to spend a week in prayer about it. We both wrestled with God through that week. The decisions that we had to make were tough. What I had to give up was being a teacher. I needed to be in a place in which if I got a job offer, I could turn in down. I know myself, and I know that if I were to teach full time, that would be my complete focus. There wouldn't be time for anything else. So, I knew that I had to give up the "dream" of being a teacher. But, luckily, God is still giving me the opportunity. A couple of days before I made my decision, I got an email about a mother's day out program (where some of the church kids go) that needed some help the week before school started so that the teachers could train and prepare. I emailed the director and told her that I'm interested in helping, but that I was also interested if they had any openings. About 30 minutes later she emailed me back and told me that she didn't have any current openings, but she would love to meet with me (2 days later) for an interview. I met with her and she told me at that time that she just knew she was supposed to hire me and that she just found out she had 2 openings. She said that she would call me that evening to let me know what they were and to be praying. She called me just a couple hours later and offered me a job. So, now I get to teach part time, get to stay home with my daughter (3 days a week, and the other 2 she goes with me for free), and I will have plenty of time to devote to my family and to our children's ministry. On top of that, God has been providing Robert with plenty of work to fill in the gap of me not having much of a salary (my job will buy our groceries).

I'm sorry to have typed out every detail, I just had to share how God has worked EVERY DETAIL out SO perfectly. It's just amazing to me.
I never quite realized how much I tried to take control. I THOUGHT I knew what I wanted, but I was SO wrong. I can't even begin to explain what this has done for me and my anxiety issues. My anxiety is from so many years of trying to take control and thinking that I knew what was best. Of course, it's still going to be a daily surrender, but I know now that I can do it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wrestling with God

Have you ever had to give up something that you have dreamed of your whole life in order to be obedient to the calling that God has for you? I think I am going through that right now. It's a very long story, and frankly not one that I want to share right now. Just know that I need prayer as I am "wrestling" with God about something.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Simplicity, Celebration of Discipline

The Lord has been teaching me so much, yet I still have so much to learn. I guess when you really start seeking the Lord (and not just His "will" for YOUR life), then you start seeing more and more that needs to change. Of course, you also really start seeing that without the Lord doing the changing, it can't be done. I have always been one to focus on every circumstance and freak out when it didn't go the way that I thought. I worry and have anxiety problems about so much. God is working on this sin that I have been struggling with. Only through spending time with Him daily do I start to see that it can be overcome with His power. I am reading a book, The Celebration of Discipline, and it is amazing. I've only read a few chapters but I'm already beginning to see that with spiritual discipline comes freedom. Of course I have a long way to go, but I can at least see a glimpse of it! We're actually doing this study as a church. Each week Brian (one of the pastors) teaches on one or two chapters. The first week it was on meditation and solitude, the second it was on simplicity, and last night it was on submission. I just read the chapter through the week after he speaks on it. This is the first topical series that our church has done. We usually go through a book of the Bible at a time (which is the best way so you get the full context). But, the elders and pastors of the church felt that they needed to equip the saints to grow stronger every day on their own so that they weren't relying on the Sunday "buzz." It's very cool.
Anyway, the chapter on simplicity has stood out to me so far out of the chapters that I have read. I never thought simplicity to be a spiritual thing, but it very much is. It talks about how attachment to "things," addictions (even to simple things like tv, internet, coffee, sodas, etc), greediness, covetousness, and mainly just focusing on things that don't have any eternal value, bring bondage. It's not that it is bad to have things, you just need to put those things in proper perspective. Focus on the kingdom of God, and all the other things will fall into proper order. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, Matthew 6:33. The context of this verse is Jesus speaking at the Sermon on the Mount and telling everyone to not be anxious about what you will wear, what you will eat, etc but to seek first the kingdom of God and he will take care of the rest. Of course, it's easier said than done, but spending time with Him every day is where you begin. He talks about the 3 inner attitudes of simplicity are: To receive what we have as a gift from God (we don't deserve all that we have!), To know that it is God's business, and not ours, to care for what we have (it's okay to protect things like locking your doors, but trust God to take care of things), and to have our goods available to others.
He gives 10 ways to have an outward expression of simplicity (not laws by any means, just a way to live a life of simplicity and freedom from fear and anxiety):
1) Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status (including cars, homes, clothes)
2) Reject anything that is producing an addiction (even nonnutritional drinks, chocolate, radios, magazines, money, etc). If it has a grip on your heart get rid of it, cut down, give it away, etc.
3) Develop a habit of giving things away, it's not yours anyway (teach your kids this discipline!)4) Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry (you don't need a brand new cell phone if yours works just fine!)
5) Learn to enjoy things without owning them (go to the park, the library, the beach, etc)
6) Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation (Walk, listen to the birds, enjoy the grass and leaves, smell the flowers, etc)
7) Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes (don't get into debt because it truly produces bondage!)
8) Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech. "Let what you say be simply 'yes' or 'no;' anything more than this comes from evil" Matthew 5:37
9) Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
10) Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God (job, position, status, family, friends, security, etc). Those are good things, but they should never be our focus (this is a hard one for me!)