Monday, September 22, 2014


     The number seven, in the bible, represents completion or perfection.  I guess God decided that is was the perfect number of years for our ministry in Taylor.  In just a week, our time here will be completed.  I am so sad, but I am also so grateful to have been part of this community for as long as we were.  I think the stats show that youth ministers stay, on average, 2 or 3 years in one place.  Even though I was secretly hoping we could live here forever, I am SO grateful that we got 7 years.  Like I mentioned yesterday on Facebook, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Jay was allowed to have the freedom to make some changes and do things a little differently to suit how God wired him to do ministry.
    Taylor has been so good to us.  I absolutely love the generational worship that happens at FBC Taylor.  My family is loved and supported tangibly by people of all ages.  That is a huge blessing that has not been taken for granted.  To have other like minded adults, teens, and kids come alongside me and Jay as we try to raise our girls to know, love, and serve the Lord has meant the world to me.  My girls love their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but 4 and half hours is the shortest distance between us and any of them.  To have people here take us in as family has meant the world to us.
     I also appreciate and respect our pastor, Matt Hudson, and his family.  I have had the privilege to sit under the teaching of both Matt and Penni.  They are so wise, and humbly serve the Lord through the holy spirit in them.  I think it is such a testimony of how they listen and obey the spirit by how God was stirring this "missional" mindset in their hearts the same time he was moving this idea into the hearts of Christians leaders across the nation and especially in our part of Texas.  Matt and Penni spent time in Portugal as missionaries and felt God calling them to apply this mission idea to the local body of believers in America.  They will be greatly missed.  Nelly (their dachshund) will be greatly missed too. ;)
     I know no church is perfect, and we have faced our trials.  But we have sought the Lord, and I feel the love is greater because we have persevered together.  I pray that if there are still those not on board with the direction God is leading, that they begin to see the beauty of how God is moving in a fresh new way here in Taylor.  I pray they jump on board and live life surrendered to God and serve him wherever they find themselves: in the store, at work, in the yard, at the table, etc…
     We have so many great friends who have done so much for us through the years, but I wanted to love on the Kovars.  Debbie was our realtor when we first moved here.  She showed us probably 100 homes. LOL! I'm sure that was torture, but in the process she became one of our very first friends.  We had been here a couple weeks, maybe, and we left our 15 month old with her so Jay and I could go to a football game.  People at the game were asking, "where is your daughter?"  We said with Debbie, our realtor.  :)  They were just here yesterday helping us pack up.  Me and Debbie packed the kitchen.  Pat and Jay took the trampoline apart and got the heavy stuff out of our attic.  From beginning to end they have been friends who will go the extra mile to make you feel loved and help take care of you in your time of need.  Thank you guys!  We love you!
     Thank you to all of our friends, teachers, students, mentors, and volunteers who have made this such a great place to be.  We will continue to pray for you all, and ask your continued prayers and support as we make this transition.
                                                         A few picture memories :)
Ansley and Kate 

Look at these babies…All graduated now.

OCC box wrapping

Camryn and Ansley… stinkers
Hostess at Adalynn's baby shower
Katie and  Adalynn

Jay in Haiti playing angry birds with the boys

Ansley turns 7

My dream came true to be pregnant with friends the 2nd time around.

Babies are captivating :)
Adalynn just chillin with Mylik
Dnow 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living on mission

       For quite sometime I've been trying to figure out this "missional living" thing.  I get that it's a shift in thinking.  It takes the mundane in life and gives them eternal purpose.  I know this in my head and my heart understands its importance, but the practical application of it, fleshing it out, is a little more difficult.
       When I read things like...
   "There are no such things as spiritual and secular jobs--we just made that up.  God calls people to himself, and then to display him in every way, wherever we are... We are made to work in the mundane, but we aren't defined by the mundane.  Because Jesus set us apart with a deep purpose to live out... If you're showing God to the world in whatever you're doing, you're on the right track.(Restless, 41)"
       I get it!  I whole heartedly agree and say Amen.  But it also makes me a little bit nervous because we are so comfortable keeping our faith to ourselves.  Most of us will claim Christ.  We have some kind of relationship with him, but we feel inadequate to share our faith in everyday situations.  We feel inadequate because we don't really know what to say.  We don't know what to say because we don't spend time in God's word.  We don't spend time outside of church in personal fellowship with him.  But we are NOT inadequate at sharing what's important to us with others. 
       It's amazing what people will promote.  I mean "social" media are no longer for social purposes; instead, we are saturated with advertisements for a wide array of products and lifestyles.  I'm not complaining.  I'm simply voicing an observation.  We have no shame in sharing our healthy eating habits, exercise of choice, whatever the latest product is that is meant to give you a better, more beautiful life.  But it has to be said that even though a healthy lifestyle is of benefit, it will not save your soul (1 Timothy 4:8).  It will not have any impact on eternity.  Matt Chandler has this to say, "At the end of the day, our hope is not that all the poor on earth will be fed.  That's simply not going to happen. [Matthew 26:11]  I'm not saying we shouldn't feed and rescue the poor [Isaiah 58:6-11]; I'm saying that salvation isn't having a full belly or a college education [may I add a healthy lifestyle] or whatever.  Making people comfortable on earth before an eternity in hell is wasteful." (The Explicit Gospel, 83...I added the scripture references)
       God uses people to make himself known, that is his way.  I've been so challenged to allow God to use my everyday to make himself known.  I don't know about you, but my days seem filled with insignificant things.  It's easy to keep my perspective of life about my routine details instead of seeing my routine details as an opportunity to make God known.  Isn't that our purpose in life, to know God and to make him known. 
       So let's get after it.  If you don't know God, get to know him.  If you know him, but not in a way that impacts your daily living, then press into him.  He is the Savior, but he is so much more.  Let's live on mission, but let's do it by speaking the name of Jesus and sharing his truth with our friends, neighbors, waiters/waitresses, co-workers etc.  "Some people won't like hearing it.  What else is new? This has been true as far back as Genesis.  It has always been true  that some people do not want to hear this message.  But some are going to hear it and be saved.  So, relational evangelism? Go for it, as long as it turns into actual evangelism.  You hanging out having a beer with your buddy so he can see that Christians are cool is not what we're called to do.  You're eventually going to have to open up your mouth and share the gospel.  When the pure gospel is shared, people respond." (The Explicit Gospel, 81)
     If you have a business, use it to create an opportunity to share the gospel.  If you go to the gym, use it as an opportunity to share the gospel.  If you take your kids to a play group, use it as an opportunity to share the gospel.  If your making dinner for your family, use it as an opportunity to share the gospel.  "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, February 17, 2014

Worth It

     As I'm in the process of moving out of one phase of parenting and into the next, I realize even more how the hard things are worth it.  When you have babies, toddlers, and preschoolers we know in the back of our minds the hard things (ex: telling them no when that sweet face is irresistible, feeding them vegetables even though they fuss, insisting they sleep when their tired, etc.) really are what's best for their growth physically and their growth in maturity.  But my oldest is in grade school now, and she pretty much understands when we say no, eat your healthy food, and you need rest, although sometimes hesitantly.  The hard things now consist of explaining modesty, laying groundwork for "the talk", communicating truth about bullying, and helping her create a biblical picture of her beauty and self worth.  These issues leave me wondering, "Did I explain that right?" "Is she getting it?" "Was God glorified in the way I handled that?"  When she comes to us with an awkward question I want to answer it honestly and in an appropriate manner for her maturity level.  That is no easy task.  I don't want to ignore her because I want her to ask ME those questions and not some friend who is getting their information from who knows where.
     I have had a lot of hard conversations with my second grader.  Two specifically, I never anticipated having with MY dear sweet angel.  I have cried with her, and disciplined her through her tears all in effort that she will come through to her next season of life and have the same understanding of why we sometimes tell her no and insist on honesty and modesty much like she understands now why we make her eat things that aren't her favorite and have a bedtime.  Of course, the fear is that instead of understanding, she will reject our values and create her own.  Thats why showing love through forgiveness and grace is just as essential as showing love through truth and discipline.  If they do not go hand in hand our children may be pushed to one extreme or the other when they are old enough to tackle life's issues on their own.

     I am still navigating this parenting thing and have so much to learn, but the other day I was given a sign of encouragement.  My oldest has typically been less affectionate than my youngest.  She writes us notes and I get I love you mom's a lot, but I don't recall ever getting this message until last week.  I'm going to treasure it for a very long time.  It reminds me that even though helping a child walk through life in a God honoring way amidst a self promoting culture is extremely hard, it is so worth it!!!  Soldier on parents.