Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Way Back Wednesday - Sailing to Seattle - Week One

*This is a pre-written blog post from April 4, 2013 to look back on why we left Texas to live in Seattle. Look forward to 6 additional posts including one written by my husband, Derek all about this grand adventure of love, sacrifice, God's glory, and our joy.*

I have been compelled to write. To form a pile of rocks to remind myself of what God has done. We are forgetful people, as I am reminded after reading why we gather, and He has been too good to me to allow such beautiful testimonies to be forgotten.

Let’s start back in September of 2012.

Our hearts were broken. So many lies were brought into the light. What was the truth? Did this all just happen or did we over look the evidence this whole time? When they said, “We don’t want to do baptism, and we don’t take communion either,” that just gave us an appropriate HOV lane out of there. We gave so much to this vision and were on the verge of giving it all, but God’s grace stopped us in our tracks.

I wanted it!

I wanted to quit my job and serve at this church full time, and they were willing to offer me that very thing, but what I didn’t know, and the Lord did, was that it was going to cost me more that I was willing to pay. When the truth, the whole truth, came out. I immediately repented and started thanking Him for surpassing my feelings and did what was best for us as a family. We would have been in for some big surprises if I had quit my job and became staff. His love once again saved us.

It was heartbreaking, but there was hope in the midst of this storm. I remember the Lord nudging me a couple of weeks prior saying, “I am faithful, even when my people are not.” I thought it was about people (my friends, family, and people who said they supported Derek and I pursuing ministry) not giving any money to the organization I wanted to work for, which would in turn be providing enough to pay my monthly salary. No money meant no job. I thought God’s people were being cheap, selfish, and unfaithful. But they weren’t. I got caught up in the overwhelming desire to work in “God’s kingdom” alone (which I’ll come back to), and God’s people were just being obedient. He was shutting off all of the streams that could feed into this work, making it impossible for us to drink from it. Now, His other people, the people leading this organization, they were the ones who were truly being unfaithful. His encouraging words after a devistating revelation, meant I could trust that my life was in his hands, not in my own. Derek’s life, my family’s or friend’s lives, or even these “leaders”.

I was mislead into thinking that I could only work for "God’s kingdom" if I was working for a church. God’s work is missional, and we need Christians working in the feilds as doctors, lawyers, baristas, and cashiers. I can love and serve the Lord just as much there as anywhere else he may set me.

So, it was back to the drawing board for us. Back to the basics for everything. All of our dreams and plans that went into "that" ministry, and family were now being excommunicated, we needed to reevaluate. Derek and I sat down together and watched planning, which was something we weren’t always the best team players at. I had been known to be a control-freak once or twice, and he didn’t like the disappointing side of planning. He wanted to make one definitive plan without changes.

The Holy Spirit began to soften both of our hearts and show us that planning was good. We needed to allow God to direct our desires even through unexpected events, or closing doors. So we prayed!

Do you have a plan?

Have your plans been distracted and foiled by others, or derailed by unexpected events? It is time to reevaluate, both your heart, your teammate’s status, and your current plan. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you the path he wants you to walk and allow Him to direct your steps. As you walk in faith, know that He loves His children, and nothing you do or say is a surprise to Him.

Don’t be afraid, lest you be the servant to whom he says "You wicked, lazy servant! …you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.” It’s time to dream, and dream BIG!

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Sunday Drive

Sundays are probably one of my favorite days of the week.
I get to serve at my local church, spend time with friends, take a nap, and cook dinner for our roommates. I have a pretty busy schedule, so I don't always get the time that I want in the kitchen throughout the week.
Through this series, I'll let you come with me on "My Sunday Drive."
After church, Derek and I came home quite hungry. We normally start our Sunday’s off at 5 am, grab some coffee and serve at our church from 6:30 am till 12 pm. My husband is an intern over the productions department and I get the honor of singing with the band. We really enjoy what we do, but you sure work up an appetite. So we had a classic turkey sandwich.
Since we are getting ready to do our taxes soon, we have a box in our room with all of our important papers and it was time to sit down and go through it. Probably my favorite part of that was when I found some old checks and I gave Derek one of these...
...and I got this look and a "What is this?"
Throughout the week, our roommates are so gracious to cook dinner for us, so we decided to call Sunday's our cooking night! This is where I can try out new recipes and "Wow!" the crowd. But this weekend, was not so great. I found a sweet recipe online for Tilapia with Green Beans. It sounded amazing, check it out.
So, you'll come to find when I cook I don't always measure my ingredients. I would say I normally have a good eye for that sort of thing, but seriously, this was not good. (This was not the recipes fault it was definitely mine! Don't try the green beans, it's not worth it!!!)
However, I did get to redeem myself with a classic Peach Cobbler.
Peach Cobbler:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 large can of peaches in juice
1 stick of butter (Give me a break, I'm from the South!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the can of peaches to a casserole dish and place it in the oven. Mix together the dry items in a large bowl. Whisk your eggs in a separate bowl, and then add it to the mixture until nice and crumbly. Remove the peaches out of the oven and sprinkle the mixture evenly across the top. Melt the stick of butter in a microwaveable safe dish for about 45 seconds. Drizzle the butter across the top and let it sit where it falls! Bake for about 45 minutes or until it has a nice golden look to it. Enjoy with ice cream or right out of the dish!

I got to finish my day playing with my roommate's two awesome kiddos, had a glass of wine with my love, and watched the Grammy's. This was a tasty, fruity Cabernet. I lean more towards the sweeter, light wines because I don't typically like a lot of alcohol. But I do enjoy a small glass with friends or my family.
So overall, it was a pretty good "Sunday Drive."

Thursday, January 23, 2014


I am a big planner. Sometimes, it's to the extreme. I'm talkin' to the point of zero enjoyment of what I am planning to do. I can't! I'm too busy worrying about the next thing on my to-do list. So, "What's the point?!" you ask. Well, I thought it was to get to the finish line and bust out in my choreographed celebration dance, but by that time, I'm exhausted. Seriously, I can't really tell you much about the experience, but I can say is, I did it. Whatever it was.
But I have come a long way! For example, our well planned Los Angeles trip back in October 2011 Derek was invited to perform at P4CM's 2011 Rhetoric. What a privilege and we had a blast!

I had the essentials purchased, like the planes tickets, hotel, and rental car, pretty much the night we decided we were going... Then I started looking of things to do. I ended up finding some great deals on tours, food, and shows. I did become bossy when it came time to get ready to go to these planned events, and of course I had to be there early, so there was some yelling, and later repenting, going on between the happy couple. All in all we had a great time!!

Then the time came to make a weekend trip to Canada this year for my birthday. We only had Amtrak tickets, a hotel room, and about $250 to spend. All of our plans were undecided. At first, my hands started to sweat. But I'm learning to trust my husband, Derek, who is not a planner, and to enjoy the moment I am currently in.

What a birthday trip!! The Amtrak ride was so beautiful! (If you have a chance to take it from Seattle to Vancouver, DO IT!) We had cafe lunches (my fave), went to Stanley Park on bike rentals, and went to a comedy show down the street from our hotel! This was one of my favorite trips and it seemed like time had slowed down for us. We were well rested, had tons of laughs, and didn't fight at all. Plus, I actually remember it!

There are some areas in our lives that we can honor God by planning out well, but in no area is it honoring if we have consistent anxiety and fear. Truthfully, that means that our worship is not focused on Jesus but rather pointed towards those things. Whether it's planning trips, events, parenting, education, budgeting money, or meal planning, these can all easily become idols in our hearts. We will we obsess over these and we may allow them to define us. This is not what our Father wants for his children, whom he loves deeply.

A way that I evaluate whether something is an idol in my heart is if it doesn't go the way I plan or envisioned it, what happens to my heart, my brain, or my attitude? Does it ruin my day? Does it crush me, because this is "who I am"?

What about you? What gets your blood pressure up when it doesn't happen your way? Are you trying to control something or someone to the point that you are choking the life out of it or them? The Father cares for you, and he is the only one that will satisfy your soul.

Hebrews 6:17-20

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.