12.23.2008

priceless moments in time


over the last couple of months I have really been growing quite large in my pregnancy with Preson! I am coming up on 31 weeks! time has flown. i am really starting to feel him move more forcefully  and actually see him through my tummy. it is an amazing feeling! i have so much to do.  once the holidays have passed, i will be able to really pour so much more of my energy into getting prepared for the little one. i cant wait! i still havent had 2 seconds to make progress with the baby room. THAT is one thing i am really looking forward to. I started cleaning it up about 3 months ago and it came to a quick halt as we had several guests staying with us constantly up until now.  so once the dust has settled with my crazy life (does it ever??) i hope to get registered, make a day of antiquing to find some things for the baby room, paint a small mural on it's wall (non toxic fume paint of course :)) and finish reading my bradley method of natural childbirth book.  along with a lot of other things. I am loving life and am praising my God for the abundant, obvious blessings he is pouring out on my family! i cant wait to meet this precious baby boy!

10.28.2008

Legalistic Politics

It can be a very confusing time for a christian who has always stood behind their party simply because that is all they have ever known to do. It has been almost frightening for me to make up my mind in this season's election. I have always voted republican simply because that is what I always did and it was the christian thing to do (at least in the south it is :)). Along with deconstructing my faith over the last few years, I also question why I do things in other areas of my life. I dont ever want to be that person who just votes republican simply because it is what I have always been taught to do. That is political legalism. God has changed me in many ways over the last few years. Despite the many rash judgments will be made, the truth is, God is transforming me. I am a different person now from then, and I hope to be a different person in 5, 10, 15 years than I am now. I have different views on political issues such as war, poverty,how to approach the issue of abortion, etc...all of which are a result of this passionate, spiritual journey I have been on. Its not me trying to be trendy with my political position. I have prayed about it and done my research.
I recently came across this website of Jesus Followers who have made it their mission to bring political legalists' to light. They have set my record straight on several issues. I would encourage anyone who reads this to read it in full, click on the links and check out the ads.
I have never spoken out on politics, but hope this takes some raised eyebrows back to their normal position. It did mine.

http://www.matthew25.org

10.15.2008

adventures in babies and ministry

I know it has been awhile since I last posted.  My laptop is out of commission and Tommy is always on the macbook since he works from home, so it is hard for me to have access to it at the moments I am inspired to write. 
Much has happened over the last month.
Tommy turned 28 and of course it isnt just a birthDAY- but rather a birthMONTH- which he is milking for all its worth :) 
We are becoming very well acquainted with our new niece, Emmercyn- 3 months young now! She is beautiful and precious and it is so cool to see her sort out her emotions in her head. I am so very excited to become a mommy! I am nesting like crazy and getting extremely organized and cleaning everything out. Being a designer, I am chomping at the bit to get my nursery set up! I am already taking my guest bedroom apart and rearranging things so that our home is baby-ready, come March 1! I am 21 weeks along now and that marks the halfway point! We went to have our 2nd trimester ultrasound and....ITS A BOY! We are so stoked and it is Tommy's birthday wish come true. He wanted a boy so bad and now I will have 2 little Tommy's in my life!  I couldn't be more happy- I just hope he is just like his daddy! Look at his little tommy-nose! Cute!
We have seen amazing things happening in ministry. We are very encouraged to see how God is at work. I guess this month is pastor appreciation month and our church has really bent over backwards to make us feel appreciated. We have received about 20 heartfelt cards in the mail expressing how our ministry has affected them on a personal level. The other day I walked out my front door to find a very cool basket filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. And many have given us gift cards and dropped by bags of groceries. Some of our leadership team/ dear friends brought us a home cooked meal the other day. And on Sunday we were presented a very generous gift card for groceries from our church. We were so encouraged to the point of tears. God is not only ministering to us but is very evidently at work in the lives around us. People are coming to Jesus in a way that is very beautiful and organic. He is THE reason we exist as a church. Some would disagree since our approach to coming to jesus is not in an alter call and since we dont pray "the prayer" at the end of each sermon so people can leave believing they have said some magic words that will get them to heaven one day. We meet people where they are. Jesus is the goal across the board- with believers and with non-believers. It is our prayer that the spirit will bring them to a saving knowledge of who He is and that he would use us as his instrument if he chooses. We take the approach of building relationships with people and sharing Christ and engaging in discussion as opportunities arise. We hope to BE the gospel every day along with presenting the gospel through the teachings on Sundays and in our house churches.  Our friendship to the lost sub-culture of our city is not an agenda to "save" them. It has been amazing to see our little church of misfits not only come to a saving understanding of who Jesus is, but to learn what it is to embrace culture and Jesus with the same arms. To really be and see Jesus in every aspect of life. I have had some very encouraging conversations with individuals  that have come to this understanding and there are of course others that "know" these things, but dont KNOW Jesus. We have many that come to Watermark because it is a safe place to ask questions or because they can come truly just as they are. We have many that are there for the wrong reasons- to make connections with musicians or artists or to hook up. We have many that are extremely critical of us and how we do things and we have others who are blatently not followers of Jesus who are just checking things out-sometimes they are the ones who are most faithful. Regardless of any of these human tendencies, we have come to a place of total dependancy on God. We say "here am I Lord, use me!" We have no idea how our church turned into what it is. But we trust God with it as something that is very special, unique, quirky and unorganized and is what our entire lives are wrapped up in and I look at it as the greatest blessing in my life apart from my marriage to God and to my husband. Aside from all the hokey labels people come up for us, we choose to be orthodox in teaching- not seeker-sensitive; to be emerging in our faith-not emergent; and make it our own- not trying to be relevant! I anticipate and look forward to seeing what God is going to do and how he will choose to bring people to himself each week. 
 


9.05.2008

Balm to my Soul.

Im slowly coming to place of peace with myself. I had a wonderful evening with some dear friends the other night and I walked away feeling so inspired and refreshed in my ministry and in my personal faith. It is comforting to have those conversations with fellow women in ministry. 
Since my last post, I am taking steps to improve my inner self. I am getting up earlier, walking and spending that time in solitude. I am coming to crave those moments in the morning where I get my coffee and sit on the porch with the Word of God. I am spending more time in nature- it inspires me and I truly do sense God in the rustling of the trees, birds chirping, or just gazing up at the sky. He is refreshing my soul every morning. I am getting the sense of what it means to feel his words as a balm to my spirit. 
I know that no matter what comes my way, He will not abandon me. There is always something to be learned through the good times and through the rough times. I am making it my prayer that God will prepare me in the good times for when the tough times come my way and also that He will renew a hunger in me for his Word. 
I have been learning what it is to just focus my whole being on bringing praise, thanksgiving and adoration to my Lord. Im not focusing on me and it feels really good to just walk through the scriptures and find passages of praise to call out to him. 
I am excited to share what I am learning with others in my life. There has been a real lack of spiritual guidance in the past for the women of our church. I have recently sensed God prompting me to start repairing this damage that has been done. I am reevaluating how I want to expend my energy; who I need to be giving my time to; and just worshipping him with my life- from the inside and letting it overflow to the out. 
He is my Satisfaction!

8.28.2008

carpe diem!

So I am starting to feel like I am falling into a rut in my life. I dont have a job and it is beginning to really take a toll on me. I guess I have this vision of what I want my life to look like. I would love to be a morning person- get up early, have my coffee on the porch while there is still dew on the grass and read my Bible to get a fresh start on the day; Get a morning walk in while the children are still making their way to the local elementary  school; Come home get a shower and actually get dressed for the day. I would then spend the majority of my day looking for a job without allowing any distractions, do a few chores around the house and enjoy my evening with my husband and friends! I want my life to be enriched so that I can m=be more of a spiritual leader for the women of our church. I want to have the discipline of having a daily routine that is healthy and balanced!
But I have slowly gotten off my sleep regimen and now my nights are when I am most alive. I am ashamed to say that I find myself sleeping until 1030 every morning, and, Unless Im meeting a friend for the afternoon, I am usually in my pj's and watching tv until 1, piddling around on myspace and looking for jobs online (the one thing I am staying on top of) until Tommy needs the computer, then watching more reality tv (I never even used to like watching tv!) while reading magazines and pregnancy books- trying to keep my mind distracted from the realities of life. I eventually get around to getting up and try to force myself to be productive where I will sometimes take a walk, do a few chores, help tommy with church stuff, work on finances or cook dinner. Around 430 I get my afternoon pregnancy wave of exhaustion and take a power nap (exhausted from doing what- i know?!). Then we usually have people over in the evening or go out with people for the evening.
I have officially fallen into the rut. I ask myself, why don't you get yourself together?? I love life too much to pass each day by just to pass each day by. I find myself emotional, unorganized and undisciplined.
So I have come to a new realization that I have to take matters into my own hands. I am starting to take baby steps toward being more of what I want my life to look like! So often, people can tell us this advice until they are blue in the face, but many times we must come to this realization ourselves.  I am canceling our verizon fios (cable tv)- an addiction we cant afford anyway. I am going to start structuring our evenings so we get to bed at a decent time and wake up before I can turn on "the View". Then I will slowly start to structure my day the way I should have been doing a long time ago! 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Jesus Christ, so that we can do the good things that he planned for us long ago
Colossians 3:23 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do. As though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

CARPE DIEM! 

8.14.2008

mom-to-be

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me and my husband, Tommy. We have recently found out that we are going to have our first baby and it has turned our world upside down! I have become borderline obsessive about the idea of a holistic, natural childbirth, diet, and fetal development as I begin my 9 month journey. We have toured 2 different birthing centers. One is about 15 min away and happens to be the only one in Tampa (go tampa!). The other is 45 mins away and is in Largo. I know it is extremely far, but the center in Largo is my first choice. I rose my concern to the midwife that will be taking care of me and she affirmed to me that the average natural first birth is 15-22 hours(yay.), so in retrospect, 45 minutes is not that going to hurt me. The center is awesome! Very spacious, private and relaxing with a beautiful bathroom-that is more like a small spa- that would give me the option of having a water birth. It also has a small walking garden for laboring mothers. I am going to start prenatal care there soon. We are not looking forward to the toll this frequent drive will be taking on our car or the gas dollars that will be spent. But I know the outcome will be worth it! 
are sooooo excited to begin this amazing journey. 

newbie

I have so much to say, which is why I decided to start this journal. I have needed a writing outlet for some time and this is going to simply be a snapshot of who I am- sometimes it will be ugly and sometimes it will be pretty, but above all, I just want to be real and be myself. I dont want to be one of those bloggers that tries to just paint myself in a light that is how I want people to portray me. So feel free to lurk and pick apart my improper use of large words and bad grammer. I am starting this blog for me, but feel free to tag along if you like!