June & Another Update!

June has been was (WHAT?! WHERE did June go?!) a crazy month. The 8 weeks Eldon had off from seminary was just about the only “rest” we experienced.

The first weekend, my sweet sister got married! It was a perfect day, even the rain cleared off so she could get some gorgeous pictures outside! Everything was absolutely beautiful – from the vows to the back drops, the ceremony to the live music – it was just so sweet! Many happy tears and excitement that day!

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Sweet family!
1) Thanks mom & dad for the good genes (don’t they look GOOD?!)
2) So fun that I have a brother now! Didn’t we find some pretty handsome guys?
3) Even more fun that we are now a family of 6! I love that this is what our “family photo” looks like – at least for now. I hear babies come next…(p.s.  I know you want to ask us both but please don’t)

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Such a fun and good looking wedding party too!

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We didn’t rest much after the wedding weekend. A few days later Eldon & I (along with my parents) were off to NYC for the much anticipated trip!

Went on a dinner cruise on the Hudson River…

Visited Elis Island and The Statue of Liberty…

Visited the One World Observatory and The 9/11 Memorial…

Not pictured…Yankee’s game, Six Flags, Times Square, Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Natural History, Wicket at the Gershwin Theatre, dinner as a group at a local Irish Pub, 5th Avenue…we really packed it all in!

And we did it all with 178 high school band kids!
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How did we do it?! With 34 of the most incredible staff and chaperones and 2 wonderful tour guides. What a TEAM! Chaperones!

The kids performed on the Flight Deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid.

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And the proof that we were in fact on this trip – our one and ONLY selfie. It’s hard to capture all of the fun when you are trying to cross a Manhattan street with 213 people. We were exhausted every night – but the kids were safe & had a blast the entire time (so did we)!

As a staff we spent over a year planning and preparing for this trip. But no matter how much you plan, taking 178 students and 34 adults 26 hours away from home is nerve-wracking! I’m not sure how we did it, but the entire process will definitely be on my “top ten” list of favorite memories.

To all the students, staff, and parents who helped make this trip possible – THANK YOU! You all are the true rock-stars & I am so thankful to be part of this family.

When we got back we hit the ground running to pack up my parents for their move at the end of June, which included a (rather large) 3 Family moving sale and a (rather large) move.

We have many sweet memories in my parents home, but we also know it isn’t the house that makes it home. It’s the grace, the love, the encouragement, the joy, the laughter, the good and hard times, the life that is lived with your people. It’s also exciting to look forward to the new memories we will make as a family of six (or more) in their new home!

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The end of June brought another big change – my contract with the school district ended and I started working full time at New Heights Church Bentonville as the Administrative Assistant.  I am nervous about how God stretching me but also incredibly excited to be a part of this team! God’s grace is so evident in every facet of this decision. Eldon and I are incredibly humbled to be a part of what God is doing at NHB!

So, here we are, mid-July. Seminary is back in full swing for Eldon, we are adjusting to a very new and different rhythm of life, and praying about where God is leading us individually and as a couple. Maybe someday I will actually sit down and write something substantial. But for now..hope you enjoyed another update!

Blessings!

 

 

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4 Years & An Update

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Four years. Some days, it feels like so much longer. But most days, like today, I look back and wonder – where did the past four years go?

I look back on our wedding pictures as the memories get more distant and see two very young people. You can see the innocence in our eyes, and I love it. Because that’s how a wedding day should be. Full of light, joy, life, and innocence. We had no idea what was coming. Not even a clue how to do life together. Yet we were blissfully happy and in love, and in God’s graciousness we continue to feel that way four years later. Continue reading “4 Years & An Update”

Loneliness

Hi friends! It’s been a while! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. It seems like we are either running 100 mph in 5 different directions or catching our breaths before the next bout of craziness picks up.  This week has been a bit of a forced pause – the flu has hit our house hard. Yuck! So far I’ve managed to get by with only a head cold but poor hubs..he’s been down all week.

This slam-on-the-breaks kind of slow down has left me feeling – well, a bit lonely. Isn’t it crazy that we can be surrounded by things to do, people to see, activities we love, and tasks to accomplish, and still feel a little (or a lot) alone? There have been times when I have felt so alone that it is suffocating and loneliness consumes me much like waves of grief, and times like this past week when my normal routine is thrown off and I’m forced to go about my day alone.

We are bombarded every day by other people’s “best” moments that we quickly compare to our worst. We set such high expectations for  ourselves that we would never expect anyone else to reach, and when we don’t meet them it feels like we are the only one on the planet that can’t {fill in the blank}. That is so, incredibly isolating friends. It pushes us away from each other and from God because heaven forbid someone know we failed (seriously, a real fear of mine). Continue reading “Loneliness”

Choosing Joy

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Rejoice always.
{1 Thessalonians 5:16}

I love the simplicity of this verse. Rejoice. Always. It really is that simple. But honestly…some days I really don’t feel like rejoicing. I don’t always feel joy. Day to day God blesses me in so many ways and I love what he is doing in my marriage, in my church, in my community. But I ache for more.  And right now the mundane day-to-day gets in the way of that right now and honestly I’m just kind of irritated about it! So I dig my feet in and get all stubborn acting and refuse to accept that God really wants me to find joy where I am at. But y’all..when we close our eyes to where God has us, we miss it. We miss our calling. Because he’s called us where he has us for today. And today we can love others well. We can encourage. We can hope. We can choose joy.

We’ve talked a lot about joy and being obedient where God has us recently. My husband said the other day – “you know how we heard several times before we were married that love isn’t always a feeling, it’s a decision? I think that’s true for joy too.”

Indeed. Joy isn’t always something to be felt. It’s a decision we make because we know where our hope is found.  Continue reading “Choosing Joy”

Our Purpose and Privilege in Marriage

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Marriage is such a sweet reminder of and the closest example we have to how Christ loves his bride – the church. This creates a beautiful purpose in marriage, and it is a unique privilege we have as married couples to honor and love our spouses, and to learn and experience Christ’s love for us.  Ultimately, it isn’t about us or our spouse – it’s about Christ.

I am by no means a pro at this married-life thing!  But God has certainly softened my heart and changed my perspective on marriage in the past 3 1/2 years. As I have grown into my role as “wife” God has very clearly shown me that this isn’t about me or about my husband. It’s about his love for us and his love for his bride, the church.

God has purpose for us as husbands and wives. And it is a privilege to be called to walk alongside our spouse in the messiness and brokenness of life and together see the beauty that comes from pursuing Christ wholeheartedly.

Continue reading “Our Purpose and Privilege in Marriage”

Finding God in the Busy Times

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It’s been a while, blogging friends! This summer I did a few posts for The Loved Bible Project, but other than that I haven’t been around much.

Life has just been…busy!

How do you find God in the busy times? I don’t even feel like I’m in a busy season anymore. If you stay in a season long enough, it just becomes your life. And that’s where I’m at right now.  Life is busy and shows no signs of slowing down. Time disappears and I’m sucked dry of energy and patience by the end of every day. Anyone else?

It’s exhausting. Overwhelming. Some days, confusing – think, “Where did my day go? Did I even accomplish anything on my to-do list today? How did I end up with 3 different to-do lists in the first place?!”

Yet, God hasn’t moved. As my to-do list gets longer he remains the same. His expectations don’t change. His love doesn’t change. His grace remains the same. And He is still waiting patiently for me to turn to him. Continue reading “Finding God in the Busy Times”

The Truth Will Set You Free

I am so excited to be writing the final post for “The Loved Bible Project” July Identity Challenge. It seems so fitting, that God led me to write for these two verses that talk about freedom.  We’ve spent 31 days in God’s word. Praying, writing, thinking, processing, loving, immersing, meditating. God’s promises about what is to come for us are incredible. He promises freedom.

  • Freedom from feeling inadequate
  • Freedom from our past mistakes
  • Freedom from the mistakes of others that affect us
  • Freedom from the lies of satan that tell us we are not enough
  • Freedom from the pressure to be anything that we are not
  • Freedom from expectations
  • Freedom from overwhelming fear.
  • Freedom from sin. 
  • Freedom from shame.

{Excerpt from my first post for The Loved Bible Project, You are Free}

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Jesus said…’If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’
{John 8:31-36, emphasis mine}

Continue reading “The Truth Will Set You Free”