Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Else is New?

I am always being asked what else is new with the church plant and how it's going. I thought I would take some time to give a quick update. Since we've gotten here we have being working on discovering what the biggest needs of the community are. It's been neat to really have our eyes wide open to figuring out how we can help the community of Annapolis. Many of you know that we decided to feed 100 families for a week over the Christmas break. This has led to tons of connections with the local public schools, local churches, and social services. This past Sunday morning we visited a newer church here in Annapolis called Centerpoint. They are just about 3 years old and doing some awesome things. The lead pastor and his wife are awesome and actually live in our neighborhood. They are just as excited for us to be here as we are. We have been amazed at the warm welcome from all the churches we have visited and pastors Josh has met with. If I could sum up their mindset and attitude it would be Matthew 9:37: "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." God has put us here to accomplish His will and to build up His church here in Annapolis. I am excited to be a part of this adventure. We've been meeting all kinds of new people and am always amazed how God brings them into our path. It definitely is scary at times, and I am fearful at times, but so were a lot of cool people in the Bible. I think that's right where God wants me, and I am learning that He is there for me and that this is His church. God is going to bring the people and the resources together to bring this off. A friend has recently reminded me what Jesus says to us in Matthew 11:30: "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I have to constantly give this church back to Him, because when I take it up and try to do it on my own I feel a huge burden. When I let God carry my burdens my heart seriously feels light as a feather. If you have time this week would you lift up a prayer for us that God would continue to remind us that He is at work building His church here in Annapolis, and pray that we would respond to what He's already up to.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vacation + Awesome Retreat = Myself Again

There is just nothing better than taking time away to relax- especially when all that relaxation happens at the beach. Some wonderful friends of ours were able to bless us with a week at their beach house. We arrived at "Answered Prayer" (cool name for the house) on Friday night and got out to the grocery on Saturday. Our friends had prepared a list of things like how to get to the beach, how to get to the grocery, and at the very bottom of the list was something that totally brighten my day, how to get to Target (refer to my last blog and you'll understand how excited I got). Don't know if you've ever taken vacation with a 10 month old, but we had very very early mornings. Savannah woke up at 4:30am on Saturday, our first morning there, and I was so tired and delirious that I actually turned cartoons on for her, which I never do. We did have a great time sleeping to catch up from the early mornings, shopping some, reading, playing and going to the beach. It was so much fun to show Savannah the beach for the first time- she did eat a lot of sand though. My favorite part of vacation was the fact that this vacation was actually at the same place we honeymooned. Never thought we'd be bringing our daughter back to the same place to make new memories together.

Josh and I read an amazing book while we were on vacation called Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life, and it has totally opened our thinking to how we will serve Annapolis in Jesus name. My favorite quote from the book is when the author says, "I choose to believe that no one is too poor not to having anything of worth to offer." He was speaking of serving the poor and helping them get their dignity back by empowering them through the gifts they have to offer. Everyone has something to offer!

Sadly our vacation came to an end on Thursday when we drove 11 hours to get to Johnson City, TN to drop me off at a Lead Planter's wife retreat (wow that's a long title for a retreat). Josh continued on to Louisville with Savannah, while I enjoyed a life changing retreat. I have been going through some pretty tough family stuff lately. I knew I needed this retreat and that God had some things he wanted me to hear from him. On Saturday morning I went out for an hour long quiet time and I think I could have stayed for hours. I found the perfect spot up on top of a hill overlooking the TN mountains. God had prepared a beautiful morning for me. The trees were multicolored and the sun was warm and shining. I meditated on the names and qualities of God, what a powerful thing to do. To be reminded that God is my comforter, my help in time of need, the builder and architect, the perfector, peace, hope, my abba father and the God that is there. After all the names and qualities the one that just kept hitting me was that God is there, He really is there for me. I needed to hear that. I needed to let God be there for me. I let Him take the wait that was on my sholders and put it on His. He is taking care of me, my family and this new church. All I can say is that I am relying on God, I'm keeping my gaze on him, and I want to lead others to know Him the way I do. He is an amazing Father, the perfect Father, what a blessing to know He is There!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can I just say I love Target?!

I know this is a super spiritual post, but I just have to say I love Target! For the past 7 months I have had so much fun having Josh's grandma 'G' live with us- wow I can't believe it's been that long. It has been such a pleasure having her live with us. She loves our daughter Savannah like crazy and it has been fun for me to get to know her better. Since she's lived with us we have had this ongoing playful struggle between the two of us with the fact that she loves Wal-Mart and I love Target. She just can't understand how someone could love Target with the affection I have for the store. Why pay more for the exact same thing- she says? I don't know maybe it has to do with all the red that makes me so impulsive to buy more and more. We went there last night to feed my addiction and I have to say we had so much fun. I think it's the experience more than anything. We got Savannah her first doll and her first pair of shoes. Ever since I was a little girl people would ask me what my favorite place was and I would ALWAYS say Target! I have so many wonderful memories there and made a few more there yesterday. So, I think the deal is sealed- I love Target!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Out of the Ordinary

We've been here in Annapolis since September 1st to start a new church and I have loved living here. Of all the places I've lived in my life, which hasn't been many (Louisville, KY, Bowling Green, KY, Chantilly, VA) I love living in Annapolis most. I love living here because so far I have been shown more hospitality that I ever have been in my life. Last night our neighbors came over and brought some dessert to share with us that is native to their country India. They have also given us lawn furniture and cupcakes that were left over from their sons birthday. Our other neighbor has invited me and Savannah to a play group and to participate in a neighborhood yard sale. And yet another neighbor let Josh borrow his drill and bit after Josh walked up and introduced himself. It's been nothing but really friendly people! I think what's different about Annapolis is that if feels more like a small town community and I think that God has us in the right neighborhood of people who live out community well. I thought this morning that my neighbors have shown us more hospitality than I've shown them. How can I do more to show to show them that Jesus is real through the way I live? I want to do more that is completely out of the ordinary! My problem is that I feel totally uncreative about how to do that. I would love to hear some of your ideas about how you showed hospitality to your neighbors and maybe it will jump start some fresh ideas.