Friday, March 28, 2008


Earlier this month, I entered the 30s club. As my birthday fell on the church's Parent's Night Out for March, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get our friends together for a little party. My sweet friend Candace took some pictures and posted them on her blog. I am so blessed to be surrounded by loving friends and family.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Moving Forward

Sometime in August of last year, it became next to impossible for me to focus during the worship service on Sunday morning. Adam and I attend the Gathering, a non-traditional, more contemporary service offered at our church. There are three Godly teachers who share the teaching responsibilities for the service. It didn’t matter which teacher stood before us with God’s Word, from the time the musical worship ended and we sat to listen, all I could think about was my vision for the Women’s Ministry of my church (PDBC). I would pray about the deficits I saw and yearn to share what I had learned in my 9 years of training. I would present a case in my head for the need to pay the current Women’s Ministry director and pray for wisdom on who to talk to about it. I would also sit and try to coax myself to patience. I told myself over and over, now is not the time for me to be in Women’s Ministry. After all, I am too young. No one wants a 30-year old in charge of their Women’s Ministry. And, I need to wait until Luke and hopefully another child to enter school before I can take on a profession. It is highly important to me to raise my own children, to be the one at home with them, teaching them the basics of life and loving God. At the end of each sermon, there would be a time of response. During this time, all I could do was tell God over and over, “I am your servant. Please show me how to serve you.”

I only shared my heart’s turmoil with God and Adam. My sweet husband was and is a source of encouragement. He is always confident of my abilities. He believes that God has blessed me with talent that must be used for God’s glory. He listened patiently as I poured out my desires and vision and fear over and over again. He prayed.

Then, on Sunday, February 17th, Adam and I were returning from a marriage retreat, driving with our friends. I sat with Debbie in the backseat, chatting away while the men had their own conversation in the front. The feeling that I should share my vision with Debbie grew as the miles passed. I took a deep breath and laid it all out to her. Now, one thing you should now about my friend Debbie is that she can pray. When they thought up the phrase “prayer warrior” it was Debbie they were thinking about. When it comes to prayer, this woman is Maximus in Gladiator. She has the biggest rippling prayer muscles I have ever seen and she knows how to use them. So, I decided if I was going to enlist the aid of a prayer general, it should be her. She listened with excitement as I told her my thoughts, hopes, and worries. She agreed to pray with me about the direction God wants to take PDBC’s Women’s Ministry.

The following week, I felt God urging me to talk with another lady from my church. Donna is the Mentor Mom in our Mothers Reaching Mothers group (the one I have been heading up since July). I met with her on the following Tuesday, February 19th. I presented all my vision to her, emphasizing that I did not want the current Women’s Minister to feel like I thought she was doing a bad job or that I was seeking to take her job. I simply felt that God was calling me to share my training and serve him in PDBC’s Women’s Ministry. I shared with her that I was excited about how far the Women’s Ministry had come since I had left for college twelve years ago. In the time I had been gone, the women of PDBC had created the women’s ministry. It didn’t even exist in the years of my growing up. However, I also shared with her that I thought it was time to take things to the next level, and I had training in this very area.

Donna was excited to hear what I had to say. She revealed to me that she was actually the first Women’s Ministry Director and Leslie, the woman who had taken over for her was one of her best friends. She encouraged me saying that Leslie would be excited to hear my ideas, which was just what I needed to hear to have the courage to take the next step in calling Leslie for a meeting. At this point I was moving in euphoria at how clear God was making each step.

At this point I also felt that there were three big obstacles that only God could clear. First, I was concerned about offending Leslie. I in no way wanted her to feel like I thought she was doing a poor job. As I saw it, PDBC had a Women’s Minister and so it could not be my time. Second, I felt that my age was a huge obstacle. I was afraid they would all look at me and think I am too young to take on such a position. Third, the position is currently not a paid position. I think this is a problem on many different levels, but I also know that only God can work the strings of the church to create a paid staff position for this role.

So, I arranged to meet with Leslie on Saturday, March 1st. As I laid out my heart to her, her smile grew larger and larger. She explained to me that every August she prays and asks God whether or not he wants her to continue in the position of Women’s Ministry Director. This August, she had felt a release, an assurance that her time in the position had come to an end. She had also been searching for a replacement. She strongly felt that she should train a replacement and not leave the ministry unattended. However, every woman she asked told her they were not the one to take over. And, the last woman she had asked even told her that she felt it was time for a younger woman to take the helm.

I sat stunned. God had just obliterated obstacles one and two. In fact, the people on the other side of the issue had been praying the same prayers only from the other perspective as me. They had been praying for a replacement for Leslie, and that this replacement would be young.

It was made official when the Minister of Education, Leslie, and I met with the Women’s Ministry Team on Sunday, March 9th. I am PDBC’s new Women’s Minister. I am so excited about this. Sometime during the day I met with Leslie, God showed me that this is what he has been preparing me for. This is why he took me to Biola and DTS for training. This is part of why he brought Adam and I back to Abilene. All the training I have received while away from home was so I could bring that training back to minister to my home church. I am blown away by the blessing of being able to give back to the church that has been such an elemental part of my upbringing and faith.

There is still one obstacle left – the issue of salary. Please understand, I do not want to belittle my church in any way. This is an issue now because it has never been an issue before. As I already said, when I left twelve years ago, PDBC didn’t even have a Women’s Ministry. The whole area of Women’s Ministry is new. The women who started PDBC’s Women’s Ministry already had jobs and were happy to volunteer their time for the church. I am the first to come along with the credentials and training and calling for vocational ministry. It is just new territory for the church, and it is an unexpected expense. The church leadership is not opposed to paying a Women’s Minister. It will just take some time and going through the right channels. I would appreciate your prayers for this. Yes, my family could certainly use the money. Living on one teacher’s income is not easy. More importantly, I think it is vital for this to be a paid position to give legitimacy to the ministry. The Women’s Ministry has always been well supported by the staff, but I think it is time that the women of the church had their own representation on the church staff. God has blown the other obstacles apart, and I know that he can take care of this one, too.

Praise God for he is so good!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Update on Connie

God is so good!

Connie is doing very well. She has been moved out of ICU and is in her own room. They have taken her off sedation, so she is alert. The ventilator has been removed as has her feeding tube. So, she is breathing and eating on her own. Praise God!

They have fitter her for a helmet and started physical therapy. She is now able to sit unassisted in an arm chair. She is also able to say a few words, which means she has not lost all ability to speak. Praise God!

Also, the latest MRI shows that the clot in her heart, the one that was oh so scary and needed open-heart surgery asap, has completely disappeared. There is still as small clot in her pulmonary artery, but they do not seem as concerned about it. Praise God!

All in all, she is doing very well. She still has a long way to go, though, so your prayers are still very much appreciated. God is doing so much. He is answering prayer above and beyond all that we have imagined (Eph 3:20). I pray that we will keep this a testimony to God's goodness and give him all the glory.

Praise God!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Learning to Say Yes

I have been going through Beth Moore's latest Bible study, Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent. In it, Beth shares several stories about her new grandson. In one account, she shares how she told her daughter to set up as many "yes" situations as possible for her son, because the next three years are going to be full of "no."

So, this afternoon, when Luke clearly communicated that he wanted to take his nap on the green blanket on his floor, I decided to say "yes." He got down on the blanket with his cup. I closed his window shade. I turned off is lamp. He pointed to the overhead light and said, "Light off." (Lately, we must turn on both the lamp and main light in his room for him to play.) I shut the door and walked away.

I peaked back in about ten minutes later, expecting to find him playing with his toys. I was impressed to find him still quietly laying on the floor in his room. He was still awake, though. I asked him if he was going to sleep. His wide blue eyes looked innocently at me as he nodded. So, I once again said, "night-night," closed the door behind me and went about my business.

He has been snoozing soundly for about two hours now. I have to admit, I'm kinda proud of him.