Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Photo Ops: Day 15 - 21

I was so proud of myself when I started this project!  I thought, "look at me keeping up with my daily photos!  Yes, I am the world's greatest blogger." Ha!  Old habits die hard, friends, and finding the time to squeeze in postings is tough, but alas, I am back for the next installment of February photos.  What I do like about this project is that even though I don't post my pictures everyday (and sometimes it's ten at a time like today), it definitely makes me use my camera throughout the week and once I'm snapping away for the daily challenge, I usually grab a couple of the kiddos as well.  So this past week I have a lot more just everyday photos of the kids than I would normally have, which I love.  Plus, it keeps my blog at the forefront of my mind, so I'm more likely to come up with new ideas or stay up late to put one on "paper." We will have to see if this posting trend continues... I make no promises, friends!  But back to the subject at hand... my February photos!

[15 - Phone]

Because I use my beloved iPhone to take these pictures, I snapped a shot of its ugly stepsister- my work phone, which I used to love until all things Macintosh stole my heart:

[16 - Something New]

I feel like it's been ages since I really splurged and got something new for myself.  And for my birthday, I got mostly gift cards and money, neither of which I've had time to spend yet, so it was a challenge to find something to photograph for this.  But then I realized that instead of using it for "time," I could post a picture of the fancy-schmancy "lead pastor" watch I picked out for my husband as a launch day gift from our whole crew.  He's worked so incredibly hard over these past few months... he so deserves it!  She's a beaut, right?

[17 - Time]

It's official... I am back in training again to run a half marathon in the spring and hopefully a full in the fall (although I need to pick a new fall goal since my original plans of running Chicago went out the window since it filled up so fast!).  So this is the kind of "time" I've been focusing on lately:

PS - Make sure you stop the treadmill before snapping a picture of it.  Lesson learned.

[18 - Drink]

I love my mother-in-law for many, many reasons.  But introducing me to this is one of my favorites:

YUM!  Can't wait to share a bottle with her soon!

[19 - Something you hate to do]

At first I thought this would be difficult to narrow down.  I mean, there are tons of things I hate to do... take out the garbage, clean toilets, get out of a warm bed, cook... the list goes on and on.  But then I realized that hate is a very strong word, and I can't say that I actually hate any of those things.  Sure, I dislike them, but at the end of the day, I really don't mind them all that much.  So I thought long and hard and realized what I hate to do is something that I no longer have to do anymore, thankfully.  Because this chick hates to sit in traffic:

[20 - Handwriting] 

It's nothing special, but it's mine.  This is one of the many "To-Do" lists I make for myself for work.  There is nothing that makes me happier than crossing something off with a highlighter:

[21 - A fave Photo of You]

This one will forever be one of my very most favorites, thanks to the very talented Jan Scott.  Just me and baby Jake... before I got to meet him in person:

So as it turns out, I'm still a couple of days behind on this, but that's all I have uploaded so far so you get what you get, okay?  Hopefully I won't wait an entire week again to catch up!

And although it's completely off-topic, I would like to wish a very happy (day late) birthday to this man:

We love you, Dad... (and Grampa)!  Come visit us again soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sleeping Babies

I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase, "never wake a sleeping baby."  In this house, we pretty much live by that standard even if it means giving up something that I was planning to do.  Honestly, it's for my own sanity and not much is worse than Jake's mood after waking up "poorly" from a nap.  To put it nicely, he's a grouch.  Naptime is a glorious thing around here.  Surprisingly, since day one, both kids tend to sleep during the same time each afternoon so I actually get a few minutes of quiet here and there.  Granted, it comes with a side of stress as I am constantly aware that my coveted quiet time could come to an end at any moment.  And I have to be very careful with my mood when they wake up.  I find that at times I get frustrated that they wake up too soon, when I'm in the middle of something, as if it's their fault.  It's terrible really, and I try my best to remind myself that they aren't on my schedule, but I should be sensitive to theirs.  And then again, I remind myself that this time is not my own anyway, but time that God is lending to me for awhile, as I mentioned in my post about being busy.  My children are precious, asleep or awake, and I just have to remember that some women would give their left arm to have what we have and love them both as if I could lose them at any moment.

On a trip to North Carolina, I looked back at Jake who was sleeping in his carseat.  We had had a truly rough day.  The trip should have been about seven hours total and we were well into hour ten.  We had already gotten a speeding ticket, two diaper blow-outs from Lilly, and our GPS got us lost on back roads that were unpaved and one-lane wide.  Because they were windy, Jake had gotten car sick twice and there was no where to stop to clean him up other than the side of the road in the freezing cold.  At one point I began laughing hysterically (I'm pretty sure it was when we got lost) and Josh probably thought that I was losing it.  Truth is, I kind of was losing it.  My only other option was to cry, so laughing seemed appropriate.  The best part was when Josh asked me to grab the Atlas from the back of the car.  It wasn't until I had it open that I realized how absurd this request was... surely an unpaved road in Deliverance would not be in the national Atlas... and it wasn't.  But I digress...

As I looked back at my sweet baby boy, eyes closed, mouth agape, I said, almost to myself, "He's so beautiful."  Yes, boys can be beautiful.   They grow up to be handsome, but as toddlers, their sweet little features like long eyelashes, chubby cheeks, and pouty lips make "beautiful" a more appropriate word.  "You always say that when he's sleeping," Josh replied with a little laugh.  Hmm... I hadn't thought of that before, but he was right.  And come to think of it, I say that to myself every time I stare at one of my children while they are sleeping.  As busy as Jake is, when he is sleeping it's the only time I really get to look at him.  Sure, I see him all day long, but when he is asleep, he's finally still enough for me to study every feature of his face, the face that I helped make.  And more than just realizing that he truly is a beautiful boy, I realize how in awe of him I am.  Of how he is the product of something we created.  He and Lilly are by far the two greatest things I have ever done, and that, my friends, is beautiful to me.

As I reflected back on Josh's comment a couple of days later, I started to think that God probably feels the same way about us.  Sometimes we get so busy that we run around and all He sees is a blur.  The blur He created.  We don't stop long enough to even acknowledge Him, sometimes for days at a time.  We get so wrapped up in going here and there, from one activity or appointment to another, and we rarely stop long enough for Him to sit and stare at us.  Even if the running around is to do His work... we sometimes do it without even remembering to stop for a moment and thank our Father.  I know that when I think of my God, I am in awe of all that He has created and done, but have you ever thought that maybe He looks at us like that, too?  Perhaps when we sit still long enough, or perhaps when we're sleeping since we rarely stop when we're awake, perhaps He sits back and studies our faces, the very faces that He created.  And even though He has done plenty of impressive things, He is in awe of that face He created.  He is in awe of its beauty and of every feature.  Yes, my friends, He is in awe of... YOU!

I know not all of you have sleeping babies to sit and stare at right now in your lives, but today as you go about your hectic day, I challenge you to just stop for a moment and breathe in all that you are and were created to be.  Stop and thank the God who created you, for giving you every last feature, talent, and attribute.  And when you look to the sky and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your face, close your eyes like a sleeping baby and know that God is smiling down on you, in awe of your beauty.  He, after all, adores YOU more than we mothers adore our own children.  I cannot even wrap my mind around that kind of love. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tag I'm It!

I was surprised to see my name tagged over on my friend Jessica's blog, and since this is my very first tag, I guess I should play along!  I am not sure where the original idea came from, but it seems to be popping up all over the blogosphere lately, so here goes:

The Rules:
  • You must post the rules
  • Post 11 fun facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you; then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
  • Tag 11 people and link them in your post
  • Let them know you have tagged them!
My 11 Fun Facts
  1. I have had a really wide variety of jobs and internships in my life.  The include my current position as a golf sales manager for a Marriott resort in Miami (since some of you always wonder what I do!), a church planter (twice! Although I will only take credit for this past one), an event coordinator for the FedEx Orange Bowl (which was probably my favorite), a tournament coordinator for a country club, a front desk clerk and lifeguard at the YMCA, a camp counselor, a resident assistant for my college dorm, a hostess and food runner at a restaurant, a barn assistant for a horseback lessons farm, a Visa clerk for the US Embassy in Mexico City (yes, it's true!), and an intern in the educational department at the Knoxville Zoo.  As vast as that sounds, my husband's list is even more random.  Together we could probably conquer the world.
  2. I spent my entire childhood dreaming of being a famous actress or singer on Broadway.  No, I can't sing nearly well enough to ever get anywhere, but I still feel like I could rise to the challenge if Steven Speilberg ever called me up to be in one of his films.  Piece of cake.  And if I could ever be given one talent, it would be to open my mouth and sing like Adele or Carrie Underwood or someone of the likes.  Sigh.
  3. I love to eat out but can hardly ever pick where I want to go.  Unless I'm pregnant, in which case I know EXACTLY where I want to go and no other place will do!
  4. Being married and having kids is everything I have ever wanted out of life.  I'm trying to figure out what the next dream is since I feel like I'm living mine every single day.  And even though my kiddos stress me out at times, it really is better than I ever imagined.
  5. Growing up I took dance lessons for 15 years.  I still kick myself for ever giving up on it as I still love it.  I feel like that someone in this world (maybe me perhaps?) needs to figure out a way to make pursuing that passion something that people can do even through adulthood, since the only ones who can are those who do it professionally.
  6. I love chick flicks and chick-lit.  I rarely find time to read a book and when I do I try to pick something "meaty" and worth my while.  But occasionally, I pick up something mindless and lighthearted and rediscover that I actually do like to read.
  7. I was never a straight-A student (well, after 5th grade anyway).  Not because I was not smart enough, but because I would rather sit in the back and chat with my friends all day long.  I cared about my grades, but just enough to keep my GPA over a 3.5.  Even so, I still managed to graduate in the top ten percent of my class.
  8. If I did it all over again I would not have gone into college with a major.  My college application said "broadcasting," I entered as a freshman as pre-vet, and graduated with a degree in recreation and tourism management.  Even now I sometimes think I should have gone into journalism, communications, or teaching.  I don't think a person really ever knows at 18.
  9. I am baffled daily as to why my husband ever actually married me.  I don't even come close to deserving him.  This just proves to me that God's plans are far more amazing than we can ever come close to comprehending.  Also a little fun trivia... it has always rained on big days for us- our first date, the day he proposed, our wedding day, and the days that Jake and Lilly were born.  Well, Jake was snow, but you get the point!
  10. I have only 11 sets of ribs.  We're supposed to have 12 apparently.  I blame my lack of a torso on this strange attribute.
  11. I love to plan things... parties, vacations, events, etc.  I have had a few jobs that have allowed me to do this for a living, but now it's mostly for our family's personal events.  One of the best compliments I have ever received was being called the "Ambassador of Fun" by my friends in Florida.  In all things we do, I truly do believe that they should be fun.  Otherwise, what's the point?
Okay, so I'm not entirely sure if those were "fun" facts, and many revolved around my work-life, which really came as a surprise to me, but oh well.  Now for Jessica's questions:

  1. Where would you go if you had an all-expenses paid trip somewhere?
  2. What do you remember about kindergarten?  I remember a lot about the building itself and the playground.  The clearest day is when we had a tornado come through our town and spent the day sitting in the hallway with our heads between our knees.  A lot of parents came and picked their kids up, but mine never did, which didn't make me very happy.  Ha!  But the coolest part was that we had to eat lunch by candlelight in the cafeteria since there was no power.
  3. Where did you and your spouse go on your first date?  The Cheesecake Factory... yum!  And they were basically mopping the floors around us and had to finally kick us out.  We ended the night with a walk down Las Olas Boulevard.  It was perfection.
  4. It's 10:30 pm on a weeknight. What are you doing?  I am more than likely falling asleep on the couch while we watch our tv shows or a movie.
  5. What did your senior prom dress look like?  It was a grayish-silvery satin straight dress with an open back.  It also had a bit of a train.  I'm not even doing it justice with that description (and don't have a picture anywhere here) but it's still something I would wear today... if it still fit!
  6. If you could instantly be fluent in one language, what would it be?  Probably Spanish.  I was this close to being fluent when we left Mexico (another fun fact... we lived in Mexico for awhile as well as Panama, New York, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and now Kentucky), but have since lost almost all of it.
  7. What is the proudest moment of your life?  I beam with pride whenever I witness either one of my children learn something new.  But honestly, my proudest moment by far was this past Sunday.  Seeing all of those new faces pour into our church building after years of dreaming (for Josh) and months of work and preparation (for both of us) was one of the most incredibly moving days of my life.
  8. Are there any words people say you pronounce funny?  Josh thinks I sound like I'm from Minnesota when I used to yell at the dogs.  Weird, I know.  But words like, "no" and "coat" and "Coke" apparently all sound very northern.  I still can't hear it.
  9. What do people need to know about you to "really" know you?  Wow, that's a tough one.  I think the people who really know me understand how loyal I am... it's almost to a fault.  I love people so much and just want to stay connected with those that I love.  It's hard for me to walk away from people, but in some situations, you just have to.
  10. What was your favorite class in college?  I had many, but particularly enjoyed my Animal Science 201 class (back when I was a pre-vet major).  It was basically anatomy and physiology of animals... I am fascinated by how the body works and the different parts, but also learned that knowledge is as far as I want that to go. I nearly lost my lunch when we did our dissections, which was when I decided that being a veterinarian was not for me.  Also, I have never wanted to work so hard for an A in my life.
  11. You're craving something salty. What do you grab?  I probably go to the kitchen and make popcorn the "old fashioned way" on the stove.  Yum!  I might have to go get some right now.
Ok, now I'm tagging Laura, Channa, Chelsea, Amber, Morgan, Mindy, Liz, Lynette, Jenny, Monica, and Amanda.  Wow, I didn't realize I had so many blogging friends!  Here are your questions... ready, set, go!
  1. You have just been given a very large sum of money (we're talking millions)... what do you do with it?
  2. If you could change careers and be anything (without having to go through training, education, etc.), what would you do?
  3. What is the best vacation you've ever been on?
  4. What is your favorite movie?
  5. If you could have dinner with three people, who would you choose and why?  Haha... that sounds like a college essay question, doesn't it?  
  6. What's is the most favorite thing (or outfit) you've ever worn?
  7. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
  8. If an actress was to play you in a movie, who would it be?
  9. What is the best thing that you know how to cook or bake?
  10. What are three things on your bucket list?
  11. Do you have a go-to Starbucks order?  If so, what is it?  If not, what is your guilty pleasure?
Happy blogging everyone!  Can't wait to see what you come up with!  And thanks for tagging me, Jessica... this was a fun one!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Day Link-Up: The Story of Mauneyland

Even though we don't really do much for Valentine's day (and the day has already passed), I decided to link up with Becky from the Mrs. to Mama blog and talk about my favorite subject, the story of how Mauneyland all began!  So here goes... the story of us:

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
This might be a shock to some of you, but Josh and I met on July 31, 2008.  Yep, a marriage and two kids later and we've known each other a whopping three-and-a-half years!

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
Let me start by saying that even though he doesn't remember it, I can still remember the very first time I saw Josh.  It was at church and he smiled and said "good morning" to me.  He was so incredibly good looking that I thought that I was pretty darn impressed with myself!  I thought, I must look good today!  Then he got up and did the announcements and I realized that he was a pastor and was required to say "good morning" to everyone.  And that there was no way that I would ever date (much less marry) a pastor!

We were officially introduced at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, where I still work (albeit from home now).  A friend of mine brought him and a friend of his to play golf and I walked out to greet them and check them in.  It just so happened that I dressed up that day and on the first tee, Josh looked at my friend Christie and said, "I think I'm going to marry your friend."  She laughed and told him that he was not my type, probably due to the fact that he was a pastor.  He bought us all lunch afterwards and called later that night to "make another tee time," which was actually his lead-in to asking me on a date.

3. If married, how long have you been married?
We will have been married for three years on June 13th this year (Jake was our honeymoon baby).

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?  
We got married at the same place we met, the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, Florida.  Since I work there, I had a very specific idea of where on the property I wanted everything to take place and how it should all look.  All in all, about 130 people watched us join together in holy matrimony on a terrace overlooking the golf course.  It was supposed to storm and even though the wind picked up at one point, the weather held out just for us and the breeze actually kept it from being scorching hot!

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Not really.  Josh has nicknames for just about everyone, but I'm mostly "babe."  So is he for that matter.  We're super creative.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
Only three???  I would definitely say his love for God, his ambition, and his sense of humor.  And I do need to add in his calves... haha.  That's a bit of a running joke around here.  But seriously, they are fantastic.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
Our story is a bit random actually.  I wasn't really expecting a proposal (since we had only been dating for 6 weeks) but the night before he actually proposed he made this big fancy candlelight dinner, gave me a card and flowers, and throughout the meal I started getting suspicious.  After dinner he told me to check the oven and I got really excited, thinking that maybe this was it and there would be a ring in there.  But alas, it was an apple pie.  I have never been so disappointed about an apple pie in my life.  His decoy plan was perfect.

So the next day I rushed over to his house after work because we had planned to go meet some people and I was running late.  I quickly changed clothes and then he sent me on a wild goose chase to find the remote control before we left.  He needed to set the DVR.  Looking back I should have questioned why he didn't look for it himself or at least asked what he needed to record.  Since he knows me so well, I first looked in the most obvious place (the drawer in the entertainment center) and sitting there was a ring box.  I was totally confused.  And then he walked over, dropped to one knee, and asked me to marry him.  He told me that he would rather propose on a normal Thursday than with some grandiose gesture, since the normal Thursdays are what he was looking forward to in our life together.  After I said "yes" he handed me a Bible and on the first page it said, "To Kim, on the day you said "yes," October 2, 2008.  At that point, I did get super teary.  We spent the rest of the night meeting up with friends and calling our families.  It was so much fun!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberrieschampagne, and rose petals?
Um, neither really.  Although once he did make a trail of Hershey's kisses all through the house, which was pretty awesome.  And he likes to send me or bring me flowers when I don't expect it.  So he is a flowers and chocolate guy on unexpected days throughout the year I guess.  For Valentine's day we've decided to just buy gifts for the kids and then go out on a date sans kiddos. We actually discussed our Valentine's Day expectations yesterday so that we would have a standard from year to year!  

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I would pick option A, but seriously, we have two kids and don't live near a beach.  So I do look forward to the day we go on a vacation again and get to do that.  But popping in a movie and relaxing on the couch happens at least once a week around here.  And going to the movies is even better, which again, we never really get to do anymore.  I'm pretty sure the next theater movie we'll go see will be something released by Disney or Pixar.  I am surprisingly okay with it.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Wow is this list long!  We have plenty of things on our "bucket list" but my true dream is to go with him on a mission trip someday, preferably to Africa since neither one of us have ever been.  The good news is that I know this is in our future.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
We didn't have plans until Valentine's Day.  Josh called his dad to come over and watch the kids and we ventured out to our favorite restaurant (Saul Good), thinking it would be a crazy wait.  This restaurant is incredibly delicious, and the wait was only 15 minutes and there was plenty of space to wait in the bar.  I think people were scared it would be busy and steered clear.  It worked in our favor and was so well worth it!

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Nope, just one-on-one time with my husband.  After the craziness of the past few months, that would be perfect.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Communication is everything, which is something I have to work on daily.  Both people have to clearly define their expectations.  If I tell him to do something and he doesn't do it, it's his fault.  But if I expected him to do it and never communicated that, I have no room to get upset if he doesn't do it and vice versa.  Assumptions are never a good thing.

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Photo Ops: Day 10 - 14

Two posts in one day... say what???  Who is this person and what has happened to the real Kim?  I guess this photo challenge is keeping me from disappearing like I normally do mid-month.  Or maybe it's because the stress of the launch is behind us.  Who knows... but I think I like it!  So continuing on with my pictures this month:

[February 10 - Self Portrait]

So here's the deal... I forgot to take this on the 10th, so I actually took it on the 12th.  After our church launch, we had made plans to go out to lunch with a big group of people.  The restaurant misled us a bit and we thought we'd be seated much sooner than we actually were.  Jake had fallen asleep on the way over and so rather than waking him up, I just sat in the car in the parking lot while the rest of the group waited inside.  I was out there awhile and started getting really bored.  I caught up on Words with Friends, checked Facebook, and then started taking random self-photos.  Then I sent this to my sister (who was waiting inside) with the caption "Just in case you're missing me in there":

Apparently it made her laugh out loud and so she had to share it with everyone else.  In return, my sisters, mom, and nephew took a picture of themselves and sent it back to me with the caption "Wish you were here."  Yeah, my family is totally awesome.

[February 11 - Makes You Happy]

There are a zillion things that I could've taken a picture of for this!  My husband and kids (duh!), my family and friends, a clean house, the babies at bath time, my bed, my running shoes... the list goes on and on.  But I chose one of life's simplest pleasures... a latte from Starbucks always makes me happy (minus the price tag)!  Plus, I'm loving their Valentine's cups:

[February 12 - Inside your closet]

Since I am ridiculous and posted an ode to my closet when we moved into our house, I thought I'd take a picture of the kids' closet instead.  I am quite proud of the organization, and who can resist seeing tiny clothes hanging up everywhere?

By the way, I think every closet should have a window in it.  Sure, it takes up wall space but it's so nice to go pick out their clothes in that light!  Their closet is actually so big that it's become a bit of a playroom, too.  Can you find Jake in this picture?

Naptime doesn't always happen in his bed these days.

[February 13 - Blue]

My original plan was to take all new photos for this challenge, but when I think of blue, only one thing pops into my mind:

My Jakey has the most beautiful eyes... and they have been that color since he was about 2 months old.  Here's my cutie-pie when he was just a wee bit older than Lilly is now.  These days I can't get him to sit still long enough to get a picture of those eyes... I'm hoping it's just a phase.

[February 14 - Heart]

I did this one a day early, mainly because Lil was dressed up for Valentine's Day before Gramma had to leave town.  Who can resist a little ruffled-bum at nap time?

That sweet girl has my heart... big time.

Well that wraps it up for a few more days.  I hope you're enjoying these as much as I'm actually enjoying taking them!  It's just a little glimpse into our day to day world here in Mauneyland... nothing too exciting, but to me, it's perfect.  I wish you all a happy Valentine's Day tomorrow, too.  Josh and I really don't do anything to celebrate, since he knows I'd prefer flowers and a date night on a random Thursday instead, but I hope you all know that you are loved tomorrow and everyday.

The Quick Facts

Somewhat like a birth story, it is going to take me a few days to really get it all into writing about how yesterday went.  But in a word... it was an INCREDIBLE day!  To see people pouring into the place and the auditorium filled to capacity was certainly something to celebrate.  So I promise a longer post later, but  to tie you over, here are the quick facts:

  • 285 people total... a stark contrast of our very first launch meeting which resulted in FOUR people showing up!
  • 42 of those people were in our kids' services (5th grade and under)
  • At least 9 people committed their lives to Christ
  • Many many connection cards filled out with names of people who are excited and want to get involved!
Man it was a great day!  Although it's not up yet, Josh's sermon will be posted online soon, so when it goes live I will let you know.  I'd like to say the hard part is over, but now we have to make sure they want to come back!  It's really just the beginning...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The time has come...

It's a big day for our family, but even more so for the Kingdom tomorrow.  Tomorrow (Sunday) at 10am is the very first service of our church plant, TurningPoint Church.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who have been praying for us, helped us financially, gave us your time, resources, and support.  Our hearts are full and we're going into tomorrow more excited than ever.  We know that it's not about us though... and we are humbled and ecstatic to have been used in this way by God, but even more so, about what we will witness tomorrow.  When God moves, He moves big, and I cannot wait to see who he decides to send our way tomorrow.  I think there's going to be some partying going on in heaven tomorrow when people come face to face with the Creator of the universe for the first time.  

And check our our little shout out we got on the Association of Related Churches (ARC)'s blog today.  We are so blessed to be a part of that family.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February Photo Ops: Day 7 - 9

[February 7 - Button]

I didn't realize how many buttons there were to choose from until this topic came up.  There are phone buttons (many of which are now touch screen), remote control buttons, buttons in the car, all over the kitchen, etc.  And then there are buttons on clothing, furniture, etc.  For this challenge, however, I chose this button:

Ohhh Disney World... how I miss you so.  I spent many a-weekend there with my girlfriends before getting married and one of those weekends fell on my birthday.  In a word, it was perfection.  Mostly because if it's your birthday, you get a "free" button.  That only costs the price of your ticket.  Yes, I am a sucker.

[February 8 - Sun]

This side of Kentucky did not see the sun once yesterday, which is odd since it had been sunny all week.  I'm cool with the dreary weather as long as that means it will clear up in time for our church launch this Sunday.  So instead, I took a picture of the little plastic sun that I hung on Lilly's bouncy seat:

Well, now that I look at it, it looks more like a flower.  Po-tay-to Po-tah-to.  And yes, those chubby cheeks belong to my own little ray of sunshine.

[February 9 - Front Door]

Ummm... nothing special here.  Just a blue door that's not even decorated.  Me thinks I need to step it up.

Seeing this makes me miss this door [sigh]:

Which reminds me... have I mentioned that we sold the world's greatest house?  It was one of the saddest happiest moments of my life.  And it is proof that God's timing is perfect.  When setting out to plant a church we had budgeted up until this month to cover that mortgage.  I surprisingly did not stress like I thought I would and as He always does, God was faithful and stepped in when we needed to.  It reminds me to never be surprised, but to always be amazed by Him.  

"Now glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."
(Ephesians 3:20)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've had this post floating around in my head for awhile now, and the ironic part is that I have literally just been too busy to sit down and write it all down.  And it all revolves around that word... "busy." 

Think back to the last phone conversation you've had with someone you haven't talked to in awhile.  It probably started out with a, "hey, how have you been?" and if the answer wasn't "fine" then it was probably the other four-letter standard answer of "busy."  Or when we don't get around to doing something that we were supposed to do or said we would, our answer is, "sorry, things have been so busy."  All that to say that it just makes me wonder, when did life get so "busy" for absolutely everyone?

As I reflect back on my life and compare it to the season that we're living in now, I almost feel silly that I ever really used that word to describe my current situation.  High school?  Well, yeah, I went from school to dance team practice to soccer practice and twice a week had additional dance lessons.  Plus I of course wanted to hang out with my friends on the weekends.  So I guess you could say it was busy.  Then college?  Well, there was class, which I was actually good about going to, with the exception of freshman biology, but really, who could blame me for that?  For a few years I worked as a resident assistant, which really just meant a weekly meeting and being friends with all of the girls on my floor (tough job, right?) and in the latter years I was a lifeguard at the YMCA, which honestly, was just hours spent in a chair watching a few very capable people swim laps.  I juggled that with weekly sorority meetings, which eventually led me to being a part of the board (which meant another weekly meeting) and then there were various social activities and probably too many parties.  And at that point, yes, I thought I was busy.  After college I moved to Florida and worked at a country club for awhile, which meant giving up a lot of weekends when I'd rather be doing something else.  When that job came to an end, I worked for the FedEx Orange Bowl, which meant working ALL. THE. TIME. (not even kidding there), and while I would say I was "busy," my time at work was really just filling a chair half the time.  The company culture lent itself to having us work all hours around the clock, when our jobs were really done for the day at regular business ending hours.  But becuase I worked so much I was, yep, you guessed it... "busy."  Then from there I started my career with Marriott, and while my hours got more regular, my social calendar filled back up with weekends at Disney with the girls, which I generally planned, bridal showers, weddings, and all the fun stuff that goes along with being in your twenties.  And then of course there was the planning of my own wedding, which filled up many weekends and was probably the most fun I've ever had being "busy" in my life.  As soon as we were married we packed up (immediately) and moved to Illinois to plant a church campus and while Josh worked some crazy hours, I worked from home and basically sulked that my husband wasn't always there to keep me company.  And instead of jumping on board and really lightening his load, I thought that I was "too busy" with my own full-time job and housekeeping to really be of any significance.  Plus, I was pregnant, so I liked to point out that I was constantly busy "building a human."  Yeah, try to top that!

So what's my point you might wonder?  Well, it's just that the word is... well... overused I think.  It's like the word "love."  I can love my husband and my children, but I can also love my new purse?  That makes no sense at all, but it's the only word we have for it.  And right here right now, in this season of my life, I am beginning to understand the absurdity of "busy" as well.  When Josh and I moved here this summer to plant a church, I knew things would be a bit crazy at times.  I was six months pregnant with our second child and we were starting at square one, with just a calling that we were supposed to be in this are, but no real direction beyond that.  The first couple of months of figuring it all out weren't truly all that busy, but Josh was on the go a lot as he built contacts and tried to flesh out this dream he had in his heart.  And then Lilly came along and I had three months of maternity leave, and while there was down time here and there, learning to adjust to two children can have a person "busy" around the clock.  Things started to ramp up for our church during these months as we partnered with the Kinchen family and their existing church, and suddenly the calendar started filling up.  Josh was meeting with anyone and everyone who would listen to him, casting vision and letting them know that they could help change the world.  I took over the childrens' ministry and began spending any free time I had searching for curriculum, pestering the childrens' pastor from our previous church, and putting together policies and procedures.  Our facility went under major renovations and we were often there painting, dry-walling, or whatever else we could find to do, all the while trying to keep an eye on a toddler who has more energy than anyone we know.  And then... I went back to work two months before our church was scheduled to launch.  Basically the two busiest months that a church plant will have.  At the beginning of January I remember literally thinking to myself, "I am going to hate January."  I knew at the start of it that Josh would be gone a lot and I would be juggling my job, the house, the bills, and two kids, both of which are at needy ages, and I just wasn't sure that I could do it.  And then I blinked and it was February.

We are now T-minus five days to the launch of TurningPoint Church.  To say that I am proud of my husband and what he has put in place would be the understatement of the year.  Over the past few months he has worked non-stop to pour into people, build them up, encourage them, and truly help them know and believe that they were created by God on purpose and for a purpose.  He helped individuals become leaders that they didn't realize they could be, and he helped those leaders build teams that will serve this community every Sunday starting next week.  He got up early to read not just the Bible, but manuals about speaker systems, accounting programs, and membership tracking applications.  And the whole time, I know that he beat himself up about not being home.  And then I look at my past few months and, well, I'm a bit proud of myself, too.  While I would not say that I want this pace to be the norm for our family, I have managed to keep our home pretty clean (if not always tidy), kept our kids happy, well-fed, well-groomed, and entertained, built the framework for what I hope will be a successful kids' ministry, and have even made it back to the gym about three times every week, which was more than I was going before all of this was going on.  Sure, my kids are with me 24 hours a day and come with me everywhere I go, which can be a major hassle at times (and a deterrent from leaving the house to be quite honest) but even when I didn't want to, I sucked it up and made it happen.  And I realized that for the first time in quite possibly my entire life, the difference has been discipline.  Because I so deeply believe to the very core of who I am in what we are doing, and  because I so very much believe that this church we are planting is something that we were created to do, I made the time work, even when there never seemed to be enough.  Sometimes with my kids I get frustrated that "my time is not my own," meaning I can't necessarily do things or get things done on my schedule, but then I remind myself that with or without kids, the time never was mine to begin with.  God gives us all 24 hours in a day, and I think it's important to Him how we use it.  We learn about tithing and giving our first 10% of our earnings to God, because it belongs to Him anyway, and I don't think we ever stop and think that it's the same with our time.  He has promised us eternal life in Heaven with Him if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but I think with that acceptance comes a responsibility to take care of this gift of time he's given us.  And the more responsible we are with it, the more responsibility He will give us... just like the tithe.  In these past few months I have learned so much about what it means to work hard.  I have learned how to utilize my time so that no single part of my day goes to waste.  When I walk up the stairs I have a basket of laundry in my hand and when I come back down I'm carrying cups that have accumulated.  I tirelessly pick up toys, load and unload the dishwasher, and change more diapers than I can count.  I write business proposals and contracts, return phone calls and send emails.  I try to pour into my kids' ministry team, send schedules and outlines of how Sunday should look.  I now know what the word "busy" really looks like.  It is my life in this time right now.

This post is in no way to try and say that we are truly busier than anyone else right now.  I think in many ways, those times in my past when I thought I was busy, I actually was for the capacity of what I could handle right then.  I think God saw how I handled my time, probably tried to hand me more responsibility at times, and I wasn't at a place where I was willing to take it on right then.  And now, well, we've been more than willing and He sure has handed us quite a bit.  And even though it's been tough and exhausting, and believe me, I have a mini-nervous breakdown about once a week (which my husband can confirm), and as much as I would love an entire day just to myself, I really can't complain.  This journey has stretched me in more ways than I have ever been stretched.  I have been challenged beyond any measure that I have ever had in the past.  And at the end of each day, I go to bed so satisfied with what we're doing with the time we've been given.  And I am proud.  And I hope God is proud of us.

So in finally putting all of this out there my challenge to you is this:

If you feel like there is something that you really want to go after, or you're hearing a small voice in your head pushing you in a certain direction, maybe it's time that you go for it!  Has your excuse been that you're already too busy or just don't have time?  We're all given the same amount of it... maybe it's "time" to start rearranging some things and make more time out of your 24 hours.  It won't be easy, and at times you'll be so tired that you think you might fall asleep standing up, but if you accomplish what you set out to do, it will be worth it.

I know that this Sunday is the first of many for TurningPoint Church and I know that our pace will still be a little crazy for awhile, even after we're up and running.  But this weekend, on February 12th, when they play that last song and our first service ends I know it will be worth it.  And whether fifty people or five hundred show up, I think that God will be smiling down on us, proud that we stopped being "too busy" to find the time to make this happen.  And deep within me, I will be filled with peace because I know that this "busy" season won't last forever and the pace will slow down eventually, and sometime in the near future my "busy" will look a lot less busy than it is right now. 

"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath" 
(Psalm 39:4-5)