Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NRP Conference

Well the NRP Conference in Orlando was of course amazing. It was a conference for pastors all around the U.S. to come together to connect and get re-inspired. Mark Batterson was the main speaker and he was a perfect fit. The theme was "Merge" meaning that God is a generational God whose desire is merge the generations together to accomplish his will. He doesn't just see and have a plan for us now, but all of history and the future are part of his big picture plan. Mark had the experience and background to get the respect of the older pastors while still young and cool enough to connect with the younger pastors and youth pastors.
More than the theme of the conference, God personally did so much in my heart about spiritual a mother/father. I've always desired spiritual parents, but had the wrong mindset about it. God showed me that just like we don't pick our natural parents, we don't pick our spiritual parents. God has placed me at my church under my pastors to be my spiritual parents and I'm so grateful for them. Not that everything is perfect, but because we are a family, we work through things.
God is giving me a new heart and teaching me what true submission and faithfulness to spiritual authority really means. Seeing it this way, I can be thankful for the trials and times of confusion I go through because in all of it God is changing my heart and if I stick it out, my heart will be purified in the process.
I'm thankful for the covering you get from spiritual authority. I know that no matter where we go or what we do in life we won't have to face it alone. I really like how God set it up as a family. And I thank God that he's helped me embrace what he has set up because it's good.
It was also amazing to see some of our dearest friends in ministry who live from California to Washington D.C. Thank you God for my spiritual family! I would never want to do it without them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

On Our Way!

Tomorrow bright and early we fly out to Orlando for a Pastor's Conference! I can't wait to be taken care of in a nice hotel, see good food that I can't eat, and be ministered to by a great minister himself - Mark Batterson. I have no idea what the topics are or anything we are going to do, but it's such a blessing to be around the ministry environment. Things are different since Aaron began working at New Orleans Hamburger. It's like we entered the corporate world with our foot still in the ministry door. Now I see how I took the freedom of us getting paid to minister for granted. The crazy thing is that the youth ministry is actually growing and prospering. I'm more excited than ever to be a youth pastor's wife!

Friday, January 15, 2010

21 Day Fast

Our church is doing a 21 day fast which started on January 11. Twenty one days is a long time. I am not a good faster but I am hoping God changes that because I want to know it's spiritual power. Our pastor told us there are 15 local churches also doing this fast starting on the same day as us! That is exciting! He said he had never heard of that before, so God is really up to something in our community! There are three ways you can fast:
1. A complete fast (no food and only water)
2. A partial fast (fast sun up to sun down)
3. A Daniel fast (eat all fruits and veggies; no meats, sweets, soda, coffee, bread, dairy, pasta, rice)
We are also reading the New Testament during the fast. That part is really exciting for me because I have only read through Revelation recently. I can't believe I've been saved almost 15 years and have never read through one book of the Bible!! I've read many many chapters, but have never purposed to read an entire book. I'd bet most Christians could say that. That is all going to change for me and I've really been enjoying it. The resounding theme I get from Jesus' teachings in Matthew is that it's all about the heart. Doing things that way is so much harder. It's much easier to do "the right thing" outwardly while covering up a bad attitude or a wrong motive. Once you start looking at your heart, which is intangible and undetectible things get much cloudier. And because I can't see my heart or detect it's motives, how am I supposed to control or manage it? So for now all we can do is have an intimate relationship with our maker who knows every motive of our heart and ask Him to tell us. Happy fasting!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

God takes care of his children

I have just noticed lately how God has been taking care of me. I have been feeling overwhelmed and discouraged lately about being a mom, loosing my vision and purpose. It always reminds and convinces me anew that He knows exactly where I am and what's going on in my life. Here are a few recent things:
1. My mom took the boys overnight. That really means a lot to me for her to care about THEM and want to get to know who they are as people. You only get that from actual time spent with people. She was so brave and took all 3 by herself! I admire her courage!
2. My mother-in-law took Gabe and Judah to the movies and had them all day! I think I slept a lot that day.
3. Sometimes Aaron has to schedule meetings on Sunday mornings before church, so there is a girl from our youth group who comes to help me get the boys ready and get to church on time. Before she started coming I was 20 minutes late to church for a whole month! It's so embarrassing to me to walk right up to the front on the last song of worship. Maybe no one notices but I know I would! With her help we always get there early enough to put the boys in nursery and still make it to the first song of worship! Instead of arriving to church frustrated, frantic, and late, I arrive calm, at peace, and ready for whatever God has.
4. A guy from our youth group, whose actually in college, offered to help with the boys. This is huge for me since Aaron is not able to spend much time with them in this season of our life. On top of that, I am so unathletic and girly. Most of the time people offer things but don't follow through on it. You know the whole, "Let me know if you need anything." I know they mean it but it's totally different when someone calls and says, "Hey can I take the boys to the park today?" So that's what he did. He was with them for 4 hours!!! I got so much house work done, I even ironed my bedroom curtains! Things like this give me back wind in my sails.
5. A girl from our youth group has come over before and almost completely cleaned my house for free! Her desire is to spend time with me and bless me! That always humbles me. Not only that, but she keeps calling to offer her services so I don't have to feel weird and call her to say, "Hey can you come clean my house?" Who wants to do that? Then, she offered to come watch the boys for a couple of hours so I can go to a coffee shop to read and think!
6. We went to Ruth's Chris (a very nice, fine dining steak house if you're not from around here) with a gift card from my mom and as we were going to pay, our waitress told us that someone had picked up the check! So now we get to go again with the gift card!
7. And of course spending time with my best friend and husband, Aaron, always rescues me. He is so busy but can always see when I'm drowning. He quickly makes plans for a date night where I get to vent and he refocuses me by reminding me of my vision and purpose as a wife and a mother.
Thank you God for all of the wonderful people in my life and for sending them my way right when I need them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Year

First of all isn't it so crazy how the holidays can get you so off track from your regular schedule? I felt like I was on a roll as far as my daily disciplines and then all of a sudden - POW! I feel like I'm starting all over! Now that I'm pregnant, I've been sooooo tired. I sleep every chance I get. I know it won't last long, but it makes me feel lazy. And I can't figure out if my pregnancy symptoms are here because I know I'm pregnant, or are they real? It always seems like as soon as I find out I'm pregnant, I feel tired and nauseous! The nausea is definitely real, but sometimes I wonder if it's in my head or do I actually need that much sleep? So for now my goals are to start getting up early in the morning again to seek the Lord, get back on track with the boy's homeschooling, teach the boys scripture & learn how to deal with their heart motives more than their behavior, get them on a chores routine, become a member at a gym that has a nursery, cook healthy meals every night, play more with the boys, yell less, get Isaiah unattached to his binky and Judah unattached from his thumb, stay connected with my husband during this busy season of life, and stay content where God has me. I'm sure I could come up with more, but those are the ones staring at me in the face. The good news is that not only is this a new year for all of us, but God gives us a new chance at a new start every single day! Thank God cause I need that!