Thursday, April 10, 2014

On my heart...church planting

It's been quiet around here lately, and by lately I mean the better part of about 9 months or so.  This season I find myself in has been long, like really long.  I have grown a lot- my views, ideas, and perspectives have all shifted.  What I once thought was important ended up being not so important, and little things I used to take for granted have now become some of the things I am the most grateful for.

About a month or so ago I announced that Eric and I are following the dream God has deeply planted in our hearts- planting a church in our hometown.  This dream has always been just that, a dream.  We never thought it would be possible, or that we would find partners to join alongside us, or that people would want to jump on this crazy train with us.  But being faithful and obedient has done more than grow our spiritual life, it's been life giving on many levels.  Through blind obedience God has been blessing us immensely.

People we have never had connections with have been connecting with us- partnerships, launch team, financial partners, prayer partners, etc.  We are still in need of many things, but just looking back even 2 months ago, I am blown away at how everything on our church planting road map has intersected.

Eric and I have been sitting down and meeting with couples, individuals, and families to talk about Movement Church.  The more we share, the more excited we get.  But the more we share, the more our eyes are opened to problems, issues, baggage, heartache, and then this journey gets more intense.  I knew going into this people have issues, I have issues, so I am cool with issues.  Working on a church staff you are introduced to a lot of things, you deal with a lot, you meet a lot of people, you see and hear things you don't want to deal with, basically I didn't enter this journey naively.

But when you sit across from someone and they pour their heart out to you and you realize that you are now treading on sacred ground, it gets intense.  I am a helper, that's why I enjoy counseling so much, I want to help you, so unintentionally I take on the weight of the world.  And as much as I love meeting and getting to know new friends, I also feel grieved for when the church let them down, or when a leader hurt them.  But I also rejoice with them when they have a spiritual growth spurt, and when the church was just what they needed at that time in their life.  So we have been riding one twisty, turny, swirly, up and down roller coaster, and I love it.

This ye old blog of mine might be quiet, but it's in no way a reflection of what God has been teaching me.  Actually quite the opposite, I have learned so much in this season that I don't even know where to start in the sharing process.  So I will just say that blindly following God has been one of the toughest and best decisions in my entire life.  I still feel like the blindfold is covering my eyes, but I have had some peeks out of it, and I like what I see.               

         

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's all about a movement...

I am not exactly sure where to begin...I have so much to share, yet at the same time I have an overwhelming feeling of silence.  Silence in a good, reflective way, yet I lean towards over-sharing, so I am bursting at the seams with stories and news.  What's a girl to do? 

It's been almost 7 months since we left Wisconsin to pursue church planting, it's been 4 months since we felt God saying "no, this isn't what I had in mind."  And it's been almost 2 months since we have felt absolute, clear, 100% wisdom and direction from God on what our next step is.  Basically it's been a long time coming. 

I have so many ways that certain threads of my life, Eric's life, your life, and other peoples' lives have all sewn together to make an awesome story, but truthfully those threads are so long and woven so tightly, I don't want to unravel anything.  The garment it's creating is so beautiful and ornate, and I am lucky enough to see it all come together.

So how is all of that for vague?!

I am about to get real right now, so hold on...

Today Eric and I announced on Facebook {because we all know it's not official until it's Facebook official} that we are planting a church in our hometown of Findlay, Ohio.  And it's not just us, we have organizations, churches, and people helping us.  God has brought together the greatest of opportunities and partnerships and we are only 6 weeks into this thing!  Last night we had our first vision meeting for Movement Church, and it was awesome.  We know the attendees at our meeting last night have caught the vision and mission, and are now excited to go invite their friends, neighbors, and co-workers to attend our first launch team gathering in April.

Eric and I have been working fast and furiously to get things to come together, and truthfully, God has already put things, people, and partnerships in place, we are just helping them all connect.

This journey would not have been possible without people people praying, encouraging, and supporting us.  We feel blessed to have friends who have continually pushed us, and challenged us, and who have encouraged us to keep dreaming and not settle.  Because let me tell you, we were inches from settling.  But because we didn't settle, because we dared to keep dreaming and exploring what God has created us, we now have firmer roots in our dreams, ministry, and the way we want to connect with people.  It's like God has started a whole new fire in our souls, and it's not burning out any time soon.  Again, surround yourselves with the best support and lean on them when your mind and heart can not stand.

There is a whole lot more to our story and our journey, and I want to share it, but I am learning a little bit at a time is best, for you and for me.  I am still trying to digest it and I play a main part.  So here is what I can tell you, through Movement Church, God is about to move, and move in a big way, and I am excited I get a front row seat to it.            


Friday, February 21, 2014

Thoughts On Turning 30

On Wednesday I turned 30.  I remember as a little kid 30 seemed ancient, like close to elderly ancient.  Plus back in the day any year in the 2000's seemed like Jesus would come back before we hit any of them. 

I have to admit, turning 30 really didn't bother me.  I didn't dread the day, I didn't cry, I didn't hide under the covers, I got up at the beckon call of Miss Lucy and was served a wonderful lemon poppy seed muffin by Eric.  I took it as any other day.

I do feel like 30 carries a little more weight with it.  30 sounds better than 20, and you feel like people take you a little more seriously because you are 30, and of course 30 year olds are way more mature, of course.  Even if you aren't more mature at 30 then 25, people just assume you are.  You have more life experience and that counts for something.

I feel like my 30's will be great.  I base a lot of that thinking off my kids, I look what they will achieve over the next 10 years.  Molly will be driving in the next 10 years, holy crap.  I get excited about accomplishments, milestones, etc, that my kids will reach, and that Eric and I will reach.  Over the next 10 years Eric and I will celebrate wedding anniversary 10, and 15, and we will be really close to 20, yikes!

I also feel like 30 is a time to thrive, and just be comfortable in my own skin.  Something that maybe in my 20's I was a little uncomfortable with.  At 30 who cares, right?!

I am really looking forward to experiencing and embracing my 30's and all that they have to offer me and all that I do to make them better. 

When I hit a big milestone I think of my brother, and the fact that he didn't get to hit very many of them.  He died at 22, he never graduated college, got married, had kids, had a first real job, and the list goes on and on.  But in his 22 years he impacted and reached so many people.  Andy made a difference, a huge one.  So honestly, every day we have is a gift.  It doesn't matter how old or young you are, you can make a difference, you can make an impact.  My brother didn't have a lot, he was a broke college kid, but he had kindness.  At his funeral we had people lining up to tell us stories of his kindness, what his generosity meant to them, how he helped them, how he listened to them without judgement, and basically what an awesome guy he truly was.

I want that, I want to be like my brother.  I guess even at 30, I am still striving to be just like my big brother, Andy.

So here's to 30 and all it's greatness...

"The powerful play goes on, 
and you may contribute a verse."
Walt Whitman





Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Having It {NOT} All Together



So much for my elaborate schemes and thoughts of posting daily for 30 days before my 30th birthday.  Yea, well the good intentions were there, but I had no follow through.  Just like a lot of things in life, ie: my craft box.  My craft box is filled to the brim of really good intentions and half started projects {insert husband eye roll}.  I can't say I don't always finish what I start, but I do have a good amount of projects or ideas that are well, still projects or ideas in the making. 

This all got me wondering, what happened to the fast paced, multi tasking, organized person I used to be.  I do better under pressure, give me a deadline and I come alive.  My last year of college I had 24.5 credit hours, a full time internship, I worked 2 jobs on campus, and planned a wedding.  To think about that again makes me tired.

Nowadays the saying of "What did you do all day?"  "I kept the kids alive."  Rings more true with each passing snow day/no school day minute.  Not that my kids are ever in harms way, but sometimes entertaining them, playing referee, reading an insane amount of books, folding and refolding laundry, and trying to cook dinner without it being a total disaster is all I literally can handle.

When I lay down at night I often replay my day, what could have gone better, what should we do tomorrow, etc.  More often than not my mind drifts to you should have done this, you shouldn't have let them watch that much TV, you should be like this mom and do this fun activity with them, you fill in the blank.  I get down on myself and think I am some how hurting my kids by not always being over the top.  Now I know some of you right now are rolling your eyes and thinking I am over the top because we do this fun thing or that fun thing.  I am at times fun, but most of the time I am an introverted homebody.  We stick to the typical schedule and it takes a lot, I mean a lot to break the cycle of the schedule.

But let me dig a little deeper, when I think back to my old fast paced self I try and think what's different, besides being married and having kids, and not a whole lot is different.  I still feel like a driven person, I still feel passionate about certain things, but honestly, I choose every single day to slow down.  I choose to not always read 900 blogs, I choose to not always participate in what everyone else is always participating in.  And those are hard choices friends.  Really hard choices.

I often have people ask me did you hear what this person is doing, did you read this book, are you going here.  And most of the time I say no.  I am not saying I have chosen to not learn, grow, or challenge myself, but if it's extra on top of what I am already doing I have to say no.  Saying no sucks, it means you are missing out on something that could be amazing, it means you are behind a little bit.  But it also means you are choosing something else to say yes to.

I am not 30 quite yet, I have about 2 weeks to go.  So lately when I lay down at night and think about my day and how I royally messed up here or there, or what I should do tomorrow, I smile and know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, being a wife and mom.  Those right now in my season of life are the absolute most important things to me, the things I have said yes to.  And they are also the hardest things for me, because I am not perfect, I screw up, I am human.  But I choose to try every single day.

I may not be able to go back to 2005 and handle 24.5 credit hours, 2 jobs, an internship, and plan a wedding, but I can care, love, draw stick figures, read books, pack a lunch, and get to school before the bell rings every day like a boss, and I love doing it.

   

Friday, January 24, 2014

3/30


Clearly the whole blog for 30 days in a row is too much for me, ha!  Well, one day behind, that's all!

Today I was thinking about what has been one big change that I have made in the last 10 years.  Apart from graduating college, getting married, having kids, etc.  The one thing I could think of is my health.  Maybe it's because right now Eric and I are going through the T25 workout program so that's always on my mind, or maybe it's because it's still January and people are still talking about resolutions, healthy eating, and exercising.  I am not sure what the influence is, but I would say I have radically changed/am changing my mind set towards food and exercise.

I have never been skinny, or small.  I am short, but not tiny.  My thighs have always been bigger than my belly, I am your classic pear shape.  I have a hard time finding pants that fit in the legs because they are normally way too big in the waist, and sometimes I am too short for regular but too tall for petite.  This is one main reason why I love dresses and skirts.  I was an active kid, I played sports, rode my bike everywhere, and tried as I got older to be healthy.  My weight has never fluctuated a ton.  I am for the most part the same as I was in middle school, high school, and college.

Once I got to college I tried to stay active.  I played soccer, and would go running with Eric.  We mostly ran because we were poor college kids, and he needed to stay in shape for soccer.  However, running through the Smokey Mountains was not a bad way to spend time together.  My junior year of college was the best I had ever felt about myself physically.  I seriously will never forget those feelings.

Eric and I married the next Spring and right before our one year anniversary I realized I had gained 25 pounds.  What the what?!  We were getting ready to go to Hawaii and I was mortified.  Not that I was going to be prancing around in a bathing suit, but still, 25 pounds?!  Nothing had really changed after getting married, or had it.  I realized I ate the same thing Eric did (portion size), we had ice-cream every single night before we went to bed, we ate bread with dinner all the time, and I never exercised.  Hmmm...and I wondered why I gained weight.

I decided I wanted to lose the weight, especially after seeing pictures from Hawaii, oh goodness, they were not pretty.  Then summer hit, Eric was a youth minister so obviously those were busy months, I ate some more, and some more, tried to exercise, but could never make it through, or stick with a plan.  Around Thanksgiving I was feeling terrible about myself.  Then I found out I was pregnant with Molly.       

So much for losing any of that unwanted weight.  So instead I took the saying "eating for two" literally.  I ate and ate.  I weighed over 200 pounds when I had Molly.  All that weight looked really cute on my 5'4" frame.

I will say it did not help being pregnant in the dead heat of the summer, and I retained water like a whale the last 2 weeks or so of pregnancy.  But regardless, I was the one that chose to overeat my entire pregnancy.

After I had Molly, Eric and I moved to WI, and then we joined a gym.  Let me please say this, I hate gyms.  I just do.  I don't care how fancy, how nice, how this, or how that, I really do not like them.  I did not grow up in a health club going family, so I carry a weight of self consciousness around the whole time I am inside a gym.  Now, the gym we belonged to was very nice, and the child care workers and child care area is truly what made our decision to join.  I put off going for probably about the first month or so.  I was nursing Molly so I would use her as my excuse.  Then one day Eric pushed me out the door to go.  I was terrified going alone, but I did it.  The first time I went I got on the elliptical.  It seemed safe enough.  I got on and started going, and I thought I was going to die.  I only lasted 10 minutes.  I got off, got my coat and went home.  I was so embarrassed, and honestly, I was disappointed in myself.  What happened to this former runner?  Where did the natural athlete go?  Good grief, what happened to me?! 

All of that was in the Fall of 2007.  Literally from 2007 to now, it has been a battle.  Food and exercise are my nemesis'.  I love to eat, yet I also yearn to be healthy and active.  I know with my body I need to exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  So that's sorta what I have been doing.  I would work out so I could eat.  I justified my eating with my workouts.  When I signed up for my half marathon I thought "oh good, I will run a lot and I am going to lose a ton of weight!"  Because for me it's still about the scale most days.  Well, I lost 4 pounds, but went from a size 10 to a size 6.  Although I was terribly disappointed to not weigh less, I was happy to be buying smaller size pants.

My mind still has a hard time wrapping around the idea that food is fuel for your body, so feed it well.  I still desire to eat crap.  But the more I stay away from it and eat it occasionally, the more I realize it makes me feel terrible.  I hardly eat deep fried because it's not worth it for me to feel the way it makes me feel afterward.  But I love sweets and candies.  I don't steer as clear from those as I should.

I want to run another half marathon this year, and I do want to beat my time from 2012.  But I want to train in a totally different way.  I want my body to not just be able to run, but feel strong doing it.  With every passing mile I don't want to wish the race away, I want to feel stronger and like I won't die.  I also want to be leaner and meaner, just kidding, I am mean enough.  But truthfully, I would love to tighten up my less than steel abs, and not have my legs flap together so much when I walk.    

So to sum my up my 10 year life lesson...
-Every day is a choice, chose wisely, even if you are choosing meal by meal.
-If it's not in your house, you won't eat it...this one is really hard for me!
-Get moving...find something that works for you, and grab a partner if you can.  {As for me I like doing workout programs at home, and running outside.  I can't say I will never join a gym again, I do enjoy working on different machines, but right now we can not afford it, so I try and do what I can at home.}

I am no health expert, I am very, very novice at it all.  I have the knowledge, I just need to the will power to put it all together.  I know bad habits are harder to break when they have been there for a long time.  Trust me, I am trying to break mine all of the time.

For my 30's I really do hope that I see food as fuel and and not so much a reward or just another meal.  It's hard changing your mind set and not justifying everything you put in your mouth.  I look forward to running another half marathon as a leaner, fitter 30 year old.  :)      


 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2/30

I have to be honest, I really do have a topic I want to write about but I just have no time or brain power tonight.  And another thing, I was not sure what to title this little series, so I am turning 30 in 29 days, so I am counting from 1-30, hence 2/30.  Now that all of that is out of the way, I leave you with this gem...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thoughts on 30


In 30 days I day turn 30.  30, wow, that's old.  Well that's what I used to think, but now I am reconsidering.  I remember being a little kid and thinking anything over 25 was like ancient.  

The closer I get to 30, the more reflective I have become.  I have had about a year to start reminiscing and reflecting.  With me turning 29 and Eric turning 30 last year, I have been preparing myself.  I feel like 30 carries some huge milestone with it, like it's something big.  What that big thing is, I have no clue, I just feel like at 30 you have a little more clout now.  I look at kids in their early 20's and I laugh.  I remember being that young, and thinking I knew it all.  Granted I got married at 21, but I still had a lot of growing up to do.

Heck, I had Molly when I was 23, and I look back and think "oh, you poor baby, you had no clue."  But I wouldn't trade any of my life decisions for the world, well, maybe that pixie haircut, but other than that, I am pretty happy with my first 30 years of life.

Over the next 30 days I plan on blogging about the greatest topic: ME.  Well, since we will be celebrating my birthday soon :)  Truthfully, I will be blogging about myself, but it will be more funny stories and memories, my favorite songs and quotes, and thoughts about turning 30.  Let the countdown begin...