Saturday, November 19, 2011


Elizabeth, one of our third grade teachers at West Dallas Community School always has great stories for me, especially about Timothy. About a month ago he said to her, "Miss Johnson, I think my digestive system is going in reverse." What third grader do you know who speaks like that? I think Elizabeth probably thought he was just trying to use some big words he had learned, but low and behold Timothy was throwing up in the nearest trash can just 20 minutes later.
Timothy isn't a bad kid by any means, he's just squirmy. He gets in trouble for talking in class or leaving his hand on top of his head. Discipline comes in the form of minutes, minutes taken off his playtime. One day particularly, he had had a rough day and had lost all his minutes at playtime. While Elizabeth was calling the 3rd grade to come in, Timothy ran up to her and said, "Miss Johnson, can I take someone else's minutes?" Puzzled, Elizabeth replied, "Why would you want to do that Timothy?" He answered: "So I would know what it was like to be Jesus taking on the sin of the world."

I think he's getting it, don't you?

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's easier said than done

It's easy to say and hard to do. "If you're going to really engage people, you have to be willing to get messy" is easy for me to spout off and sound like a great minister of the Gospel, but to actually step into people's filth is a completely different story.
Steven and I have made it our habit to have a running list of people we pray for every night before we go to bed. There are some that we pray would find a true relationship with Jesus, others we pray that the the Lord would ignite a fire that has grown dim and then there are our missionaries that we love and pray that the Lord would walk along side them during difficult and dark times.
Something unexpected seems to happen when we pray, God moves. You're thinking: Isn't that what you were asking him to do? YES... and no. YES, we're asking him to move, but NO I don't like how uncomfortable he makes ME stick my hands in their filth.
My husband loves dirt... and I mean actual dirt. He has no problem getting down and dirty to help other people out. He'll be the first one under the hood of a car and the last one to leave when a mess is left. One day on the way to the airport, Steven saw a woman stranded on the side of the road. We were already late, but that did not bother him. His first concern was that this woman was ok. He almost missed his flight. This is Steven.
I, on the other hand want to be a comfortable minister of the Gospel, and to be honest that is not how the Lord intended it. He called Paul to be imprisoned, stoned and beat for his faith, why? "So that whether by life or death, Christ might be glorified in my body." Oh how I struggle with this concept. I want to be comfortable! I want to tell stories of how dirty life is without getting dirty myself.
Through the people we pray for, we have gotten many opportunities to get dirty and to invest into the lives of others. It has been painful to love people through their self-destructing habits, but my husband has taught me something. Speak truth, even when it hurts. It's like scrubbing an infected wound - healing cannot happen if soap and elbow grease isn't applied. Steven's heart for the Gospel and making Jesus knows in dark places in nothing short of admirable. He listens when people need to be heard but speaks truth when it needs to be spoken all so that Christ would be glorified.
Thank you Lord for giving me a man who loves and follows after you, even when it's messy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Looking back...

"Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4: 6)
We must look back in order to remember. This weekend, the Lord walked me through my major milestones to show me his constant grace in my life.
As I sat in church yesterday at Baptism Sunday, Steve, our pastor said "As you hear the stories of those in the water, may you be reminded of your salvation story." Sitting and listening to these 4 people vulnerably sharing their struggles and how they "grew up in a Christian home" but never truly understood the gospel, I was rocketed back into my own childhood. It was as if I was looking at my six-year-old self sitting on the toilet praying for Jesus to be my Savior. Skipping ahead a few months, I remember playing with a little girl on a California beach telling her all about my Jesus. Some people look back on their childhood conversion as something they were talked into or didn't understand, but I look back and see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly transformed my life, even at a young age. THERE the Lord saved me.
After each passed through the waters of baptism, a pastor stood up to talk about Jesus' baptism and more important still, his temptation in the desert. He pointed out that Satan was after Jesus' identity and immediately, I was launched back to my college door room where I sat on the floor crying out to God asking him who I was. Who am I?! I said, partially out of frustration and partially out of fear. I felt so lost. I remember so clearly the gentle whisper of the Father, You are my daughter, so that makes you a princess. Are you acting like it? That moment was a reality check on so many levels. I believe it was when the Lord called me to a real purpose, to follow hard after him. It was then that I decided to get my tattoo as a reminder of my identity - a princess, a daughter of the King. THERE the Lord gave me identity.
As we went into worship and sang two of my favorite songs that I picked for my own wedding, I was reminded of the joy that I felt and the love that engulfed me the day I was married almost 10 months ago. That day reminds me of my commitment to my husband but more so, it reminds me of what one of those songs cries out: When we arrive on eternities shores where death is just a memory and tears are no more. We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring. Your bride will come together and we'll sing, you're beautiful. THERE the Lord gave me a glimpse into his love for me, his bride.
There are high points and low points in my walk with Christ. I look back on some with great joy at how he has grown me and yet others still bring me pain if I examine them too closely. Either way, I will not stop putting these markers in the ground to remind myself of the God I serve. The challenge: to remember to LOOK at those markers and say, THERE the Lord was faithful... and that will not change today, tomorrow or for eternity.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sometimes it's hard...

If you have followed me at all over the past couple of years, you know by now that I hate change. I LOVE getting the hang of things. I LOVE feeling at home and knowing what I'm doing. Jesus seems to LOVE CHANGE. The month of September has not been easy. As most of you know, I started a new job in July as the Volunteer Director for West Dallas Community School so that means CHANGE and a lot of it.
This past two weeks, I have had to organize and create handouts, PowerPoint, and the like for 3 separate events. I am the perfectionist who wants it all to be just SO... and everything was not just SO. It was crazy and out of control. By Tuesday afternoon, when Steven so lovingly walked into my office to surprise me, I was two seconds from breaking down into a puddle of tears.
BUT I got it together, figured stuff out and kept going. By Wednesday, it was coming together and I as feeling confident and becoming more ready, so I was expecting what came next.
At Elder-led prayer at church that night, we sang the words, "Lord you are faithful." By the third time, I whispered to Jesus, "I still feel so weak." As the music played, tears rolled down my checks and he whispered back, "I like you that way."
By this point a good cry had been coming for quite a while so I just sobbed and sang, lifting my hands to Jesus and confessing my inadequacy.
The events are now over and life is settled (for the moment!). So now I sit here and wonder when will I ever truly learn that I am not in control. Over and over again I somehow think I can strong arm my way into making things happen the way I want. Have I not grown up at all? Wasn't I struggling with this exact same thing when I moved back to the States or when I started life in Ecuador or started ANYTHING new for that matter?
Yes... so as frustrating as it is to have to learn, yet again, I remind myself that I AM growing and that slowly (ever so slowly) the Lord is teaching me to be weak and let him be strong.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let the little children come...

Can a five-year-old change a family? I know one who did. Her mom came into the office the other day to pick up some books and began to share with Mrs. Howard how her daughter has changed their family.
This mom of three never graduated from high school but is now taking the plunge into getting her GED. She explained, "I know how to do most things, but I can't do Math. My husband bought me flash cards to help me learn my multiplication tables." She went on to explain how her daughter has been helping her practice. With the love and encouragement only your child can give, this small girl said to her mom, "You can do it. You just need to practice." Not only that, she daily talks to her mom and twin baby brothers about the fruit of the Spirit. Tears were brought to my eyes when I heard that she said, "I will do whatever I have to do to keep my children at this school because it is changing our family."
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Jesus.

I am overjoyed that I get the privilege of helping to pour into the lives of these small children at West Dallas Community School, because it doesn't just change their lives, it impacts all those around them... including me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I know life has gotten away from me when I look and see that my last post was the end of May! Summer for teachers means travel and relaxation... for administration it means work in flip flops instead of heels. Too bad I'm not a teacher. BUT my job title has changed. Here's the story: (though its more INFORMATIONAL than anything!)
In March, Steven and I went for a walk just talking about life, school and work. I remember looking at him and saying, "There's only one other job at our school that I would take, the Volunteer Director position." This was more just chatting since the job was already filled by someone. But low and behold, about a month later, the job was OPEN and they were looking for someone. I'll spare you the boring details and just tell you that this process including a lot of the Lord humbling my heart to remind me that this life is FLEETING and that its not about job titles or status, but spreading his gospel and working for his kingdom.
In his graciousness, he has opened the door and I have walked through. You are now looking at the Volunteer Director for West Dallas Community School! Translation is that I am in charge of all the volunteers and shepherds at our school. SO if you're interested in helping out with a bunch of awesome kiddos, let me know!
The excitement over this job has lead into a holy fear of what I have to do and how much work its going to be. Steven constantly reminds me that its about the gospel - sharing it with the kids, with the donors and with myself! If I don't preach the gospel to myself every day, I end up with a skewed version of Christianity... that somehow my GOOD things are saving me or somehow I have attained all the good in my life on my own. When I preach the gospel to myself, I realize NO! If it weren't for the grace of God, I would be lost and dying and in desperate need of a Savior.
So, I humbly step forward into this new adventure of Volunteer Director knowing that God will use it for my good and his glory.
Steven has also stepped into something new in the past month since school has been out. Steven has this great knack of meeting people, especially in Dallas. Since we've moved here in February, he's made great friends with our neighbors upstairs. He's befriended several homeless people (which he knows by name). And has managed to make friends with several store owners in our neighborhood. One of those is Tom Jon. (Yes, he has two first names... I asked too) Tom Jon owns an eclectic shop around the corner from our house where he sells random odds and ends and his own clothing line. For the past several months, Steven goes in to just talk to him about life and Dallas and his store. Last month Tom Jon offered Steven a job the DAY he needed one. We are excited to see how the Lord is using this shop to build friendships with other people in the neighborhood and open the door for the gospel to be spread. I must brag on my husband here for a moment: this man knows how to accept people where they are and at the same time show them the light and love of Jesus.
So, Steven is working at the shop and will start his third (out of five) semester in Seminary in August and I have just started my new job as of last Tuesday. But, wherever we are and whatever we do, we pray that all would see the gospel of Jesus in our lives.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time to do some gardening!

Ivan walked up to my desk with a huge leaf. After some short inquiry, Ivan explains that due to the rain, a huge weed had grown up in his garden next to all the things he has planted. So I asked him, “Ivan, did you pull that big weed?” And he said, “I was going to, but I decided it was too big to just pull out.”
When asked what was going to happen to the other good things in his garden, he responded: “It’s not close to my other plants; I dug it up and planted it further away.”

As Ivan relayed the story of his weed to me, it caused me to begin to think about life and the things we plant in our garden. We choose to plant all this wonderful stuff in our lives, the fruit of the Spirit shall we say… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. What a beautiful looking garden that can be easily infested with the smallest weed. Let’s call it selfish ambition. No one thinks too much of it, but before you know it, it grows into something bigger: dissensions and factions. (Ephesians 5)

I find myself sometimes seeing my weeds like Ivan… it’s too big to just throw away. Instead I’ll dig it up and plant it a little further from the good things in my garden and somehow expect it to never infiltrate. What a lie I have fed myself. Just dig it up and get rid of it already. I want only good things in my garden, the fruit of the Spirit. So, I’m choosing to let Jesus dig up that selfishness that loves to loom in my heart and replace it with this command: Love your neighbor as yourself. Instead of looking out for my own interests, Jesus is asking me to look out for the interests of others. I think it’s time to get the shovel.

Friday, May 20, 2011

If only...

Wide-eyed and anxious to get their hands on everything, their teacher once again reminds them that they need to keep their hands behind their backs and off the art. Noemi whispers to her fellow second grader, "I can't wait until we can do that in 6th grade!"
Watching them roam the halls carefully analyzing each work of art done by an older and "wiser" child from the school is intoxicating. The pre-kinders look at the 1st graders as if they have a corner on the "school market"... they are at DESKS in their classrooms, learning how to read and write. The second graders look at the sixth graders like rock stars who get to be in the "middle school hallway" and change classrooms during the day! And should we even talk about the eighth graders? They're as close to grown up as they come!
I can look back on my own childhood and the millions of times in my life I thought "If only..." If only I was older and wise... My life will be complete when I can finally DRIVE.
Then it was, I can be in control and do whatever I want as soon as I'm out of college and have my own job. I really did think I would be grown up and "cool" when I turned 25, but somehow the "cool" stage was always just out of my reach.
Is contentment always just out of reach? If only I was bigger, if only I was smaller... if only I had more money, if only I had less responsibilities... if only I had kids, if only I didn't... if only life was just so, I would be content, happy and whole. But would we really? Or would we all just be like that little pre-kinder desperately wanting to sit in a big girl desk learning to read and write? So what's the secret to being content? "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." -our good friend Paul.
I feel like this is a lesson that Jesus is drilling in my head right now. I am not content because I'm at the perfect place in life or have all my needs met. I am not content because I have the perfect husband or the perfect job. I am learning what it means to be content when all those things are true or the furthest thing from, not because of the circumstance but because of Jesus. So next time I am tempted to say: I wish I were... I pray that the Lord stops me in my tracks and reminds me that I am where he has placed me for His reasons... and I will choose to be content.

Monday, May 16, 2011

God spoke to me through a 3rd grader...

The concept of grace has never been a struggle for me in thinking that Jesus SAVED me while I was still a sinner, but through a speaker this weekend, I came face to face with my real struggle. Not only am I saved by grace, I am kept by his grace. I'm not saying that I was worried about my salvation and wondering if I were good enough to keep my salvation, by no means. I understand fully that his grace keeps me saved, but does his grace keep me right with him?
I live a preformance based Christianity... I do right because I know it is right and thats what God wants from me. And somehow if I am having my time with the Lord, if I pray, if I do what I'm supposed to, me and God are tight. If I don't, we are not tight and I feel far away. But is that really how grace works? Romans says "While we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." God knew what kind of state that I was in and even after he has saved me, MY righteousness still does not set me right before God... it is STILL by God's grace.
The speaker I heard this weekend said that sanctification is just swimming in the pool of your justification. I have been made right by the blood of Christ, but for some reason I don't SWIM in that, I beat myself up with little "good things" that somehow I think will please a holy God.
So today, a kid named Jose as sitting at the bench. When I asked him what happened he said, "I got mad." When I asked why, he said, "Because I missed one on my phonograms." One. And I began to think, this is me. I do not allow grace to be extended to me. I extend it to others and I let Jesus extend it to them, but somehow I think I need to be perfect. I am still trying to figure out how exactly I swim in my justification... but I think it means that I just jump in and let Jesus' grace cover me: good, bad and ugly.
Good thing he sent that 3rd grader to convict me of my lack of grace on myself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My mom...

I've started this blog a dozen times and find myself stuck in how to describe this woman. She is strong; there is no doubt about it. She has bested lock-ins, camp outs, and mission trips all with child in tow. She is godly. Her love for the Lord seeps out of every pore in her body. As children we could not help but hear her pray, watch her read the Word and be encouraged to do the same. She is loving.
Friends would choose our house because of her hospitality and love for each person who walked through our front door. People would fall asleep on our couch because she made our home a house of peace and rest. She is feisty yet gentle. She is gracious yet firm. She is the woman who taught me how to tie my shoe and how to know the Savior.
This is my mom. Without her I would not be the woman I am today. I tell her this every mother's day, but the older I get the more true it becomes. She has taught me how to love deeply, pray hard and give my all.
Thanks mom for not only telling me how to be a godly wife and mom, but showing me. I will forever be in your debt.
This is my mom... my hero.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bad mood days...

The buzz of the alarm jolted me out of the horrible nightmare, but not out of my fright. I was scared and trying so desperately not to drift off once more. That was how the day started, but it was only the beginning. At work, I made stupid mistakes of calling classrooms during testing and messing up the copier. I couldn't wait for the day to be over; I was in a bad mood. Rolling into the house should have felt like sweet release, but I was still bothered. By what, I still can't really put my finger on it. A warm relaxing bath and crawling into bed seemed to do the trick as I closed my eyes on a bad day.
This morning I woke up to an email from my mom in Asia. She too disclosed all the difficulties of her week, including but not limited to: a horrible Asian haircut, terrible cold and getting her camera stolen. But guess what? My mom was trying to be "content in all situations." I thought that reading my mom's email would help me to be more positive today and if nothing else it sure started my day out on a good laugh!
Driving in traffic and little irritations of the morning made me think, I cannot have another day like yesterday.
As I sat at my desk, my mind wandered to the Psalm I read last night, I let my brain focus in on this part of 139:
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

He is here with me and therefore I have everything I need. I felt Jesus nudging me to tell our maintenance guy that he was doing a great job cleaning the floor. A smile crossed his lips as he thanked me. Then I felt Jesus pushing me to tell one of our other staff members that she was doing a good job and she said: Is it that obvious that I'm not doing well? I told her I had no idea, but obviously Jesus knew.
As I sat down at my desk after those two experiences, I realized something, my bad mood had lifted. Jesus' Word and encouraging those around me had made me stop looking at ME... and that made all the difference.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's not mine...

Easter morning we walked outside to something unexpected: my car in disarray with CDs strewn about the seats and my junk flung from the front seat to the back window. I was about to ask Steven what he was looking for when I realized someone had broken into my car. After a quick check, we realized that the only thing missing was 25 cents in nickels from my cup holder. Even as such, I was a little shook up. There is something violating about someone being in your life without being invited. It feels wrong that someone would be able to riffle through your things to pick what fits their fancy. On the way to church, I cried. I felt stupid for crying because I knew it wasn't a big deal. Steven validated my feelings as normal and then took my hand and thanked God for knowing that this would happen and taking care of us.
It reminded me of the story of one of my missionary friends in Guatemala. She was pulled over while driving and asked (in a very roundabout way) for a bribe. She declined. As he pushed her more, he threatened to take her car and she said, "That' fine. It's not my car anyways." And the office asked, "Whose car is it?" She proudly declared: "It's Jesus' car." The officer was so confused but insisted, "No, it's your car and we are going to impound it if you do not give us something." And she calmly said, "You can have it, its Jesus' car." The man angrily let her go, not wanting to take Jesus' car.
As I thought about that story in relation to what happened to me Easter morning, I realized that I too should think that way. Everything I have belongs to Jesus. He has given me these things on loan to use for his purpose and for his glory. If someone else takes it, they are stealing from Jesus.
I decided right then and there to take a dollar bill and put it in my glove box as a reminder to me and a warning if anyone ever breaks into my car again. Stapled to the dollar is a note that reads: If you have broken into this car, know that the car and everything in it belongs to Jesus. Whatever you take is Jesus'.
Everything I am, everything I have belongs to Him. It's not mine.

Monday, April 18, 2011

When Life's Not Easy...

Life's not looking so good today and tomorrow's not looking any better. Not only is there no fruit, there's not even a bud to give me hope that fruit will come soon. There's nothing in the barn and so how can I even hope that there will be more! It's all gone and I have nothing left to give.
Yesterday at church, Matt finished up his sermon series on Habakkuk and it just made me think. At the beginning of the book, he is complaining that God won't do anything and God says, Oh I WILL do something, but you're not going to like it. At the end of the book Habakkuk looks around and says, "There is nothing left and no hope that it'll get any better." Here comes my favorite part: YET I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength.
In the blink of an eye, you can lose it all: health, wealth, family, friends. When it is all gone and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better, what is your outlook on life?
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer, his responce: If one person comes to know the Lord through my sickness, it'll all be worth it.
I do not have cancer, nor am I homeless. I haven't lost my husband or been betrayed by a close friend... Steven's just in seminary. But even there, I hide from struggle. I hate suffering. I want it to be a pleasant and easy ride with not too many bumps in it.
(I must preface the following paragraph: I'm about to be very honest, so if you can't handle reading my messiness, I would suggest you stop reading now.)
Instead, I have found myself frustrated with the workload. I found myself irritated at, what seemed to me as legalistic theology and griping at the burden of seminary tuition. This morning I had an epiphany. I am actually thankful for the struggles that seminary has brought into our marriage. It has caused me to pray more fervently for my husband, seek the Lord more passionately in my own life and united us together as we fight for a single goal. Prayer has so saturated our hearts that it has welded them together. I've realized that that is something only hardship can bring. Ease can not bring about the same closeness that struggle can.
My struggle may be nothing compared to what you daily undergo, but I have determined in my heart to no longer run from suffering. I want to be like Habakkuk and say even if it's looking bad today and worse tomorrow, I will find my joy, hope and peace in the lover of my soul for He is the only one who cannot be taken away from me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So that God might be displayed...

Shanell and I have become friends in the past several months over stories and mop buckets. She is a beautiful, feisty mama with 9 kids that come in and out of her house, 4 of which are hers. On top of that, she has been helping out with the maintenance of the school while another employee is not able. To say the least, she is a busy woman.

Every morning I hear the usual "hello sugar" greeting as she passes my window. Last week she was exceptionally excited, so I inquired as to why. Her and her husband were invited to a medical facility that helps kids with glasses. Two of her husband's girls needed glasses, so they made it a family event and all went. Her oldest son, Dean is 16 years old and was born with no sight in one eye and impaired vision in the other. His eyes are both lazy and, as you can imagine high school kids are very unforgiving.

While they were there waiting their turn, the camera crew from News 4 was setting up to capture the other children as they received their new glasses. They asked if Dean would sit in the seat to get the lighting right since the rest of the children were engaged with other doctors. A doctor happened to catch Dean out of the corner of his eye and call him over. Before they knew what was happening, the doctor said to Shanell, "I want to help Dean." Come to find out, this doctor has been correcting eyes for over 40 years and Dean's condition is his specialty!

Tears blurred Shanell's vision as she raised her hands in the air and said, "God's gonna heal my baby!" As we talked, she told how she took him to doctors, clinics, healing services and preachers... but everyone said nothing could be done. Many people told her that Dean had this because he was born out of wedlock or that she had commited some sin.

It brought to my mind the story of the blind man where the disciples asked: "Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" Jesus' response: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." God took one doctor on one specific day to restore one 16-year-old boy's eyes so that GOD might be displayed in his life!

The surgery took place on Thursday and couldn't have gone smoother. Today, he has returned to school, eyes no longer lazy, vision restored in one eye and able to see lights and blurry images out of the other. Shanell told me today how perfect God's timing is. "He will be 17 in September. Once a child is 17, they can no longer do this type of surgery because the brain is fixed. Jesus knew the exact day and time he wanted to heal my baby."

Tears crept into my eyes as I rejoiced with my friend over the healing of her son and the goodness of our Father.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Song that Gets You Every Time...

I don't know about you, but there are songs that no matter how many times I've heard them, they will always stirs something up within my heart. It brings tears to my eyes and puts images in my head of another day and time. I heard that song this morning on the way to work.

It's the song of the redeemed

Rising from the African plain

Its the song of the forgiven

Drowning out the Amazon rain

The song of Asian believers

Filled with God's holy fire

It's every tribe, every tongue, every nation

A love song born of a grateful choir

My mind begins to swim with memories of Kenyan women dancing and singing their hearts out. I see Ecuadorian girls waving flags and lifting holy hands. I watch Burmese believers pray with an excitement I can only dream of. It takes me to a different place and time and suddenly I am there too. My eyes fill with tears and I sing with them, Glory Glory Hallelujah He reigns!

As the song comes to a close, I open my eyes once more to find that I am sitting in my car getting ready to start another day of work. Oh how I long to be there, but right now I am here, in a culture that some days feels more foreign to me than that of Ecuador.

But God's time is never wasted. Recently we have had lots of opportunities to minister to our neighbors upstairs. They are not super open, but the Lord is doing a work. On Sunday, Steven met a friend of theirs and a conversation ensued. She was outside smoking on their balcony and Steven was putting something in my car. Before you know it, she is asking Steven all about sin and Jesus. I was inside cooking and praying my heart out as my amazing husband looked up at her and answered her questions one by one.

That evening we all hung out and she began to tell me about her 98 year old sweet grandmother who wants to just "go home." I was able to share with her about my sweet grammee that just went home and how I know for sure that she is there waiting for me. She smiled at me a very genuinely and asked me if she could come to church with us the next time she is in town.

So even though I don't get to daily praise God with my friends around the world, I am very aware the the Lord is at work here in Dallas.

One day every tongue, tribe and nation will surround his throne with praises, but until then, my heart will be pulled toward that day each time I hear that song...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sometimes it's Messy...

"Over a Cup of Coffee" was me... just me telling people's stories. But now it’s not just me anymore. Now we are "we" and this is our story. Steven and I have a lot of differences: from the way we organize or lack there of, to the way we run, or lack there of. There is one thing very important, we share the same heart: We love telling stories and we love people.
One of my earliest memories of our time together was sitting in coffee shops laughing and telling stories. I HEARD about most of his friends before I ever shook one of their hands. He is my favorite person to tell a good story to and to hear one from.
One thing we have both learned well, if you love people and are willing to invest in their lives, Sometimes its Messy.
People's stories tend to draw you in and it’s hard to leave without getting some blood and dirt on you. When we agreed to be together forever, we knew that meant life would be much messier together, but that it would be worth it. We agreed to get our hands dirty in other people's lives and to live our lives to the fullest following after Christ.
So this is our story... no promises that it'll be all flowers and beautiful because if we're going to be honest, Sometimes it is Messy.
Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy telling it.