head over to the carry camp blog for the rest of my story today
this guy has stood by my side, loved me, cheered me on, brought me soup + meds in bed, made me laugh, driven me across the country, dreamed with me, cried with me, endured all my emotional hormonal times of the month, taken us on family adventures, and led us well.
who would have guessed 8 years ago today where we’d be now?
I keep having to remind myself, that Gods plans are better than any we could have come up with on our own.
here’s to the next 50 years!
the best is yet to come.
engagement + bridal images by Huy.
[us in our “new home” when we moved to Midland in 2008!]
well, I said it! news is OUT! there is a really amazing God sized story that I need to tell you, so hang with me. before you listen to the voice memo, I”ll give you a hint….we are moving our family to Bryan/College Station, Texas to be a part of a new church plant in Bryan called Declaration Church.
I can’t believe I’ve been holding this in so long, y’all a month is long for me, and honestly I wish I knew more. I wish I could tell you when we’re moving, or about the home we bought, or about how we sold our house in 2.5 seconds here – but none of that has been made clear to us yet. We are simply taking the next step. saying YES. moving in faith and obedience even when we don’t really know where we’re going yet.
God has been preparing my heart for this for over a year. I’ve had this feeling in my spirit, that change was coming for about 1.5 years. I’ve known that our “job” in Midland was close to over, and at times I really wanted it to be. I love this place, I love my people here. our church home. our community. we’ve been here 6.5 years – most of our married life. it’s the only home we’ve owned. we are plugged in here, but at the same time I’ve had a fear of really planting roots, feeling in my gut we weren’t going to be here forever. but regardless, we’ve made friends that we’ll have forever here. we became mama + daddy here. we walked through our entire adoption process + our infertility journey thus far with our people here. it’s a special special place, this desert town.
now god is moving us, taking us to a new place. doing a new thing! [ isaiah 42:9] before it springs forth, he tells us. and I’ve known in my heart. In April of 2013, Stephen and I took the kids out for lunch in Waco at one of our favorite spots, Food for Thought, down by Baylor. As we stood in line, we met a nice man named Blake. He asked us about the kids, showed us pictures of his family [he’d also adopted] and we learned he was a pastor at the Village church in Dallas. [thanks to my google stalking skills, we found him on the inter webs] fast forward to September 15th, 2013. I was in Dallas for my sister Rachel’s birthday and that Sunday we got up and went to her church, the Village. before the service started, and before I even put my bottom on the chair, I picked up a card with a picture of that nice man Blake + his family! Little did I know it was “church planting” sunday….
Blake began to share his story of who, what, when and why of his family picking up from their life in Dallas to move back to his hometown of Bryan to start a church. to declare what God had done for him.
I was so moved, I literally texted stephen when we left church and said something like “babe, I think we are supposed to move to Bryan/College Station to be a part of this guys church plant”. he knows me, and he knows that I get excited easily and he probably just thought it was another one of my crazy ideas. [oh like, adoption?, going to africa together..ya know, crazy ideas] I wrote a note in my phone on the way home from Dallas that day…
The timing of being at the village on sending Sunday was not lost on me. Lord do you have church planting in our future? I would love to be a part of a church planting team. In a city. A multicultural, multigenerational & multiethnic community. I want to see people set free. I want to proclaim what you’ve done in me! I want to TELL your story.
that sometimes wants to live the life I always thought I would. I need constant reminders of this new life I have in you. Lord, bind my wandering heart to thee.
and my prayer was….
Let us dream big & pray big circles around what you want for us. My heart has been stirred for the city but I’m not sure about Stephens. If the city is where you can use us best, show us a city to circle. If Africa is where you want us, point us in the right direction. If midland is where we are to build our roots, help me accept that.
and y’all, there’s SO MUCH more to the story.
the part where God confirms + calls and we say YES!
[YES GOD, more than any comfort, YOU are better. ]
like one full years worth of confirmations and god stories, and I want to tell them all to you. I don’t want to skimp on one. so this will be turned into a 2 [or maybe 3 part] series. also, because each time I type it, it mysteriously erases. so, there’s that.
please come back to hear more in the next few weeks. it’s full of God’s goodness, his faithfulness and the faith and trust He’s building in us.
I can’t believe this series is over…it’s been quite the month! Thank you for journeying with me, for your sweet words and comments and encouragement. I’ll share a little more later what I learned, but just wanted to say a big fat THANKS for now!
I was driving down the road, I think to my MIL house, when someone tagged this talk by Shauna Niequist for me. I love to listen to podcasts, talks, sermons, etc while I’m driving [obviously] and then make “notes” to myself when I can’t write them down.
and in case you didn’t know, Shauna is probably my most favorite writer. ever. I got to meet her back in March at Hope Spoken, and I felt like she was an old friend. I love the way she’s able to tell a story, and I’m always interested in her own personal stories and upbringing.
her blog post called “what my mother taught me” is a personal fave, and she talks about that in this 17 minute talk at Q.
I love that she talks about her mother teaching her it’s ok to have TWO passions in ONE home.
Shauna says, “don’t let logistics stand in the way of calling”
I think I love this so much, because it mirrors what Stephen and I are trying to do. BOTH live out our passions. I think the world and culture is changing so much, it’s certainly different from when our parents were raising small kids. Sure, most of my “work” is inside the home, and most of Stephen’s work is outside the home. but we both work for ourselves – and that leads to a lot of flexibility on both of our parts.
our callings and passions include more than just our “work”. we want to see people set free. to love the least of these. to champion the orphan. to bring clean water to those who have none. to support missionaries and church planters. to GO, be, and love. to raise our kids to be missionally minded. to write. to speak. to lead.
Our love and passion for Africa, and the people there, is a huge part of our calling. I can admit I used to get so uptight when people would make comments about me going there so much [instead of staying home with my kids 24/7/365] there have been seasons, as a wife + a mother, where I’ve gone on back to back trips across the world to the land we hold so dear. and there have been seasons when Stephen has done the same. there have also been seasons of “stay” [we are currently in one]. sometimes we go together, and sometimes it works out that we go apart.
I used to assume when people made those comments, that it meant they thought I was a terrible mom. that I should just stay home, and let Stephen live out his passions while I quietly work at home. but now I know better. FOR US. for our family. it works. we both have passions. callings. passions to tell people about Jesus, to tell stories, to bring clean water, to remove jiggers, to bring hope to the hopeless, to provide a fatherly role in an orphans life, to bring economic opportunity to the vulnerable….they are different. but they are the same.
we make it work because it’s important to us. because we can’t put our passions off for “another day”. because we want our kids to grow up watching mama + daddy going and serving and loving. because we want them to be a part of it with us. because we set the example.
because we have two passions, but one home.
because one day we want our kids to look back and say “what my mom and dad taught me…” was that this life wasn’t about them. or us. it was about reaching people for Jesus. period.
does this resonate with you?
if you want to see the high school heirarchy, go to a homecoming parade.
a few weeks ago, we decided to “live alive” and get out on a Thursday night and head downtown for the annual Midland High homecoming parade. Often, I can’t wait until my kids are in school. Not because I don’t want to spend time with them [it actually terrifies me] but because I can’t wait to be even MORE a part of the community in the public school system.
so, we went. and y’all it was so fun.
I love teenagers, and I pray that my season of ministry with them is not anywhere near over. We’ve taken a little break these past two years with the kids home – but that age group is still so near and dear to my heart. [but perk: our sweet babysitters are that age, and that’s the perfect opportunity to mentor and love on teenagers, when they are right there in your home, your family, and your life]
they are awkward. they don’t know where they fit. or they try to fit so many different places. the things that might not be “cool” in high school, will undoubtedly be the things that are awesome in real adult land. but they don’t know that yet.
I would do anything to go back to high school me, and say JUST STOP trying to fit in with everyone else! do what you love. it’s totally cool that you are both the head cheerleader and the co-editor of the yearbook. no one says you have to chose. or fit in ONE category.
…until you go to a high school homecoming, and “the groups” have never been more apparent.
bonus: what I would say to my younger self. be who you are! who god made you to be.
ps- i plan jokes in my voice memos? that was so 2012.
what would you go back and tell your high school self??