Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. God has so graciously adopted us as sons and daughters and I can hardly think of a more beautiful way to celebrate his love by living that out in the challenging call to adopt or to support someone who is trying to bring an orphan into their home. I have known for years that God is calling me and my husband to adopt and he still has not opened up the door quite yet but my heart longs for that day. So open up your home, or pray for those who desire to adopt, help fund someone who is adopting and please pray for the thousands of children worldwide who have yet to find a loving family. Through God's grace may we reach out in sacrificial love to those who are fatherless. God may we be your hands and feet no matter the cost.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is the Gospel worth?

My heart has been so heavy lately. My spirit is weary. The past two weeks God has been turning my world upside down as he has challenged every aspect of my life. Where is my heart? How do I spend my time? Is my life truly being lived out in a way that brings glory to the Lord and points others toward the Savior? Does my faith cost me anything? Because it should!! Every day all over the world Christians are secretly meeting to fervently study God's word. They sit for hours on dirt floors without cushioned seats, without fancy lights and professional worship bands. They don't even have comfy air conditioning. They just long for the word! Why do they meet in secret? They meet behind closed doors because their faith could get them thrown in jail. Their faith could cost them their lives. I live too comfortable a faith. Sometimes I wonder if it could be called "faith" at all.

November 17th marks the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Allow the Lord to stir you out of your comfort zone to have a genuine heart for the nations. Pray for unreached people, pray for hearts to be softened, pray for missionaries, maybe even ask God if you have been called to go...are you willing to ask? Are you willing to listen?

Take a few minutes out of your day and encourage a brother or sister in chains for the Gospel. It's not much of a sacrifice...only about 96 cents....are you willing to sacrifice 96 cents? My heart is burdened. Will you join with me in asking God to show you how to live a life of sacrifice for Him? What is the Gospel worth to you? What is the Gospel worth to me?

Youcef Nadarkhani

Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: October 2009
Days Imprisoned: 737

Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, about 750 miles northwest of Tehran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. Youcef told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010 by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death on Nov. 13 for apostasy.

The pastor is imprisoned in Lakan prison, where authorities have used various methods, including medication, to convert him back to Islam.

After Youcef refused to convert to Islam, his wife was arrested, put on trial without an attorney and sentenced to life in prison. She was later released after an attorney appealed her sentence. The Nadarkhanis’ children were cared for by a relative while they were both in prison.

Verdict Referred to Supreme Leader
VOM contacts report that Pastor Nadarkhani's verdict has been delayed again by the court in Gilan province. The reason for the delay, according to his attorney, is that they have referred the case to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is highly unusual for the court to ask for the legal opinion of the Supreme Leader.

Please continue to pray that Youcef will be pardoned. Pray also for his wife, family and those supporting him.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Casting A Vision

Looking back over my life so far I am humbled to see how God has grown my faith, and this is no testament to my own piety. It is a resounding cry of the Lord's goodness in a sinner's life. His mercy is ravishing. In high school I was filled with passion, and abandon, qualities I wish I had more of now. However that passion had little knowledge behind it (at least it seems that way now that I am 10+ years older). Since graduating high school there are two huge truths that I have only since realized. Now these may seem a bit ridiculous to some of you but a few years ago these truths were life changing for me.

#1- The Bible is ONE big story pointing to a merciful God redeeming, and calling a people to himself. From Genesis to Revelation we see the Gospel!!

#2- The purpose of our marriages, our families, our jobs, our down time, our parenting, our gifts, our entire lives is to bring glory to God. Everything we do should scream out the greatness of the God we serve. Everything!!

Those two truths have marinated in my heart for a few years but now it has come full circle. Jon and I are actively teaching truth to a sweet group of believers. It has been amazing to see the light bulb come on as they understand some aspects of truth for the first time. It is an honor although absolutely terrifying to realize that we have the privilege to help lead these people into a deeper understanding of God. All of this makes me realize that I need to be seeking the Lord daily because there is no way that either of us can do this on our own.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Year Ago Today

I can't help but take after my mom today. When I was growing up every year on my birthday she never failed to say the phrase, "____ years ago today..."

Well one year ago today I was in labor and my little boy was preparing to enter the world. It's just so hard to believe. I can remember the early morning hours of Aiden's birth like it was yesterday but it wasn't. A whole year has already passed. Seriously?!? Tomorrow we get to celebrate Aiden's first birthday. I can already feel the tears welling up.

I just had to read through Aiden's birth story again...I want to remember every moment I can because it was just truly amazing. This little boy is so precious to us. We can't thank God and praise Him enough for this gift. Love you little boy!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Loving The Church

I have not posted in quite some time. I even made my blog private for a while because I was so discouraged and frustrated with ministry. This is hard...loving people is hard. The pastor from our last church in Louisville, KY used to say that the church is full of sinners saved by grace so it's inevitable that as sinners we will eventually sin against each other. Our sin will come out. Words will be said, feelings will be hurt (hopefully not intentionally) and that breaks my heart but it's true. The church is a broken body that will not be completely healed and made whole until Christ returns. Meanwhile we must ask the Lord to grow us, teach us and make us more like His Son. We must learn to love each other, serve one another and work in unity to bring God glory and tell others about the hope we have in Him. May the grace we've been given allow us to extend grace to the bride of Christ, his Church. People are watching. What will they see?

The Church

I have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified

I have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

So when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

‘Cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me you will love the church

I have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more

So when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone

There is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Unveiling

There are lots of books written for pastors. They even have schools specializing in training those called into ministry. But what about a pastor's wife? Often times they don't realize what they signed up for. While their husband is busy teaching, preaching, visiting, and counseling, many pastor's wives find themselves struggling.

This little blog is my perspective on life in the ministry fishbowl. I'll honestly share some of my struggles, burdens, passions, frustrations and joys of life as a pastor's wife. Being younger and very new at this I do not claim to have any answers. This is just a place for me to share my life experiences as I learn day by day to rely on the Lord in this crazy world of full time ministry.

If you are not a pastor (or a family member of one) then the stresses, challenges, and difficulties of those in ministry probably don't ever enter your mind. If that's you, I hope this blog serves as a gentle reminder to pray for those serving in ministry. And for those of you deep in the trenches of ministry: may this little blog serve as a reminder that you are not alone.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Change is Coming...

I've been gone for too long but have no fear...stay tuned because this blog is about to get a complete overhaul. New name, direction, look...everything. Creativity is brewing and I have a million things to talk about. Ministry is not for the faint of heart and living as a pastor's wife has a lot that goes with it and I think I need an outlet. I can't wait to start anew so check back soon!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Into the Heart of Malawi

80% of the population live in poverty, surviving on less than 1 US dollar a day.

The spread of AIDS in Malawi has reduced life expectancy to 43 and threatens to destroy families and villages.


My sister Samantha is spending the next 7 weeks working with Circle of Hope International to reach out to the people of Malawi. She has been gearing up for this trip over the past couple of months and as of yesterday she landed in Africa. Please keep her in your prayers as she spends this exciting and challenging time overseas. Samantha will be posting updates on her blog as well as on the Circle of Hope website. There is also a prayer guide on the CHI website with specific requests relating to what the teams will be doing on certain days. She is going to have an amazing experience and I can't wait to hear what the Lord did while Samantha was over there. Until then I will continue to pray and I ask that if you are reading this please join with me in seeking the Lord. Our heart is to see the Gospel spread to every nation tribe and tongue and to see people set free through the powerful death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Praise be to God!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Overwhelmed By The Faithfulness of God!

Things I Miss About Louisville:
- My church family, especially our amazing community group
- Assorted shopping places (Borders, Old Navy, World Market, etc)
- Starbucks...awww man an iced coffee sounds amazing right now.
- Plenty of date night places to choose from
- The fulfillment I received when I could tell I was making a difference with the girls at Maryhurst.

Things I Do Not Miss About Louisville:
- The traffic and absolutely awful Louisville drivers.
- Our teeny tiny one bedroom apartment
- Working 3rd shift hours.

Now my list for what I miss about Louisville is slightly longer than the drawbacks of living there however let me share about life here in Maysville. I told Jon the other day that the longer we are here the more evident it becomes that God faithfully saw fit to place us at Lewisburg Baptist Church. The almost 18 month search was well worth the wait because I can tell you now that this small community of believers has completely taken us in as their family. God intended to display his amazing faithfulness by making this place exceed our expectations. There is something special happening here and it started way before we set foot in Maysville.

Just A Few Things I love about Maysville:
- Our church family. I have a funny feeling I may be writing a lot about this in the future. We have especially been enjoying our Thursday night small group and the church has an exciting week of VBS coming up soon. I'm looking forward to tons of Gospel opportunities.
- Our beautiful three bedroom parsonage, all of which the church pretty much takes care of.
- Walking out in the yard at night and seeing the lawn lit up with hundreds of fireflies.
- The pristine countryside.
- Oh...and did I mention the people? As a church family they welcomed us here with open arms and after an amazingly good pot luck they presented us with a cooler full of gift cards to local restaurants and hang out spots. What a blessing that was to our little family.

God is good and continues to provide for all of our needs. I am still looking for a part time job so prayers on that front would be appreciated. I guess I'll close out this post with 8 month pictures of my boy. Sorry these are almost a month late. Hopefully I can actually post his 9 month pictures on time.

Look at those teeth!

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Have We Been Up To?

We have been cleaning (and now unpacking)...

We've said tons of goodbyes...

We've been humbled by our friends who sent us out with love and lots of prayers...

With the help of our new church family we moved into a beautiful house.

We have fallen in love with Maysville and the amazing people who have so lovingly welcomed us. Hopefully soon I can actually post some faces but a picture of the church will have to do for now.

This last month has just been crazy! Even though we still have a few piles of boxes still untouched I feel much more settled especially now that the stress of the transition has finally begun to fade. Now the focus has shifted to continuing to get to know everyone (and remember all of their names), prayerfully considering where the Lord desires to lead this community of believers, and wondering how can we reach out to a town where the majority of the people do not attend church.

It took me a while to get my bearings. I struggled to spend time with the Lord daily and certainly felt the stress of having to start over and open up to a whole new group of people. Vulnerability doesn't come quickly for me but God is already beginning to address that. Next week at our Bible study we are talking about community and Biblical community can't happen unless we are real with each other. Good stuff. I have already been so humbled by hearing the heart of my brothers and sisters here as they pray for the community, friends and family around them. This is a group of believers who want to reach out. I am looking forward to seeing God teach us how to truly foster Biblical community as we hold on another accountable, grow deeper in the Lord with a hunger for his Word, a passion for a prayer and a yearning to see this community changed by the truth of the Gospel.

Things are good and I am certain that the Lord has a lot he wants to do in Maysville. We just have to listen and be obedient. Keep us in your prayers!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And the transition begins

1 hour and 13 minutes..before I clock out for the last time.

4 hours...before we head to Crossing church for our last service with this group of believers.

3 days...before our last community group.

5 days...before we load up the moving van.

7 days...before Jon's first sermon and the start of a new phase of life.

Wow, things are getting ready to change and I'm trying to hang on for dear life. We have spent the last 5 years here in Louisville working hard, making some amazing friends and striving to serve the Lord. Now we have been called elsewhere. Jon and I are SO excited about this next step but man is it hard to say goodbye. My mind keeps wandering to the story of Abraham called to leave his home for a land he didn't even know about, at least I know where I'm going and I like it! I'm so thankful that God promises to never leave us for forsake us. I'm thankful that in the midst of everything changing I have a rock I can cling to. I'm thankful that he promised to give us life...and not just life but life more abundant. Stay tuned because I will have a lot to share over the coming weeks. I can't wait to post pictures of our new place and the new family we will soon be a part of. God is good.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nothin' Like It

I drove to work tonight with my windows down. Spring is finally here and I'm lovin' every minute of it. I've always been the kind of person that associates music with well...everything. An occasion, feeling, memory and yes even the turning of seasons can bring certain artists or songs to mind. When summer rolls around I can't help but think of Coldplay or the Beach Boys, and possibly some Oldies too. When winter barrels in you better not come between me and my Christmas music. Okay, maybe my Christmas fever catches on a bit earlier than the start of winter but ya catch my drift.

Tonight on my way to work I broke out Andrew Peterson and couldn't help but smile. Here is one of my all time favorites.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones
I'm looking forward to gorgeous sunsets, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the grass between my toes, cook-outs, baseball/softball games, listening to crickets outside, and keeping my eyes peeled for lightning bugs. There is just something about spring.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Praying for Japan

I read this article on the Gospel Coalition blog about what we as believers can be praying for as Japan works to rebuild after the devastating tsunami.

Update from Japan: How You Can Pray

With the rest of the world I have been watching footage of the devastation in Japan with my hands over my mouth. Videos and pictures have shown us the awful destruction and only make us wonder at how many lives are lost or now impoverished in ways beyond our ability to comprehend. Maybe you felt the same, but my prayers have only been groanings, hoping the Holy Spirit can give content to the needs I haven’t been able to articulate for Japan.

Two days ago, my wife rushed into my office and asked, “Do you think Keiko is alright?” Keiko Takahashi is a Japanese woman who was in our small group at church before she left less than a year ago to go work with Michael Oh at Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan. After some investigation by email and Facebook, we found out she was fine, but working tirelessly, as you can imagine. I emailed Keiko to see if she could provide information on how the disaster is affecting Christians, local churches, and missionaries. Basically, I just wanted some information to help inform our prayers.

God’s Faithful Presence
Keiko’s response was thick with an awareness that God is present in Japan and that his providence, however mysterious, is good. But there are efforts, dark and spiritual, sowing the seeds of disorder, confusion, and anxiety. “When this kind of massive confusion occurs, some malice spirits spread dark malicious rumors,” she writes. “Evil demagogues on the Internet stir up the dark human desire, normally hidden at the bed of the original sin.”

Thankfully, the majority of Japanese people seem to be trusting the official reports from the authorities about the nuclear plants, aftershocks, and power outages. In fact, Keiko remarks the Japanese people have submitted to the authorities with orderliness and patience. She writes:

Even in the total power outage, nobody robs shops or rapes or anything, except for those who are normally committing such crimes. . . . There are no riots where we have to line up for several hours in the train station waiting to get into a packed-full train cart. They answer to the interviewer, “Compared to those who died or survived the tsunami, this long line is nothing. We want to help them by saving our electricity consumption for them.”

Let’s be thankful to God for this unusual order during a time of such devastation. There seems to be a common grace from God to the Japanese people that, as Keiko puts it, “They know that the power of love overcomes their sense of inconvenience to the extent of suffering.” But she reminds us, “Christianity must show far beyond.” Our love and kindness, Keiko writes, must be rooted in our faith in the atoning cross of Jesus, so that our acts of mercy will give honor to the “God who created and gives unceasing mercies and comforts.”

A Far Greater Struggle
In a nation with such a small Christian minority, the pressure Keiko endures from unbelieving family members is common to Christian workers in Japan. She explains:

My unbelieving family say in “love” that I should leave Japan for the United States because I have some contacts there. They assume that our goal for life is to physically preserve ourselves. But we know that our true goal is to die to the idol of self-preservation, and to be raised into God’s preservation, which is destined to victory.

She explains that what her family “cannot understand or accept is the fact that I see and taste the happiness that is given through the atoning cross of Christ. I came to Japan to die to all my self-dignity to live for Christ who loves to rescue his enemies, who alone can make me filled with all that I could hope for and far more.”

Kieko and her co-workers hear stories of “those who were swallowed by fast, dirty waters, yet never lost hope in the deadly struggle to survive for their loved ones.” But she knows that there is a far greater struggle, an eternal one, that compels her to stay in Japan. She explains:

Yet as we pray with missionaries from John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church, we vividly see that even those spectacular survivors still do not know anything about the far more dreadful struggle they must deal with at the end of their lives here on earth, which will be final.

Pray for Christians, who, like Keiko describes it, “shine by showing our full confidence in Christ.”

Devastated ‘Rengo’ Christians
Portions of Keiko’s email were especially heart breaking. One in particular was her report of the “Rengo” Christians. She writes:

Among those killed [were the] many churches planted by the missionaries sent by the same denomination as John Piper’s denomination, called “Rengo” in Japanese. Their church planting efforts have been predominantly focused on these east coast areas that were just swept all away!!!

According to Keiko, biblical Christianity thrived in these eastern regions that were devastated by the tsunami waves. She writes, “People in this area have been traditionally known for poverty and enduring patience due to the severe weather. [They were] well prepared for the God of all mercies and comforts (2 Cor 1).” They were “precious believers” in a country that is less than 0.2 percent Christian.

She asks, without doubting God’s goodness or perfect wisdom, “Why does God do this?” Along with rebuilding churches and ministering to mourning communities, Christians in Japan will be faced with similar questions. Pray for wisdom and clarity.

How Can American Christians Help?
Keiko is clear that it’s not yet the time for material and human resource help. There is simply too much “traffic confusion and congestion due to the scheduled power outage in downtown Tokyo and because of the shattered roads in the areas hit.” But there are “460, 000 survivors who lost everything in a few minutes, including their loved ones, and are impoverished in every possible sense.” So as we wait and pray, let’s pray that when the time comes to help, the means will be ready and effective.

The deep need in Japan from American Christians is prayer. Keiko writes, “Please pray and encourage us to fight a good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith until the Lord makes us home with him.” She is keenly aware that there will be temptations on every side in this fight for faithfulness. She reminds us, “I cannot choose to die to my flesh at all by myself, but only by the Spirit and by the power of his divine grace and his perfect righteousness. That is why prayer counts so much.”

The challenge for Christian workers is the significant biblical illiteracy in Japan. “Most Japanese people,” Keiko explains, “have never heard of the true meaning of God’s grace given through the cross of his Son.” So especially now, when some are offering false hope or claiming apocalyptical doom, many “cannot tell the Spirit from the spirits of evil cults, which are out to be the wolves in sheep skins. So we should not just send Bibles and tracts to the survivors at refugee shelters.”

The temptation, then, is for Christian to labor in their own strength. But let’s pray that they believe and act on what Keiko articulates so clearly:

We sow and water but God is the one who actually brings them to growth, not to death. . . . We shine by showing them our full confidence in Christ, not on our character or our wisdom or even our faith, etc., but in our conviction that there is no sin that he cannot atone for his own pleasure. We must reflect such miraculous generosity of God solely by the living Spirit.

That is why our and your prayer counts so significantly. It makes so much theological sense to pray and express our dependency on him who sanctifies us and saves the lost beyond our imagination.

Pray for the suffering and the mourning. Pray for local church communities to be faithful lights of the gospel. Pray that the hope of God’s grace in Christ will rest upon many hearts in Japan over the coming months.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Normal sleep a 'privilege' for night workers

I came across this article on CNN's website. Although my job has been a blessing and at times a HUGE challenge I will not miss the hours. Not one bit!!

With biology beckoning their bodies to sleep during the night, shift workers say staying awake is always a struggle.

(CNN) -- Gregory Jones begins his day when his family and the rest of the world winds down and gets ready for bed.

The New Jersey truck driver reports to work at 8 p.m. He loads, stacks and transports vegetables and fruits until 4 a.m.

"I don't get eight hours," Jones said about his workday sleeping habits. "Sleep for me is a privilege. It's a blessing if I can get it."

Night workers like Jones are at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. With biology beckoning their bodies to sleep during the night, shift workers say they struggle to stay awake no matter how many years they've done it.

When sleep prevails, there can be major consequences for others as well.

On Wednesday, two airplanes landed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport shortly after midnight without an air traffic controller.

The controller, a 20-year veteran who was suspended, told investigators that he had fallen asleep, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. "He had been working his fourth consecutive overnight shift (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)" according to a statement from the agency.
"Human fatigue issues are one of the areas being investigated," said the board's statement.

While it's terrible that the employee fell asleep, it's not fair to solely blame the worker, said Jeanne Geiger-Brown, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing who researches shift work and sleep.

About 16 percent of the workforce participate in a type of shift work.

"We have to look at the way work is organized so people on the night shift are safe and effective on the job," she said. "The knee-jerk reaction of blaming the person who falls asleep is not really looking at the big picture."

Accidents tend to happen late in the night or in the early morning -- as it did with the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979 and the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

It's unnatural for humans to be nocturnal -- no matter how much coffee is consumed.

"All shift workers get sleepy," said Geiger-Brown. "20% of workers doze off during night shift. People aren't machines."

Working the night shift can strain the social life and family time. Adjusting between weekends and work days can also wreak havoc on their sleep schedules.

Humans are wired to sleep at night by their circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that brings about physical, mental and behavioral changes in the body. The circadian rhythm affects sleep cycles, hormone releases, body temperature and various processes.

"If you're trying to alter your natural body rhythm, we don't adjust perfectly to that," said Dr. Nancy Collop, director of Emory Clinic Sleep Disorders Center.

Even when night shift workers try to sleep eight hours during the day to be ready for work, they don't get enough sleep, she said.

When Jones, the nighttime trucker based in South Amboy, New Jersey, has a stretch of eight hours in the daytime to sleep, his body won't allow him.

"I will wake up after four hours," he said. "I'm wide awake. I can't go back to sleep. That has to do with the sun is out and the birds are singing."

There are exceptions, of course. Some people thrive during the dark and are natural night owls, but for most people, staying awake through the night is "trying to do something their bodies don't want to do," said Collop, the president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"Our circadian rhythm wants us to sleep at night," she said.

After 10 years on the night shift, Jones said the pay difference between the daytime shift is worth the sacrifice. But many night shift workers pay a price in their health.

Night shift workers are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorders, diabetes and various types of cancers.

Jones has tried to avoid those risks by exercising two hours a day.

"I've seen guys who seem to have deteriorated," he said about co-workers. "I see the toll it has taken on them. They've gotten heavier, have different aches and pains. I've learned to deal with it and just not to count the hours."

Sleep deprivation could be also be a major factor in obesity. A study from Columbia University found that people ate up to 329 more calories a day when they were sleep deprived.

After Derrick Hayes, a juvenile corrections officer switched to the overnight shift last year, he gained 20 pounds.

"You're not even mindful that you're not eating healthy," he said, adding that he started relying on vending machines. "You're just grabbing stuff because you want to eat at night. You get caught up in the lifestyle -- you're just sleeping, you work, you sleep, work, sleep and you're not exercising and eating right."

Hayes has lost most of that extra weight and is trying to eat a more balanced diet with fruit and water.

What could also contribute to metabolic disorders and obesity is that the body's rhythm may be off kilter to properly break down a hamburger at 3 a.m., said Giles Duffield, a University of Notre Dame biologist.

One of the liver's function is to digest food, absorb nutrients and get rid of toxic substances. The liver may not have sufficient level of enzymes to break food down and store nutrients at that time.

"A lot of enzymes found in the liver are rhythmic," Duffield said. "[The enzymes] are expecting food in the time you'd eat. The liver expects fats and sugars during the daytime not the nighttime."

But one upside of the night shift is that it gives Hayes flexibility in the day to run errands, pay bills and take his kids to doctor's appointments.

"It works for me," Hayes said about his current schedule. "It may not work for everybody. I try to have a positive mindset, keep my mind focused on what I have to do."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

6 Month Pictures

It has taken me longer to post these than I had orignally promised. Well here they are. It is difficult to get a 6 month old to pose for pictures for any length of time and I have a funny feeling it is only going to get harder from here on out once he starts crawling around. My amazing husband took most of these pictures himself without the added help of another set of hands. Not surprisingly, Aiden wasn't the most cooperative subject.

He was easily distracted

He kept babbling...

and hasn't quite gotten the hang of sitting up by himself. Although only one week later he mastered this milestone.

Sometimes he found other things more entertaining than the camera, namely a piece of paper.

But then, other times he was a perfect gentleman. I love my little boy to pieces!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

a HUGE answer to prayer

Let me start off by saying that God is faithful in all circumstances; when we suffer loss, when we are in the midst of waiting, and also in the mundane every day grind of life. However today, right now, I want to rejoice in the faithfulness of God displayed in answered prayers. I want to shout from the rooftops that God has heard our prayers!
It has been an excruciatingly long 16 months of waiting but we got the call. A beautiful body of believers in Maysville, KY has felt God's leading to call Jon to be their pastor. How humbling, how thrilling and how absolutely terrifying!! Haha, words can't express our gratitude and joy.

My husband wrote a beautiful post that sums up everything that has brought us to this point in time.

It looks like the month of April is going to bring some huge changes for us so I'm sure I will have a lot to share in the coming weeks. Meanwhile we could definitely use your prayers. Please pray for Jon as he prepares to step in alongside this church. Pray for him as he seeks to lead and love in a manner glorifying to God. Keep me in your prayers since I will have to find a part-time job. Please pray that the Lord leads me to the right place where I can hopefully find a job I enjoy but even more so that I can be put in a place to do ministry. In general we just need prayers as we prepare for this whole transition. It's stressful and crazy but so exciting. Maysville Kentucky, here we come!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

John Pipper's Prayer for Japan

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.

O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.

And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.

Have you not encouraged us in this? Have we not heard a hundred times in your Word the riches of your kindness, forbearance, and patience? Do you not a thousand times withhold your judgments, leading your rebellious world toward repentance? Yes, Lord. For your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts.

Grant, O God, that the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved.

May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures’ pain. You did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for us all.

In Jesus you tasted loss. In Jesus you shared the overwhelming flood of our sorrows and suffering. In Jesus you are a sympathetic Priest in the midst of our pain.

Deal tenderly now, Father, with this fragile people. Woo them. Win them. Save them.

And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.

O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face.

In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen.


All I can think to say in response to this is, Amen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tears of the Saints

Leeland is a band that has been around for a while but I just heard this song for the first time a month or two ago. A good friend of mine summed up this whole song in one word, "annointed."

God may our hearts break for those around us.


There are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People's hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures

This is an emergency!

There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We're crying for them come back home
We're crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

There are schools full of hatred
Even churches have forsaken
Love and mercy
May we see this generation
In it's state of desperation
For Your glory

This is an emergency!

Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children in Christ you stand!

And all Your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Glimpse of Hope

Spring will be here in about TWO weeks and I can hardly contain my excitement so allow me to sum up life in a few short paragraphs.

S- Singin' In the Rain
A few weeks ago I saw this adorable movie for the first time and I completely fell in love. Now, I know that not every one is a fan of musicals but this is a fantastic and funny movie with some of the best dance numbers I've seen in a long time and a great plot. A few weeks after seeing this movie a friend of mine told me about adult dance lessons here that only cost $12 a class...I couldn't help myself. I have felt a bit cooped up lately so at the urging of my amazing husband I enrolled and bought myself a pair of brand spankin' new tap shoes. Watch out Ginger Rogers...hehe. Okay not quite. I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing but I'm having a grand time making a fool out of myself!

P- Philippians
A few weeks ago Jon and I started memorizing the book of Philippians with a goal of having it down by Easter. It is no coincidence that God led us to begin memorizing this book. Jon and I have struggled for some time as we have waited for about a year and a half for a ministry job. We needed an example of godly joy in the midst of any circumstance and a reminder that our situation is not as bad as it seemed. This task has proven to be a huge undertaking especially since I haven't worked on memorizing scripture in quite a while. I have seen how much time I would rather spend on frivolous things such as tv, or the internet when what I really should be doing is meditating on the word of God. Next week we will finish up chapter 2 and move on to chapter 3. Let's hope I can hang in there!

R- Renewed Hope
About a month ago Jon received a surprising phone call. I won't share any details just yet but I will say that the Lord has in his grace showered us with hope. In only a matter of weeks we will know for sure if this door will remain open, and if that is the case there will be some major changes happening. For now we truly covet your prayers as we seek God's wisdom and guidance. Our desire is to be right where the Lord calls even if that means staying put.

I- Inspiring Stories
At the end of December I finished up the biography of Adoniram Judson called To The Golden Shore. It is a book I would HIGHLY recommend. The heartache and struggles this man went through is humbling to say the least. It is a call to be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the Gospel. For Christmas my husband's brother bought me a book about George Muller that I hope to start soon. I continue to be blessed and challenged in so many ways by the saints that have gone before me. Their stories are such beautiful testimonies of the greatness of our God. I just can't get enough of them.

N- New Life
A ton of our friends are either expecting or just had babies!! In fact in the span of 10 months our community group has added somewhere in the area of 6 kids with one more due in a matter of weeks. God is good!

G- Growing Boy
Aiden is 6 months old today! I can hardly believe it. Sadly though I have done a horrible job at posting pictures and updating this blog with exploits of our rambunctious little boy. Aiden is a very strong willed child who can hardly sit still. He was rolling over when he was only a few months old and hasn't stopped moving since. Aiden loves to explore his environment and everything he touches goes straight into his little mouth. His most recent milestone has been to push himself up when he is on his tummy. I have a funny feeling that soon our little one will be crawling all over the place. Here are a few recent pictures. I hope to post 6 month pictures at the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Comfort for God's People

I spent some time reading through Isaiah 40 last night and was so struck by the power and truth of God's living and active word.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Praying you find strength and joy in the Lord of all creation today.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

4 Months Already

I don't have much time to post an update but here are somewhat dated 4 month pictures of my handsome little boy! He's growing so fast!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not My Home

If our current situation has taught me anything it is that this earth is not my home. I'm thankful that God chose to shake me out of my comfortable life to bring me to a place of uncertainty and difficulty. It makes me long even more for my heavenly home where all things are set right under the authority of a holy God. May I always keep this mindset and remember that although I have that hope many others do not...that should mean something...that should move me to action.

This is my prayer for today...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I have had this post saved for a couple of days unsure if I actually wanted to publish it or not. After I read my husband's most recent blog I decided to post mine as well. Funny enough Jon and I both wrote a lot of the same stuff. Prepare for plenty of honesty and quite a bit of brokenness because that's about all I have to offer...


I haven't posted on here for forever. I just don't have the energy or drive anymore. Maybe I'll pick this up again but right now, I'm just not sure. It feels like I have been beat down by life, dramatic I know. I'm at a breaking point and just so overwhelmed at what feels like a hopeless situation, although I know it is far from that.

Our current situation that I have blogged so often about has not changed, not one bit. Still no ministry job for Jon, still crammed into this one bedroom apartment and my heart continues to ache every time I leave my little boy to go to work. Laundry continues to pile up, dishes go unwashed, my husband and I kiss in passing as we are torn apart by opposing schedules. We are only able to spend one night out of the whole week in the same bed. ONE NIGHT. There is just something wrong about that. Soon our little boy will be crawling around and I'm just not sure what to do about that because there is no way to baby proof our existing apartment...we have stuff crammed into every little nook and cranny trying to make the most of our dwindling space. I'm tired of praying and asking the Lord to provide, I'm tired of remaining optimistic, I'm just plain tired.

That's where I am at. The awful, uncensored sinful truth. I know our situation is not dire, and I also know that there are millions of other people in worse shape than we are...I know this. I know what the Bible says about the God I serve and I know what it says about my own heart and limited understanding. So...I need God to change my heart, to remind me that his ways are beyond my understanding but that he is good and faithful even when it doesn't seem that way. I desperately need His strength and grace because I'm failing miserably at living out the gospel for those around me. But God...can't you just please give us something? A little glimmer of hope is all I need...just a glimmer.


"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...."