Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Forward.

The norm this time of year may be to blog “reflections” of 2010, to talk about all the neat things we said, did, and witnessed in the past year. But, I am honestly so excited about the things God will do in 2011 that, today, I just want share some of those with you.

iMiTATORS  This is the High School drama team at our church. My heart swells with love for these teens; they are amazing, talented and fun to work with. I am excited about the opportunities that await this team as they minister both in our church and in other churches.  We begin practicing the second Sunday in January, and will incorporate some new members at that time.  Several of the team members are seniors and I am sad to see them move on, but excited to see them mature into God-honoring adults. I pray that the team will first and foremost grow in discipleship and love for God and one another. I pray that this group would live by their convictions and not bend them. I pray that God will open wide doors for them to share the good news of Christ through drama.

Honduras. Words cannot even begin to express the emotions that are conjured up when I think of this! For those of you who don’t know, Stephen and I have been on several mission trips to this country. Honduras and the people there have an enormously special place in my heart. 
Oscar and me. 2006.

Sharing the Evangecube at a school. 2008.

Stuffing a "Jesus Bear." 2008.
Every child in this school got a new pair of shoes. 2010.
Stephen sharing bubbles. 2008.

I remember in April of 2009, when we came to FBC Vidalia in view of a call, sharing about our trips to Honduras. I felt God say that one reason he was bringing us to FBC Vidalia was to organize an international mission trip. I did not assume that we would get to go to Honduras, but secretly hoped so. However, I am thrilled that Pastor Tommy Johnson and the International Mission Builders would work with us to allow us this opportunity. Our team of 16 will spend July 30th - August 5th sharing Christ in Honduras. God has already shown himself in our planning of this trip! From an overwhelming response from interested church members to anonymous donors, God has confirmed that he is in this thing! I ask that you would continue to pray for financial obligations to be met. I also ask that you would pray that God would lead two more men to take this trip with us!

Marriage.  In 2011, Stephen and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. Wow. Time has flown by; I still feel like a newlywed. J 

It is exciting to think of all the things God has done with us and through us in the past five years.  We married young, in college. We knew from the day we met that God’s calling on our lives would mean giving up some of our personal dreams. However, we have never looked back.  I pray that God would give me the ability to be a better wife in 2011. I want to be a better helpmate that willingly puts my husband’s needs above my own.  I pray that the Holy Spirit would empower me to grow in lovingness, submissiveness, and humbleness.

There are so many other things I look forward to in 2011: running the Austin Half Marathon, my second year of teaching, conceiving a baby, and all the unexpected things God will do. There is no doubt that God is going to do great things. I am eager to be grown and used by him in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tough Question

There are some questions that are just tough. And, before you continue reading, let me preface by saying this may be difficult to read for some of you. If you read this and think I sound heartless or heretical, please talk to me privately and I would love to share more in-depth about my thoughts.

Where do infants go when they die? 

What a difficult question this is, and one I had not really wrestled with until experiencing a miscarriage. I wasn't experiencing anguish or anxiety over this question, but it has always been just one of those gray areas in my theology. I always try to remind myself that my theological convictions cannot be defined by what "feels" or "seems" right. So, naturally, I did some research (and still need to do more).  But, I must be honest, I really did not come to a concrete conclusion. I also came across some blogs on the topic. As one said, "Can God save them? I believe He can. Does He? I will not answer that for Him."  However, it was another comment I read that quite literally gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears at the same time. This commenter very eloquently put into words the conclusion (or lack of one) I reached. He said:

"There is little that brings me more joy than thinking of my first child worshiping the risen Christ in heaven. On the other side, there is little that brings me more anguish than thinking of the other alternative........... I do not have a certain answer to the question. I still have not landed on any answer with any certainty. 

What I am certain of, though, is God's ultimate goodness. While I do not understand the particular purpose for the particular death of my child, I do know/trust/believe that God's design is perfect and that Christ will be magnified through it. So, I rejoice that the death of my child was designed to bring about the display of the [Glory] of God. As I stated in the beginning, there is little that brings me more joy than thinking of my first child worshipping the risen Christ in heaven. The one thing that does bring me more joy is the display of the [Glory] of God. "

So, I believe that no matter what the answer may be to this tough question, God is good and will bring Glory to Himself through it. 

And what else really matters?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eight Years.

Eight years ago this month I met Stephen. I had planned to blog about this the entire month of November, but here I am, the day before December, finally getting around to it! I can’t believe I have had Stephen in my life eight years, but on the other hand I can’t imagine my life without him.
Eight years ago, I was a junior in high school. On November 8th, I found myself attending a football game I did not want to go to. My high school (Union County) was playing a rival high school (Bradford County) for their homecoming (yes, that is how pitiful our football team was that year). My two best friends were going “guy hunting,” and I really did not want to go. But, for some reason, I made a last minute decision and went.  That was the night that my friend Kristyn introduced me to Stephen, with whom she had attended elementary school.
I remember he was wearing a dark blue Unionbay sweatshirt.  I also quickly noticed the True Love Waits ring he wore on his hand. Our first conversation consisted of all the normal stuff, plus talk about church and Christianity. I also learned that he was a singer, which I thought was awesome! I remember thinking that this is the kind of guy I should think about marrying.
During the rest of November we began dating. Our first date was on a rainy Saturday to lunch at Larry’s Giant Subs. He came to my door with an umbrella and escorted me to his gold Cavalier. I remember singing a Third Day song together with the radio as we rode in the car.  I knew I had found someone special. Our second date was to play pool at the bowling alley. I beat him handily. I was so proud until 6 months later I figured out he had let me win!
As I think back to that November 8 years ago, I smile.  I am so blessed to have met a man that truly seeks after God.  I am blessed that I have been a part of what God is doing in him and through him for the past 8 years.  Little did I know November 8, 2002, would be a night that I would forever remember as the night I met my best friend and husband.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For the Sake of Steadfastness

James 1: 2-4 Count is all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I had plans to blog after our doctor’s appointment on Monday (November 8), but I had no idea that I would be sharing sad news. And, I must say, I am not sure how to even begin to blog about this, but I know that I should.
I have meditated on the above scripture and others like it to find strength.  Before I continue, I will acknowledge the danger in using this passage in James to speak to my trails, when these Christians were facing actual persecution for their faith, not just the trails of everyday life. I do not wish to rip this text out of context, or to elevate my situation to the trial of persecution. However, I believe that we can glean truth from this passage about facing those life-trials.
Monday, November 8, Stephen and I were to go back to the doctor for a regularly scheduled appointment. I was 10 weeks pregnant. However, Monday morning I started experiencing some concerning symptoms. I called the doctor’s office and they encouraged me not to worry, they could be perfectly normal. That advice and the statistic that only 5% of pregnancies experience miscarriage after hearing a heartbeat calmed my nerves. (We saw and heard a heartbeat at our first appointment.) However, when we got into the ultrasound room and they began to look for the baby, they asked me to go empty my bladder, because they could not see past it. When I returned to the ultrasound room, my face was streaked with tears; I knew something was wrong. As they continued the ultra sound, and looked for the baby, their silence and grim expressions began to confirm my fears. I could see the still shadow of my baby, no heartbeat and much smaller than it should have been.  They told me that the baby had not developed past 7 weeks and there was no heartbeat. The symptoms I had experienced were my body beginning to miscarry.
They left us alone in the room for a few moments and my wonderful husband prayed over me. He thanked God for being good and gracious and asked him for strength.  I took this news much harder than I would have imagined. I did not realize that I would actually grieve so strongly.
As I sit here today, I am not trying to act like this is not a big deal, because it is. I am not trying to act like it does not hurt because it does, immensely. But, I am trying to remember as James says, “The testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”  Steadfastness is perseverance.  Trials teach us how to persevere and perseverance actually matures our faith.  Steadfast faith is faith that does not give up, is not shaken, and is strong enough to stand by others as they suffer. I have to want what God has for me more than anything else, even a child. God wants to produce in me steadfast faith, and he uses trails to do so.
I am grateful that God does not spare me from heartache. It is through this heartache that my faith is made steadfast. It is through this heartache that I learn how to better minister to hurting people. It is through this heartache that I learn to lean on God’s strength.
So, here I find myself, broken, empty, lonely, confused, and grief-stricken, all for the sake of steadfastness. And, because I know my God has a plan, I would not have it any other way, for the sake of steadfastness.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Stephen and I found out on September 27,  2010, that we had been blessed with a baby.  Of course, that positive pregnancy test stirred up all kinds of emotions in these first-time parents.  On Monday, October 11, we had our first doctor’s appointment. I had no idea what to expect, but I thought I had things figured out pretty well. When I was asked what hospital we would use and what pediatrician we would use, I started to cry, realizing that there was so much I don’t have a clue about! Yikes.  But, then I reminded myself I still have some time to make these decisions. Whew!

 At that appointment I thought we would just get to see a little spec on the screen that was our baby. However, as we looked closer at that “spec” we could see his/her tiny little heart beating. It looked like a small spot that was flashing black then white.  We couldn’t stop smiling, it was too cool! Then the doctor worked very hard to pinpoint the sound, and we were even able to hear a couple beats every now and then.  Suddenly, the fact that we are having a baby became so real!

 Just after I found out I was pregnant, I came across a prayer I had written almost exactly a year ago. A year ago I wrote this, when we were NOT thinking about having kids. I had completely forgotten about it, but when I was searching for some material for my Sunday School class, I came across it.  I know God brought me back to this prayer at this time for a reason (just read the second to last sentence). This was and still is my prayer for parenthood:
“Dear God,
I have often wondered when the right time to have children would be. Please show me your timing. God, I pray that when I do have kids, I would be more concerned about them living a life that is pleasing to you than I am about their happiness, security, comfort, prosperity, education, success and any other thing I may ask you for. God, give me this heart for raising our children. Help me be a light that shines the Gospel and prepare me for parenthood. Lord, remind me of these desires when I become a parent. Please help me remain strong! Amen.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Waiting. This is the ministry tool I have needed and practiced the most. Waiting does not come easily for me; I admit to being an impatient waiter. It is difficult when you want something so badly for the sake of the Kingdom, yet you have to wait, and wait, and wait. Waiting is not, and has never been my forte'. Yet, God continues to place me in seasons of waiting. There are many things I wait on at this particular moment. Most of them I am not at liberty to be specific about, which adds a heavy burden with my wait since I am, by nature, a talker!

There are so many things I wait to see happen in our church and ministry. I have prayed and prayed and still pray for an increase in spiritual growth, Biblical literacy, and love for Jesus. While God has moved in amazing ways in the past six months, I am not content. I want more of God. I want our church to want more of God. I yearn for the Holy Spirit to consume us. I desperately want to be at the point where that desire consumes me. I beg God to rip out of my life and our church the things that are not of Him. I beg him to make us sick with the desire to draw near to Him. I beg him to use FBCV to bring more glory to himself.

In these periods of waiting, I think of the first believers right after Jesus' ascension and before Pentecost. Acts reads, "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." Acts 1:12-14. These believers had just seen Jesus ascend to heaven and had entered into a period of waiting. They were waiting on the coming of the Holy Spirit. I can't imagine the emotions they must have felt while in that upper room. I can only imagine the agony, despair, confusion and anticipation that was expressed as they poured out their hearts in prayer!

So, I am waiting. And praying. Waiting on God to MOVE as He sees fit. Waiting on others to see the will of God. Waiting to see His will for the future. Waiting. Praying.

 I know God keeps His promises and that he is Sovereign, yet I still find waiting difficult. I know there is much to learn during this season of waiting. I am learning to trust His timing. So, I wait.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Starting a blog has always been on my to-do list. So, finally, I have embarked upon that journey. There is so much that God has done in my life over the past few years, and many times I forget to share these things with friends and family. Often, God fills my heart up with thoughts and I feel strongly compelled to write about the things he shows me in His word and in the experience of my daily life. My hope is that this will be nothing more than a place where I share what God is doing in Stephen's and my life and a place where God gets all the glory.

I am the wife of a minister, and I believe there is nothing better. I knew before I met my husband that God was calling me to be a minister's wife. I actually dreamed of it in high school! I met my man on November 8, 2002, when we were Juniors in high school. His call to ministry was one of the first things we discussed, and I remember thinking about marriage even then! We married on August 4, 2006, while in college at the Baptist College of Florida. In May of 2009, God called us to First Baptist Church of Vidalia, for Stephen to take his first full-time ministry position as the Associate Pastor of Worship and Creative Ministries. Currently, I work as a sixth grade math teacher, but I look forward to the day I can be a full-time ministry wife and mother. :)

I am excited about the journey that God has ahead of us, and I can't wait to share with you every bit of it!