Where Would You Like To Go?

December 10, 2010

Life via "the boot"

Having this boot has been quite the adventure...okay, maybe not so much!  However, with the help of my amazing husband, caring sister, fabulous family, and wonderful friends - it hasn't been as bad as it could be!!  I've actually been somewhat productive from this recliner and even managed to knock a few things off of my to do list - which gives me great pleasure!  With the help of those who love me - I even did some fun things!

Mom and Nanna spent the day cooking meals to freeze for when Ryleigh's here!  I think we have around 30 currently!

Anna threw an incredible baby shower!


I got to see my best friend from Meridian!


Went to see the Clinton Christmas parade (via a wheelchair to the amusement of my husband and our friends!)


and finished off with a teriffic church diaper and wipe shower!


So, even with a broken foot, I am blessed.  The Lord is faithful and it's all just been giving me more quiet time to spend with Him!  I'm guessing that my "quiet" time is about to get a little bit noiser in the weeks to come!!



December 2, 2010

You mean you didn't know?

That is the question the doctor walked in and asked me Tuesday.  You mean, you didn't know you broke your foot?   I thought she was kidding.  Unfortunately, not so much.  One of the bones on top of my right foot is broken.  She said she couldn't put me in a cast, due to the fact that I'm pregnant, so I have a nice, big, air cast boot to wear.  Fabulous, doesn't begin to describe it.  If only I had my camera to take pictures of the faces of everyone I passed as Steve wheeled me out of the clinic.  34 weeks pregnant, boot on the right foot, brace on the left (just a sprained ankle over on that side)...here's to a speedy recovery!

The story is not anything exciting - I fell off a sidewalk, while spending an evening with my sisters.  They both handled the whole situation gracefully and I'm thankful they were there to take care of me!  There were lots of tears and debates on the best way to get a 33 week pregnant woman off the ground while both of her feet were injured.  I'm sure if we went back and looked in on the situation, it may have even been comical.  A thank you also goes out to Anna and Jason - I may still be sitting in Alanna's car, wondering how to get inside if they had not come to help!
So, basically bed rest until my sweet baby girl arrives and technically until I can walk without a limp.  Doc says 12-16 weeks - joy of joys!  6 weeks until Ryleigh makes her debut...unless of couse she comes early.  I can already hear her one day saying, "Well, mom, if you had not have fallen when you were pregnant then ____" I'm sure it will be one of her favorite excuses.

November 27, 2010

Still thinking about being thankful

I do love the holidays...it seems to just be in the air.  People who may never speak are now heard wishing others a Merry Christmas.  How can that not put you in a great mood?  As I'm sitting this morning wrapped up in a blanket, drinking hot chocolate (one of my favorites), my mind is still focused on thanksgiving - not just the holiday that has past but continually having a spirit of thanksgiving.  In that light, I decided to make a list of things that I'm thankful for.  If you know me well, this makes you laugh because you know how much I do indeed love lists. 

1. My Father/Savior/Redeemer/Love - oh how my journey with Him has changed from day to day, but He always remains constant.  His love, mercy, righteousness, and grace overwhelms and humbles me.  I am honored to be His child and pray that my life is a reflection of that on a daily basis.  How can you not be in awe of who He is and what He has created?



2. Steve and Ryleigh - I never imagined that November 28, 2004, I would meet the love of my life.  Tomorrow will be 6 years later and my life has been forever changed.  The past 6 years have been such an incredible journey with a man who exemplifies Christ and how He loves the church.  He makes me laugh and smile when those emotions may be the fartherest thing from what I'm feeling.  His love is not based on anything I try to do or what I look like, but solely on who I am in Christ.  Steve's top priority is to be in love with our Savior, so that we can serve Him more effectively together.  All of this brings me to Ryleigh.  I know I have no way of knowing what the future holds.  However, the past 7 months have brought a different type of joy to my heart.  I cannot wait to hold her in my arms and see her being held by her daddy.  My prayer is that we will remember she is a gift from Him and that she already belongs to Him for His purposes. 


3- Family - My parents are the type of parents you just don't find anymore.  They are still in love with each other 28 1/2 years later and they even still like each other!  They both love the Lord and believe that it is only a daily walk with Him that will allow each of us to become who He wants us to be.  As a soon-to-be mom, I've realized even more how much I do desire to be like both of them in raising Ryleigh.  However, they would both be quick to say that they have made mistakes and our only role model should be the Heavenly Father that we serve.  I am thankful for the relationship that we have and even more the relationship they directed me towards with my Savior.  We are blessed by their love, support, and encouragement. 

My sisters are one of a kind - they are beautiful women of the Lord inside and out.  I love that we enjoy spending time together and seek out the time to do so.  I have noticed in myself that I am fiercely protective of who they are and what their dreams are.  My heart desires only the best for them and I want to shield them from anything in this world that is not necessary for them to endure.  Lately, seeing their love for Ryleigh only makes me more thankful for them.  The Lord has truly given us a relationship that only He could bless us with.
The Roberts - I will be forever thankful for Steve's parents, first and foremost because of how they raised Steve.  As I've gotten older I've realized the important role parents play in our lives and Steve is a reflection of 2 parents who wanted him to be just like his Heavenly Father.  When we are together, I feel as if I have been in the family my whole life.  Their love, support, and encouragement is definitely appreciated.  I am thankful that none of the "inlaw" stereotypes are present here!!


4 - Friendships - This one will encompass quite a good amount of people but I think you know who you are.  Our friends are amazing.  Whether they live in MS, TX, VA, or Madagascar - they love the Lord and pray for us often.  The Lord has given us relationships, no matter where we are, that challenge us to be more Christlike in all we do.  The laughter and fellowship that also results from these are just added blessings.  What a joy it is to know that no matter where we are in this life, that people love us and are interceding on our behalf.

This was a lot longer than I had planned but sometimes a girl just needs to type for a while.  Now it's off to spending some quality time with my sisters in Jackson!!

November 17, 2010

Fall - season of changes

Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  I am a cool weather gal and love the cooler temperatures.  Granted, in MS these said temperatures often come and go, but I appreciate them greatly when they start arriving!  The leaves of those few trees that aren't pine, change to beautiful colors and just all around remind me of God's splendor.

We spent all of last week in North Carolina for our appointment week with the IMB.  The scenery was often breathtaking (atleast when we were outside of the hotel!).  The roads were lined with gorgeous trees, full of reds, yellows, and mixtures that fall in between.  We visited Old Salem and it was beautiful!  Take a look for yourself...

By the end of the week we had been appointed as official IMB missionaries to Madagascar.  People keep asking us how the week was and I'm still finding it hard to put into words.  It was incredible, worshipful, humbling, awe-inspiring, and lots of other adjectives that could fill up this page.  This is something we've known the Lord has called us to for so long - way before Steve and I had even met one another - so for it to finally happen...let's just say it brought tears to both of our eyes - and smiles to our faces!  One of the best things was hearing others share their testimony of how the Lord had brought them to the point of being appointed as missionaries.  The stories were vastly different, yet one thing was constant - the Lord's call.  When you hear it, you can't run or hide from it, you just have to say, "Yes, Lord."  We were blessed to get to hang out with a couple who will actually be in the same country as us, (they'll be headed there in January) and I think it's amazing how the Lord develops relationships so quickly when He is the common bond.  Speaking of friendships - our friends from seminary, (Katie and I actually went to high school together as well), are now living in VA.  They drove to NC for the service - with Katie being 37 weeks pregnant!!  Some people will come and go in your life but we know the Lord has blessed us with a lifelong friendship with the Starks.  VA is blessed to have them!!

We had friends ask us the other night - what's the biggest change - getting ready to have a baby or getting ready to move overseas?  It's funny because hands down most people would say the more "abnormal" thing would be moving overseas.  However, for Steve and I, we have always known that one day we'd be living overseas.  God has prepared our hearts for this move since we were children.  Last November if you had asked us where we saw ourselves right now - we would have both answered "Africa", never would we have said, "2 months away from having a daughter".  Nonetheless, God has prepared our hearts for this and has given us a love and excitement that is unlike anything we have ever known.  One of the most common questions we are asked is what we're doing with Ryleigh while we go to Madagascar.  While we are very well aware that either set of grandparents would keep her with them in a heartbeat, we just smile and explain that she is indeed going with us.  The Lord loves her more than we ever can and where He calls us - He is calling our little family.  I pray that our answer to His call, for the rest of our lives, will always be - without hesitation- "Yes, Lord".

November 4, 2010

Life Update!

Today we got to see our beautiful baby daughter again.  Words can not express the way seeing her face, feet, and hands makes me feel.  The sound of her heartbeat seems to stick in my head more than any great song ever has.  She is such a blessing to our family already.  The doctor gave a great report - she has a strong heartbeat, is growing well, and is even a little on the long side (who would have ever thought?)!!  :)  Don't you think she's beautiful?  I know we're a little biased!!  This pic is my favorite because she's suckling and her little tounge is sticking out on top of her lower lip.  For those who need help...she is facing the camera and her left side is on top...the dark circles would be her eyes!

We leave tomorrow for IMB appointment - crazy that it's already here - how time flies!!  So many personal prayers, as well as others praying for us, have led up to this point.  God has blessed us in numerous ways regarding our calling to Madagascar.  We have been able to build a relationship with the missionaries that are already there and have had the opportunity to meet with another family that's currently stateside.  During this next week, we'll get to meet with yet another family who is headed there in January!  We would have never thought that we'd have so many connections with people in Madagascar while still in the states.  It has been a blessing to already have relationships with those we will be serving alongside.


A friend who is currently serving in Belize through a missions/discipleship program, recently reminded me that our relationship with Jesus is just that - a relationship.  He is more concerned about our obedience and fellowhip with Him than the destination.  The journey, our daily walk with Him, is the most important thing.  Whether we are here, somewhere else in the States, in Madagascar, or wherever else He may call us - the goal is to love Him and to love others.  Period.  I pray that we are known by His love.

October 4, 2010

Just Living Life

I do love having a blog...and I think I could find something to write on it every single day - I just enjoy writing (typing) that much - but I don't want to bore anyone, so I choose not to!  So, this is just a simply update about things that are going on!

1. Plane tickets are purchased for our appointment with the IMB in November - we'll be in Winston Salem, NC and couldn't be more excited about it.  Steve and I have both felt called to be a part of what the Lord is doing through the IMB for so long that it's often a little surreal to know that we're finally in the last steps of the process.  Speaking of the board...this is their new logo -
 
I just love it...I love the emotions that it causes in my heart - this is what we desire to do - not just in Madagascar but right here in MS - to shatter the silence with the words of Christ.

2.  Steve finished up his TempStaff job and is currently searching for a new job until we officially go on with the board in April (prayers please!!)  I am enjoying teaching and think often how blessed I am to have the job that I do - it is perfect for what we need, including the flexibility that I will only be teaching until December!

3  We completed our childbirth classes this month - information overload is one way to put it!  Ha - however, I know that we will indeed make it though!!
Ryleigh is growing and moving!!  I can't adequately express how exciting it is to feel her move around all the time - it has not gotten old yet and now I'm just anxiously looking forward to the day I can hold her in my arms.  I'm in the last week of my 6th month - CRAZY how fast time has passed!

4.  Steve surprised me this past Thursday with an overnight getaway to New Orleans - so super sweet - I couldn't have asked for a better husband.  It never ceases to amaze me that as much as I prayed for my future husband while growing up, there are so many things I never thought to pray for - and guess what?!? The Lord went above and beyond anyway...what a blessing.  We enjoyed having no set schedule, a night away, and of course CAFE DU MONDE!  It was also a different type of appreciation, as we realized this was probably the last time we'd be off somewhere together, just the 2 of us, for quite a while!!


5.  I also just want to leave you with what the Lord has been reminding me of lately - from John 15:16 - we do not choose Him - for He chose us AND appointed us to go and bear fruit - and get this - not just fruit but fruit He promises will LAST.  What a humbling, refreshing reminder to dwell on!  It's not about me - it's about Him - I would be nothing unless He CHOSE to CHOOSE me...The Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Creator, the Savior, the Rock on which I stand - chose me - He chose us!!  Then, He doesn't stop there, He appoints us to go and bear His fruit.  He guarantees that this fruit will last - it's not for us to worry about!  All we have to do is go forth...PRAISE HIM!!

September 4, 2010

An Unpredictable God?

Got my thoughts
I got my words
Got this head full of answers
Got You wrapped up
Got You under control
See my future like the past behind me
I think I know where You’re leading
Don’t need no questions
Don’t need no rocking the boat
But I just forget all the mystery
I just forget who You are
When I know that I know
What You have down the road
When I’m sure that
I’ve figured You out
Help me see that I’m small
That I can’t know it all
‘Cause You’re so unpredictable
‘Cause You’re so unpredictable
You said the foolish
Would shame the wise
To put my faith
In what’s beyond my eyes
And to believe You
I have to come as a child
So help me to rest in the mystery
Of what I can’t understand
Can’t wrap my mind around You
Can’t put You in a box
Can’t keep You safely contained
You’re gonna move the way
You wanna move today
Just let me follow along
 
     These are the lyrics to one of my absolute favorite songs by Francesa Battistelli (who has fabulous music by the way).  I think it's one of my favorites because it seems to be so accurate in describing life.  Well, at least our life atleast!  We're on this journey and as of this moment in time there are quite a few things "planned out" - quite a few big, life changing things.  But what the Lord keeps reminding me is that all we know is what He has chosen to show us.  We in no way know the big picture - or for that matter can even dream up everything He plans to happen.  The next 8 months of our life may look very similar to how we have them pictured - or they could look radically different.  It's one thing to admit this - quite another to live it out. 
     This week, Ryleigh has started kicking - and the feeling is quite indescribable.  I've never known anything like it and I get absolutely giddy when it happens - often laughing out loud.  She has been a daily reminder that the Lord is in control.  That He is God and I'm not - He is in control of huge things like creating our daughter and in control of miniscule details - all working together for His glory and not our own. 
     So, if the next few months pan out like we think they are then it's because He wants them to - not because that's what we've told people would happen but simply and only because the Lord himself desires it to be so.  If the next few months are radically different and nothing goes according to our plans then once again it's because He wants them to go that way.  The only role we play in "planning" is to glorify Him or not.  My heart desires more than anything for it to always be about Him and not about us.
     All that said to say - is God really unpredictable?  Yes, in some ways He is to me - unpredictable because I can only try to grasp Him with my earthly mind, can only try to describe Him in a vocabulary that is far too limited to do so accurately, can only try to understand the big picture with a very small and narrow mindset - so therefore He appears unpredictable - does this trouble me?  No.  Why? Because there are things about God that are completely predictable.  He will always glorify Himself.  His character, who God is, is never a question.  He is love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, righteous, just, salvation, creator, peace, counselor, my rock, and oh so much more - and those things my friends are never, ever, ever, unpredictable.  He was, He is, and He will ALWAYS be.

August 19, 2010

IT'S A....GIRL!!!



We found out on Tuesday afternoon that we'll be having a little girl! Steve and I are so thrilled - it's hard to actually put it into words. Here's a picture of our precious little girl....




Ryleigh means "courageous" - which any little girl is going to need to be to be living in Madagascar!!
Elizabeth means "set apart for God" - it's truly our desire to remember that she is His and not ours! 

Steve is already wrapped around that precious little finger...don't believe me? Here's the first thing he "had" to purchase...

"Our mouths are filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." - Psalms 126:2-3

January 15th can't get here soon enough!!

August 16, 2010

Changes

Change is inevitable - right?  You know - the only thing that ever stays the same is that everything changes - right?  Now that I have you singing the old country song, I'll try to get to the point.

While I am a planner - as in seriously love to have plans, make plans, and be organized in general - the Lord has been showing me that change is never up to me - He makes the plans.  Nothing ever changes for the Lord - He was, He is, and He will always be.  While this used to scare me I have learned to find peace in this.  What a freeing thing to know I'm not in control - couldn't be if I tried my hardest.  I've had several opportunites to share lately about everything that's going on in our lives  - most people's response is - "wow, so a lot of changes huh?"  I just smile because I can't think of a time when I've been SO excited about every single thing that is going on.  Most people have lots of questions about all the details of situations and they expect me to have answers because I usually do - it's like in my DNA or something - but as for the next 10 months of my life - I don't have a lot of answers.  I know what God has shown us but nothing more, and I'm good with that - it's actually quite refreshing to finally realize a little more that it's not up to me.  I don't have to figure out every detail or know every answer.  I can just rest in Him and His "all knowingness".

Two changes that are happening right now?? 
 Well...our peanut is growing to the size of a sweet potato - we're 18 weeks this week!

and I've been blessed with a different type of teaching job until December - 3rd-8th grade - Math and English - it's homeschool materials at a nearby church - although I've taught for 3 years - this set up is a big change for me but after today I'm pretty confident I'm going to love it!

Conclusion??  Change doesn't have to be a bad thing - and actually it should never be considered as such for a follower of Christ - we are promised that He will work things for His glory - what more could we ask for??

July 26, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

The past few weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind - somewhat of being not in the mood to "write" - which is actually unusual for me...another unusual thing has been the lack of books I've read this summer.  I find myself checking out books at the library only to return them on their due date unread.  While this may be very common for some, this is extremley uncommon for me.  My normal routine would be to check out about 15 books at a time and have them read and turned back in long before the due date.  Last summer I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 75+ books - I love to read - what can I say?  My motivation has been lacking this summer though.  Perhaps, I have yet to find a new author that I enjoy - my favorites, (Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, Mary Higgins Clark,etc) have all been read - as in every book that they've put out that I've found at a library!!

So - what's been going on these past couple of weeks?  Well - summer has been.  Grilling out with friends, spending time with family, and my favorite part - my birthday!!  Steve gave me a spa day for my 25th and it was absolutely fabulous.  That night we went out to AJ's with our friends Anna and Jason - great food and fun people to spend time with! 

I'm in my 15th week already - crazy how time flies - but it still feels like we've waited FOREVER to find out the gender - but it will be soon!!  We have our names picked out but we're waiting until we find out the gender before we reveal our names - we're super super excited though!!

A sidenote that I must add is how ridiculously blessed I am by my husband.  I fall more and more in love with him every single day.  If I had to pick a favorite thing?  Being snuggled up on the couch with my prince charming, talking about life - about God's word, how it's applicable, what He's teaching us...it's just the best thing in the whole world.  Marrying your best friend and getting the opportunity to spend your life with him serving the One you were created to glorify - is just pretty unexplainable.



July 11, 2010

A Weekend with Friends and Family!

We headed to Oxford Friday afternoon for our friend Brandon's wedding.  Steve and I have known "B" for about as long as we've know each other.  Our group could be found most any night of the week playing a game of Uno or Phase 10 and usually laughing hysterically at someone within our group.  We always had a good time and even all traveled to Maryland together to be leaders for a Disciple Now while Steve was there as youth minister.  Here's a picture from right before Steve left in 2005 -

Needless to say, we haven't seen B that much since moving to Fort Worth but were so excited about being able to be a part of his special day!  Congratulations B - we love you!!

After the wedding we headed to Baldwyn to visit with Steve's family, who I feel blessed to call my own as well.  My birthday is coming up on the 19th and we won't see them again till August and they surprised me with an ice cream cake - can't go wrong with that! Here's a pic with me and my mom-in-law!! And I'm including a picture of my 10 1/2 month old niece Kaylee - isn't she precious?

July 5, 2010

Sacrifice

This past week at M-Fuge, one of the days we talked about sacrifice.  It's something that has really stuck with me.  I always seem to associate "giving up" or "death" with the term sacrifice.  While I know this is common and mostly accurate - the Lord really spoke to me this week about how much more life we can have if we sacrifice.  How it's not really as much about giving something up as it is what it can add to our lives.  The camp focused on Hannah's sacrifice of her son Samuel.  How she had wanted a son for so long and once she had him, she gave him back to the Lord and His service.  It just made me start thinking that I wondered if she walked around after that talking about her sacrifice.  Is that how she would tell her story?  Or would she just talk about the blessing of doing what the Lord had called her to do? 

I think so often when the Lord calls us to sacrifice  something it becomes a worldly demonstration of our "dedication" to the Lord.  We talk about it with our friends or post it on facebook - anyone who knows us will know what we've decided to "sacrifice" for the Lord.  The Bible instructs us to not let our right hand know what our left hand is doing - I believe this is applicable in this scenario.  If the Lord is asking you to "give up" something then He's asking you to do that.  He's not asking you to talk about it with everyone you meet.  A sacrifice is something personal, something sincere, and always from the heart. 

The Lord also started revealing to me people that I've grown up thinking that they have made huge sacrifices in their lives.  As I went through them in my mind, I realized that these people never talked about their sacrifices or ever looked for a crowd to pity them or exalt them.  These people simply proclaimed the Lord's work in their life.  The sacrifice was not the focus - the focus was on the Lord, totally and completely.

The challenge that I found myself faced with was my focus - is it on the Lord or on myself?  Romans 12:1 says to present yourself as a living sacrifice - am I presenting myself in a worldly way or in a Godly way?  Those are truly the only 2 options, so it has to be one or the other.  My prayer is that I always point others to the Lord and that I never try to stand in the way of that.  That my selfishness and pride never attempt to shadow who He is in all of His glory.

June 26, 2010

Great Anticipation

Anticipation is defined as - "an expectation; anticipating with confidence of fulfillment".  Anticipation is a word that I don't use that often - however, I'm really a big fan of the word and the way it makes me feel.  I just know that something great is about to happen.  When I think of anticipation, one of the 1st things I think of is our call to Madagascar.  Actually, I feel like there should be a more adequate word than anticipation to describe how we feel about moving to Toilera.  God has been God to put it as simply as possible.  He has provided for our needs, been faithful to take care of every small detail - and all the while still teaching us new things about who He is and how to serve Him wherever we are in the mean time.



When I think of a time that I experienced anticipation and I saw it come to fulfillment is the night when Steve and I got engaged.  He completely surprised me when he flew in from Maryland that night and although it didn't go according to his exact plans - it was still a time of great joy and anticipation for me.  We were engaged for almost 2 years but the anticipation never ceased.  I would talk about our wedding plans with anyone who would listen, and my poor friends who were with me all the time could have probably gone through the wedding in their sleep!  Now, 3 years after the "Big Day", I can joyfully express that anticipation was not wasted.  The fulfillment of everything I had ever prayed for in a husband and in a marriage have/are coming true everyday.  I can't express the blessing of waking up every morning and living life together with my best friend.




SO - all of this brings me to the way I'm feeling this morning - full of anticipation.  I'm chaperoing a youth trip to M-Fuge this upcoming week.  It's been a few years since I've been to youth camp and it's bringing back all the memories of the ones I took while I was in school.  The anticipation of being somewhere new, of expecting God to do great things, of basically - everything that comes with going to camp.  I've been praying this week for these youth that will be going and selfishly for myself.  I want to come away with something new - with a fresh word from the Lord.  The anticipatioin is growing constantly as we're getting closer to leaving...and as I'm dwelling on that, I keep having this tug on my heart.  A tug that is saying - "Nickolee, I do great things everyday.  I can speak to you in a "fresh" way wherever you are."  I'd tell anyone in a heartbeat that I "knew" this already because I do.  However, I'm being challenged this morning in wondering if I live my life that way.  Do I wake up every single morning with great anticipation? If not - why not?  Sure, it may be easier to hear from the Lord in a camp setting - away from distractions of our day to day life - but the reality is 98% of the year we have distractions.  We have life - we live in this world.  we can't forget that He has called us to be in the world but not of it.  I believe we are called to live a life of Great Anticipation - and don't forget that means we have the confidence that our expectation will be fulfilled!!

June 21, 2010

MS = Family Time!

One of the best parts of being in MS is being
 able to spend time with the family on days like Father's Day!  It was nice to be able to spend yesterday with my daddy who has provided such an amazing example of who my Heavenly Father is.  As I have gotten older, I've realized this is NOT something to be taken for granted!  He's pretty fantastic and I love him!! 



Here's a picture of my absolutely adorable youngest sister - who is going to be a SENIOR this year!!






 It was Steve's 1st Father -to - be day!! I gave him a book my friend Wendee just raves about - here's a picture of him and my beautiful mother!

And when my family had left...I walked to the "nursery" room and this is what I found left on the bed - one for a little boy and one for a little girl! We can't wait to find out which one our baby will be!! Aren't they just precious??

Jason and Anna Russum's Wedding Reception Entrance

Don't you just love weddings??

One of the most beautiful girls I know said "I do" on Saturday.  She's one of my best friends whom I met in college.  This is a picture of us at her rehersal on Friday night.  It was a beautiful wedding with a stunning bride.  There is just something so very special about watching God bring two people together for the purpose of serving Him to their greatest capacity.  My heart is literally bursting with happiness for the two of them - How much do I love this couple you may ask?  Well, I did get up at 3:15 this morning to take them to the airport - :o)  It's what friends do!  We had such a great time at the wedding - you can even watch our reception entrance here by looking at the post before this one!  Here's some pictures from the big day...
                                                  
My Beautiful Friend the Bride - Anna
My handsome date :o)
and just for the fun of it a picture from MY wedding day when anna was a bridesmaid!

June 18, 2010

A Dangerous Life?

A couple of nights ago I was in a conversation about being safe. I was talking about how it makes sense to try and be as safe as possible instead of knowingly walking into a "dangerous" situation. However, once I was by myself (and trying to go to sleep), the Lord started speaking to my heart on the matter - the following is a glimpse of what He was teaching me.

Being safe - a term that is used quite often or atleast some version of it - be safe, be careful, etc - however, what does that really mean? Do you truly want a christian to live a "safe" lifestyle? Isn't that the exact opposite of what the Lord calls us to? My 1st response to this line of thinking is - yeah, but God also gives us common sense, He gives us families that we love, friends we cherish - is it a sin to hope that they are safe? Well, I do believe there is a difference in deciding to rock climb w/o any safety features down the wall of the Grand Canyon and being in a place God has called you to. Being in the center of where God has called you to is the "safest" place for you to be. "Safe" in the terms of America's definition or even a mom's definintion? Most likely not - but safe in the terms of your Creator, your Savior, and One who will ALWAYS bring glory to Himself.

Our safety as christians lies in the fact that we are christians. Our promise from the Lord is that He will never leave us or forsake us and that we will dwell with Him for all of eternity. He promises to guide our steps and to work all things for His glory but nowhere does He say it will be easy, not scary, or SAFE.

Jesus' words to his disciples were as follows, "do not go in the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep...behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves...when they hand you over - do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given to you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it si the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you...truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes...Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concelaed htat will not be revealed...do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul...for the very hairs of your head are numbered...do not fear you are more valuable than many sparrows...he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me...truly I say to you, you will not lose your reward." - exerpts from matthew 10

Are we not called to be His disciples? If so these are our instructions as well...The only way for God's best and most perfect plan for our lives to happen is to follow Him - whereever that may lead - we often judge the "dangerousness" of a situation as to where the location is - but honestly the dangerousness of the situation rests in whether you are outside of His will or not. Obviously God teaches us that He will work all things for His good - His plans can not be thwarted - so we have free will - we have the choice to obey and follow or not - but why would you desire to be somewhere other than where He has called you?

It's hard to look at "tragic situations" and believe that God was in control - but He was. He is glorified and will always continue to be. We don't like to think that something that "tragic" could be a part of a perfect plan - but it is - the Lord does promise us that. We can't even fathom what today might have held in store if that had not happened - we. just. don't. know. However, the Lord, the director of our steps, the One who holds the universe in His hands does know.

It's hard to try and wrap our minds around this truth but it is the truth - there is no one who cares more about their children more than the One who created them - and no matter where they are - their Father is ALWAYS with them and He is more of a protector than we could ever hope to be.

We're in MS!!

We are finishing up our 2nd week back in MS. People keep asking us if we're settled or if we're glad to be home. While both might be true, I think mostly we're still trying to wrap our heads around the idea that we're in Clinton...it's still slightly crazy that it all worked out this way.


We are beyond blessed to be in the missions house that we are and it's just been pretty cool to see how God continually provides for all we need.


I know I started this blog almost 2 years ago and it was a flop - so this is my "do-over" - we'll be keeping a blog once we get to Madagascar next year, so maybe this is a way to start getting in the habit of it. We now have people we consider family in a atleast a couple of different states and this is the best way I know to keep in contact! I do indeed love to write, so you may never know what you'll find here - some days it may just be my random thoughts and what the Lord is trying to teach me. I do promise however to post updates on all things baby related! Look below for the 1st sonogram pic! (6-9-2010)


Tomorrow is one of my best friends' rehersal dinner and the wedding is saturday - it's going to be fabulous! Off to sleep for tonight!
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