Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Boss Man...

...Mr. D. 

This is slightly random, but I just need to take a minute to appreciate my boss. Before I do that, I do have to acknowledge that the Lord is gracious and good, and He ultimately is the one who orchestrates all things for His purposes and His glory. So while I may dote a little on my boss in this blog post, we (Mr. D and I) both understand that our time together in our job is because God has willed it and has chosen to use us where we are. I am incredibly grateful to Jesus that I share that common knowledge and faith with my boss, and I understand what a true rarity and blessing that is. And I am incredibly thankful that my boss walks in faith and lives a life of integrity before our King.

That being Mr. D (and Mr. D's cute wife).

On a business trip...taking a team trip to Butchart Gardens

Before Mr. D was my boss, he and his sweet wife were my Teaching Leaders in the Dallas Young Adult BSF class. You know those people who enter your lives and end up being such a sweet and rich blessing to you in a number of ways? That would be this sweet couple. I just had no idea how far those blessings would extend. I had the privilege of not only hearing them teach from the Word each week, but then also serving alongside them as a group Discussion Leader. During this time, I grew to know and love this amazing couple. I have known very few people as generous with their time and resources as they are. And the best part? It's second nature to them. You need a place to stay? Stay with us. You want some ice cream? Here, let's get some. Your car isn't working? Use mine. You need a place to get ready for your wedding? Use our entire house. And every time I have been the humble recipient of their generous gifts, they just say, "Well, it belongs to the Lord and that's what it's there for."

In our leaders meetings, I remember the time that I was praying for a job. My prayer request was the same for months haha. It may have been partly out of pity, but I do believe in God's sovereignty and that the Lord prompted Mr. D's heart to offer me some work. I was hired on temporarily to scan insurance documents. If nothing else, Mr. D wanted to help me pay my rent while I continued looking for full-time work. Right about the time I was running out of things to scan, he offered me a position to help in accounting while a co-worker was out on maternity leave. And when I still didn't have a job, he asked if I would consider insurance. The rest is history...

As if his generosity in hiring me wasn't enough, he has continually showed integrity and benevolence in how he has led our office and taken care of his employees. From a business perspective, I receive all of the training, support, and feedback I need to do my job well. From a personal perspective, I receive encouragement and accountability in all areas of my life. I am extremely grateful to work for a Christ-follower; the office culture is noticeably different. And it means a lot to know that my boss truly understands my motives in my work patterns (my ethics, my drive, my calling...)

As I have recently married and moved farther away, Mr. D has been continually flexible and accommodating as I try to figure out my new commute. It hit me the other day how much of a blessing that truly is. I can see how the Lord was taking care of me and Mike, even 2 years after hesitantly entering the world of insurance. He knew 2 years ago (before Mike and I even started dating) that we would need for me to be here at this job. And I am thankful to Mr. D for being faithful in following God's leading in hiring me and in working for God, rather than for men...


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fresh New Blog (Design, at least)

Welcome to my new blog design! I have been wanting to do something new with my blog for awhile (it's been almost a year since the last time I changed up the design). I actually liked the old design...

...but I guess I just wanted something fresh and new :) Thanks to the pre-made templates over at Laura Jane Designs, I was able to snag this cute template! It's still a work in progress, but I like the fresh new design :)

In other news...I should have our wedding pictures SOON! I have been on pins and needles waiting for those pics (patience is obviously not one of my strong points), and our photographer said we should have them by next week. Once we have a chance to sift through and organize them, I promise to post some highlights...or perhaps a super-detailed story log of everything :)


Monday, August 15, 2011

In Chains: A Documentary Project

Since my trip to Nicaragua, the Lord has been doing some amazing things! He has kept Nica on my heart, and I have been so blessed to see so much accomplished through the ministries and people I had the opportunity to serve with (and continue to partner with). From the continued work of the Refuge Project, to my friend Clint using his gift of photography to create awareness, and to my friend Laura moving down to Managua to serve at House of's so exciting to see the Lord move!

The newest exciting project is close to home because it's within my new family. My brother-in-law Bryan is a media producer and is the founder of 617 Production Group, which provides media solutions for businesses and non-profits. Bryan has a passion to use his media talents to serve the Lord and create awareness. In hearing the stories of the sex trafficking epidemic in Nicaragua and the ministry of House of Hope, he has decided to pursue producing a documentary that will depict the reality of the women and children caught up in the industry. The hope is to inspire and empower others to do what ministries like House of Hope and The Refuge Project are already doing: rescuing women and children from a life of prostitution and helping solve the sex trafficking issue in Nicaragua.

Please be in prayer for this project. They only have a few short weeks to raise the money they need in order to pursue this project. To learn more about the In Chains project, you can check out their fundraising website.

The story that Bryan wants to document is a tragic one; but it is one, I believe, that is near to the heart and compassion of God. I am excited about how the Lord is working in Nicaragua. I am humbled by the fact that He allowed me to be a part of, if even for a brief moment, the precious lives that He loves and knows by name in Managua. I am thankful for those who have heard the stories, witnessed the need, and resolved to put their faith in action. I look forward to seeing how this documentary sheds light on an ugly reality, but inspires others to action and is used to bring hope and healing to those who need it.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is my dad's birthday, and I couldn't go without posting about all of the wonderfulness that is Rick :)

Can I just say that I have the BEST dad in the world??? I mean, really. My dad is pretty great. Behind that serious, professional accountant exterior lies a fairly goofy man (I mean that with all the love in my heart, dad!) I say that because he has a great sense of humor, and we can laugh and just have fun together.

But more than that, he is the picture of sacrifice and selflessness. He works hard and has taught me the value of working for the Lord, rather than for men. He is incredibly generous with his time and resources. He loves Jesus and is an incredible man of faith. My dad has always been there for me, always there to support me, encourage me, and guide me.

Dad, I love you very much, and I am so thankful for you! I hope that you have a wonderful birthday today and that you know how much you are loved!!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nica Laura

Today my sweet friend Laura Minjares is moving to Managua, Nicaragua. Laura was one of the first people I met at Woodcreek. The moment I met her, I instantly liked her. Laura has the incredible ability of making people laugh. I can hardly recount a conversation with Laura where my side did not hurt from laughter. She has the BEST stories :) We served together in the 20s group, she helped me with training Sasha, and I have been so blessed to call her friend.

Laura was also one of the team members I had the privilege of serving alongside on the trip to Nicaragua in June 2010. On that trip, the Lord began to whisper to her heart about moving to Nicaragua. I remember her telling me even on the trip that she could live in Managua. At the time, she laughed and moved on, but over the next year, I had the opportunity of witnessing her steps of obedience and preparation for the mission the Lord was calling her to.

Everything about this photo makes me smile :)

Over the next 2 years, she will be working with the women and ministry of House of HopeI am going to miss my sweet friend, but I am so excited for her! I cannot wait to see how the Lord grows her closer to His heart as He uses her to love those she is called to serve in Nicaragua. The joy and energy she brings to those around her is contagious, and I know it will be an incredible blessing to the women at House of Hope.

So if you think about it today, please pray for my friend Laura as she leaves her friends and family to walk in faith and obedience. Pray that she is able to make Nicaragua her "home" quickly and that she easily adjusts to her new life at House of Hope. Pray for the women she will be ministering to. Pray for the Lord to show Himself to Laura in new and incredible ways, that she would be able to walk in deeper intimacy with her Savior. Pray that the Lord is glorified through her ministry.