Friday, August 31, 2012

{iPhone Rewind} :: August

So...I haven't done such a hot job with the whole {Photo-A-Day} thing. I completely skipped July and tried to start again in August only to completely give up...oops. Oh well.

So I have decided to just stick to {iPhone Rewind} instead; it seems to take up less effort and time = perfect for me :) So here is a look back at August via iPhone photos...

Starbucks even recognizes that we are one ;)

I tried my hand at making homemade pretzels - they tasted better than they looked!

Since it's getting lighter later in the mornings, I decided to start carrying pepper spray on my runs. I was slightly annoyed that a) the "runner" version only came in pink, and b) pink was less expensive than black. But I guess I'm glad to have it with me nonetheless.

Speaking of exercise...this workout has been kicking. my. butt. No joke. But it's good for me, right?

I have been growing out my bangs and it has been interesting to say the least. I accidently damaged them with my flat iron + had a haircut fiasco that left them way too short, so I literally have been growing them out for over a year. I feel like I am back in middle school with my bobby pins and goofy alfalfa strands...blah.

Mmmm...yay for yogurt and Bible study :) I have been so blessed by the sweet girls I have had the opportunity to study the Word with. Such a sweet answer to prayer.

Some of the girls in our Bible study decided to have a Pinterest Party! We have talked about it for awhile, but finally picked a night to get together.

It was a fun evening filled with crafts, conversation, and girliness :)

My Pinterest project...homemade gift bags.

It may be hard to see in the picture, but the tree in the lot next door got struck by lightening. It happened in the middle of the night and woke us both up; we thought lightening had struck our house. The street, our roof, and our yard were filled with the debris.

Sasha on her way to Granny's house...she stayed with Mike's mom while we headed to Colorado for vacation (post coming soon!)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Best Places to Live

Before we moved up here, I mentioned that McKinney had been voted a top 5 best place to live in America in 2010. Well, we have moved up the charts and made the list again this year; and I am proud to say that McKinney was ranked the 2nd best place to live in America by Money Magazine. Not that it matters, but I just think it's kind of fun!

I like living here, but it's fun to know that others think it's a cool place too :)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Church Planting Residency

We have been so overwhelmed by God’s provision for us in our short year here in McKinney. From the people we have met and the relationships we have built, to the provision of new jobs and the growth of our home group Bible study. We talk constantly about where we were when we first moved out here, and now where we are just a short time later. We have been amazed and humbled to see the Lord’s faithful and abundant provision for us.

This summer, we have been walking through an assessment process for a church planting residency with our church. Most of our time with them has been relational in nature, with Mike meeting with various leaders to learn more about the ministry and heart of the church. A few weeks ago, we went through our official interview process, which included online assessments, ministry applications, a behavioral interview, and an assessment meeting. They offered us the residency proposal, and I am really excited to announce that starting in September, Mike and I will begin the Church Planting Residency program at Christ Fellowship in McKinney! It is already official  ;)

We are both very excited about this opportunity, and we are extremely thankful to Christ Fellowship for their support in our church planting journey. This next year will essentially be a “training phase” as we prepare to launch a church. We are still talking with the leadership about details and specifics, but we will be sure to keep you up to date on all that the Lord is doing. This year will be exciting for sure, but it will also be a year of refining. So as always, we covet your prayers as we follow the Lord’s leading in these next steps.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Hope is Built

I really enjoy the quiet and stillness of the early morning hours. There's just something calming and fulfilling about being awake before the rest of the world around me. It's why I like to go for a run and have my quiet time in the mornings. I love waking up on my own before the alarm goes off. And I love sitting outside with a cup of coffee and the Word. Of course, I'm not always good about being super disciplined with these things, because I also really enjoy my sleep :) But when I get to bed on time, get a good night's rest, the weather cooperates, the sun is up at a decent time, and I have enough time to fit in a run and time with the Lord before's perfect.

This morning the Lord woke me up before my alarm. I have blogged a few times about these early morning wake up calls, all from the Lord. I will be honest- sometimes they are unwelcome (did I mention that I like my sleep?) But I realized this morning what a blessing these wake up calls are. For me, they reassure me of His presence. Sometimes amidst the craziness of life, it's hard for to "feel" the Lord sometimes; meaning, at times it can feel like I am talking to the wind, just going through the motions, trying to feel close to Jesus. In the stillness of the morning, I can feel Him. I know that He is there, that He is near.

A lot of times, the Lord will wake me up early a) to convict my heart of sin (don't like those wake up calls as much haha), b) to have me pray for someone specific, or c) to place a song on my heart. This morning was a song :)

It's an oldie but a goodie:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Not gonna lie; slightly scared for what's ahead that the Lord would place this song on my heart now (knowing I will probably need it haha). But what an incredible and beautiful gift from Jesus.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

On My Heart

Church planting has been on my heart a lot lately. It's not like it hasn't been on my heart before. It is obviously a big part of our lives, the very reason we're in McKinney. But Mike and I had made a commitment to wait a year before diving into starting a church. And with settling into married life and life in McKinney, it was almost as if it had been placed on a shelf in the corner of my heart. Still there, able to remind me of our purpose here, but also still a thought for something in the future.

Now a year has past and we see the seeds of God's work. My husband is itching to get started, and even the last few weeks have been filled with assessments and interviews, making the possibility of formal relationships and actually starting very real. As soon as we have more details, I will be sure to share. But we also would appreciate your prayers, as we want very much to walk in God's will, whatever that looks like.

So knowing that it might actually be time, church planting has {obviously} been on my heart. When people ask how I am feeling about the whole process, my answer is: both excited and terrified. And to be honest, it depends on the day. As a planner, my brain is constantly filled with questions: What is it going to look like? What are our first steps? Who is going to walk with us through this? How are we going to make a difference? People say you get lonely are we talking? How are we going to pay for everything? Will people actually listen and respond? How does a family fit into all of this? Why would Jesus use me; what do I have to offer? How hard is this really going to be? What is my role in all of this?

When I allow the questions to stack up, I start to get scared. I start to let the details overwhelm me, and it all seems to be too much. Since we are still at the outset of this process, I don't have the feeling of wanting to run {yet- jk}, but it does scare me for when we're in the thick of things and when things get hard. Because we keep hearing over and over about how hard church planting is. I have to literally pray that Jesus shuts off the questions. I have to just sit at His feet and wait. And pray. And trust. And hope. And then pray some more.

But it's not all scary. Because when I think about how the Lord has been so good to us this past year, essentially confirming our calling to be in McKinney and setting us up for ministry, my heart is filled with thankfulness and joy. And it humbles me to think that He would choose us to be a part of what He is doing here. When I hear my husband teach, my heart is filled with pride (the good kind) at watching him operate within his God-given gifts. And it makes me want to do everything in my power to support and encourage him. When I see the fruits of our little Bible studies and the relationships we have built with people in just this short year, my heart is filled with excitement and purpose. And it gives me courage and hope to face this calling.


Sunday, August 5, 2012


It seems like every month this summer I have joked with my co-worker about where the last month has gone, how it went by so quickly, how we both can't believe it's {the new month}. That held true for the start of August too. Where in the world is the summer going??  :)

Preacher Boy
Mike had an opportunity to teach again at the Woodcreek College group. In a lot of ways it has been a reunion with former high school students, who have obviously graduated and are moving on to college. It has been a bit nostalgic for him, bringing back memories of teaching during youth days.

Excuse the poor quality...I didn't want to be a distraction during his teaching ;)

I always enjoy hearing my husband teach/preach. It's fun for me to see him doing a) something he loves, and b) something in which he is clearly gifted. Every time I hear him teach, I feel the Spirit moving. Not because Mike has some inside-track to holiness; but because he is humbly operating within his God-given gift. I always walk away in awe of how the Lord has crafted him to teach. I know I have only just begun this journey with him, and I have countless sermons/teachings to look forward to in our future. But I am excited about what that will look like in our church plant in the years to come.

It's HOT
I'm one of those weird people that actually enjoys the heat. Give me a 90 degree day over 50 any day. But even I have to admit that this summer has been HOT.

No that's not a joke. It really did hit 108 more than once this week.
And P.S. It never got down to 79. Just saying.

The heat has just been draining. So it hasn't really felt like a true summer to me, simply because I haven't spent very much time outside. I usually live outside in the summer. But it has just been too suffocatingly hot to be outdoors. Thank you Lord for air conditioning and cold beverages! :)

Counting Down
I am SO looking forward to being here at the end of the month:

I need some vacation time, and we have been incredibly blessed by an opportunity to spend a week in Colorado. Can't. Wait.