Friday, July 12, 2013

VBS- Mini Post

 A big VBS post will come soon but these are a few of my favorite pictures from the celebration tonight.  If I ever recover from my extreme case of exhaustion, I'll be sure to get another post up!  :-)

5 on Friday Link Up

1. VBS-

What a week! We have just ended the 5th day of VBS and all the people in this house are T-I-R-E-D! Well, except for Jonah who rarely ever admits to being tired even though he can't hold his eyes open while he moves at a snails pace.  This was such a fun year for my boys.  Jonah hit the VBS stride and loved everything about it.  He doesn't want it to ever end.  Micah also loved "BBS" but it was kind of like a club Med for toddlers over in the nursery thanks to Aja and her crew, so I totally get why he liked it.  

As a parent, there is nothing more wonderful than hearing your 2 and 6 year olds singing the name of Jesus and quoting scripture they have learned.  Hearing those young voices repeating the name and attributes of Jesus captivates my heart in such a beautiful way. 

2.  The Beach-

In just a few weeks, our family will be heading to the Panhandle for a beach house vacation.  A friend in the church has family who owns this house in Mexico Beach.  They go every year and invited us to go with them this year.  She informed us that they cook fresh seafood every day and will watch the boys so we can have a few dates.  Yes, please!  So excited!

They haven't been around little kids for an extended period of time in quite a while so I'm already expecting not to be invited back next year.   Kidding!  (Kind of?!?)  I'm been gathering swimsuits, beach toys and pirate clothes for the week.  I'm just hoping nothing happens that causes us to cancel this trip too.  

3.  Shoes-

My kids are blowing through shoes like crazy!  Not because they are wearing them out but because their feet are GROWING so quickly.  Dan's mom usually buys Micah's grey New Balance shoes each year for his birthday.  I've already bought one pair for him since she bought the ones in November and now I need to buy another pair.  Jonah is on his third size since school started last August.  When you ask Jonah what he wants for his birthday, he rattles off a list that includes Subway Gift Cards, Legos, Skylanders and Itunes gift cards.  I'm trying to convince him to scratch all of those things and ask for shoes.  Hasn't worked yet.

4.  Ebay-

I had my first negative Ebay experience and when I say negative, that is kind of an understatement.  Wowzers!  A couple of years ago, I spotted this comforter set at Dillards.  The comforter alone was $350.  I kept watching for it to go on sale.  It never did.  I've continued to love it.  So, I looked for one on Ebay.  I found one for a great price that was new without tags.  

I should have known there would be problems when it didn't even ship until the day it was expected to be here.   When it arrived, it was in terrible shape.  She claimed it was due to being shipped in a vacuum sealed bag.  Come to find out, she admitted to it being used for 2 years.  Ummm, I thought it was NWOT?  I left it draped over the chaise in the living room for several days.  I showed it to all of my company.  They all commented on the poor quality before I told them the story.  One lady guessed that I paid $25 for it.  Yeah, it was bad.

It's been a long struggle with some not kind emails sent to me but I stood my ground and finally got my money back and shipped the item back to her today.  I was so disappointed in her inaccuracy and then the way she handled the whole situation.  I learned a big lesson.  I'm just glad it is over. 

5. The Pool

In just a couple of months, we will have lived here for 4 years.  I've yet to really enjoy the pool.  It has been more work than fun.  I was pregnant the first summer, had a baby the second summer and busy toddler the third summer.  But, this summer, oh what joy that pool has brought us.  The kids love it.  Pool days are their favorite.  They would rather swim than most anything.  Micah took lessons at the beginning of the summer and swims great.  But, when they are just splashing around, I put him in his puddle jumper so he can just enjoy it and not have to work so hard.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life in Ministry

Ministry life is different than any other profession I know. 

When we moved here, we left a place we loved.  We had wonderful relationships, a great staff, a fruitful ministry and felt God was truly still working through us.  We didn't seek out a new place to serve.  They found us.  We had no reason to leave where we were except for we knew God was calling us to a new place.  We still say that we could have stayed there forever.  

Because of our love for the church and the people there, we speak very highly of our 7+ years in Vidalia.  Dan references them in sermons.  We keep in touch with people from there.  We have had TONS of visitors from there.  We speak with kindness, love and respect for the ministry we left behind.  Yet, a little over a year ago, someone told us that there were people here who felt we loved that place too much?  A few more conversations revealed that it seemed to be an underlying issue with our love for FBCV that led people to believe that we wished we had never moved.  That wasn't the case, but it was the feeling of many people in our congregation at Stetson.

Just today, I read an article about the quickest way to find a staff family to avoid is one who consistently talks negatively about their former church.  Staff members get frustrated when their own church members speak bad of the bride of Christ yet they do it often when they move to a new place of service. (And unfortunately, many do it while serving at the church.) When you find a staff family that complains about other staff to church members, money, being overworked, leadership or budget issues, there is usually an issue much deeper within those individuals that needs to be dealt with.  It becomes cancer wherever they go.  

So, there is this fine line where former churches are concerned.  If you talk about them too much, then it seems you shouldn't have left.  If you talk mostly negatively about them, it reveals your heart.  But, former churches are a part of who you are.  They leave marks on your heart, family, life and ministry.  You can't avoid talking about them at all costs.   Every church experience we have hasn't been rosy.  We have both served on several church staffs and have experienced some junk.  But, I can guarantee you, people know much more about the good God did there than the bad we experienced.  The world talks bad enough about the church, it should never hear the bad from within the body of the church, much less from staff members!  If we could all take that negative energy and put it to work for good, big things could happen.

Ministry hasn't been a surprise to me.  I was in ministry before I met Dan.  I knew what I was getting in to when I married him.  On many occasions, I've heard people excuse poor spousal behavior by saying "Well, she didn't set out to marry a minister, she married an Accountant who was later called to ministry."  Or, "She never wanted to be part of a church staff, she wanted to live a professional life."  That's tough.  It really is.  But, ministry is a couple endeavor.  If you both can't get on board, you both shouldn't be doing it.  There are plenty of jobs out there that don't require the extra heart that ministry does.  

I've watched our Student Pastor and his wife do VBS this week.  They are a team.  They aren't joined at the hip but they certainly walk in step with each other.  She does her ministry, he does his and together they love kids, minister to them and serve our church well.  Over this week, I've heard a constant string of comments about how committed they are to this church and the cause of Christ all while seeming "GLAD" to do it all.  What a picture of health that is for the world to see.  

I've been praying that God would bring more of that to our church.  We are currently looking for two staff positions and I ask God to bring TEAMS to us.  I ask him to bring people who love their former place of service, use negative experiences from there to build their ministry and to build up the cause of Christ where ever they are.  A church can only benefit from staff families who love Jesus, love the places they have served, love people and love to see people come to Him. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Micah and Miller at VBS

Quite the comparison, huh?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jonah's First Piano Recital

This little six year old you see has now participated in his very first piano recital.  As the youngest player, he played four very simple songs from memory.  He said he wasn't even nervous.  I can't say the same.  I was a nervous wreck for him. 

I found these cute Ralph Lauren Preston Pants on Ebay a little over a month ago.  So, I knew those would be his recital pants but we had to find a tie to match.  Fortunately, Dillards had a precious red tie with blue polka dots that matched perfectly.  Seriously, he looked so cute!!!

Before we left for the church, he practiced all four songs a couple of times just to be sure he had them.  Dan helped him a little and then we were ready to go. 

Here he is with his amazing teacher, Ginny Wright.  I'm not kidding.  She is amazing.  She has the most precious heart of anyone you would ever meet.  She loves Jesus.  She loves music.  She loves teaching kids to love Jesus and music.  She did so much for Jonah over the last year.  She taught him to love piano.  And, I'm so grateful for that. 

We had a little time before the recital began to take pictures and get settled.  Ginny divides her students into two groups and does two recitals.  I know parents appreciate that because it cuts in half the length of the recital.  There were 14-16 students in each of her recitals that morning. 

We were so proud of Jonah.  He made a couple of mistakes but it didn't bother him.  Most of all, he had fun.  And, that is what matters most to us.  If he doesn't love it and enjoy it, he won't have the desire to keep doing it.  As some of the older kids played these incredibly difficult pieces, I leaned over and said "Would you like to play like that one day?"  He smiled and said "YES!  I want to be that good and I want to learn guitar and drums too!"

Ginny was very kind to give us a DVD of his performance and a few pictures that were taken with her camera.  I uploaded his songs to YouTube so you can see them.  It doesn't take long but will show you how well he did. 


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