All of the sudden life has gone from easy-going, laid back, and chill to full speed ahead, faster than the speed of light, and plain old BUSY.  I anticipate life to remain at this speed as we continue to move forward in youth ministry.  With all the craziness going on, I just had to stop in and say PRAISE THE LORD for the privilege of serving him full-time and getting paid for it!  Could there be a better job on the planet (For Chuck that is, I'm just the faithful side-kick.)?!

Nature Walk

My friend, Laura, was sharing with our ladies prayer group last night and her thoughts really spoke to my heart.  She was almost exclaiming how tired she is of suburbia.  Laura has such a longing for God to use her mightily alongside of her husband.  She longs to be out in nature, even on the top of a mountain and be able to open her arms wide and God.  Though she struggled to make sense of the deep longing in her heart, those of us women in the room felt it, too. 

I was particularly convicted because God has been stirring my heart about how I spend my time.  My days are a joy to my soul.  I am living in the freedom of doing what I love each and every day.  I have the privilege of watching my husband begin a new job that he finds so much passion, purpose, and meaning in.  Together, we are honored to serve God and teens. 

Yet there are times when I know in my heart I haven't made the most of my day.  Like Laura was sharing, I don't want to wake up when I'm 80 and say, "How did I spend my days?  What a waste."  So today I decided to cut out some of my usual distractions.  It's embarrassing to admit that I often schedule my work outs, cleaning, and fixing dinner around TV programs.  For instance, I go to the gym at 9 or 11 so that I can watch "Live with Regis and Kelly" or "The View".  Or, I'll fold the laundry at 4 when "Oprah" is on.  I'm not saying any of this is bad, I'm saying it's distracting

A couple ladies shared last night that they really find God in nature.  That hit home, hard.  I often spend my days indoors because I love, love, LOVE being in our apartment so much.  But as I considered where I live, I am truly blessed.  Our apartment complex is pretty much a mini paradise.  We are surrounded by woods, trees, and pretty flowers.  There are sidewalk paths that wind all over our town.  We also have a beautiful pool, also surrounded by trees and woods.  It's all very serene. 

So thanks to Laura, the ladies, and God's leading, I went for a Nature Walk this morning.  What an incredible way to connect with God.  Each step I just reveled in God's creation and in the beauty of nature.  I could feel God's peace and love bursting in my heart so strongly,  I wanted to hug a tree or something.  There was a moment where my eye caught site of a beautiful, bright, red bird and my heart actually skipped a beat as I realized that the site of that pretty bird was a gift from God to me. 

I'm happy.  I am reminded, and a bit remorseful that I don't always give God the chance to move in me and bless me the way He so desires to.  Thank you for today, God, and thank you for nature. 

New News

As Chuck and I's one year anniversary approaches (20 days!) this month there have been some significant changes going on.  Before our wedding, we chose to take a year off from full-time youth ministry.  As we sought wisdom and counsel from others we were really excited to spend our first year focusing on our marriage and each other.  Chuck agreed to a verbal contract with IBM for one year.  We joined a church just a couple miles down the road from our apartment (Reston Bible Church) and began volunteering with the youth group there.

We desired to serve God in our church for the year and believed He would lead us to full-time ministry come summer time.  We began the process of searching for churches in need of a youth Pastor.  It was incredibly encouraging to be in contact with several wonderful church bodies.  Deep down inside though, Chuck and I both truly desired to stay at our current church that we know and love.  As we talked with RBC's youth Pastor, his desire was to be able to hire us on staff as well.  Thus began the process of interviews and meetings.  In the meantime, Chuck was unexpectedly laid off from IBM.  He had less than 2 weeks until his last day.  I had to laugh as this was such a clear sign from God that we were headed in the right direction.

Chuck's last day at IBM was a Friday and by God's great provision, his first day at Reston Bible Church was the very next Monday.  He was hired as the Sr. High Youth Pastoral Intern.  We are floored with excitement because all the things we desired in a youth ministry, God has given us through RBC.  Chuck will be working with a youth team, as well as being mentored by the youth Pastor.  RBC will also be working with Chuck to eventually become ordained, which has been a great desire for Chuck.  We are excited to be apart of this youth ministry, hopefully for many years.

Some of you know that we were looking for a new apartment to be closer to our church building once they move locations (from Reston to Sterling), but we've decided to stay in the apartment right where we are.  We couldn't be happier about this! 

Thanks to those of you who have prayed for us!  We can't wait to share with you all that God does in and through us in our new role!