Monday, August 20, 2012


This past week our family had two milestones. First, Morgan started school on Thursday. I had thought I was ready for this. I thought, there is no way I would be sad. I was so happy for her. She is growing up and she is loving it. But I was wrong. No, I didn't cry. But I definately teared up a few times as we made the long walk in as a family. Morgan is shy, a little apprehensive if she is unsure of her surroundings or when placed into new situations so I was all prepared to have to encourage her, to assure her and to comfort her. Boy was I wrong. She was so excited she went right in, sat at her desk and basked in her "big girl" status. The boys on the other hand, were the apprehensive ones. They didn't like the idea of leaving their sister behind. As we left, Matthew told me he was going to miss her and then he asked if we could come back and get her as if kindergarten was a permanent place. Her starting school has had me reflecting over the last five years with her. It's been such a sweet time in my life. My delivery with Morgan wasn't so easy, it was long and hard. I pushed for three hours to have her and then they take her to NICU. Those first couple of days I learned how deep a mothers love goes for their child. Morgan has always excelled at everything she does. She's a natural born competitor. By six months she was crawling, giving high fives and saying words like "uh oh spaghetti-o's" By her first birthday she was saying well over 60 words and we were able to have small convo's with her. She's never been one to just sit back. She was the perfect child to be the leader of our small army. She's a natural born mother herself. She takes pride in taking care of "her kids". When the little ones cry, she beats me to them to hold them or ask them if they are ok. She's such a great kid, wise beyond her years and I am not just saying that becuase she's my kid. If you encounter her, be prepared because she'll trip you up. So as we embark on her new journey, I am so happy for her and look forward to seeing her bloosom in her new environment where for once she'll be forced to think about herself. That's what I hope, but knowing her, she'll find a kid in class to help or she'll discover for us a family to help out. That's what she does, she's a natural born servant.
Then Luci turned two! It's hard to believe! Luci is such a good kid. Now, we went through a rough patch from ab 18 months to 22 months, but what we learned is that she was frustrated from not being able to communicate. Now that we can talk and carry on a conversation, she's such a good kid. And even more than that, she's funny and just really loving. I have to admit, I was a little worried there for awhile. But as I have said time and time again, Luci had to be strong willed. I found out about her two days after my dad had his heart attack. I knew that I was late, but I was too consumed to test and finally Ryan told me I probably needed to so I knew if I needed to take care of myself a little bit better than I had been during that time. So I found out about her, what bittersweet emotions. I sat next to my dad's bedside and I whispered in his ear, that we were having anothre baby and I needed him to get better. But he didn't. And 3 1/2 days after I found out about her, I had to let my father go. It was such a hard time for me but she kept me going. She made me focus. I sat in my ob's office the day that we laid my dad to rest and I told her that the baby had to be strong willed to stick with me through all of that and strong willed she is! I knew she'd be a fighter. She knows what she wants and is more determined than most people I know. I admire that in her. I named her Luci because her name means light..and God was so kind. He knew I would lose my father on Christmas eve, and he gave me a daughter during the same time.
With both of these events this past week, it's made me think of my dad a lot. I miss him. I know he would have been so excited for Morgan. He wouldn't of missed Luci's bday or Morgan's first day. He loved my kids. And I wish he had the chance to meet Luci. To meet Kate and to know them today. I have learned that grief doesn't go away. Time does heal, but as I said at his funeral, I will never be the same.
So, I carry on. With each moment, each milestone, felt with bittersweet memories of my father and what should of been, what could of been.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

He's Worth It

The last few months have been nothing short of a whirlwind. We had a baby, added number five to the mix and in the midst of making that transition, God calls us to plant a church. "Really God?" That's what we were asking. When the answer kept returning yes and the provisions began pouring in faster than we could process them, we stopped fighting and decided God was moving in this direction whether we liked it or not and  the sooner we got on board, the better off we'd be. Was it scary? Yes. I will be real honest and say that there were many days I couldn't "think" about it. I just had to continue to trust in God's direction and ignore my own doubts and fears. The reality was, I didn't want to plant. At least not now. It wasn't on "my" radar. You see, Ryan and I like structure and order. When you run a house with 5 kids 5 and under, you have to have structure and order. Something that I use to love about myself was that I was really spontaneous. When I moved to Texas from Ohio, my conversation with my bf went like this "do you want to move to Texas?" she said when, I said now. So we told our jobs and in a week we were gone. I thought back to those days often as we planted the church. With moving so quick from Ohio, we never had a chance to think about it. We just did it. And as we began planting Praxis we had to stop "thinking" about it. We just had to continue to listen to the Father. The best part of this season of our life is that we are closer to Him than we have ever been. We were forced to live on our knees in ways that we had never done. We began to see God so differently and began to experience His presence in our life in ways that have absolutely rocked our world. I never in a million years imagined that my relationship with God would be what it is today. Where I thought I was close to Him before, I now realize I wasn't even tapping into a tenth of what He wanted for me. And it's simply A M A Z I N G.
Praxis Community Church is still a small growing body of believers that has been so blessed by Mayfield Road baptist Church. The Lord has called us to minister to the East Side of Arlington. In our short existence, 4 1/2 months, we have grown more than I thought. I remember in our early days, we had on a Sunday an average of 12-17 people. It was our church and the Lord began to open our eyes to a hurting world and everytime we saw a need, we met it with no hope in a return that they'd join us. We simply wanted to share what Christ had shared with us. Over the last few months, we have grown quicker than we had imagined with a majority of our people experiencing church and Jesus for the first time. Praise God. We are hearing stories from our people who have never served the community and are now experiencing it's life changing power in their lives.
Praxis is God's church. It's His idea. It's His place that He has called into existence to serve a small portion of this hurting world. Today, I sat in church tearing up at what He has done. The best part of this for me isn't what He's doing on the East side of Arlington or even in the people He's changing in our own's what He's done in me. I thought I knew a lot. I thought I had a lot of things figured out. But I realized early on in this that I didn't. While I professed with my mouth I trusted Him often in the past, I have learned over the last few months what that really looked like. More importantly, I have learned to trust in the workings of the Holy Spirit in ways that I never had before.
I don't know what all the Lord will do in Praxis over the next few months or years. What I do know is that the Lord is good. I have said that many times over the course of my believing years, but I now say that from a different place. In the past, I would say the Lord is good when good things happened to me or my family. Planting Praxis was one of the hardest seasons I have endured in my life. Coming out of that, I wanna shout He is good! He's better than anything or anyone! And the reality is, the beauty of this is, He's all those things and more not because of me or how I am feeling but because I see Him changing lives of people in ways I never knew were possible. Getting to watch so many learn about Christ and fall in love with Him, makes it all worth it.
And I'd do it all over again if I had to because He's worth it.