Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Light the Night

Our little jaguar, Spiderman, and Olaf had a blast trick-or-treating tonight with dear friends while Danny and I helped with our church's Halloween outreach. It is SO simple and yet SO amazing at the same time! We hand out hot chocolate and candy to the kids and parents as they walk through the park trick-or-treating. The atmosphere is so light-hearted and friendly as we chit-chat with old and new friends while they stop to warm up with their hot chocolate. It is a great way to bless our community and get face-to-face conversations and smiles. 

My kids helped me prepare the night before by stuffing bags with candy and tracts sharing the gospel message in a fun and kid-centered way. We watched "When Calls the Heart" on Netflix while we worked and prayed that God would show His love and truth to each and every child who would read the words in the pamphlet. 

My husband and I have been serving together in ministry since we started dating over 12 years ago. Nothing makes my heart beat faster than serving alongside my best friend and the love of my life. Days like today make my heart happy. 

I hope you can help Light the Night in your community in the future if God leads you too!



























 






 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

33

I can't help but giggle thinking of Taylor Swift's song "22" as I slide into year 33. What was I doing when I was 22? I was a newlywed, first-time homeowner in a new town far away from anything familiar, and was working diligently to figure out my new role as a youth pastor's wife. 33 brings me to our 11th year of marriage, three beautiful children, our second home, a role of a senior pastor's wife, and a slew of life lessons learned and new friends to boot.


In honor of my 33rd birthday, I would like to share 33 of my most favorite life lessons learned thus far (in no particular order)...

  1.  Humility goes a long way.
  2.  Make time for your close friends, even if you think you are too busy.
  3.  You can never encourage others enough.
  4.  Spending time in nature is food for the soul.
  5. Make time for quiet. No music, no media, no talking. Don't be afraid to face your fears and your hurts. Don't drown your feelings with being busy.
  6. Continually remind yourself that you are uniquely you, so don't compare yourself to others or copy their version of themselves.
  7. Cheer others on in their accomplishments. Their successes won't mirror yours, and that's ok. 
  8. Saying, "I'm sorry," and "Help me understand," can be some of the most key phrases in a relationship.
  9. Make sure to find a way to laugh every day. It does wonders.
  10. Give yourself some credit and grace.
  11. Give others the benefit of the doubt. You never know what kinds of battles they are facing.
  12. Train your mind to think praiseworthy and loving thoughts throughout the day. Negative thoughts and angry words are birthed from habit.
  13. Don't be afraid to spend time with others you don't agree with and read articles that differ from your opinions. Take the time to learn the "other side" of your thought process and imagine walking a mile in someone else's shoes for a day.
  14. Devote your life to making the lives of others better. It's simple really.
  15. Give money away in different ways. Steward your finances well so that you can freely give when you see a need tugging at your heart.
  16. Be honest with God. He already knows the truth anyways. He can handle it.
  17. Trust God. He has a way of working things out over time, but you have to be patient.
  18. Check off the items from your bucket list. It's exhilarating.
  19. Forgive even if no apology was given. 
  20. Investing in others requires sacrifice. It's not going to be easy. But it's worth it.
  21. Listening to audiobooks can transform your cleaning routine! You might actually look forward to it.
  22. Creating something, whether it's art, a song, a letter, a poem, a book, a photograph, whatever it may be, can be therapy for the soul.
  23. The longer you are married, the more you think alike and literally can finish each others' sentences. 
  24. It's not possible to perfectly balance your life. Some things will fall through the cracks. You just have to prioritize and make sure the important things in life don't get ignored.
  25. Friendships change. It's ok. Some people come into our lives for a season. Some stay forever. You never know who is going to stay so keep opening up your heart. 
  26. Listen to your body. It will break if you don't.
  27. Cooking from scratch can be daunting. If it seems too difficult at first then just pick 5 meals and practice them like crazy. After a while you can add a few more. Don't expect yourself to be a gourmet chef overnight. 
  28. Invite people over to your home. They are not expecting magazine worthy perfection. Warm hospitality is what people are longing for, not Pier 1.
  29. Constantly push yourself to learn more. Read books and articles, ask questions. Don't let your comfort zone keep you from seeing what's on the other side. 
  30. Spend time in God's Word and in His presence, even if you don't feel like it. Discipline leads to desire. There will be dry times and there will be moments of depth. Press on through them all.
  31. If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all. 
  32. You can always decide to add more to a conversation, but you can never take back words already spoken. 
  33. Be willing to admit you don't know everything. Be a learner.