Moving On After Moving

Moving.

Moving On After Moving

Yeah, we all say confidently, "I told God I would go where ever He sends me." as if that makes being a nomad any easier. We'll say, "We plan to settle in like we are here to retire." as to reassure our new congregation but the fear still lurks.

We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary at the valley here in Vilonia but we haven't even lived in our home for a year {until July} and it's happened. God allowed us to have that ideal neighbor relationship. The one where you stock one another our  the window wondering if it's too soon to invite them over for another playdate, dinner, or nap-time chat in the yard. Blessed isn't the half of what we've experienced.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who God can choose to move.

Today, I'm just sharing my heart about the toll moving takes on friendship in our lives. Find the rest of this post over at A Common Bond.

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This Season of Worship

I was nervous going in. I mean, I was the only crazy bringing in 6 kids ranging from 3.5 months all the way to 10-years-old.

THIS season of worship will be full of your child learning true worship on her mother's lap.

I'd prepped everyone. Laid out clothes. Brushed hair. Pouted when the matching clothes wear changed out of because they had food on them and replaced with a terrible combination of yuck. I wanted to feel like we weren't falling apart before we even arrived. We mingled the few minutes before finding a row large enough to seat us all but then decided it was possibly a better idea to divide if I was gonna conquer this. Even with my hubs planning to assist, I knew this night would be a test of the harder exam coming in two days. The music began. I counted heads. Took a deep breath and released it slowly. We began to sing. With the baby in a car seat next to me trying to drift into dreamland for a short evening nap, one little sitting with her daddy behind me, one big in front of me, one gently dancing loops around the pole in the aisle, and the boys filed in to the row with me trying to figure out what they were supposed to be doing, I felt scattered. I thought through lyrics and really did mean them as I sang them, broken, between whispers of explanation to those boys. I tried to focus on the words as they poured out of my mouth but then my dancer would get a little wild drawing attention away from the one we were singing praises to. I tried not to worry that my hubs needed me to take his little thinking he may need to be doing something else. Comforting the big in front of me, letting her know that the rhythm may be foreign but the heart is the same. Singing worship to my God while pulling a blanket to cover that baby to deter her from watching those around us. A community worship night is just what the community needed and possibly exactly what I needed. What I needed to be reminded of what true worship looks like in this season of life. This kind of worship was illogical. Attempting to train appropriate behavior in specific environments to my lots of littles takes so much effort, thought, and action. As they shuffled from row to row with reminders of volume and discreetness as to not distract those worshiping our Jesus, I had two options:

  • cry out of pure frustration at my lack-of-ability to worship in the same manner as everyone and feel cheated
  • OR I smile.

I chose to smile. Smile through the crazy. Smile through aching back because it meant I was blessed to be holding a giant, heavy child. Smile because as I held her and sang I could pause and ask, "Do you know who the 'you' is we are singing about?" I could gently answer, "What's a palm?" only to have the privilege to watch her eyes light up as I showed her and then explained how tight God holds us. This season of worship doesn't always look like the emotional high that comes with the brochure picture of hands raised in complete release. Some times it looks like a lap full of loving correction. It may not include a public bend knees in surrender but only a single knelt knee to spark the love of our savior. This season doesn't always allow for energy to shout praise. THIS season of worship will likely be full of your child learning true worship on her mother's lap. Sunday is coming. A celebration of a year in the books for The Valley. A celebration of those who have come to Christ and are following through with baptism. A celebration of the great God has done in this season. I will worship in this season. I won't pout about it, begrudge those not here, or wish it away. THIS season of worship is vital to their next season of worship. THIS season isn't about me and how I want to give praise. It's about guiding my children through meaningful utterances to our maker. It's about showing them God's peace amidst the chaos. It's about sorting through their confusion of new spaces. Worship is a lifestyle but corporate worship times are a time for showing my littles the wide array worship is given: posture, emotion, actions. They will learning how to give their gifts as offerings to thank the one who sewed those into them. They will learn their form may look different from those around them and thus proving the vastness of God's creativity. In this season of worship, the days are long but the years are short. I will wait with expectancy to see how my littles will begin to worship my their Creator.

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Sheep Bite

Sometimes we break past the stereotypes. Sometimes its fun to pretend those we are reaching, the unchurched & dechurched aren't like other "church" people. We act like those typical things in 'other' churches isn't going to happen here. And sometimes...that's true.

sometimes sheep bite

...As just another sheep in the herd trying to help the other sheep find and follow the Shepherd, we have to remember who we are here to please. When our husbands, or we, don't live up to the expectations we've set for ourselves or by others, sometimes, we get bit. Its gonna sting. We may need recovery time. But if we are sticking to God's plan, it will be worth it!" [continue reading...]

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5 Simple Missional Living Ideas

I can't believe I forgot to tell you all that I had my monthly post go up on Friday. Ugg So behind. Any how...

We have literally just moved into the town we have planted a church. After over a year of planning, meetings, launches, commuting, selling a house, and finally buying a new home, we are “in the field”!

To hear my 5 Simple Missional Living Ideas that any Christian can do, head over to A Common Bond!

Click for the exact The Missional Times edition.

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Where DO You Live?

I just wanted to give a lil update on where we are. Literally.

Where do you live

There is a wide group of people who stop by this blog occasionally. Some are friends and family I grew up with from birth until graduating Fayetteville High. Some are friends I matured with at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. Then there are the ministry friends and family I have met along with way over the past 9 years of marriage; anywhere from Walnut Ridge FBC, Parkers Chapel FBC, Central BC, The Valley, and all those we've collided with in between.

I lived in 2 houses as a child; one of those was for 16 of 18 years. Since moving out to attend college I've lived in 1 dorm room, 1 apartment in town, and 1 apartment on campus, as a single adult. Now I'm about to move to my 6th houses in my 9 years of marriage. That's 11 homes in my life time of 29 years {this August}. Since this has all been in Arkansas, I'm not sure if I can wear the same badge but I can definitely relate to "The Humbling of a Nomad".

I've had tons of friends from different corners of the state as well as the town we are currently "living in" have been asking similar questions, all just in the past couple days. I thought I'd take a minutes and let ya know the answers to these FAQ::

Have you closed on your house?

Yes. Depending on which house you're asking about.

We "closed" on our "big blue" house in White Hall and sold it for good! After a year of it being on the market {6 months with an agent & 6 FSBO}, we finally sold it to a perfect family who will be so blessed by the space. God really did turn a hard year of waiting into a situation in which He could be glorified.

No we haven't "closed" on the home we're buying in Vilonia. A week after selling our house in White Hall, we made an offer on a house in Vilonia. To most this sounds like a hasty decision, but if you know us {and the details of this life in limbo then you know we've been searching for a home "in the field" and this is the exact layout I fell in love with when we first began our journey of house hunting that has included hours of online searching, an awesome realtor and over 2 DOZEN houses. This will be the "nicest" home either of us have ever lived in. Don't get me wrong, we haven't lived in crappers but this is the newest and fancier than I ever saw us being able to buy. Just goes to show, God blesses us beyond what we deserve.

We are supposed to "close" any time between now and July 10th!!!

Have you finished moving?

Again, Yes. Depending on which "move" you're asking about.

We moved essentials into our "borrowed" home and then the rest of our belongings after the sale of "big blue".

We have not moved to our new home we are in the process of buying. We are giving the seller a week after closing to move her furniture out as well as to stretch and clean carpets {the only thing not perfectly maintained about the home}. Keep ya posted ;)

Are you excited about your new town?

I bet you can guess this one...Yes. Depending on which "new town" you're asking about.

Conway, the town we are currently living in our "borrowed" house is great. The town feels cleaner and while having all the amenities of "bigger town" without the 1-2 hour commute like ALL the past places we lived, yet still feels small enough to not be overwhelmed.

Vilonia, the town in which we are buying our new home, is only a 15 minute drive to Conway. Although it is a rural community, it still has several gas stations, restaurants, and a grocery store. Plus, our church family is all out there.

When beginning this church planting trek, the first thing they tell all church planters is to "move to the field", meaning live in the community in which you plan to minister, serves, and be a part of that community. Guess God chose to use us a lil differently. Which I love. I think this has let us see, this isn't about us. Often in youth ministry, groups grow based on the popularity and personality of the pastor. Here, He is keeping the truth at the front of everything we do: this plant is about the people God so dearly loves already planted in Vilonia and how He wants to empower them to reach the masses for His name.

Where do you live???

We live in a "borrowed" house that has become home. It really is true, home is where your heart & family is.

Back in March, 1 weeks before our preview services and 5 weeks before our launch date, we were blessed beyond comprehension by a couple who can only be described as "used by God". Through the church that partnered with us for the plant as well as mutual friends, God connected us with a family who heard about our 1 hour commute multiple times a week for services and meetings because our house {WH} still hadn't sold. They allowed us to stay in their home that hadn't sold yet & the former renters had just moved out of...for FREE. Talk about birds of the air.

This transition home has allowed us to be used by God at the valley, wait to sell our home to the perfect family, find the perfect new home for our family, all while being taken care of by God via this amazing family.

This entire God situation deserves a post all its own; I'm just having trouble putting it all into words.

We live on the side of a gorgeous mountain, in a log cabin, with a beautiful view, a huge shop/storage building, 30 minutes from the valley, in a home that was made for just a time as this and our family. God is good.

If I didn't answer your questions about our whereabouts, just ask! I'll keep ya posted on the "final move" and "new home"!

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