So…my husband went back to prison yesterday…

It was his second time to grace the threshold of that place. Yesterday they wanted to see if he could walk, talk, & chew gum as my dad would put it. Really he had to climb stairs, drag around a limp body, and not die; pretty much the same thing.

I wish I could remember all the details leading up to this incarceration but basically Matt is being charged with loving his family too much and wanting to provide for them at any cost. Matt's been "self-employed" since the the May. Matt has been going to his "office" {McDs} and working via their WiFi as well as helping out TONS at home. With lots of travel and preparing our house for sale, Matt's been a busy man! Matt and I will be planting a church in Vilonia, AR. Our target launch date is Easter 2013! Until then, Matt is looking for work to supplement our income. The prison unit in Tucker is now hiring! Yesterday was the second 1/2 of the interview process. We'll keep ya updated on if Matt will be a permanent part of the Tucker unit ;o)

You can learn more about The Valley church HERE. Many of you have ask, "What does that mean." Well, let me try and answer the thousand different things that means:


The Valley will be a part of the AR Southern Baptist Convention. All that means is we agree with the "Baptist faith and message" and agree to give a percentage of our tithes and offerings as a church to the convention to use in furthering the gospel in even bigger ways. We currently get $1000.00 from the state as "church planters." The state convention has a budget set aside to help supplement church planters income during the prep time of launching a new church plant. The rest of our income comes from our savings that God so miraculously taught us to obtain over the past 2 years. It's not much but with a tight budget we are always provided for. We also have a few friends/sponsors who give either monthly or when they can. We don't budget any specific amount from these because they are not always guaranteed but God knows exactly when we need that boast. Birds of the air right, Jess?


The Valley church is currently live in White Hall. The "Church" are the believers/Christ followers, so yes, it's current "location" is White Hall, which is about an hour and 1/2 from where God has ask us to plant. I know it may seem odd to some that we are not just planting where we are but God has already done so many seemingly random things in preparation for our coming that we have no doubt that's where we are supposed to be. If you know anyone who wants an awesome house for a great deal, send them our way! I love this house and would take it with us if we could put it on wheels. It's great for hosting, entertaining, and ministering! I can't wait to see how God will provide a new home base to minister out of in Vilonia.

We are also traveling weekly to One Church in Conway, AR. They will be a sponsor church when we launch. That just means we are enjoying doing life with, worshiping along side, and getting to help minister to those God has called them to until we launch and get to focus all our energy on those in Vilonia. One Church exist to make disciples, and part of doing that for them is helping plant churches.  They are planning to help us financially when we launch as well as with people {the most important thing}. That means some people will help us on our launch day with simple logistical things; some people will commit to help us for 3 months {nursery workers, parking lot help, greeters, etc}; and some will commit to Go and Stay with us and The Valley.

We are working on and praying through where God would have The Valley church meet for weekly worship together. We still having landed on that yet. ;O)

Current steps in the Process:

I know it may be confusing that we "aren't working", haven't launched, and seem to just be siting. There are lots of things we've already established...Let me try and briefly tell you some of the things we've been doing/praying through in preparation to launch The Valley in a quick list.

  • Vision
  • Core Values
  • Structure
  • Sermons/outlines/series {lots of them}
  • Logo
  • Community involvement ideas
  • Possible ministry opportunities
  • Building a core team {leadership}
  • Learning/studying what God has for Vilonia
  • Meeting with contacts/
  • Web design
  • Formulating nursery processes
  • Sharing our vision within individuals & churches
  • Viewing options for space to meet
  • Obtaining PO box
  • Waiting through legal things
  • and probably lots of random things I don't remember right now husband went back to prison yesterday to help provide for our family until we secure more consistent sponsors. I'm sure I didn't fully answer everything. If you have ANY questions about what we've been doing or more about church planting, Please, ask away or click on one of the gazillion links to the website I've hooked to the words The Valley!

Do you want to find out more about being a part of The Valley?

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Just wanted to give an update on The Valley!

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  1. kathrynann24 says:

    I am visiting today from Homemaker’s Challenge. I saw your post and it caught my eye so I decided to come over here and read it! My father-in-law works in a prison, has for almost his whole life except for the four years he was in the Army. Good luck with everything I hope your husband gets this job and that you can find more supporters! 🙂

    ~Kathryn @

    • Kathryn, I can’t believe “singingthroughtherain” just read something on My blog ;o) I read your blog often. Big fan!
      We are very excited about the opportunity to work there! We have a friend who is the chaplain there and it comes with great benefits. The only thing we’re worried about is the shift work. We’ve never done that. We’re not sure when he’ll be able to work on “church stuff” and we’re spoiled. He gets to see our little often throughout the day! He’s here for all 3 meals most of the time. The hours they offer will mean he won’t see them during any of their awake time. It’s just a season. It’s just a season!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for the encouragement! God knows exactly what He’s doing.

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