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Seasons

12 Sep
Autumn’s chill has arrived. 
It came suddenly. 
Last week, Summer’s humidity still hung heavily in the air, but this week brought change.
The sun is setting earlier bringing cooler temperatures with nightfall.
An extra blanket on the bed. A sweater instead of sandals. Mums blooming. Leaves falling.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

As Summer fades into Fall, I think of the seasons of my life and how things have changed.

My first Summer as a wife is behind me. It passed quickly with the busyness of ministry. 

While the last several Autumns found me longing for marriage, this one finds learning what it means to be the wife my sweet hubby deserves and soon learning what it means to be a good Mama to my baby girl.

The season of singleness that seemed to last forever while in the midst of it is over.

And I now look back on it as a season of preparation.

Preparation for marriage, ministry and motherhood.

I didn’t know that when those things came, they’d come nearly all at once, but He did.

He knew the exact moment when He would transition me from one season to the next, and He knew what I would need to be ready for the change it would bring.

The years of singleness felt long when in the thick of them, but I now see how each one molded and shaped who I am today.

When school started last week, I wasn’t in the classroom for the first time in eight years, but rather preparing a room for a our precious daughter.

I believe those years of lesson planning and paper grading taught me valuable lessons for this new season of life.

The time I was able to spend with my grandparents in that season taught much, as well.

I’ve always been drawn to those older and wiser than myself. It’s always been easier for me to build relationships with them rather than those my age.

I now see how that has helped me to establish friendships with the seniors in our church giving me a place of ministry in their lives.

He knew that I’d be where I am today, and lovingly gave me years of training that I might be ready for it.

He’s placed me in this season and will enable me to flourish in it if I’ll only seek Him.

Yes it’s full of change, full of lessons to learn, but it’s also full of blessings I am so thankful for!

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Home

1 Mar

For twenty four years and two months, home was a gray rancher in a town with a population of 4,000. No sidewalks or streetlights just fields and moonlight when evening came.

Today and for the last sixty days or so home has been a sage green two story in a city with 25,000 residents! Sidewalks, streetlights, traffic, hustle, bustle, etc. etc.

Leaving that sleepy little town, if it can even be considered one, and everyone that made home home, has been more difficult than I ever expected.

Image DetailOver the last few weeks, I have truly felt the reality of homesickness weighing heavy on my heart. Tears flowing as I think of everyone and everything I’m missing back “home,” I’ve struggled to feel at home here one hundred and fifty miles from everything familiar.

The homesickness has made me miserable and given me an attitude that is far from pleasing to my Lord or pleasant for my sweet hubby to be around or deal with.

This week though my Lord has been speaking to my heart, questioning me as to where “home” truly is.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Home is where the heart is.” And I believe it to be true, but what does it mean when your heart is in two different places?

Here in New Jersey with my wonderful husband and new ministry with such potential for growth and accomplishment for Jesus.

There in Maryland/Pennsylvania where our parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, school and church family are living their lives as they always have three hours away.

Well, Scripture says that where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

I truly treasure this new season in my life as I learn how to be a wife and am now carrying this precious little one, but I also treasure the relationships back in Maryland and familiarity of the place that was home for so long.

But where does Jesus say, my treasure should be?

In a place? In people?

The preceding verses are clear.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven..” (vs.19-20)

My treasure should ultimately be in my personal relationship with Jesus that is the same regardless of whether or not my street address has a New Jersey zip code.

Everything we have here is temporary, we are “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:10) on earth where our hearts know loneliness  and sadness. Our true home is in Heaven for eternity where He has promised to wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isaiah 25:8) and where we will never again have to say painful goodbyes!

So I am learning to lay up heavenly treasure as I am settling into the fact that this is now my earthly home and trying to do my best to make it just that for my servant-hearted husband and our sweet little peanut who is busy growing at the moment! 🙂

All the while looking forward to the day when I hear my Savior’s voice welcome me to my Heavenly Home and to the wonders of spending eternity with Him!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Baby is making this Mama very tired and very nauseous but also very excited!!!! Seven weeks and counting!!! I hope to start posting weekly “bump” pictures this week! Please keep praying for our little one’s growth and development!

Change

16 Feb

My life was so predictable for so long. 

Teach. Tutor. Sleep. Teach. Tutor. Church. Sleep. Teach. Tutor. Church.

And so the cycle went for the last five years. 

Now it seems that change is the new normal.

In less than two months time, 

my name changed.

my address changed.

my job changed.

my schedule changed.

and now more changes are coming.

This little one is already making it’s presence known,

changing my sleeping pattern thus making this once energetic housewife a little slower with her housework.

changing my thinking, there is so much to think about, nursery colors, names, etc., etc.

changing my body, though I’m definitely more than okay with a growing belly knowing that it means a growing baby!

changing everything about life up to this point and we’re only six weeks into the next eighteen years! 🙂

I am so grateful for the changes and excitement that the last two months have brought with them, I have no doubt that I’m right where He’d have me to be, loving every minute of marriage, ministry, and now motherhood,

but I’m also so very thankful for one thing that is forever unchanging,

God’s words in Malachi remind me of His steadfastness, “For I am the LORD, I change not;…” (3:6)

There’s great comfort in that. 

No matter what comes, regardless of what changes are ahead, He’ll be the same faithful God He’s always been. 

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

Hebrews 13:8

Psalm 127:3

6 Feb

Sarah laughed. She thought for sure she was too old.

Hannah prayed. She was so thankful for the gift she had been given. 

Elisabeth waited. She knew God would give her the desire of her heart.

Mary rejoiced. She was thrilled even though it didn’t make sense.

I think I’ve reacted in all of these ways over the last few days. 

Laughter, not because I’m too old, but because we’ve only been married for a month and a half.

Prayer, because I already love this little one growing inside of me and long for growth and health.

Waiting, because family is three hours away and we wanted to share our news in person.

Rejoicing, because God is good and He has blessed me with the precious privilege of carrying life within.

Yes, sweet friends, our house is expanding by two very tiny feet!

Daniel and I are so thrilled to have been entrusted with this responsibility and it has been such a joy to see the reactions on the faces of our family and friends. Our little one is already loved like crazy! 

The Lord knew the desire of my heart and is preparing a very special 25th birthday present for me as our baby will arrive in early October! 

Please pray that baby will grow,grow, grow, and that Mama will navigate this first pregnancy with joy and good health! (Daddy could use your prayers, too! 🙂 )

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Psalm 127:3

New

27 Jan

a new home

in a new city

where we serve at our new church.

a new role

as

wife

and

homemaker.

a new routine

that no l

onger includes

text books, spelling lessons, and tutoring sessions

but rather

mopping, laundry, and meal planning.

a new normal

three hours from family

and

from everything that I was so accustomed to.

Four weeks ago today, when we turned onto Cleveland Street, I was anxious to unpack boxes (and there were lots of them!) and make our home exactly that.

Tonight the boxes are empty and everything is in its place. I love our apartment, and I especially love the fact that I share it with my handsome husband!

I am settling into the new.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?

I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19

And asking God to do a new work in my heart.

Asking Him what new lessons He wants to teach me as I pack my hard-working hubby’s lunches, wash dishes and clip coupons.

I am certain that I am exactly where He wants me to be, doing exactly what He’s called me to do, but in the midst of so much new I must be careful to seek Him diligently,

asking Him to make rivers when loneliness leaves me dry, to make a way through the wilderness of inadequacy that can be so paralyzing when dinner doesn’t turn out quite like I planned or it takes me an hour and half to grocery shop.

I want Him to do a new work in me, making me more of what my Daniel, our church, and most importantly my Lord deserves in a wife, an associate pastor’s wife, and a daughter.

I am so excited to be back on the blog front sharing Scripture here at LovingmyLord and plan to make it a big part of my new life here in Caldwell!

Stay tuned for new posts much more frequently now that we have Internet access here at home, but until then I am praying that He is doing new things in your life as we finish the last few days of January!

Married, Moved,…

5 Jan

and excited to begin our new ministry here in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Wow. Much has changed since the last time I blogged.

In the last 3 weeks,

we’ve gotten married, our day was perfect, more than I dreamed and planned for it to be,

enjoyed a very warm and very wonderful week in Hawaii,

celebrated the birth of our dear Savior with our family back home in Maryland and Pennsylvania,

packed all of our belongings,

and moved to a new city to begin working at a new church.

It’s been overwhelming. It’s been beyond amazing. 

It’s been a learning experience.

It’s been yet another reminder of our Lord’s faithfulness!

I’m so excited about what He has in store for 2012 and can’t wait to begin sharing His Word again here at LovingmyLord. You can also find updates on our life and ministry at our family blog, newlywedsinnewjersey.blogspot.com 

I’ve been absent on the blogfront lately since we don’t yet have internet at our new house and because I’ve been focusing on making our new house our home, but  I will resume shortly!

Meanwhile, I’m praying that you are rejoicing in the precious promises His Word is filled with and ask that you pray for me as I settle into a new normal!

Marriage, Moving, and Ministry

16 Oct

I’ve been wanting to type this post for two weeks. I’ve been writing in my mind for days, but now that I can share our news with you I am struggling to put it into words.

You are very familiar with the first “m” being close to my heart. Marriage has been the topic of many a post over the last four months. It has consumed my thoughts. It has long been what I believe I was created to do. To be a wife and, if the Lord wills one day, a mom. On Saturday, December seventeenth the Lord will give me the precious privilege of becoming Daniel’s wife, and I’ll get to spend the rest of my days learning what it means to be a help meet to my husband.

The next “m” is one I knew would come with marriage. Moving. It’s only natural that a husband and wife have a space to call their own. A place to call home and establish their own traditions. I’ve had seven and a half amazing years at home since my graduation in 2004. Time to build and establish deeper relationships with my parents, grandparents, and other sweet family members. Time to prepare and learn skills that will hopefully help as we set up housekeeping in two short months.

The final “m”  has always been my prayer for my future husband. I prayed that he would have a desire for ministry. And that my future husband, does! In fact, he gave up dreams of a successful law career, surrendering to whatever the Lord would have for him in a life of full-time ministry. He has spent the last ten years doing just that. Working hard to pay his way through Bible College, teaching and coaching at a Christian School, and most recently assisting in the new church plant where the Lord allowed our paths to cross almost three years ago. He is a servant. He puts his heart and soul into the service of His Lord and the people he’s called to serve! Lately though, he has been spending much of his time working an outside job seventy hours a week that he might provide the finances needed for our future together all the while his heart breaking.

All of this brings me to the news I’ve been longing to share with you. Since Daniel surrendered to the call to preach long before we met, he has longed to pastor full-time. From the early stages of our relationship, we have discussed our mutual desire to serve the Lord in a full-time capacity. We have always known that we desired to raise our family in the ministry.

And the Lord has been working in amazing ways to bring those desires to pass in our lives. He knew three years ago when my family walked into a little store front church. He knew two and half years ago when we went on our first date. He knew four months ago, when my handsome husband to be pulled the beautiful diamond ring I now wear from his pocket. He knew when we didn’t.

He knew that He would open a door for us in a town just thirty minutes from New York City. In a church that is blessed with a wonderful pastor and pastor’s wife that we will be teaming with to serve a very culturally diverse congregation. He knew, and we are so grateful and so honored to walk through the door He has opened, to accept the call to the First Baptist Church of Caldwell, New Jersey. We are unworthy vessels and just pray that He will empty us of us and use us for His glory.

So not only will the next two months bring marriage, but it will also bring moving and finding our place in a new city, a new church and new ministry!

When we visited our new church home a few Sundays ago, Daniel preached a message from Galatians chapter six, challenging the congregation to use the opportunities the Lord gives us every day to share the life-changing message of the Gospel with those we come into contact with.

And when we look at this new portion of our journey, we look at it as an amazing opportunity!

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,

especially unto them who are of the household of faith”

Galatians 6:10

Please pray for us as we prepare. How we long to be faithful to His Call and fruitful in our service!