When Markers Run Dry!

When Markers Run Dry!

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you in this dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalms 63:1 (NLT)

“Oh Great!” I hear from across the school age room. “The markers are all dried out.” A little girl headed to the trash to toss the dried out markers, but I jumped in and stopped her pulling some markers that had already made it into the trash can out. I explained to her that if we are patient we can put markers in water overnight and all the ink left throughout the marker will come down into the water turning it into water colors. “We can paint with it” she asked excited? As we filled cups with water and placed the dry markers in each more kids came over to watch as each cup began to turn a different color of blue, red, yellow, green and brown. The kids were amazed. They continued to watch the experiment growing more and more thrilled as the colors of the water grew more strong.

My family is on this amazing journey as Campus Pastors at Washington New Life. Even writing the words “Campus Pastors” feels surreal. Some days we feel on cloud nine that God has called us and other days we feel way over our head. However, we know that regardless of what each day brings we are right in the center of God’s purpose for our family. I came in excited but empty. I felt frustrated. Where is my place here? After having Ellie I struggled to find a balance between motherhood and servanthood. Something in my heart was changing. My desires were shifting and I had no idea how to respond to it. So I continued to serve in many different areas at Grace. (A great church family! If you live in the Dallas area check it out) I never felt like I was doing what God has called me to do. I struggled finding my place after becoming a mother and I was scared that struggle would follow me to Washington Illinois. “Something must be wrong with me” was a common thought. I showed up to Grace each week and I poured my heart into many areas but felt so dry doing so. There were so many times when I wanted to throw in the towel, sit on the couch and wait for God to tell me which card to play next but that didn’t feel right either. Honestly, that is the season at times. Dry! It doesn’t mean you give up it means you press on. You stay faithful and you never allow that inner voice to tell you that you have nothing left to give. You don’t allow yourself to believe that sitting on the sidelines is better than feeling dry serving.
If for a moment you believe that you have no value know that you are so valuable to Christ. Continue to show up! There is only one person who doesn’t want you to show up and he is not worth your time.
However, I do believe there are times when you should step back from serving and focus on God but only you and God can determine if that is the step you need to take. Our family is walking into a new season in life. We are dealing with things as a family and individually. I’m slowly finding my place at New Life. This season is pushing me toward God. The things He is asking of me are bigger than me. I often feel like I can’t do the things God has called me to do. Who am I kidding? I can’t. Not without Him but I have Jesus  “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT) I wasted so many years believing these three lies…
I do not have what it takes.
I have no purpose.
I’m not worthy.
(Sound familiar?)
I’m done wasting time believing a lie that is not true. I hope you are done too! I’m excited for this new season in our life and I am scared out of my mind. I guess you can say my dry season is beginning to see some rain. The kind of rain that causes growth.

Maybe you are going through a similar season. Maybe you feel like the season you are in is dry. You might feel like what you have left is not enough. If you are patient God will pull the little you have left, the little you feel is not enough and turn it into something beautiful that will be used for Him.
“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! for the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart” John 7:38 (NLT)

Just as a marker that is assumed dry can turn water to color God can take what you feel is dry and pour His water on it and suddenly you’re dry land will be a blessing for all to see.

A laundry basket of love!

“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” Luke 6:31

Ellie made a friend at the laundry mat a few months ago. Ellie had just turned two. The little girl who was 3 was so sweet to Ellie. She walked right up and gave Ellie one of her tea cups. They played together, laughed together and chased each other all over the laundry mat probably annoying everyone. 😂 After packing up our laundry they gave each other a hug and we left.

While they played I took a picture to remind myself that as believers in Christ we should aim to show love the same way Christ loves. This little girl shared what she had with Ellie so willingly. She treated Ellie the way she wanted to be treated. It came so natural for her. In a world that is so often filled with hate we should let the love of Christ shine through us by simply being kind to others, showing compassion and treating others how we would want to be treated. At such a young age this little girl is an example of what Gods love looks like! He shines in the dark.

If nothing else, this year make it a goal to show kindness, love others, and spread joy.

Follow Your Heart ❤️

“Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” Psalms 119:2

A sweet friend gifted me this beautiful bracelet before our big move. It has the phrase “Follow Your Heart” engraved on it. It has been a sweet reminder in this season to make sure God is at the center of my heart.

❤️ We were recently looking for a house. If I’m honest you’ll know that I have not been the most patient in this process. If it were up to me I would have settled with the first house and all it’s creepiness. Let me tell you! It was CREEPY on so many levels. I didn’t care though. It was a house and I wanted a place to call home. I could pray through all the creepy, right? Nope! Jessie is a great leader and truly a man after Gods own heart. He knew this was not the one and He was not willing to settle. Deep down I knew it wasn’t right either. 😒

We came to a point where we searched and searched and with no peace turned down each house. Finally! We found one! We applied for it and put it in God’s hands.

I might be a tad bit dramatic saying we “searched and searched.” 😂 We have only been here less than a month and are already in our new home. We couldn’t have possibly searched as much as I let on. However, at one point in this search I threw my hands up. Literally threw my hands in the air and exclaimed to Jessie…

I’m done. Don’t call me. Don’t text me. Don’t Facebook me. Don’t instagram me. Don’t MySpace, Snapchat or E-Mail me anymore houses. I’m done. Just pick one and tell me when to move in.

Like I said. I’m dramatic. 🤦‍♀️

Moving on, the realtor who showed us the home called to let us know we were not chosen. It was so weird. For the first time I wasn’t mad, confused or worried. I simply said it must not be a God house! That was that. We immediately had peace that this house was not what God had for us. To our surprise the realtor gave us a number for a lady who has some rental properties in the area. He told us he didn’t normally do this but felt in his spirit that he should. We called her right away.

This new realtor called us the next day and said she had two properties. We went and saw them and felt complete peace as soon as we walked into the 2nd house.

She said her husband kept trying to get her to do what she needed to do to get it listed but she felt like she was waiting for someone specific.

We were that someone!

She even gave us a hundred dollar a month discount on the rent.

God is amazing. A house not even listed. Not even ready to be listed. A house sitting there, chosen by God and waiting for our family.

I think back to the day we were driving here. I was so uncomfortable with showing up with no home of our own. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the family who welcomed us so graciously, but I still wanted a place of our own too. (A blog post for another time.) To see now that God had it all worked out gives me peace about the future. He has it taken care of. There is nothing I need to possibly worry about. That’s a huge milestone for me.

It would have been so easy for us to take the first house available in fear that we would run out of options. We felt like we were running out of options and I was running low on patience. If it were not for Jessie’s complete patience and trust in God I would have settled. Not one of the houses we viewed gave us peace. As soon as our realtor opened the door to this one we knew it was chosen for us by God. I was so thankful in that moment that Jessie is so obedient to the voice of God.

It is so important that our hearts are completely surrendered to God. One lesson I’m currently learning is that when you follow the heart of God you never have to feel rushed to make a decision. You just have to trust Him to lead the way. God is daily asking us to follow Him not just in the big things but the everyday small things like which house to take as well.

As we get ready to walk into the new year let’s remember to keep God at the center of our hearts. It is only with Him that we can truly be led into His complete purpose for our lives.

A Kiss from God!

This week has been a true eye opener to the love God has for our family.

One of the life groups at Washington New Life decided to fill our pantry with all the basics. Life has been crazy since we decided to say “Yes” to the next journey God is taking our family on. While we know we are truly where He wants us there are still moments of uncertainty. However, the way our new community has welcomed us has lifted that uncertainty and has given us peace. It’s more than bringing food to our door but it’s another way God shows us that when He calls you He will provide for you. So many have opened their doors, hugged our necks, brought dinner to our family, helped us move in and even unpack. We have felt so much love by so many individuals and that love is a true gift from God. (I like to call it a God kiss.)

Hebrews 13:16

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

We are excited for 2019. We know God has great plans in store for Washington New Life. Thank you to everyone Back home and here in Illinois who have made this transition so smooth and full of Gods love and peace.


Proverbs 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

One afternoon I was watching Ellie through her classroom window. She was at dramatic play center. She had the table set perfectly with her corn on the cob ready to eat. She sat down took a look at the food making sure it was ready to go and then folded her hands and shut her eyes to pray. I nearly lost it! I’m so thankful that God allowed me to peek in at just the right moment. (Perks of Ellie being down the hall from me everyday.) 😍

Do you ever feel like you are losing as a parent? I feel this way often. Watching Ellie fold her hands and pray reminded me that Jessie and I are winning in the right areas. We might not always get it right and we are surely in need of Gods Grace daily but at the end of the day we know we are raising Ellie to love Jesus. Raising Ellie to Love and serve Jesus is an area I always want Jessie and I to win in as parents.

What areas as a parent do you want to win in?

The Tantrum of the Toothbrush!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10

We have been in Illinois for a week now. The other night as I was putting Ellie to bed she threw a tantrum when I wouldn’t let her sleep with her toothbrush in her mouth. I explained that it’s not safe and I put it where she could see it explaining to her that she could have the toothbrush when she wakes up. She cried for about 20 minutes before laying her head on my chest. She lays there and began asking questions about all of her stuff that is packed away on the pod.

Mommy! My couch is with Ashley?

Yes! We will buy a new one.

Mommy! My chair is yucky?

Yes! We had to throw it out but we can pick out a new chair that is easier to clean.

Mommy! I sleep in my bed?

Your bed is safe till we get a house. Then you get your bed again.

Mommy! Christmas is at home, It’s not here?

Christmas is almost here. Christmas is everywhere because Jesus is everywhere. We are home now and we will celebrate Christmas here.

This conversation made me realize that the toothbrush was only the surface problem that brought out her real frustration. She’s frustrated that all her stuff is gone. It seems she thought we just gave it all away when we let our friend Ashley have the couch. Now I won’t let her have her own toothbrush. When she was given a moment she was able to let me in on the deeper issue. She’s worried about all her stuff. she’s starting to understand we left home. Deep down I believe she is missing her home, routine, and friends and she’s frustrated.

This moment has reminded me that many times we are upset over a surface issue but in reality there is a deeper problem. We become upset over such a small problem and that problem is what we focus on. However, many times that frustration isn’t the real problem at all. There is a bigger issue deep inside of us.

When Ellie let me in on the deeper issue I was able to help. I was able to pray for her. After she explained her frustration (the way any two year old can) she said “I’m happy” and fell asleep.

Are you allowing Jesus to get in on the deeper issue? He can help! Maybe you don’t even know what the deeper issue is. Begin to pray Psalms 51:10 over your heart. Ask God to reveal any issue to you that needs healing. Jesus is interested in your heart. Don’t allow a silly “toothbrush” to stand in the way of what God wants to do in your heart. Get to the root of the problem so you can live the life God has called you to.

Be A Light!

Acts 20:35

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I can remember it was Christmas eve and there was nothing under the Christmas tree. My sisters and I understood why but as anyone can understand the realization was still difficult for us. We are sitting in the living room when we hear a knock at the door. When we open the door there are at least 10 people standing there with a smile on their face. Some had boxes of food in their arms and others had big black trash bags full of toys. There was a bag for each of my sisters and I. Attached to the bag was a gift certificate for free skates. The entire moment was beautiful. They came into our apartment not judging where we lived but showing compassion and joy with the food and toys they had brought us. The moment that changed me forever was when they gathered around our table held our hands and prayed for us. Honestly, I can’t remember the words they prayed I just remember the feeling of peace and comfort it gave me. I knew everything was going to be ok. I knew in that moment God was watching over us and He had a plan for us.

Standing there as an 8 year old little girl listening as they prayed I remember thinking “one day!” One day I’m going to be standing where they are. I wanted to help in the same way. 23 years later I can say I am living the “one day” out. I don’t say this with a “look at me” attitude. I tell this story because I’m so thankful that God took an uncertain time in my childhood and molded and shaped it into a beautiful memory. I am so thankful I now have the opportunity to give back to my community in the same way it was done for my family growing up. Giving back is the greatest way to say thanks!

This year my family started The Christmas Bag Project. It’s a way for me not to forget. Its a way I say thanks for all the Christmas’ that people poured the love of Jesus on my family. I know what it is like to have someone show my family so much love and this is what stirs a passion in my heart to share that same love with others.

Each month this past year we bought a toy for our Christmas bag Project. We would take the toy home and pray over the child and the family who will receive the toy. After praying we put the toy in a pile that we can see everyday. Ellie will often bring us a toy and say “open please” we use this opportunity to tell her who the toys are for. We tell her the importance of giving to others.

We are excited knowing that a little boy and girl will have toys to open on Christmas morning. However, we are most excited that the prayer we prayed over the families will overflow into their lives this coming year.

Maybe you are not in the place to be able to give this year. That’s ok! You might be on the receiving end this year. I want you to believe that the year is coming that you will be on the giving side. Start believing that “one day” you will be able to give. Start praying for those you will bless.

For those of you who are in a season that you can give, I want to challenge you to find a way that you can give to the community. Jesus has called us to be givers.

Places you can give:

1. Toys for Tots

2. The Grind at Grace Outreach Center Plano TX (choose a child’s name and shop for them)

3. Operation Christmas Child.

You might have your own special way to give this season. Share with us.

2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The moment a group of individuals walked into our apartment with gifts, food and the love of Jesus, a fire was starting to burn in me. A moment in life that started out to be so difficult was turned into a joyful Christmas memory because of the obedience of a group of people who chose to shine His light on my family that Christmas eve. I can never forget that Christmas because it changed me forever. I pray we all choose to be His light this Christmas season and the year to come.

What are some simple ways we can be His light this coming year?

Looking forward: I’m so excited because this next 2019 year for our Christmas Bag Project we will buy a game each month! Our prayer is that the game the child receives will bring their family closer together.

The journey!

Truth be told: It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a month. We are Excited for the journey God is leading us on, sad that we are leaving so many friends and family behind, worried about how the entire event will effect Ellie, joy that God has chosen our family, as well as the fear that God has chosen our family, peace each time God meets another financial need, discomfort of not yet having a place to live (can’t wait to look at houses this coming week) thankful that new friends have asked us to crash until we find our home and so many more emotions. One thing remains the same. We are following the path God is leading us on and while it can feel overwhelming and uncertain we know God has it all figured out.

The scripture I’ve been reflecting on lately is…

Philippians 1:6

“Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

There is simply so much peace that it covers all the fear.

Trusting Him…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We are definitely living out Proverbs 3:5-6 as we announce that we will be moving to Washington Illinois the first week of December. While we are sad that we are leaving such a loving church family and our Primrose family we are excited for the opportunity that God has called us to. We will be joining the team at New Life Church as the Campus Pastors at the Washington Illinois location.

Over the past 10 years I have met some incredible people who have become great friends and those who have become family. Leaving all of you is the hardest part of this move. Leaving a community of individuals who have loved me and my family brings tears to my eyes. However, the peace I have in knowing that our family is Following God to where He has called us is overwhelming. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Washington Illinois is where God is calling our family.

Here we are three weeks out and trusting God with all our hearts. I can feel the water works starting as we inch closer. We ask that you keep us in your prayers as we start this new journey. We need all the encouragement we can get so if you would like to, please leave your favorite scripture of encouragement in the the comments below. We are excited, we are sad, our emotions are everywhere. One thing that remains steady is our trust in God and His beautiful plan for our family.

We love you!

His Purpose His Time!

His Purpose His Time!

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Great Grandma Mary sent Ellie socks for the nursing home. However, we have already donated socks and each resident received 2 pairs. Fortunately our apartment complex just sent an email saying they are collecting socks for the homeless. Perfect! Ellie took the socks to the office to drop them off and the staff was so excited and greatly appreciated them. Isn’t God good like that? He never says “you’re too late!” When you show up with your blessing to offer He will always use it for His purpose. Great Grandma Mary was just on time with the socks because they showed up on God’s time. He used them for His purpose and not our own.

Maybe you have a “it’s too late” mindset. I want you to know It’s never too late for God to use you! Show up and watch God grow His purpose in you.