Monday, September 21, 2009

A Weekend Away

So Melissa and I have been planning a get away weekend for Claire. We have been asking for God to prepare her heart and lead us in the direction we need to go. Through many different people he made it clear that we are to have no agenda of our own, but just let the Spirit move. We decided to have the theme for the weekend be "Let me Love you" Melissa just felt like this was what God wanted her to hear. Up to this point Claire had been really nervous about this weekend, but last night she texted Melissa and said "I just heard the song 'let me love you' by Third Day and for some reason I don't feel scared about this weekend now!" What a great confirmation, I love when God cares about the little details like that! I really hope it is a good and healing weekend for her.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Great God Story

(picture of cardio room at the gym)

Okay this is a great God story and more info will come soon, but for right now I wanted to post that I GOT A GREAT JOB! Totally a God thing and it really just fell into our laps. I wasn't even looking, but Jared saw an ad, I applied along with 100+ other trainers and I of all people got it. I even tanked in the interview a couple of times but still seemed to impress them! It is at a new health club down town (really nice) The owner is a brilliant trainer who coaches elite athletes, speaks nationally and is highly sought after...gulp. I still don't know how I was the most qualified, but obviously God wants me there. Please pray that all falls into place, confidence, skill, babysitters (part time only) etc. I'm so excited and super nervous! YAY. Check out I like the part on the site where it says Matt is the expert and his "hand picked staff" that's crazy! I even get to fly to Arizona on their bill this summer for training! I have a feeling it will seem like getting my masters degree with all the studying I'll have to start, oh well it will feel good to use my brain again (other than for reciting the alphabet 20 times a day). To God be the glory!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Becoming a Godly Wife

So lately in scripture and radio and sermons I've been getting the message that I need to be a more encouraging and respectful wife. I don't know why this is so hard to do, but it sure is sometimes. I have been working really hard at it and feel like I have been making improvements. The best thing I try to remember is to say two less negative things each day. This is a very realistic goal and has really helped me learn to bite my tongue. With the added stress of another kid and no sleep it has been even more of a challenge, but we have both risen to the occasion and have really worked things out and have learned to manage our stress and most of the time not take it out on one another. One of the most convicting scriptures I read recently was proverbs 10:21-The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. This one was so clear from God and just made me feel the guilt I should in my conscience. I felt like God said okay Whitney, you are so concerned about the nutrition and food you feed your family, but what spiritual food are you feeding your husband? I had to answer the question by saying I feed him spiritual pork rinds, hot dogs and gas station nacho cheese. Yep, cheap, nutrient void, over processed, blood pressure increasing spiritual food that rots his soul. Sooo, I decided to look at this in a new way and remember that I not only need to feed his body good food, but also his emotions and spirit. The other verse I liked was Proverbs 24:By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
I truly want the rooms of my house to be filled with beautiful treasures; Godly children,a strong healthy marriage and of course who ever else is staying with us at the time;)

(Isn't that first picture gross, it fits so perfectly for this blog. Maybe I should print that and have it on my fridge and mirror as a reminder :) hehe)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Giving for God

Jared and I are attending a 7 week financial management course at our church. We have been for two weeks and feel like it will be really good for us. The reason I'm blogging about it here is that it gave us an opportunity to experience the joy of giving. The instructor gave four people $25 each to help someone in need and tell them that they were giving them God's money out of love. We were not the people picked, but when I was talking with one of the girls who was picked she said "I have no idea what to do with this" I said "I know who I would give it to, but it is your choice" I explained that I would give it to Clair's brother and his girlfriend who are trying very hard to make a living and care for their infant son. God is totally working on them and I know they could use the help and love. Well, that was on Sunday and then yesterdy, Thursday, this girl was at my house and Clair was talking about her brother and told a story about how all they had for dinner one night was 1 can of tuna that they shared. I was really hoping that she still had the money and would give it to them. She did still have it and we were able to send Clair over to his house with not only $25 but also some extra formula we had, some dinner, and a 5lb bag of potatoes that I had sitting around. When Clair gave it all to him he just kept saying "Clair, someone loves us and they don't even know us" I was so happy to hear that the message was received perfectly! He said that he could go buy dinner and some diapers for his baby because they only had 2 left. I was so blessed to be a part of this, and our prayer is that this family would see God's love through us and start coming to church and to Jesus! This best part is this is not the only story we have about giving either. Last night was our life group, and one of our friends said she still had her $25 to give away and wasn't sure who to give it to. Jared said ask Whitney I'm sure she has someone in mind. The first person who came to mind was a girl from our group who just started coming last week, and just as I suggested her she walked in the door. I didn't know what she had been through this week, but I just felt like she could use it. Throughout life group she shared about her increadibly hard week and told us that she has a son who has a very scary medical condition and he needs medication for it. She had the money for the Rx and rent in her purse, but it was stolen at work! So after group Jared and I and the family who had the $25 to give prayed over her and then they gave her the money, but they also added another $50 to it. This wonderful girl was weeping because she had not felt God's love so stronly for a long time. I wish you all could have been here for this awesome night! I love stories like this. Not only have I seen people blessed this week, but we have been tremendously blessed ourselves. As you may know all of our travel expenses are paid in FULL! Thank you to those who have given to us! Praise be to God!

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Church and Life Groups

It has been quite a while since I've posted on this site. There are many reasons, but definitely not from the lack of God moving in our lives...quite the opposite actually. I just have to say I LOVE where God has us right now! For four years we have prayed for Christian couples/friends to fellowship with on a regular basis and now we finally have that prayer answered. Don't get me wrong we have made two great relationships with friends here, but we never got together on any sort of regular basis. Since we have started attending/leading this new church called the Lion's Den (referring to the scripture in Revelations) we have TOTALLY felt God's presence, purpose, and design for what he wanted "the church" to be in the first place. We prayed long and hard about switching churches because we really did and do love SHEC, but we always felt held back or limited there. We are not the sit-in-church-and-do-nothing types, so we felt like our gifts and talents were being wasted. This has really opened the door and I mean wide open for us to be used. Jared accepted the head deacon position and we are leading a home meeting called Life Group. These groups are designed to be more than a bible study. They are meant to train up disciples. We go through questions and scripture that are based on the previous Sunday's message and most of the time we get off track but in a good spiritual way. We have had six or so meetings each with a different feel to it. Some are very in-depth serious spiritual conversations, and some are light hearted praise reports all the way through. The great thing about them though is it doesn't just stop there, we are all responsible to one another throughout the week. We hold each other accountable, and I mean actually do the tough job of calling people on things and really helping out when needed. I had to do that with a friend of mine in the group last week. It was good practice of going to a person in love and guiding them back to a path of life and not destruction. In this case it had to do with a person joking way too often and harshly about her spouse in front of others. It went very well, and led to reconciliation between the two of them. This week I received a challenge from the same girl to step outside of my comfort zone. I had said I'm good at talking about God and faith with believers, but I have a hard time doing so with non-believers. Well, she asked if I would pray about pushing myself by serving in a soup kitchen or something with her and witnessing. This is great because I would probably never push myself like that without prompting. This is just such a good evidence of how God desires for us to fellowship and lift each other up. We have had many people checking in on us and vice-versa. Our assistant pastor had a wonderful analogy for this the other day. He showed us a 1x4 board and how easily it can break under pressure, this is how we are, fairly strong but under a hard blow we can not take it on our own. Then he taped four boards together and said this is how we are when we band together with other Christians, we can't be broken. Part of the vision for this church is based on the book Church is a Team Sport by Jim Putman. This is a GREAT book and would recommend you all read it! If you or your church wants to grow and disciple people this is a great guide. This church is moving and growing. We have already gone from meeting in our pastor's home in August with 60 or so people interested to having our brand new building packed out with over 200 people. Within one month of being in our new building we had to go to two services. I'll try to post more as we go, but I'm so excited to see what God has planned for this church

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving Day

So Clair is moving in with us next weekend Dec. 6th. So far she has stayed here weekends and this week a little more because of Thanksgiving break. She is a wonderful, bubbly, sweet girl and we are looking forward to having her. I am still a little worried about what spiritual yuckiness might follow her here, so that would be a huge prayer request. Also that the leaving process would be as painless as possible because her mom will undoubtedly through a huge tantrum.

Her room is coming along slowly but surely and is one of those projects that leaves you with a huge sense of accomplishment. I will post before and after photos once we are done. I have painting, scrap booking (for wall hangings), elliptical moving, dresser bringing, decorating and cleaning to do this week in order to have her room ready as her birthday gift. My friend Melissa and I are also going to be helping with her birthday party and making the cake so that should be fun too. I look forward to sharing stories and photos of this week and weekend.

Prayer is an amazing thing and God is just so cool in his workings. Molly and I prayed so hard for Clair. We prayed she would find Jesus and learn to receive his forgiveness, love, and strength. We prayed that she would make it through her high school years and be able to get out of her house and live a good life. Praise be to God because she does know Him and His love for her. She has made it, and is on her way to making a new life of her own. I'm so blessed to have seen the journeys of these two beautiful girls and the love that God has for them. Praise be to God!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wonderful Sunday Morning Service

Yesterday was a great morning! The lady we have been pursuing came to church yesterday. I was so excited to see that she had actually made it. I wasn't sure how she would like the service, or if she was going to be hard hearted or resistant to anything. I had prayed that when she did come to church that God would have that service directed specifically at her. IT WAS! I love seeing the inside workings of God. From the worship to the ending prayer it was the perfect day for her to be there. I'll explain: She said she liked the music (which is good but not necessary) but one of the songs seemed to touch her and she said "That is a GOOD song" The song was All for Love and the words are below.

All For Love

Verse 1:
All for love, a Father gave
For only love could make a way
All for love, the heavens cried for love was crucified

Oh, how many times have I broken Your heart
But still You forgive if only I ask
And how many times have You heard me pray
Draw near to me

Everything I need is you
My beginning, my forever
Everything I need is You

Verse 2:
Let me sing all for love
I will join the angel song
Ever holy is the Lord
King of glory, King of all

Verse 3:
All for love a Savior prayed
Abba Father, have Your way
Though they know not what they do
Let the cross draw man to You, to You
To You, to You

Hillsong United Live

The pre chorus, has the exact words that I have spoken to her over the past week. Forgiveness if only you ask and God will draw near to you if you draw near to him. Some of this was even in the email that I posted about last time. So that was a great start. Then at break I talked with her and she told me how she was afraid that her hours are going to be cut this week due to the economy. This seems pretty likely since Apex has let 5 people go in the last two months. This coupled with the struggles she told me about last week were really making her nervous about the immediate future. All I could tell her was that God would provide for her. So the first thing our pastor says when he starts preaching is this, "Do you ever wish you could see what is just around the corner? Some of you might be having financial problems, or employment worries..." I just started giggling inside thinking God you are too good. The rest of the sermon went on to talk about the Israelites wandering in the desert, but the main message was about God being big enough to provide even in trials. He also talked very clearly about how bad things in our lives are not always punishment but refinement. He talked about how some of us might have stepped off of God's path and onto our old destructive one. This was the exact analogy that she told me about at lunch last week. She wanted to forge a new path and let the other one become over grown. So this week I made a picture for her with the verse Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Finally at the end of the the service Dave was praying and quoted the verse "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" This was one of the verses I put in her email. I love when you can see patterns and themes when God is trying to tell you something. We often see the same thing three times from different sources. She has heard the path analogy three times now from different places, and not all Christian ones either. She said that she would definitely be back. I truly hope she comes again! She and her boyfriend are in our prayers. It was a good day, Praise be to God!