where we are

I haven't talked much in the last 7 months about where we are. What we are doing. But I felt the need to spill my guts, and bring you guys in a little more on the inside of our life. Mostly because I need to talk it out and plead for prayers and encouragement from you guys. My husband and I work in ministry. We were at our church for years, before we left and moved to California. We absolutely loved CA, and had a blast being a part of our church and life there. But, we felt the urge to move closer to family. We were beginning to try to get pregnant with our second, and start the adoption process with number 3. The thought of doing all that so far from family was difficult for me. We packed it up and moved to Oklahoma right before Thanksgiving of last year.

That's the back story. The hard truth is: we've been unemployed since. Thankfully, my husband being a worship leader he has been working a lot of weekends. We got pregnant immediately after moving here, and it's been a blessing having hubs at home to help out. Since for about 4 months I could barely get off the couch I was so sick.

We've been through some testing. A few job opportunities have come and gone, but we aren't letting that get us down. Typically with no steady income, a baby on the way and a toddler eating us out of house and home (or living on goldfish)...that would be very stressful. But this time in our life hasn't been stressful. I can't wrap my mind around the peace I feel, and the fact that God is providing for us.

I feel blessed.

I feel taken care of.

And most importantly, I know that my babies are taken care of.

My precious little family.

Yes, we have had to cut back some. We only have one car right now, and we live in my in-laws Oklahoma house while they live in Alaska. It's an honor to me to take care of their home for them, and make a home for my family. I am getting to spend so much time with my husband, which is an amazing blessing.

We are really learning to rely on God for the little things.

And it works. Every month. A random $400 here. An unexpected $200 there. Brook continues to get calls to lead worship, which pays pretty good. God really does provide all our needs.

Philippians 4:19 You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.

Thank you all for your prayers and support as we continue down this road of uncertainity. We appreciate all the love and encouragement we feel from each of you!

our new family member

I'm excited to introduce you to Angie Chica, the newest member of our family! Angie was born on March 25, 2010...um, the same day as Munchkin!! She's from El Salvador, and oh-so-cute! Instead of buying our daughter mountains of toys for Christmas, we got her the gift of friendship. Of compassion. Of love. To teach her that there are children in the world with less, and there is a way we can do more.

I can't wait to watch Jessi Girl grow up with Angie Girl (as we call her). In hopes that my daughter will be forever changed by this relationship. And in hopes that someday they will meet and it will be a friendship of a lifetime.

I encourage you to give your children a different kind of gift this year. A gift that keeps giving, and a relationship that will change their lives (and yours).

These are 2 great organizations I recommend sponsorship through: World Vision & Compassion. Go scroll through the kids, and it will be hard for you to walk away without doing something.

I dare you to try.

community

Nope, not the tv show. (However, it is pretty awesome too) One of the most rewarding and most challenging parts of my ministry is the fact that I am a pastor's wife.  At times it can be so fulfilling and an absolute blast.  Other times it can be frustrating, challenging and just downright difficult. Being in this role, you take the good with the bad.  Not everyone always agrees with what your husband is doing, and that can be very difficult for a wife to be faced with.  Only having been a pastor's wife for 2 years, I have learned so much in my short time but I think it's the most important thing. Community.

A community of  women who understand and know how to support and encourage you.  Whether that be one person, or 10 people - it's vital.  In ministry leadership we take on a lot of responsibility for our people.  We pray for them, listen to them and are there for them.  But if we have no one to turn to, it can literally break you.

I am blessed with that community of women.  I have women in my life who I can turn to in any circumstance for prayer and support.  That I can vent to and rejoice with.  I am so thankful for a ministry called Leading & Loving It, which is a group of pastor's wives that are a support system.  I had the honor of sitting and having coffee with Lori Wilhite last week while she was in town for Catalyst.  I love being able to pick the brain of someone who has been at this longer than me and be encouraged by their passion for ministry. On Friday at Catalyst we had a lunch for PW's and had the honor of hearing from Kay Warren.  If you are a PW, I recommend going to see this video...she's awesome!

I came away from Catalyst completely encouraged thanks to the pastor's wives I was able to connect with.  Thank you Lori for taking the time to sit with me, what a blessing you are! Thank you to the sweet women who I met and blessed my life. I am excited to strive on in ministry next to my husband, what a wonderful job I have!!

catalyst west recap

Last week we attended Catalyst West, which I'm sure if you follow us on twitter you heard a lot about. We kinda had a good time.  Last year Brook attended, but I had to work and wasn't able to go.  I was so excited that it worked out this year for both of us to attend.  Jessi girl tagged along too. That was interesting...but she did amazing and was such a trooper for both days.

Catalyst is a conference for church and ministry leaders.  There are an endless amount of incredible speakers pouring into us for two days.  It's a little overwhelming to say the least, but in a very good way.  I came away feeling encouraged, refreshed and ready to keep going.  Believe it or not, sometimes ministry can get hard and downright exhausting.  It's so great to come together with people who understand and know the right words to say.

One of my favorite parts - worship. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a couple thousand ministry leaders who are completely in love with Jesus worshiping in a corporate setting.  It's incredible.  I always feel like we get a tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like.  People completely in love and on their faces before Jesus.  What an amazing picture. As a Worship Leader's wife, I rarely get to worship standing next to my husband, so I always love these precious moments of standing close to him and praising our God together.

We learned from some amazing church leaders and non-profit leaders. Our hearts were opened, stretched and mended.  The hubby and I are beginning to talk about possibilities for our future that God opened our eyes to a little more.  It's all so exciting and we so look forward to what is ahead for our ministry and family.

Tomorrow, I will touch on the area I was most encouraged and impacted. Exciting stuff.

bragging rights

Sometimes I fear that I don't take the time enough to brag on my hubby and tell him how proud I am of him.  I always hope he knows, but I never want to take for granted that he does.  Being a pastor's wife isn't always an easy job, as I'm sure my fellow PW friends can agree. It's a difficult balance of "work and life", when your life revolves around your ministry and serving others. My hubby is amazing at this.  Sure, sometimes he brings his work home.  But he does a good job of knowing when it's time to unplug and focus on me. He's practicing well for being an amazing daddy by taking his days off to spend with his family.  I'm so thankful for this.  Although him being pulled in a million directions can get hard from time to time, it's a blessing to get to be a part of what he does. It's not just his ministry, it's OURS. I love that he makes me a huge part of it and always values my opinion so highly.

I've been a bit of a wreck for the past 8 months.  It's not been easy on me to be pregnant, and that could have put a lot of pressure on our marriage because it's hard for me to focus on it a lot of the time.  He has stood by me every step of the way. He tells me I'm beautiful when I feel the size of a house.  He encourages me. He tells me it will be over soon (that's the best thing I can hear these days...). He never questions his feelings for me.

As women, it's not always easy to be vulnerable with our spouses.  Especially when we want them to see us as beautiful and as perfect as possible.  But we're in this thing...for better and for worse.  I've had my fair share of "worse" days lately, and he's not left my side for a second.  And he won't leave my side during our better days either.

One of the best days is to come, when we see our baby girl for the first time.  I can't imagine a better man to share this with and to be the father of my children.  Thank you baby for all you for our ministry and our family.  You are truly my hero.