Friday, July 22, 2011

Where has the time gone?

I'm sad to say that it has really been 7 months since I posted my last blog!  I thought in December I would really get back into my blogging and then I decided to start getting my masters degree in January.  Well with the masters degree came lots of time on the computer doing research, taking classes, and creating projects.  Anytime I had free, you better believe I didn't want to touch the computer!

Like usual there has been a lot that has taken place since my last blog.  Like I stated I started my masters degree.  I am currently attending Indiana Wesleyan University for my masters in teaching.  It is completely online which is a savior for me since my schedule is so very hectic with teaching and our photography business.  Which brings me to the next exciting event.  In my past blogs you have heard me talk about my subbing career.  Well, my subbing career is finally over!  Last year I was so very blessed to spend 8 months at Scott High School subbing for two different teachers in long term positions.  At the end of this year, I was presented with a job opportunity by the same school.  Starting this August I will be a full time teacher at Scott, teaching drawing, ceramics, painting, and advanced placement art!

Also since my last blog, our photography business has really grown tremendously! We moved into a new space the middle of January.  We were very excited about our new space, and it helped so much with our business that we actually out grew that space and just moved into a different location the beginning of the month.  We love our new office space and are very blessed by our growing business.

I have shared with you some exciting news about getting my masters degree, starting my new job, and our growing business, but this one will top them all!  Jarrett and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary this year which was so very special, because one we have had 4 wonderful years together.  It was also so very special because we found out we were having our first baby!!  What a wonderful anniversary present!  I am just now starting my second trimester so we don't know yet if girl or boy?  But we have seen our little peanut and we have heard its fast heartbeat a couple of times!  We are so very excited, nervous, and scared to be parents but can't wait to see and hold our little one in January!

With everything happening at once, starting my masters, starting a new job, moving into a new location with our business, and a baby on the way, I must constantly remind myself that God does not give us more than we can handle.  There are times when I feel myself getting overwhelmed but then I think about all the things in my life and how God has brought me to and through every situation, and he will not fail when January comes and I have four titles to my name.  Being a mom I know will out way all of my other positions :) and I can not wait for that moment!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the mountains in my life...

Okay so I have to apologize to my blog followers.  I really can not tell you where the time has gone.  It has been five weeks since my last blog, and I feel like I've traveled down so many different sidewalks, highways, and up mountains!!! Don't we always feel like we are climbing some mountain?  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining one bit, I truly think God uses our mountains to teach us.  And I am so very thankful for these times. 

One thing that has really been on my heart this last week is thankfulness.  I know, I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, and well quite frankly I missed the boat on writing a blog on all the things I was thankful for.  However, I did read blog after blog, and tweet after tweet about all the things other people were thankful for :)  Everyone seemed to be thankful for all the "good" things.  I know, who wants to put the "bad" things out for the world to see that we are thankful for, and just because we didn't blog or tweet about the "bad" things doesn't mean that many of you aren't thankful for them. 

I just wanted to remind you that we need to remember what Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  This means even the things that maybe we might not feel thankful for, we should.  The Bible tells us that for those who love God all things work together for "good", for those who are called according to his purpose.  Sometimes we go through a situation or climb an endless mountain where we might think...what "good" is this?  If God says all things are "good"  why does this seem so hard or so painful?  Well good news...Romans 8:29 tells us exactly what "good" means.  It says "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son."  That's just it!  "Good" means that we will be transformed into the image of His son Jesus Christ.  So no matter how bad something might hurt or how painful it might be, lets try and remember, that particular circumstance is making us more like Jesus!!  Believe me I know that sometimes it is so much harder to do than it is to write it here in my blog.  There have been times in my life were I didn't feel this way, however when I look back at those times I can truly see how God used that instance to transform me. 

My husband and I lead a small group for our church, and we talked about this very same topic Monday night.  One of our group members gave this really awesome analogy that I am going to leave you with.  She said when someone refines silver they keep the silver in the fire until it comes out beautiful and shines so bright.  In this case we are just like the silver.  God allows us to go through the fire and sometimes stay in the fire for awhile so that when He pulls us out we are more like Him, beautiful and shining oh so bright!  I encourage you to look at the mountains in your life and thank God for them!  You will see that you are blessed by these mountains.

Friday, October 22, 2010

if you don't have one...get one

Its been several months since I have stepped foot into the gym.  This is not like me at all.  I LOVE working out!  I feel so much better about myself, I feel like I have SO much energy, and it doesn't hurt that my pants seem to fit a little better either..ladies you all know what I'm talking about. Going to the gym, running, or participating in any type of physical activity has been part of my life since I can remember, however these past six months I completely feel off the wagon.  It was a very slow fall, and touch and go at times, but eventually I was completely gone.  Then of course not going to the gym combined with the summer parties of wonderful eats and treats I slowly started to gain a couple of pounds...I would like to say only a couple, but lets be real...almost 10lbs!!!  Which is something that I did NOT want to do at all.  Isn't it funny how one bad decision leads to another, and another, and another until Satan has gotten you down on the ground, unmotivated and without any energy to fight back?  I know I'm only talking about my weight and commitment to the gym but Satan gets one little foothold and keeps going.

I would like to say my motivation just came back to me, but it took my 76 year old NaNa (who I love dearly) to whip me into shape!  She has been attending water aerobics two times a week and loves it.  She talks about how much better she feels and how she is starting to lose some pounds!  I thought if my 76 year old NaNa can do it...then so can I!!  Sometimes it takes someone encouraging you to get you out of that slump that Satan has put you in.  

Not only do I have people in my life that are not close (in distance) who hold me accountable, but I also have people that I see on a regular basis that hold me accountable for my actions.  I know, I know going to the gym isn't a huge issue, but in my life it is.  It starts out by me not feeling good about myself, then I become very self conscious, and then I get a little depressed...who knows how far it could really go.  That's how it can be with any issue in your life, spending time with the Lord, going to church, working out, smoking, fill in the blank.  It always starts out slowly but before you know it you've completely fallen off the wagon.  My challenge for you is to find that person in your life that you can trust to hold you accountable and if you have that person make sure your making time to meet and talk with them.  My accountability partners are such a huge blessing in my life, and I know they will be in yours too!

Monday, October 18, 2010

it's that simple

Okay so have you guys missed me?!?  Well it has been one busy month!!  There have been so many times when I was driving or hanging out with friends that I thought, I am going to blog about this or I'm going to blog about that, but the time just went by.  Its been 3 weeks since my last blog, I cant believe I let time go by like that.  

Well yesterday was my first Sunday teaching in the Kindergarten/1st grade room at church.  I usually work with the middle and high school students, but there was a need so of course I helped out where needed.  And I LOVED it!  We talked about Nehemiah and how he saw a need in the people and so he helped them.  It was as easy as that.  If you see a need, help out.  In fact the memory verse was if you see it, then do it.  How simple is this?

How many times do we see someone in need, but don't feel like we have the time to help them out?  Or maybe we say it isn't my problem so why should I get involved in helping them?  Or you feel like you don't have the time to help, but you suggest someone else that can help them instead.  Really would it take that long to just step up and help when there is a need? 

How many of us are like Moses and say, "send someone else."  Moses was afraid that he wasn't good enough for the job and there are several occasions where he kind of fought with God saying "I'm not good enough, send someone else instead of me."  If we continue to beg God to send someone else, how will we ever see what we are capable of?  

Wherever God is leading you, whoever he placing in your life to help can sometimes be scary.  Are you going to step up and be a Nehemiah who helps out or are you going to be a Moses and beg God to send someone else instead?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

seek me with all your heart

Have you ever lost something?  Well maybe you didn't loose it, but you misplaced it?  That was the case for me tonight.  I thought I had lost my Bengals hoodie.  Now some might see this as a problem, but others could probably care less (ha).  I really REALLY needed to find my hoodie.  This week is homecoming week at the school Im subbing at, and tomorrow is Cincy Reds/Bengals day.  So I HAD to find that darn hoodie.  If you could have only seen me.  I tore my closet completely apart.  I looked behind every stack of clothes on my shelves, between every smashed hanger (Im sure some of you have closets where it would be better if you didn't hang up your clothes.  I believe mine get more wrinkled hanging up.)  I searched behind my drawers (I stuff those to full also).  I ran downstairs and looked in the coat closet, and then I even got on my hands and knees and crawled into what I call is the secret closet thats inside my closet!  If you could have seen me.  There I was holding a lamp in my hand and going through all of the winter bins in my closet inside my closet.  I was on a mission, and that mission was to find my Bengals hoodie.  Really did I need to put that much effort into finding my hoodie....really?  About an hour later I found that hoodie tucked away in my closet on the shelf (which I looked behind) with the rest of my hoodies.  I must have just over looked it.

The search for my hoodie got me thinking...what if we put that much effort in searching for God.  Would I go as far as putting a lamp in my hand, and crawling into a very small space to search for the word of God?  Maybe we haven't completely lost Him, but maybe we have lost the desire or passion to seek His word.  Some of us might say "I just wish I had more time in my day."  I will be the first to raise my hand....Im guilty of letting the entire day go by without seeking His word.  There I sat one hour later my mission completed, hoodie in hand.  Could I have spent that hour seeking the wisdom of God or searching for the hoodie I couldn't live without?  Im not saying that by searching for my hoodie I was doing wrong.  I hope that I continue to have more passion to seek wisdom from the Lord than I do searching for my lost hoodie.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13  

Monday, September 27, 2010

God of This City

Sidewalks lead us many places.  In the past year one sidewalk has been very prevalent in mine and my husbands life.  It took three years for us to make the decision to walk in the doors of 7 Hills church in Northern Kentucky, but after we visited just one time we pretty much knew this was the church for us.  (I know they say to visit at least three times before you make a decision, but we just knew.)  Bubba got plugged in right away volunteering to play in the worship band, and I quickly started volunteering my time in the youth (which I love).  This sidewalk has also connected us with so many wonderful people who I love dearly.  Our sidewalk to church has changed just a bit these last couple of weeks though....

Our old weekend routine would be go to church on Saturday and Sunday.  Bubba sometimes plays the weekends, and I usually help out in the middle school room, teaching or just hanging out with the youth.  For me this meant getting up around 9 or 9:30 and being at church by 10:20.  However, these past few Sundays have been quite different.  I am now getting up around 5:30 or 6:00 and getting to church around 6:30 or 7:00.  Are you asking why yet?  Well not only does our church have a sidewalk that runs through Florence, but this month we have also created a sidewalk that runs through Newport.  I think many times we get comfortable with where we are and sometimes we are afraid to go, but thats not the case for 7 Hills church.  We opened our first satellite campus in Newport, Kentucky at the Syndicate.  Yes....the Syndicate!  How amazing is that?

The past couple of weeks, we have met many people who come from many different walks of life.  When I see the people come through the doors, I am completely amazed at how BIG God is in what I would say is a small world.  I had no idea what our first service would be like?  Im not sure that anyone did?  Was I doubting that God would show up at the Syndicate....not at all, but I still had no idea how many people we would reach.  Our first service we had over 400 people take the sidewalk that led them to 7 Hills Church Newport.  Out of that 400 there were 29 decisions made for the Lord!!!  How amazing is that?  God has a plan for 7 Hills Church I or anyone else at the church know what that plan is exactly?  No we don't, but the one thing we do know, and can have complete faith in is that God has a plan for the future of 7 Hills Church Newport.  We sang "God of This City" at church this weekend and it brought me to tears.  In the words of Chris Tomlin, "Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this City."  And I couldn't agree more that "there is no one like our God".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Exactly Does That Mean?

Okay so I'm going to start off by saying that starting this blog is way out of my comfort zone.  I am the type of girl that would never write in her life if someone wasn't making her.  So why am I writing now you might ask?  I have come to only two conclusions, the first my best friend pressured me into budding out into the wonderful world of blogging (I love her dearly), and the second being that God is showing me so much in my life right now and I hope to share my new journey with all of you.  

As I began thinking about my blog and what I had to offer to the blogging community my mind spun round and round.  I could have a blog about photography, my husband and I own our own photography business and I love capturing the special days of our clients lives.  When I had decided photography would be a no go, I thought well I love to bake, maybe I will create a baking blog.  I could even picture it.  I would title it Cute as a Cupcake, I would have an adorable cupcake background, and I would share all of my wonderful cupcake recipes with my fellow bloggers.  Well as we can see that didn't become my first blog either.  And then it finally hit me.  My first blog would about my new journey the Lord is taking me on.  I had no title, no cute backgrounds, just a vision of what I wanted to share.

For the past 4 years I have been a happily married wife, with two adorable boston terriers and a job in which I really enjoyed.  We live in a cute house, drive nice cars, and one might say everything seems to be perfect for our little family.  And for the most part it was.  There was only one downfall.  I stopped enjoying what I was doing for a living.  I just felt as if God was moving me into a new direction in life.  I stepped out in faith and did what I thought God was calling me to do, and did not renew my teaching contract for the upcoming year.  I was unsure if God was telling me to teach in a different school district, or choose a new career path.  I applied for one teaching job after another and even had several job interviews, but it seemed as if God was closing each of those doors.  I continued to pray and knew that He would take care of me whether I landed a teaching job or not.  Well, I didn't.  However, He did provide me with a position substitute teaching.  The one thing I said when looking for a job was, I don't care what I do, I DO NOT want to be a substitute.  As we can see God sometimes has a sense of humor.  I am currently subbing in a new school district and I am so completely happy with where I am in life.  I have no idea the sidewalk God is going to take me down these next couple of years, but I know that I will be faithfully seeking his wisdom as I walk.  There may be times in which I come to a dead end, an intersection, or even a cul-de-sac, but I will not let those distractions stop me from continually seeking his will.   

Jeremiah 29:11-13  "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.  THen you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart."