Sunday, December 29, 2013

Caleb in the E.R....yet again on Christmas day! ...and more updates

     Christmas day was a wonderful day of relaxing with our family here, calling/skyping our extended family for Christmas wishes, and having 2 ladies in our class over for dinner for a great evening.  Then at around 10:30 pm Caleb woke up and could barely breathe.  So I took him into the E.R. and yep, he had Crupe.  Poor little guy, this was his 5th time in the hospital since he has been born (4 times with Crupe and once w/ Bronchitis).  They kept him overnight and we were able to leave the next day just before noon.  There had been a cold cycling through our family for over a week and we knew that if it got to him, he could end up going to the E.R. again.  But praise God that he's fine and the breathing treatment and steroid took well.  Also praise the Lord for supplying insurance for our kids so we're not slammed with a huge bill to pay. 

I wanted to give a report back to the prayer requests I had asked for back in October and then would like to update you on what God's been doing with our neighbors.
  *Aaron has been able to be more consistently patient with the kids.
  *We have made it through 1/2 the school year with the kids and they are doing very well overall.  They are advanced in reading and math and Andrea knows already which curriculum she will be teaching next year to the kids.  We are going to pick out their 'activities' in January (ie: baseball, dance, etc. - which will all be free from the school!)
  *God provided financially for every single person at Impact and all of their tuition is paid in full!  In fact, it went down to the wire, the last day when tuition was due, 11 students needed funds for a total of $10,000 and it all got paid!
  *The Lord did provide assistance for health care for our kids.  So everything w/ Caleb has been paid in full and all of their health appointments/shots/check ups/dentist appointments are covered!  Praise God, it's actually better insurance than what I had at my last job, however Andrea and I were not able to get medical coverage.

     *So we have met a variety of our neighbors, here is what is happening.
*Two doors down there is a large family w/ cousins/uncles/aunts/etc living there.  We were told at one point drugs might have been through it and cops show up regularly.  We thought not a better place to receive the love of God.  They have a 5 yr old and 6 yr old that play outside regularly that our kids love to bike and run around with.  A little over a month ago, the cops showed up and took the mom to jail b/c of her association even though she had not done anything to be found guilty of.  Through that event, we were able to take the kids to church for 2 Sundays and they had never in their life ever been to church.  They really loved it but for different reasons have not been in the last 4 weeks.  During that day Aaron also got to go through the gospel with Edgar and he prayed to receive Christ as his Savior!  We were able to get him a Bible to start reading but he has not been plugged into discipleship yet.  The mom was released and is now trying to get back her identification that they are holding (drivers license, social security, etc).  We invited her to church and she was going to come on Christmas but cancelled last minute.  Please pray for this house.  Edgar that he would have a desire to grow, for the kids to be able to come back to church where they can hear God's truth and for their mom.  There is a lot of spiritual warfare going on in that home, but praise the Lord through different ways have been able to establish relationship with them.
  *Our immediate neighbors next to us are an older couple (late 70's) that through our cookie outreach, God is growing our relationship with them.  In fact the other day I sat on the porch with him for over an hour listening to all of his jobs he had and he showed me all of the cars he has owned.
  *The other side of our house is an elderly widow, Irene.  She has been taken to the hospital by ambulance twice since we've been here.  (she thought she was having a stroke).  We have been able to bring over cake and other goodies to her and she is a very nice lady, but does not want to talk about 'religion.'  She let us pray over her for healing and carries on conversation, just doesn't at this point want to hear about Jesus.  Her father was in the church and was an alcoholic, so I believe there is bitterness there.
  *The next neighbors are a sweet couple that have a almost 2 yr old boy that Caleb and our other children love to play with.  We are hoping to have them over for dinner after the Holidays.

*Please be praying for them, that God would grant us opportunities to share with them and that He would lead us to the ones that are good soil so His Word is heard and received, and that when the opportunities arise, we would take them.

A couple of fun updates on the kids:
- Malachi traded in his action Bible and upgraded to the Real Deal!  He now has a real Bible that he has already started underlining verses in.  He is very excited about it and told me "I want to read it front to back."
- Rachel is an amazing helper and time after time she is the one we can count on to help when we need it.
- Isaiah has had 5 or 6 'naked' days (we were really tired of poopy underwear) where he goes all day with only wearing a shirt.  So far he has made it to the potty every time.  Now the challenge is going to be transitioning this success into wearing underwear.
- Caleb is climbing everything, including our 24" barstools.

Thank you for praying for us out here and keeping up on our family.  Please continue to pray for our neighbors and that God would use us here for His kingdom in their lives.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy 2nd birthday to our sweet Caleb Anthony

 
Praise the Lord that today I was able to sit and remember that two years ago at this time Aaron and I were in the hospital praying that our fourth son would wait to be born 9 more weeks, and the Lord said "No". His will was for us to not be able to stop labor and the next morning around 8:30a.m. our doctor came in to check me and I was dilated to 6cm. We burst into tears...terrified. We knew that our son could possibly not make it. Through our tears Aaron knelt with me and prayed. And then asked, sobbing, if "Caleb Anthony" was ok for his name. A peace came over me. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit lives in me. I knew Caleb was the Lords and not mine. He was a gift to me, to never hold with a closed hand and trust God to do His will, His good and perfect will. Not long after we knew we were delivering Caleb labor really kicked in and my doctor explained he would probably be 2lbs and not even cry when he came out. I remember feeling this peace that he would surprise her. When he came out screaming and looked in my eyes it was amazing. He weighed in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. Caleb Anthony has great purpose in his life and God knows that his purpose is not done. 
This past year Caleb has accomplished a lot for a little guy. He may even surpass his brother Isaiah in height and shoe size soon! He is curious, funny, observant, loving, and definitely mischievous. One thing that touches Aaron and I is when we go to lay him down to bed he instantly puts his tiny hand out to hold ours and lays his head on our shoulder to pray. He has done this for 9 months and it just touches me how he knows we are praying. He has even approached us when we circle to pray with a classmate or a neighbor to pray and raises his hands to hold ours. He is precious.  Caleb...your name is absolutely who you are..."whole hearted, faithful."
 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Time to catch up! Sorry folks!

Hello there...it's almost Christmas time and this term has flown by! Aaron and I have meant to sit and blog so many times but our bodies have lurred us to sleep too soon! For those of you who are just hoping into our blog we are out in San Diego with our four kids after Aaron left his job at Furniture Row of 10 years, sold our house and tons of stuff and followed our Lord Jesus to attend discipleship school here for one year! Our first term was absolutely amazing and hard and full of so much. I am going to do my best to update you on some major highlights!
 Some fun pictures from fun in our backyard...so blessed to have Aaron home!



 Here we got to celebrate Aaron's best friends Cisco's daughter, Serena's birthday! Next to Rachel is my mentor, Cat and then Analisa who is going to Oaxaca, Mexico as a missionary with Cisco and his family for at least two years

 The birthday girl!!


What a blessing this school is for our family in so many ways. After we got back from our week of camping the Lord has continued to move and bless in our lives. We had two major weeks at school that we definetely want to share with you. One week was an amazing week of prayer and worship. It was an entire week that school was only at night and we had amazing worship, prayer and messages! It was amazing. We had a sitter set up for every night and it was the first time Aaron and I got to go and fellowship and worship together. It was wonderful. After that awesome week was Thanksgiving. Last year we had finally started a family tradition that we'd wanted to do for some time of serving on Thanksgiving day at homeless dinning hall. This year we signed up Rachel and Malachi with us to serve at San Diego's largest homeless outreach. That morning the Horizon Christian Fellowship takes buses and picks up the homeless and brings them to their school campus. Rachel and I worked in the children's ministry area while Aaron and Malachi washed the feet of the homeless and gave them new socks. Halfway through our morning Rachel and I took a break and went to check on Malachi and Aaron. The haircutting station was packed....probably 40 hairstylist lined up and cutting hair...it was amazing. Right next to that was the foot washing station. It wasn't super busy so Aaron was walking around telling people to come have their feet washed. I saw two little boys waiting for hair cuts with no socks or shoes and Aaron asked their mom if they could get their feet washed and new socks. The minute one of the boys sat...he was probably close to Malachi's age...Malachi excitedly served him and washed his feet. Absolutley not one grumble. It touched my heart so much. After that Rachel stayed to serve with the feet and Malachi came with me. They both had a wonderful time and truly blessed us to see the Lord shine in them. After that was an afternoon of cooking...with one of our favorite teachers, Maria...who had offered to watch Isaiah and Caleb that morning while we did outreach. Aaron and I know what it's like to be alone on the holidays after moving around the country for the first five years of our marriage and we felt the Lord wanted us to open our house to the "orphans" at our school(anyone who worked at the school or went that had no family here to be with). Our house was so full! It was absolutely one of the best Thanksgiving days we have had. From people dropping in from 5-10pm to so much laughter, games, eating and our kids throwing plays in their rooms for our entertainment. Also one of our classmates, Randy, a retired Navy Seal, had brought someone he had met hiking a hill(they call it a mountain here...but we're from CO...you know). His name is Bosco and did not know Jesus. He had no where to go and just happened to be hiking that morning and Randy saw that he had a military tattoo and invited him. The Lord moved all night through so many testimonies and gospel shared. He didn't leave till after 11pm. The night was just full of joy...praise Jesus for this amazing family He has given us here. The body of Christ is amazing when we are walking like the body.
Here's Larry on the left(One of Aaron's classmates) and Aaron's mentor Seth
 Ha ha ha! Randy fell asleep...from left to right here are three ladies in Aaron's day class, Natalie, Tirhaus, and Rosie.

Here a group decided that they need to play a game called Ninja...I did not partake but it was hillarious to watch!. From left to right, Chelsea who is a graduate, Willie who is Aaron's classmate and Abraham who is a grad.

Foosball was super fun that night too...from left to right...Sophia on the chair( my classmate, Dziugas' sister), Bosco( the random hiker), Dziugas my classmate...he is from Lithuania, then Gary a grad and Marlon who is Aaron's classmate.

And food...tons of food..Nancy is on the left who just graduated last week, then Drew next to her is a grad and me and Crystal who is in Aaron's day class.

Overall we had 21 people over that night and it was wonderful. Right after Thanksgiving we decorated our home and got ready for any term finals we had. Every week our Fridays are outreach. I know we have shared a bit on Facebook about outreaches so I will give a brief about what we do. Since Aaron goes to outreach in the day he gets a lot of opportunities to serve ministries that need help and for me at night we do end up doing a lot of straight evangelism at malls, trolleys and even a try at a bingo parlor. Aaron has gone to homeless areas in downtown and handed out water and offered prayer. We also have volunteered with the kids to serve at a huge Asian Hindu celebration with a former Hindu who is now a Christian pastor and his wife who try to reach the Hindus. There was from 5-8000 people there. It was wonderful. We made free balloon animals to bless the kids there and others got to talk with so many people. It was sweet. Also another week that was super was Design week. Every day of our week we learned how the Lord has created every aspect of who we are to be like Him. We took series of tests individually and really learned things about ourselves and each other. Our dispositions, strengths, emotional maturity, spiritual gifts and natural abilities. It was amazing. I think as we continue on it is so neat to know these gifts He gave us and finally in so many ways walk in them. It's amazing that even today, as we did our second day of our homeless outreach during break, that I met a man who probably has been homeless for years and years. He loves Jesus deeply and his prayer over us touched our hearts and brought us to tears. And I saw in this man, Harry Smith, the gift of a pastor/teacher and word of wisdom. He had never been asked about pastors in his family or probably told that he has a gift. He does and the Lord is using that gift even in a man who doesn't recognize it but loves Jesus. Just think if we all knew our exact design and walked empowered by the Holy Spirit which Christ gave us when He left what world changers we would all be for His kingdom.
               As we finished this term we have learned so much about the Lord, His design for us, His love, the Word of God and most of all the community of Christ. Reading through Acts as one of our classes it is so neat to see how the first "church" is and has been lived out around us from our last church, Summitview serving us so much when Caleb was in the NICU to the amazing acts of service in all the teachers here who are volunteers and the amazing love everyone here has for each other....it is amazing. Praise Jesus...

Tonight...I will pause a bit and we will come back with more stories about this term...we love and miss you all!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Update, Wilderness Complete!

Just wanted to give some quick highlights of our recent Wilderness Trip through Catalina Island from last week!

*  We were a part of seeing 2 people repent from their sins and placing their faith in Jesus Christ and his death, burial and resurrection for eternal salvation! Yay!

*  11 people got baptized in the Pacific Ocean on the last day of our trip! Many of them never had anyone explain the importance of baptism, so this was a great moment to rejoice in.  One woman was battling with the choice and told me "I'm not sure if I want to die to my old self and put away the old me yet."  She was encouraged by many people and finally chose to get baptized.

*  While we were up there, on day 4, we found out that Caleb had gotten sick...he was taken to the Urgent Care clinic, the doctor saw the x-rays and said it was Pneumonia.  So then they took him to the hospital and they redid x-rays and said it was Bronchitis.  He was in the hospital for 2 nights (the longest he had been in since he was born).  This was SO hard for us to know that this was going on while we were away.  We wanted to be right there with him in the hospital, but were multiple hours away in the middle of an island.  We both felt this was a strengthening of our faith to fully rely on God that He had Caleb's health under control.  So we had to Trust in Him.  Isaiah 26:3 says "the steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You."  God is faithful and we came home to a little happy man!  We were encouraged by Psalm 115: 10-11 "O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.  You who fear (revere) the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield"

*  We met a couple that we have so enjoyed, we are looking to leading them through pre-marital counseling.

*  A really amazing moment for me (Aaron) was with a lady from my group.  We heard most of everyone's story and how they were raised, what they went through and how God has and is currently delivering them from struggles, addictions, tragedies in their life.  Some of the most horrific things you could think of have happened to one person or another at some point in their life.  One lady had never ever asked for help from a man.  All men had ever done to her was use her, abuse her, and treat her like a possession instead of a person.  On the 3rd day of the hike going up a seemingly forever mountain that never ended, I kept offering to take her pack and let me carry it.  She kept saying no.  Finally she was so exhausted that she could not continue and let go of her burden and allowed me to carry that pack for her and to bear her burden.  That night around the fire, she broke down and said that she had never in her life asked a man for help and that it was so humbling and hard for her to allow me to carry her burden for her.  She said she had given up on men until that day.  What a special moment.

Since we've been back from Wilderness:

*  Today we helped with a yard sale to raise funds for some of the students who still do not have enough money for tuition.  One man wanted prayer because he was fearful he would not make it to Heaven, Andrea shared Romans 10:9-11 with him and prayed with him.  Aaron spoke w/ Nora, a lady who asked why there was so much hatred in the world.  Aaron encouraged her that Christ has overcome this world and even though there is much hate, when we know Him, we can experience an amazing peace because of who He is.
*  Yesterday we went on our first outreach.  Aaron prayer walked with his Impact family while picking up trash in the most culturally diverse area of San Diego.  (over 30 different cultures in one neighborhood) We met 3 people, were able to share with one and also discovered a Buddhist feast where 40 or so people had gathered and spoke w/ a man in a wheelchair.  Andrea's Impact family went out last night on the trolleys and were able to share and pray with multiple people.
*  We have been trying to figure out school w/ the kids, Aaron is teaching them math in the morning for about 1 hr.  Andrea teaches them 2-3 subjects throughout the day.
*  We have been blessed with the opportunity to extend an empty room in our place to a woman who is saving up to go to Haiti for long term missions.  Now our home is a home of 7 instead of 6.  God placed the scripture on our hearts 1 John 3:17-18.

Please Pray for:

*  That Aaron would daily extend the patience of God's love to our kiddos.
*  That God would give Andrea wisdom in teaching our kids a school curriculum and strength to do this as well as being at Impact.
*  That God will provide financially for our Impact family members who are still raising funds for tuition.
*  That we will get government assistance for health insurance for our family. (interview is Monday)
*  Most importantly that we would see people come to Christ and grow in Him.

Thank you so much for taking this journey with us!  It means a great deal to Andrea and I!  We pray that you are experiencing the Peace of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Please email us how we can pray for you.
AaronShaneTaylor@hotmail.com
Andrea_Taylor1@msn.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Camping camping camping...Wilderness here we come!!!

Hello there! I'm sorry I haven't been on here in a while. Two weeks of school have already passed and I am tired! The first full week was this week. The week before was like a preview and an open invitation to others to apply.
So for this week we started with amazing worship where we get to linger in His presence. AWESOME! And then usually a devotion or testimony and then we head straight to class. This week we learned the entire bible...summarized in the 12 Era's and had to memorize the 66 books of the bible. I was sooooo grateful for Awana's when I was a kid because that childhood song has stuck with me forever with the books of the bible. After that class we split into the three terms. Aaron and I are term 1 and then there are students in the second and third(final) term that we worship with and then separate for different learning. We have done a bunch of preparation for tomorrow...WILDERNESS WEEK! We are backpacking on Catalina Island for Sun-Friday! We will hike/walk 27 miles with our packs/tents/all food on our backs! It will be amazing. We are going to be studying the book of 1 John and I am so excited to know my class better and to really come to a greater understanding of God's love and His commands on restoring that and real true reconciliation! The reason we had a bunch of prep for this upcoming week is lots of people here have never backpacked, let alone camped OUTSIDE! It was great. I think my class will grow so close to each other and Lord willing become more of a family as we serve each other.
I can tell you a bit about who's in my class. We have three younger ladies from age 18-21 and I love them! Then another girl probably close to my age and right now she is driving back and forth to L.A. to come to school so pray for her to find a place here so she can rest more. Then there are six guys in my class. One is from Lithuania, one is from the Congo and the older gentleman is from Syria!!! WHAT?? So cool. And another great guy who seems close to our age and one amazing man in a wheelchair who just blesses us all every day. He is also able to go on our hike...but will be driven to our camp sites to grow with us and fellowship. His mom, who is AMAZING...is in the term three class and has prayed for him to be able to go and I don't know anyone who isn't excited for him.  There is one more guy in my class and I have to connect him to the 21 year old girl...they are engaged! They were to be married in November  out in Arizona where they are from and God just rocked their worlds and called them to call the wedding off until they go through Impact together!! Aaron and I have been so blessed to have them over for lunch and both really are seeing that we have a love for these two and want to encourage them in starting their marriage off in the most amazing way by coming to know how to follow Christ whole heartedly and making disciples as a couple!
One thing we both are seeing is a real neat connection we have with the staff and interns at the school. Most of that comes from Cisco's fervent prayers for us and telling everyone about us. It just encourages us so much to know that by us being here during the first week a woman, who's a mom...felt she had no excuse anymore to not come to Impact and finally applied and is in Aaron's class!! How awesome to see God move...and man is He moving.
A couple things you would see if you came to our school...
-People praying...everywhere! When you'd pull in to the parking lot people's heads are bowed and praying right and left. As you walk down the hall people are praying...all the time.  Whenever we talk to anyone...and anything of great praise or just simple needs comes up they bow and talk to our Savior. What this really does is avoids the trails of gossip and small talk and puts us in constant communication with our Creator...and man does He deserve it. It is such a blessing.
-Smiles and laughter...Our school is full of so many different people from so many different walks of life and cultures...shy and outspoken and they are full of the love of God. It radiates!
-A community you have probably never ever ever seen...and if you did some of you might be uncomfortable. What I mean is this is the body of Christ...and some of us have never really experienced people who seek Him in a way that they are learning to give WHENEVER there is a need, hug, pray for all things, sacrifice things that are hard to let go of and to see you as He sees you without judgement.
 
As far as Aaron and I we are good. A bit tired because this week in between his class and mine we had to run to Goodwill,REI,Target and Walmart...and another sporting store to get stuff for our wilderness trip..we sold a bunch at our yardsales in CO and sadly had to replenish...but God was so faithful! I found REI & Patagonia clothing at the goodwill!!! WHAT? We also were given our packs, sleeping bags, ground pads, tarps, plates and water bottles from multiple people at school who are in different terms or on staff that aren't going...EVERYONE offered EVERYTHING. It is unbelievable. We will leave tomorrow at 7:00am and Cisco's wife, Naomi and her two girls Serena & Ariel will be here all week watching the kids. And two or three other women are coming every day to help her take care of our kids!  They are so excited!! Malachi just can't wait for us to leave.
As far as the kids school...we enrolled them in a charter school here that provides a home study...so I am home schooling. What happens is we meet with a facilitator every 20 days to check work for the kids. She met with us and we ordered the curriculum we wanted...and how awesome is this...the Story of the World(A Christian History curriculum) is in there system and we got all of the books and photo copies and an art kit full of supplies FREE! And by them doing this each kid is allotted $850 towards extra curricular activities..i.e. soccer, piano...dance...baseball!!! WHAT? How great is our God that things we had not planned on doing just so we could watch our budget and we knew we didn't NEED them either...HE PROVIDES with such great joy. We start their curriculum the week we get back from wilderness. The kids are doing great. Rachel had a blessed birthday at the beach. Malachi can't wait for his birthday. Rachel officially bikes with no training wheels and is trying to get her front teeth out...they are loose. Isaiah is a bit tough lately with anger issues and being three with high highs and low lows. He is still a snuggle bug and so cute. Isaiah is a doll! Also has a bit of a temper but really our most laid back munchkin. He's not talking yet...may be a bit stubborn like Isaiah in that area.
 


Please stay with us. Pray for us!! God is moving and we are desiring to draw near to Him and that means a battle is waging for our attention to be drawn away from Him.  I am learning to worship louder and more constant. Prayer has been such a weapon and His Word is our greatest weapon!! We love you all. We are also in prayer for where we are called to go on the 2 week missions trips between terms. So pray for us.
 
Here's my sweet sister, Analisa who is an intern for Impact and she is leaving for Oaxaca, Mexico in April for two years to bring the gospel to the least reached people group in the western hemisphere.(based on population) ...did you know there are 6000 people groups that are NOT reached.
Here is Cisco's amazing family...baby Ariel who turned 4 months old!!!, their oldest daughter Serena who is 15 and beautiful Naomi(who is also on staff at Impact). They are staying at our house to watch the kids next week!
 
 
More pictures to come...



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1st day of school, 1st day of school!

     I keep getting that scene stuck in my head from 'Finding Nemo' where Nemo is waking his dad up and yelling at him "First day of school!"  Today was that day for Andrea and I.  This week is an event called Rock The House and it's designed for us as well as family, friends and others to come and see what Impact is about.  I went from 9-1 and then met up with Andrea and the kids for free lunch.  We then left and went back at 5:30 for free dinner and Andrea stays for night class until 10 or so while I took the kids home and put them down.  Yep, me with 4 kids, 5 nights a week...so grateful that I don't have to prepare dinner this week!  Next week, we might have pancakes and waffles a lot!
     Getting a glimpse today of what we will be going through was amazing!  The day consisted of a quick registration, meeting quite a few people, worship, 2 teachings and hanging out getting to know some of the staff, volunteers and students.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this being my new 'normal' for the next 12 months.  It feels a bit like I'm on an extended vacation and that I will be going back to 'work' here any day!  Thankfully that's not reality for us right now. 
     Today we learned about Luke 19:1-10 (story on a guy named Zaccheus).  In short, this story is about a Jewish man who is a tax collector (so he's not liked) who is working for the Romans (that makes him doubly not liked) and he is also getting rich off it!  He's corrupt, so he's pretty much hated by lots of people.  By the way, his name means "righteous one."  So he's basically living contrary to his identity and his destiny.  Jesus goes out of his way to visit this town and Zaccheus hears of his coming.  So he does 2 strange things for a man of prominence in his time, he #1. Runs and #2. climbs (a tree) so that he can see Jesus.  Zaccheus was willing to go against the 'cultural norm' in order to get his eyes on Jesus, but at his point, he's still a spectator, and in the tree watching Jesus without getting involved.  Jesus looks up to him, calls him by his 'name' (righteous one) and says "Zaccheus, HURRY and come down, for TODAY I MUST stay at your house."  So he hurried down and received Him gladly.  After that Zaccheus told the Lord, "Behold, Lord, HALF of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."  Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house."
     Some things that God was speaking to me through the teacher on this example:
     -   That was a radical transformation!  50% of everything to the poor!  Just like that.  And 4 times as much as he stole!  What radical transformations has Jesus done in my life?
     -   Am I desiring to just watch Jesus as a spectator or am I willing to be involved?
     -   Zaccheus "hurried down."  Am I willing to make decisions quickly to follow Jesus?  The longer one usually waits, the less likely that person is to follow the Lord.
     -   Jesus wants to invade every part of my life (today I must stay at your house) TODAY.  Each day is a gift, I could die any moment from any number of things.  Am I willing to give Jesus the title to my house and let Him have full reign over every part of my life?  Or am I wanting to try and restrict His access to certain "rooms" of my life.
     -   There must be a response from me.  If Zaccheus would not have gotten down from that tree, would salvation have come to him?  I must respond to His call in order to grow closer to Him. 
     -   Only after Zaccheus took action (giving his money away) did Jesus say salvation had come to his house.  Once I have an encounter with the living God, my life must look radically different than before.  If I am living like the rest of the world around me, have I encountered Jesus?  Jesus will not move into my life and leave it the same.  His faith produces work and fruit.  Salvation is not life insurance, it's not pray this prayer and you can live however you want to, it's radical transformation in my life and continual surrender to His desire for me. 

     I hope this encourages you like it did me, challenges you like it did me and ultimately helps grow us closer to the One who loves us and poured His life out for us!

And by the way, I never ever ever ever ever ever ever thought I would be saying 79 degrees feels so amazingly great in our room!  I used to complain when our house in Fort Collins was 75 degrees!  Our house doesn't have A/C (common in San Diego) so it has been getting to about 89 degrees in our house on a regular basis!  Our master bedroom (which used to be a garage) has a small A/C unit mounted to the door so we leave that bad boy cranked all day with the doors shut and boy does it feel good walking into that room!  We also have box fans in the windows running all night and ceiling fans in almost every room.  I am thankful for door mounting A/C units right now!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

We HAVE arrived...and are three days from Impact 195!!!

Hello friends and family...hopefully you're still there. I am sorry this has taken us so long to update. In the midst of our move we have thought about when we would update everyone...and here and there we have tried to post minor updates on Facebook so people knew we were ok. So...here's what's been happening. After Aaron's last day we moved forward with packing every single day and trying to get everything figured out with our move and housing here...and saying goodbye to everyone. In the middle of that we also had had a family retreat we had planned a year ago for both of our families(The Taylors and Manfreds) in Estes Park and it was great! We were a bit frazzled here and there with knowing that after that weekend we would have 2 1/2 days left to finalize the home for closing. The day of closing a great group of friends and family showed up to clean our home and load the Uhaul! It was such a blessing! You would have never thought we got rid of anything because the Uhaul(the largest they make) was full from the front to the top to the back...NO KIDDING! Aaron and his great friend, Lakin, are very good at the game Tetris...helped out a lot with loading. We literally left our house a few minutes late mopping out the door and headed straight to close. We were filthy and they were all dressed in business attire! Ha! It was humorous. But it was so good for me during our closing to see the people who are blessed with our old home. I had prayed that they would love the Lord and would continue to bring His Truth to our neighbors. Carol and Roy both love Jesus and it just blessed me when the lady in charge asked if we were related in any way(a question on our paperwork.) Roy answered that "we are brothers in Christ".  It is so good to know that the Lord is in every aspect of our decision to follow Him. Yes, it's just a home. It wasn't terrible to leave it. It didn't leave me utterly broken or so sad that I thought I couldn't breathe. But we had taken care of it and grown plants and made changes to it that we loved. And most of all, our neighbors had been really placed on our hearts this past year and now to know that this family would be there really encourages me. Please pray for them to further the gospel there. We left closing and went to pick up the kids. They had stayed the night at my sisters house with their cousins and hung out all day while we cleaned. Saying goodbye to my sister was the worst....

     It broke Aaron and I and little Rachel to weeping in the car. When we drove away on our way to the hotel little Rachel and I were sobbing. In that moment I cherished the fact that I had never had such a tender cry with my daughter. A cry out of true sadness because we loved someone...or some people so much it just hurt badly. I wanted to hug her so much. I just kept telling her it was ok to cry and we wept. Then I turned the radio on and the song on KLOVE was by Unspoken called "Lift my Life". I was stopped at a stop light and could see Aaron in the Uhaul  behind me and saw him weeping and I wept more. Here are the words;

You brought me this far
So why would I question You now
You have provided
So why would I start to doubt
I’ve never been stranded, abandoned
Or left here to fight alone
So I’m giving You control
Chorus
I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord,†I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me
If peace is a river let it sweep over me
If I’m under fire I know it’s refining me
When I hear You calling out I follow now
Wherever the road may go
I know You’re leading me home
Chorus
I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord,†I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me
Bridge
Take my life let it be
All for You
Take my life let it be
All for You
Chorus
I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord,
I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me
Take my life and let it be all for You
 
 
 
This was the beginning of our travels. We went to the hotel that Aaron had received from a customer. It was amazing! Such a blessing for us and the kids. A great gift! Then the next morning we headed to Grand Junction to stay with my folks for a few days and enjoy some Grandpa Bob and Grandma time! It was super fun. The kids got to enjoy the Dinosaur Museum and splash park and of course the pool. They really were enjoying this great adventure of moving. Then on Sunday morning we got up super early and left at 4am to drive to Victorville, CA where we would stay one night then be in San Diego the next day by noon. The drive was interesting to say the least.
Probably some of the highlights would be the kids got a free helicopter toy and a Christian coloring book from the man who worked at the first gas station we stopped at in the pitch dark of the early morning hours. Also fun times were always had trying to find places to eat and of course when we were in Utah on a Sunday restaurants are not open till night...so we finally found a Smashburger and it was so empty..kinda nice! Then on our drive through Las Vegas(my first time there) I was really praying that God would protect my sons eyes from many of the billboards there because Malachi was trying to take it all in. Such a blessing...he said, "Hey Mom. The sign says "who is Jesus?" Mom I feel it in my heart that these people need me to tell them about Jesus. I just know they need to know Him." AWESOME! Thank you Lord. Well we got right out of Vegas and hit major traffic. We had never driven this so we just assumed it was some sort of agriculture check going into CA. No...it was literally a stand still or roll into CA traffic for 1 1/2 hours. No potties and absolutely no water for a long long long long time. Yes...we did have potty accidents with Isaiah...fully expected.
 It was great to get to our extended stay hotel and rest and eat. The next morning we drove into San Diego and arrived at 12 at our rental home. Soon we were greeted by Cisco and about 6 or 7 people from Impact who helped unload the Uhaul and one wife played with the kids and they even stayed to build furniture! It was awesome.
It was a super super super busy week unpacking. We literally were up at 6 every morning and unpacking till 9pm. We both really pushed ourselves to try to get the house settled mostly for the kids to feel normal. And in the midst of us thinking that was good we hit a day four days in where tension rose and it was not fun. We both realized that we had lost focus on why we were here and hadn't even prayed together in a few days. It was a great reminder that we didn't just leave our life of "security" to just have a normal home. The kids have been great. Really excited for this place and new adventure. Isaiah is a normal 3 year old and we are praying through dealing with his temper. And they all have moments, but some great things have come already from this move with them. Malachi and Rachel are very close and it is so great to see their love grow for each other.
So this past Tuesday Aaron and I both had our last panel interview for the school. Yes...we moved here without actually fully being accepted to the school. I know...sounds nuts. Let me say... nothing we have done in this move has sounded normal to most people. Following Jesus just isn't always normal. Leaving your fishing nets, your family with no goodbyes is not normal. "Follow Me." The interviews were awesome. It was so great to give them insight into our lives and our marriage and our desire to grow and be challenged. It was super fun to start to meet people from the school and have them welcome our kiddos with so much love and family feel. Just the past two days have been more relaxed. We finally have all boxes and most everything put away and hung. As far as the kids home school I have been stumped. I have heard from probably too many people ideas of what to do...and it seems to be the first question from everyone who talks to me or the kids..."Did you start school?" Yes...it does weigh heavy on my heart. I am learning to lean on Jesus and seek Him in this decision. I know we will figure it out and it will bless us all and just having Aaron home has truly been amazing.
 Rachel turned 6 today and it was a full and wonderful birthday...I will post more on that tomorrow or Monday. One highlight for me of having Aaron around for the fully birthday experience was last night. I overheard him asking Rachel for her last 5 year old hug. It just touches me to see the dad he is created to be come out more and more as he is home more. I love it and I know they do too.
We start our school on Tuesday and it's a week of Rock the House. It will be so much fun! They have free food for all three meals and encourage all families to come for all the meals to fellowship. Should be amazing and we will keep you posted on that and our crazy...crazy...wilderness backpacking week we have in 3 weeks!
 
Love you all! Please keep praying for us!

Monday, August 12, 2013

So here's an update on what's been going on.  I have finished work (last Wednesday was my final day).  It was very sobering handing in my keys to the building knowing that I am stepping out of a role that I had been in for so many years.  The time at home has been a great blessing.  We have been able to start packing furniture and other items to get ready for our move on the 21st.  Our kids have responded very well to me being at home and Andrea is loving the help.  God has been providing what we need at the right time during this process.  First with the step of faith in resigning and getting an offer on our home right after that conversation.  Another with God providing a free night's stay for us w/ dinner and breakfast included for after we close on our home.  God also provided us a place to rent in San Diego on my final day of work last week.  We have had many conversations about Christ, hopefully in some way furthering His kingdom, and have heard many encouraging words from our friends and family.

At this point I want to share scripture and what God is teaching me.  "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Philippians 2: 3-8

I have been learning that I am so selfish.  Just a few thoughts here:  Do I truly regard others as more important than myself?  What would my life look like if I regarded my wife, my neighbor, my friends and enemies as more important than me?
Secondly, how humbling is it to know that God emptied Himself for me? for all of us? even to the point of submitting himself to becoming a human and taking the form of a bond-servant.  He became obedient to not only die, but to die in the most painful way...for me...for us.  How often have I emptied myself for Him?  I know that there have been many times in my life I have emptied myself for work.  The feeling of working so many hours or so long and so hard that on my first day off, I am so exhausted all I can do is sleep or take naps because I have just emptied myself for my employer.  I know I have emptied myself for sports.  The feeling of going out and playing as hard and as fast as I can.  There was a saying in high school football, "Leave everything on the field, when the game is over, win or loose, you want to know that you gave it everything you had, and in that there is no shame."  In my life and pursuit of Christ, am I emptying myself for Him?  Win or loose, when I die, did I leave everything on the field?  The crazy thing is, we all know when a football game is going to end, usually in 60 minutes.  We don't know when our lives will end, could be tonight, next month, next year, only God knows. 

In saying this, I want to encourage and challenge myself and everyone, let's empty ourselves for the sake of His kingdom.  Everything else I have emptied myself for is temporary, and gives temporary pleasure, but emptying ourselves for Him gives us something we can take with us when we die.  Is there really going to be anything better than to hear the words when we die "well done good and faithful servant, enter in the joy of your Master" instead of "depart from me workers of lawlessness, I never knew you."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I can taste the starting line....

In the middle...that's where I like to type...and that's really where I like to find myself. In the middle of His presence. I am sorry we are not quite to the point where we are blogging daily ...it will come. Please stay with us on this journey.
So many amazing things have happened since God kicked us firmly and opened our eyes to the greatness of being followers of Christ.
 
Aaron has 2 days left of work...2 DAYS! It is absolutely surreal to me and him. It really feels like he's just taking some time off but we both know this is time on and we are raring to go. It has been a rollercoaster...and that's no joke. We knew that making the decision to leave his job, our home, our stuff, our close family, our kids school, our church and our friends to be devoted to Jesus and spreading the Truth would not be easy. I am grateful that we are in a place where we can recognize those struggles soon enough before they swallow us.
 
The buyers of our home delayed on signing the inspection objection and we were told they were considering backing out!!!
I was stumped. We had struggled with communication the past three days with two early garage sales and Aaron working the next two nights late so I was asleep when he got home. We were not connecting and we knew it. When this came to us I think...no know...that we realized the absolute importance of praying together as often as possible and making ourselves make time for Him. HE IS WORTH IT!
The next day Aaron calmly said "good news, the buyers are fine and signed the papers..."Tears filled my eyes. Up until that day I had not doubted this venture...but it crept in my mind and I wondered. Then I realized that in the middle of that day I found myself in tears telling my Savior that I wanted this. I want to go and share His word. I have struggled with continuing my mom role and managing the sale of our home and managing our kids(while Aaron still works...lots of hours)...did I already say that? And in the midst of that I hadn't sat and realized that this is not just for Aaron. We knew when we met that our strong and passionate faith in Jesus Christ put us together. We were in stores together sharing the gospel when we were engaged...unashamed and we both knew then and we know better now that the strengths Aaron has and my strengths make us one in this journey to save souls. It is so absolutely exciting for me to be enrolling in the school too. Yes...I am nervous to step out of my mom role and wife role to grow...
grow! Wow...how great it will be for my children to see me pursue my passion...Jesus Christ and for them to see Aaron and I sharing the gospel just as we've encouraged them to.
God is so good.
I will share one more story that happened last week at Aaron's work...a lady and gentleman were in the store shopping and the lady went up to pay for her furniture. The man was her boss and he accidentally knocked over an accessory and it broke and scratched a table. Aaron told him not to worry about it the table will just go into scratch and dent and it's fine. The man just couldn't let it go. Aaron told him it was a small accessory and the owner of Furniture Row would want him to reassure the man that it was an accident and it's ok. They left and the next day the woman came in to pick up her purchase. She told Aaron that her boss couldn't stop thinking about what had happened and how Aaron handled it. She handed Aaron an envelope and Aaron said it was no big deal over an inexpensive accessory. After she left he opened the envelope to find a voucher for us...the man runs the Embassy Suites near Centerra here. The voucher is for us to stay a night in a suite and all meals covered! WHAT?? God is sooooo very good to us. We had just found out the buyers needed to do the closing at 4pm on Aug. 21 so we would have to find some place to stay the night here before we drive to Grand Junction...thank you Jesus for providing for us.
 
Most of all the things we have been so blessed with are the people that want to here our story and why we are doing what we're doing. I think in the middle of the chaos we forget that people are reading our story or telling each other it and really trying to wrap their minds around how crazy it sounds. The Lord's Word says clearly to "Go and make disciples"-Matthew 28:19. Just like Francis Chan is so great at explaining this...it doesn't say "sit and memorize what I say"...."gather your friends and study these words."...NO...it says GO! And we finally are!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Talks that confirmed our journey...

This morning at our church, Summitview Community Church, the message was on Caleb's journey into the land promised to God's people. It was another great confirmation for us in so many ways. Parts that spoke to me were the fact that Caleb was bold and absolutely not afraid to do what others thought was crazy and "not the norm". I felt like it would really help everyone see some of God's very obvious messages that spoke to us as He confirmed this move....

First while Aaron was in San Diego he was waiting to hang out with his close friend Cisco and searching for a message to watch on his phone by Francis Chan...and the only one his phone would allow was this one...enjoy....

 
Another major confirmation was a blessing to us here at church. Our church had taken a two week break from teaching on Joshua and doing a talk on From Where you Sit? We not only wept through every single song Travis lead us in worship but the message brought us to tears...amazing...
 
 
This is the first message...Part 1
 
 
And that is Part 2...
 
We are and have been so blessed by our church here and every message really literally spoke to us and challenged us deeply. We are so grateful that our pastors and leaders seek to teach God' Word with no shame and such boldness for the Truth. I think we will probably watch messages online so we can keep being challenged...
 
 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Moving to California, our Journey from 2 viewpoints.

     So we are moving to San Diego California!  We are going to be attending a Christian Discipleship school called IMPACT 195 (i195.org).  The goal of this school is to grow people in their relationship with Jesus Christ so that they can impact the world for God's kingdom during these 12 months and afterwards for the rest of their lives.  Please go online and check it out if you are interested in seeing what we are going to be up to!
     Since we have made the decision to go to San Diego, time has gone by so quickly, so here is the back story from Aaron's perspective.  I have worked now for Furniture Row for almost 10 years!  I have also been married for 10 years!  So needless to say, I started with Furniture Row 3 months after we got married back in 2003.  As most of you know, we have moved from Colorado to Montana to Indiana to Michigan and then back to Colorado!  It has gone by quickly and we have had 4 amazing kids in the process.  Last year as Malachi started school full time, my heart ached to spend time with him, however due to my work schedule I would only see him around 15-20 hrs/week.  This began to make us wonder how long I would stay in my position at Furniture Row knowing fully that as my son grows, he needs a great role model.  He not only needs a father who he can admire, but one he can also have quality time with, and quantity.  So we began praying and talking about where my career path would take us and what that would look like for our marriage and our relationship with our kids.
     Another thing  that God pointed out to me was my fixation on the love of money.  Back in March of this year I had taken 1 week of vacation.  When I returned I found out that many of my employees were looking for new jobs and were not happy working with me.  I also learned that some of them felt like I was self centered, selfish and mean.  This broke my heart as I have put all of myself into my job and for Furniture Row over the past 10 years.  After seeking the Lord and asking Him what he was trying to teach me during this time, I came to the conclusion that I was focused on the love of money and not on loving God and others.  The Bible says you can serve God or Money, but not both.  I felt like God was telling me I had lost my love for Him first and others next and had replaced it with chasing the realm of success, achievements and security.
     During this time I had also been reading various books, "Not a Fan" "Radical" "Follow Me" and "Gods at War" by Kyle Idleman and David Platt.  The premise in most of these is that the God of the universe created us for a purpose, and that purpose is to live for eternal things, namely, proclaiming to others the gospel of His Son and seeing lives changed to radically follow Christ.  He doesn't want fans that sit on sidelines but followers that are active in loving Him and loving others!  I really felt cut to the heart on this one knowing that in the 10 years I have been working for Furniture Row, I have not made one disciple to follow Christ.  I had not focused on eternal things, only temporary things, namely money and providing for my family (which are not bad things, really when it comes down to it, but I had been lifting those things above my love for God and my desire for what He has for my family).  I thought to myself, if what I believe is true, and I believe what I believe, then a lot of people I know are going to hell when they die and I am saying nothing about it to anyone!  It would be like me having the cure for cancer and keeping it all to myself!  That would be ludicrous!
So Andrea and I began praying and talking about moving into the warehouse position or moving into Corporate.  The warehouse position did not open up and we came to the conclusion that going into corporate would mean a better schedule for our family (weekends off!) however the desire God has put in us would still be left unfulfilled. 
     So I had a yearly managers meeting in San Diego around 3 weeks ago.  I was only planning on visiting my dear friend from college, Cisco who has been at IMPACT for 3 years (helping start the school).  Wednesday night we spoke about what God had been teaching me and he told me how the school was doing a friend day and open house for visitors and it 'just happened' to be this Friday.  My plane ticket was flying out Thursday night.  So I spoke w/ Andrea and asked her if she thought I should stay one more day, she unwaveringly said yes.  So we changed the ticket the day of, asking for God to make it be $100 or less and it was only $88 to change flights!  We also prayed that the guy I drove down would find a ride back and he said that Wednesday night he was talking with his wife, and she was already going to be in Denver, so he had a ride!  It seemed like God was lining things up already for me to stay.  So I stayed and listened to a teaching Thursday night and 2 teachings Friday during open house.  All 3 teachings were from 3 different teachers and they all spoke about surrendering our possessions for the sake of following Christ.  God was showing me that I could die at any moment in my life (life is short) and when I die, I cannot take my house, my cars, my career, my money, my 401k with me to heaven.  When I die I will stand before the creator of the Universe and realize that what I am living for right now is merely temporary things.  The true things that I can take with me when I die are the relationships that I have helped changed to trust in Christ for their salvation and to follow Him.  Those things are eternal.  So God used a ton of other things to confirm this decision, too many to write down here.  On my way back flying home I was able to speak with a young girl named Anna and to tell her about the love of Christ. We prayed together and she downloaded a Bible App on her phone.  It was an amazing time to witness, we literally talked non-stop for 2 hours!  Afterwards, I realized this is what God made me for and this is what brings true fulfillment in my life! 
     So Andrea and I talked when I got home and we prayed.  We have decided to follow Jesus.  We are under contract with selling our house (6 days on the market), I have given my resignation at work (3 weeks left), we are selling a lot of furniture and going to have 2 garage sales since we are downsizing to a rental from a home.  We are pulling our kids out of an amazing charter school and going to homeschool for 1 year.  We are surrendering all of the money that we have put aside over the past years with my company and using it to provide for the next year of living expenses (because Cali is not cheap!).  We are excited, nervous, scared, anxious, humbled, pretty much a ball of emotions right now.  We don't know where we will live, how we will get insurance for our family (may have to work part time), nervous about homeschooling our oldest 2 while going to school ourselves.  There are a ton of details that need to be worked out!  We are confident that if the God of the Universe has made it clear to us to do this, that He will work out these details for us.  We know also that God is calling us to more than living a morally 'good' life and living in a nice 'comfortable' home in suburbia.  Surely Jesus Christ did not endure a grueling death only for us to go about our lives not ever mentioning His story so others can come to know Him and have eternal life. 
     This sounds pretty crazy, I know, believe me, I know!  Just last night I was thinking to myself, "Is this really a smart and wise thing to do?"  I mean, really, I want to follow God, but to be unemployed possibly for a year and move and do all this?  God has called me to look after my family too, am I completely crazy for doing this and worrying about how I will provide for my wife and 4 kids? 
     Here's my conclusion:
     #1 - He is worth it!
     #2 - Our God is a whole lot of crazy!  I'm sure when Joshua told his troops to march around this huge city for 7 days and then just yell at the walls and the walls will fall down, that sounds outright insane!  What General in the military would tell his troops, "okay guys, let's yell at these bricks and stone walls, and poof, they will crumble!"  Could you imagine following Joshua if he told you this....sure, God will just magically make the walls fall down!  sure Joshua, and Santa Claus is real!  It also sounded pretty crazy when Jesus told a young rich ruler to "sell everything he had, to give it all to the poor and to follow Him and he would have treasure in heaven!"  That's an outright crazy statement.  I'm sure when God told Moses to lift his staff and the waters in the red sea would just spread wide open so that thousands and thousands of Israelites could walk straight through on dry land, people thought that was crazy.  Our God is in the business of crazy.
     So that's our story from my side.  God wants us to love Him radically and love others radically.  I thank you for hearing me and reading my heart!  I'm sorry for being so long-winded!  I don't know what we'll do after school ends or where we'll go, and so I truly appreciate your prayers.  If in the next year God uses Andrea and I to save one soul, just one person to reach for His kingdom to have eternal life when they die, then this journey will have been worth it all!  I can say on that day that I meet my Savior, "Lord, I have given you all I have, I give because you first gave to me, I love you and others because you first loved me, I have finished my race, I have kept the faith."

And..on to Andrea's side of the story...Long long long ago in a far away land called Michigan...just kidding. Really Aaron has poured his heart out and prayerfully we hope that you see God's hand in all of this and His will is what we seek. For me, as a follower of Christ first and wife second I have stood beside Aaron in support of him through all his choices. Yet, I will tell you I knew when I married him we, as a couple, were made for more than selling furniture. For me the desire to follow God solely started as a single woman and of course I know that having children and then moving and getting a house brought along other distractions...some(raising our kids) are worthwhile and totally for the Lord while others I know I allowed to pull me away from what I'm made for. When we moved to Fort Collins(our 4th move) we were probably in our worst place in our marriage. The pit. We were absolutely not in agreement on anything and it was very apparent to me that things needed to change. I think that we both tried to figure out what that change needed to be over the next five years. One was Aaron realizing he found comfort in eating...and it thus put on 50lbs and so he amazingly did weight watchers and lost it all...super amazing and felt much better. Something always lingered for me though. We had been in great churches wherever we moved and jumped right into Bible studies for couples and parents and every one of them soon fell apart...where were we trying to find our security?
As a wife I have so much to learn about serving Aaron in a godly way and lifting him up daily. One thing I do believe is that the awareness of a woman and how we see things differently than men can be such a benefit...plus I believe the Lord laid a desire on my heart to pray for Aaron to find out what he is made for but most of all BELIEVE IT! After we left our last discipleship team at church we were in a rut. We loved the people in that group and loved our awesome church, Summitview, here...but still Aaron didn't want to jump into another group. We both found excuses to just fade away. And about two years ago I began to really struggle with feeling completely alone. Aside from my relationship with my sister, Rachel, here I felt that I had absolutely no one to grow with as a mom and woman. Ugh...not a happy woman.
Well...Aaron's dad had given him and his brother, Jason, the book "Not a Fan" a while back and to my surprise after Aaron had gotten back from a business trip he had read the WHOLE book. I was amazed. It then started a slow burn in Aaron to check where our giving was at and if we gave our largest sum to GOD knowing all we have is His. Then last summer we went to a great friends wedding where Aaron's old friend, Cisco, was in the wedding. Cisco and I have always spoken secretly for the past 5 years about our belief in Aaron and I always knew I could ask Cisco to pray for him and he would. He told me at the wedding he was sending a book for Aaron...I had 50% hope he would read it since he actually read "Not a Fan". Well..about a month later "Radical" came and God started really moving in his heart. Not only did he see his need to be present more as a father but as a husband and that money and things had become way too important to him. It was good...and started this excitement in me. After that I got invited by a sweet friend, Shanole, to try her discipleship team because of the book the women were reading called "Desperate" about mom's being beat down. And that lead them to invite our family in...I was nervous that Aaron would just absolutely say "NO"...but he agreed to go meet with the men hesitantly...and he came back LOVING IT! These were men who not only cared deeply for each other but for serving others and the gospel. PRAISE JESUS!
So then I faced one of my struggles to audition again to play violin for worship at church. I had been burned by the last three churches in this area and felt unworthy to play...and God just blessed it. It has spoken to me so much every time I get to worship through my violin the music Travis is lead to play those weeks have been speaking of our lives! It's been awesome!
We were blessed to take our 10 year anniversary to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico four weeks ago and that time was so precious. Not only were we refreshed without the distractions at home but God opened doors right and left for us as a couple to share the gospel and His Word with workers we met at our resort!! It was AMAZING. The day after we got home Aaron flew to San Diego on business...
 
For me, when Aaron called me from San Diego and asked if he could stay I knew we were moving. I knew it. And in fear and excitement I prayed for us.
Let me say to all of you who have known us these past 11 years of our relationship and 10 years of marriage...we finally are praying together. We had set our Savior to the side in so many ways. Yes, we put Him in the front of raising our children and kept some convictions...but we had just become great fans on the sidelines cheering Him on and hoping for those who were doing His work. Man...how sad for me to say this but it is so true. We are so excited to be back on this path and daily we are able to see and use the moments God's created to share His Word. Every time someone asks why we are moving to San Diego God's truth is spoken to them and boy does it feel AMAZING!
Yes, to many this sounds CRAZY! We will take our four children and live a life that is just not normal to the world. It's ok. What a thrill to finally show our children what we've been teaching them and trying to tell them they should be doing!!! LEAD BY EXAMPLE. And as Aaron has said and I agree if only one person comes to know their Savior Jesus through this ...HE IS WORTH IT.
Please follow us on this blog and pray for us. God is moving mightily and we really really really appreciate your prayers!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ahh. finally a little video of Caleb's Year!!

Hey friends...I am finally putting something up about our sweet miracle Caleb who turned 1 December 22nd!! And yes he was celebrated in the midst of crazy holidays. He is amazing. ENJOY