Is that you, fresh start..?

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Maybe its just the coffee stirring in me or maybe..its the sunshine pouring in, but I had to use my extra time to share the latest about our church planting adventures; We are super duper close to having our building. And what’s most amazing is that we didn’t want the one we are about to accept as ours. I guess I shouldn’t say it is ours, because it currently is still in “maybe” mode, but we are, in fact. super- duper close.

What’s most interesting about this building will come in an exciting ending paragraph, but i”ll share from my heart how we got this place. We found an AWESOME building. It’s AWESOME because that’s Christianized for really really great building. We have an old department store right smack in the middle of town vacant and ready for a cool church to come along and flip it. But with a huge building comes a huge price. And once the owner realized we have money to put into a crazy church, he kept inflating that price. So, although we wanted it, God apparently didn’t want us to have the most obvious, expected place for our building. He wanted us to keep everyone guessing where in the world will the Open door  church be…Where in the world will the new church be?

So..with this excitement, I must pause and think about all that is going on in my life right now. I feel a breeze in the air and natural light through my windows, it brings such peace, such joy to my heart. I know that even when things are not easy, God is there. HE is beside me. The last few days have been rough, I couldn’t’ see past my mistakes at work. I couldn’t have enough phone calls with school to make the pieces come together quick enough. I just could not secure plans for our family to be taken care of in the midst of this busy season in life. Then God, smiled on me and did NOT fix the problems. He just opened me up to seeing things differently. He had words of encouragement through my husband that life doesn’t have to move to feel peace. God gave me hope as things began to move that he was there and I’m so grateful for that. I’m praying for that continued peace to be with me. I’m not begging for perfection anymore, but rather his sustained love and presence with me through it all.

 

I believe that this stress that is on my family right now is not coenseducne for our current adventure in church planting. We know the enemy is always sneaking around trying to keep us distracted, pulled away from his plan. I must be reminded of that constantly that he is the ADD in church planning. He put the pressure to really know is this the plan. But God gives so much blessing when we continue to fight for his plan.

The days following my husband being fired from our church home,we drove around looking at options for a new church in the area. I calmly prayed for strength to help him stay positive, even though I thought it was just merely an overwhelmed reaction to the fact that less than 24 hours and he had lost his job, security, any idea of insurance for our family, it was all gone. So during this time, I let him and his crazy church ideas flow out of him with a smile on my face and pretend supportive, “Go for it honey!”. I remember pulling up to school about a block from my house and praying in the front of the building. “This would be the area where the VIP or new people would park. ‘Sure Honey”. I had no idea that we were looking at the actual church plant we are pursuing right now.

I imagine what God was doing in that moment right then. Was he laughing a big old santa claus grandpap laugh and clapping his hands? was he dancing and smiling with tears in his eyes?

It’s so surreal at times what we are in, we don’t even know how to express this feeling. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s so amazing and yet so scary that we have these confirmations, that I don’t know how to say how I feel, yet I don’t want to lose this feeling either.

In this very moment, i realize this was a prayer answered, in my lost depressive state, I’ve been asking for God to show me that it is all coming together and here I am. I recognize that he is just trying to show me how to trust him. I know that even if I don’t know why or how or what is to come, he is there. He is here. He was there. He’ll be there.

It was time.

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As I was walking through the kitchen stressing about all that I need to do, versus what will actually get done, I started a dialogue in my head with God. I could not understand why I have this desire for a clean organized house if I will never get that or when I do I will be 80. Then I stopped and looked at how much I have done in just the past few minutes and realized I actually did manage to get some things done. I was walking around worrying about my to do list and how it was not going to get done, but yet…it was! Crazy how the mind works. 

Then the phone rang and I was thrown off my worrying. It was the mortgage company calling to give me new details on our insurance quote for the new house. They have managed to find us a better quote which is much cheaper than the original. It sprung me into reminiscing about this journey of buying a home. We have attempted to buy several different times in several different locations. Each time we had good reason to believe it would work, but never did. It hurts so bad to say it, but I must confess I became so desprit in trying to achieve this goal, I even lied thinking it will work and I won’t have to worry about it. But it didn’t and I was caught with red hands. No house. Just a liar. I still feel the shame. I’m hoping that I can begin forgiving myself and have God’s total forgiveness on me. 

At las we are finally in this real place where are actually buying this house. We still even now, after reading the words, you have loan approval, I am not convinced. I guess it won’t be real until that moment we open the door. I’m not sure if I will let myself cry. If I want others to go with me and Bob. I think we might just go alone. This is so much more than just buying a house and taking on a huge debt. This is the beginning of something huge. Bob has one, maybe two family members in his immediate family who own. He is not aware of what this is going to be done in buying a home. I am excited to be the one to make him feel proud that he is the one on the loan and not me. He did this. He is capable and not just a screw up.

The biggest accomplishment is the step further in my relationship with God. He is my father and I’m learning even more that as we move into this phase that He knew my heart and how bad I wanted this. I asked so many times why Lord, why won’t I be able to have this. Why others and not me? Why did you allow me to feel this way and yet we are never good enough. One reason or another and we are far from it”. This time I understand. He has brought us here for his purpose and only his purpose. If his purpose involved us traveling all over the world in ministry, then maybe he would have kept us from buying. But our purpose is even clearer now. We are to stay in our hometown and work for the community. We want to serve Christ and serve the community. So I know now that every time something fell apart or felt like it in this process, I knew deep down it would work out. This time was different. We see the pieces coming together. God knew we wanted a house, but he was waiting for us to reach this place where his need met our passion in this community. It was time.

I am so honored by his love.

Waiting for change.

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It’s been awhile since I last wrote. I’ve had a lot going on since the last post and just reading it makes me yearn for those times. The last time I checked in we were still fighting for existence as a church plant. The struggles of life revolved around finding our place in a new church with a new staff. I am thankful to say Bob and his new job is more than what we had expected it would be.

 

The current struggles of my life revolve around me. Work is awful. I’ve grown so anxious every time I come in, I’m just barely holding on to keep above water. I feel as though I can’t manage staying but I don’t have the option to leave. I’m so confused. I just continue to pray and believe God is there with me. I know that something will change.

 

School was the worst this last semester. Then I lost my financial aid . Then I realized my plan for graduating was wrong so Im lost with this as well. The more I type the less I feel hopeful.

 

I did have a friend recently tell me that sometimes we have trust God even when we make a decision that ends up feeling like a bad decision because sometimes even bad decisions lead to the right ones. I don’t know for sure if that’s where I’m heading, but I”m trying to stay calm.

 

I had a great morning today. I woke up and felt God calling me to read the bible and that is it. I read the psalms and it gave me peace. I just keep trying.

 

In trying to stay positive,

Bob has mentioend that maybe in the future they would need a new staff person to help with the new building. The position would help in manaiging the school that is connected to the church if we were to buy this new building. I odn’t know if this is an option but I’m putting my hope in it.

Lord,

 

I pray that you guide me, calm me, give me the supernatural hope that I can’t see right now. I hurt not knowing where I belong. I am reminded of the sermon today and how I shouldn’t hold on to my guilt. I want so badly to have peace in my home with kids again in my schooling and in my time so that I can be apart of mission work with the church.I want to free up from stress so I can be a part of the ministry that is coming to Vermilion.

Please lord hear my cries.

Thank you Jesus.

 

Jump.

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Ever find yourself standing on the edge..ready to jump into the water..but then..you’re stuck?

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I have…this happened to me recently.. I hope I never forget it. I think its going on the top ten list of Chrissy’s greatest life moments.

While vacationing in the Bahamas I had an awesome adventure of jumping off the top of a ship,, down into the warm Caribbean water. Before I even started climbing, I could feel myself start to shake. Not like, ‘boo, I”m a little cold, shake..” This is the, “I can’t keep my hand still” ,,kind of shake..

So after spending the 10 minutes it took to find a way up onto this boat wall, I stood up and made the biggest mistake a jumper makes; I stopped to think about it.. You should never stop to think about it.  IF You know you are going to jump, then you have already decided..and you should just do it before you can think about it.

So,,anyway, I let the enemy make me think too much about it..and then finally I jumped. And..it was awesome.

Well lucky for me, I have a husband that doesn’t think before he jumps.

In life, into the water..and most importantly he jumps into this adventure we’re in ministry.

 

So moving on into the updates…

So we started having several meetings. Every one full of it’s anxiety. So many moments of me sitting at work praying for a busy day to get me through so I could hear how the meeting went. So many days I would run to the bathroom over and over to pray that God would not take away this beautiful thing he’s let us be apart of…so far!

Looking back, even now I still have that anxious butterfly stuck in my gut. I have a mumbo-gumbo of memories where I am repeating the story and details of the church coming to Vermilion and how we may, hopefully, possibly, are the ones going to bring it here…with Open Door.

So with each meeting.. we get a little more detail on how this is all going to work. They have to rip my husband apart and check all his references, history. and of course, test if he really does love Jesus. 🙂

Each time, its like I hold my breathe waiting for that moment ,,,where he returns and says ” Sorry. It’s over”.

And Isn’t  that such a shame? I can’t believe in myself or my husband enough to think that this is really…real? I can’t believe that I could be worthy of this. I still to this moment, can’t accept that this big successful church would think we are able to, ready, dare-I say- the called for this adventure.

But it’s the truth.

If I’ve gained anything  through this experience so far, its that God does not wait for you to get it right. He waits for you to jump in.  That’s what my husband did. He caught wind of God’s plan and he jumped! He wasn’t ready mentally, spiritually…but he followed through.

It meant walking in the darkness, and listening for God to lead him through… and he did it.

Yes. It’s super hard..maybe even harder than I expected so far. Like right now, we are without a paycheck outside of my part time income. We struggle. NO. We are drained. We have had our kids tell their teachers that their daddy was fired. We’ve had our kids beg to go back to their church. And we couldn’t explain clearly why we couldn’t go back there. But I know that they will grow to understand  to respect their daddy for his jump of faith.

 

More to come…

break in the storm

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It started with an outfit I didn’t really want to wear to work. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, but I didn’t have the time to find something else. In my eyes, it didn’t really match. I had a shirt that was purple and brown pants that had pink stripes on it, but the stripes were so small you couldn’t tell unless you were up close. But I went to work anyway.

 

I went to work and it was a normal day. Bob dropped me off and was coming back to get me. I got in the car and he said you won’t believe who I just talked to- The pastor of Open door wants to meet me..in two days.

 

I couldn’t believe it. We were goign to share what we were doing and maybe he would want to help us!

So the days pass and I’m back at work. I hate moments like this. I have to wait all day to hear what their meeting was about. I couldn’t help but think that it was kind of weird that he was so quick to meet. I know that a small church pastor is busy and I can’t imagine his schedule.

So finally I hear from bob. I’m hiding in the bathroom at work trying to talk but still stay quiet since it’s super quiet and you can hear everthing outside the room. He says that Open Door is coming to Vermilion. They are ready to plant. and then the words that will hit me.

“They have been waiting for their Senior Pastor”..

I was literally with-out- words. shocked.

Here we are coming to Open door ready to tell them what we’re doing. And they are coming to us telling us what they are doing. And its all the same.

I still now can’t believe that God thought we were fit to be in this story. That we should be the lucky ones to win the lottery.

So now we know that they are coming to our town. They want to plant a branch and the only thing they’ve needed until this point is thier Senior pastor to lead.

All the pain we’ve had. All the tears, anxiety, confusion and most of all questioning if we in God’s planning.It finally feels like it could be for a reason. For a good reason.

So now we’re excited, but we’re scared. We know it will be take a lot for us to get from here to there..

So it begins..the many meetings and interviews, and questions..

I don’t think I’ll ever look down at the brown pants the same. it reminds me of that moment when God started moving and we felt excitement for what was ahead of us.

Just..keep…going.

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Where do I go from here..So much to update.

Shortly after the last post, depression set in. We, the main group of us, began to feel overwhelmed. We saw our kids hurt that they weren’t apart of the church anymore. we all set our minds on this overwhelming task of leaving our church, friends, life, normalcy and it wasn’t pain..to describe..it was foggy..  a numbing feeling.

I remember saying to a friend that we had a rough day and said she did too.

But then things did start to move…

I went into work and knew I had to tell my  boss. I knew I had to tell her about the situation, for my position could at any moment change around bob’s new work schedule and I felt the need to prepare her. I was ready to prepare her in the case of suddenly heaing gossip about Bob and the church. So I went in and could barely talk, my mouth and throat were so dry.  It’s a miracle that I didn’t cry.  I really didn’t want to cry.

So I told her an easy version and she asked what Bob wanted to do now. I just went with it and said “Well.. he wants to plant a church in vermilion.”

We went on our conversation and she came back to “church plant”..and  said ” I can’t let go of the thought that you said “church planter”..my church is looking to plant in vermilion.”

After realizing that it was one of the biggest churches in Cleveland, I thought well that was nice of you to let me know, but we’d never qualify for that..haha..

and we moved on.

Unbeknownst to me, she contacted her pastors and mentioned us. Bob was so excited upon hearing about open door he called them right away and at that time they had just heard from my boss..and called it quite an interesting coincidence..or more like a divine appointment.

Bob got his hopes up, but I laughed and hurt for him that he thought they would consider us..

but they called back!

and wanted to meet..and we were in awe.

It feels like a dream…

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Well trying to keep this blog updated on our plan for a church plant is hard. Not because I am too busy, but because so much has happened in the past few days. And its a lot to handle. Sunday Bob informed pastor that we would be leaving in January to start a new church in town. He freaked out, fired Bob, and left him with a month’s pay. IT was crazy. It hurt so bad. It still makes us question our plan and how we thought we were going to do this. I don’t even really want to type anymore just thinking about it now.

But God doe still have a plan.

I know that he didn’t put us through all these steps for nothing. He knew already that this was going to happen, and I believe that is why he gave Bob a job the day after he was fired. He gave me a job two weeks before this. We are still in confusion, but we know God is here. We are seeking his will and things keep happening. We have a group to come with us and several affirming that they are with us on the situation. SO I know I need to let go and Let God handle it, but it does come with major emotional pulls on our hearts. I’ll never forget the tears streaming down my husband’s face as he told our son we wouldn’t be going to back our church.  And the sweet conversations of Liam telling Layla that “Daddy is starting a new church now. We don’t have to be afraid”.

I believe God is rewarding us already for our faith. We’re moving forward ready to see what is next. We’re excited for our place in his plan. We know that God wants to reach our community in a big way. There is just too many things coming together. Like today I was talking with a friend and she said knows God has been pushing her and husband to work with the young adults because they felt it before any of  this happened. We know things are moving towards a change. And we will learn to wait peacefully for God.

Just to recap what’s happened:

This week bob was done with football( right in time for losing his job)

I’m done with school and have to take a break due to scheduling ( need this for this time)

bob gets fired sunday- job interview tues-job started wed

we now have 3 couples secure coming to first sunday with our new plant. and 3 youth

first day of something new

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Today, even now at 330 am in the morning,  I can begin saying I take on a new title; church planter’s wife. Just in typing this, I am overwhelmed with emotions. I am excited and afraid. But I think of two verses right now;

John 16:33

New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Matthew 11:28-30

New International Version (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Even as I found these verses right now, I am filled with peace. God is here to help us and he enjoys it.

I’m so proud my husband for being bold and taking this step fearless. I noticed today as he was talking with his friend on the phone that he doesn’t let this new journey ahead of us get him worried. He doesn’t let anyone else determine his steps as I would probably do. God has used him and his personality just even in the beginning steps. I heard him relaying information and it overwhelmed me just in hearing it for the millionth time, but he is never shaken. His friends’ opinions do not change what he knows is true to God’s plan for us and this church.

I pray Lord that you help me be confident in my husband for myself. That I am not afraid of your plan for us. I don’t want to hold him back by my fear and worries. Amen!

Updates lately.

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Just want to record my thoughts and the new things happening in our life while i have a free minute.

Got the job at the counseling center!

this means-

can walk to work and save gas

ledger will be with his grandma for baby sitting!

grandparents are so amazing and not charging us!

I’m paid more than I’ve ever made in a job before.

AND!! I can use my internship with hopes of never leaving this counseling center again!!- will intern, practicum, and possibly, most likely, counsel and use my masters degree there..plus, she wants someone to help her move the company forward in making new clients..and leading to new partnership in the future! that is exciting!

Bob is doing so great right now..God is just moving so much..it’s crazy, I can’t explain how exciting and amazing it is..

we had an opportunity to go with a mega church and we turned it down because we know we are called to help vermilion, specifically, starting a church here..and focusing on the young people strugging with drugs.

Right after this church and bob telling them no ( burning the farm verse came into play) He got a whirlwind of opportunity for this new church plant. He called in to inquire about the new building intown that was bought by a chinese group to host and educate chinese teens for a alternative medicine building. The church WILL be there. They are happy to let us use it for FREE. and the main young guy is a new christian..thanking us for coming to him! He said he was looking for a new church, was just baptized, and was thinking about it as Bob called. cra-zy good.

We’ve had several confirmations since this too.

A friend of ours told us that someone came to him and said they would like to donate any and all the bibles he would EVER need. His reply was–Ssaaay that again?!?!” they want to give him all the bibles he needs and anytime he needs them. We will need bibles!!!!

I’ve had several dreams over the past week about babies being born, people being pregnant, thinking I was pregnant..and thought about it..then last night I was listening to some worship music and read “beginning a new, birthing a new”..then my bible verse was in peter about birthing something new..it was pretty neat..thinking about God using us to create something new here in town, birthing something in vermilion for the young people who never seen him.

Bob’s been fasting. In his fast he felt God saying we need to find him something to make money to get him out of the church financially so we can go. We were thinking and then suddenly this week he’s had so much attention with the photo booth! A  person from before wants one, that would be 2nd one this month, and a company he was working with for fifth quarter wants to work with him and possibly have him make them! Hoping and praying this works, not only could make money and see a new peace financially, start paying off debt, but we could save for the church and what it would take to get us there.

God is so crazy fun. cant wait to see what happens next.

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Sept. 25th, 2013

Just want to start recording this journey that we are in, on in ministry. Felt pretty down today. God showed me today that Abraham was not prepared but rather called into ministry. God only wanted him to say yes. It made me realize that God came to us, literally before we could show him that we wanted to , let alone be prepared for ministry. I think he showed me this because I was felling inadequate, unprepared, a failure in my life. I was falling behind on everything and felt like I had let my kids down today. I forget some things for school or I didn’t have it completed. In thinking about Abraham and my issues, I realized that God may not want perfect. He may actually WANT imperfection. Just as all those in the bible were probably not perfect either.

So I was feeling really blah today. The dryer is not working right. School issues and its a mess. Without even asking, God comes in and helps me out.

We’re so confused about church and what in the world we are supposed to be doing. Until today, I’ve felt this need to get it right. Fix the mess, correct out mistakes, and then God will call us ready. call us deserving. Maybe this is because in any test, we are not qualified.

Then Bob calls me with this overwhelming amount of confidence. I can see the happiness and security in his voice. He tells me about this video that he is watching from Mark Driscoll called the 12 steps to know you are ready to plant a church.

He says it had a moment that hit him so hard he stopped the video to call me. He says that if you are having trouble in church. always causing problems. never feel your getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to start planning your church.

That hit me with so much emotion. I don’t’ know the words to type to explain it.

we’ve been church so many times. we don’t know what it is were doing wrong. this was a crazy hit from God.

I hit the floor.

The dirty, floor and thanked him.

The peace before the storm