It has been WAY too long since I've posted!! I apologize for not staying connected a little better!
As I said awhile back, we enjoy our summers on the lake and since water and computers don't mix, I wouldn't be posting as frequently. I guess I've proven that statement to be true...
I do, however, want to update you with how we've been doing. We've been enjoying our summer to the fullest and pray you have been, too! We've had a couple of camping trips, lots of visiting with friends and family, even more swimming on the lake and enjoying our flexible and ever-changing summer schedule.
In addition to lots of fun, summery activities, we've been praying earnestly for God's will in our lives. We're still in a season of waiting, but we're doing very well. I can honestly say I'm o.k. with waiting. It's been nice to fully hand God the reigns and let him work everything out. I still don't know if He wants us to stay or leave and there are still many unanswered questions looming overhead. But, we can feel God working things out and changing our hearts, so that's good enough for us right now.
One of the areas God has convicted my husband and I on this summer is in regard to our bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness towards my husband's family. None of those things should be taken lightly and we've been praying for God to work in our hearts. We've read several books about unforgiveness (Praying God's Word by Beth Moore; Choosing Forgiveness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss; The Bait of Satan by Bevere) and all of them have had really good points. We've also listened to Bitter Root, Rotten Fruit which is a sermon that you can find at www.sermonaudio.com. Each book, sermon and conversation with trusted friends and family have been tools for us to keep chipping away at the big boulder in front of us. We cling to the promise found in Philippians 1:6
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". Praise God - He's not finished with us yet!
As I write this post, I'm noticing we only have about a month left of summer before school starts. *Sigh* There are reasons I'm looking forward to school - a more structured schedule, earlier nights, - but I always hang on to my summers with a tight grip. I LOVE the warm weather and lazy days at the beach with my kids! It's always difficult for me to say good-bye to summer and welcome Fall in. But, there are many things to look forward to this fall, too.
One in particular is a wonderful opportunity God is giving me. Since I spoke at an event for teen girls back in Feb., God has absolutely burdened my heart for these girls. I've had this intense desire to help them, so they don't make the same mistakes I did. I knew I wanted to continue helping, but I wasn't sure how God would use me. So, I prayed. Then, in Mar., I attended an adult Sunday School Class on Discipleship and Mentoring. For three months, we learned about the mentor/mentee relationships that occurred in the Bible and how we could follow those examples. During those three months, we prayed that God would send us a mentee. At the beginning of the summer, I continued to pray about being a mentor and how God could use me to help teen girls. Only a couple weeks ago, my husband and I prayed one night about this burden on my heart. We decided we wouldn't call our Youth Director just yet, but we'd wait and see what God would do. One week after praying, our Youth Director called me! He asked if I would be interested in being a Shepherd or Small Group Leader this year at Youth Group. Talk about an answer to prayers! There were still a few things that needed to work out with childcare and things like that, but within a week, God worked those things out, too., and confirmed that He did, in fact, want me to shepherd this upcoming school year. I'm very excited for the priveledge and challenge that is ahead of me with teen girls! I will also be hosting a small group Bible study on the first Saturday of each month for teen girls, as well. Please be praying for me since this is a huge responsibility and one I don't take lightly!
In addition to serving God in the Youth Group, I am also Coordinating one of our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and MOMSnext group, which runs Sept.-May. For those of you who don't know, MOPS is for moms who are pregnant or have kids five years of age and under. MOMSnext is for moms with school-aged kids. I am very passionate about this ministry and I'm excited to see what God has in store for our group!
Overall, I feel like this upcoming year will be one of exploration. Not only do we need to explore our options with my husband's family and his farm, we need to decide what I will do with my future career. I worked fulltime outside the home until our daughter was 15 months. Then, I quit my job to be at home with her, while sub-teaching at four area schools. Our daughter just turned seven years old in July and our son will be five years old in November (where has the time gone!!). My husband and I have always said I would need to go back to work once our son was in Kindergarten or First grade. He'll be in Preschool this fall, so I have a year or so to figure out what God wants me to do. I'm looking into the possibility of going back to school to get my teaching degree in the Fall of 2013. I would need to go fulltime for two years and then complete one semester of student teaching. Or, I'm exploring what it would take to launch my ministry, Break of Dawn, as a full-time career. The other options are to continue being a fulltime stay-at-home mom and subteaching on the side or trying to find a job within the school so I can be home with the kids during the summers. Only God knows what our future has in store, so we're putting our hands in His and enjoying the ride!
I posted my talk, "Taking Off Your Mask", that I gave back in June. You can find that below this post.
God Bless and we'll be in touch - Break of Dawn