Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A little change up and update

Taken By Kathryn Riley Photography
I haven't updated in a while.  It's been a time, since I have felt better that I spend outdoors, playing with Joss or working my little tush off to catch up on all I haven't done the months prior.  We've had a few scares here and there but overall, its been a refreshing break to feel life in me again (pun intended).  

Joleen is an active one.  We are pretty certain she's her father's daughter.  And we're so excited to get to know her little personality.  

This has also been a time of reflection for what is next for our little family.  We've been working on being without debt and almost done (minus some school loans).  Jon is back in school full time and although working a full time job, we live on part time pay.  It hasn't really been hard.  More of a challenge to just learn to live within our means.  It's doable.  VERY doable.  We just have to readjust what is a need and a want and then prioritizing the wants.  Since it is important for us that I stay home and be as present as possible for our brood, it means we make sacrifices, and we're still learning what those are.  

And it's hard when your job is in ministry.  It's hard when you're paid to be vulnerable, sacrificial and even remain the uncredited one when credit is due.  MAN, it's hard.  Often I find myself having conversations in my head with people I'd really like to have in real life, and sometimes that is therapeutic enough and I get over it.  Sometimes  though, I learn to just sit in His Grace and commit to focusing on him and not what other's think of me or credit me.  In fact, I'm learning to only desire HIS credit and not the accolade of man (though that will probably be a lifetime lesson).  

But I'm thankful for mentors!  I have some amazing women who have either walked the path before me or are already walking it with similar hearts desire who have invested in me and in my family.  They challenge me to see Grace in more moments, speak gentler when the lion wants to roar, or just be the listening ear when I need to vent.  I'm thankful that women exist who truly seek the Glory of God in their lives instead of the Glory of Man and their own gain.  It's refreshing!  And very needed.  

In fact, these pictures here on this post are by one of my favorite mentors and friends.  She drove the distance with her kids to come hang, chat and exchange some photos.  I love these shots she got of me.  LOVE.  

We just got back from a week of camp with our teens and it was a humbling experience and a reminder of what life is really all about.  I survived cabin life with teenage girls and being pregnant, well more like they survived cabin life with me.  I enjoyed the break from city life but LOVED being surrounded by other youth leaders with words and wisdom on what youth ministry really is.  Remove the pizza parties, movie nights, and crazy wild games, and you have a group of hurting teenagers that feel like we're too above the rope to understand their hardship.  In fact, I don't think I do understand.  I think life is getting harder.  There's more poison in the pot today that ever before.  So to hear their frustrations, their hurts and their desires was a pang in the chest, that maybe I've been having it all wrong.  Maybe, the gentleness for a child is exactly what a teenager needs.  So as you can imagine, our heads and hearts are full of ideas to really switch things up for not only our ministry, but for our family's way of life!  

So until I get another spare moment, which really came with a thousand interruptions and ended with a promise that as soon as I'm done writing we'll consume milk and cookies, I'll save some recent photos of our fam bam livin' it up!!!!
Photo Taken By Kathryn Riley Photography

P.S. If you're finding my texts within my posts are LINKED TO ADVERTISEMENTS... please don't click.  It's a web browser ad on that you can change in your own web browser through your settings and adjusting your "extensions".  I DID NOT AD THOSE LINKS TO THOSE ADVERTISEMENTS- unless photos are linked.  THOSE ARE MY LINKS.  :)

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