Thursday, December 13, 2012

Never Say Never

I said I would never ever, ever let a dog live in my house.


In August 2011 we uprooted our kids from all they had ever known. 

And in a moment of raw emotion, we promised our children a dog once we made the transition from Florida to South Carolina. 

My children are HUGE animal lovers. 

Cory and I are NOT. 

So we were internally relieved when we moved into an apartment for the first part of our transition, and we weren't allowed to have pets. Shwew. 

But then. 
We purchased our home. 

And once our year mark of being in our home hit.
And being asked a million times from our kids "when are we ever gonna get a dog?" 
We realized we had to keep true to our word. 
We had held off as long as we could without starting the actual dog search process.

So, we went to PetSmart when they were hosting the Homeward Bound Shelter dogs. 

We were fully intending on looking and NOT buying. 
That was established with the kids before we even left the house.

And then we saw this beautiful pup; took him out of his cage to play; and my kids were in tears. 

We left with them in tears. 

I texted my husband (in the drivers seat) and told him that we couldn't let the sun go down without that dog being in our house. 

This clean freak, sensitive nosed, everything in its place Momma, has really become quite fond of this sweet pup. 

Alas, welcome Cooper Henderson to our home. 
He has found his forever home. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five. Cinco. Cinq. Pende.

However you say it, our little guy turned FIVE this week! 
Time really goes fast when you're loving life! 

I often wonder what he'll be like at 15. Teenager. Sports? Hormones? 
I often wonder what he'll be like at 25. College? Girlfriend? Career?
I often wonder what he'll be like at 35. Married? Daddy? Live close? Far away? 

But for now, I'm going to revel in the awesomeness of the five years we've already had with our boy. 

He's conquered that whole speech thing that he battled for years. 
He loves to be at home. Want to see him in his element? Just come to our house! 
He's really good at basketball. Even from the top of the stairs! 
He makes friends with kids his age at any play area, play place, or group setting. 
He has learned how to use the phrase "oh crap" perfectly. Oops. 
He loves school, his teachers and his friends. And the red bike on the playground.
He loves the color green. 
His favorite character is Luigi. 
He still tells me constantly that he loves me. Sigh :) 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Kind of Friend

There are people who walk into your life for a season. 
And then there are people who make a deep impact. 
The ones who are forever friends. 
You know the kind. 

The kind of friend who asks you to be her bridesmaid; and somehow a journey of sisterhood begins.
The kind of friend who comes and sits with you, and cries with you, when you lose your baby. 
The kind of friend who puts a cinnamon dolce latte on your desk in the morning; or on your front porch and then texts for you to open the door. 
The kind of friend who puts on a cocktail dress and heads to Captain Andersons for a girls night. Just because. 
The kind of friend who cries and screams when you call to tell them you're pregnant ... again. 
The kind of friend who sits in a waiting room for hours upon hours ... upon hours ... waiting for the newest arrival to the family. 
The kind of friend who sits with your 6 day old so you can take a shower and the 6 year old can have some daddy time.  
The kind of friend who moves into an office right beside you when there are better options. 
The kind of friend who introduces you to Rocketman.
The kind of friend who rejoices in your victories; and hurts during your defeats. 
The kind of friend who throws a rock star baby shower ... twice.  
The kind of friend who inherits a puppy simply because they are asked. 
The kind of friend who brings ChickFilA and Krispy Kreme when your one year old is in the hospital with RSV.
The kind of friend who makes this famously awful, yet cute face with you. 
The kind of friend who helps you moves into your new home ... three different times.
The kind of friend who sits outside of Starbucks way past closing time, to discuss potential life plans. 
The kind of friend who calls me first when she is pregnant; so it can give me hope during a dark day.
The kind of friend who stayed up late and then woke up at the "butt crack of dawn" to do yard sales together. 
The kind of friend who invites you to every family function, because that's what feels normal. 
The kind of friend who not only offers to keep your kids, but genuinely wants to. 
The kind of friend who gets me to join a gym and actually go to workout classes with her. 
The kind of friend is so much more of a giver than a taker. 
The kind of friend who cries when we sit down to lunch and no words have even been spoken; simply because she knows what's coming. 
The kind of friend that is an amazing mom, a phenomenal worship pastor, a Godly wife, and a loyal daughter. 
The kind of friend who is a sister to me by all definitions of the word. 
The kind of friend who my heart misses and my soul desires daily conversations with. 

The kind of friend who has a birthday today. 

She is the kind of friend I wish I could be there today to hug and tell her I love her! 
Since distance separates us, these words will have to tell her how much she means to me! 
I miss you more than you know! 
Happy Birthday to the best friend a girl could have! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Simple Words. Simple faith.

The kids and I were driving down the road this week. 
Normal errands. 
Normal day. 
And my daughter rocked me with a few simple words. 

As she spoke, unknowingly saying words wise beyond her years, 
I simply sat and let the words penetrate my heart and my spirit. 

Then I prayed to have the same reaction and responses. 
Without hesitation. 
Without fail. 
Without doubt. 

Here was our conversation: 

A: "Mom, there is a car with a "Pray for Kennedy" sticker. 
Can we get one?" 
Me: "I'm sure we can. But I don't even know what it's about. 
I've seen that everywhere." 
A:" She has brain cancer, Mom. And they say there's no cure."
Me: "Oh wow, baby. I didn't know that. That's awful." 
A: "But Mom. We know a cure." 


And just as quick as the conversation had started. It ended. 

We were almost home. 
And I didn't need to ask her what she meant. 
And she knew she didn't need to explain. 

We DO know a cure. 

Will you join us as we begin to pray for Kennedy? 
Will you simply believe in the cure that enables medicines to work, the cure that guides doctors hands and gives them wisdom, the cure that allows trials to become workable treatments? 
The cure that took stripes on His back for our healing? 

Here is Kennedy. 
She needs a cure.

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Thursday, August 2, 2012

If We Get All Technical

If we get all technical ... 

Today is one year that we moved our little family to Columbia, South Carolina to begin our journey as the student & young adult pastors at Christian Life. Our intent was to move into our apartment on the afternoon of August 1st. But with a broken down uhaul on a country road in the middle of nowhere, that had to be hauled by a tow truck to Columbia with the contents of our entire home (irony, right?!), we slept the night at DoubleTree on August 1st and "moved in" on August 2nd! 

As we pulled out of our driveway in Panama City, FL with our eyes as puffy as they've ever been. Our sleep was more than lacking. And our muscles were sore (not from moving - we had oodles of help) but from the tight hugs we've been given and received. 

I don't think in that moment of driving away I fully realized what it meant to leave family and kindred friends. That was probably Gods infinite wisdom of protecting my heart and helping me make the move in a blind faith I'm not sure I've ever had before, or since! 

My husband processes things BEFORE big decisions. I process things AFTER. I tend to think it's Gods amazing way of balancing us out. It's freaky sometimes! 

As I look back over the last 12 months, I am so thankful that God gave us what HE knew we NEEDED and not what WE thought we WANTED. 
Because there were a few days that I wanted to pack my babies and husband up and high tail it back "home". I saw people looking at Easton with raised eyebrows as he would yell at them or he'd attempt to talk to them. I didn't WANT to explain to everyone that my son had a speech development and couldn't talk. I wasn't sure if Autumn would make friends. Heck, I wasn't sure if I was going to make friends! I missed the safety of our ministry we had molded & shaped for almost a decade. I missed knowing history of the church we were a part of. And being a part of the history of the church. I missed a lot. 

And then God would gently give me glimmers of what my heart needed. It was like he was feeding me small doses so that I didn't take it for granted.

In due time, 
He gave me girls who would call out my name when I drove up and give me a hug. 
He gave my son really great big brothers who took time to get to him & his personality. 
He gave us people who at first squinted their eyes as they were listening to us ask them to trust us for a few months, and then one day their eyes were open as they were listening & their heads were nodding. 
He gave us a pastor who feeds my spirit each and every week with a word that the Lord has given him.
He gave my daughter a place she could use her mothering gifts while working in the toddler class. 
He gave me small group co-leads who became just as much my friends as my partners in ministry. 
He gave me a business I can use to get to know women through. 
He gave us a student & young adult ministry who desire for Union to echo in their every day lives. 
He gave my son a school and teacher that has helped him form sentence upon sentence upon sentence.
He gave us a home that I could not have ever dreamed we would own. 
He gave my husband some young men to circle around him and not only help him with ministry but to simply walk through this new life with him. 
He has given us more than I can imagine in a short 12 months. 

I can't even begin to speculate on what the next few years will look like.
But I can tell you that we are looking forward to them with excitement, hope and a passion to reach a city that needs the love of Jesus. 
As our pastor says, he wants Columbia to be a hard place to go to hell from. 
That couldn't be a more accurate cry of or hearts! 
#union #CLA #oneyear #moretocome

14 “You are the light of the world.(A) A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.(B) 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,(C) that they may see your good deeds(D) and glorify(E) your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Marry The One

Marry the one you have prayed for. 
The one you have prayed over. 
This is the most important decision, second to salvation, 
you will ever make. 
Bring it to the throne room. 
Time and time again. 

Marry the one whose eyes are fixed on Him. 
Your relationship should bring you closer to the Savior, not further apart. 

Marry the one who will fight alongside you. 
Life will get tough. 
Trenches can be deep. 
And full of countless hurdles.
But when walking with your partner, they will seem much more bearable.

The one you marry will be your partner in ministry. 
Know in your heart that your ministry 
would be far more effective together than apart. 

Marry the one who you know prays for you when you ask them to. 

Marry the one who causes you to know the heart of the Father more. 
The one who dwells in the secret places. 
And brings you with them. 

Who you marry will be the mother or father to your children. 
Marry the one who you want to raise mighty men and women of God with.

Marry the one who makes you laugh like no one else.

Marry the one whose vision lines up with yours.
Whose eyes sparkle when you speak of your passions.
The one whose heart beats for the same things. 

Marry the one who protects you above all others. 

Marry the one who stares at you across the room,
 and before you look, you know who it is.

Marry the one who encourages, uplifts, respects and honors you. 

Marry the one who will make your weakness their strength. 
And one who you will be strong for, when they are not. 

Marry the one who you could not imagine your life without. 
The one that makes you cringe, your heart hurt and your soul weep when you think of your life absent of them. 

Marry a gentle spirit. 

Marry the one not only encourages your dreams, but helps put them to flight. 
Your dreams will become their dreams. 
Your hopes will become their hopes. 
Your desires will become their desires. 

Marry the one who might spill punch on your dress 
during your wedding reception. 
And you can't yell at him. 
But you don't really want to.
Because it's just not that important.  

Marry a peacemaker. 
Especially if you are not. 

Marry the one who grieves when your heart hurts. 
Who rejoices in your victories. 
Who celebrates the small stuff. 

Marry someone whose life matches their words.

Wait patiently. 
And trust in the Lord.
With ALL your heart. 
Settle for nothing less than God's best. 

And when you marry the one
Fight for your marriage like you have never fought before. 
Love like you have never loved before. 
And give like you've never given before. 
Choose again and again to marry them. 
Choose to love them every day. 
Choose to fight every day. 
And thank the Lord for giving you the one your heart desired. 

Lord, thank you for my one. 

Monday, April 23, 2012



Websters Dictionary defines it as: a passage from one stage, stage, subject or place to another; a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage or style to another. 

Joy Henderson defines it as: a time of testing, emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally. an uprooting from the familiar and comfortable.

Our transition in ministry recently reminded 
me of when Cory and I got married. 
You see, I knew. 
Like, I heard straight from the Creator on this decision. 
Never before, and never again, have I audibly heard the Lord. 
I was gonna marry this man come hell or high water. 
Thankfully there was neither hell nor high water :) 

But even with the knowledge that this was God ordained. 
Even knowing that both of our families were 100% supportive. 
Even though I adored this man I was vowing to spend 
the rest of my life with. 
Even with all of the pieces fitting into our puzzle of life. 
The first year of marriage was hard. 
Real hard. 

Does that mean that we had made a mistake?
Maybe we weren't supposed to get married? 
Maybe we'd planned the wedding too fast? 
Maybe I'd heard God wrong? 
Maybe he wasn't "the one"? 

No. No. No. No. And No. 

That first year of marriage was just a time of ... 
Yep, you know it ... 

Maybe you've gone through, or are going through, 
a transitional time in your life. 
Maybe in your marriage. 
Maybe in your ministry. 
Maybe in your career. 
Maybe in your education.
Maybe with your children. 

I want to encourage you today that even when 
God calls you to something, 
it does not mean that it will be without faith, trust, 
hard work, hurdles, pain and tears at times. 

Nevertheless, I am continually with you! 
Psalm 73:23 

What kind of transition are dealing with? 
What do you wish "someone would have told you "about your transition?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Our first Leaders Advance at CLC. 
Charleston, SC. 
Both of our kids experienced playing in snow for the first time! 
There were snow ball fights and freezing buns everywhere! 
My husband and kids surprised me with a trip to Asheville, NC
and a weekend in this cabin for my birthday! 
How we do Valentines Day with the family. 
How we do Valentines Day as a couple.
Launching of Small Groups in Union:High School. 
My girls. 
I started leading my own Virtual Community Group 
(VCG) through
Inspirational ladies! 
Launching of Union:YoungAdult Services & SmallGroups
Listening to my husband fill the pulpit in the Main Sanctuary at CLC.
I started working in the home with Mary Kay 
as an Independent Consultant.
All things pink! 
Family has visited a few time already this year. 
This is from the recent Pocopanni visit! 

There's my best attempt at catching you up on some of our 2012. 
I have a lot of ideas running around in my head to share with you, 
but they keep sitting in my "edit post" for some reason. 
I guess when it's time to share them, I'll hit that "submit" button! 
Love you all, 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eleven From 0'Eleven

I thought I'd pick out 11 things 
from 2011 that stuck out to me 
- good, bad or indifferent. 
Here are mine in no particular order.
What's yours? 

1. Youth Convention in Tallahassee. Dance Party in the foyer. Hotel desks at midnight with Cynthia demanding a room that was previously booked. Peer pressure to pass vehicles on back roads. Lunch with the Corey Evan band. Sanctuary floor bouncing and swaying. Fire pits and rapping in the parking lot. Compelled By Love. 

2. Pastors Wives Retreat in Nashville. Spending quality time with some ladies I love. Meeting other ladies I never dreamed I'd be chatting with. Hugs from Lori, Brandi & Jess. Sharing dolphin feeding stories from St Andrews State Park with Lisa Young. Crashing in a room with Steph & Liz. Feeling like dying during Mission Impossible. Leaving my babies with my husband. Flying alone for the first time ever. Created bonds that I believe will last a lifetime. Knowing as a Pastors Wife I am not alone. 

3. Launching of Show Some Love. My husband has a heart for community, plain and simple. What better way to reach our community than by showing love through selfless acts of kindness. He launched a one-week-event God laid on his heart that we will hopefully continue until our bodies won't allow. Kitchen table creative meetings. Painting parking lots of businesses. Bagging lunches for the homeless. Pregnancy Resource Center window washing. School campus lawn cleanup. Rescue Mission lunches. Blitzing neighborhoods. Thank you cards to teachers. Tallying hours: 850. 

4. Being the Camp Directors at West Florida Youth Camp for the first time, ironically during our last camp in West Florida. Popping golf cart tires at midnight. Sneaking drinks to my girls in their dorm. Watching our interns work their tails off. Mud pit belly flop judging. Room inspections. Bribes. Late nights. Early mornings. Sitting back and watching God move. Epic.

5. Announcing to our leadership team from the past 8 years that we were moving
Dressed up. Catered dinner. Speaking the words "There is a season for everything" ... Then the breath leaving my body as my husband proceeded with the rest of the sentence. Prayers for every person and passing of the baton to those who would entrust it. Run With It. 

6. Both My Babies Starting Public School. Easton began in January due to his speech. Half days without my mancub. Rip my heart out :( But it was an amazing move. Autumn began public school in August. She has a desire to learn way more than she ever did when I was homeschooling. I have a feeling she doesn't put up as much of a fight with her teachers at school! She lets her light shine so bright and we pray that she is a breath of fresh air to those whose don't know Christ. 

7. Buying a new home, in our new home. As we made the decision to move to South Carolina, we also decided it was time to put down some roots. No more apartment walls and rental homes. We can paint what we want, change what we want. A yard, a community with kids and friendly neighbors. Room for guest. Room to entertain. A sense of settling in.  South Carolina is now our new home :) 

8. Hearing My Husband Speak at District Council. I mean, I LOVE to hear my husband speak. He's one of my favorite preachers. But hearing him speak about honor to a room full of pastors, most of which have given the majority of their lives to the ministry, was amazing. I sat there so privileged to be married to this man. He leads well. He follows well. I love his communication skills, I love his heart, and I love his integrity. He really does practice what he preaches folks. I live with him, I know! 

9. Eastons First Big Boy Hair Cut. We had just moved to South Carolina. My sinuses were acting up and I was unable to even get out of bed. My sweet husband offered to take E for a haircut so that his bangs in his eyes didn't cause permanent damage :) Sure, no big deal; He'd had a haircut before. But before my husband left the house I vaguely remember him saying "Are you okay with anything?" I guess my answer was yes. Because all of his long, blonde locks were gone when they returned. I cried. I was upset. And now I think he's a handsome little man. He's not a baby anymore! 

10. Speaking At My First Womens Retreat. I was scared spitless. Like, seriously. I didn't think I was gonna be able to swallow because my mouth was so dry. But it ended up to be a sweet day in the Lord. There's something about empowering women to share their story. To open up and be vulnerable. You never know what someone else may be battling. Your story could unlock a whole new world for them. There is power in your story! (And getting to help my mom decorate a tea table in black & hot pink was just icing on the cake!)  

11. Autumn Got Asked For Her Phone Number. By a boy. Her response: well, there was no response. She turned and walked away from the boy and didn't even give him an answer :) Her dad & I talked with her about more appropriate responses. But honestly, I was okay with the ignoring approach at this point in life! She's ten. Sheesh! 

And ending on a serious note ... 
Our 2011 was filled with some of the best and some of the hardest moments of our lives. 
As we transitioned from Student Pastors in Panama City to Student&Young Adult Pastors in South Carolina, we left so much of our hearts in Florida. When you pour your life into something, that tends to happen. 
Our God is faithful to continually fill our hearts as we make South Carolina our new home. 
We ask for and covet your prayers as we enter into this new year with a desire to see lost souls come to Christ. To see our children be more in love with Him. And for our lives to honor Him in all that we do. 

Happy 2012!