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Thursday, March 22, 2012

goodness...will it ever stop?!

Without further adieu....

Kraig and I have been called to a little church out in the valley to serve as youth pastor (and wifey). What a drastic change this will be!?! But a blessing that I never saw coming :)

Kraig has been struggling off and on for about a year now about youth ministry and his (our) role with youth. He knew he loved teaching at OCA and we both loved serving the youth at Oakwood. Kraig just wasn't sure if there was more to his struggle than just teaching and just serving at the capacity that we were in. So, with lots of prayer and searching the scripture, Kraig knew that we were supposed to do something more. Well, that was that. We didn't pursue anything, we had a lot going on at our church and we were just getting into the swing of things and really enjoying our youth. About January...I guess...
L O N G S T O R Y short....Kraig got a call from a pastor that I have known probably as long as I have been in the Chickamauga area...and Kraig met through his administrator at OCA. Pastor Terry wanted to meet with Kraig about a possible youth opening at their church. At first...I was kicking and screaming. I did not want to leave everything I had known to go to this little church that is the complete opposite of what I have known for so long. The LORD again...had other plans. He has methodically planned this whole thing out and why would I be surprised that He is providing exactly what BOTH Kraig and I need. As of last Sunday, with a vote of 100%, Kraig is the new (part-time) youth pastor (along with a very supportive, no longer kicking/screaming wife) at a very friendly - God loving church.

We couldn't be more excited, terrified, in AWE and humbled by this opportunity and can't wait to get started. We covet your prayers because this is a whole new world for us and a brand new group of kids that we want to share the Truth with and hope that they can fall in love with the Heavenly Father like never before.

AND, again...why am I surprised?! The Lord has placed a house right in front of us and we are just praying that it works out. The house hasn't gone on the market yet because the people had to fix up a couple more things so we have been able to go in, see it and decide we want it in a matter of days. They just want the pay off amount which is a blessing because it is right where our budget allows. It is in a great location. (NEXT DOOR TO MY SISTER) It has a great big yard for our dogs to play in and our son when he gets older...it just has so many things and more than what we had asked for and we just feel like this is the Lord again providing for us in ways we could never imagine. So, we are praying everything works out smoothly and that we are able to get this house.

I was talking with a friend the other day about all of these changes in our lives...the upcoming birth of Baby G (NAME SOON TO BE REVEALED), this new church, our POSSIBLE new house and how our lives are going to be completed rocked by all of these things. I told her how stressed I was getting and just overwhelmed by it all. She reminded me again that the Lord is ever faithful and never leaves me. Which I had read a couple weeks before in a story in Genesis...but it was just a great reminder that He will not give me (us) more than we can handle. And truthfully, I don't think the Lord has scratched the surface of what He wants from us and will continue to show His faithfulness to us so that we are forced to trust Him more and more. So, I look forward to what is next. :) Through all of this, I don't think I can stress enough how I have had to trust Him and trust that His ways are good and pure. Because MINE are so NOT! So, I'm not sure if all of the new changes or things will ever stop and I doubt they will. But I will continue to pray and seek His will through all the life's changes (blessings in disguise) He gives us so we can praise Him because He so deserves every bit of it. His hand has never left us and will continue to guide our steps, we have seen it so clearly the last few months, it is truly AWESOME. I can't even describe it. Maybe another post when I have more time...

We are excited. We are scared. We are humbled. We can't wait to get started. It's a bittersweet feeling to be leaving something we love so much to be going into uncharted territory. But the Lord is guiding us and will help us make our way. Praise God.
Kraig, Ashleigh and Baby G :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where do you want to be?

If someone would have told me 5 years ago that I would:
1 - marry a yankee :)
2 - work with kids
3 - have a kid 3 years after being married (or have a kid, period)
4 - live in Chickamauga

I think I would have laughed in their face. Well, here I am...almost to my 3 year anniversary to a YANKEE that I love dearly, work with kids day in and day out - with youth and 4th graders, we have a baby boy on the way, and it looks like we will be staying in Chickamauga or the surrounding area. Hmmm...it's funny (I don't think I am laughing yet) how the Lord has molded my life to what He wanted and yet it is so far from what I wanted, but it is exactly what I needed and where I need to be.

I love my husband. We rarely agree on much but he is one of the best things to have ever happened to me. We joke about our disagreements, right now, we can't even agree on our son's name. Which I know we have time, I just thought it would come a bit easier. Guess not. :) It will come though and we will have the perfect name for this little guy. But yes, Kraig is everything that the Lord has planned for me. He balances me out. He calms me down. He is the leader of our family and does a great job at it. He provides and listens to the Lord's will like you wouldn't believe. He is compassionate and loving and cares for others like they are his family. The Lord is so faithful and I am so thankful that He chose Kraig for me.

Growing up, I never wanted to work with kids, be around kids or have kids. So, here I am working in a school and loving every minute of it. They make me laugh. They are so sweet and caring. I love to come home and share a new story with Kraig about how funny the kids are. Or how the Lord is showing me something new through the eyes of His kids. It has turned into just what I needed. The Lord is so faithful in providing the perfect job for me even if I didn't want it to begin with.

This may sound horrible and I have prayed through this a lot. But I have never wanted children. I liked kids alright but I liked other people's kids. I couldn't wait to be an aunt and be the best aunt ever :) I just liked to give kids back to there parents. There are a lot of reasons why I never wanted kids and that may be for another post but yet, here again, here I am pregnant with our first little baby. And I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. At first, I really struggled with it and again, maybe another post but after the first ultrasound, I was in love. I haven't loved everything about being pregnant but I have loved every time I feel a kick or get to hear the heartbeat or even gotten sick because that just affirms that the little guy is in there growing and waiting to come out to meet the world. Now, don't get me wrong, I am still scared out of my mind and terrified of being a mom to such a little guy. But through these past few months, the Lord has remained faithful and taught me so much about trust. I have come to realize ever more so than before, I can not and will not be able to raise this boy without the Lord's help. Kraig and I are very humbled by the fact that the Lord has trusted us enough to give us this blessing and we are very determined not to take this lightly. So, yes, we are very scared but we know that the Lord has trusted us so we have to trust Him to help us through and we are so excited for the process.

I love Chickamauga and this area very much. But I love to travel and see the world. I was determined to see the world and live in different places. Now, that still may happen but for now, the Lord has called us to stay in this area and plant our roots in the grounds of Chickamauga. This has been very hard for me because I don't like to plant my roots anywhere. :) But babies change things and so does the Lord. He knows exactly what we need and has opened many doors the last few months and now we can't imagine leaving the area. The Lord is faithful and we are trusting in His sovereignty to make it through.

I have been reading through the Bible this year, haven't gotten as far as I would like to be but I was in Genesis the other day. I was reading about when God called Abram and his family to a different area and through this process of them leaving, God continually said that He is with them and that He is going to bless them, I am not sure of all the background of the story off the top of my head right now (it's late) but from what I can remember, I am not completely sure that Abram wanted to leave his hometown and go to a new place. I know he did it though because the Lord was very adamant about where they should go. So, he went and the Lord took care of them and blessed them in the years to come with children and more. Well, I would not have chosen all of these things that are in my life right now, I would have wanted to be many other places, however...the Lord knows where HE wants me (us) to be and right now, He wants us to be here and who are we to fight against that?

I encourage you to ask the Lord where He wants you to be, not where you want to be...He will show you His will and give you the strength to do it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sickness = boredom

I have been struggling to get rid of a cough for about a week now. Sunday, it started with a sore throat and an achy back. So, I stayed in bed all day, hoping it would pass so I could go to work on Monday. Well, Monday started with a sore throat, headache and earache. So, because I so hate to go to doctors or take medicines, my husband and mother put on the guilt trip of having to take care of the baby ~ which is very true so I called into work and spend most of yesterday morning at the doctor's office. Now, you must know that I don't necessarily feel bad. I just have a cough that can't be broken and a few other minor symptoms but I feel fine for the most part. So, after waiting an HOUR to see the doctor...I have bronchitis. He gave me medicines and said if I'm not better by the end of the week to come back. So, here I sit on day 3 of not leaving the house. BORED. But I am thankful for this time of rest and my boss allowing the time to heal although I would much rather be with people than with my dogs. They do not talk back :( But they have been great company, they have slept by me, when I have coughing fits, they come and check on me, they make sure the baby is still moving, they are very comforting during the day. :) I have tried to rest though...that is very hard for me. I get bored real easy. So, I have cleaned the house, tried to take the dogs for a walk but Kraig catches me every time and says to get back in the house...I have surfed the web, caught up on all my shows, and Facebook stalked people :) I have tried to put this time to good use but then I just get tired, maybe because of the medicines or my body is still tired from all the coughing ~ who knows but I have tried to make good use of this time. But it hasn't really worked. I hope to be back at work tomorrow :) I have missed my kids, my co-workers and just seeing people. I can only hope.

I have made "TO DO" lists so I plan on chipping away on some of that today. I have to get addresses for the baby shower for my mom so I can do that and not really leave the bed ~ Right? I need to work on our budget, I can do that and not leave the bed. Hmmm...I need to make a few phone calls but I'm not sure I will try that one because I still sound like man. So, that may have to wait. I will report back to let you know how much gets done. I will probably slip in a nap also today. Doctor's orders ~ drink fluids, take my medicine and rest.

We had a baby appointment last week. Baby G is progressing great, I am doing well and everything looks good. She said I am measuring at 25 weeks....I am 23 weeks so he may be here before the expected due date of June 26. Goodness, time is flying by. We still have so much to do. Please pray for us. We have to find a place to live, we have to decide on a name (we are a bit closer on this though) we have to pay off the truck...so much to be done in a short 3 months. As the time approaches, I find myself getting more and more anxious and terrified. I am excited for him to be here but I have no idea what to do...I hear that from a lot of first time moms so I guess I 'm not alone in those fears but it still is so real when its me. This is going to be the most fun, scary adventure of our lives. I sure hope we are ready for this.

Well, I am going to get started on my list and try doing the dishes before I get tired :) I hope to rejoin the world tomorrow! Wish me luck!

~ashleigh