encouragement from my daughter…

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My sweet Maeven on our “Date!”

If you have been following this blog or just know me in general you know that this has been a crazy year for me and my family.  After much prayer we felt God leading us from a ministry where we had spent the past 11 years into full time ministry with FCA.  That led to not only changing ministries, but selling our house, buying a new house and moving, having to go back out on deputation to raise quite a bit more financial support and countless other changes to our family life.  Then once things were finally starting to feel a bit more settled, my wife Erin was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy.

Through all these changes and events I have had to do more thinking and praying than I ever thought possible.  I have truly seen where I really have no control over anything and God has control over everything.  I have seen things that look like huge mistakes turn out to be God’s way of providing for future needs.  It’s been a true time of faith development in my life.

Even though I have seen my faith grow and my dependence on God grow over these past few months there have been times I have definitely struggled with depression and even wondering if have made the right choices.  As the uncertainty of financial support has weighed on me and just the stress of learning a new ministry and making new contacts there have been those times where I have questioned whether or not I should have done the easy thing and stay where I knew what I had to do and knew the finances would be enough.  These particular doubts changed for me last Thursday as I took a cute little 6 year old out on a date.

Last Thursday my son Judah had to go to the eye doctor and so my wife asked me to take our daughter Maeven out on a little date.  It was funny, because Maeven was so excited she got all dressed up for me and even put on a little “makeup” (chapstick lip balm) for the date.  So while Mommy and Judah were at the eye doctor, Maeven and I went to Dunkin Donuts for our breakfast date of frozen hot chocolate and peppermint donuts.  Maeven made sure we got the big comfy leather seats where we could talk comfortably as we munched on our goodies.

I started out asking her how her school year was going and about her new friends that she had made, and of course about what she wanted for Christmas.  Maeven then surprised me and asked me why we had moved to Richmond this year.   I told her that Mom and Dad knew God wanted us to work with FCA and Richmond was where He wanted us to do that.  I then asked her if she was happy with our move or not?

One thing you need to know about my daughter is that when asked a question, she is very high truth and tells you exactly what she is thinking.  With no thought at all, Maeven said, “Yes!”  I then asked her why she was so happy with our move.  Once again without having time to think Maeven said to me, “because you are home more Daddy and I get to spend lots of time with you!”

Right away I told her that I loved that too and did my best to fight back the urge to tear up hearing those words from my sweet girl.  All those worries about whether or not I had made the right decision to transition ministries and move my family really melted away.  While I am so thankful for all the years of ministry I had previously had there was so much time that I was away from my family.  And I always justified it by saying that the ministry was important and that my kids were too little to notice.  However, as Maeven’s moment of truth had shown me, they had noticed.  They knew there dad wasn’t around as much as they would like me to be and I knew that I had missed a lot.

Within my new ministry role, I know there will be lots of ups and downs, lots of stresses and pressures, and lots of time that I am out from my family.  At the same time it does afford me much more time to spend with my family and be there when they need me to be.  Whether that be taking care of my wife as she recovers from here battle with breast cancer or just having that needed quality time with my kids I am truly thankful for all that God has brought us through this year and all that is to come.  I am so thankful that He can use a sweet 6 year old girl to bring encouragement and joy too!

#GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday - FB Image square - option EThe next week is going to be a busy time for everyone as Thanksgiving is approaching fast. Over the years the days after Thanksgiving have all been given various consumer/business based names in an attempt to kick off the Christmas buying season. On Friday and in some places Thursday, things get going with Black Friday. On Saturday people are encouraged to shop local and get out for Small Business Saturday. Lastly on Monday, you have Cyber Monday where you can find all those good deals online! However, have you heard of Giving Tuesday?

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is now known as Giving Tuesday. It’s a day designed to move past all the consumerism that takes place right after Thanksgiving and for us to look to various charities, ministries, and other ways we can give to help out. It’s a really great opportunity to give back.

This year we would like to ask you to consider joining in supporting our ministry with FCA on Giving Tuesday. You can click on the link on the right hand side of our page and be taken to our myFCA page where you can set up a one time or automatic monthly gift. As we stated in our previous post we are currently at about 70% of our committed support goal. Please pray about helping us reach full 100% by becoming a monthly partner on our Home Team. Maybe you are unable to join us in a monthly way, would you please pray about becoming an annual donor or at least giving a year end gift on Giving Tuesday? If you would rather not give online, but would like to give please let us know and we will get you that information right away. And the good news is you can join us before and after Giving Tuesday as well!!!

When Giving Tuesday comes next week please consider donating to our family and the ministry of Fellowship of Christian Athletes!

change of plans…

caffe_latteThis morning I was supposed to be at a meeting, but it ended up be rescheduled to tomorrow.  With such late notice about this change of plans I wasn’t able to get any meetings at my school or with potential supporters.  However, with this change of plans I was able to schedule one much needed meeting.  After dropping the kids off at school, I swung back around to my house and picked up my wife for a morning coffee date.

As I have mentioned on here, my wife is currently battling breast cancer.  And while the outlook the doctors have given her is really good, we have been so busy making plans related to surgeries and waiting for appointments and dates from doctors that we have been running around like crazy.  Add to that keeping up with all that’s going on with our kiddos it’s been one hectic mess.  So, to have the opportunity to go out this morning with no rush and no plans and just enjoy come good coffee, conversation, and even a little peach and quiet has been great.

I don’t really know what the next few months are going to hold for our family with surgeries, recovery, and still needing to get our support account full funded, but I do know how blessed I am to have my beautiful wife.  Even though she is scared and nervous her faith has been a blessing to me and those around us.  She is still plugging away being an awesome Mom to our kiddos too.  I pray that in the months ahead we will have many more changes of plans where we get to have quiet time together and maybe some good coffee too!

overwhelmed…

This past week has been a whirlwind.  If I wasn’t already balding, I would be by now that’s for sure.  I shared on my ministry update site on Monday, but we found out last Friday that my wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It’s one of those things you never want to hear and I still can’t believe it’s true.

Both Erin and I have had health issues over the years, but normally we go to the doctor find out what’s wrong and it’s something that is easily taken care of.  When my wife went to the doctor at the beginning of last week that’s what we thought we were dealing with.  Even though we knew the hospital was testing for cancer, we just thought it was a precaution and nothing we needed to worry about.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Even though the news is something you dread, we are thankful though that her doctor seems confident that the cancer has been caught early and that it can be removed.  Right now we are waiting until next week when we will be able to find out for sure what the next steps will be.

I guess since I found out the results, I have been feeling pretty emotionally overwhelmed.  There was the emotion of shock and this can’t be true at first.  From there came all the worry emotions.  Worrying about my wife’s health and future, worrying about our kids, worrying about finances when we are already not at full support, and worrying about how I am just going to keep it all together and be a rock for my wife and kids during this time.  Thankfully, God has been reminding me constantly of all the ways he has and is taking care of us.  Almost everyone I have spoken with has let me know that they are praying for Erin and our family, and several have prayed right then and there with me.

It’s comforting to know between our great God and all our brothers and sisters in Christ that we don’t have to go through this battle alone.  Please continue to pray with me though as I know Satan would like nothing more than to overwhelm and bring discouragement at this time.  Pray that I will always reach out to God and those who have offered help when I need it.  Pray that I can be the husband and father I need to be for my family during this time and lead them to Christ no matter what happens.  It’s going to be a battle for our family health wise, financially, and spiritually over the next few months.  Pray with me that on the other side we will see my wife healthy and Christ glorified.

 

finally home…

This week was a  big one for our family.  Even though we finally moved almost a month ago now, we finally closed on our new home.  It’s ours and we are so relieved a310Norwoodnd excited that God provided a place for our family to make many new memories and that we can use for ministry and sharing the love of Christ with others.

We had hoped to close on our house at the end of June, but our bank kept putting off the closing date.  So, we have been renting since the end of June.  Even though we were in our home, it still didn’t feel like ours yet and their was this stressful cloud hanging over us about when and if we were ever going close.  Monday at 3:30 or so when I walked out of the realtor’s office, all those stresses were gone and a wave of relief swept over me.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our family as we sold our previous home, moved, and now finally closed on our current home.  There were tons of hoops and ups and downs, but we are finally home.  Please continue to pray that we will use our home to both raise our kids to serve the Lord and also be used to reach others!