another year older…35…

   

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 I turned the big 3-5.  To be honest it came and went with little excitement on my part.  In some ways it was fitting that it fell on a Wednesday.  You know Wednesdays are those days of the week where we feel sorta just alright and hope we make it through.  That’s sort of how I felt about getting older.  As I get older, I look back and  I am thankful and excited for all that God has blessed me with like my amazing family.  Waking up another year older and getting birthday hugs and cards from my kids was awesome.  

And as I look at 35 there is really nothing that I am depressed about, but there are areas of life I feel stalled in right now and know I want to change before 36.  For instance, I know my relationship with Christ needs to grow deeper this year.  I want to move beyond surving and start thriving.  I want to find more and more refreshment through diving deeper into the Word.  I want to seek Christ more and more for what He has for my future.  The complacency and survival mode I often find myself in is not where He wants me and not what He has planned for me.  I want to use my gifts, talents, and my whole being to bring Christ honor and glory and not be stuck in the rut of just doing ok.  

While I am excited and thankful for my family, when I get to 36 next year, I want to be found to be a much improved and still improving father and husband.  My family deserves my best and deserves an active father/husband who comes home excited and not defeated.  I want to be there for them when they need me and not just when the schedule fits.  While I pray daily for the spiritual needs for my wife and kids, I want to be more active as the spiritual leader in our family, leading them to grow deeper in their relationships with Christ.  And in the case of my son who has not yet accepted Christ, letting him know how much Jesus loves him and sharing how he to can have an awesome relationship with Christ.  

I know at 35 that I am not the Godly man, husband, and father that God has called me to be.  I don’t want to arrive at 36 with this same feeling of being in a rut.  Please pray for me this year that I will grow in my walk with Christ and be growing into the man he wants me to be.  Pray for my family that they will seen the husband and father that they need in me.  Pray for wisdom in decisions that I have to make.  Pray that when others look at me they see Christ in me.  I am serving a great God who has called me to great things in Him.  Pray that I will answer His call always…

Advertisements

my boy is 3 today!!!

IMG_5181Three years ago today, Erin and I were heading to Richmond, KY to the hospital.  Unlike when our daughter came things this time were scheduled out to the minute and we knew that in a few short hours we would be meeting our son.  We checked into the hospital at 9:30 am and by 1 pm our little boy had arrived.  Judah Andrew Owens was a healthy little boy weighing over 9 lbs with a full head of dark hair.

Three years later Judah still has a full head of hear only a little more blonde and a whole lot more curly.  He is truly one of the sweetest kids you could ever meet.  He loves his elephants, Winnie the Pooh, Baymax, and telling everyone how much he likes to “move it, move it!”  While he definitely get’s his looks from my wife’s side of the family there are definitely sure signs that he is my boy.  He can be stubborn, sleep through anything, loves his popcorn and pizza, and unfortunately for him has my big head that doesn’t always want to go through the neck hole of his shirts!

IMG_2628Perhaps the biggest thing that has happened this past year is the improvement in his speech.  Judah has not progressed as fast in his speech as his sister did or a lot of the other kids near his age, but he is finally starting to slowly put together his sentences.   The best sentence of all though, was a few weeks ago when I was putting him to bed and he said “Love you Dad.”

God has blessed me with an adorable, sweet, funny, cuddly, full of energy little boy.  I can’t wait to see how he is going to grow and change in year 3!

reflecting on year 33…

Yesterday, I was blessed to celebrate my 34th Birthday.   I am very thankful for the many birthday wishes I got in person, on Facebook, and via text.  My 33rd year of life was a good year, but also challenging in many ways as I look back on it.  I loved that I had the opportunity to grow as a person, husband, and father.  The most exciting thing that happened was being able to be with my daughter Maeven as she accepted Christ as her personal Savior!  There have been some great ministry highs as we have seen many of our FCA students rise as leaders and also seen students accept Christ as their personal Savior!

This year has also been a challenging one for me as I began to look at things that I have and haven’t accomplished in my life thus far.  Staring into another year of life I realize there are things I would really like to do such as further my education.  The opportunity to grow in knowledge and in my relationship with Christ via continuing education is very exciting to me.  To be honest on thing I found in year 33 that both in my self education and even some parts of my spiritual life I really feel like I have grown stagnate.  Not that I have regressed, but honestly like I have not done a good job of growing and challenging myself.  That’s one thing I really want to change in year 34.   I have begun searching out online classes that I can take to further education, but so far have been a bit disappointed as I didn’t realize how financially challenging that this would be.  In the mean time I am looking at other ways to continue learning and growing and ask your prayers as I seek God’s guidance.

I have also, been challenged over the course of this past year as I look to my role in full time ministry.  I still have no doubt that God has called me into full time sports ministry.  Sports ministry, is still a passion of mine as I love how God can use sports to cross so many age, race, and other various boundaries with the Gospel.  My challenge come in to wondering what I can do to improve my role in full time ministry.  What things can I do better?  What things do I need to differently?   Am I where I can best serve God?  What boundaries do I need to set to protect family time versus ministry time? Where can I find wise counsel and friendship on a regular basis?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not ready to pack up and leave the ministry that I am in by any means.  Much like my thoughts on education, I don’t want to be stagnate in ministry either.  I want to be growing and see the Kingdom of God expanded and thriving through God working through me in ministry.  In year 33 there have been times when I honestly have really felt discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated, and lonely. Those things I know at various points have kept me from being at my best as a missionary, husband, and father.  Often times it felt  more like survival than progression.

One day into year 34 as I write this post, I am not writing so people will think I am in a funk, depressed, and have pity on me.  No, I am writing, because I need your prayers.   I want to be a husband and father this year who is growing in my relationship with Christ and being the best Dad possible through my relationship with Christ.   I want to be growing in my relationship with Christ so that I can best serve Him wherever and in whatever role He will use me.   I want to seek Christ more to find encouragement in times of depression, loneliness and just being overwhelmed.  Don’t get me wrong year 33 had many great and good things happen for which I am truly thankful.  I just ask that you pray that I will be totally focused on Christ in year 34 and that every aspect of my life will be impacted as a result.

My little girl is 4!!!

My Birthday Girl!

My Birthday Girl!

Four years ago today was one of the longest days of mine and Erin’s life.  The night before Erin had been admitted to the hospital so that labor could be induced bright and early  on September 30, 2010.  Induction started at 5 am, but when Maeven didn’t arrive all afternoon by early evening the doctors decided to do a c-section.  Finally by 6pm that night our beautiful baby girl was here.  Part of us expected to see a little red headed baby, but there she was with a full head of dark hair.   Our lives would never be the same after Maeven Cady Owens arrived.

Over the past four years it has been awesome to see her grow and watch her funny little personality develop.  To be honest, the only bad thing has been how quickly time has gone by!  If you read mine and my wife’s ministry blog, then you know the awesome news that on Sunday night our sweet Maeven prayed to receive Christ as her Savior!  We couldn’t ask for a better way to celebrate her birthday and are so excited to see how God is going to work in her life!

I love my sweet girl and am truly blessed to be her Daddy!

a bit of reflection…

so thankful for my family...

so thankful for my family…

Over the past week I have been busy celebrating every thing from Thanksgiving to turning the big 33.  Both of these things have emphasized in my life that I have much to be thankful for.  First of all, I am truly thankful for my family.  Coming up the stairs on Monday morning to my little boy smiling at me while my little girl ran up and hugged me and said “Happy Birthday Daddy!” , was a great reminder of how much God has given me.  I also got to spend a good portion of the day with my beautiful wife, including a great bday dinner out.  It’s almost hard to imagine that about 6 years ago I was celebrating my birthday all alone and wondering if I had the “gift” of singleness forced upon me.  Little did I know the blessings that God has had in store for me!

Another big thing that I was reminded of that I have to be thankful for is friendship.  I have often struggled with being away from my closest friends since moving back to Kentucky.  Living rurally and on a missionary salary sometimes makes it rough to spend the quality time that I would like to spend with friends who have meant so much to me over the years.  However, even though I couldn’t spend my birthday with them in person, God reminded me about how truly blessed I am with friends and family that care so much about me, as I received countless birthday wishes via phone, card, and social media.

I know we shouldn’t need things like holidays and birthdays to be reminders of the blessings that God has given us.  At the same time, I love how the passing of another year causes us to have to think and reflect on how God has blessed us. When we look past all our complaints, frustrations, and sometimes just plain old whining, if we are truly seeking God will show us how abundantly blessed we are.  That’s where I find myself, a truly blessed man!

my princess is 3 today…

Birthday Princess Maeven...

Birthday Princess Maeven…

It’s hard to believe but this time three years ago, we were celebrating the arrival of our beautiful little girl Maeven.  I was a nervous wreck becoming a first time daddy and totally not a clue as to all that I was about to face.  Thankfully, God protected Maeven from our ignorance and we have loved every minute with her.  I can’t believe she is so big already.  We love watching her play princess and run around the house singing her Veggie Tales praise songs.  I am truly blessed and thankful for my little girl and can’t wait to see all that God is going to do in her life!