struggling…but God is faithful

anxietyThe past few weeks have been an exercise in truly trusting in God when I say that I am trusting in Him.  You would think after the past year I would totally rely on God’s promises to take care of me and my family.  I have seen Him provide for us as we sold our old home, moved to a new area, started a new ministry, helped my wife overcome breast cancer, provide the finances to cover all here medical expenses and so on.  It has truly been a year of one example of God’s faithfulness after another.  Yet, I sit here now knowing that Satan has been attacking me full force and making me worry and be anxious about God’s provision.

With the ministry that I work for, my family has to raise our own support to cover all our bills, living expenses, and ministry costs.  So, a big part of what I do is schedule meetings with churches, organizations, and individuals.  Currently, we are at about 82% of our needed support level and so I have been scheduling as many meetings as possible to try and get fully funded.  The great news is that I have been blessed with several meetings and people have seemed genuinely interested and concerned about our ministry.  The bad news is so far none of these meetings have led to new monthly and yearly support commitments.  Also, during this time we have had tons of trouble with our van and put money that we really needed for other financial issues into getting it fixed.  There are also some upcoming financial bills that I know will be here soon that just have led to me feeling totally overwhelmed.  There have also been some just struggles of loneliness and other issues that I really have felt have been hitting me hard during this time as well.

I am very much the type of person who likes a plan.  I like to know what needs to be done to get from point A to point B.  This struggling and sense of being overwhelmed this past month or so has really just began to take a toll, with anxiety, tightness in my chest, sleepless nights, and other issues derived from worry.  I have been so blessed with things that God is doing great in our ministry and opportunities to use sports to work with kids, but yet can’t help but feel Satan is using anxiety to rid me of the joy that I should be having.

The good though is that I know while I am nervous and anxious over the future my God is not.  He is in total control, even though I often feel alone.  In over 12 years of full time ministry and living on support, I have never had a need that God has not met.  And so I am retreating into His Word and promises.  From the time I accepted Christ as my Savior on October 14, 1984, my favorite verse has been Hebrews 13:5 which ways that God will never leave me nor forsake me.  That’s something I have to remind myself of overtime that I feel anxiety setting in.  Rather that wallowing in worry, I have to be diligent to call out to Him and not go to my automatic how do “I” fix this mode.

I know that deep down that if I trust God, He will always reveal Himself to be faithful.  That was evident this past weekend.  On Sunday after church, I was really struggling with anxiety and my chest was so tight that I was honestly scared.  I ran out to do some errands leaving my family at home and my anxiousness kept growing and I couldn’t shake it.  When I got home, though, as I shared in my last post, I had the opportunity to lead my 5 year old son to the Lord.  It was in that moment that God reminded me, “Andy, I got this.  I will take care of you and your family.”

great-is-thy-faithfulness

And I know that He will take care of us, I know that there is not a need that I have that He cannot meet, and I know that when I seek Him I will always find Him.  Pray with me that I will seek Him.  That I will look for God’s blessings and evidence of His faithfulness and not let Satan rob me of joy and thankfulness.  Pray with me that God will provide the needed support partners for our family to get to 100% and that I will have peace as we wait and be diligent to keep pursuing potential partners.  I hate being consumed by anxiety and worry, but once again am thankful that my God is not!

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Don’t forget #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday - FB Image square - option AWe are in the home stretch of #GivingTuesday and it has been great to see God bless today.  Would you please consider making an end of the year donation to our ministry with FCA or better yet becoming a monthly financial partner and member of our Home Team?  Just click on the donate link on this page and you will be take to our myFCA page where you can donate. I hope you will join us today!

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!

a weekly date…

AFVEven though my children are still very young, my daughter is 5 and my son is 3, I am realizing more and more about how quickly time passes.  When we went to Disney a month or so ago, I stood back and watched my kids walking and realized I don’t have toddlers anymore, but little kids.  So, I have been trying to be more proactive in making time with each of my children so that I can treasure the time and they know how much I love them.

One of the things my daughter has loved is our weekly “Daddy/Daughter Date” where on Sunday nights before bed time we cuddle up on the couch and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Getting Maeven to sit still and stay by me for a long period of time is tough with all that little kid energy. Yet each Sunday she starts right after the morning church service asking when “Funny Bideos” comes on.  Throughout the day I answer that question with a countdown of how much longer we have.  When it’s finally time for us to watch the show she will quit whatever she is doing, run to the couch and snuggle up with me to watch the show.  Maeven talks through the entire show asking me with all sincerity why people did something so crazy or asking me to explain a video she doesn’t understand.  When our show is finally over, Maeven looks up at me and says, “I love you Daddy, do you have another ‘Funny Bideos’ we can watch???”

While I know my sweet little girl will not always want Daddy to watch videos with her, I am going to treasure every Sunday night I have with her.  I am truly blessed with the sweet little girl that God has given me!

time w/ family…

my wonderful family..

my wonderful family..

It’s been awhile since my last post, and my reasoning is the best one I can think of…family time! I was blessed with the opportunity to go away with my family for two weeks. The first week we went on vacation to Florida and the second week we were able to visit with dear friends and supporters. Even though we were able to do some very cool things as a family, the best part of these past few weeks is that we have been able to be together as a family.

So often in ministry, especially the one that I work with, there are times where family time is sacrificed. As my kids keep getting older that’s been a harder and harder thing to deal with. I hate missing milestones of my children’s lives and am making more and more of an effort to make sure that doesn’t happen. While traveling with them I was constantly reminded of what a blessing they are and how God has entrusted me to guide and raise these precious lives. At the same time, I was also reminded about what a Godly wife and wonderful mother to my children God has given me in Erin.

As we move into the fall ministry here with KMM I stare at my calendar and see it filling up. At the same time, I look at my family and know that there are some of those days that look full, that I am going to have to clear. God has blessed me more than I could have ever asked for with my family and that is not something for me to ever take for granted.

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!