Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Month

 December 4, 2013

Gordon at 1 Month:

  • Nurses like a champ.
  • Loves being swaddled. Wrapping him up nice and snug calms him and helps him fall asleep. Often, if he's fussy (and it's not time to eat) if we swaddle him he'll calm down and fall right to sleep.
  • Will take a bottle. Making errand running/date night easier on mommy and daddy (he was our third wheel on two dates in November!). 
  • Likes to be sung to (Lucy helps out with this!) and being snuggled (Michael loves to hug his brother!).

(Click on the above image to see the captions)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Change of Plans

Thinking back to when we moved to Pampa and when we came to Lansing our family’s “mission” or desires have stayed the same: We want to build authentic relationships with people and help individuals grow in their understanding of the gospel in order to deepen their love for Jesus. We’ve had different settings in which these desires have worked out: The big city of Chicago, and, in comparison, the small town of Pampa. Here in Lansing and, we anticipated, in a location where we would start a new church. 

Let’s back up a bit… to mid-October, when we only had two kids, when I was hugely pregnant and when we were trying to decide where we would move and plant a church in the Summer of 2014… 

Brad was approached and asked if he wanted to apply for a full time position at Riv. The position was the Senior Director of Youth and Students and entailed leading a team of 7 staff members and countless volunteers that teach over 700 kids and students each week, providing overall vision and helping these ministries transfer to new venues. This request shocked both of us, honestly we shook our heads in confusion/excitement/surprise for a few days. If we did apply for the job and get it, the implications would completely change the trajectory of our lives (we’d stay in Lansing and not need to move, we’d be employed by a church and not need to fund raise, Brad would work alongside the staff at Riv and volunteers instead of with a core group of lay-people). After praying about it we decided to apply and see what God would continue to do. It dawned on me as I was processing through all this that our family’s mission would stay the same if we stayed, only the location and some methods would change. This was a reassuring thought for me, realizing that God could want to use us in a different way than I anticipated but that I could still pour out my life for the gospel was helpful. 

After a few stages of interviewing and completing a project, Brad was offered the job and we accepted the position. He started the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are staying in Lansing! I feel like this news is still sinking in for me personally, over 2 months later. We really enjoy Lansing and have found community in so many areas - through visiting the park, a women’s bible study, our life group and spending time with other church staff and their families. God has been good to us. 

Want to know something else? There is another couple who was able to step into the residency program. The timing of the current training works perfectly with the stage of planning and preparation they are in as they prepare to plant a church. Isn’t that cool?!  

God’s leading is a strange thing. I truly believe he works in our hearts, guiding our desires to bring us to a place of rest and deepened trust. He has been faithful to our family and I am so thankful. 

We have not completely ruled out the option for church planting in the future and we’ve been told that the option for us to church plant in partnership with Riv is still open. But for  now, we are where the Lord wants us - even though it's a different place than we thought he was directing us to in the first place. 

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" James 4:13-15
How fitting is that verse to our current situation! (Although, we didn't come to Lansing to make a profit! Ha!)

So, we are here in Lansing. Brad says that he is leading a team that teaches 700+ potential church planters every week. :) We have three kids. We are seeking to live authentically with those around us in the hopes that they grow in their understanding of the gospel and have a deepened love for Jesus.


Bonus! You can hear a bit of Brad’s vision for the students and kids at Riv yourself! This video was played during services this last weekend.