life beyond the well…


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More About Me

I’ve been writing in this space for almost 10 years now, and while there are some things you might be able to guess about me just from reading, there are others that may surprise you.  I decided to share some of those things that you:

  1. Ketchup is my favorite condiment.  It’s been this way for as long as I can remember.  My mom says that I used to put ketchup on my eggs when I was little, but I have no recollection of that.
  2. Though I don’t have as much time for it as I’d like, reading is something that I love (which is why you see all the book reviews).  There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book.  
  3. I’ve had 3 favorite colors over the course of my life: purple, blue, and now pink.  I’m slowly starting to like green, but I think it’s because I find myself often thinking of my grandmother, and green was her favorite color.
  4. Speaking of my grandmother, she was my first reading teacher and forced fostered my love for reading by making my read everything to her aloud.  The newspaper, signs, random sheets of paper- nothing was off limits.  I wish I could thank her for that today.
  5. I attended a high school focused on science and math- and while there I had AMAZING humanities teachers and a FABULOUS counselor that inspired me to work in education.  
  6. I never planned to attend UNC, but going there changed my life. I found Jesus, met my husband (though we didn’t connect on that level until years later), and became friends with some of the most amazing people in the world. 
  7. I hope to author several books over the course of my life.
  8. I am ridiculously southern, and have an unapologetic love for mason jars, monograms, and pearls.
  9. Before dating Preacherman, I rarely ate salmon. Now I have it for dinner once or twice a week.
  10. My work love language is “wearing jeans”.  I love jeans, but I don’t have the opportunity to wear them as much. When we’re allowed to wear jeans at work on days OTHER than Friday, I get so excited!

 


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Recap: Pastors and Leaders Conference 2014

This past weekend, Preacherman and I had opportunity to attend the 2014 International Pastors and Leadership Conference hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes in Orlando, Florida.  We loved every minute of it.

Being busy without direction is dangerous because it can lead you to waste time, energy, and resources.  One of the biggest gains from this conference was being able to understand the HOW and the WHY of what we should be doing in regards to our ministry.  Not only that, we left with a clear idea of what we can do right now in our church planting process.  Every night, Preacherman and I found ourselves making to-do lists, reaching out to people, and processing all that we were learning.

A huge highlight for us was being able to connect with people–meeting others on the same journey as us, meeting people who have been in ministry for years, and seeing friends and family.  Our pastor, Andy Thompson presented at the conference on Marriage and Ministry, and did a phenomenal job! His session was engaging and entertaining, but grounded in wisdom and biblical truth.  It is such a blessing to be under the leadership of him and his wife, and we are so appreciative of their love and support of us in this journey.

There really are no words to describe how full we felt after leaving this conference.  Since being back, we’ve been hard at work applying the things that we’ve learned, building relationships, and finally hitting a stride in the church planting process.  Though we are at the beginning of this journey, it’s exciting to see things begin to take off and move in the right direction.

To God be the glory for the things He has done.

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 10: Isaiah 32:17

I wish that I could say that every time someone has done me wrong, I have responded appropriately.  I haven’t.  And even now, years into being saved and growing in Christ, there are times where I WISH I could just respond to people “any kind of way”.  Preacherman is excellent about not being driven by his emotions, and he takes great care to make sure that he not only responds appropriately to situations and circumstances, but that his response is one that not only glorifies God, but also one that displays righteousness (being in right standing with God).

What I have learned is that I’m not accountable for how other people treat me, but I am accountable for how I treat them; which is why my response to situations is paramount. As I was praying about a situation that really challenged me this week, I kept hearing in my spirit something that I heard a fellow ministers’ wife say before: “the reward for righteousness is peace”.  That thought leads me to this week’s memory verse:

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.” -Isaiah 32:17 (Amplified)

When I reflect on this verse, I realize that I’d rather have the peace that comes with handling situations in a Godly way, than to have to worry about the effects and negative consequences for responding out of my flesh.  Furthermore, doing so can allow others to build confidence and trust in me, which is needed if we want to reach people for God.  If people can’t trust in me, how can they trust that what I say about God and who He is is real?

Things to ponder.

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 9: Psalm 90:12

As I mentioned last week, things are busy.  We are busy with our jobs.  Busy with ministry.  Busy with marriage.  Busy with life and all that it entails.  There are so many things that can easily consume my time if I’m not careful.  Preacherman and I have been making a dedicated effort to be a better steward of our time- which is the most precious commodity that we have.  If wasted, we never get it back.  Each day, we desire to get closer to fulfilling the purpose God has for our lives.  With that thought, we have this scripture for the week:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

While I hope to be a good steward of all of the resources that God has given me, it is a sincere prayer that I master my time and that I use it in a way that gives God the glory.

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Book Review: The People Factor

Relationships are a huge part of life, and something in which I want to be very good.  I desire to have healthy relationships in all of the roles that I assume- as a wife, a steppie, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend, a coworker, etc.  I was excited to review Van Moody’s book “The People Factor” because I’m finding myself in a new phase of life where I actually have to seek relationships, build them, and maintain them.  Since we have moved to Jacksonville, we’ve been trying to figure out ways to not only meet people, but to develop authentic, healthy relationships with them.  And since that was a goal, I hoped this book could offer some good insight.

Let me just say- this book is awesome!  I found myself wanting to read it faster to get through (because it’s so much GOOD, RELEVANT TEACHING), but also wanting to slow down and take many, many notes.  This is also the first book that I’ve read for review that I’ve had the opportunity to recommend to someone in person (at the hair salon, someone had recently heard about the book and wanted to know if it was good).

Here’s the thing- we can ALL be better at relationships.  Moody’s book provides us with not just an understanding of how and why relationships matter, but tangible tips on how to identify which relationships to stay in (or enter in).  Not only that, at the end of each chapter, he provides excellent relationship reminders and great questions to help you raise your relational IQ.

This book provided a great foundation to help in my approach to relationships in this new phase of life.  This is definitely a book that I will be using as a resource, and that I will recommend to others.  Check it out!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 8: James 1:12

Our life is busy and filled with work. Good work, but still work. And sometimes in that work, you face challenging situations that can test your faith and can make it difficult to act on what you believe as opposed to how you feel in the moment.  Preacherman and I both faced situations like that, over the past week…which has led me to this memory verse:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”- James 1:12 (NIV)

Choosing to persevere in a way that God would desire in a trial is not always the easiest.  However, pleasing God is what is most important, and there’s a reward for my obedience and perseverance.  And I have learned that in those difficult situations, God can use us to be conduits of grace, love, and mercy–in the same way that He so freely gives all three of those to us.

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!

 


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A Higher Definition

In all seriousness, Preacherman is one of the smartest, most gifted people that I’ve ever met. Sometimes we have conversations and I find myself in awe of how his mind works- his ability to make connections and to explain complex things in such a simple way that it’s almost impossible to not understand it.  He does this incredibly well all the time, but it is amazing to watch him do this with the word of God as a preacher and teacher.

In preparation for our next season, Preacherman will preach messages to me- actual messages that he would preach to a church full of people. They are awesome.  And I’m not just saying this as a proud wife.  I’m saying this as a believer who leaves the message having experienced God in a new way, and having learned something that I can apply to my life, making me a better person.

A couple of weeks ago, Preacherman preached this message entitled “A Higher Definition”. It was such a powerful message, based out of 1 John 3:1-3 and 1 Peter 2:9-12.  Here are some of my key takeaways from this message:

  • The world and its systems do not own me.  I belong to God.
  • I am not to be defined by what others say I am: I am CHOSEN, I am HOLY, I am ROYAL, I am a PRIESTHOOD!
  • We are set up to be victorious.
  • Real victory is achieved with real opposition, not just going with the flow of the world.
  • I cannot allow myself to be defined by anything other than Christ.  That’s too low of a definition.
  • Because I am a child of God, I have promise, power, and purpose.
  • If I fail to live a life like Christ, I am allowing others to die in darkness.

This was SUCH a good word, and I hope those snippets above bless you as the message blessed me.  Interested in hearing the message? Let me know and I’ll figure out a way to get it to you!

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 7: 1 John 3:1

We are still struggling to get back into a regular routine (especially with posting these scriptures), but we had a great week of celebrating our love for each other, and the love that God continues to bestow upon us.  As a result, we have chosen to hold on to that this week by memorizing the following verse:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” -1 John 3:1 (NIV)

I am so grateful for God’s love that He provides so lavishly, and that He calls us His children.  The blessings that come as a result of His love and being a part of His family are so amazing.  I pray that each of you see and feel the love of God at work in your life this week.

Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 6- Romans 8:1-2

Just like that, another week has passed!  Getting back into a regular schedule after traveling and following up said travel with a super busy weekend and work week, is tough.  Nevertheless, God is faithful and has sustained us.  We are continuing to believe and see fruit from our prayers during the consecration season, and are excited to see God’s plan unfold this year!

But now, our weekly word:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

How awesome it is to experience the freedom that comes from being in Christ! This has already been a great reminder for me as I’ve encountered some challenging situations that have my mind desiring to condemn me (Side note: don’t let your thoughts do that!). I’ve had to remind myself that I am free to enjoy the abundant life that God has promised me.

Here’s to living and walking in freedom!

Be encouraged!  Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 5: Mark 11:24

Due to travel, this week’s weekly word is a little late, but here’s what Preacherman and I are focused on committing to memory this week:

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”- Mark 11:24 (NIV)

This is timely, as we wrap up the end of Consecration 2014 and still find ourselves deep in prayer for things that we are believing God to do.  We must continue in the belief portion, and exercise our faith as if it’s already done- because it is!  Although it may not be done HOW or WHEN we expect, the fact remains that it is still done, and we must act accordingly.

Be encouraged!  Peace and blessings!

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