I will cherish this video for a long time! Such a sweet sound...
Sunday, February 10, 2013
You may remember this post from last week...It was a post about how much I was struggling waiting to hear from the Lord. Well, we heard...and have some big news to share. Some very exciting news, and some bittersweet news..
These last 2 1/2 years, the Lord has been working in ways I can’t even begin to explain or understand. He has blessed me with more than I could have ever imagined. Last year specifically, the Lord did some really big things that we are just now starting to understand...
Around April of last year, the Lord really laid adoption on our hearts again. We started the process with Bethany. Around that time, we also started looking at houses and we found a house in Summerville, in our dream neighborhood for this area, and made an offer. We prayed that if it wasn’t the Lord’s will, He would shut the door and about a month into He did. We couldn’t understand why at the time..Everything “seemed” perfect BUT a few months down the road when miss Maggie came along, we started seeing that He had better plans for us than just a house. Towards the end of last year, Kaz’s dreaming and planning of starting His own company came to a hault as well. This was something he’s wanted for as long as I can remember...Last year, he prayed and planned for a business. Around November, we both no longer felt a peace from the Lord on it. It was disheartening for Kaz and for me. He had planned for so long...prayed for so long, and then the Lord took that away. Another really weird thing that happened last year, was with my photography business. I’ve always said that I would do photography as long as the Lord allowed me too. Having kids, has changed how much I want to work, but I really enjoy photography. I enjoy my work. In years past, I’ve been overwhelmed at the amount of weddings that I’ve booked. It seemed like last year, the Lord wasn’t allowing me to get inquiries about weddings, and the ones that I was getting were for the exact same dates that I was already booked. I didn’t worry about this because in my mind I thought this was the Lord’s way of telling me He didn’t want me to work as much...but going into 2013, I had about 8 weddings booked, compared to 35 in 2012. We kept pushing along and praying for the Lord’s will, and what happened next was honestly something neither one of us ever thought as a possibility. The Lord opened an unexpected door...A door that is starting to make sense of everything that has happened in the last year. In January, the Lord opened a door for a job in Hartsville SC[my hometown]. From the day Kaz applied, until he found out, it was exactly a month. A month full of prayers, fears, excitement. I’ve never thought moving back home was a possibility and my biggest fear when he applied was him not getting it, because I was so excited about the possibility. The Lord has been working out things this past month that I can’t even begin to describe...BUT Kaz got the job. He will be working for Duke Energy[formerly Progess Energy]. Originally, we thought the job wouldn’t start until May/June, BUT he will be starting in 3 weeks. I’m so extremely proud of him.
This new chapter in our life brings so much joy and excitement, but also sadness. We have made so many wonderful friends in Charleston. Over this last year, I have become such good friends with 2 special ladies[Jennifer and Marie-picture posted below]. We have become the kind of friends that no topic is off limits, we can show up at each others house at anytime, uninvited. Every week, we watch each other kids to run errands, appointments, etc. It’s become a special friendship, not only for us, but for our kids. I’m sad for Annie Rice in that. I know she will make new friends, but she talks about Brynn, Gaines, and Walt everyday, and she sees them several times a week. Brynn has become her BFF...their giggles of excitement for one another makes my heart so happy. That’s the part that makes me the most sad...is her missing out on those special friendships. I know she make new friends, and we will still see our old friends, but they will greatly be missed. I think I have cried about this everyday..and when I start, it’s hard to stop. We have been blessed with some special friends.
With my photography business, I now realize the reason I didn’t book nearly as many weddings...Because we will be 3 hours away and the Lord knew I couldn’t drive to Charleston every weekend for weddings! The really neat part is over this last month, I’ve been contacted for so many weddings in Hartsville. More than I ever have in the last 4 years I’ve been doing photography. It’s been pretty neat, and the Lord is working it all out for His Glory. My clients in Charleston have been unbelievable supporters to me. I couldn’t have started my business and grown it so much without the support of everyone and the Lord. I have had the best clients. With this move, I will no longer be working “full time” in Charleston. I will still do weddings in Charleston from occasion to occasion, but for the most part, my business will be in Hartsville/Florence.
This is a really big change for our family. I’m excited and scared at the same time. So many details have to be worked out considering we are moving in less than 3 weeks, but I know the Lord is already working away. What He’s done in the last month, has been more than I could have ever imagined, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.
[Jennifer and Marie]
Annie Rice and Brynn
Monday, February 04, 2013
A lot has been going on in our life lately...The Lord has been doing some really big things and we have been in a season of waiting and praying...
When we started this process, we knew that a lot of prayer needed to go into this. We felt the Lord calling us to give up soda, as a way of fasting and praying. I’m not going to lie, it was very hard at first because I’m a coke zero junkie. Some people carry around bottles of water...in my bottle, there’s always coke zero. We made the commitment to drink no soda[with 1 date exception] UNTIL we heard on this matter. Last Monday, we were in week 3. I’d been doing good with the no soda, but you know after awhile, it’s easy to NOT DO SOMETHING and FORGET why you are doing it...So let me tell you a little about last week for me...
Let me just say one thing before I start...When I have fasted in the past, I never talked about it. I think that it’s a private thing between oneself and the Lord...but this time has been different because I really believe the Lord has called me to “share” what I have been LEARNING through this time of fasting. I’m sharing not to bring any glory to myself, BUT I’m sharing because I truly believe this is a life lesson that HE has been teaching me.
Kaz and Annie Rice went to church, while I stayed home with Maggie[she had a really bad cold]. While they were at church, I did my bible study at home. I really felt convicted about giving up facebook, instagram, and pinterest for awhile. That’s a really BIG thing for me. I’M ALWAYS, always on my phone. Checking facebook throughout the day, posting instagram pictures, and looking at pinterest when I’m sitting at home, or riding in the car. Before going to bed, I lay awake scrolling down the phone...If I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I will usually look at it, and in the morning too. It’s been pretty sad, but it’s continuously grown as a habit, one could say. OR it could be that these things have become “functional Gods” in my life. In biblical terms a functional God is something other than God that we set out heart on (Luke 12:29; 11 Cor. 10:9), that motivates us (1 Cor. 4:5), that masters and rules us (Ps. 119:133; Eph 5:5), or that we trust, fear, or serve (Isa. 42:17; Matt 6:24; Luke 12:4-5)... When Kaz got home, I told him what the Lord had revealed, and He committed to giving facebook and instagram up as well. I knew this would be hard...
On Monday morning, I was having my bible study time and the Lord revealed ANOTHER thing He wanted me to give up...TV. My first thought was really, why must I give up TV too? Let me give you a little background information...Towards the beginning of last year, the Lord really convicted me of my TV shows and music that I listen too. He laid such heavy convictions on my heart about this last year, that I cut our cable package down A LOT to include the tv channels that I watched pretty much everything on[mostly reality..BRAVO especially]. So in my mind last Monday morning, I thought, why in the world would I need to give up TV. I’ve already given so much of it up. I don’t watch that many shows..I watch or record maybe 6-7 shows a week. In my mind, that’s good compared to the 20 I used too! BUT the Lord kept working and I kept fighting. I told Kaz that I would do this BUT AFTER I watched the season premiere of Dallas last Monday night. I would not miss it..how selfish?
So all of last week, I gave up TV...Well, until Thursday. I last 2 days. I got so mad at the Lord on Thursday, BECAUSE I was tired of waiting. Is that not the silliest thing you have ever heard? Because I got mad, and wanted this to be in MY timing, I got mad and had an attitude. I let it slowly effect the next couple days and by yesterday, I was not only watching TV, but checking facebook, and drinking soda. I HAD FORGOTTEN JUST HOW MUCH THE LORD HAD DONE, AND WHY HE WAS CALLING ME TO GIVE UP THESE THINGS...Yes, it may not be “normal” to the world, BUT He doesn’t call me to be normal in the eyes of the world, He calls me to be obedient. Instead of being obedient, I went running back to those things that provide a false sense of comfort. This morning in my bible study, all of these convictions hit me at once. How selfish I am and just how sinful my heart really is...In the end, it’s not about how long I wait, what I give up, or how I succeed and fail at it...It’s about the work that HE is doing in and through me during this waiting time and whether or not I choose to use that time I had in the past spent on facebook/TV on just some “other thing” , or IF I use it to glorify Him. I don’t know WHY I haven’t learned this lesson yet, BUT it’s NOT ABOUT the THING I’m waiting on...It’s about the things that HE is doing through the waiting. He’s not asking me to give up all of these things as punishment, it’s just the opposite. I know and have to constantly remind myself, that He’s doing a work through these things that is far greater than I could ever ask or imagine..He’s working out incredible blessings for my life. The path may be squiggly..I may “forget again” and run to other things, but I’m thankful that my God is a God who forgives, correct, and reminds....AND LOVES NO MATTER WHAT. His love never fails...He never gives up on me.
Psalm 130: 5-6
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word, I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.