Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From One Family to Another...

Last weekend, I had the chance to go see my family in Nashville. They obviously don't live there, they live in good ol' Nitro WV, but since I am in Oklahoma, we decided to go to Nashville to spend our Christmas together. It was a very fun and eventful weekend filled with lots of laughs and silly memories that I will have forever with my sister and parents as well. It did my soul well to see them and to get to spend that time with them, like everyone, we wish our time with our loved ones was a lot longer, but reality hits, we have to go our separate ways. It's my first Christmas in almost 23 years that I have not spent in Nitro.

Tomorrow I leave for Casper Wyoming to spend some time with Jarrod's family. We will be there for a few weeks because not only is it Christmas, my beautiful sis-in-law is getting married. :) i am so so excited for them and to finally have a brother in my life. :D I have never spent a Christmas with the Bowman's or as a BOWMAN! So, I am so looking forward to spending this first Christmas, not just with my hubby, but my new family as well. They have been so good to me, loving me and supporting both Jarrod and I. It is so nice and such a blessing to not just have parents who love me, but my in-laws who love me as well.

I seriously couldn't ask for much more. It gets hard at times being in a different part of the country than both the Hedrick's and Bowman's but it is so nice to feel their love no matter where we go in our lives. I want nothing more than to grow in love and life with my family. its so hard to be away from both of them, but i am reminded that when God calls us in ministry that sometimes means we are away from our families for a while.. not meaning we love them less or they love us less, meaning God is using Jarrod and I to make a difference and push back darkness where we currently are. Its hard to grasp sometimes, but the rewards of being in ministry make that time with family that much sweeter.

Merry Christmas my friends. May you feel loved by the ones you are surrounded by.
For the record,

oh ps. Jarrod landed a job with Tate Publishing and I am so very proud of him. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011- to this I am thankful.

This past year, has been a year of growing, learning, loving and most of all, a year of life change. I knew going into this year, that great things were headed my way, but i didn't know how much I would be depended on God to get me through the good, the bad and the ugly. To this year, I have been more thankful.

I skipped out on my last semester at Warner to do my internship here in OKC with Youth for Christ. Coming to OKC a whole semester early taught me how to once again step outside of my bubble and reach out to people I really didn't know and to become friends with them. Since I was so consumed with ministry and my students, I didn't have time for just trying to make friends. However I did, and I am grateful for that. I had to deal with leaving behind what I was comfortable with, and a ton of friends that were my family at Warner to come to a place, where I had to start all over. However, I feel like if I didn't spend that semester here, I would be learning more of the things now that I should have learned then.

In May I headed back to Warner to graduate and see all my wonderful amazing friends one last time before becoming a Warner Grad! :) I can not explain to you how wonderful and refreshing that whole week was that I spent back in the LW for that week. Being back with the people who have traveled on the journey with me for 4 years, the ones who
understood me and the ones who stood by my side was just amazing. I can look back and be thankful for all the laughs, tears and God moments I have had with each of them. Being in a role at Warner where I had to lead my girls as an RA was one of the most amazing and humbling experiences I have ever had. I know God did not just place me as an RA but, he established wonderful and beautiful friendships with so many girls. I am thankful for being able to go back, and see all the great things God did in my life there.

About a month after graduation, I said I do to the most amazing man I know. Marrying my best friend has been nothing but a journey of learning and loving! Since the wedding, we have learned so much about one another, we have hit speed bumps, and made it through together. He is and will always be my best friend, and whatever life throws at us, we will be there to get though it together. :) God has blessed each of us each day, by learning how to trust in him, and know that He will take care of us, and that he has such a big plan for each of us in our lives together.

Being back here in Oklahoma City, we have been blessed to be surrounded by a great staff, mentors and friends who love us and want to see nothing more than for God's will to be done. I have been so blessed to work with just great students and to help them see who God is in their life. It has been a blessing to grow and challenge my students to be leaders among their peers... to see that they are worth more than anything in the eyes of God and to help them find their purpose in life.

Most of all, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my family allowing and helping me pursue my dreams, my inlaws for being a big support, for mentors allowing me to see God in my life, for friends who are always there, for a husband who is loving and a God that guides me in all that I do. To this, I am THANKFUL.

Come before Him with thankful hearts. Psalm 95:2

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Total Bliss

The past four months have been total bliss. Through the ups and downs, married life has been all I expected and more. Here is a little list of the top things I have learned since being a married lady!

1. Have fun- being the type of people we are, Jarrod and I have learned how to have fun in the most simple ways. Since we both work with youth, we are the typical newly weds that DONT have all the money supply in the world. We have learned how to have fun by staying home, by going on CHEAP dates and having fun just by being with one another!

2. Unconditional love- being married and with someone 24/7 is great in my opinion. However, through the good time and the bad times, unconditional love is required. When the house is a mess and when something doesnt go our way OR even when times are so hard, Love is required. Our LOVE and God's LOVE!

3. Being Friends: The best thing about being married to a smokin' hot man is that he is and was my best friend way before we even dated! Being best friends allows us to see and understand each other from different points of view.

4. Ohhh We have each other: Having each other is one of the most important things. Being married has showed us who our real friends are, who we are and that when all else fails, we will always have each other.

These are just 4 little things I have been thinking about lately. Without these things, marriage would be boring, dull and just lame. However, with these things, the learning, the journey and the love will always continue to grow.

I am blessed to have an amazing hubby who loves me, his family and God more than anything else. I am thankful for his friendship, his love and support. I am looking forward to the many years to follow. Married life is bliss... total bliss! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Will Walk By Faith.

I have a peace. I have a peace within myself, with my marriage, ministry and relationships. Lately, God has been teaching me how to wait on him, and that when we wait patiently for him, he will open a door. I have been trying to figure out what will happen next, where God wants us, but he is just telling me to be still, to wait on him and to live everyday in his presence! When I walk by faith, I will see God's plan.

I am trusting that while I am here in OKC, that I will make those friendship like I once had/still have. Its really hard moving away from friends and family that walked through life with me, who I will always share memories and laughs with. I am praying to find that again, where my friends and I would invest, pour in to one another, pray for one another. I am ready to find friends here that are on the same journey as I am! I am praying for friends that God will bring into my life that will invest in me and I in them. :)

I am trusting that when Jarrod goes in for his job interview on Monday that God will open or close a door. Regardless, God has a plan, and when we align our hearts with his, he will show us our dreams and calling and make them a reality in this presence and light. I have been so blessed to travel this journey with just an amazing man of God that always seeks God's plan for his life. Its a blessing to serve a God that loves us so much that he wants nothing more that to help our hearts reach our dreams.

I am trusting that through every joy and every pain, God will be there holding me, loving me, and allowing me to trust the peace that he always brings. On this ever-changing journey, I am blessed for every obstacle, every pain and every joy. God is at work, and I am trusting that he has a plan. In the mean time, I will be ever-learning, ever-loving and ever-serving.

If you read the Jesus Calling Devos, I hope Oct. 6th spoke to you just as much as it spoke to me. Here is a little bit of the devo from that day::

"Be willing to follow ME where I lead. Follow ME wholeheartedly, with glad anticipation quickening your pace. Through you don't know what lies ahead, I know and that is enough!! Some of MY richest blessings are just around the bed: out of sight but nonetheless very rel. To receive these gift,you must walk by faith-- not by sight. This doesn't mean closing your eyes to what is all around you. It means subordinating the visible world to the invisible Shepherd of your soul"

"We Live by faith, not by sight" 2 Cor. 5:7

I must live by faith, and always knowing that God's plan is just around the bend.

For the Record,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Learning to cook! :)

Recently, I have had the time to organize my house the way I want it. It's still a work in progress, but its coming along more and more each day. Any ways, today, while i was organizing my kitchen, I found the storage of cookbooks that I stored somewhere when we first moved in.

Today, I sat down and looked through most of them and I got some cool ideas, bu my favorite cook book I received was from Grandma Erxleben. It is a book of recipes from both of our families. It's been such a cool gift because, I have looked at it so much lately, and it proves to Jarrod that I am an okay cook! :D It is also so helpful, because the things we wish we knew how to make is in this book. I love it and it has been such a special gift to me.

Today, I called my Mamaw Jean and got all the "other" recipes that weren't in the book, so now, I feel like the book is almost complete. Now, we will just add our own recipes.. and one day, we will pass this down to our kids.

For now, I am going to experiment with it all!

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Journey of Love, Trusting and Learning

So, this is my first post in my personal blog. Kinda cool. :) So just an update, Jarrod and I got married almost 4 months ago next week! Since being married, we have learned how to love more, trust more and most of all, we have learned so much about one another in the short few months of marriage. It has been a blessing once we both look back and realize how much we have grown over the past couple of months.

One thing that we have continued to learn is that God is present among both of us. He has been there for us through the good, the bad and the ugly. We look back and see his faithfulness, we look around and see where he is present in our lives, and we look forward in great expectation that he will be at work in our lives. We are trusting that God has something amazing in store for us, something that will help us reach our dreams as a family.

We are at a point where we are just in waiting. Waiting for something more than where we are. We are waiting on door's to open, on God to just say goooooooo! But, when we worry, fear and tell God where we want to go.. we will be in waiting that much more. We are trusting, waiting, learning and loving through it all.

God has spoken to both of us lately. Here are some verses that have laid heavily on our hearts:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Phil 4: 4-8

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Ps. 27:14

Through the ups and downs, God still reminds us to wait on him.. and we will do just that.