Friday, January 29, 2010

Publish His Glorious Deeds

"Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; bless his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!" Psalm 96:1-4a NLT

One of my goals for 2010 is to journal more about my life and thoughts. This genealogy album had me thinking about recording more for my family. So, for those that are interested, stick with me on this post. I have had quite a bit on my heart to share for the last two weeks and I wanted to make sure I got it down tonight. I have noticed that if I don't, I won't and these thoughts will be lost forever.

You may know that we have had a rough three years. At least when we look back at the last three years it sounds like we had it rough. I stopped teaching to become a mama, had a hard post-pregnancy and I got so sick that Dave missed some work to help care of Ethan. I am sure there was also post-partum depression added to the mix. Dave's lung then collapsed three times and he had to have lung surgery. Dave was out of work for three months. I went back to work for six months teaching part time but we never really got out of that hole that we had dug ourselves into. We were treading water for so long until we made the decision to sell our home. We both agreed that it was time to down size, move closer to town to help with Dave's drive, and be closer to family.

We have been praying about where God would have us move. We knew if we were to down size that we wanted life changing things to happen. You know... save, be debt free, and live wiser lives. Dave and I are still young to change our living habits for better. This week our prayers were answered!

Our friends that direct Aldersgate Conference Center had a part time position open at their camp. I applied at the camp and got the job! We will be moving there by the end of February to the camp! We are so excited about this new adventure. I have been praising God for giving us this opportunity to start again, strengthen our hearts in the Lord, and to bless Aldersgate and those that stay there.

Don't you ever worry about what kind of legacy you are leaving behind? Is that a strange thing to be thinking about at 32? Maybe... maybe not. I think about it all the time. I guess when you have had experiences like mine, you tend to... on my application there were a few questions I wanted to make sure I have preserved.

When did you accept Christ as your personal Savior? What led to this decision? I accepted Christ as my personal Savior when I was three years old in my Sunday School classroom. I grew up in a Christian home where I was raised to love God. It wasn’t until twenty years later when I was disciplined in His Word, learned to love, fear, and obey God that I then realized that I needed to give my life entirely up to Him. I asked Him to use me in all that He could for His work and not my own. I was baptized and my life changed from that moment on… serving Him.

Describe what your Christian experience has been since that time: Although I grew up in a Christian home we never read the Bible together as a family or learned basic Christian discipline (read the Bible, serve in church, tithe, etc). When I surrendered my life to Christ, I knew that He wanted me to begin serving in my local church in the children’s ministries. I began serving as a Sunday School teacher and from that position the Lord opened a door for me to work at Sonshine School, in Salem Oregon. My boss, Mrs. Dorothy Read, disciplined me in spiritual things. I was taught how to respect, love, read God’s Word, and obey others. Since then, I have been involved with many different church ministries, learning from God to let Him use me as He needs. I have been involved in teaching in children’s ministries, directing children’s ministries, leading vacation bible school, leading Christmas programs, serving on the worship team, assimilation, and helping support my husband’s assistant pastoral duties.

During my time of teaching at Sonshine School, my teaching assistant and best friend, Maria, (Dorothy Read’s daughter) passed away from cancer unexpectantly in one day. She had collapsed at home one evening and passed away the next. I sat with her at her bedside that day as she reminded her father where she was going soon. During the mourning process, I looked everywhere in my school videos of Maria and I couldn’t find her. I looked at church event videos and couldn’t find her. In fact, her parents didn’t have many adult photos of her. Where was she? She was the one in the kitchen getting snack ready for 100 kids. She was the one that everyone depended on to babysit during women’s events. She was always serving… Maria taught me to be selfless. She went to be with the Lord before her twenty-first birthday; I think of her often and know that I am still striving to have the servant’s heart as she. Her life and death showed me how to live life with love for God and not ourselves.

At the end of my ten years of serving in the local church, God has placed on my heart the need to focus on my son’s spiritual growth. This year, I have stepped down from many of these duties that I have grown comfortable in, for God to use me in mighty ways this year at home. I have been homeschooling my two year old son. In doing so, I have been able to see my son grow in knowing who Jesus is and learning those early disciplines that I never received as a child. It has been more rewarding learning how to be the mother that God wants me to be.

Today, when I look back at these last three years I don't see the entire negative. I see how Dave is now able to breathe. I rejoice at being healthy. I can stay at home with Ethan and watch him grow and learn by teaching him myself. I can see how God has redeemed us through it all! God does amazing things. He has given us a new beginning and a chance to make a difference through service.

So needless to say, I have been packing. It is exciting. If this is what January is like, I can't wait to see what God has planned for the rest of 2010!


Rebecca Grinder said...

;) i love you sis!

Anonymous said...

What a touching testimony of God's love and grace. I know this year holds many wonderful blessings for you and your family.
- Barb

Diane said...

-Praying for the best for you and your family in your new beginnings. Adversity sometimes is needed for us to truly see and appreciate the blessings that he has for us.
Diane White

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jen for sharing your beautiful testimony and excitement for what God has in store for you and your family. I am reminded of some verses I read this morning: Psalm 40:2 NIV
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Isaiah 55:9 NIV
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 NIV
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 3:14 NIV
14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I pray for you and your family as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

Christ is Lord of the past, present, future, depths, and heights of our life.
God bless you, love Sarah

Kate said...

How exciting!!! Can't wait to hear about your new adventures and see beautiful pics of course!

Jennifer Evans said...

Thank you for all your sweet comments! Can't wait to share this new adventure with all of you!