growing pains

Dear friends and family,

I am so sorry for the long hiatus! However, since mid October I have been working full-time as a teller at a local bank in Peoria. The idea of working full-time again after Steve and I were married wasn't one of which I was very fond. I knew that both of us working while we had no children would prove to be a wise endeavor for our family and would help take a huge burden off Steve's shoulders. However, I found it increasingly unbearable to imagine throwing myself into a 40 hour position, that honestly I could care less about, which would pull me away from my home and serving my husband there. I have since built relationships with people there who I do care for, though. Regardless, I took the  plunge realizing that in this season of our lives, this is one of the best ways to serve my husband and show that I love him. If only I would remember that point of view the mornings that I have a hard time getting out of my bed and leaving my home for majority of the day. More and most importantly, I strive to have the discipline to direct my thoughts (and ((bad)) attitudes) heavenward realizing that I am coming into contact with numerous people on a day to day basis who desperately need to know the love Christ has for them. I desperately need to know the love Christ has for me. So far, I've been failing with flying colors. Most of the time selfishness conquers a Christ-centered hope in that I begin thinking I should have the right to do the things that I am truly passionate about that I KNOW would bring me so much more fulfillment than this mundane money counting routine. (Ok, really, being a teller is stressful work.)

But God is still, as He always does, reminding me that He is greater. The plans He has for me are greater. Trusting and obeying Him even in the mundane is greater. (Sidenote:  Steve and I along with the rest of his immediate family have begun reading the Bible through this year. I have done nothing but read over and over again how God considers it righteousness when a man trusts and immediately obeys Him! His word is SO rich with reaffirmation of how awesome He is in His deeds towards man! Ps. 66.5)

Two very significant events occurred within days of each other over a week ago placing my dreams, hopes, emotions, beliefs, etc. in a whirlwind of contemplation. My reasoning and complete understanding still have yet to surrender to the enormity of our first blessed discovery. On Jan. 14th, Steve and I watched in disbelief as our sonographer scrolled over the two tiny bodies and heartbeats that are growing inside of me. Within days of seeing our twins for the first time, I received a phone call asking if I was still willing to consider a full time position as the assistant worship director at a nearby church. Before me lay my two greatest ambitions and fears. No two things have I ever hoped and longed for more than being involved in full time worship ministry and starting a family. No two things have ever had more of a hold on my heart than these. And now I was faced with making the decision with my husband for us to move and I be the full time provider as we prepare to have our first two children at the SAME time within a few short months OR for me to decline the offer so that I can stay at home to provide the nurturing love and guidance for my children to grow. Children. Two humans. Two people that God chose Steve and I to facilitate their growth during the formative years of their lives. Two amazing works of our Creator that are and will always be very much more so His than they will ever be ours.

After hours of grueling conversation and soul searching and rehearsing what we believe and hold to be true, Steve and I decided that the wisest most God-glorifying decision that we could possibly make would be to decline the offer and remain. Decline a dream and passion that has been growing ever so fiercely inside of me since I was 13. Decline an opportunity to be something that I believed for years was more who I was created to be than ever being a mom. Although we were at total peace with the convictions we hold and the decision we made, there is still a part of me that begins to ache even as I write about and rehearse the events in my mind. One piece of truth that my dear friend Mr. Tullos reminded me of was this:
God's timing and testing are perfect. Just because I'm not moving into a position that I believe would fulfill a huge part of who God has created me to be does not diminish His calling on my life or ability.
And the truth is as well that there surely are many longings currently taking residence in my heart which won't be fulfilled this side of eternity.

Even through all this God is still providing. While the weight of the financial burden that twins will bring begins to weigh heavy, people are stepping up and offering items to help meet our need. I was also asked to be the vocal director of the worship ministry at Riverside. What a huge opportunity! Even though it may not be "full-time ministry", it still permiates all of my every day life. So I look forward to teaching and being taught, used and changed while under the authority of and working alongside my dear friend Mr. Austin Luhring (and all my other cherished friends!) in the worship ministry at Riverside.

I look forward to this summer and meeting those two people growing inside me. I look forward to what God has in store.

We look to Yahweh, Yahweh
Our hope is Yahweh, Yahweh
And He shall reign forever
He shall reign forever
He shall reign forever and ever!