Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I've been contemplating this post for a while, now, and wanted to share some things.  Many, who know us personally, know the journey we have been on in the past few months, and know some of this already.  I share this to ask you to pray for us. 

These past few months have been some of the most difficult that we have encountered thus far.  We moved up here to the Pacific Northwest in July, 2008, VERY excited, as we felt led by the Lord to come up here to plant a church here in our town.  We left everything we knew, in Oklahoma, including many dear friends, and a strong network of pastor friends for my husband.  We came here knowing that it would be hard, but determined to follow where He lead us.  Fast forward three very wonderful years to where we are at now.  Our church plant was blessed with so many wonderful families who love the Lord, and loved serving in this community to get something going here.  Unfortunately, we didn't grow to a point where we could be self supporting, and much of our funding was running out.  As we began to see the bigger picture in it all, God brought my husband in contact with another pastor, who was here doing the same thing we were doing.  Through much prayer (and many tears), we came to the conclusion that it was time for us to relinquish OUR plans to the Lord, and we ended up merging with the other church here in town.  It has been wonderful to see the two come together to become a stronger base to start from, but in this process, it left us having to come to terms that our service here in this town that we love was coming to an end.  This is the part that has been so very painful for us.  We want to see this town have a very strong church, and in our selfishness, we really wanted to be able to be a part of that plan. 

The past three years, Brad has been serving part time at a church on Sunday mornings, to help support our family (in this hugely expensive economy!).  This church has been a huge blessing to us and been so supportive, to allow my husband to serve on Sunday mornings, and office there during the week.  Through this time, they have allowed us to stay on, part time, and for that we are so grateful.  We are coming to a time, now, though, where we are desperately seeking where God would have us to serve full time.  We have Brad's resume out to every possible place we hear about.  We have asked the Lord to show us where He wants us, and so far, every door, every possiblity, has been shut.  This process has been very painful as well.  We know that He has a perfect plan for us, and we are trying to remain patient as we wait.  I have to admit that there are times of sheer panic for me.... we have FOUR kids that God has entrusted to us (I know He doesn't need to be reminded of that, it's just an overwhelming thought).  I go to bed at night, and my heart is pounding SO hard, from the stress.  I find myself constantly having to re-lay this at the feet of the ONE who is in control of all things!  Not an easy task for this control freak!

We would ask that you keep us in your prayers.  Please pray that we would be open to where He wants us to go.  Our hearts desire is to stay here, close to family, but we have lived far from family, and we know that He will be with us, if we have to leave them.  Please pray that we would continue to grow and lean not on our own understanding, in all of this.  Also, please pray that the pain of loss would heal.  Relinquishing this church has been one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.  We seriously LOVE these people, and would give anything to be able to pastor them.  They have been so very supportive of our family through this hard transition, and continue to encourage and pray for us.  We love them so MUCH!

Obviously, through this process, God brought the sweetest blessing into our life.... in the form of Ella Grace.  While these months have been, at times, so painful, He has brought us so  much joy through this little girl, and we couldn't be more thankful at the timing of this gift to us.  Getting her home was a huge distraction to us, and I'm so glad we had that to focus on!  I am overwhelmed with gratefulness at the way God is blessing through all of this.  He continues to show our family that He will be our provider, and continues to shower us with His unfailing love. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Ella Grace has an appointment on Monday at Shriner's Hospital.  We were able to go to a free screening a few weeks ago, where they recommended her for treatment, so Monday is our big day where she will go through a 3 hour evaluation to determine if she qualifies for services from Shriner's.  We are excited and hopeful that they will be able to help us with a few issues that need to be taken care of.  Today, the girls and I are driving over to my parents house, because they live closer to Shriner's than we do, and on Monday, my Mom is going to go with us to Spokane to help me find my way around and spend some quality time with Allyson, while Ella Grace and I are at her appointment.

Ella Grace's first week of school was a success... she really seemed to love it!  All of the therapists at school observed her last week, and it sounds like she will begin her therapies this next week, after we are back from Shriner's.   By day 3, she knew when I got the backpack out, where we were headed, and was excited and happy to go!  So proud of our girl, and how she tackles every new challenge set before her!

Monday, May 9, 2011

School Days.....

Today was a big day for Ella Grace!  She went to her very first day of school!  We really thought long and hard about what to do with her schooling situation, knowing that she needed the therapies that are offered, and after meeting with the team 3 times, we felt comfortable enough with all of them, and felt like it was definitely the right move for Ella Grace.  We have been so impressed with all of the team who will be working with her.  They have worked very hard to get Ella Grace into the program, even though there are only 3 weeks of school left.  It is a place to start, and they pushed her through to the summer program as well, so she will be getting services throughout the summer, which will be so important!  We have the priviledge of knowing several of the school employees already, and many were very excited to see her coming.  This made it much easier to leave her in their very capable hands! 

Through all of the evaluations, Ella Grace now has an IEP (Individual Education Plan), which gives us goals for her education.  We are starting at very basics right now, and it will be so fun to see the progress she makes as she goes!  The school even hired a personal education assistant for Ella Grace, who will be there with her every single day, helping her through the afternoon.  I can't tell you how amazing this has all been to us!  We are so very thankful for such a great team of people!

Practicing carrying the backpack!

Here we go!

Ella with Miss Mary, walking down to the recess door.

Recess time is first.... how fun is that?

Not too sure about the helmet!

Puzzle time, and time for Mommy to go home! 

I think she's going to love it, but I can't wait to go get her in 10 minutes!!!  Allyson commented that she misses Ella Grace, and Caleb wants to go with me to pick her up from school, so he can check it all out.  (Jake's not home until after Ella gets home, or he would want to see it, too!)
  Very happy for our girl!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011