Financial Commitments

Interesting how things work...a few months ago, our church decided to build "Phase II" of our new building. There were plenty of meetings and information floating around. Everything was surrounding members of the church making a commitment to give financially toward the capital campaign. The idea is to pray about giving above and beyond what you already give as your tithe. So, I started praying. And I came to a conclusion about how much I thought we should give. And I told Steve and made the commitment together (which is a 3 year commitment) to do this. Almost immediately after deciding, unexpected bills started to pile up. It was a vet bill here, the A/C man there...just those normal everyday things that crop up when you are least expecting them. And of course, I found myself angry at God (again!) I felt like I finally made a commitment to go above and beyond (which, when it comes to finances, is unlike me) and then He allows all these things to start hitting. But then I realized He was asking me..."Will you trust me in the lean times just like in times of plenty?" I had made the commitment when things were easy and we had plenty of money, but when things got tight, I actually got angry. Steve and I had the same conversation and he agreed (reluctantly I think!) that I was right...if we were going to commit, we'd do it whole-heartedly. And just so you know, things have financially continued to get worse. But we are trusting God to provide. Good grief, what else do we have to hang onto if not for that?!?!

The good news is that we had a Thailand meeting last night and I got my account balance...and the balance is just a portion of what I originally owed. I do still owe, so for those of you who still want to donate, please don't let this be a deterrant. I am trusting that God will continue to provide and I'm trusting that He will send enough financial blessings our way to hopefully cover not just my trip, but Steve's trip to Moldova also. I am excited to see what He's going to teach me through this entire mission journey! For those that have already donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those that haven't, I encourage you to pray about what you can/should do. I understand that some of you are like us and really can't afford any extra. To those of you, I ask you to pray for us. This is uncharted territory for both of us.

Welcome Shelby Jones!
I have been delinquent in welcoming Shelby into the world! Shelby Jones born to one of my closest (though not geographically) and dearest friends in the world, Kylene! She arrived last Friday, April 20 at a little after noon. She weighed just 7lbs 5 oz which is a lightweight compared to her big sister Madyson! Kylene has been through a pretty stressful time, including moving from Mt. Juliet TN to Huntsville AL about 2 weeks ago (yes, during her 9th month of pregnancy). Kylene was dilated to about 4cm for 3-4 weeks and we thought Shelby would NEVER come!! Well, she is finally here and both Mom and Shelby are doing fine. They are back home in Huntsville and we are hoping to visit in August.

That's about it from us here. We'll post more when there is more to post!!!


Some things to talk about...

I've been catching slack from friends who visit my blog frequently that I haven't updated in a while, so here it is. Believe it or not, I feel like I have a lot to say today!

The Tragedy at Virginia Tech
I feel like I should start with expressing my deepest condolences to those affected directly or indirectly by the massacre at VT. I, like others, am deeply saddened by what has happened. I ask that each of you pray for not only the victims and their families, but also the family of the shooter. I think too many times we focus on the victims and forget that another family has not only lost a son, but also has to bear the burden of what that son has done and what he will be remembered for. I doubt they will be able to go anywhere for a long time without being stared at and talked about. Let us pray for them also. As a parent, I can assure you that sometimes despite your best efforts at parenting, a child will go astray.

Moving On...
...to a happier note...I know those of you who check frequently probably noticed several page changes in my blog lately. My good friend Allison didn't really like the last page layout I had, so I changed to make her happy. :) I happened to have lunch with Allison yesterday. It was a nice time together and we got to catch up. Some of you may recall that Allison was the dear friend who cried right along side of me the morning we found out Steve was losing his job. Some things you can just never repay....thanks again Allison. :)

Update on Our Mission Trips
Well, the fundraising is going well for my trip to Thailand. I am getting closer every day to having the trip paid for in full and I have faith that God will provide for that. For those of you that want to donate, I encourage you to do so. Steve is going to Moldova and because I'd already solicited everyone we knew for financial support, he was in a quandary about how to raise the money for his trip. Most of you (unless you are Taylor family) will not get a support letter from Steve also. However, if you feel you are being led to donate to his trip also, you can certainly let me know (or call Brentwood Baptist Church) and we can get you set up. In the event that my trip is paid for and additional donations come in after, they will automatically transfer those funds directly to Steve's trip. I have faith that this is what God has led both of us to do so I have faith that He will provide even if that means us having to pay out of our pocket some. Thanks to all of you who have already donated. You WILL be getting thank you notes soon...I'm trying to wait and send them all out at the same time.

Quick Prayer Request
A quick prayer request...our pastor is right now in England preparing to speak at a pastor's conference. Unfortunately, after he arrived, he misplaced/lost his passport. He is just sick over the whole fiasco. According to what little facts I have, he is going to the US Embassy today to see what can be done. However, depending on how long it takes at the embassy, he might end up missing his speaking engagement which is the whole reason he traveled there in the first place (and he has made it known, he hates to travel!). He's due to travel home tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday is our HUGE committment Sunday for our capital campaign. He's going to just be sick if he has to miss that, so for those of you reading this, send up a quick prayer. This is a wonderful man of God who loves Jenna Grace almost as much as we do and we really want him home safely. Mike Glenn is the name...be sure and include him in your prayer time....

Nothing additional on Gage. He's doing fine and growing like a weed. There have been a few little bumps along the way with changing over to formula, but I think Micah has found the right one and he's sleeping well and eating well to boot. I think Micah will be at our house in a few weeks for another weekend when Steven is out of town, so I promise more pictures then.

Wrapping Up...
Other that all that, not much is going on. I'm going to an all day scrapbooking event on Saturday, so I will hopefully get all caught up. Since our weekend retreat earlier this year, I have TONS of pictures from different events. I am finally starting to recover from the cold I had a couple weeks ago. I finally had to call the doctor again to get another round of antibiotics because one round just didn't kick it. I think once I'm done with those, I should be fine. Jenna Grace and Steve are both doing fine. I guess that's about it for me....I'll try to get another post in sooner next time!


Health updates on us...

I am finally recovering from a weekend long illness. I tell you, it has been many years (if ever in my recollection) that I have felt this bad. Now, I'll admit, I'm not the best patient, but still...whew! Since Thursday night, my world was a blur. Yesterday afternoon, I just started feeling a little more like myself. I had to drag myself to the 11am Easter service and still was in a fog. By last night, I was starting to feel a little better. Because I literally stayed in the bed all weekend, I could not get out of bed at 5:15am this morning. I dropped Jenna off late, went to work late and then by 4pm, didn't know how much longer I was going to make it. I was just still a little weak. My manager told me to go ahead and beat the traffic home, so I did. Now, I'm just relaxing...

Gage had his check up today. He's 8 lbs, 2 oz and 20 1/2 inches long! A true growing boy! Micah is still nursing and they are both doing so well at it. You know as a new mother, you always worry that they aren't geting enough, but he's growing and the pediatrician was thrilled. Micah was starting to have some pain and was going to start weaning, but the pediatrician noted that Gage did have a touch of thrush which is most likely causing Micah's pain. The doc prescribed her and him some medicine. So, with that, I'm not sure that she's going to switch to formula just yet, but she will start getting him used to it. She has a little cyst on her lower back that has been lanced several time. She was scheduled to have it surgically removed when she discovered she was pregnant and now it's already coming back, so she'll have to go under general anesthesia soon and have it removed once and for all. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on that. His jaundice is completely gone and he goes back on May 21 for his first round of shots.

Besides that, everyone else is doing fine. Like most of the country, the weather here is FREEZING! We actually had snow this weekend. Obviously, not enough to stick, but that's just a taste of how cold it is. So it's really wreaking havoc on our sinuses. That's what I think I had was a severe sinus infection.

Speaking of that, I was scheduled Friday for an annual exam and to get my shots for Thailand. Of course, I woke up feeling awful, but I left the house an HOUR early for the appointment with Micah, Gage and Jenna in tow. (Micah and Gage spent a few days this weekend with us). Because of horrendous traffic (yes, on Good Friday), I signed in at the doctor's 10 minutes late. By the time they logged me in, they told me I was 19 minutes late and would have to reschedule. I thought I was going to cry. I felt so bad and had come all that way to be turned away. All for 19 minutes. They did the chest x-ray, and lab work, but I never got to see the doctor. I literally called them FROM THEIR OWN WAITING ROOM to ask him to call something in. Had I the energy, I probably would have gone ballistic. Lucky for them I was too weak! I can tell you though, I will go back for my shots and I will take my timer which I will set the minute I open the door and I will tell the doctor when I get back. I understand schedule and all that, but just because he went to school a few years more than me DOES NOT MAKE HIS TIME MORE VALUABLE THAN MINE!!! Plus, I was sick and the girls at the front desk could SEE that. I'm not kidding. Once I go back, I WILL take the timer. Now that I'm feeling better, I can get all fired up the way I should have. Steve's going in tomorrow for a review of the MRI of his leg/knee from today and I'm trying to convince him to say something too. We'll see...

OK, that's it from the homefront. Happy belated Easter! THE LORD HAS RISEN INDEED!!!


Steve's on his way...

Thought I'd give just a few quick updates on us...

Welcome to the world Baby Potter! My cousin and her husband had their 2nd child this week...a baby girl. Not sure of the details yet, but will update as soon as I hear. But welcome to the world!

Steve and Moldova
I've had many of you ask about Steve's final decision on going on the mission trip to Moldova. Well, today we sent his application and deposit in, so it's a done deal! We have taken a step of faith that the Lord will provide the funds. Now that the decision is final, I think he's really looking forward to it. We'll have so much to talk about and I think that God will do amazing things in his life. I don't know that either of us knows just what God is going to do with us this summer, but we are both anxious and open.

Some of you know that Jenna has been talking alot about death lately. Over the Christmas holidays, the father of one of the children in the other kindergarten class at school, suddenly passed away. It was a big deal because he was young left an unsuspecting wife and two young children. Because the child was in the same grade as Jenna, when they got back to school, they talked about it. Around the same time, we had a death in the family and Jenna went with us to the funeral. Since, she's been asking question about death and dying and we were starting to get worried. So yesterday we had a chat with the children's minister at church. He's absolutely wonderful. He spoke to Jenna on her level for some time and then asked us some questions. Ultimately, he told us that we were doing everything right (where this is concerned at least!) and that we should continue to answer her questions directing her back to the Bible where able, be sensitive, but truthful in our answers. He also read her some scripture explaining what heaven was going to be like and that she shouldn't worry about it. She seemed happy when she left and she's not brought it up since.

She also had her regular dental appointment today. She's got 2 little cavities in between teeth which the dentist said wasn't uncommon because little kids have trouble brushing well to get there. She'll have them filled next month. Otherwise, everything is fine!

Another baby on the way...
My friend Kylene is due to have her second baby (Shelby) any day now. She's actually due on the 20th, but is also moving this weekend all the way to Huntsville Alabama. She's got more than I can even imagine right now going on with one young child, 9 months pregnant with #2, trying to close on 2 houses and her husband being in Alabama on his new job. Keep her in your prayers. Her OB told her today she's now 3.5-4cm dilated and 75% effaced. She could go any day. Despite her doctor's objections, she's headed to AL this weekend to oversee the move and if she makes it, she'll come back on Monday to stay with family until she delivers. If she goes into labor and doesn't think she can make it back for her OB, she'll deliver in Huntsville. Cross your fingers she can make it till Monday!

Baby Gage
Micah and Gage are doing fine. I have pictures now and will be distributing them to the family soon. He's doing fine and still nursing well. Micah is supplementing here and there with formula but it doesn't seem to set well with his tummy, so she's trying to keep nursing as much as possible. She's coming some time this weekend to stay with us overnight and we are thrilled to get to spend time with him and her. I can't wait! I'm sure I'll have TONS of pictures and video next week. I am having an all day scrapbook on the 21st, so hopefully I'll get them all into an album.

Well, I guess that's about it from here. I thought this was going to be a quick update, but I guess not. Another week almost gone...I'll keep you posted as much as I can!


How to fly a kite...

I am sure you are all wondering what in the world this is all about. Well, I had the most interesting lesson today.

Last week while we were in Chattanooga, Jenna used "her money" to buy a kite from the local toy store. Now, it's been YEARS and I do mean many, many years since I've flown a kite. Living in Tennessee, I guess there's not really many days that would provide the climate for flying a kite. I think both Steve and I were looking forward to giving it a whirl. Jenna must have also been excited because she's driven us crazy ever since we got back to get this kite flying. Yesterday, we took the kite with our friends, the Millsaps, to the local Spring Hill park. Put the thing together and discovered there wasn't really a good place to fly it.

Today, the wind was up and we decided to head to the church parking lot about an hour before evening activities and see if we couldn't get this thing to fly. At our church, there is a back parking lot that is completely empty and mostly free from trees, poles, wires etc. We got the kite out and let out the string and waited for the wind to take it. It didn't get up in the air immediately, so we walked across the parking lot, waited for a gust of wind and then took off at full speed, running against the wind, letting out the string waiting for the wind to catch it. Time after time we tried. Finally, we decided that I would sit in the back of the truck bed with the kite while Steve drove into the wind hoping that it would catch and the kite would go up. Obviously, that didn't work, not to mention it being dangerous (and funny to boot!).

But I wasn't ready to give up. I was determined to get this dang kite up for the sake of my child OR BUST! So, back and forth I go, running against the wind trying everything I know to do to get this kite up in the air. After a dozen tries (or more), I was extremely frustrated and a bit disappointed. Then I started praying..."Come on God...just a little wind. Do this for my little girl. I know You care about these little things. I know You are there. Do this to show HER You can." And I'd take off running against the wind again. Over and over and the kite never would get more than my height up in the air. Finally, I thought, "OK, just one more try...this is it." And...nothing. I started winding up the string and felt a gust of wind coming. But I was tired. I was tired of running against the wind and trying and trying everything in my power to get this kite flying just to see it fall to the ground.

And then it hit me. STAND STILL. So I did. I just stood there with one arm hanging to my side, one straight out in front of me and watched. And to my amazement...the kite started going up. Up and up and up as high as the kite had been all day long! I couldn't hardly believe my eyes.

That's when I realized it. It's the same with me and God. I am determined to do something that I want to do. Determined to make things go my way. I run against the wind watching whatever it is that I'm trying so desperately to do fall flat time and time again. But yet, I am not going to give up. I just keep fighting against the wind...until I'm too tired to fight anymore. And that's when I am quiet enough to hear God saying to me, "Just. Stand. Still." And in that quiet moment, when I have exhausted myself doing it MY way, I stand still and watch in amazement as God takes my kite high in the air. Higher than I ever was able to get it. Higher than it ever went when I was trying all my tricks.

It was as clear to me in that moment that the kite was flying, as ever in my life. If I will just stop trying so hard and be STILL, God will bless me more than I can ask or imagine and send my kite airborne. But I have to learn to be still and to quit trying to run against the wind. Sometimes the only way to hear is to be still.

The kite never did really get all the way into the air, just as in life things don't always end up as we imagined they would be. But Jenna didn't know the difference.

To her...the kite flew.

And that was all that mattered.