I feel like I’ve had that title about 50 times. Probably because I have.
We’ve been on a journey, that’s for sure. Most people don’t get it and that’s ok. We seriously look like the craziest nomads. But what’s cool is we are more found than we’ve ever been before. Not lost at all. It’s a really cool place to be in. Although I look back and think, “what in tar nation have we been doing??” God always reminds me in His soft still voice that He is pleased.
So now our story goes something like this in a nutshell.
Got married in St Louis. One year later we find out we are pregnant on the day that we move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Will has a new job. Bad stuff happens. God leads us to Atlanta Georgia with no job to be a part of Bethel church in Atlanta. The day we move there will gets a job. He then gets laid off and gets hired at a corporation downtown. A billion amazing things go on and we make amazing friendships. I have my first baby, Micaiah in Atlanta. We move from our apartment to a house. We have another baby, Noa. We decide to move to Tulsa, OK. We leave 2 months after Noa. More things have never gone wrong in my life than they did in 6 months. Will gets laid off at his job almost immediately. Micaiah breaks his leg. We find our alarm system wires cut. We had 4 lizards in our house in a week span. Both kids got whopping cough. in the hospital for 10 days. Whooping cough is horrible and I saw my kids in the worst torture ever for 8 months straight. They caught every bug while their immune systems were down. They caught flu and pneumonia. Rotavirus. Sickness after sickness. All multiplied because of the whooping cough. Will almost breaks his ankle and can’t walk for a while. Basically attack after attack. We were physically and emotionally drained on every level. Running on no sleep. We write a check to God saying that he has 100% of our whole lives to do with whatever. That week I have a dream Bill Johnson is telling me that we must be a part of his team to create “the real faith movement”. It was a dream from God like I’ve never had with such clarity. We get prophetic words that we are “misplaced”. So we pray about moving to Redding CA to be a part of Bethel church. We had been watching bethel online for 4 years. We were a part of bethel Atlanta. We knew God was calling us. He specifically told us that we had the option. That it wasn’t the easy choice but that He would bless us through it. We put our house up for sale. Sold it by owner within 2 weeks. God was in every detail. As many times as I told him that I couldn’t handle the stress or take another step, He carried me. I saw his love and His grace in that season more than I ever have before. He truly carried me. We found a house to rent 2 weeks before we left after searching for a while. We bought a minivan. We sold 80% of our stuff and said goodbye.
So we went. We drove the 40 hour drive to get here. We took some vacation in between. It was a much easier drive than I expected with a 2 year old and a 10 month old. God was in it of course. I got to see the most breathtaking scenery of my life. Utah is my all time new favorite place. The beauty!!!
Now here we are. A week after getting here and, I’m not gonna lie, but I still sometimes feel like I am on the verge of a breakdown. Will and I got a word before we got married over us as a couple that we’ve been clinging to ever since. We are locked into a roller coaster and at the end would be a GREAT glory. Well… It has for sure been a roller coaster. And not in a fun way. It’s been so hard with twists and turns. I can’t wait to see the great glory. I’m sure we are in the midst of it now. God has done the most incredible things in our hearts. Taken away the need to fear people or people please. He has tied our hearts so incredibly close to His. We are way more in tune with His voice and His leading. I’m thankful for the storms because it truly allowed me to feel Gods heart closer. I love it.
Anyway, sorry for all the details. This is more to remember and look back on. This is a great journey. God never promised that the journey with Him would be easy. Actually most of the memorable stories in the Bible are of people going through heartache and hardships but how beautiful their lives ended up becoming because of their lives with Jesus. I always sing that Misty Edwards song that sings “don’t give up and don’t give in. If you don’t quit, you’ll win”. I love how that song is from Gods view to us. It’s so encouraging.
We went to our first service at Bethel this past weekend and I just wanted to weep. It has been a dream of ours since we first got married to be here and now here we are. We came here for the only reason of following harder after God. That’s it. We can’t tell you any more details because we don’t have the full picture yet. We could live here for a year or 30 years. Seriously we are finally to the point of surrender and letting God fully and completely move in and through us. And I was weeping at the thought of our children being here. I feel like we are here more for them than anything else.
Here we are… No answers and that’s a good thing for us. It causes it to rely more deeply and heavily on Gods leading and voice. We will keep you updated. :)
Love to all!
I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. Why are we moving. There are so many details and so many things that have gone on to get us to this point. Yes. To the point of moving… Across country… For the 4th time… In 4 short years of marriage. Along with 2 other moves in there. We sure do look crazy to people I am sure. And many people will not understand. But we are not lost. Actually far from it. It’s been the most beautiful, god driven journey. And we are just going after Him harder than ever before.
After a year of marriage we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As many times as Will and I are convinced that this was a huge mistake, The Lord tells us that it was not. It was a huge mess. We learned a LOT of things about what kind of church we want our kids to grow up in, and we decided about 3 months later to leave. We searched for God because we were desperate to go wherever His presence could be found most. With not very much money in our bank accounts, The Lord made it very clear that we needed to go to Atlanta to be a part of a church called Bethel Atlanta. We had one friend there that we were connected to. God clearly said this was it. It ended up being 2 of the most beautiful years that either of us have ever had. We made some incredible friendships and, most importantly, learned about God in a way that we had never understood before. We knew that it was a rest season and that God would teach us things. But neither of us thought it would be permanent. And then God started stirring Tulsa in our hearts after Wills parents told us they would be starting a church there. We are realizing now that maybe we weren’t brought here for the church. But simply just to yearn for Gods presence more. If you’ve been keeping up with us you know that we have had some of the hardest few months here of our entire lives. I’ve never ever ever had to persevere more than I have here. Tulsa itself is a wonderful place. We bought a beautiful house with intentions of settling here. But apparently Gods plan has been different. We learned a lot about ourselves here. Mainly our authority in the spirit. We’ve had to contend for so many things in our house. Cai broke his leg, the kids and I got whooping cough and were hospitalized, the kids and I got flu, kids got pneumonia, Cai got ear infections, I saw both of my kids on the brink of death. This isn’t blown out of proportion either… The whole time we’ve been here we have had to believe for healing in a whole new way. We constantly had the fear that we would walk in to our kids rooms to see our children dead in their beds. That’s how bad it got. God didn’t plan all this but he’s already using it for so much good. Never thought I would be able to say that!! It’s been one thing after another here. And it’s only been 4 months. It’s felt like a lifetime. I don’t know exactly why we were supposed to come here….but I know it wasn’t a mistake. As much as I like to think it was. Will got laid off while we’ve been here and he got a new job about a month later.
So here we are. Our house is up for sale. And we feel so blessed!!! We are seeing gods hand in all the little details. Will is still getting severance from his last job, so we are able to get 2 months of double pay. This will allow us to make the move without dipping into our investments. God is good!!! Also, we bought our house at a really good price when it is worth way more right now. So we are selling it at a price that is higher but still lower than its worth. It’s means that we will be able to sell our house without paying much or even any at all. There’s actually we could make money doing this!! That is unheard of in this economy. But what’s amazing is that we are trusting gods economy…it’s soooo much different than the worlds! So god might have actually had us move here partly so that we could be blessed on the way to what we are going to do next! We are selling this house by owner and we put it on one website. Without even a sign in our yard we got 5 house showings in 3 days! Again, God is incredible!!!
The biggest way that God has blessed us is through hunger. By going through what we’ve gone through here, we have a desperation in our souls like never before. I want to cry happy tears just thinking about it. We have this burning fire and hunger that we just want to fuel. Hunger is a gift, and I truly believe that God gives you the option to take it or pass it up. Passing it up isn’t bad, but I truly believe there’s so much more when you accept it. Will and I one night literally wrote out a check to God for our lives… That we were giving Him a 100% check to do with our lives whatever he wanted. Even if it looked crazy.
Well, that’s where it all began for us. Someone gave us a word that we are “misplaced” in this season. That God was going to bring something new. Well, I had a life changing dream that The Lord gave me….(probably only the 3rd one I’ve had in my whole life). He told us the direction very clearly and told us what we had to do. Ever since we haven’t been able to look back.
Why redding? Well, God gave us the word and once we accepted the hunger that God was putting in us it’s all been crazy ever since. In a great way. I believe satan was using the hardship and sickness to discourage us and make us fearful for what we are about to do. We have always loved Bethel church in redding California. We have watched Bill Johnson messages for probably about 4 years now. We have burned while listening to their worship music. There’s something about it that just lights us up. We want to have what they have. We want to learn from them.
Most importantly, we have gotten to the point where we done care about ANYTHING else but Gods presence. Once God put it in us that living for anything else is pointless, we are not afraid. We are tired of the mundane American lifestyle. We want MORE. And we realized that we wouldn’t get it without seeking it. Maybe we would but it wouldn’t be as quick. God is doing mighty things there and it’s because it’s full of hungry people. God loves hunger because that’s where He can move the most.
So we kind of feel similar to how missionaries would feel. We are giving it all up. God is taking us up on our 100% offer and we are going full force. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done. Giving up our dream house, giving up our comfort, selling all our things… To follow Him. Yes it may seem crazy to lots of people. But God is taking a fear of that out of us as well. This is the first time either of us can ever say that we are 100% living for God and nothing else. America is such a great place to live, but they’ve lost their zeal for living for God. I believe that God is going to bring us back. I feel like He will be giving people the same choice as He gave us and people can take it or leave it. It’s a hard choice to make but it truly is better. The American lifestyle is too comfortable. People live to buy a house and raise their kids… But for what?? Just to die and have their kids do the same thing? Gods people need to come back to that fire. The fire that lives for where God is going and where His presence is. Not worrying about the American economy and whether or not they have a job. Every time we decide to live for God in a bigger way, he blesses us so much more. We have turned down amazing jobs because we know they’re not right. And then god brings the right one that is amazing. Most people would say that we are nuts in this economy. Yep, we sure are. In this economy…but thank goodness I’m a part of heavens economy. It’s so much more stable. If you can’t believe that god is the provider of your life, then you really can’t believe god is who he says he is at all. He says he’s your provider and that’s that. Follow after Him with your WHOLE heart and he will never leave you. That is one of the biggest things I’ve gotten to see about who God is these past few years. The more radical you get in your running after him, the more radically he provides and blesses you. Oh He’s amazing!!!
Anyway, now I’m preaching.
So that’s the story. We are driving 28 hours with a toddler and an infant with nothing on our minds or in our hearts besides we just want to know God more. And we know that Bethel is one of the only places in America living radically and seeing supernatural things. We are not going to pass up an opportunity to be around something like that.
So here we go. It’s a crazy ride for sure but it’s the best one. As soon as we sell our house we will be heading out.
I hope this helps clear up for some people why we are doing what we are doing. Yay for more of Jesus!! ;)
We are for reals going to start a YouTube channel doing daily vlogs. We decided that we have so much exciting stuff on the horizon this upcoming year that it would just be the best to have it recorded. Also, I will never have these precious years back with my kids. The funny things that Cai says MUST be recorded. He is a hilarious little dude. So… We bought an ipad 4 with some Christmas money and are going to make that our resolution for this year. We will see how it goes. Want to go along with our journey? I’ll let you know when it’s up and ready to go. Should be in about a week or so. And then you can follow our family in all our crazy adventures or not so crazy adventures (like trips to wal mart) haha.
He’s a maniac
Wow. Almost 2013. Another year even though it feels like the last one just started. Amazed at what I accomplished this year. Amazed at also what I endured. 2012 was certainly a year for endurance… Not giving up even though there were about a billon opportunities to. But, the beautiful thing is that when you live on a journey with God you only ever look back and see beauty. Even if you’re still on the roller coaster or still in the fire, walking with God is becoming more and more beautiful for me. And I’m learning that nothing else matters.
I really want to make a goal this year to write on my blog more. Even if its just a thought for the day. Will and I are about to take the biggest step of faith we have ever made along with the biggest sacrifice. Like I said, it will be beautiful. Learning that the closer you get to God, the less you can take with you. It’s a scary thought but also so exhilarating! Nothing matters but Jesus. This is the first time I’m truly coming to understand it. God is defining our lives by that one principle. Run your hardest after God and you are the richest you’ll ever be. Leaving behind fear, objects and things (that moths and rust destroy), getting out of your comfort zone, jumping head first and trusting that He’s there to catch you. 2013 is gonna be one crazy ride and I can’t wait. Never have I been willing to truly sacrifice everything to follow Jesus until now.
Will and I had the most life changing experience with God last night. And ironic that it was the night before Wills 32nd birthday and almost a new year. There’s significance in it.
God is doing so many awesome things in the earth we just have to be WILLING to receive it and chase it. Let go of jobs if we have to. Let go of positions. Where is God moving most and where can I be in His presence most? That’s the place that we’ve come to. Really, does anything else compare? Nope.
That title reminds me of Cais favorite song. It’s so cute. It’s the IHOP song shekinah glory. He says “here we are stannin nin your gory. Sickinah gory cem down” haha. It’s the best!
So many of my friends have asked for an update of how we are doing post hospital and what not. I’ll attempt to catch you up a little. It’s still pretty overwhelming to talk about and I’m having a hard time to put to words what we’ve even gone through these past 4 months here.
I really want to preface before I say anything though that through it all, the heartache, the burdens, the lack of sleep, the confusion- God has shown me how to love Him in a brand new way. This is what I ask of Him… That He would let me love Him more and that my heart would expand to know His beauty. That has truly happened. And I mean that with all my heart. I have learned a new way to run after and search after God in a way I’ve never experienced. It’s new to me. So out of the box and so pure. No religion to it. No people pleasing. No relying on anything else but Jesus Himself. During really rough times, you learn that nothing can get you through but Him and it becomes the most beautiful place of comfort.
So anyway… Here’s all that had gone down since we got out of the hospital with Noa.
We had a long road at home with the whooping cough. And when I mean long, I mean they are still coughing. If your kids have never had whooping cough I pray for your family that they never will. It is nasty and completely brutal. It’s been so hard to see my kids have to walk through this. They are little warriors though.
We have has many many nights of little sleep. Noa would cough and we’d have to help her, 5 minutes later Cai would cough and would throw up several times. This would happen all night long. I’ve cried over my kids more time than I can count. Speaking of, I hear Cai coughing now over the monitor. What’s so gross about whooping cough is that they cough and choke and cough to the point of gasping for air because they can’t breathe. Ugh! Makes me so mad! The little cilia on their throat gets eaten by the bacteria. So they have no defenses against all the mucous. They just end up choking over and over. So, since their immune systems were down, both kids caught a few colds on top of it. This would bring all the awful symptoms back and we be back where we started. There was a few days that Cai was coughing so bad all day that he would throw up about every hour or so. I was so worried!
So, a couple weeks ago my parents came down for Cais 2nd birthday. My mom mentioned how there was a guy on the plane behind her with a nasty cough. I didn’t think anything of it. Until my mom started feeling really bad. I hate this because my mom is amazing and such a big intercession over our kids lives… And she felt so bad about this. But she couldn’t help it. So for the first couple days she was here she was exposing all of us to the sickness without anyone knowing. I cried all night one night. I just couldn’t handle the thought of going through a major illness again. I had just gone through the worst 3 months of my life seeing my children’s lives threatened and on the brink of death a few times. I was so scared because I was so worn out and so discouraged. I literally could NOT see them in pain any more!
Until a couple days later, we all start noticing symptoms. I have never felt so bad before. Achy, fever, and literally could not move. So bad! The kids looked AWFUL!!! Cai would just sit and stare. His eyes were all red and all he’d want to do is sleep (so unlike him). Noa cried non stop for 24 hours. Well, thank you Jesus, I had already planned a well baby appointment a month prior for a really good Godly doctor and it was the next day. All of us feeling so bad went to the doc. They took swabs and found out that they had the flu. The first case that hospital had seen this season. Crazy. Thanks jerk on the airplane haha. Then, will and I KNOW for a fact that the doctor said that if both tests came back negative then to do chest X-rays. But the nurse ordered X-rays anyway. We were confused but went anyway. God is so good! The next day I get the call that BOTH kids have pneumonia. Cai is viral and Noas was bacterial in both lungs. Bacterial is the number one way that children die all over the world. It was serious. She said we needed to come in within the hour. They put 2 shots of antibiotic in her legs. And then we had to put both kids on nebulizer breathing treatments since they were still having a hard time breathing. Satan literally brought the worst diseases to our kids. Whooping cough also kills children. So here are our kids with whooping cough, the flu (another killer), and pneumonia. Dumb!!! So we had to give both kids breathing treatments 3x a day. Then we notice that cai wasn’t doing well at all. I had never been more worried about him. He really couldn’t breathe through the coughs and was choking so bad. I never ever do this but I was soooo tired of satan messing with my kids that at one point I started throwing things and screaming at satan. This was after cai had the worst cough he’s had and was crying and throwing up. And I couldn’t do anything to help him. It was awful! So we took him to an urgent care. She said that he had a double ear infection and had to put him on antibiotics. Plus she put him on another breathing treatment, this time a steroid. This one was 2 times a day. I literally had to write out every time I did everything because there was so much to remember with all the medications.
So, that’s that in the health area.
The day after we go to the doctor, Will gets a call from webmd where he works and they said that he was laid off. They were downsizing and let go 250 employees that day. We definitely didn’t expect it because everyone absolutely loves him. They even made an exception to let him work from home when we moved. But I think that’s partly why he had a target on him. It stinks. I spent THAT while day crying. (I’ve done a lot of crying). It was a blow to me because it was just another way that my life was turning upside down and I couldn’t believe it. We had just bought a house and all these fears were racing through me.
And here we are today. A big chunk of our fence broke off in a wind storm yesterday (of course!) and im trying not to get discouraged even more. I know it’s just a fence but on top of everything, it feels like a lot more than that.
And that’s that. If you want the full story, read a couple posts back about the hospital craziness.
Through everything, I am sure of one thing. God is always there. I’ve seen it so much. Also, I’ve basically had every area in my life torn to pieces or completely turned upside down in 4 months. Nothing shakes you to the core like seeing your kids really sick. Death was seriously knocking on our door. Will and I have had to learn some serious authority over crap in our home. We have prayed like no ones business. Satan has seen our mean side for sure. Every fear that we’ve ever had has been tested. I’ve faced them even when I never thought I could. It’s not just the stuff that went on that everyone could see. It was also the things in the background that brought me to my knees every day. The lack of any sleep for 4 months straight (still going strong). The difficulty of being in a new city and not knowing anyone and not really knowing anything about it. The discouraging thoughts I faced everyday. These were the real things. The things people didn’t see and probably couldn’t understand even if I tried to explain. Basically I’ve never been so close to a break down. Feeling like I literally have no strength left. But it brought new light to the promise that in my weakness, God is strong. I got to understand it in a real way. And I’m thankful for it.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Gotta get some sleep before a kiddo wakes up. The clock is ticking.
If you prayed for us during this time, which i know many did, thank you so much. We are coming into a new season that is exciting. Can’t wait to tell people about it once we know the details. It’s scary as heck but it’s definitely God. I’m a Jesus freak… And it’s beautiful.
Wrote this song with a friend when we had both just recently gone through miscarriages. She had just recently gone through it and I had already had Cai so I saw God’s peace in the storm in a new way. Anyway, I recorded it so that I’d have it. More as a reminder of God’s goodness through hard times. As a reminder that His heart breaks when there’s death and destruction in our lives too.
So, we’ve been going through some tough times in Tulsa. And this song is a good thing for me to hear. He doesn’t forsake us. He never leaves us. He’s actually more present than we could ever imagine.
Don’t know if this can encourage you today, but I hope it does if you’re struggling with knowing God is near.
Also, just a disclaimer, this is a DEMO and if you know anything about recording music you know that demos are not supposed to sound perfect. HAHA. Seriously, don’t judge me :)
Thank you God for being our peace even when we feel like there’s none left!
You Bring Life
In a way I want to blame You for what’s been done
Though I know Your heart is grieving just as much
In my pain I’ve poured my heart out
Every day my spirit calls out
Reaching for Your strength to get me through
Oh, good God, I know you won’t forsake me
Tears stream down as I pray for you to fill me
Only you can turn this darkness into light
Only you can bring justice and new life
I’ve been searching for some peace here in this storm
Cuz I’ve never felt a pain like this before
So I’ll cling onto Your promise
And know Your joy is upon it
There’s no way You’ll leave me all alone
You bring life…
Perfect time of year for this. Will’s brother and this hilarious video!