Thursday, January 27, 2011
I'll talk more about the planning aspect, kinda.
I'd emailed him and forwarded him information on the protégé program for awhile. I know it sounds pushy. We were newlyweds, and my fear was that he was hesitant to take an opportunity he felt called to do because of some fear about not being able to financially provide. Which, I've actually received a little...heat about this. My thought: a man should provide for his wife: but not all provisions are financial...and people forget about that fact. Anyway...we were (are) in debt. We finally had figured out our finances (merging all that junk and having a new mindset of "our money" was actually a little hard for me), we had a debt pay-off plan, we had a "when to start a family" plan, actually. Things were figured out, and we had talked about all the "big stuff."
Flash forward a few weeks to May 2010: Miracle of the Olive Oil sermon (2 Kings 4). Summary: you never know the extent to which God wants to bless you until you step out in faith. A couple days earlier, Pastor Mark Batterson blogged about the Protégé program again-sort of a last minute reminder, as the applications were due that weekend.
Prior to the sermon, I was going to let this whole thing die till the next year. I mean, we just got married, and we had a plan. And I am a planner...you have no idea.
Obviously that plan got thrown out the window. In fact, everything we planned for got tossed out within 2 hrs of leaving Kingstowne service. We were going to have to redo our finances-it was going to be on a pretty significant salary cut. We decided Josh should quit his job...with no plan. We were putting our jars out to be filled with olive oil-and we had no idea just how many jars God wanted to fill...but we were not going to miss out on an opportunity to be blessed out of fear. Nothing solid in front of him, no idea what this would bring. Most people would call that crazy, scary, foolish, etc.
But it felt sooo right.
I'm not the type of person to throw it up in the air and say--lets do it! I'm not. I'm a planner: A party planner, a life planner, a checklist maker. And this was not like me.
I am on this journey with Joshua, and there have been PLENTY of lessons I've learned as we've entered this whole thing. But my initial one, and one that keeps amazing me, is God's unfailing provision, care, and love. And that my plans are...not necessarily as solid as I always think they are. I've gotta be flexible and listen to God.
Financially, we should be...screwed (sorry, but we should be!). Somehow in the last 4 months, we've been able to pay our bills, not go into more debt, we've maintained our tithe, we've sponsored a kid with Compassion International. It's not always easy, but God has always provided.
Joshua is getting the experience of a lifetime, and I am along with him. But the biggest lesson so far, is that God wants to bless you and shower you with his love and provision-if you'll just listen and be willing to toss the plan out the window.
I'm learning, and I love it. So excited for what the next year has in store. I have no idea what it'll look like, but I know God's hand is on it guiding us. And that's plan enough for me.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This miracle for us still continues to pay off. I'm not kidding. We made enough money to more than pay for our trip home for Christmas. Further, we now can do restaurant reviews...so they are paying us to go out on dates and review restaurants. I'm not kidding!!! REVIEW RESTAURANTS! On the protege budget...going out to eat would be less than possible. But it's amazing-we're getting paid to go out to eat at Melting Pot on Thursday Night to try out their Restaurant Week special.
Am I dreaming?!?!
First, I get to cook...then I get to write about cooking...then I get to get paid and get to write about cooking....
Second, I get to eat...eat out....eat out expensive nice places....try new things...get paid for it, and get to write about it?!?!
Click on the links below:
Ballston Patch: The online newspaper Joshua and I write for
Saturday Saute: My column that runs every Saturday Morning
Holiday Saute: My extra column that runs holiday-related features (Valentines Day coming up!)
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I got to Catalyst...and I drew a blank. But, a beautiful song played at Catalyst:
There were amazing speakers, amazing ideas, amazing messages, and amazing people that I met at Catalyst. I loved Francis Chan and Perry Noble so much-just all of it-I can't even describe how amazing the whole thing was. If you EVER get the chance to go...make it happen. It is absolutely worth it.
I think one of the bigger things from Catalyst for me was having distinct point to look back from: from where I was freshman year in college to the woman that God is forming me to be. 9 years ago, if you would have told me that I would be a Christian (stop-I probably would have laughed you off right there)...at a Christian Leadership Conference, married to Joshua Stockstill who is working for a CHURCH that I ATTEND, that I'd lead Bible studies and small groups...I would have laughed in your face.
If anyone on facebook who knew me in high school, college, or graduate school reads this...you KNOW what I'm saying.
It's a story for another post, probably long down the road, but October 2007 looked VERY different than October 2010: not just in major life events (moving across the country, getting married, etc)-but in the person I was. I spent college and graduate school in a terrible, God-hating cycle of abuse: physical and mental abuse committed towards me by others...but I also did a lot of this to myself as well. Like I said-another time.
"Out of chaos life is being found in you"
I'm thankful for my past in a lot of ways: It taught me about forgiveness, humility, and empathy. It showed me the power of Christ in someone's life and what healing and forgiveness looks like. I'm a completely different person with a completely different purpose. I know that God saved me from all of it for a reason, and it is my absolute duty to serve him from the past I come from and shower everyone I meet with love and respect, no matter what they've done or who they've been.
Everyone's walk is different: use what you've learned to speak to those who need it.
God makes BEAUTIFUL things out of us. It may not be a perfect story, you may not come out of it without a couple bumps and bruises, and it may not always be pretty-but with God, we'll get there.