Thursday, September 25, 2008

God is good even in the difficult times....

Hey Friends and Family....
Thought I would take a minute and update on the past few weeks. This week has been a rough week for us physically. Chris came down with the stomach flu on Tuesday and then I came down with it on Wednesday. Ugh...I have had to miss two days of work and I don't have sick time built up yet. The kids didn't know what to do with BOTH of us sick. I am feeling so tired and so attacked. I realize that Satan is trying everything he can to rob me of my JOY and to make me feel like my life is spinning out of control. It is in these times I find myself running to the Lord and crying out to Him to PLEASE make things better. All the while, understanding that this is part of the journey and we knew things were going to be hard, but knowing it would come and actually experiencing it are two different things. I am trying to daily remind myself of why we are here and that Satan does want to put a stop to what we are trying to do here.

The kids are still trying to adjust to school here. Ally seems to be doing better. Thank you to all of you who have read this blog and have emailed me to say you were praying for her. That means SO much to us. It is because of your prayers she is doing better. Please keep it up... :) A few of you have emailed your prayer concerns as well and I am praying for you too! Keep them coming so we can lift your concerns to the throne!

As far as Crosswinds Church goes, we have set dates for our first community event which will be a donation center for Hurricane Ike relief for those affected in Galveston, TX. That will be in October. Please continue to pray for us as we are all venturing into unknown territory with this church plant. Please pray for unity among us. Satan wants nothing more then to destroy our unity we have fought so hard to build and maintain together. We are still trying to adjust to this new life and new routine. God is good EVEN in the midst of the tears, struggles, pain, and stress we are feeling right now. I daily try to keep in front of me His calling on our lives and I am daily having to surrender to Him and to His will for our life.

Our verse for our family this week has been "Walk by faith and not by sight."......2 Cor. 3:7
We are truly learning what walking by faith looks like and not relying on what we see..which at times looks VERY dismal and not very promising....BUT....God IS FAITHFUL AND SO GOOD TO US!!!!

We love you all and so appreciate your support and prayers.

Trusting Him,
Ashley for Chris, Ally, Caleb and Anna Kate

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weeks of Adjustments....

Last week was a week FULL of adjustments for all of us. We are all still trying to adjust to this new school and work routine. We had a few days of tears and the kids didn't want to go to school. Caleb and Anna Kate for the most part are adjusting very well to school. Ally is having a hard time in her class. Some of the kids are teasing and picking on her and she is just having a hard time. We would SO appreciate your prayers for her specifically. I spoke with the principal and the school counselor today and they are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make her year a positive experience for her. I am SO thankful for that. Ally met with the school counselor today and she loved that time with her. I know that God has a BIG plan for Ally and that this time will only strengthen and build her character. We keep telling her that God loves her SO much and that He has a plan for her but that this transition for her is not easy and that God doesn't always allow it to be easy for us. It is sometimes through the most difficult times that God shows us more of Himself. I am praying that during these trials for her that she will run to Him and learn to rely on the Lord even at her age of almost 10 yrs old. She said to me the other day when I asked her if she had asked the Lord to go with her through her day and be SO near to her, she said, "it doesn't help mom".....after further talking with her she hadn't asked Him to be with her.....She is learning.....We are asking the Lord to tell us what He wants her to learn through these circumstances and to draw her SO close to Him in her relationship with Him. So, for that, I am grateful for these teachable moments on how we can teach our daughter with real life events on what it looks like to trust God and to depend on Him for everything.

For me, Ash, the Lord is teaching me about what is really important and how I need to take each day and treasure the time I have and be thankful for the many blessings He gives me. With starting this job and having such limited time with Chris and the kids, I have truly learned what is important and what is just not and I have to find a balance. One day last week I had a severe allergic reaction to a med I was taking along with an antibiotic for a sinus infection. I truly believe that God intervened and protected me from what could have been a heart attack. I won't go into the details, but I am SO grateful and SO blessed. Since that night I am truly trying to live each day with more passion and love for my Lord and my family. It is amazing how I just took that for granted so many days. God is good and I am truly thankful to Him and SO excited to see what He has in store for us here in Wilmington.

It certainly has not been easy and there are days that I am just so tired and just SO overwhelmed with all that has to take place for this church plant that I just want to go back to the life of comfortable living in Painted Post, NY...but it is in those times that the Lord reminds me of His presence and His calling on our life....and I am overwhelmed with emotion as I think back at all the signs of His goodness and His blessings on us as we have taken the steps of obedience to seek after His will for Crosswinds Church and our lives as a family.

Thank you, our family and friends, for your faithful prayers that we feel on a day to day basis. We certainly treasure them and love you all!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Week of Firsts....

This week has been a week of firsts for all of us..... The kids started school last Tuesday, the 26th. They all had a great first week.  Ally started 4th grade, Caleb 3rd, and Anna Kate started Kindergarten.  We have attached a few photos of them on their first day in their school uniforms. I started my job as a Public Health Nurse with the New Hanover County Health Department.  I have alot to learn, but I know that I will love it once I get oriented and feel comfortable.  I will be in training and orientation for 6 months so I have plenty of time to feel comfortable.  It will be a great opportunity to BE Jesus to my coworkers and the patients I come in contact with.  The people I work with are very friendly and have accepted me in and made me feel welcome so that was great.  I am now trying to manage working full-time and still managing my roles as wife and mom.  God is good!

Chris had a guy from headquarters come down this past week and do some one-on-one training with him for church planting.  He gave great insight and words of wisdom. We had a launch team meeting on Sunday and were able to set core values and next steps for Crosswinds Church.   God has made clear to us that we are to plant in N Brunswick County in a town called Leland where there is LOTS of growth happening.   We are now in the process of trying to find a location to rent.  Please pray that God will bring in the finances for us so that we will be able to afford a place to rent for our meeting place.  We have learned to be patient and wait and God WILL reveal to us His perfect plan in His perfect timing.   Over the next few weeks we will be doing community surveys and assessments and outreach events in the Leland area.  Please pray for us that God will use us and that we will be in the center of His will at all times.  
We covet your prayers and your support. 
Until next time......
Ashley for Chris, Ally, Caleb and Anna Kate

BIG God using little us.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20

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