Thursday, August 8, 2013

We are HERE we are HERE we are HERE!

These words have been playing over and over in my heart and head since we moved back to Fort Mill this past January. The text comes from Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who. The tiny whos living on the small flower are shouting at the top of their lungs in complete abandonment WE ARE HERE WE ARE HERE WE ARE HERE! We exist! We are small but we are ALIVE.

I feel like it has been a bit of a whirlwind since moving back. And this strange mixture of fitting in and yet having to start all over again. Whatever it is its lovely. And we are grateful.

And now onto the next step in our journey. Our home.

Many do not think it such a great feat to live in their own space. For us it was not easy to get here. We had no idea years ago that we would spend the first 4 years of our marriage living under anyones roof but our own, but God had a dream too.

God had a dream and we dreamt along with Him.

We said "whatever it takes God!" We want to be more like you. We don't care what it looks like. We don't care if its painful. We just want to change. We want to be refined. Purge us in the fires God until all of us is burned away and we only look like your son.

You know everyone walks through the fire. It doesn't matter if you think they have or have not or if you think they are or are not. If there is ONE thing Scott and I have taken from all of this it is that what God sees and what God thinks and what God knows, is all that matters.

So we got into our own place. With the prayers and support of many great and beautiful people (Y-O-U) and the help and security of our house mates who have partnered with God to get us to this point.

I want to say so many things about being here. My own home. And no we don't own it, but its still ours for now:) So Lord please help me to sum up my reflections from the moving adventure.

Living with people: Living with people was hard for us. Mostly because of our pride, but also just longing to have our own space and more space and not live out of boxes anymore! And let me tell you, it NEVER seemed hard for the people we were staying with. And that really changed us. To see each family take us in to their space and almost completely relinquish possession of their stuff for the sake of our was I think one of the least of these kinds of moments. You know when Jesus says "Whatever you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me?" It was beautiful. It still is. They don't know just how great they are the Smith's, the Swires', and the Kost's but I cannot wait for them to meet with Jesus face to face and recount this process. Jesus is so pleased. And we are so changed and so humbled.

Finances: Something has really happened to Scott and I since returning to Fort Mill. Money has been so ridiculously tight for us. And many of you have graciously shared your own testimonies that have really strengthened us and helped us through the crazy times where buying just a gallon of milk alone felt like it would break the whole worlds piggy bank. But we are so changed. God has really challenged us to sow when we think we can't and then to sow some more. He has also really matured our mindset and we are really starting to believe that everything is Gods. Everything. He just lets us use it:) Taking possession off of our money has really given us a renewed mindset to how we spend it and to whats important.

Our own home: Sigh...we LOVE people. We really do. We are so in love with the community God has given us not just at MorningStar and in the Fort Mill area but all around the world. God has set up some remarkable friendships and we long to have time and space to just be with all of those people. However being able to come home, to something that is just for us at the end of the day. It just brings a deep sigh of rest and relief to my heart. I feel like I can completely unwind. It feels like its been a long time since I could do that. Whether it was all in my head or just my stubbornness saying I couldn't completely relax and be me in someone else' space, I'm not totally sure. But I know this feels different.

Our own space yet another side: I feel for me personally that I put a lot on hold because I didn't have my own home. And I am excited to pick those things up, but also feeling convicted. I feel like God has been showing me that you can always make something out of nothing. Not that we had nothing, but Gods creativity in me is unmeasurable. I could have done a lot more. And what I did do was Good enough. These are two things God is revealing to me hindsight. I could have used those homes more like they were my own, the way I was being invited to. However, even if I didn't do a bunch of projects, paint more, make more messes with the kids etc...I'm still a good Mom. I'm still a fun Mom. And I'm still the best Mom for my kids. Wow, what a relief.

I hope Scott comes to share some of his reflections. We really have grown so much and we are just so thankful to the Lord. It was all worth it. Every bit of the struggle. If it all meant we could be here as we are today WHO we are today, it was worth it. And I bet in our heart of hearts we would boldly ask for more...

This season is going to be jam packed of Gods awesomeness. I have taken teaching positions at both MorningStar Dance and Masterpiece Dance studios (a Christian Arts studio in the area) as well as leading an adult Dance Ministry team at my church (MorningStar). Scott will be finishing his Masters degree in Theology next summer and he will continue his work at MorningStar in the IT department. We live just a 15 minute walk from our church/workplace in a sweet sweet neighborhood surrounded by beautiful people that we cannot WAIT to get to know more and do life with.

My heart is so full. You are all amazing courageous wonderful hope filled creative God made dreamers and we love who you are. Please continue to walk with us and thank you for all you have given time words home space love tears hugs money prayers etc... I've been thinking all day about this quote from Mother Teresa and I feel it very much applies to all of you

"If we have no peace its because we've forgotten that we belong to each other"

The body of Christ is unbelievable. I am so grateful to be apart of it. Deep favor and blessings to all of you. We love love love you all.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guess what? We're different.


   Hello beautiful friends and family and welcome to a new blog post. Thanks again for all of you who read this blog and really keep up with our family, stand with us, laugh and cry with us, and most importantly PRAY for and BELIEVE in us. You are a treasure to our journey and we love you. 

Every time I go to update this blog I think, why should I write an update? There is nothing special going on, I don't have time, I don't have anything exciting to say, I don't have energy for witty speech or eloquent phrases, and I definitely have not come up with any life altering revelations to share with the rest of the world weather its from my own mouth or from this little e-blogger page. 

But, alas, those are all lies.

The truth is, I have a lot to say. I have awesome things to share because I live for an awesome God. I DO have life altering revelations because God my Father alters my life and my heart and my character on a regular basis. And about the witty and eloquent lines, well the Bible says I don't need those because God uses the foolish things to confound the wise, and love is better than any greatness I could speak or show off anyway. 

Here's whats happening with us...

We are living in Indian Land South Carolina. I guess Indian Land would be considered a township of Fort Mill? 

We have moved in with an awesome family called the Kost's (pronounced coast) and they have a sweet little one year old girlie named Olivia and another little girl on the way! The Kost's offered to share their home with us months before we knew we were moving back here for sure. And we are SO grateful. We are learning a lot more about community living. And I feel we are more mature at this point in our life so we can allow the experience to give to us and us give to it as much as possible and enjoy it while its happening. You see our past experiences of living with people we didn't take full advantage of the insta-community. We were bitter towards God for not giving us our own space and our own little private world behind the walls of our home. Now we are finally beginning to see that its not about us. Whatever God gives us is good. We should always take what we can from it, and give what we can to it. We should search high and low for a way to be a blessing and receive the blessing. So today, this is where we find ourselves. Our house mates (Lyn,Katie,Olivia, and bean) are wonderful. They are fun, FUNNY, outgoing, laid back, and SO so generous. We are already learning so much from them and looking forward to all God will show us through this time however long or short it may be. 

^^ See how different I was in that paragraph up there!? And the best part is, its real! I'm not just saying this stuff to make us feel or look better, we really believe it. God has changed us so much. THANKS GOD.

Scott is working in the IT department for MorningStar ministries and he is learning a TON of really useful knowledge/skills. He's being trained in stuff that he has always wondered about and felt like it would be fun to know about. And he loves all of his co-workers. Its so refreshing to see him being challenged and just loving going to work everyday. Along with working at MorningStar he is still studying for his Masters of Theology in their ministry school as well and really being awakened in his studies. Scott loves God so much:) its so beautiful. He loves knowledge, he loves growth, he loves theology, and he loves LOVES reading and studying. Some days it seems like somewhere in heaven there was a box full of Scotts heart cries just waiting to be opened up and poured out over his days here on earth and we are witnessing a lot of his dreams and prayers coming forth in this season. God is so faithful. He knows, He sees, He is. Don't give up! 

I have been spending my days doing some growing and learning myself at home with the kiddos. God has really changed me in my ideals of what a stay at home mom has to look like and I feel like I have been given a renewed sense of purpose for not just being a Mom but also for being Tabitha. I'm grateful for a husband that always encourages me to remain myself while learning to take on new roles as a wife and mother, he never asks me to leave Tabitha behind and step into a new identity, he only encourages me to learn how ALL of me fits together and lives and breathes in harmony with each part:) I've got a long way to go, but I'm feeling a lot more freedom in my work place. Freedom to just let my days happen and trust that God is with me leading me and guiding me and to not fear who I am or if I am enough in any way but to just walk and live. I'm also getting really inspired to dance again and vigorously looking for work in the dance arena. I spend lots of time day dreaming of choreographing and dancing more and I'm really longing and aching for that part of my life to blossom again. Its coming, I really know that, opportunities are coming, doors are flinging open, and I just hope I am prepared for all that God is about to release. Its like I can see future Tabitha in all her glory, literally "dancing through life" watching God release one great dream after another. But today is great too and not necessarily better or worse than tomorrow or yesterday, today has its own place in my history. 

Many people ask us how it feels to be back? And all we can say is, "It feels normal" it kind of feels like we never left! It also feels very right. We have no idea how long God has called us to this place, but in this moment in time, it feels so right. It feels like our spirits could reach outside of us into every area of our life and surroundings right now and just say YES this is it. We are grateful. We prayed so hard to be here and it seemed just as God released us, and our hearts were free to be anywhere He would take us, he brought us back to where we wanted to be. 

Its an amazing existence to exist with God. Its a journey like no other. 

Our kids are doing really well too:) Selah is so happy to be back with her buddies, she often refers to her "best friend Judah" or her "best friend Mary Ella" some days I wonder if she remembers everyone because she became so comfortable with everyone so quickly. She asks to go to our friends houses on a regular basis and has even been planning her Birthday party and talking about how excited she is that all of her friends will be there. It makes my heart SO happy to be in a thriving community again. 

We are so different.

We are so grateful for who we are today. We have grown so much. It seems like many times just this week Scott has said to me in regards to how we handle a certain situation "we handled that SO WELL, so much better than we used to!" The best part is we will continue to do it! We will continue to change and grow and only get better:) There is so much we want to learn so many ways we want to grow in God and in our roles/careers/talents/character etc...And its happening. All the time. In God, we are always getting better stronger faster smarter more beautiful than the day before. He refines us and makes us more like Him. This life is glorious. Can you imagine how much better when we will be with Him face to face!? 

Thanks again for reading. As usual. We need your support, your words of encouragement, your prayers, your counsel. Its all encouraged us and helped bring us up to where we are today. We LOVE YOU. Be blessed! no really, BE BLESSED. Experience, the blessings in today! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nothing could be finer

Good Morning. Its a new day.

Have you ever experienced breakthrough?

Breakthrough: A military movement or advance all the way through and beyond and enemy's front line defense.

We feel like we've hit a breakthrough. HALLELUJAH!

For the past few years, Scott and I, and many of you, have been pressing in and pushing for what we feel God has called us to, and crying out, and just plain crying, and waiting, and fighting. And this week God truly turned everything around. But to tell the story the right way I will start at the beginning.

When we moved to Florida, we were sure, we will be here for months maybe a year, just so we can have Declan and have a secure home to be able to bring a new baby in to. Months went by, we both found jobs, we were trying to remain "unsettled" but slowly we started settling in. And our goal of getting back to South Carolina, became a hope deferred.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick..." Proverbs 13:12

We started getting pretty defeated. Losing hope. In some ways forgetting everything we had prayed for, and felt God had told us. And began to try and make a life for ourselves here, even though we didn't feel God's presence on that idea, we thought maybe we were wrong the whole time and this is the opportunity God has given us now so we might as well make the most of it.

But just before Declan was born, Holy Spirit moved again. Scott took a long walk, to smoke his pipe and pray for a bit and when he came back from his walk he felt like the Lord said to put in to become full time at Disney, to apply for Grad School at MorningStar AND that we would be moving back to SC in January. Even though we'd practically given up on that dream, we began to hope again. The Lord really encouraged us that day. Shortly after, Scott applied for and was accepted to grad school, and he got put on full time at Disney.

Full time at Disney has been a huge blessing on us financially. Not to mention the way we have been able to bless so many with free tickets into the parks! And discounts on merchandise. Wow. Never would Scott and I imagine that the Lord would use US to give our families such an awesome gift. My Mom NEVER in her wildest dreams believed that she would see Disney World. Bringing her their with her husband, and grand daughter was such a fun day. She became a child for a day and it was truly a beautiful memory none of us will ever forget.

There were also so many little things that we've not been able to do, because financially we just never had the wiggle room. It has felt nice to freely buy things that our children need, in the time that they need them! instead of holding off for months! And Christmas shopping, has been a blessing as well. We will be able to give each other and our children and really nice Christmas this year which always brings such great joy to any parent to be able to give great gifts to your children freely in celebration of our awesome King!
The drawbacks about Disney, were the hours and the work conditions. Without going in to too much detail, Scott has been working 6 days a week, for a month he worked all night every night, slept all day, and had one day off.

Towards the beginning of this month we started to feel desperate again. We are missing Scott and he is missing having a life outside of Disney. The family is a unit. If just one of you are not around, we can't function. And we have really been struggling these past couple of months.

And finally something happened. Scott got a message, someone at Morningstar was pursuing him about applying for a job. We were so encouraged. Scott applied for a position in the IT department with MorningStar a ministry in Fort Mill that we LOVE. Scott went through two interviews and things were going really well, and so we began to wait. And hope.

We decided to spend a week fasting a praying specifically for this job situation.

A couple days into our praying, things got even worse with Disney and Scott's scheduling and we thought , wow, is the Lord trying to PUSH us out of this job?

We prayed more, and felt pretty confident, that if we were feeling God had told us we would go back to SC in January, and then we had this job offer, that we better put our faith in God that he WILL get the job and we will be moving a in a few weeks.

So we decided Scott should put in his two weeks notice. Bold yes. But their is risk in faith. Faith without risk shouldn't really be considered faith at all.

Scott went in to work on Thursday, the last day of our fast, and put in his two weeks notice. Just hours later, he received a phone call about the job. And not only did he get the job, but he will receive more money than we were told! Thanks Lord:)

 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7


Scott is so encouraged. After years of job searching, he finally has an awesome door to walk through. One that we have been praying for specifically since we first decided to move to South Carolina. And we even prayed specifically that someone would approach Scott and offer him a job at MorningStar.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12

The day after we received this news, we also received news that our friends loan was approved on their new home, they would be moving in December 21st and would love for us to join them when we get up there. THANK YOU LORD.

And thank you all. Some of you have journeyed with us in your hearts for years. And you have contended in prayer and we pray that you will surely reap what you have sown.

There are some logistics to work out of course. But Scotts start date is January 7th. How fun is God? And his classes start back up January 8th:) He will be able to join his class IN PERSON and no longer through Skype!

We are so grateful. So relieved. So excited. For years we've been waiting, and believing, and trusting. And the day has come where it has all opened up. And we can't even imagine what God will do once we get there. We are excited to share more testimonies with you of His faithfulness once we get there so keep reading:)

And here we go. Back to Fort Mill. I guess Carolina was not only in our minds after all. God shared that secret with us long ago. I love how he leads us. We thought we were crazy for all the things we believe God showed us. Well maybe we were crazy for believing, but its so encouraging to have confirmation. To know that not only did you hear God, but he heard you.

He loves us...dreams come we go!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Its been a while

I haven't written on here since June. In some ways I wonder why, but in other ways I know exactly why.

Sometimes its hard to be known.

Sometimes is hard to let people in when you feel like there is nothing special to see, or when you feel like what you see is not only un-special, but its also perhaps un-eventful, un-adventurous, and down right pitiful.

Not much has changed in our situation. But so much has changed.

We have a new family member. His name is Declan:) Declan Brady Swires was born on August 22nd in the Celebration Hospital at 3:17pm. He weighed 8lbs10oz!? And came into the world red-headed and healthy. Theres much to be told about my crazy encounter with God during my birth experience. I was intending once again on a natural birth, and ended up once again with an epidural, actually this time I had pain meds AND THEN an epidural, so I guess I had every drug I could have. HA. I heard in a teaching once about child birth, not to be a martyr. You're not there to be a martyr she said. And that line played over and over in my head as I was being induced hooked up to a butt load of machines and working hard to not have drugs. And then it hit me. I'm not enjoying this. Why can't I enjoy giving birth? Like have fun, be happy during labor, celebrate and feel like myself. I wanted to be Tabitha while in labor. And apparently at the time, that meant get the drugs! God showed me how to let go of control once again, and make a choice. A choice that might not be pleasing to a mid wife or doula, but a choice that was pleasing to me. A choice that granola moms across America might look down on, heck a choice that I would usually look down on (sad to say) but the choice that I made and don't regret. The Lord really spoke to me before having Declan and said "how dare you tell anyone their birth experience is wrong or not as beautiful because they do it a certain way" I was really convicted of that. Thinking that if birth wasn't natural it wasn't as good. I'm not proud of that thought process. But it was there. New life is always beautiful. No matter how it happens. No matter how something is birthed, its perfect, its precious, and holy, and God wanted it which makes it good.

Declan means full of goodness. Scott and I spent the majority of my labor in tears of laughter. Gods joy and goodness were definitely present. And even today as he is almost 3 months old, we've heard him laughing in his sleep on multiple occasions and he wakes up every morning around 5 am with a huge grin on his face. He smiles at us first thing in the morning. He is such a happy full of goodness boy and we cannot wait to get to know him more and fall more in love with this gift of Declan God has given us:)

In other news we are still in Florida:) But since September we've not been alone! Scotts parents moved in just in time for Scott to be working 6 nights a week leaving two very emotionally and physically EXHAUSTED parents in need of some parents of their own to love on them and help them when they need. I feel like we will never be able to repay Scotts parents for the love and generosity they have shown in not only opening up their home to us, their place of retirement none the less! but also for always being available to us in many ways and showing great selflessness and support in this crazy season. We know that great is their reward in heaven:) and we are immensely grateful that God placed us in their home and in some ways in their care in this season. They always talked about their ministry when they retire. Knowing ministry never ends and day dreaming about what kind of ministry God would give to them when they no longer ran a Salvation Army rehabilitation center. Well I truly believe that Scott and I and our kids, are a major part of their ministry right now. God is so smart. And as my husband always likes to say "He's the kindest person I know"

So we are still here, in the sunshine state. We had planned to move in January back to Fort Mill so Scott could attend Grad School at Morningstar and we could get back to where we feel called. But alas, that door has not opened yet. Scott is however taking online classes with MStar for his masters in Theology:) So theres that. Thanks God! We have no clue when and if we will move back to South Carolina. Well honestly, we are quite sure we will. But the when is the ify part. Could be next month, could be next year.

We should really officially stop trying to make plans with our life(but we won't). Things never turn out the way we plan. So we just are. We just exist, and breathe and try and love God and live in Him. Its not the easiest when finding yourself in a season where He doesn't seem to say much. But as we grow and mature, and our love grows and matures we can rest in Him in our unclear path more than ever before, and we can also rest in each other and lean on the deep strength produced in our marriage.

I think the hardest thing we face lately is not feeling called to anything.

Do you know what I mean?

Its like everyday I hear from people that LOVE what they are doing. LOVE their job. LOVE their vocation, their community, their days, their moments. They are exactly where they are supposed to be and doing exactly what they are meant to be doing.

Unfortunately we are not particularly in love with anything happening in our life right now, at least not in a vocational sense or a locational sense for that matter. But we know God has called us to more. And greater. And we will never loose hope. Everyone can tell us that this might be it. But we refuse to believe it. We know we were made for great things. And until we see them we will continue to press on and pursue God with all we possibly have in us. Its not much today, but He sees us anyway and He knew us before the foundation of the earth so surely, His plans and ways are higher and they will come to pass sooner or later:)

We are grateful.

We may not admit it to you most days. Don't hold that against us.

We are smart enough by now to be able to see and believe that God is producing something great in us in these years of struggling. Like I said, most days its hard to admit. But somewhere deep down inside of us, we can see ourselves on the other side of all of this. Operating fully in what we were created for. "Its gonna be wild, its gonna be great, its gonna be full of Him" Scott and I have massive dreams. And we will keep right on dreaming them until we see them all.

We have no fear in dreaming. Only fear in our dreams not coming true. Which is probably why God moved us to Florida and gave us a way to go to Disney whenever we want. He wanted us to hear those three magic words "DREAMS COME TRUE" shouted by the characters and of course our two year old daughter wherever we venture. God has a great sense of humor. Bringing us to the happiest place on earth where dreams come true in one of the lowest seasons of our life. We love you Father. We love who you are. Thank you for the dream.

Things you can say a quick prayer for, for us, right now:)

*A new job for Scott
*Better pay
*More time as a family
*A way for Tabitha to dance
*More time to invest and sow into community and fellowship at our church--sidenote:we love our church by the way Gods House Orlando. Unfortunately Scott can never join us because of his hours:(... and we do not love that.

We love you. Let us know how we can be praying for or helping you.

--the four of us :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

We are "those people"

I've decided I can't change the name of this blog. We love South Carolina. We loved being at MorningStar, we loved our community there, we loved our neighborhood. And weather or not we are to give up on it, we still don't know. So for now, think of Carolina as a state of mind or being rather than a state in a Country. Whatever it means to live content, wherever you are, and to love where you are at when you are there. That is what we want. Carolina. Maybe it will become a new catch phrase? "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!" --I didn't make that one up:) its from a musical. Can't remember which one...sorry baby.

So Scott and I try to attend church regularly. And we have been trying to attend the same one lately:)

We were hopping around for a couple of months and finally went back to the second church we had visited called "God's House". On their website they claimed they were the most loving church in Orlando. I have to admit I thought it a little pretentious to say "We are the most loving church in Orlando" but we gave them a chance anyway.

Side note on websites: they are great. Please invest in one if you have a company or organization that uses one. Please make it a good one. Its worth spending the extra bucks on. We have found every church we have attended through their websites, and some churches don't have websites, so it makes us not want to go to them because we can't see anything or learn anything about who they are and what they are about. You would hope they are just lovers of God and about Jesus:) but alas, we are all flawed aye?

Anyway, we attended this church and it was like the first time we had been seen in weeks. It feels so good to be seen doesn't it? Wow there is nothing like sitting in a room full of strangers, in such a vulnerable place in your life, living in a new place, having no friends...but being seen by someone. After the service we were kindly bombarded by the pastor, and some of the church members. Welcoming us and loving on us and asking if we needed help getting settled etc...

When we went back a few weeks later, they remembered us, even our names. The pastor came up to us before the service and gave Scott and I a big hug, called us by name and said he was glad we came back and that he had been looking for us each week.

So as far as our experience goes. This is the MOST loving church in Orlando:)

So the title of this post. We are those people.

Last week we were sitting in church, and there was a lot going on. They were getting ready to have a picnic after the second service so everyone was running around doing there jobs and greeting one another as they moved from task to task. And there we were, sitting in our chairs, no where to go, kind of just waiting for the service to begin so we didn't have to feel so alone anymore.

Someone came up to us finally to take us our of our awkwardness and said Hi, made some small talk, and asked if we were coming to the picnic today. And there we were, those people.

I can't even believe the words rolled off my tongue with such ease when I said "no we aren't going, Scott has to go to work"

Can I admit something to you?

For years I have judged people that work on Sunday. No not people that work at church like Salvation Army officers or pastors and band leaders and sunday school teachers...just people that work outside of the church. It was a major revelation to me. I sat there thinking what these people might be thinking about us. Like that we are not serious enough about God because we work on Sundays, and we don't really want to be committed to the body because we don't take that same day of rest, or we are not willing to come to their events in order to get plugged in. I've never been this person before. On the other side. I'm humbled, and grateful. Its easy to judge. Is it not? I hate it. And then this whole thing with good judgement and bad judgement. Like how you have to be honest, with where people are at, you must use good judgement before assuming you or anymore can do or be something. But you also aren't supposed to judge because God is the only judge. And people who say that anytime you judge someone are usually the most judgmental people anyway (finger pointing at myself).

Scott laughed at me.

He knows how high my standards are, and I think he gets a kick out of watching God gently tear them down one sticky situation like this at a time. He enjoyes seeing me being remade, and growing and maturing. Conviction is beautiful, And it feels good. Every time I feel confused between conviction or condemnation I try to go into my spirit and say ultimately, does this feel good? and prosperous? or do I just feel horrible? and gross?

I felt good being awakened to how I had so harshly judged the church and people in general. Another standard I had given her that she would never fully attain. You must go to church every Sunday, and if you don't you are not a good Christian. You must not work on Sunday, because people who work on Sunday's don't really care about God. You must attend church events and get involved and get your name on some lists, because that shows that you are closer to God than the others who "don't have time".


I'm sorry church. I love you. Forgive me?

The truth is, its hard to know. Its hard to really judge anyone's relationship with God. Even those who claim to have none. There are these verses in scripture we use when talking about these kind of things here's one of them

"How foolish! Can't you see that faith without good deeds is useless?" James 2:20

But here is another one

"But Samuel replied,

What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings or sacrifices
or your obedience to His voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams"

1 Samuel 15:22

How do you know if someone is living and doing what they are doing, out of obedience? How can we judge so quickly that if it looks different then it is not God? Or if it doesn't fit our standards then they have probably gone astray?

Scott has to remind me that we are following God, everyday. I've been so molded by church standards and mans standards that even when I am walking in obedience, I question everything I'm doing the minute someone holds it up against the norm.

Well this is all I have to say about our current Floridian status. Don't judge us. Haha no just kidding...but really...aren't you judging us? We are. And we are the people that we have judged in the past. We live with our parents, we only have part time jobs, we are on government assistance, we have another baby coming. Shouldn't we be more responsible? And if we really follow God shouldn't we be doing better than we are?

The truth is, we can't even judge us. We don't even know how "good" or "bad" we are doing. Sure we could look at our circumstances and draw conclusions, but from what standards? from whose ideals will we be drawing our conclusions? I want to harshly judge myself and tell myself I am doing something wrong everyday because of how things are going for us. But then there is that voice of truth. And he comforts me. He speaks to me, He sees me and calls me by name and tells me its good. He leads us one way and we follow and whatever happens or whatever the outcome we choose to say there must be a plan. There has to be a purpose in this. And our love for Him has only grown, and only matured in this season.

We might not be doing anything right we might be doing everything right. But either way we are doing our best. And there are so many out there doing their best. Trying so hard to obey, and to do what is right.And yet if they don't look like the rest of society we quickly say they must not be doing their best or trying very hard. Its so sad. So unloving. And so ugly to live this way. And I would know, because I do it.

Father please change me. Change my standards. Let me really see people. Let me really SEE like you. Give me grater discernment and help me to love despite anything and everything. And when I feel like someone deserves no more love, help me stand up and love them more. And on another note, help me to love myself the same. To give myself a chance.

"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]."

1 Corinthians 13:7

Help me to first believe the best in people. Even myself. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I officially don't know what to call this blog anymore

Yesterday I went and got my Florida license. 

I am officially a Florida resident. And I gotta be honest, I feel quite confused about it.

Its hard to live life the way Scott and I do. I guess it should be easy when you have this awesome God living both in Heaven and inside of us, giving us Holy Spirit the guide and counselor directing us and guiding us into and onto each path of life. But sometimes, it doesn't feel spiritual. And thats difficult for me. Some people struggle with things feeling spiritual, they don't like going places or doing things because it feels right in their hearts and spirits. They like going places and doing things because its logical and makes sense and looks like the best way.

Well I'm experiencing the opposite. Its like everything in our recent transition is yes and amen, but for some reason I'm not completely on board. I can see clearly all the goodness and favor of God pouring out on us because of this move. But something hasn't clicked yet. I'm still waiting for the feelings and the spiritual experiences to help me understand that this is where God has called us. Its like there are signs all around us saying this is the way, this is good, keep going, this is what I want for you! -love God. And I'm still like "eh...I'm not convinced"

I think its just as dangerous to live the way I do waiting always to feel a certain way  as it is to do nothing based on how it feels but only based on how it appears or what it gives you or accomplishes for you. I hate living for accomplishments. I hate living for a good job, benefits, money in the bank account, good food on the table. If you would ask my husband he would tell you straight up, I would rather have no money, no valuable possessions and just live in a hut somewhere on the other side of the world. I want a simple life, and I don't want to give into society. Working, paying bills, making money and more money and more money and going higher climbing that corporate ladder to reach some sort of all time satisfaction that will earn you your job and purpose in life. 


Right now. This is whats happening, we both have jobs that we LOVE. I'm teaching ballet at a local dance studio and gaining favor with my director as the days go by. My classes will double by the summer and maybe even increase in the fall. Scott is loving his job at Disney, he's only worked a few days and is already highly respected by his colleagues and managers. They are already amazed at his intelligence and hard work and we feel so strongly Scott will be working his way up the Disney corporate ladder in no time. Not to mention Scott has already had an awesome ministry experience while on the job. We are both happy to go to work every time we go. We are excited to be there, and excited to go back. We are talking about things like two bank accounts in order to spread out our assets. We are talking about the housing market and how smart it would be if we invested in it now. All good things. And its like no matter how much gets better I'm still a little sad that I got a Florida license yesterday.

Maybe its just pride. Could I just be sad that I was wrong? Is it OK to make mistakes? Does anyone else have this idea that if you follow the voice of God you should never mess up? What if coming here is wrong? Or what if moving to South Carolina was wrong? 

However, can anything really be wrong with God if He lives in us and we trust that He guides us?

Can we ever fail if He works out all things for the good of those who love Him and live according to His purposes?

I guess my point is, simply this. Sometimes things are not what you thought, or dreamed, or imagined. And even though you never received a prophetic word about them or feel a tingling sensation in your heart when you go into them. They could still be right. And good. Its hard to always KNOW that you are doing whats right. And I've lived a good portion of my life not moving forward unless I felt something. Or unless I felt certain that God said to do it. I don't know if God told us to move to Florida. Does that freak you out? I have no idea. I don't know if we are supposed to stay here either. But we are. We are trying a new thing out, its called trusting. Oh didn't I say we already tried that out? Well this is different, this kind of trust is trusting when you have no clue what you're doing. Trusting that your God is faithful to guide you and to not lead you to destruction. Do you believe He can do it? We are on this path, without even a "word from the Lord" no "thus saith" we are just living. And trusting that our Father sees us. 

So many of you wonder, are you staying in Florida? 

There are so many verses in the bible that talk about how we can't even plan for tomorrow because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Or that many are the plans in a mans heart but the word of God prevails. So yea today, we live in Florida. We have jobs, we have Florida license' we are planning a future here. Is it the end, maybe, maybe not. But we are just deciding to be here until something happens. Or nothing happens. Maybe we'll stay here just because we like it. Maybe it won't be this massive spiritual experience. Maybe God will say "what do you want?" and we'll say "we want to live by Mickey forever Jesus!" 

We really don't know. So bare with us. 

We love you. We appreciate your love for us, despite our craziness:) And we appreciate those of you who have supported our every move. Some of you have trusted God for us with every decision we've made. You've never questioned where we are headed you've just trusted God to lead us. And that is so extremely valuable to us when we feel so uncertain. 

Thanks for following. Any ideas for a new blog name?

This blog was really healing for me to write. Thanks for reading. love you all. God is good.

Tab, Scott, Selah & baby #2

Sunday, January 15, 2012

movement, passage, or change from one state, stage, position to another.

It's time for a change. I know, you're probably thinking "haven't you guys had enough change this year?"

We always want to go higher. We won't be satisfied until we feel like we are fulfilling the purpose and calling on our lives from God for this time. And we don't feel that we are. We feel like we are just floating by. Letting days pass. Afraid to make a move, afraid we won't be able to move.

We've begun feeling like slaves to our circumstances again. Just like we did in NY. Have you ever felt like that before? Like there is nothing you can do? I NEED THIS JOB, I NEED this house, I NEED these friends, I NEED this church...its all I have. Its all that I can see. One thing Scott and I feel strongly about is the concept of settling.

To settle= to appoint, fix, or resolve definitely and conclusively...

We won't settle in a place where our hearts aren't alive. One of my favorite verses in the word is from John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

If you feel like things have been stolen, your dreams are dying, your hope and joy destroyed. You can seek change. You don't have to settle there.

We haven't been doing well here. We won't say the Lord has not blessed us and we won't say this was a waste of time. Nothing can be wasted. He will always make things good if we love Him and live according to His purposes. And we fully believe this time and what we've learned is all GOOD.

However, we've really been struggling. Struggling is OK. Sometimes God sent. But we feel personally that we've come to a place in the tension and in our struggling that God is not calling us into. We feel like maybe we're putting ourselves in this position. Sometimes we think its the Christian way to be unhappy. Like we must live in a state of suffering for the sake of the cross. Scott and I feel like we are beginning to loose hope and focus.

We also need our own space. We've said many times how gracious the Smith's have been. Its so true. We don't think we would have made it here without them. God knew that we really needed them to transition down here. And we can't express enough, our gratitude to them. But we are ready, we've really been ready for months now, to have our own space. We can't move any of our stuff from NY into this house without feeling like we have to get rid of more than half of it! And also just the way Scott and I function as a family unit, time together, to be alone as a family is really important to us. Really, its something personal to our family that we feel like we've not been honoring and we are really aching for it again.

So we are finally saying yes to the cry on our hearts. We feel the tension in our family of not being able to be alone. We feel the tension of our belongings living in NY. And also just the tension of not being able to take control of our space in the spirit. We are ready to take our own land somewhere! And be in authority over our home. Not to mention, our family is growing:) and come this August we'll need space for a new baby as well.

All these things, plus just leading from Holy Spirit are leading us to leave this home at the end of the month. We really feel great peace about this decision. The only difficulty is we don't have the funds to move into our own home. Which is why we've been so fearful about making this decision for these past few months. We've felt like money is holding us down, and holding us back. And we don't want to be a slave to money. We will NOT be slaves.

We are really praying for a miracle. That the Lord would provide financially for us to be able to move into our own home. We've been praying for more work for Scott that would provide in a way that would give us enough to live on our own and also enough to sow into others through our home. I've been looking for jobs to do in order to bring in extra income, still really feeling that God has asked me to be in the home, but always willing to change if He tells me otherwise! We feel confident that the Lord will keep us in Fort Mill. We feel like He is not finished with us here! So the final decision is that if we don't have a new place to live by the end of the month, we will move down to Scott's parents retirement home in Florida. There is no one currently living in the home, so it could be a blessing for us to be able to look after it and keep it full of Gods presence:) Also we get the privacy of our own place for a bit while we continue to press in for our home in Fort Mill and just seek the Lord, pray, and spend some quality time with Him as a family. We feel excited about that possibility. There are still so many logistics, like having enough money to get down there, having a place for our stuff here if we can't fit it all in our car, specifically Selah's crib!! We will also need support while we are there. Scott has some work that he can do while he is there, but we are hoping for more to open up in web design, and freelance writing.

We feel awakened again. And its been a while. We feel like we've been getting into a routine, and settling into something that we don't even feel alive in. And we are starting to feel alive again, so its a good thing! It will be hard to go, especially wondering if we will get to come back, or really where we will end up. But we know God has us. And we are just walking with Him. We love Him so much. We can't live unless we know we are following His voice.

Thanks for all of your prayers. We are so overwhelmed with how many of you really follow these blogs, and call us, text us, email us your prayers and encouragement. You have really served the Lord by loving on us, and we continue to pray you will reap for what you have sown into our family. We love you all so much. If you feel lead to pray for us more consistently here are some specifics for this time:

  • Pray that we would stand firm in what we hear God speaking
  • Pray for finances to come in so we can walk in the way God is leading us, either a home here before the end of the month or a way for us to get down to Florida and stay there for a bit
  • Pray for continued health for our pregnancy as I won't be able to see a Dr. if we go down to Florida
  • Pray that we walk in wisdom
  • Pray for work to open up for Scott (Scott is amazing, I don't know how anyone could NOT want him to work for them. He is such a hard worker, so honorable, and incredibly intelligent) please pray especially for work that he LOVES and that will provide a way for us to have good insurance
  • Please pray that we would stay united in pursuit and not focused on our own security, but on the Lord
We bless you all in the name of Jesus. We love who you are. We love the body. You've all shown so much love and we are praying for your families to prosper in God as well!