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!