Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

When one journey ends a new one begins....

For years, I have dreamed about the moment I could write this blog. The one where I get to tell you that all 7 of my children are under one roof! London and Sam became US citizens on November 8. We have been home for 6 weeks and it still amazes me that they are here. It is a MIRACLE that they are here. So many of you have prayed and supported us for the last 4 years and 7 months and we are forever grateful to you.

So many firsts have occurred in the last 6 weeks. The first airplane ride, first bedroom, first roller coaster (they were not thrilled, but this week when we went again they LOVED it!) So many new experiences. Going to the grocery store, snow, (even though it wasn't much), first time performing in a Christmas play and they have done so well. Every day has had its own set of challenges. We take each day moment by moment. There have been days that I have wondered "what in the world have we done?" and days that I have said "How did we ever live without them?"

London and Sam have been our daughter and son since they were 3 and 18 months old. Every step of the adoption process was horrendous, but God was faithful every single step of the way. If we ever thought of giving up, He always gave us HOPE. He guided us and those moments that we couldn't take any more He would always show up. I don't know why it had to take so long or why we had to spend so much money but what I do know is that His promise was fulfilled. The dream that He gave me in my heart 13 years ago was birthed into fruition right before my eyes and I'm so thankful we didn't give up. Every day London and Sam learn to trust us a little more and learn how to be a part of a family. Not every day is rosy.

There are way too many people for us to mention that have helped us in this journey but it would be wrong of me not to mention Frentz and Mallery Neptune and Haiti Foundation Against Poverty.
They took our kids in for what was supposed to be 3 months and ended up being over 2 years. They nurtured them, loved them and helped them heal. They provided a home for them, taught them English and told them about Jesus. Mallery and Frentz are a part of our family now. We love them and their heart for Haiti.

This journey hasn't really ended but in fact has just begun. We now walk through uncharted waters and figure out how to be the best parents that we can and help these kids become all that God has for them. We don't have the answers but are so thankful that our Savior does. 2016 really was the year of the Haitian baby!!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Confessions of a Pastors Wife...

Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this blog are solely mine. I in no way can speak for every pastors wife, only myself and my experiences. I LOVE ministry. I love people. I love trying my best to be what Jesus wants me to be but I fail and sometimes I fail miserably! So keep that in mind if you read past this disclaimer. I'm human. I'm a mom. I have faults... so many faults. But I wouldn't trade one second of my life for anything else. 

I have worked alongside my husband in full-time ministry for over 20 years now. Yes, that must mean I was a tiny child when I got married. :) When I think back over those years of all the things we have been involved in it is actually surreal to think about. Starting out as children's pastors and swearing we would never have children of our own... Hello 7 kids later... youth ministry, associate, starting an inner city church with nothing but our savings,  General Superintendent of a denomination, lead pastoring, and our most recent venture (which we are SO EXCITED about). That's a whole lot of stuff! Along with all of that stuff has been thousands of people that we have had the opportunity to love on and serve in some capacity. Many have become like family to us.  We've packed up and moved our family across the country and back again just praying that it was indeed what God wanted for us and that we weren't causing permanent damage to our kids making them transition...again.  

I think about when we first got married and thought we knew everything about everything in ministry.  When in fact, we didn't know anything at all. Each move we have made has taught us a little bit more. We have loved, we have been angry, we have been hurt, and we have loved some more. For my husband its a bit easier. He's one of those people that "turns the other cheek" really well. Me? its more of a struggle for me. (brutal honesty here) There have been times when I didn't even want to go to church. There are times when I walked in the door of a church and felt extremely alone. There are times I've been mad but put a smile on my face so no one would know. There are times that I have sobbed in the office before going out to worship. There have been times that I have held the hand and cried with a mama who was having to bury her baby. I've tried my best to give good advice when asked and I've often worried about what my place should be and if I would make someone mad by offering to do something in the church.  

Being a pastors wife is a weird job to have. You're technically not hired to do anything but there are certain expectations of you and those expectations change... a lot. Sometimes you don't even know what those expectations are but you try and navigate the waters and not ripple them too much. It can be a state of constant uncertainty. 

It may sound like I'm being negative about being a pastors wife but I assure you that's not the case at all! Its an honor to be married to a man that you get to stand beside and support as he tells the ultimate truth to people day after day. I am his biggest supporter and cheerleader and I pray for him to have peace and rest and say the words that God would have him to say. I pray that his heart is protected from hurtful words that someone might say and I pray that he can be all that God wants him to be. It is an absolute honor to share in the lives of so many people and be entrusted with their hearts. My biggest prayer has always been that I would never be the source of someones hurt. I know I have not always held to that, and for that I am sorry. I guess what I would want someone to hear is that grace is such a gift to a pastors wife or to anyone really.  You have no idea what a call or a text means to her or a hug to say, "I know you're human and I get it!" Or that it's ok to be sad or mad sometimes. To my fellow pastors wives, hang in there. Our village loves us deeply and most would walk through fire for us and we know we would do the same for them. What an amazing gift it is to love and be loved! Life is a gift and what joy it is to walk through it with friends. So make lots of them! Don't hide out in the office until 5 minutes after worship starts (It's ok... I've done it... a lot!) Put on that smile and mean it! We get to share the love of Jesus every single day and that my friend, is what it's all about!!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An update on our circus!

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps" 
Proverbs 16:9
 A dear sweet friend sent me this verse in a text this morning. It was a reminder of God's sovereignty and that His timing is perfect. All I have to do is sit back and trust. So many times in my life, I have rushed things, tried to work them out on my own and the end result of that is always the same. I may get to the destination God wanted me to get to, but it may have taken me all the way around the mountain to get there. 

This week marks 4 years since Kelly and I stepped off of a plane in Haiti for the first time. A seed was planted in our heart that has grown and grown. Two beautiful children became ours and a plan for our lives was put into place. The last 4 years have been filled with every emotion imaginable. As far as where we are in the adoption process, we are awaiting word this week that our file is being signed by a judge who has done nothing but cause us issues for the past 8 months. A process that should have been simple (that seems to be an oxymoron with anything dealing with Haiti adoptions) has been filled with heartache, money, and learning to "be still" all over again. Kelly was able to spend a few days with London and Sam a couple of weeks ago and it was much needed on their part and ours. We are so ready for them to be here with us, but until then we will rest in His presence and remember that He is establishing our steps. His ways are perfect. 

As far as the other members of our circus, everyone is doing great! Staying busy with end of the year activities at school, soccer and church. Kelcie is enjoying another season of Varsity soccer as a Lady Jag. She has been involved in Teen View magazine and has a special friend in her life. I can't believe the amazing young lady that she has become. We are so proud of her. Greyson is his fathers son! His current obsession is photography (which has followed prescription sunglasses, a hoverboard and of course being the greatest owner to Jake the aussie dog) He is playing soccer and researching "best jobs you don't have to go to college for" He makes me laugh all of the time! Conner... those of you that know Conner probably just smile when you read his name. He is the wittiest kid ever. He spent his birthday money on a hamster that he named Elvis Felix Ward and spends his time updating Felix's instagram account (#thathamsterelvis I promise you won't be disappointed!) Carrson is finishing up his kindergarten year. He is so smart. Loves math and soccer and we have learned the hard way that we can't spell things in front of him that we don't want him to know! Mayah Grace is still the princess of the house! She is a great pretender and loves her My Little Ponies. We are so blessed with these kiddos. 
For Spring Break we took a much needed vacation with some great friends. We went on a 5 day cruise to Mexico. We had such an amazing time being together and eating way too much food. We laughed so much and just enjoyed the time to regroup! I can't wait for summer and the memories we will make!

In this past year I have had to say goodbye to my last two grandparents. Last June, we were shocked and saddened when the Lord called my Grandma Elaine home. She was vivacious and beautiful and had the best laugh you could ever hear.  I would joke with her and tell her she didn't know how old she was. Always dressed so well and was loved by everyone. I can imagine her singing with my Grandpa George again. 

In February, my sweet 91 year old papa left this world and joined his Savior and my nanny in Heaven. I still struggle with losing him. I loved him more than anything in this world and even though I knew his time could be close nothing prepared me for it. There are days I still forget he's gone. The bond that I had with him was indescribable. I can still hear his voice and see him putting his hands in his face and laughing. So many memories of him flood my mind every day. I'm thankful that the next time that I see both of them that we will never have to part again. I have no idea how people make it through losing someone without a faith in Jesus Christ. Its the only thing that carries me!

Thank you all so much for keeping up with our family and your prayers and support. God is faithful and just and we can't wait to see the doors He opens for us!