I have been a huge slacker (at least on my blog), so just in case we aren't friends on Facebook or you don't follow Jeremy on his blog. It has been one of the busiest times of our lives. Crazy adventurous, but busy. I will add a few of my own thoughts to Jeremy's updates :)
Personal always impacts professional. Personal always influences ministry. Personal joy spills over into life in general. And, we've got some personal joy to share. Actually, we have 4 Life-changing Joys to share:
1. Ella-We signed an adoption agreement to be matched with Schella...We will call her Ella. She is 10 months old. Her parents were killed in a car accident. Her grandmother had her and she got sick and died. Her aunt, who was 9 months pregnant, brought her to the orphanage we have been working with and they contacted us. We are so thankful God has chosen her for our family and chosen us for her. Seriously, I went bananas when we found out this is OUR girl. I am so excited and can hardly wait to meet, love, kiss, her in February. Jeremy and I will be going for a week. I never thought we would get a baby, but I am so happy. Please pray that she gains weight and stays healthy. She only weighs 13lbs.
2. In my loudest Dave Ramsey style scream, WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!! We began the journey of becoming debt free in June 2009 and after 2 years of living within our means through a monthly budget, operating with an envelope system using cash, and focusing most "extra" income on snowballing debt, we are debt free of all consumer debt! Yes, we are done! The most critical moment in the last two years that I can think of was the moment I said OUT LOUD, "I will not borrow any more money." Life changing! Thank you, Dave Ramsey and thank you, Jesus! Now, on to baby step #3:) Living like no one else, so later we can GIVE like no one else! We are crazy, sold out Dave fans!! Take it or leave it, but it is who we are now. We got to call in on Friday to do our scream on the radio. We checked the boys out, did our family scream, and then celebrated with a treat of course!!
3. We launched a new church this week! Well, sort of. We merged two existing churches together to form one new church (The Church at Lake Travis) and our first item on the agenda as a new church . . . SERVE. We cancelled our first regular Sunday worship service to do something that God may indeed receive as worship more than what we normally do. We raised money for orphans in Haiti. We are pumped about what God is doing and what he'll continue to do! Our first worship gathering will be this Sunday, November 6 at Tex Arts next to Chair King in Lakeway. On Sunday we had our first worship gathering and it was no short of AWESOME. I am so humbled and honored to be able to be apart of starting this new church. I pray that God would use it/us for His Glory!!
4. In the big scheme of things, I'm not even sure if this qualifies as a "life-changing" reality, but Ashley and I (and a team of others from our church) completed a half marathon this past Saturday. We ran in the Chosen for Adoption race and it was a blast! More to come on lessons learned... Jeremy is going on to run a full in April. Yeah I am not doing that. I truly do love to run, but I am good for a 4-6 miler. It was fun training and actually accomplishing something I never thought I could do. I will probably do it again next year just because I love running for the cause.
So, all that is really great stuff and it has been fun, but there are some things that I feel like I have neglected because these things have been going on. I have backed way off at the boys school. I am really feeling convicted about not engaging in those relationships through their school. I know we can only do so much, but I really feel like it is important. I also have been not engaging my neighbors like I have in the past. I love my neighbors, but when the boys are playing outside in the afternoon I have taken that time to do other things inside. People are more important than anything I do or accomplish and I never want to forget that!!