Sunday, July 21, 2013

What is a church plant?

I often get this question. What does planting a church mean? How do you do it? Isn't it taking a long time? How do you get paid? And the biggest question is why?

I don't have all the right answers to those questions. I only have the answers to the way we are doing it. I'll answer the last question first, why. God told us to, that's why. It wasn't audible. It was gradual for us, but it is an undeniable task. This isn't easy. Our situation isn't ideal. We need a worship pastor, we need more funding. But this IS what we are supposed to be doing.

We are starting a new church in Pine Bluff. We see a need for people of all colors, races, and ages to worship the One True God together. And not just worship together. But to become disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ. And to make more disciples. We don't desire for people to come to Delta Baptist Church and just stay there. We desire people to come to DBC and go out into the(ir) world and make His name known.

Yes, it is taking a long time. Our original thinking was to start the church by using a certain strategy and that didn't work. So we changed strategies, and that didn't work either. So we're trying another one, and it seems to be working. Whew! 

I'm not high maintenance. My house does not have to be spotless or clutter free. I am not in the least bit OCD. And it turns out all of those qualities (or lack of) serve me well in this endeavor. 
Our house is small. Our kitchen is small. Not just small, but very small. I've not complained about the size of our living room and kitchen on here, I am grateful. But we live in a very small space. 

So you get the picture? Small! Well, we have people over all the time. Sometimes just one or two people, sometimes 17. And we eat. People sit on the floor, they sit on folding chairs, kids eat outside. And you know what? Not once has anyone suggested going anywhere else. It's comfortable, it's loud and fun, and God meets us in our crowded home. I love it.

But I also love the quiet after everyone leaves and the kids are asleep. Stephen and I sit in the living room and smile at each other with satisfaction. Not satisfied that our work is done, but satisfied in knowing that we are in Gods will. 

This isn't what I thought I would be doing in my life. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Do you have any questions? I'd be glad to answer them.

Change


These boys are moving up to the youth group at church. I can't believe it! And because of this we are adjusting to a few changes around here. 

Change #1.  All three boys are gone a lot. It's strange after all these years to just have one child at home most of the time. I think Anna is loving it right now, but I don't know how long that feeling will last. She, like her mom, doesn't like to be left out of fun things.

Change #2.  It's expensive! It's one thing sending one child to a youth event once a week. We need a whole other wallet to send three kids. Whew! Float trips, ball games, pizza, it adds up. Summer needs toned quickly!

Change #3.  Their activities interfere with my bedtime. When we just had Samuel, he could ask a friend to bring him home. But now that there are three, it seems too much to ask of someone. So I stay up, and dressed. Well sometimes Stephen does, most of the time Stephen does. 

Change #4 is coming in just a few months, Samuel will be 16. Oh, I don't know if I'm ready for that!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This guy drove me to Little Rock today. And in Little Rock! He did a great job. He drove us halfway home from Mamaw's a couple of weeks ago, he's really a good driver.

But like I say about his good work ethic, it's this way at 15, I don't know what he'll be at 17! I'm praying even better than now. But I'm not boasting about tomorrow, that verse scares me. Ha!

We had to go to Little Rock to buy some pants for a choir trip he is going on with a church group. He leaves Saturday for a week, comes home on Friday and leaves again on Monday to go to children's camp. And works at the Farmers Market on the Saturday in between. 

He's a good kid. And after spending the day with him today my ears are tired. I'm not complaining, I always want him to talk to me, so I'm not complaining. But my ears, they are tired.

Young mom, your boys will grow up. It happens fast. A slow motion kind of fast, but still fast. There are days that he reminds me of his three year old strong willed self, and there are times when he is a great 15 yr old. Today when he was driving I made him stay in the middle lane, and we were getting passed by cars on the left. He was not happy about it at all! He said " mom, they're beating me!" Which was so funny to me because when he was little and in a car seat he would yell for us to "go faster" so we would win against the car beside us. 

I don't brag or even talk about Samuel nearly enough, so I thought I would tonight. Lucky for me he doesn't read the blog!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Missing Sister


The Lee 3 have been moving in fast forward lately. I sometimes feel like someone has hit the fast forward button on the tape player while the music is playing and it makes that screeching noise as it rushes ahead. Not a great sound, but worth it to get to the song you love the most. That's us right now.


Randall took us to the cheese state for a company retreat in the Dells at the Wilderness Resort. We stayed an extra few days to soak it up a bit more. It was needed after a really wacky spring in the planting department. It was nice to see Randall all kicked back on a lounger and watch him go down a few water slides. I sure love that man of mine and appreciate how he supports us so well.


This little mover of mine has proved to be in the middle of his third year lately. He is testing every button on my little tape player of life, I must admit. It can rewind fast forward and record all at the same time and never seems to makes it to my favorite song! If you lack patience, have a 3 year old.
He is so funny, smart and cute as a toot. I love his spirit but wish I could tackle that strong will some days. My constant prayer for him is that he will use his sweet spirit and strong will for good and God honoring things as he grows. Support me in that prayer!

Wee took Route 66 in Illinois and took some cute photos after our little stay in Springfield.


Henry and I spend a lot of time together this time of year with Randall having crops in the ground all over the south. I have started my real estate business with RE/MAX and it is the perfect fit for our busy little home dynamic. Henry now says "Are we gonna show houses today, Mama?!" and it makes me laugh. Poor little man drives all over to look at corn with his daddy and then now drives all over to look at houses with his mama. I laugh inside wondering if he thinks all people work out of their cars...because we do in this house. Good thing he loves to go!

I am under contract with several buyers now and praying for listings to come along soon. I am staying real busy growing my business and I really do like it. It is a fun, good busy. I can make my own hours and design my work day for the most part. I love this career decision and I am so excited to see how my business will grow.


Our view from the top of the Arch was so beautiful, I had to share. We went to the top on our way home from Wisconsin. Randall and I had never been and decided it was shameful to drive through and not stop. The photo of Henry and me posted above is from the little capsule we rode to get to the top. It was great to add that to our "done it" list, get an ornament and a magnet. I came home from our trip up north with 4 new oranaments. I may have to start adding branches or get a bigger tree! ha.

I collect ornaments and magnets from every new attraction, state, etc that we visit. It is getting a little insane and I love it!


Henry has a love for the American flag. It is so precious to hear him yell with excitement from the backseat "Look! There's another American flag, Mama. Look, right there. You see it, Mama?! You see it?!"  So, July 4th was great fun for him to celebrate. We got his little hat and bow tie from the dollar bin at Target.


This summer is flying by so fast and Henry is growing just as fast. Even though we are both working really hard right now, it is wonderful to have the ability to take him with us, work unconventional hours if needed and soak up life as much as we can. God is forever blessing us with simple things and for that we are most grateful. Simplicity and fun are what we love the most around here.

I spend so much time on the computer right now with work that when it comes time to get off, I get off. I also have a smart phone...I know shocking for those that know me well! The constant pings, dings and messages about send me into convulsions most days. Convictions about my son seeing me with my laptop and phone in my hands all the time have caused my postings to be fewer of late. When he yelled, "Mama, put your phone down and listen to me!" one night I think my heart seized up in my chest. Ouch! All those blog posts about children seeing us distracted on our devices came to life at that moment. I have not posted as much as I used to. I hope to be able to pick up a new routine for posting soon. I enjoy writing and sharing life. It is a great outlet and I appreciate those of you who keep up with us on here.

Abby

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Digital Dells


Click here to view this photo book larger
Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

We had such a fun trip to the Dells. I made my first digital scrapbook and thought posting it was the fastest and easiet way to share it with you. Enjoy!

Abby

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Birthday Visit


The kids and I left Monday morning to visit Mamaw and Uncle David. We hadn't sent them in quite a while and we hadn't been to their home in three years. That is just too long.

When I looked at my calendar to see what days were open to make the trip, I noticed that the best days for us included being able to be with Mamaw on her birthday. We were very excited!

We arrived at their home wearing birthday hats, carrying balloons, flowers, and cupcakes. They met us in the driveway and we had a little birthday celebration right there!

I had picked up some yummy cupcakes before we went to their house, and Uncle David had made a cake. Between the sweets and all the food Mamaw cooked while we were there, we left this morning stuffed!

We had such a good time. We went to an ice cream social Mamaw had planned for a group at her church, we played at the kids favorite park in all the world. And we talked, loved on each other and played games. 

Mamaw is a wonderful, loving, memory making, kind, complimentary, encouraging, sweet, funny, and just the best woman ever!! I am so fortunate to have had her play such a big role in my life. The memories we share are some of my very favorites.

It was an honor to spend her birthday with her. And fun memories were made. I'm so glad my kids were able to spend some quality time with both Mamaw and Uncle David.

Julie