Vlogging!!!

Good morning! I wanted to share a few things with you. In an attempt to “write” more often and use my page as a place where we can grow together, I am trying something new! I will be doing a little vlogging as well as blogging! My hopes is to pair my writing with videos to connect with you a little better as well as just writing more often. I plan on sharing what I’m learning about God’s word through vlogging and blogging. I’d also like to answer questions you have about God and His Word and I thought that would be easier to do if I added vlogging!

Here’s my first one- just a short intro video sharing one of my favorite things! Please also subscribe to my YouTube channel “Broken Remnant” below!

Broken Remnant YouTube Channel

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Everything Times 3

3 kids…

I still can’t wrap my brain around being a mom of 3. I know that sounds silly; my husband came from of family of 5 brothers. 5 was their “magic number.” His Mom was from a family of 5, and his dad was from a family of 5, and then they had 5. But 2 has always been the “magic number” for my family. My mom has 1 brother and my dad has 1 sister. Then they had 2- my brother and me. We can go back even further than that: my mom’s mom has 1 brother and my mom’s dad has 1 sister. Yes, there have been some in our family who have broken the rules. Both of my aunts and uncles had 4 kids. My other grandparents both come from large families, but for the most part, my family is a 2 kid family- specifically a girl and a boy.

We were following the rules rather nicely, a girl and a boy, until we found out last Spring we were pregnant with #3. Part of me had always wanted to break the 2 kid rule just because any more than that was unknown territory for me, and the thought was kind of exciting. But once I had my girl and boy, it was just so comfortable. The known always is. My husband, coming from a large family, wanted “as many as the Lord blesses.” That thought always scared me a little! Once we settled into our 2 kid routine, however, I think he took as much comfort as I did in what was known.

Let’s face it, the world is made for 2 kids. Any more than that and you either get seated in the back of a restaurant or you have to wait for a large table to open up. But seriously, when you have more than that, you don’t go out to eat as much anyway. Now let’s talk vehicles. 2 kids fit rather nicely in the back seat of a car. 3 kids- smooshed. Probably time to get a bigger vehicle; time to become soccer mom in a minivan. My mother-in-law told me that once you hit 3, it’s triple the laundry, the dishes, the mess. And that’s just Monday. Times that by 7!

So after 7 1/2 years of following the rules, we became a 3 kid family. My daughter asked me before Levi was born, “Mom, are our lives going to change?” Yes. A million times, yes. Everything is going to be different. But once he’s here, we won’t be able to remember what it was like without him. He’s going to change our lives, but for the better.

3 months into a 3 kid family, have our lives changed! 3 times the laundry. 3 times the dishes. 3 times the mess. Less eating out. More smooshing ourselves into our vehicles.

But I can’t imagine life any different. 3 times the hugs. 3 times the kisses. 3 times the laughter and smiles. Seeing our older 2 fall in love with our sweet baby…seeing our baby light up at the sight of his 2 older siblings…all a million times worth it. He is changing all of us. Not that we were in need of change, but what he has brought to our lives can not be measured. The moments, the love, it is continuing to take up residence inside our souls, just like before. Our hearts are overflowing. We have everything…times 3.

Silence

Silence. That word brings so many things to mind. So many memories. So many fears. So many times when all I can do is sit in the deafening silence and wonder…are you there, God? If I listen loud enough can I hear your still, small voice…your whisper? Are you working even when I can’t see the evidence?

You tell us not to lose heart. That even though this outward body is wasting away, you are renewing our inner person day by day. That this present trouble, this light momentary affliction is preparing for us and producing in us an eternal glory that outweighs any affliction we will endure. You tell us not to look at the things that are before us, the things that are seen, but to the unseen, the silence in the midst of the chaos. For these are the things that will not perish. These are the things that will stand forever. These things are eternal.

You tell us that since we have been made sons and daughters, you have placed your peace deep within our soul. In the quiet recesses of our heart. In the silence that we can hardly bear. Because of what you’ve done, we can rejoice in the hope and freedom you’ve given. We can stand, confidently and joyfully, and look forward to sharing in your glory.

You tell us that we can rejoice in these momentary afflictions, these present troubles. That these trials, these sufferings, are producing an endurance that can only birth character: who you are shaping us to be. Which ultimately strengthens our hope, the hope of our salvation. And that hope does NOT disappoint. It does not disappoint because you have poured your love in our hearts through your Spirit. That unending, ever flowing love.

So in this moment, this silence, I take joy in the momentary affliction, the hardship, the calamity of it all. For when I am weak, then I am strong. And not a strength of my own accord because my own strength does not exist. On my own I am but a shell of a body. But a godly, supernatural strength that allows me to cling to the answers unknown. To the future that only you know. To your still, small voice. Your whisper. Your silence.

(Based on 2 Corinthians 4, Romans 5, and 2 Corinthians 12).

Spring is in the Air

Springtime. My favorite season of all. Things that once appeared dead come back to life- the very breath of God breathes life back into them again. Flowers’ blooms grace the earth with their presence. Grass peaks from beneath the surface. The sweet sound of birds ring in your ears as they return. Life that lies dormant during the long, grueling months of winter returns and rejuvenates the earth. New life. The handiwork of the God who created it all.

My favorite part of Spring, though, is the return of the leaves on the trees. Winter can be harsh. With it comes the cold that drains the energy from each tree, branch by branch. The trees stand together, bare, no sign of life as far as the eye can see. But with the return of Spring, a miracle happens. Buds begin appearing little by little. And once again life breaks through. Evidence that God is at work. 

Every year I look forward to the return of Spring. It’s become a ritual with my kids. They know when Spring comes because Mommy gets very excited about seeing “baby leaves”! So every year we celebrate its return and look for baby leaves on every tree we see. 

For me, Spring means new life. That’s why I love it so much and look for its return. It is God’s promise that He will not leave us bare, lonely, and broken, but he will breathe life into our bones. No matter how many times we experience the winter season, He will return and once again life will break through. He will lead us to the springs of abundant life, where hope and mercy overflow and never leave us empty. 

I pray that if you’re in a Winter season, you may find life. That you may see the “baby leaves” as a sign of the hope and mercy to come. Friend, He wants to lead you to the springs of abundant life! All He asks is that you look up and trust in His restoration and rejuvenation.

“And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:6 NLT

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Rejection

Rejection is something that I battle on a daily basis, whether it’s actual rejection or perceived rejection, it attempts to destroy my soul. 

I always want to share my story, my heart, my life with whoever will hear. I recently had the priveledge of writing a guest blog for the organization Leading and Loving It, an organization for ministers’ wives and women in the ministry. I pray that you will find hope and comfort in dealing with rejection through these words. 

“The LORD will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Leading and Loving It Blog

For my Husband…After 12 Years

Dear Husband,

We have spent 15 years in the ministry together and the last 12 years as husband and wife. Throughout that time, we have seen some joy and some sorrow, some laughter and some tears, some ups and some downs. Through it all we have walked together, side by side, hand in hand, for better or for worse. 

Before we met, I felt the Lord calling me to ministry. I knew I was called to be a pastor’s wife- I didn’t know my calling was to be your wife. God had something in store for me beyond my imagination. He could see the days of joy and the difficult road ahead of us when he planned out our days together. I am so thankful that he brought us together. 

I was there when you surrendered your heart to the ministry after you felt the Lord tugging on your heart; I was there when you were brought into this great ministry through licensing and reaffirmed through ordination. I stood by your side and was proud to call you my husband as you declared your calling before His church body.

I was there, with you, as you became pastor to a small group of people for the first time. And again as we were called to another body of believers. 

I was there, watching, when the sweet older ladies would come and put their arms around your neck and pull you close just to thank you for speaking truth from the pulpit.

I was there, watching, when parents looked at you with tears in their eyes as you shared the greatest story ever told with their child, as their child walked down the aisle to take you by their hand and declare the greatest decision they had ever made, and as you stood before the church, and baptized their sweet child in obedience to the Lord.

I was there, pondering, taking in the moment when our daughter sat in your lap wanting to know the God of her mother and father, wanting to know this Jesus who could take away her sin. I watched as you led one of the precious gifts God has given us into a relationship with Him. 

I stood beside, cheering her on as you baptized that gift before His body of believers. With tears in my eyes, I watched as she proclaimed Jesus as her Savior. 

I was there when you would come home so excited and passionate about what the Lord was doing. I was there, right by your side, envisioning and dreaming with you of the future for His bride, the church. 

I was there when you would come home meeting after meeting, feeling defeated, wondering what more you could have said, what more you have done. I saw how defenseless you looked and felt as you sat and took all of the countless accusations of the things people thought you were doing wrong or weren’t doing. I could see in your eyes all of the things you wanted to say, but didn’t because of the spirit of God living in you, calling you to love His people, even the difficult to love.

I was there when you made the decision to lead your family in another direction. I watched as you worked hard to provide for us. Together we wept over the past and rejoiced in the hope of a future.

I have been there, falling more in love with you each time you have taken one of our children in your arms and held them tight so they could feel your love and protection. 

You’ve been there every time I’ve felt the defeat of the world or when the feelings of loneliness and rejection creep in and take up residence in my heart. 

You’ve been there. After 12 years, you’ve been here. I’ve been here. Despite what trials and struggles we’ve been thrown . 12 years, 2 kids, 3 towns, endless laughs and memories. 

So I’ll be there. Forever I’ll be by your side, supporting you, praying for you, and making memories with you. I praise Him everyday that He brought you to me and that we get to do life together. 

From These Ashes

Beauty. In the midst of suffering, brokenness, devastation.

Is it possible?

Dictionary.com defines beauty as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).” 

Our world sees beauty as flawless, perfection, an outward appearance. What if there’s more to beauty than what the eye can see? 

We seem to know the things that are not beautiful very well. Brokenness. Destruction. Devastation. Division. Lies. Accusations. Bitterness. Anger. Hurt. Some of us have experienced one of these things. Maybe more. Some of us go through seasons with these things. Some of us live there or at least camp out there for a while. 

What if there was beauty in the midst of it all? What if there was purpose to our suffering. 

That’s our story.

My husband and I have served in the ministry since before we were married. I felt called to be a minister’s wife and he was called to be a pastor. We got married and started serving together and once our kids came along we continued to serve, but as a family. We recently went through a season in His church that was present with lies, accusations, and division. We were fulfilling our calling and in the midst of it were being torn down. I think for so long we had tried to hold the walls together with whatever we could. We tried to pick up the pieces and glue them together. When that didn’t work, we stood, holding brick by brick up so the walls wouldn’t come tumbling down. As we stood, we watched as what we had built became rubble. We sat in the midst of the rubble, clinging to what remained, clinging to the hope that the walls could be rebuilt, but mourning the loss of what once was. We sat wondering what happens now?

As we wept over the past, we sat holding each other, waiting to see what God had next for us and dealing with the feelings of bitterness and hurt that had enveloped us. What once held beauty had been turned to ashes. What once had brought deep satisfaction now brought hurt, fear and brokenness. 

We spent months living in our hurt, our brokenness, and fighting our bitterness. All the while He was leading us, giving us hope little by little. Assuring us He was rescuing us out of our desperation.  

The words of Isaiah 61 were never as evident in our lives as they were in the midst of our brokenness and suffering. 

He had called us “to bring good news to the poor; to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives (vs.1); to comfort all who mourn (vs.2)” and now we were the ones needing comfort, needing to be reminded of our freedom as the devil, our enemy, had tried to whisper lies in our hearts. 

In the midst of this season, we began to see how our story was affecting others, pointing people to the gospel, changing lives; we began to see the beauty from our ashes, from the rubble. He was giving us a “beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit (vs.3).” We had sat in the rubble, looked up and cried for Him to rescue us, and He did. Oh how He did. He set our feet on a new path and only asked that we follow.

From the ashes, the rubble, there was a white flag. A white flag where we stood on the rubble and said, “We surrender to your will. Your path. Your new beginnings.” In our new beginnings, we are looking back at what was, looking back at the ashes, the rubble, and now we see the beauty in the midst of it all. The brokenness that made us cling to Him. The desperation that made us depend on Him. The new life that grew because of Him. He is planting us, “that we may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified (vs.3).”

See, when we surrender to His will and refuse to camp out in our devastation, we will “build up the ancient ruins; raise up the former devastations; repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations (vs.4).” 

Many will choose to remain in the midst of their devastation, the ashes. As for me, I will choose to pick up the rubble and build an alter. This is where He clothed us with a beautiful headdress. This is where He picked up the pieces and started again. This is where we began again. This is where He showed us beauty from the ashes.

Please check out this video by Nicole Nordeman called “The Unmaking.” This song is my anthem right now. It was the inspiration for this blog:

The Unmaking- Nicole Nordeman