Category Archives: worship

Eclipsed by Glory

Eclipsed by Glory

Sunday I took the boys to worship… nothing new right? Well… this has been an area of struggle for us the last 6 months or so…. ever since Travis started his new job hours.. it has resulted in us not being able to attend worship together as a family, at least not at our church. Travis worked Sunday mornings and that meant no more worshiping together at First Baptist… We found a sweet little church nearby that did have evening worship… and while we had made friendships there and enjoyed our visits… I think a big part of us really missed the church we had grown to love so much. That had such an impact on our lives, it made it hard to consider going elsewhere.

Which is so funny… prior to our move to GA, we were a bit anti-mega church. We found them impersonal and just overwhelming… and while at times it can feel like this… as you get plugged into the church in small groups and areas of service… that once mega church begins to feel so much smaller.

Our 2 years (just about) in the City of Refuge program was life changing for us… and God broke down many areas in our life where we had strongholds and areas we struggled… First Baptist will forever and always been a church that we adore and love… and the Pastor there, Pastor Johnny Hunt is someone my husband and I both greatly adore. We love listening to him preach… as do our children. He is bold and unafraid to preach truth. I love his ability to speak the word of God powerfully with conviction and care, yet not fluff around topics where most shy away from.

So even though Travis cannot attend worship with me there… at least not until he gets sundays off (this happens only a few weeks out of a year right now). I will continue to go when I can with all four boys :) and be blessed by the words I hear and worship we experience.

One song that played this Sunday was the popular “He is Jealous” for me song. It was sung beautifully by Shelley E. Johnson Sunday and for the first time, it spoke to me in a way it never had.

I was always a bit puzzled as to what the song meant. When I would listen to it before the “He is Jealous for me” always stood out… and that was about it. It was a phrase I knew and was familiar with… but I never realized how truth filled and powerful another portion of the song was, until Sunday.

The words read….

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

There are times in life where things do not make sense.

Where we are facing afflictions and struggle… and during the struggle we don’t understand.

We wonder why…

… and we question Gods timing.

We are unaware in the midst of the storm that God can use these struggles in a way that will bring such glory.

Maybe never in our timing.

Maybe never in a way we would have chosen or saw to make sense.

… but I have seen it and I know I will continue to see God use our affiliations and eclipse them with Glory.

The entire song had new meaning Sunday.

Im thankful for it.

He is not only jealous for us… and our time…

… but he is powerful in the way He moves us in life.

Knowing his affection for us and his love for us is something we need to really focus on during the harder days… and during those storms that dont make sense.

Im so thankful for the ability to worship freely here.

Seeing people beheaded because of their faith… and hearing about those having to hide in dark quarters, closed off just to crack a bible… is so sad to me. We can worship freely here… with loud drugs or simple hymns… we are so blessed!

No church will ever be perfect.

No church will ever have exactly the music we want or love…

… choose to worship where you are.

May it be through old hymns like we sung at our old church… Such as this oldie I found on my youtube of my friend Jenn and I warming up for a song to sing one sunday morning [see below]… The memories I have from our former church are bitter sweet. I remember so clearly days Id sit in worship at that old church in NE NC… and struggle to find joy. Knowing the hate so many poured towards my husband and myself… and sitting in the congregation almost bitter and resentful, not wanting to worship with those who despised us so much over things so little. I was heavy with conviction and question for a long time at our old church. Loving so many yet struggling with hate in my heart as well, for those who were so hurtful. I remember yearning for contemporary worship and a liveliness I did not see where we where at the time… but I also remember a time where God reminded me, it wasn’t about the choir… or the drums and guitar… Worship is so much more than any of that…. it is a heart issue and learning to be content where God has us is part of it.

Today I am thankful for the winds and the journey God is taking us on….

I am excited to see how He will use it in the days to come.

Great to Worship

IMG_1582One thing I longed for… for many many many many years, was a place I felt comfortable to worship…. and while I have learned throughout these years of ministry behind us… we have to learn to be content where we are and with what we have… finding contentment in worship services that felt… as if they “lacked” in spirit… was a struggle for me.

I realize now it was a heart issue with me but I also realize how the body as a whole affects everyone… and I know now that my inability to worship fully wasn’t just “all me” but did have a lot to do with the church too….

I hope that made sense.

I am so thankful for our church… there really are no words to express how much I love it….

and the worship.

Amazing.

It has been good for me…. and the Lord knew I needed it.

Thankful to be able to worship as a family too…. I love seeing my boys get excited about worship… even little Owen.

Our church really is amazing.

A Blessed Woman

You all I am sure have heard me talk about how I desire to one day keep all my children with me in worship. Obviously having babies close, its making that desire easier said than done… however, I still desire it.

Ive known about this book called Parenting from the Pew for some time… I just keep putting off ordering it. Not sure why. Actually I do know why.. :-) – its called 3 kids LOL and a business and home to run. Just kind of busy to do much reading, but im def. getting this soon! My husband wants to read it as well.

I heard a lady speak on it years ago in FL though and was really encouraged by what she said and how their church did things.

drea2I think sunday school is good… and small group is awesome… Kids need bible stories that are easy to understand on their level… and also its nice for them to experience other adults in the church teaching them about Christ and for them to learn about these things with other children their age. Its also especially nice to have this if your kids are home schooled (like ours)… our kids dont get much interaction throughout the week with kids their age.. so we really look forward to them getting this on wednesday and sunday.

However… I think there is a time and place for everything.. and when it comes to worship, I can see far many more benefits for me/and them to keep my children with me in worship.

I have been avoiding staying consistent with this and my kids since Owen was born…
Its hard to keep Owen quiet, let alone worry with 2 other kids in a room full of adults trying to listen.
I think though the more I keep putting it off, the harder it will be to get into the routine of it… and I really should just start.

So today I did it…
I kept all 3 with me in worship!

The Parenting from the Pew book doesnt encourage taking a KID BAG with your children.. so I am breaking that rule :-) – but I dont really see the harm in a child bringing a few things to keep busy hands together for an hour. I just try to keep the things in that bag minimal and quiet. (I will list below what goes in them)

My rule has always been that the boys have to sit without the bags until their Daddy starts preaching or after special music. That gives them 15 minutes or so of joining in with the worship! They get to experience singing, listening to announcements, prayer, offerings… and so on.

My minds kind of going blank here as I try to write this as Caleb watches some really annoying transformer cartoon :-) – so I cant concentrate very well… but I just am really excited to see how things continue with keeping my boys in worship.

It was also encouraging when I got home to hear my husband say “You looked like a blessed woman, surrounded by those boys.” – and I have to agree… I really am and I felt it too.

Will it be easy?
Will there be struggles?
Will I question the effort?
Will I want to call it quits some days?

Im sure :-) – parenting isnt easy!
and there may be times I cant keep them with me… if I have nursery duty my boys wont be able to go into worship (unless an adult wants to volunteer to be their mommy for a sunday? hint hint). But come what may… I know this is the right thing to do… and im excited to see my children grow.

Many times when we sit down to dinner and have prayer… and Caleb volunteers to pray and prays so well.. I cant help but think of the day when my husband will call on my boy to lead the congregation in a closing prayer! What a powerful testimony it will be!!

drea

Now to those curious whats in their bags:
I put 1 coloring book
1 notebook (for Caleb – taites not into them)
a few crayons or markers
1 toy matchbox car (nothing loud)
1 pad of stickers
a rubix cube lol (calebs bag)
1 tiny action figure (small, like an inch tall)

After we get into the routine of things better, I will take out any sort of TOY and leave just coloring books.
Boys are very busy… and I think their attention span is harder to keep quiet… so for me, I am using this… but do plan to weed out TOYS and books (besides a bible maybe) in time.

Proud Moment :)

I must say that I was one proud mom last night :)

IMG_7558
The other day I kept both boys with me in evening worship since there was no nursery.

Ive kept them in worship before separate… and they do fairly well. Caleb from like age 2-4 sat with me all the time in worship. And sometimes Taite sits with me if he is clingy and cries for me in his class.

I grabbed a few books and quiet toys, pen and paper for them… and went on in.

To my surprise the boys did FANTASTIC. Not once did they get loud. I was very proud. Taite even stood up during the singing and held his little bible pretending it was a hymnal. Was so cute.

Mind you this sunday night Travis sat with me. Our youth pastor was preaching.. so I had Travis beside one of the boys to help me out. I am curious how this may go NEXT sunday with just me with them :)

One of those days…

My boys have been getting at each other SO BAD the past few days… I MEAN terribly… You cannot leave them alone together… or else someone is hitting, biting, throwing, screaming, banging, annoying, you name it.

I blame it on the lack of sleep this week. Getting to bed at 9:00pm sometimes 9:30pm… verses 7:30pm is a big difference… as well as waking up earlier! So they are a tad sleep deprived…

I just pray that things improve from the state they are this morning.
Cause if they don’t… today will be one of those days…

You moms know exactly what I’m talking about.

On a totally different note. The other day I experienced a very ethnic church service. I had to run power point for my friend Jenns church… and they had a very diverse crowd. Where as our church is all Caucasian, mostly. I personally wish we had more color in our church. Even today it seems like so many towns are segregated… I don’t like this.

Worship4 - The Speaker and a Judge!

The worship at Jenns church was so fun. Very up lifting and upbeat. The crowd got into it. Raising hands, even some dancing.

At the end of the service people went to the alter. It was so refreshing to see black and white hugging and praying over each other. I even had two ladies come up to me in the back and hug/pray for me. I was back there taking photos HAHA.

Just because someones skin doesnt match us… doesnt mean we cant worship together. I hope that one day our church is filled with the color Jenns was filled with that day. It was a real blessing to me.

Worship6- Prayer

Now off to make the best of todays rocky start….

He was in the Pew

Tonight I kept Caleb with me in church for the 1st time in a while now.

I really want to start doing this on a regular basis. This morning I left him in his class during services because I was involved in a skit on stage… and had to use Taite in the skit (I was playing a hurried mom, haha!) and I knew had Caleb been in service this morning he would of gotten upset that Taite was on stage with me and he wasnt… but it wasnt the type of skit that I could let Caleb prance around and distract.. Taite was very good while I did my skit.. but afterwards was very ancy.

Back to the Pew though…
Tonight during worship I put Taite in nursery (he was the only baby hehe)… and had Caleb sit with me. Before worship he was off chatting with ladies from church. He really enjoys talking to people! Im thankful for that.


During service he did well. During the 1st half (singing, offering, etc…) he held the hymn book and pretended he was singing. During the preaching he sat very still. The only time he got up was at one point he wanted to sit on my lap and then at the end during the invitation he played with a cell phone sitting on the floor. But other than that he sat PERFECTLY still.

He had his big church bag and read “Where the Wild things Are” “Dinosaur Binkit” and looked through a flipbook I made him full of family/friend photos. He also had a few toys (small animals, that make no noise) to play with.

And of course… a sippy cup of milk ;-)

Ive seen many 3 year olds and some cant sit for 5 minutes… so for Caleb to sit for 1 hour and not throw one fit… and talk quietly.. I was very pleased!

*Photos taken are a bit dark and blurry… I didnt want to use a flash during worship ;-) I was trying to be sneaky about it.. SO! because it was all natural lighting and the room wasnt very bright the photos came out a bit grainy.*

*and also if you look closely in the 1st pic you can see my husband in the background hugging our neighbor haha.. also a church member.*