Friday, September 25, 2015

God's plan

God has a plan that is always better than ours, but He isn't going to force his plan upon us. He gave us free will to choose his path or our own. So many times we get it wrong, think that maybe he is sleeping on the job, and cling to our plan, our way, control things so they make sense to us. 

The times I have humbly walked the journey seeking His face and asking for wisdom to follow his plan, he has been so faithful to answer those prayers.

Sometimes when seeking direction he gives us the choice, sometimes he clearly directs our steps.

One year ago this week, we committed to moving our young family across the country to a city we did not know, to a people we did not know. All because Steve and I seek to serve God and follow his plan. 

Dayton is a very steady place, people don't move a lot (unless you are military as the Air Force has huge base here, we often get the question if we are military from people we meet out and about, because not a lot of young families move here). Many young mom's I have met say things like "you are so brave," "I could never leave my family," "I couldn't do that." 

If you are a follower of Christ who seeks to glorify him and serve him in all you do, yes, you too would do this. Because if you have walked with the Lord long enough, you too have learned that it is much better to be in a foreign city while being in God's plan, than being in a familiar place where you are comfortable, following your own plan for you life.

It doesn't have to be moving either, God might be calling you to do something out of your comfort zone that you are dragging your feet in fear of the unknown. It seems easier to be safe in your plan that to boldly step out in faith. But friend, you are missing out if you are playing it safe.

Steve spoke this past June at a conference called Be Bold. His sermon is a great reminder of why we chose to move our 4 little kids away from a church and community that we absolutely loved, to go to a place that we never thought we would live. Take some time and listen to his sermon and ask God to challenge you and show you an area of your life he wants you to Be Bold.

(go down to Session 4, for some reason I couldn't get it loaded)

We have been humbled to see what God has done this last year after we took one step of obedience. 

Right before we moved I did a Beth Moore study "Children of the Day" with some ladies at Indian Creek. There was a scripture that stuck out to me big time and became my prayer for our move to Salem and my prayer for our relationship with the people of Salem and with the community around it.

1 Thessalonians 2:8
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

I am doing the exact same study right now with new women at Salem and I was rereading over that scripture during my time in the word one morning this week. I have been using an old Bible of my Father's that I found during our move for my study recently. He has it all marked up and I have enjoyed reading some of his notes. When I started reading that scripture in his Bible, I couldn't believe what I saw.

You see, my parents were on staff at Salem for about 3 years, just enough time to bring me and my little brother into this world and leave an impact on people here. There are many at Salem that remember me about Presley's age running around. I do not have any memories of our time here as I was about 3 years old when we moved. Thirty years ago my parents were praying that exact same scripture over their time at Salem. 

I thank my parents for raising me and my brothers to love The Bride (the local church) and they gave us an amazing example how to share both the gospel and authentic lives with others. 

I was reminded that we are on God's timeline and plan. Salem is 120 years old. Our family is only here for a blip on that large timeline. God has used so many amazing men and women over the years to lead and serve at Salem and we are just humbled that he has chose us for a time like this.  

And to think, if we had chosen "our" way to stay put and stay comfortable, we would be missing this amazing ride!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Is this Home Sweet Home?

 Team Southards has put an offer on a house this week. 

It is a long story that started finding this home over a year ago before we had even fully committed to moving to Dayton. 

God's hand has been all over this situation from the beginning.

We have looked and looked at other homes, and this one has come on and off the radar over the last year, but we knew through prayer the time was not right before.

Our prayer the whole time has been to either clear wide the path to this home or slam the door shut if it is not a wise move for our family. 

Most recently, the path has been cleared and we are taking steps until we end up with the house or the door is shut.

We are dealing with the banks (it is a short sale).

We have very specific prayers we are praying that I will share if we end up with this home. I will also share the whole story about the home because it has been such a journey of growing and waiting.

Asking others to join us in prayer for this home. 

Praying for:
- God's hand to either clear the path or shut the door
- Favor with the bank
- For the details to work out in a way that leave people scratching their heads wondering "how that happened?" allowing us to give God the glory

This home is on 5 acres with a creek, pond, woods, and a ton of area for the kids to run around and be kids and for us to host people in our home. 

Thanks so much for joining us in prayer!

Just a glimpse of the home, this is where I would be having my morning quiet time and coffee