_ its time _

Around 13 years ago Anthony and I began our journey as a newly married couple. Those first few months were amazing and we were definitely in the honeymoon stage but that quickly wore off. See I had a jealously problem that came from past relationships and I continued to carry it into our marriage and it almost ruined us. I say almost because together we realized we needed something. We knew we needed God. We knew that we needed a community that would lift us up. We knew that we needed to surround ourselves with people who wanted nothing but good for us. So we did it. We started our journey looking for a church.

12 years ago we walked into the doors of Parkway. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot and once we were greeted by the parking lot ministry, we both looked at each other and just knew. There was something special about that place and it pulled us in. We felt like family the first time we walked through those doors. We never left. They became our family and it was just what we needed, God is what we longed for.

We have seen Parkway go through so many transitions and changes. We walked into that all white church a long time ago and we are walking out of one of the most multicultural churches in this region. Seeing the congregation change over the past years has been one of the most amazing things to witness.

Parkway gave my husband and I so many opportunities, whether we were ready or not and we will be forever grateful! From leading the young adults, to working in children’s ministry to becoming children’s pastor and then ultimately working alongside my husband as campus pastors, we have been so blessed with the doors that God opened during our time there.

Over the past year or more God has been working in our family. We knew that our time was coming. It has been hard because we have built our own little family of five during our time at Parkway. That place is all my children know! That was definitely something that made this decision a bit harder but God worked it all out and they are excited for this next part of our family’s journey!

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So we knew that our time to step out of the boat was now.

And that time came this past week. Yesterday we officially announced that we have stepped down as campus pastors and beginning our own ministry. We have an amazing support group and people who are standing with us.

I honestly still can’t believe that this is actually happening. We have talked about this for quite some time and to actually see God working out what He has planned for us, words cant even describe!

So stay tuned for more! We cant wait to fill you all in soon!

_ my why _

So I have a confession to make – day 48 of project 333 was my last day. But first let me tell you my why before you call me a quitter. Yes I am quitting and stopping the challenge but for me it is deeper than me just wanting to wear the rest of my clothes. That is actually a small reason as to why I am stopping. The bigger reason hits a bit deeper for me.

I have always been the one to tell you to stop comparing your lives to the tiny squares you see on Instagram or the posts you see on Facebook. Those are just small snippets into someone else’s life, not the big picture. Usually those posts portray the highlights of ones life – although some people are real enough to fess up when life isn’t perfect and I like to believe that I am one of those people.

But I felt like I got a bit off track during this Project 333. I noticed I was checking my Social Media a lot more than normal. I was actually paying attention to the number of likes I was getting – which I usually do not give two craps about and the icing on the cake was I found myself trying to get as many followers as I could possibly get. Who am I? I was turning into someone who I didn’t want to be. I was turning into what I preach against. Social Media is great but when we begin to let it take over our lives, that’s when it becomes a problem.

And I love social media don’t get me wrong. I almost wish I had gone into that when I was in school but back then it wasn’t a ‘thing’ like it is now. I love reaching people who need to be reached. I love making an impact but when trying to make an impact begins to rule you, that’s when you need to step back a reevaluate your WHY.

In the beginning my why was to make a difference, to help people and to be His light in this dark world. That began to change. I know its weird that a challenge can do that but it did. My why began to change. My focus changed.

God revealed that to me this weekend and I heard the question, “what is your why?” It shook me.

So if you are wondering why I stopped, that’s my why. I got caught up in the rat race of social media and I’m done. I’m done worrying about my number of likes, followers or shares. Im done worrying about how I look in my picture of the day. It was tiring. I have a full time job and it isnt social media. So why was I letting it take over every area of my life? I’m ready to get back to my original why – to be Gods light in this world.

So what is your why? Why do you post on social media? It is to up your followers, make money or just to be a light? Honestly your why can be all three but please don’t lose sight of who you are. Don’t let this world make you lose your light.

 

_where do you live?_

You know that old saying ‘actions speak louder than words?’ I think it is totally the other way around. Your words have so much power – probably more than you know. Now don’t get me wrong, your actions definitely speak volume, but your words (to me) mean so much more.

God is teaching me this over this season of my life. Here are a few things I am beginning to learn:

  • I am learning how much power my words have.
  • I am learning that just because they sound ok to me, doesn’t mean they sound the same to someone else.
  • I am also learning that sometimes the way words come out mean totally different to the person that I am talking to than they do to me.
  • I am learning to think before I speak.
  • I am learning that sometimes it is better to listen than trying to interject a comment.
  • I am learning to listen so that I wont stay in my ignorance.
  • I am learning to use love now more than ever and giving love when maybe I am not shown it in return.

I want to live outside of ignorance.

I want to stay fully educated on the issues of this world. I do not want to lack in any area because I refuse to take the blinders off. It is so easy for us to live in ignorance. Most of us do and we don’t even realize it. We don’t even realize how much meaning our words have until they hurt someone. We don’t even realize what those words can do to friendships.

Its time for us as people to use love in everything we do. Will we come across people who we don’t agree with, of course – but does that mean we don’t listen? NO! There will never be a time in this world where everyone will be on the same page, think the same, or agree on everything. It just isn’t possible. Does that mean we just stay in our ignorance? Absolutely not. I want to learn from everyone’s point of view, even if it isn’t mine. .

I know that there are something’s that I may not fully understand but that’s when we have to educate ourselves as much as we can. Don’t just sit in the ignorance, do something about it. We just don’t throw our hands up in the air and quit.

I am so thankful for a group of friends who are honest and open. I am thankful that I am surrounded by people who love me even if sometimes I don’t say the right thing. I am thankful that I have people around me that know my heart.

Its time that we start using love.

What areas are you uneducated in?

What areas to you show ignorance?

_ project 333: week 5 _

I know I am a day late but AHHHHHHH! I can’t believe I am already a week into my second month of Project 333. I know I say this every time but I’m in complete shock that I have made it this far. I feel pretty good about these last few weeks and I know I can do this! I have only skipped one day posting on my Instagram feed (@_oursimplelife_) which makes me pretty happy! Day 35 was a day of rest and family time and not worrying about getting a decent outfit of the day picture! So here is my week 5…

 

Again thank you everyone that has been asking questions and just supporting this fun little project. People have started to comment to let me know that they are joining in on the fun! It’s too cool to see other people get the same joy out of simplifying. It has been the best thing my family has done in a long time! It’s just stuff people!

With that being said…I am going into week six like a boss and I’ll be back soon!

_ project 333 – week 4 _

Holy crap y’all – I have made it to the end of month one! Honestly it went by pretty fast so we will see how month two goes. I still have managed to keep a few things in my 33 that I have yet to put on. How? I’m not really sure but I did it! I have worn the same exact outfit maybe two times so I would say that is a major win. Fall is slowly approaching so it will be a challenge to transition into a new season with the same things I have worn while it was summer.

Here is a recap of week four –

 

Week five is already starting off to a great start! Super excited to get this next month going. I hope some of you have decided to take this jump with me. I’m telling you guys – this project, though it may be tough, has taught me so much about living simple.

Be back soon!

_ pray _

 

las vegas

Its days like today that make you want to hug your family and friends a little tighter. Its days like today that make you get on your knees and pray for our country. Its days like today that make you want to cry out to God and ask why.

It’s so hard to understand or grasp why things like this happen but its in these times where we need to come together as a nation and not grow farther and farther away from one another. It’s when we need to fight back and not let the unknown keep us from living our lives.

It’s so easy to back off of life and become a hermit because we never know when tragedy can strike but then we let the enemy win. We let him stand in the way of us living this life out for our God.

So as you go through your day please remember the ones in Las Vegas that have lost loved ones and picking up the pieces from this horrific event.

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