Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a heart that will heal...

I haven't been on for a while...a long while...there is a lot that goes into managing a dorm, being a secretary to 2 pastors and a college and being married to a wonderful guy!
Over the last couple of months, I have been maintaining to get through.  I have been so frustrated at times but all I kept saying to myself is "this will all be over soon enough".  I can't go into detail as to what it was that was pulling me down but what I can say....the Lord has taught me so much...
Most people take situations and look at the negative side of things. I am just as guilty and over the last three years I have realized that this is something that a preachers wife cannot have in her husbands ministry.  It would just ruin him. I have struggled for years with being a negative person. My family, though I love them more than words can say, struggle with this.  With the help and love of my husband he has encouraged me to see the world in a different light.  It was a simple phrase that snapped me into reality of my attitude.  Funny how simple words can have a HUGE impact....
With all that being said, this semester was better than the last, but the struggles were great. The verse in Numbers 32:23b "...and be sure your sin will find you out." never became more real to me then over the last three weeks. I have also learned that you can tell a persons heart by their fruit..."Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." I know we are not to judge, and most of the time we have no right to judge, but Jesus says in this verse that we will "know" them by their fruits.  I believe people can pretend to be a Christian for so long, and then their number is up.  When all you produce as fruit is strife, discord, lying, betrayal and selfishness do not be surprised when people want nothing to do with you. 
The Lord has shown me a lot about people.  He has given me a peace that only He can give and I can't be thankful enough.  The heart speaks volumes, you can't hide what it says, you can only pretend for a while and then the fruits of your heart (good or bad) will show itself, and when it does, one should know that you will no longer be able to fool the world....

My life verse..."Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven".. Matthew 5:16

Friday, October 22, 2010

for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh ...

It's been a very interesting few months.  In the wee hours of the morning (2:33 am) I sit at my desk and type my thoughts.  God has really been working on my heart.  I look back, over the last few months, and find that I was always protected, always in my "secret" place, but that the ride was a little bumpy.  I've learned that I need to be more understand, patient, have more grace and mercy for others, a little more compassionate, be less opposing.  I've learned that if something in my life is going to change, it needs to change in my heart first.  God has brought me so far along, I can't quit now.  When things get tough I just need to burrow myself in the safe spot I have found with my Lord and just know He will help me through it.  God has put so many people in my life, some have just passed by, have taught me a lesson here and there, others have impacted my life in ways they will never know until they get to heaven and reap the rewards of their dedicated work.  I have a husband who I have seen grow in the Lord.  The Lord has something amazing for this man and I hope and pray that I can be a great help meet and not one who hinders his ministry.  I have a wonderful Pastor who God has given so much talent too.  I have a wonderful church family and great friends.  I'm thankful for where I am today, I'm thankful because I believe, with out a shadow of a doubt, that I only got here by the GRACE of God! I don't deserve what I have...but He gives me more and more each day.  I don't deserve His love, but its never ending.  I don't deserve His blessing, but its abundant.  I want my heart to be pure, my thoughts to be clear, and my walk to be noted.  It's not much, but all I can give is my best. 
Thank you Lord for loving me, for sending your son to die on a cross, to save me from the pits of hell...thank you for not giving me what I deserve and I pray that you will help me to see this world through your eyes....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh these valleys....

I know they are necessary to grow as Christians.  
I know I am not alone when I am in the deepest darkest part.  
I know that no matter the outcome God is in control and know's my needs and just how much I can handle. 
It's the moments like these that I find myself listening a little more, leaning in a little closer, looking up for the Lord to lead me.  
I know in these moments God is molding and making me.  
I know He is trying to teach me something, that only He can
I know I have to not be frustrated but willing to learn
I know I must have a teachable spirit
I know that it won't be easy.  As Dr. Tom Malone Sr. Said "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it"
I know I must be tried and tested
I know through this all I am to be a Light for Him
and just like the saying goes "knowing it is easy, doing it is the hard part"

I wish my flesh wasn't so strong
I wish I wouldnt fail Him daily
I wish I saw the world through His eyes

I can wish all I want, it won't change my heart unless...

I am thankful for His unending Love
I am thankful for the Word of God that I can hold freely and read daily
I am thankful to be able to go to my Father and talk with Him at any time, any moment with out hesitation
I am thankful for a Church with a great Pastor
I am thankful for a Husband who wants nothing more than to serve the Lord

I just need to remember that these valley's are necessary and that I shouldn't focus on self, but on Him who is leading me! 

When this valley turns into a mountain top, when the storm passes by I will still serve Him!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A preachers wife....

Thats what I am...a preachers wife....I never imagined in a million years that this is what I would be.  It's an honor that God would give me this position.  I am thankful that He has a place for me and to know that He could "use" me to fulfill part of His plan. It is just unthinkable for me!

Though this is exciting, it is terrifying all at the same time!  For 16 years I have been involved in church.  I have been involved in the ministry for about 12 years.  I have been married for 9 years.  At the beginning of my marriage I was very selfish, self centered, and would start or be involved in drama.  I didn't know what I was doing was ruining my marriage, killing my testimony, and hurting my service for Him.  It wasn't until we moved back to Michigan (it will be two years in November!) that God really got ahold of my heart.  The last 4 to 5 years I honestly started to see my self destruction.  Thankfully God gave my husband unbelievable patience and understanding to help me through this valley.  It wasn't until I started thinking about how my actions affect others, how my words make others feel, and how my decisions impact my husband and his ministry that my life changed.  I shouldn't say "it wasn't until "I" started..." I should say....When God finally got a hold of my HEART and I LISTENED.  I am still learning, this is very new for me.  At times I find myself slipping back into the "old" Ann and that is when I am miserable.  It is more often but I am thankful God grieves my heart and shows me that I need to seek HIM. 

I look at other marriages (don't get me wrong I do not judge in anyway other marriages because mine is far from perfect) and see the roles that each partner plays and I realize that if a woman is not submissive, caring, loving, selfless, willing, encouraging, creating a safe haven, and most of all, in a close realationship with the Lord, she will ruin her husbands ministry.  Most women do not realize that WE are the cause of most of the pain or hurt.  If we are doing all the things we are COMMANDED to do, I believe our Marriage, our Husband and our Home's would be at peace.  There is the daily attacks of Satan but if we are unified in those three areas I believe God gives you the power to overcome Satan and His attacks. 

God commanded us to submit Colossians 3:18  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.".  I know the world makes the word "submit" into something totally different than what God intended it to be in this verse but it is true.  Submission to your husband is a gift that only YOU can give. This world has corrupted our way of thinking so much that we are self centered.  Its what I want or what I feel that matters.  I am reminded of this often.  I realize that when I have done wrong, or when I have upset my husband it was mostly because I was being selfish.  I know my husband isn't perfect but I will admit he is one of the most tender hearted, caring and loving personI know.  He is always making sure I am ok and comfortable.  He is always taking care of my needs and he shows how much he loves me on a daily basis.  It just amazes me that God knew just what I needed in a husband.  Obviously God knew better than I did because he gave me far more than I ever deserved.  I am ashamed of how selfish I can be at times to a man who does everything in his power to try and please me.  Just today we were in the car, on our way home from church.  We were talking about a few of the students and I was just really at a loss as to how we deal with their individual issues.  I was telling him how I feel as if we are losing control.  Tim reminded me that they won't change until we change.  I asked him what he meant and he explained that until we draw close to the Lord and we set limits, standards and such for our own lives and keep to them then how do we expect the students to do the same thing?  I didn't really say anything as he was talking but my mind was going a million miles a minute. I was thinking "they just need to obey the rules and not worry about what we do".  The minute I thought that I could have cried.  I know its my flesh, but it was an honest feeling.  I don't want to be that type of Christian.

Over the last year God has put us in a position of authority over a dormitory.  The beginning was easy, the last semester was difficult. I realize now that it was because I was doing it all in self and not relying on God or His strength.  This is my biggest struggle.  I know I need to seek God and my walk needs to be more consistent.  My prayer life needs to be revived and my compassion to be renewed.  I feel the Lord moving in my life, preparing me for what He has next.  I want to feel His love, compassion, understanding.  I want to see the world through his eyes...

I go back to the day that I stood in front of the church with my husband as he answered his called to preach.  The pastor stood in the pulpit looked down at us and gave us words of encouragement.  He then said "We need to pray for Ann because the devil will attack her because she is the weaker vessel..." I just smiled with tears in my eyes and never realized how true that statement was.  Women, we are the weaker vessel, we are emotional beings that wear our hearts on our sleeves.  If we don't get a hold of our emotions, focus on our walk with the Lord and see the world through God's eyes, the devil will use us to ruin our husbands ministry....

I wrote this so I can go back and be reminded of where God has brought me and where he is taking me.  I wrote this because I know I'm not alone....I wrote this because my heart is heavy and I needed to remind myself that it is not I who is control but HIM....

My life verse...Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I pray that God will continue to use me, to use my husband, to use those around me....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

9 years ago today....

I awoke around 4:30am with butterflies in my stomach.  I remember I sat straight up in bed and said "I'm getting married today".  I wish I could say my morning went smoothly but it didn't.  Between the phone ringing off the hook and everything possible going wrong it was a very stressful morning! But we trudged through it and did so knowing what the end result was.  I remember getting to the church and sitting in the limo.  Waiting for the moment that I was to walk down the aisle.  I was so excited, I just couldn't wait.  Then, Rich Zawadzki, Tim's best man and one of our greatest friends, came out to tell me the piano play, aunt Jenny, was lost and wanted to know if I wanted to start without music.  Before I could make the decision she showed her pretty face! I remember standing at the doors of the oldest church in Southern Maryland, arm in arm with my father, on one of the hottest days of the year, waiting for the doors to open and for me to finally walk the aisle to my future husband.  I remember feeling bashful that everyone was looking at me.  I would sneak peaks at the crowd, I remember my Youth Pastors wife stood there with her hands over her mouth and tears in her eyes I could see her smile.  I remember seeing Monica and Aunt Carol.  The moment that mattered most though was seeing Tim, standing there in his tux, with a grin on his face.  I knew from that moment everything would be fine, even if it wasn't, I was right where I needed to be.  We exchanged our vows and kissed and from that moment it truly is a blurr.  We were being ushered here and there for pictures, and then we had a 45 minute ride to the banquet hall, we both kept saying 'I can't believe we are married...We are MARRIED" we were so excited.  From that moment on, though life has dealt us some major trials and troubles, most probably brought on by our own actions, I can honestly say, I am more in love today than I was 9 years ago.  I wouldn't change a thing! Our marriage is strong, and though often tested, we have a deeper love that won't give up. 
Today, I want to thank you, Tim Lee, for asking me to be your wife, for vowing til death do us part.  You are my best friend, my love, my soulmate.  I know I haven't made it easy but thank you for being strong and for loving me for who I am.  You make me feel like the most beautiful woman on earth, you let me know daily how important I am to you and I just couldn't have asked for a more godly Husband.  You make me laugh often and smile all the time.  Your words are sweet and your laugh, you know the one i'm talking about, gets me everytime.  I can't imagine my life without you.  Happy Anniversary Honey, I love you more than words can say (and thats more than you could love me *wink*)
9 years ago today, I married my best friend, my love....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A day that means so much...

As we reflect on Fathers day and how much the men in our lives mean to us I can't help but think of how much God has really blessed me.  It was 30 years ago that I was born.  My mother was young, and foolish ;), she married a man who had some major issues.  She realized how many issues he really had once the "honeymoon" of their marriage ended.  I believe I was about 6 months old when my biological father was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping a 15 year old girl.  It was shortly after that (maybe I was about two) that my mom met my dad.  He said that he married my mother because of me.  My mom said I would go around calling him "Daddy George".  Just the thought of that makes me smile.  My mom said that he would take me early in the morning on Sundays and we would go driving.  By the time it was lunch time he would stop and get a bag of steamed shrimp (only Maryland can make them the way I LOVE them) and we would sit in the van and eat them.  Maybe this explains my LOVE for steamed shrimp.  By the time I was 5 my dad was able to adopt me and gave me his last name.  I cherish this moment.  Not every man that comes into a woman's life will take on the responsibility of someone else's child.  I am glad he loved me as if I was his own.  I have never thought of him as "step" dad.  He is just dad! I remember the day he taught me to ride my bike.  It was on a dirt driveway and he would run behind me with his hand on the seat and then without me knowing it would let me go and follow me to make sure I didn't crash.  I remember he took me to the lower field of the farm we lived on and showed me what wild strawberries were.  I remember when he taught me to fly a kite.  He taught me how to drive a car.  He was so proud of the day I took my drivers course and passed. I remember the day my dad accepted Christ as His Saviour.  He walked out of our kitchen as Mr. Dorsey had just shown him how to be saved, and with tears in his eyes said he had something exciting to tell us. I never cried so hard.  What an answer to prayer!  I remember when I stood at the pulpit of my graduation and read my speech.  I walked down to give my mom a rose and my dad a hug and with tears in his eyes and a big grin on his face he said he was proud of me.  I remember the night he left me for college.  My mom was so strong, and my dad walked out of the house and was on the porch.  My mom said "you should probably go talk to him".  I went out there and sure enough, he was crying.  To type that brings back that GREAT memory.  It was probably the first time I ever felt his real love for me.  You know how we can be as teenagers.  Ungrateful and such.  I never appreciated his true love and sacrifice for me until college.  The day I was to walk down the aisle and marry my best friend, he stood beside me, arm in arm, nervous and kept saying "what do I say when we get to the end?" I would just laugh and tell him "Her mother and I do".  I remember him all dressed up in his tux, the first time he ever wore one he said.  I helped him put his bow tie on.  He was so nervous! You would have thought he was getting married :).  I remember how I felt to have my dad there, walking me down the aisle, giving me away to my best friend. He smiled the rest of the day.  Maybe because he thought he had finally gotten rid of me lol. Today, I'm busy with life, working, being responsible most of the time, and enjoying what God gives me on a daily basis. Every once in a while, in the middle of all the chaos life seems to give, my phone will ring, I will look down, and it will say "dad".  I stop all that I am doing, pick up the phone, and spend the next 15-45 minutes talking with the man who was part of making me who I am today.  So when today comes around, Fathers day, I can't help, with tears in my eyes, thank the Lord for such a Great Father.  I know that not all my decisions have made him proud of me, but in a moments notice, without warning, if I were ever in need of him, he would drop everything and be there by my side.  I am thankful that I have these memories, and thankful for such a Great man in my life.  Dad, may you enjoy this day and know that your daughter is proud to have you as a father!
I love you....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day...

As I pillowed my head last night I felt it coming. That feeling of emptiness I always feel this time of year. I always try and shove it to the deepest part of me. I always try and overcome it with happy thoughts, joy and excitement for others. Its no ones fault, it’s nothing anyone can stop but its there. A feeling that I have longed for all my life. As a young girl, growing up, I always loved watching children. Playing with them, babysitting them, and running around with them. I was told by just about everyone who saw me working with children that I would be such a great mom. I would just smile and feel that “warmth” in my heart knowing that one day I would be a mom. Tim and I married 9 years ago and within our first year, I had two miscarriages. As I’ve stated before I didn’t know, either time, that I was pregnant. It never really hit me until the last few years as Tim and I both have had such a strong desire to start our own family. My first miscarriage was twins and the second one was triplets. They would be between 7 or 8 today if the Lord would have allowed me to carry them. I am not bitter at losing them. I look back at the first 5 years of our marriage and realize that we may not have made it had we had had such a large family so early. God has always been good to me in the fact that He gave me such a loving and understanding husband. He doesn’t know my pain, but he is there to comfort it. He doesn’t know the hurt or the empty void that I have but he is there to mend my heart and encourage me in the Lord.
Sometimes I find myself thinking of the what ifs. I think of what they may look like. Would they have had my eyes and my husband’s lips? What would their personalities be like? Would they have Tim’s wit and my compassion? Would they be boys or girls or one of each? God has his reasons for taking them and I’m ok with that.
Today in Sunday school class the lesson was on “A Mothers Heart”. It spoke of Hannah and how she wanted a son and how she would go to the temple and pray to the Lord about being blessed with one. She promised the Lord that she would give him back if He allowed it to happen. God did answer her prayer and she had a son named Samuel. At the age of 2 or 3 she brought him back to the temple and left him there to learn the way of the Lord. Every year she would make him a coat as he grew and she prayed for him often.
After hearing and teaching this story I knew it was just for me. There is time and time again that I can recall as to why Tim and I haven’t had children before. We weren’t ready for them, we worked in a ministry that we wouldn’t have been able to do had we had children, we wouldn’t have been able to come back to the college for Tim to finish his degree and we would not have been the dorm parents. Up to this point I understand why we don’t have children and I accept it. I know God has something in store for us and I just need to trust that He will give me the desires of my heart.
God is good to me and I am thankful for so many friends who have been so encouraging. Please pray for Tim and I as we seek the Lord for his will and pray for a family.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Us...

Once upon a time, there was a boy. He loved to play with his brothers, give his parents trouble, flirt with the girls, and hated homework with all his heart. While this boy went through life, trying to figure out who he was...

There was a girl. She grew up in the country, loved to laugh, pick on her young brothers, gave her parents attitude, and dreamed of being a mommy. While this young girl went through life, trying to figure out who she was...

They met, they hated each other, He started liking her, she was dating someone else, He continued to like her, Someone else decided the relationship wouldn't work, She started liking him, they were engaged and then married. They learned to fall in love, they learned to work through their toughest times. And 9 years later....



He still makes her laugh because he's so silly. She still adores him to no end. He still thinks she's beautiful and tells her all the time. She still feels the butterflies when he looks at her that way. He seeks God on a daily basis and wants to serve him with all his heart. She stands behind him and encourages him to keep going, even when it's hard. He still kisses her many times a day. She still loves each and every kiss. He has big dreams of their future. She knows God will use him in a mighty way. He preaches and people know he has met with God. She just smiles and praises the Lord for such a Godly Husband...

She knows God has blessed her beyond her imagination. She knows God has given her such a special gift...his name is Tim....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heart Breaking....

First it started with the news of Tim's cousin Monica their almost 6 month (in the womb) old baby boy Simeon. They went in for a routine ultra sound and found no heartbeat. I can't imagine. They sent her to the hospital to deliver her little one. My heart just breaks as I type this. They buried him Saturday. We than received word that a family in the church had miscarried at 8 weeks. Once again, such a sad moment in life. Then yesterday, I came in to work only to start running around to help our Pastor's wife find a plane ticket to NC as they said her dad has double pneumonia and does not have long. We finally get her to the air port by 3pm and she gets down to NC to see her dad as he slips in and out of consciousness. This morning they were told if not today than by tomorrow he would no longer be on this earth. God is in control. When I checked last He was still on the throne (that was this morning as I met with Him for prayer!). If you took a step back and looked at the big picture, the devil is really doing a number on our church, college, and families here. He's trying to ruin what God is building, but in the end, God wins. Please be in prayer for these families and for our church and college. We don't have the strength to do this but God can give it us!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Many Thoughts on a Monday....

I'm tired. I was up until the wee hours of the morning tossing and turning. I had a heavy heart and tried to give it to the Lord. I wasn't to tired when I woke up this morning. Took my peroxide this morning. I felt so nauseous but an hour later was able to eat and keep everything down. I long for the day that I am able to carry a baby in my womb and I know my husband wants the same thing. I am praying for a relative who had to deliver her still born baby this past week. Breaks my heart, but I know their little one is in heaven playing with my five little ones. Praying for another friend who is going in for a d&c after losing her little one after 8 weeks. Praying for our friends who are missionaries to the Congo. They were arrested (well her husband was) for soulwinning and preaching the gospel. You can read the story here. They have been in my thoughts a lot after I read about their encounter with the police. All of the students are back from Spring Break and seem to have a refreshed spirit about them. I met with the girls last night and I shared with them Philippians 4:1-9. We prayed and I believe most of their hearts are wanting to be unified. Big things are happening at the college. I am so excited. I start full time at Shalom today. We have a MBC Fellowship we are going to tonight. I miss my family like crazy. Praying that all works out to go see them in May for my Grandmas 80th Birthday. I miss our friends back in Maryland. Loving the warmer weather, even though tomorrow will be colder. Enjoying my husbands personality more and more each day. Just the thought of him makes me smile. :) <---see I'm smiling lol. I need to get off of here so I can my LONG list of things done at work. Praying for my Pastors. Loving My Lord. Hoping you all have a great day!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Running Thought...

So its been a while; longer than I wanted it to be. Life is spinning its cycle way to fast, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon. March was gone with a blink and now April is looking like it’ll only be over in a blink as well. I know some would say that this is a good thing. I have mixed emotions about it.
This year I turned 30. Though age is not an issue to me, the fact that I have no children is my issue. Age does not bother me, but the fact is, my biological clock is ticking faster and faster. If children are to happen they need to happen within the next 9 years! God is good to me though, I trust in Him daily that He knows my heart and my desires and with that He will give me a peace that only He can give.
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The thought of adopting has come up in conversations between Tim and I. Though I know if God would not allow us to have children of our own and gave us the opportunity to adopt, we would be thrilled, the feeling of wanting to create something that is made of the both of you, that represents our unity as one, is something Tim and I long for. We know that this may not happen, and I believe our hearts would be ok, but its still a strong desire we have.
Its almost the end of Spring Break at the college and honestly, I’m not emotionally or physically ready for them (that would be the kiddos) to come back. I don’t know if I’m that point where I have given so much emotionally that I feel as if I couldn’t give another ounce. Or if I just can’t handle another battle of wills. That’s what we struggle with around here. We have Christians at different maturing ages, and with that comes constant re-adjusting and the emotional toiling is….well just draining! Lol I am so thankful for this position in that we have been taught so much! I know we constantly joke about not having kids after this, but honestly we have a GREAT group of kids here. The hardest part is watching them grow, and know that the decisions they are making right now will NOT end in a good result, but because we know that we need to give grace and space….with that comes the hard fact that we have to let them make their own choices and let them see how those choices lead to certain consequences. It is one of the most interesting things to watch. God has done some BIG things around our campus. The preaching has been full of fire, hearts have been rekindled and decisions have been made. But with every BIG thing God does, the devil comes in with everything he’s got, to destroy the spirit. And that’s what we are struggling with most right now. Tim made a statement to me in the car last night as we were headed to pick up one of the students from work. We were discussing some of the issues we are still struggling with from some of the students, and how we feel like we are taken for granted most of the time around here. Tim said to me at one point “When you are a subordinate, you don’t see the big picture like you do when you are a leader.” I just smiled and thought to myself “I have married such a wise man.” Lol. It’s so true though. One of the greatest lessons I have learned being in this “leadership” position is that it’s lonely on top. With every “leadership” position you are critiqued for every decision you make. A friend of mine quoted recently on her facebook page “I have learned that you can’t please everyone…but it is possible to make them all mad at the same time.” I laughed so hard as I read this because it’s so true. It’s funny now the students will want us to be one way, let them do what they want, be irresponsible, and so on but the minute you show the rule book, that they signed, after they have taken advantage of the inch we give them, then we are the bad guys. It really does make Tim and I laugh, but at the same time, after we have invested hours upon hours, heart to hearts, tears and every ounce of our being with them, it does break our hearts to hear some of the things they “think” of us. With that said, I do take a moment and think back to when I was 18 or 20 and think about how I thought I knew more than “they” knew and how now at the age of 30 I wish I would have paid more attention the advice that was given to me. The cycle of life is funny like that, always making you remember back to when you were young.
God has really been working on my heart about many things I need to “fix” in my life. For example, being a little more patient (no I haven’t prayed for this! Lol), thinking before reacting to situations ( I fail at this often but am getting better at it!), being more understanding to those who are “needy” and so on. I love the feeling of when God is working on me. It lets me know I’m right where I’m supposed to be in His will!
Well, I should wrap this up. There is so much to say, and I’m going to try and do better at posting more often. Maybe if I shared more often I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed to blog! Lol
Please continue to pray for Tim and I as we take a step of faith in the new adventures of the school moving and Tim finishing school. God has met every need and we are trusting in him Fully!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Litte Over Due...

Where have we been lately….
As I start to type this I am still seeking the words to describe this amazing journey. That’s what it is, a journey. One that I know what the end result with be, but I don’t know the details in between. I prefer it that way. I find myself growing more and more as I learn to lean on Christ. Trust Him for my daily needs and watch as He shows his unconditional love by giving me my “wants”.

On a daily basis Tim and I discuss how God has been working on us. How He has been molding and making us. At times we may not see the big picture but eventually we work together and see what God really is doing with us. I can honestly say, the moment we said we would move out here, was the first time we ever felt real “peace” and felt like we were in God’s perfect will. There has not been one day that God did not meet a need. I mean, how do you go from making $67,000 a year (as a couple) to making a little over $23,000.00 and have every bill paid, every need met and be able to attend college all at the same time? Trust me if I were to try it in the world with this (which we have and failed time and time again) we would probably be divorced and who knows what we would be doing with our lives. I can’t even recall how many times God showed up right when we needed Him. That isn’t to come across as if we don’t appreciate, notice or care when it happens, but because it has happened so much, we are just overwhelmed by God’s goodness to us. To list just a few of the things God has done….

There are times when we are down to our last dollar, no food in our fridge or cupboard and we think “what in the world are we going to do?” God shows up with a Card which includes Cash and it says “buy some groceries with this”. We sit there wondering how they knew…we told no one.

Tim, who is a full time college student, helped his teacher out by handing out assignments for a class he was in while the teacher was in Africa on a Missions Trip. He never expected anything as this was a class he is TAKING! The teacher hands him a $100.00 and thanks him for his time. What in the world?!?!?!? I just bowed my head, humbled by God’s goodness, and thank the Lord. I don’t deserve it.

I am down, struggling with not being able to vent emotionally, share laughter with “friends”, hang out with some ladies who mean so much to me, and I get an unexpected call from a friend…She just wanted to say “Hi”. My eyes well up with tears because it was just what I needed. Like the Lord heard my heart hurting for fellowship and he sends her.

Tim preaches at a church during a Choir extension. This church is known for giving love offerings but that is not something we were “expecting” from there. I mean, I think my husband is an amazing preacher and I see God work in his life on a daily basis, but he is just a student. After the message (He preached on “having a mind to work”) the preacher gets up and says “we are going to collect a love offering for this young man”. I bow my head in tears and I say “Lord, you know what our needs are.” I couldn’t even look at my husband. They take an offering, we walk down stairs to get a bite of food. We leave and my husband pulls out the love offering and we are amazed at God’s goodness. It was a perfect example of how we “think” we know what God is going to do, but he does sooooo much more! I don’t know that Tim would want me to share the amount. But what I can say is, our car payment is made, our car insurance is paid, Rusty can go the vet, I can buy contacts (I’m on a pair that you are only supposed to wear for two weeks, I’ve been wearing them since November), we can put Gas in our car, we can buy groceries, Tim gets to buy a couple of suites (honestly he is in desperate need of them as he wears them daily), and that’s all with Tim still giving half of the offering to God like He promised him.

Today, we are in Target grabbing a few things with a couple of the college students. One of the students makes a comment that she is unable to purchase something today but will wait until she gets paid. A lady in the same aisle hears her comment, walks over, and hands her twenty dollars and says “I remember what its like to be in that situation, I hope this helps”.

Tim receives a phone call today from Mrs. Welch who teaches Music at her college. She informs Tim that her son just had neck surgery and is not able to plow (we received over 8 inches of snow today) and needs help. Tim jumps at the opportunity to help and her son offers him $12.00 an hour to plow some driveways and a few large parking lots.

This has all happened within the last month. My head is spinning with many more instances and I just can’t thank the Lord enough for taking care of me. There is nothing like being in His perfect will. Don’t get me wrong, its not easy. It really isn’t easy when someone walks up to you and hands you money. My first reaction is to say “No really, thank you, but I’m good…you don’t need to do that”. That would be my pride jumping in. At times people will do things for us, buy our meal, help out with a need and I want to “repay” them. My husband always says to me “Ann, you ask God to meet your need and then you want to turn away His blessing.” Isn’t that so true! We let our pride get in the way and we want to fix everything our way. Or we want to tell God how we think He should fix it. *sigh* If only we had better knowledge how this really should go. If only I didn’t carry around this rotten flesh.

The Lord has brought us so far, and I know we have such a long way to go, but I am so glad that I’m in the potters hands. And when he finds a flaw, he doesn’t just toss us aside, he just helps us fix it and then he continues to mold and make us.
Some other things going on….

We have a new Niece, her name is Carissa Lillian. She’s beautiful. I can’t wait to meet her soon.

I will be going to the Zawadzkis the rest of the week. I need some away time. I can’t wait to hang out with Kerry!

Our Sword of the Lord Conference is coming up. A busy time for us. We have BIG announcements that will be made so I can’t wait.

Also that Week is my 30th Birthday! Age doesn’t really bother me but seriously, 30?!?!?! Already?!?!?! When did that happen?!?!?!

My brother made it back safely to the States after his first deployment. He’s been in the Marines for either 6 or 7 years and He was never deployed before this one. He just received word that he may be shipped out again a week before his son is born. Poor guy…but thankful for his sacrifice!

I believe that’s about it for all that is going on. We have a full plate and we keep ourselves busy.

Until the next inspired update…Please remember to thank the Lord for His grace and mercy!
Much Love,
Ann Marie

Monday, January 25, 2010

another Giveaway!!!

Come On over and check out This giveaway! I'm all about trying to win because its less money my hubby and I have to spend on eating healthier :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life happens....

My days are never dull...

The moments are never small...

Time never stands still...unless you are at work...

Love has its ups and downs....

Smiles can melt the heart....

Hugs can warm the spirit....

A touch from Heaven always fixes everything...

I'm just in one of those moods....you know the kind where you don't know what to think...don't know whats wrong...don't know where to begin...don't want to sound like an "Eeyore" but you really do feel like one?

On a better note...I updated my "Change" blog...you should check it out :)

Oh and day 26 without soda! This is impressive for me...In my humble opinion of course...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Letter....

Dear Loved Ones,

2009 was quite a year for Tim and I. I guess to give you the "full" story we must start back in 2008. Yes I know...its longer than a year but I'll give you the short story! Promise!!

In April of 2008 Tim answered his call to preach. (I had been praying that he would realize his amazing talent to lead and the way God uses him and sure enough 8 years later….)
In July 2008 Dr. Tom Berg encouraged us to go visit Midwestern. (MBC was the college we met at but never graduated. When we got married in 01 there were a lot of things that happened towards us that left us in a state that we did not ever want to go back there….)
In August 2008 God gave Tim an Amazing job so that we could afford to MOVE back to MI and attend MBC.
In November 2008 We packed up everything we owned into a storage container. Packed all that we could in our Mustang (Including our dog) and traveled to CT, NY and then to MI where Tim would go to finish his education.
In December 2008 our nephew who was told would not make it through pregnancy, and certainly not through delivery was born. Healthy and beautiful. He still had a tumor on his heart but he wasn’t suffering in any way. He was in the hospital for 10 days and they sent him home with surgery in the near future but with no signs of struggle or growth His heart was beating steady. 7 days later while taking his nap, he went home to be with Jesus.
That brings us to January 2009. Tim started his fist semester of college in 6 years and enjoyed taking 2 classes. I also started working for our Pastor as his “Bookstore” secretary and am still enjoying working along side of him, our co-pastor, and their wives. The spring flew by and before we knew it, we were asked to be dorm parents!
July 2009 Tim and I went to our first Sword of the Lord conference with our pastors and loved every minute of it! It was exhausting but fun! Tim also becomes the Choir Director of our church!
August 2009 By the end of the summer we were ready to take on our first semester of being dorm parents to 12 mostly teenage college students. We had no idea what we were getting into!
September 2009 we jumped into the first semester as dorm parents (Tim took two classes (not knowing he would lose his job just two weeks later) and then picked up taking Choir, Mens Ensemble and taking voice lessons) and learned so much but enjoyed the love we could share with these students! Also in September, Tim lost his job. A HUGE shock to us, something we never experienced before, and him being our main source of income, we had no idea what we were going to do. But God knew what HE was doing…and that’s all that matters! Tim’s voice teacher Mrs. Welch told asked Tim to try out for Jackson Chorale (a local and well known group in our area). Tim was nervous and was hesitant, but went for it. He now sings Second tenor and is still amazed at the fact that he is part a professional singing choir!
October 2009 we continue to be dorm parents and struggle to find God through everything that is going on. By struggle I mean, we learn to trust, lean and look to God for everything! It is still hard today, but we realize that letting God in control of our lives is way easier than us trying to do it!
November 2009 we planned on going home to Maryland to see our family for thanksgiving (and to pick up our stuff that is still in a storage container a year later!) but God had other plans. We ended up staying home so we could have thanksgiving with some students that weren’t going to be able to go home for the holiday! I am so thankful for the tender heart God gives me! I never want to see anyone left alone on a holiday!
December 2009 We were going to go home the first week of December but once again, it was not of God. We received word that our best friend, Rich Zawadzki’s Dad was extremely ill. Not being saved, Rich made his way back out east (He had just moved to MI to take a church in Jackson!). He made in an hour before his dad passed away. His dad accepted Christ hours before going into a coma and now is in heaven walking the streets of gold! Tim and I watched their 5 week old while Kerry (Rich’s wife) drove out to MA. She couldn’t do the trip with 2 little ones under the age of 2 so she left me the “easier” of the two! Tim and I had quite the wake up call on our choice to try for children…and though it was an experience it was a GREAT experience and we are praying for future little lee babies! Christmas was small this year but was full of so many blessings and humbling experiences!
That brings me to January 1, 2010! Tim and I are excited to be jumping into this year. We have a lot of unknowns in the future but can honestly say that God is in control of them all!

Some resolutions we have….
*I plan on taking out all gluten, dairy, sugar, and processes foods out of my daily food intake. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME! Lol I know this may sound insane, but I must do it in order to overcome PCOS and so we have a better chance of us having children.
*I also plan on reading through my bible this year.
*I also plan on going to the gym at least 3 days a week
*Tim is going to try and take as many classes as he possibly can so that he may finish up his degree (possibly this year!)
*Tim is also on board with trying to read through his bible in a year. He has a challenge for the Dorm Students to read through the new testament this semester!
*We plan on working on Marriage and growing closer to the Lord
*We also plan on becoming debt free this year.
Please continue praying for us as we go down this path that God has laid before us. We covet your prayers and thank you for the encouraging words many of you have given us. We are thankful for the man Friends God has put along our path.

Please tell me, what are some of your resolutions?!?!?