the cupbearer

Currently, I am on a quest to read through the Bible again. Each time I come to a set of particular verses in Genesis, I have to pause every time I read them and smile and ponder them once again. The story goes like this:

Joseph (one of the 12 sons of Jacob—a.k.a. Israel) is the favorite of his father. Joseph is given the coat of many colors. He is good at interpreting dreams. He is also what one would consider an "annoying little brother."

He had a dream that all his mostly older brothers will bow down before him (which is great foreshadowing if you know the rest of the story, yet not the best way to win the popular vote amongst your big brothers).

Because of their jealousy, his brothers decide to kill him. One of his older brothers intervenes to stop that plot. Yet, they decide to sell him to a caravan heading toward Egypt claiming to their father that Joseph was mauled by an animal and killed. He’s sold. He’s sold again to Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife comes on to him and he doesn't give in and she gets mad and makes up a lie, which lands Joseph in prison—innocent in the matter.

Here is where things get really interesting. The king’s cupbearer and baker are thrown into prison and put under Joseph’s care. Both have dreams and Joseph interprets them. Short interpretations: baker will be hung and killed. Cupbearer will live.

Before the dreams come true, Joseph begs the cupbearer to remember him because he is innocent. The dreams come true. However, the cupbearer forgets.

Here are the verses that always cause me to pause: “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile…” (Genesis 40:23-41:1).

Now, Joseph goes on to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, becomes one of his favorites, and saves Egypt from starvation. But the point of this is: that empty space between the period of the first verse and the word “After” is TWO WHOLE YEARS. Two years—the cupbearer forgot him until Pharaoh had a dream and needed someone to interpret it and, all of the sudden, the cupbearer remembered Joseph.

Cupbearer's thoughts as paraphrased by me: “Oh, yeah, I knew a guy who interpreted a pretty significant dream for me once…I was supposed to remember him…oops.”

I think we all have times where we feel like we have a forgetful cupbearer in our life. Did God forget about me? Doesn't He remember what I've done and what I want to do? Why do I have to wait here? Two whole years? Why doesn't the cupbearer remember?

We have no idea of how Joseph’s time was spent in prison those two years. Were they fruitful years? We would hope so. Did he tell the entire prison system about God? Maybe. We don’t know. There isn't any more information given other than that empty space between the period and the word “After.” Sometimes, the time of waiting is just the time of waiting—for better or for worse.

Here’s the main point of my ramblings: although the cupbearer forgot about Joseph, God did not.

God does not forget about His people. God did not forget about Joseph. God has not forgotten about you.

When we survey the life of Joseph, we will see a theme come to the surface. The theme verse of the story of Joseph is this: “What man intended for harm, God intended for good…” (Genesis 50:20).

And that’s the beauty of serving our God, isn’t it? Those times we view as such a waste—those two whole years—can be meant for such good in our life. Let us not forget that we serve a God Who is not quick to forget about His children. Rest in Him even when you have to wait “two whole years.”

And praise Him that we can rely on our God even when we cannot rely on the cupbearer.

"Praise Him because He has grace that does not forget to remember His children..." (Dr. Robert Smith).


God sold our house.

I’m actually writing this on June 25th, but today, July 12th, we closed on our house. I have a feeling when the actual house closing date comes, I won’t have a lot of time to write this incredible story and it’s worth sharing. And if I have ever had a story to tell about God’s faithfulness, it’s this one:

[back story]

Last December (2012), I sat in WMU’s annual Week of Prayer for International Missions. I heard missionary after missionary speak about his and her time overseas and spreading the gospel to the unreached. I prayed for these missionaries. I sang the songs. And tears welled up in my eyes as I told God, “Wherever you want us, that’s where I want to be. Here…there…I’m Yours.” And I believe it took years for God to bring me to this place of surrender where I was not defined by a dream or even a calling, but I had come to a point of being His. 

And then it happened. God spoke to my heart and whispered ever so clearly, “Now is the time. Put your house up for sale.”

So what did I do with this ever-so-clear message? Text Jeremy and let him know? Ask my accountability partners to pray with me about this? Tell any human being at all? Nope.

I didn’t do a thing.

I kept it to myself. Why?

Because God’s plans can be scary at times. And we had been in our house for almost 5 years. We had been wanting and praying for God to sell it for the past 3 years. And had different real estate agents tell us that it would. not. sale. End of discussion. They would not even list it.

I wanted to be sure about God telling me we needed to put our house up for sale so I did what any good wife would do and said, “If you really want us to put the house up for sale, make it abundantly clear to BOTH Jeremy and me.”  (I know God laughs at me sometimes.)

And time passed.

We were on our way back from Disney World at the end of February. And we drove because we like road trips and spending uninterrupted time with each other in the car. As we were talking, we discussed our future, and God, and what He was saying to both of us; and then it happened. I finally said, “I know this sounds crazy, but I feel that God wants us to put our house up for sale.” And Jeremy laughed.

Then he said, “I’ve thought that exact same thing. How long have you felt this way?”

And I admitted since December. And he said that in December the Lord also began to prompt him to put it up for sale.

[loss of hope]

If you have ever sold a house before, you know that having the right agent can be a make-it or break-it deal.

At first, we talked with an agent who had sold a couple of houses in our neighborhood. She came to our house, sat down with us, discussed prices, and basically told us what all the other agents had told us: the price you want for the house is too high. No one will walk in your front door to look at the house. Even if someone walks in, they will never offer above X amount of money. Even if they do offer this price, there’s no way it will ever appraise above X amount of money.

Jeremy felt very strongly that the Lord had given him a listing price. He felt that as strongly as he felt that we should be listing it at all. So in a final attempt to sell the house, he asked her, “So if I want you to be our agent and I ask you to list the house at this price, you won’t do it?”

“No. There’s no point.”

[hope restored]

She left. We laughed. Ok, maybe I cried too. And we prayed.

Then, we knew of a man from our church who is a real estate agent. And, just to see if what she was saying was actually true, we called him.

He listened and decided to come to our house.

He looked at the house, sat down with us, went through similar numbers we had heard before, and asked what we wanted to list it for.

And Jeremy and I looked at each other and laughed and told him.

And bless his heart because I know he must have thought we were crazy when I followed that up with, “And I know this sounds funny, but we really believe God said to put the house up for sale. And Jeremy feels strongly that we should start at this price.”

Our agent was honest with us about his concerns, but being the man of faith he is, prayed with us over the house and went outside and put his sign in the yard.

[the not-so-long wait]

About two weeks went by and then someone came to look at the house.

And more people came by and looked at it.

Then a little less than a month went by and my grandfather passed away.

Jeremy was preaching at my grandfather’s funeral that weekend and, while we were standing at the visitation, our agent called Jeremy and told him that the very first people who came to see our house wanted to make an offer on it.

[praise Him]

It’s been a process. If you want to know my honest feelings about this season of us being in the house, you can go back and read this and this and this.

The house did sell for less than the price we asked. But it wasn’t too much less. And it did appraise for less than what we wanted, but again, not too much less. The only way we made up the difference is that the buyer took on some of the cost (again, something that should NEVER happen in this market).

Over the past five years, there have been times of doubt along the way. There have been times of crying. There have been times of anger and confusion and questioning. But oh did our faith in Him grow. And our belief in HIS timing. And our trust in Him.

He is good and He alone is faithful. Late in 2010, I felt the Lord say to me: “My Name is Adonai-jireh and you will get to know this Name well.”

Adonai-jireh means, “the LORD will provide.”

The next week I got a call from WMU offering me a job, a year later Jeremy was offered a job at Riverchase, six months after that the Lord sold our house.

He provides.


Jeremy and I secured a townhouse apartment that we will rent for the next year. I’m usually not a numbers person but the day we secured the townhouse, I was driving back to our house thanking God for providing the agent, the buyers, and the townhouse (which happens to be townhouse #3704). And I felt Him say, “Look up what Psalm 37:04 means.” (Anna Floyd, I can see you smiling as you read this.)

So I got out my phone and looked it up and read and laughed and cried:

“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:04).

The thing is: the townhouse is a testimony to the desires of our heart but it is no longer our hearts’ desire. Our hearts’ desire has honestly become to delight ourselves in HIM and He has become the desire of our heart. And this process is a testimony to His faithfulness to us—to pursue us and love us enough to make us completely His no matter what the cost—no matter how long it takes.

[thank you]

Thank you to so many who have walked this journey with us. From the times we complained and cried about being stuck in the house to those who prayed with us for it to sell to our agent who had faith in God’s leading us to those who helped us clean the house when we had the appraisal (Karen Hays) to those who helped us move into our new home (J.T. and Jett Turner, Mitchells, Caldwells, Zack Nichols, Andy Smith, Kyle) to my parents who came down and helped paint our townhouse to those who have just been there and encouraged us and prayed with us and stood by us to make sure we found ourselves in God and not in a location.

Thank you. We love you all and look forward to living closer to our church family as we minister to those around us and pray about where the Lord will lead us next.

To God alone be the glory now and forevermore.

God sold our house.


the edge of desire: genesis 3

Lately, I’ve started the journey of reading through the Bible in a year. It’s a part of the discipleship program my church is doing and I decided to join in…yeah, let’s not dwell on the fact that I’m late and just praise the fact that I showed up at all.

Today was day 3. Genesis 3 (see that correlation).

I’ve focused a lot of thought and study time into Genesis 3 in the past so the verses are not unfamiliar to me. I was reading through it pretty briskly and (before today), had you asked me to explain the first few verses of Genesis 3 to you, it would have been something to the effect of:

The serpent enters the scene. He’s a crafty fellow.

Serpent: “Did God really say to not eat of that tree or you would die?”
Eve: “Why yes he did.”
Serpent: “Oh, no. You will not surely die, but your eyes will be open and you will be like God.”

Eve takes note of this, eats the fruit, passes it to Adam, he shrugs, eats some too, and their eyes are opened and they realize they’re naked and try to cover themselves as they hide.

End scene.

Now, while there is a lot of good fruit (no pun intended) in this little paraphrase of mine and a few sermons could be made focusing on shame and their sin and pride, there was a key phrase that I missed in my reading. A phrase I have missed for 25 years of my life. And this phrase is key to the text. It’s a central point and I have overlooked it for so long.

Let’s take a look at what the actual Bible says:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:1-3).

What does Eve say God said?

Not only that you should not eat of the fruit of the tree, but that you should not touch it.

Don’t touch it.

My Southern translation of that is: There ain’t nothing on that tree that’s good for you.

My other interpretation of that is: RUN! FLEE! Don’t eat it…in fact, don’t touch it. Don’t even look at it for a long time because you will want to touch it because you’re like that being human and wanting to explore things. So don’t do it.

And what does the serpent convince her to do?

That’s right—he takes what she most desires and twists it just enough for her to lower her guard and walk right up to that tree and pick a piece of fruit.

She touched the fruit.

That thing she wanted—desired—longed for—thought of—craved.

I think James speaks to this desire when he writes, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).

And what did God say would happen if she touched and ate of the fruit—if she gave in to her desire?

Death would surely come.

But Eve thought it would bring life. I believe that she truly thought that whatever the fruit had would bring her even more completeness.

The fruit was not the issue though. The fruit within itself was not poisonous. It was probably perfectly good and ripe fruit. The issue was that God had commanded them to not eat it—to not even touch it.

“Don’t go there,” He said. “It will bring death because you are choosing the fruit over Me.”


Lately, each time I see an area of my life where I’m not surrendering something to God—where I’m staring at the piece of fruit in my life—I ask: what is my fear in giving this to God?

I believe at the root of most of my sin is a fear of something. For Eve (and for me most of the time), it’s the fear that maybe God is holding out on me. Maybe He isn’t the only thing that could complete me. Maybe this piece of fruit will finally satisfy all my longings, my hope for something greater will finally disappear, and my desire for perfection and completeness and wholeness will be fulfilled.

The danger in this is that it excludes God. It gives power to the fruit and allows my thoughts and motivations and longings and admiration and worship to go to the fruit.

We too easily give power to people or things that will never satisfy us when the only One worthy of this power over us humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross.

Do I actually think that the God Who created me, Who created my being and knows so intricately what will satisfy me and complete me and bring me joy, do I actually think that He doesn’t know what is good for me?

When I stare at the fruit—when those thoughts of something other than God bringing fulfillment to my life come along—that is when I need to remember my Creator. That is when I need to FLEE, RUN, turn around and walk away.

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose LIFE…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

He says if we choose the fruit, we will die. We will be separated. We will be broken. The shame will come. It. will. never. satisfy. We will be left empty. Disappointed. Broken. Naked.

And what is the main thing God wants of us? What is that main commandment? “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

If you find yourself staring at your fruit, contemplating what it could do for you, how it could satisfy you, giving it power over you, then turn around.

Because I held my fruit in my hands until my Lord God came along and said, “Child, it will only bring death. And it’s going to be the end of you. Hand Me the fruit.”

May you turn around and run away from the fruit. Don’t touch it. Don’t even look at it. You will always want it. But it will never satisfy.

Run in the other direction. Run toward Eden and paradise and life with God. Walk with Him so closely. And ignore that serpent.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). 


learning the ropes: a reflection on shame

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).



I vividly remember a professor in college saying, “One day you will do that which you thought you would never do.”

And I remember laughing inside at such an absurd thought—for if you knew you didn’t want to do something then why would you allow yourself to do it? He wasn’t talking about a good that either. He meant the ugly stuff—the moment of weakness, the words of anger and hate spilling out of your mouth, the thoughts counter to any good in this world, the actions that cause you to be shocked at even yourself.

What I failed to realize then is “that” thing you never thought you would do is just that: something you honestly never even conceived in your mind of doing before. Whatever your “that” is catches you off-guard. It’s over and done before the notorious thought crosses your mind: I never thought I would do that.


The remarkable thing about the enemy is not necessarily that he entices us to “do that which we thought we would never do,” but it’s that he keeps us in a self-loathing state afterwards. Cue shame.

Shame takes on many forms—from a paralyzed state of life to a helpless thought that we are not worthy of moving on. I think of it as a rope tied around your feet and hands keeping you from moving from the place you are in. The only issue is that we gave the enemy the power to tie us up and then he hands us the end of the rope and walks away leaving us to die in that place.

You see that? We hold the end of the rope. We have in our power the very thing that could get us out of our paralyzed state of being and allow us to move forward again especially if we are followers of Christ. We have a choice. Stay in that place—the place of shame and of feeling like we’ve done something we cannot move forward from. Or hand the end of the rope to Christ—Who has all the power to take the rope from us, untie us, and restore life to us.

Shame keeps us in the place where our “that” is. It suffocates the life out of us, constantly reminds us of our “that,” and tries to convince us that we will never be good enough to move on. The ropes are tight and the more we struggle, the tighter they get. The ropes are binding, they hurt, they are crippling. And eventually, if we don’t hand the rope to Jesus, we will die in that very place.

[no condemnation]

Did you catch that? No condemnation. No ropes. No death.

There is only life for those who are IN Christ Jesus—for those who have handed the ropes to Him.

Shame does not belong in the kingdom of God. Shame does not belong to the Church of God. Shame does not belong in the Christ-follower’s life.

May we hand the rope to our Savior—the One who bore our shame and despised it so many years ago (Hebrews 12:2). Let us live with this knowledge that He has made all things right again (2 Corinthians 5:17).

It is by His wounds we are healed (1 Peter 2:24). 

May we live a life worthy of the calling to which we have been called (Ephesians 4:1).


running the race

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). 
When people hear that I am training for a half marathon and just run in general, they often say a series of statements or questions:

  1. How/why did you start running?
  2. Did you run in high school?
  3. I wouldn’t have time for that. I bet you run every day.
  4. I hate running.
  5. I hate running outside/on the treadmill.
  6. I’m too old to start that. You’re much younger than me.
  7. I really hate running.
I have answered all of these questions/statements many times; therefore, wanted to create a post in order for more people to see how doable and beneficial running can be.

1. How/why did you start running?

Contrary to popular belief, I did not wake up one morning and think: Today, I will run. However, I did begin to see a series of physical symptoms resembling the need to exercise in some form or fashion. The symptoms included:
  •         Insomnia
  •         Stomach issues (caused in part by a horrible diet, which I will discuss in a later post.)
  •         Fatigue throughout the day
  •         Shortness of breath when walking up stairs
  •         Weight gain (I gained 10 pounds in the span of a year)
  •         Clothes not fitting
  •         Feeling stressed, sad, or emotional a lot
  •         Getting easily angered or frustrated
So why did I start running? I didn’t want to feel all of the above anymore. I had heard of the benefits of running from my Concepts of Fitness teacher in college and knew that running could potentially help.

How did I start running? I had heard of couch to 5k (C25k) programs (and used the Ease into 5k phone app) from a few friends who used it. A 5k is really the most basic goal of running you can have. If you only aim to run a mile or two, you really aren’t pushing your body enough to make a significant change. A 5k equals 3.1 miles. That seemed nearly impossible to me when I first began. Week 1 of my Couch to 5k program went something like this: Walk, Run (but not the full amount of time), Walk, Run (but stop halfway through), Walk, etc.

I started the C25k program in November of 2011 and I stayed on week 2 for about a month. Then, in January, a friend of mine (Sheryl Turner) said she and her husband were on a journey to health and they were signing up for a 5k in the near future. I was very encouraged by their story so I said I would sign up for a 5k in March of 2012.

Since it was January, and I was to run my 5k in March, I had to get serious about the program and move beyond week 2. At this point, I was ONLY running on the treadmill and couldn’t run outside…at all.

2. Did you run in high school?


I did, but it was only because I played sports and my coaches would use it to punish us for losing or “not working hard.” Therefore, like many people I know, I linked running to punishment and suffering. This has been a mental concept I have had to let go of in order to make running about health and not about something negative.

3. I wouldn’t have time for that. I bet you run every day. 


The fact is that I run 3 days a week. I try to get in one or two extra days of cross-training (weights, swimming, yoga, etc.), and I rest for at least two days a week. And most weeks I haven’t been able to do any cross training. All in all, I run THREE days a week. And most of my runs only take 30 minutes to complete. Meaning, if you can spare an hour and a half a week for the sake of your health, you could be in a much better place. If you cannot spare an extra 30 minutes three times a week, then your life is too busy and your health will diminish regardless of exercise. And that is something you need to address before trying to begin an exercise program.

Something that helps me is to schedule those three days of running into my calendar a month ahead of time. And it doesn’t matter if something comes up, those days are written in and they rarely change unless something drastic comes up. My run days are typically Mondays (because I’m off work), Wednesdays or Thursdays, and Saturdays. This hardly ever changes because Monday and Saturday are set days where I am off work and have more time and this means I only have to get in one mid-week run. This is the most difficult to get in, but again, worth it.

Remember, getting back into shape takes time. You’ve sat around on your couch or office chairs for months (or years) now. Don’t expect to run a full 5k tomorrow or even next week. Don’t even expect to run a full mile right now or even a half mile. It takes time to get your body use to the stress you are putting on it. Don’t hurry this. You will get results, but have some patience.

4. I hate running.


Here’s the truth: I do not LOVE running. I have come to appreciate it, but it was not love at first sight. There have been times where I wanted to throw my running shoes out my car window while driving down the interstate just to have an excuse to not run that day. There have been mornings when it was 34 degrees outside and it took every fiber of my being to get me to step out the door. And there have been times during the summer when it was 90 degrees and humid and it started raining and I did not LOVE running.

But, I ran.

I ran because anything worth anything takes time and dedication and effort. It takes commitment and devotion and a little (dare I say) suffering.

5. I hate running outside/on the treadmill.


When I first began running, I ONLY ran on the treadmill. Nice, air-conditioned rooms with TVs to keep me occupied, yes please. It was around week 3 or 4 of the C25k that I began to run outside. I think that was best though because I needed to learn, while on the treadmill, what my comfortable running pace was. Each time I ran outside, I ran WAY too fast. If you do run outside, try to get the Nike+ app or some way to determine your minutes per mile or you will probably run too fast as well and burn out quickly.

Now, I hate running on the treadmill. Once you begin to run outside, find pretty parks or neighborhoods where you enjoy running there. Change it up and don’t run the same paths all the time or your muscle memory will kick in and you will not want to run at all that day. Outside scenery keeps your mind occupied and helps to pass the time. Being outside connects me to God as well. I use most of my run time as a time of prayer.

6. I’m too old to start that. You’re much younger than me.


For this statement, I will just say this: there are 80+ year-olds at the races I run and some of them beat me. If they can do it, you can too.

And my friends JT and Sheryl (who are not “old,” but they are older than I am) have an amazing story of how an entire family can work towards a healthy lifestyle together with the Lord’s strength. Read their blog. I promise you will be inspired. They are an inspiration to Jeremy and me.

7. I really hate running. 


When I hear this now, I just smile. I have been there, too.

A few of my mantras in running are:
  • No excuses. (This means if I’m sick, tired, stressed, emotional, cramping, wanting to go eat ice cream, or just plain don’t want to run, I still run.)
  • No competition. (This is something I learned from yoga and has helped tremendously to take pressure off of myself to perform like an Olympic athlete. Don’t compare yourself to others. Challenge yourself, but don’t even have a competition with yourself. Just run. Enjoy it. Don’t make it into another something you have to worry over.)
  • Attack the hill! (This is my hill mantra. You’ll need one. You’ll see. I borrowed mine from a guy I knew at Samford. Read his blog post on his hill mantra. It helped me to fight the hills better and let them make me stronger.)

God+ Running: 


Running is not easy. But the rewards are worth it. And the spiritual implications have been the most important aspects for me to learn from running.

There are many parallels between the discipline of our physical bodies and our spiritual journeys. Neither one is simple. Both come through sacrifice. Both make you want to quit part way through and take the easy road. Both are a journey, which will require tears, forgiveness for past mistakes (overeating, laziness, etc.), admittance that you cannot do it on your own, dedication to something that will last, and a community of support to help you along the way. Both are painful during the process, but the rewards at the end of the journey are worth it and they are eternal.

Running takes discipline. That’s a word I was very unfamiliar with until I entered this process. But when I am “suffering” during my run and my legs are giving out or my body is telling me to quit, I pray and I convince my mind that this suffering is worth the rewards that come from it. And this suffering is temporary and will fade. The rewards are eternal and of value.

May your runs be a reminder of your journey with our God. Although it can seem painful at times and you can go through trials and suffering, finish strong the race that is set before you because the end goal of His Name among all nations and our eternal life with Him are worth it.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).


for Your splendor

I think it’s time for Jeremy and I to give a life update to our friends and family (and all you other facebook acquaintances who are simply curious).

[the house]: In case you didn’t know, Jeremy and I bought a house in 2008. When we bought this house, we honestly thought we would stay in it for three years, sell it, make money, and move to seminary. That was “the plan.”

Well, as we all know, the housing market took quite a tumble in 2008; therefore, leaving us stranded in our house. Through this, there have been many tears shed, many questions asked, and our hearts have been torn over the realization that we are not moving out Birmingham for a while now.

[courtney’s job]: In 2011, I started working for a great non-profit called WMU. WMU specializes in the development of missions resources, the publication of Christian literature, and helping artisans around the world through the sale of fair-trade products.

In this job, I get to read missionaries’ stories all the time, gain ideas for reaching others in my community, and develop missions curriculum for young adult women. Plus, I get to work with an amazing group of women and men committed to making disciples of all nations. I’m in a great place.

[a new season]: As many of you know, Jeremy has taught in the Shelby County school system for over four years. He has been a JV boys’ and Varsity girls’ basketball coach. He’s a great educator with a passion for students and kids. But his true passion is to teach the Word.

Jeremy and I began praying for God to open doors for us to serve more in our community. We were thinking that meant potentially changing churches or beginning to serve in a new ministry. God had other ideas.

At the end of April (this year), someone who was on a search committee approached Jeremy because they were looking for a part-time youth minister. After much prayer and consideration, Jeremy quit his coaching position and took this job.

That position was at a wonderful church where we loved the people and students. However, Jeremy began longing to teach the Word and be a minister full-time. We began to pray for God to open a door to make this happen. I mentioned this to a close friend, and she said her church was actually looking at hiring a full-time children’s and youth pastor.

[A long story short]: After much prayer and seeking the counsel of those closest to us, Jeremy has now quit his full-time teaching position to take a full-time position of Youth, Children, and Community Outreach Minister at Riverchase Baptist Church in Hoover. We could not be more excited. This position provides him the opportunity to use his gifts and abilities to serve the Lord and people. And he will have the opportunity to begin seminary in the near future. This position is honestly perfect for Jeremy. I see so many opportunities for him to use his talents and abilities to serve this community. I praise God that He opened this door for Jeremy’s job to be a minister.

I never thought I wanted to be a minister’s wife because I wanted to be a minister or missionary, yet I have found that I am as much a part of this process as he is. I am sure I will learn more as time passes of the joys and challenges of being a minister’s wife. It’s a new adventure within itself. As I have prayed about my role in this process, I have found that I consider myself a minister to the minister. And I am content with this role.

I will start my masters in education (with a concentration in school counseling) in a couple weeks. If you know me, you know I've worked with students and kids since I was a youth. This is something the Lord has laid on my heart as my love for children and students only grows (especially with Jeremy taking on this new role). I cannot wait to see where the Lord leads with this new journey.

[what about doing missions?]: One question I have heard from a few people is, “Are you and Jeremy still going overseas?” My answer is, “I don’t know.” It’s not that we are not willing. Because we are. It’s not that we don’t “have a heart for it.” Because we do. It’s simply that the Lord has not opened that door for us at this time. We have a great desire to serve God overseas in an intercultural setting, yet see plenty of opportunity to serve Him here where He has placed us. Since that desire has not disappeared yet, I see this as something the Lord will reveal to us in His time.

There are days I am anxious over this—not going overseas right now. There are other days I am incredibly thankful for the time we have here with our friends and family and now our new church family. I know He has created me to serve Him and I know I enjoy working in diverse settings. I simply don’t know what the future holds anymore other than serving Him where He leads. And I believe this is enough.

What I do know is that our new church family makes my heart happy to be right where I am. I can see the Lord moving in this body of people to make disciples in the Hoover area and around the world. I get excited when thinking about working with students and children. I am full of joy when I think of my husband getting to use his God-given creativity to teach others about our God. And I am overwhelmed when I think of serving God and others alongside my husband.

I have found comfort in the Old Testament stories lately. Especially the ones where God would give someone a specific calling, yet not bring that calling to fruition until much later and sometimes in a different way than initially thought. One of the greatest stories is Abraham and Sarah’s. The Lord said, “Go to the land I will show you” and Abraham went. The Lord said, “Go and sacrifice your son” and Abraham rose. The Lord continuously led Abraham to situations that seemed so counter from the original calling, yet it was all for His glory. And the faith of Abraham was astounding.

I pray Jeremy and I continue to go where the Lord leads and do as the Lord commands. I pray we continue to see opportunities to serve others and tell them about His love. I pray we have faith to trust His leadership over our lives. And I pray my soul finds rest and peace as we live our life fully here. Although it isn’t what I thought it would be. Although “I never thought I wanted to be a minister’s wife,” He is teaching us His path.

And I’m learning that His ways are better than my own.

In hope he [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:18-21).

-From a minister’s wife


23...a year of growth and change

I love to write.

You may not be able to see this due to my lack of motivation to update my blog; but ask anyone who knows me best and they will tell you that I am a writer.

A review of the past year:
After Jeremy and I got back from Canada, we processed the trip and the time we spent there. We had a whirlwind of emotions coming back to real life once again. We longed to sell our house, move to Boston, and go to seminary so we could go overseas quickly.

Yet God's timing is not our's; and He has us in Birmingham for a reason beyond our understanding.

We cannot sell our house. We could sell our house, but the loss we would have to take is too great of one and would be a constant financial strain on our marriage for many years to come. So we wait. Impatiently at times. Relying on Him to direct our path and show us where to go and what to do.

This time has been frustrating, confusing, and stressful at times. We have good intentions—to go overseas and make disciples of all nations. How could God allow us to be trapped here if we had such good intentions.

Yet He is saying, "Wait only upon Me." And so this time of waiting has turned into a time of growth...and change. My dreams have become less and less important when compared to His glory among all peoples. I do think He will eventually bring my dreams into fruition, but it will be with Him receiving all the glory and will not be because of anything I do.

Jeremy and I see this time as a time of intentional growth: toward each other, toward God, toward those we love. This may not be our ideal place to be. But it is where God has us and we do not want to waste this time.

So we invest: in each other, in our small groups, in the students at Pelham High School, in the people in downtown Birmingham, in WMU, in our church family, in our friends, in our family, and in those we are surrounded by. This has brought me the most joy. God does not call us to a place; He calls us to Himself and to tell others about Him.

"The story about the forest is so much more important than the story about the tree."

I'm learning that this life will be different than what I originally planned or thought. But it is good. And it is right. And I am learning to trust Him and His ways. And I am growing closer to Him each day and I walk this journey with Him and with my husband. And I am thankful for this time (I may need people to remind me of this), but I am truly thankful for this time in life to rest, to read, to write, to respond to Him, and to love on His people around me.

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them." -1 John 4:16