Welcome 2014!!!!

Welcome back to normal life, everyone!  Well, sort-of . . . we thought today would be back to normal, but if you live almost anywhere in the mid-west your kids may still be home from school today, as mine are.  I LOVE snow . . . and in Midland, MI we are having LOTS of it!  I know I am in the minority – but I am loving it!

I bet some of you have wondered where in the world I went!  After our big concert push last spring, I seriously did drop off the face of my ministry.  It was a time of re-grouping and working to follow the next step of God’s calling in my life – my master’s degree. 

After MUCH prayer and seeking the Lord as to my future as leader of my family, I really felt the call to be a hospital chaplain.  As I researched how to accomplish that calling – I found that the best way to position myself to fulfill that role in any capacity was to get my Masters of Divinity – or MDiv.  So, my summer was spent researching and trying to figure out how in the world to do that.  I began work at Moody Theological Seminary this fall and absolutely loved it!  I took 7 credit hours and holy moly – was it hard!  Please keep in mind – I have a bachelor’s degree AND I am an author and lyricist – I’m a ‘word’ person.  I CANNOT tell you how many words I looked up in the dictionary this fall.  Words that I had NEVER seen!  Oh my! 

I spent HOURS at the library and hours at home.  In fact – I rarely saw family or friends.  The level of learning was very high and challenging.  I did finish with all A’s . . . but wow!  By mid-December Abbi looked at me and almost cried.  She missed me and said that ALL I did was study and write papers.  True!

Many of my friends who have sent children off to college suggested that maybe I should take this next semester off, as it is Abbi’s final semester of high school and then she is off to college.  I would have had to take even more credits than my first semester – plus, Abbi is doing several ‘official’ college visits, swimming at Nationals in Florida in March, and graduating . . . all of which will take my time . . .

The other thing I haven’t told you is that the MDiv is a 96 hour program!  That is almost triple what an MBA (Masters of Business) is.  TRIPLE!  So, after completing my first semester and with light of all that is taking place next semester I have decided to step back and re-evaluate.  I am researching other program options and other degrees that might allow me to minister in the same way but that might not require such a big commitment.  I am a single mama and do not want to totally miss these precious years with my kids.

There is another bend in the road right now too.  There is a wonderful blessing brewing in my life in the form of a very sweet, kind, and wonderful man.  His name is Bryan and we are truly enjoying getting to know one another.  My privacy has become very important to me over the years.  The more you are in the public eye, the less privacy you have and in my book – the more precious it becomes.  So, though I will be very careful what I share, you will hear more about him, and us, in the future.  As I learn to trust God with this part of my heart, I realize that this is still a part of my grief journey and I do believe this part of the journey will minister.  But for now, just let me say that I am so grateful to God for this gift which totally caught me off guard and has put a smile in my heart in a place I thought might never smile again! 

So, these next few months will be ones of just sitting back and seeking the Lord.  I love that place in my life.  I just need His direction and His guidance.  I guess it is a ‘wait and see’ time in my life. 

How about you?  Sometimes the ‘wait and see’ times are tough?  Sometimes it takes a whole lot of trust to just sit back for a while.  I am realizing, these days, that I have areas of my life where trust is really tough.  I will share about that soon. 

In the meantime – please know that no matter where you are at as you enter this New Year – there is nowhere as peaceful or lovely as snuggled right in the arms of our sweet Lord.  Nuzzle yourself right there and together, my friends, we will learn to walk out our trust . . . or lack of! 

I have spent a lot of time in prayer and worship lately.  The Scripture that keeps resounding in my head is Ephesians 3:20.  I am claiming it as my verse for 2014.  I believe that there is a huge part of this verse that stretches me.  This is where my trust lacks . . . so I am going to claim it and work hard to trust it . . .

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . . .

Do you trust God to do immeasurably more than what you ask or imagine?  I’m working on it.  Maybe we can work on it together!  Blessings my friends.  See you soon – I promise!

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