Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Friends and Fall Retreat

Happy November!

I've been feeling overwhelmed with gratitude this month and not just because Thanksgiving is approaching. There have been so many instances where God has provided sweet moments and so much grace.

We were invited to a birthday zoo trip for a good friend's one year old. I was reminded through that day how important community and support is, especially when you have young kids. The burden is lighter just knowing other people are experiencing similar things as us while we try to figure this parenting thing out.

How kind of the Lord to give us a community willing to walk through life with us.

We also had our annual fall retreat! This is a chance for all the students from Denton to get together, away from some of the stress of school. We played some really fun team-building games (hence the team colors) and spent time worshipping the Lord together.

This was also Owen's first retreat! It was a challenge for me to navigate taking care of him and running my parts of the event and being present with the students. It was a learning curve for sure and Jon being there made a huge difference! The whole time (when I wasn't stressed about our Chick-fil-A catering order) I felt so grateful for this chance to participate in ministry with my son. It was hard and sweet and encouraging. And maybe not as smooth as I wanted it to be but that's good for me too.

My coworker took this picture and pointed out me working in the background while the guys hung out after a nap.

Said nap.

Ronnie, a hugely influential pastor in our wider ministry made time to come and speak to our students about decision making and what life-long discipleship looks like.

Some of the girls from TWU went to lunch after retreat. They're some of my favorites!

Grant and I had too much fun with this ice shovel.

The other thing that made me just sit in awe of the Lord started out pretty scary. Some of y'all might have seen the story, but a whole tree from the park our yard backs into fell on our house at about 1am. Jon and I couldn't sleep so we reacted pretty quickly when what sounded like an explosion went off. We quickly figured out a tree was involved but it wasn't currently coming through the ceiling. Owen and I got to the safe side of the house while Jon met the firefighters and took care of the initial problems. This is the picture he sent me.

Terrifying, especially because right on the far side of that chimney is where we all sleep. But the more we investigated, the more we realized there was very little damage. Our landlord got a tree removal crew out there in record time too and as they worked we saw how much God was protecting us. There's no real substantial reason why the tree didn't break through the ceiling - the retaining wall? The chimney? The stout support beams in the attic? Maybe sort of. The Lord? Definitely. I was seriously about to start packing up thinking there's no way we aren't gonna have to move, at least temporarily. But no, there were no electrical problems, minimal water damage/leaking, and nothing that a tarp couldn't protect us from for a bit. 

The view from our back door, right next to our bed and Owen's bassinet.

Why do we have so many Home Depot buckets? I have a weird job okay.

I know this isn't directly campus ministry related but I wanted to share how God has been teaching me to trust him again and again. He is good and worthy of our trust. By his grace he shows me that.

And here's a few random ministry pictures!

Owen enjoys a one on one.

Owen sleeps through peer team.

Owen becomes the entertainment after peer team.

Owen leads our staff meeting.

And some family pictures!

Owen's first pumpkin patch

Owen's first Halloween

I still believe there might come a day where I take pictures of people other than this kid. Maybe next month.

Here's a testimony of one of my corefas from last year - so proud of her!

I wanted to flag for you that our big annual fundraiser is coming up at the end of November! I'll send more info about this in a couple weeks but here is your Save the Date.

Love y'all so much!

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