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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To be continued...

Friends, as many of ya'll know this is a busy busy time for me with work. We're in the final stretch of the Florida Legislative Sessions. With that being said, I will be taking a mini-vacay from the blog until sessions has passed. I have so much I want to share with ya'll and I want to be putting out quality {not quantity} posts out on this here space.
 
I will still be around on social media so be sure to keep up with my adventures there. Until then, see ya'll after the first of May!
 
 
 
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Monday, April 20, 2015

One for the books

Guys, this weekend was awesome. It was wonderfully exhausting and spiritually rejuvenating all in the same. Between spending time with friends, preparing for our huge youth event Saturday night to it finally happening, and then wrapping up the weekend with a wonderful baby shower, I can honestly say... I'm a very happy woman.
 
I will share more later on about each event such as decoration and foods, but for now, I just wanted to share some pictures I took from Saturday's youth event. While ya'll are feasting your eyes, I'll be working on trying to suck down multiple cups of coffee.
 

 

 
 

 
 
I'm so beyond grateful for God's love and mercies. It was a beautiful night seeing roughly 75 students lift their hearts and voices to praise God. I'm so grateful that God has a passion for people and welcomes us all with open, loving arms. Despite our flaws, despite our sins, He loves us. Talk about powerful?!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey



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Friday, April 17, 2015

Happy Friday + The Summit + Baby Shower + I don't know what to do with my hands

Happy Friday! Things have kicked up several notches in my life, all youth and socially related of course. Just to give ya'll a quick run down of how things are going around here...
 
.... Wednesday + Thursday evenings after work - setting up the sanctuary for our awesome night of worship that's happening Saturday.
 
.... Friday night - helping friends move + finish any last minute set-up details.
 
.... Saturday morning - make food for youth event that night + food for baby shower that I'm co-hosting Sunday - spend time with a sweet youth girl - brush my teeth (this is still a questionable task).
 
.... Saturday evening + night - finish any last minute prepping + get food all set-up + praising God at The Summit and watching the Holy Spirit rock this community.
 
 
.... Sunday morning - last minute prep for baby shower + set-up for baby shower.
 
.... Sunday afternoon - BABY SHOWER FOR ABEL!!!
 
 
Have I worn ya'll out yet? I'm so excited for this weekend. I've got the Holy Spirit providing all of my adrenaline and I'm ready to freakin' rock. I just ask that you pray for the Holy Spirit to awaken the sleepy souls of our teenagers, and our community. Pray that all will be done for the glory of the Gospel. And just pray for an awesome time. Happy Friday!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Currently

.... I'm munching on those yummy Snappers. My goodness, what do they put in these things to make them so addicting? Crack?? Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy 5 bags.
 
.... I'm sort of baffled that starting next week, we'll be in the last 2 weeks of Sessions here in the Florida Legislature. Uhm, didn't we just start all this madness like, yesterday? With that being said, prepare to see and hear even less from me. The last 2 weeks are notorious for chaos. Pray for me.
 
.... Have you ever had those moments in your life where you're just so frustrated that you could just cry this awful diva-meltdown-type of cry? That was me... this morning... It was somewhat embarrassing. BUT! I then went to God in prayer and begged Him to relieve me of that burden and I feel much better. Not perfect, but better.
 
.... I'm pretty sure there's something in the water. Everybody I know is getting pregnant. Keep that junk away from me!
 
.... Our teenagers from youth group are a constant reminder for me of why I do what I do. Fortunately and unfortunately, the Church (as in the body of Christ) is made up of sinners. It's fortunate because it's a beautiful thing when broken people come together for something greater! It's unfortunate because you're reminded, sometimes unintentionally, the ugliness that people can possess as a sinner, including myself. Our teenagers constantly humble me, excite me, and make me laugh and smile almost daily. I thank God every day for them.
 
.... And because I'm at the end of this post with no pictures, I'll just share this with ya'll because it speaks truth in my life...
 


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Monday, April 13, 2015

Furry Grateful Monday

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you just feel rejuvenated mind, body, soul? Yea? Me too. This past weekend did that for me and I don't know if it was the quiet Saturday of cleaning and Costco shopping, our donut fundraiser event Sunday morning with our youth, or spending time with amazing people Sunday evening... But I'm rejuvenated!
 
This week is a big week for us. We're putting together the final touches for our Summit event for all the youth in our area. I cannot begin to express how excited we all are for this event! Please continue to be in prayer for the Holy Spirit to rock the socks off these teenagers.
 
 
Today, though, my gratefulness comes in a very simple, furry, sweet form... My pups. Their sweet personalities, loyal dispositions, and goofy quirks truly make my days brighter.
 

 

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh hey

Guys, not going to even lie here, I woke up today not realizing it was Friday. As I was getting ready for work, it suddenly dawned on me: "It's Friday? IT'S FRIDAY!!" *cue awkward white girl dancing* So because I am last-minute-Kelly, ya'll are going to get a list of randoms. Because duh, #transparency.
 
one// Tonight we're having pizza with some of our most favorite people and their newest baby, and Uncle Josh of course!
 
 
two// I'm pretty excited to have a relaxing weekend coming up. I feel like we have been movin' and shakin' non-stop for the last several weeks so it'll be nice to slow down.
 
three// There's this blogger, Jamie, that I just adore because 1) She loves God, and 2) She is fully transparent in regards to her personality. Girlfriend tends to let a cuss word slip or two, she's hysterical, and I love it. Earlier this week, she talked about praying and ya'll, it hit me square in the heart.
 
four// In a about a week, a local church is proudly hosting an event that our pastor, Hunter and I, along with others have been working on getting together. It's a night of worship for ALL teenagers and young adults in our area and ya'll, I'm excited for this! Our area has never had anything like this so this is huge. Please be in prayer for us as we continue to put final things in place; please pray for the hearts of those that will attend and that they will be receptive to the Holy Spirit; please pray that this is just the beginning for big changes in our little community.
 
 
I hope ya'll have a fabulous weekend!
 
 


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Real Talk: Youth Leader Myths


This topic has been weighing on my heart and mind for quite awhile. And when I say quite awhile, I'm talking AWHILE. As most of you know, Hunter and I accepted the position as youth leaders at a small church. As most of you don't know, we were very very hesitant to do so. I will be the first to say this: We have an awesome foundation and support of the pastor and his wife at this church. And that really helped us in our decision making.

We realized that the main reason holding us back from making this decision was because of what we had dealt with in the last year or so, and the judgment that (we felt) many people would place upon us for choosing to step away from an unhealthy situation. And we realized that allowing the opinions of others to control our desire to share the Gospel is not Christ-like; Jesus never stopped His works even in the face of resentment, fear, and struggle. Why should we allow past events to control our future decisions?
 
Now that the story (with major details left out simply out of respect for others) of our journey to this point has been made clear, I want to share with ya'll some myths of youth leaders, and why they are blatantly false and honestly, just disrespectful.

 
 one// You're just the "glorified babysitter."
 
I'll be honest, this title makes me laugh hysterically because oh my sweet friend, you are so sorely mistaken. If I recall correctly, the last time I babysat (eons and eons ago) I don't remember spending hours upon hours of planning lessons, diving into scripture in detail to better understand things to be able to put it into teen terms, brainstorming ways to raise money for these kids to be able to do activities, loving these kids as if they are my own, etc. The amount of time, love, energy, and patience that goes into ensuring that these teens are receiving the true Gospel is overwhelmingly huge (in a good way). And this is in addition to my real full-time career (shocker), being a wife, leading a women's ministry group, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. And to lay those questions to rest, no, we are not paid to be youth leaders and prefer it to stay that way.
 
two// Teens will do what teens want to do - you can't change anything.

My response to this is: You will do what you want to do - Jesus came here to change that. No, it's not our responsibility to save a person; that's the Holy Spirit's job. OUR job is to do everything in our power to plant that seed to ALLOW the Holy Spirit to work in those teens' lives. It's no different than sharing the Gospel with adults, people in foreign countries, etc. All we are called to do is love them first, and then plant the seed. The Holy Spirit is pretty dang powerful - give Him some credit.

three// Youth leaders are supposed to make youth group fun, not another boring place for my kid(s).

Yes, fun is always good. I'm a firm believer in fun. We will sometimes play games, sing songs, do goofy things, have movie nights, etc. That's all fine and dandy. Here's my issue with this myth: Although the Bible has many wonderful, happy stories it also has it's fair share of serious stories. You cannot, cannot, cannot just take part of the Bible that makes you feel oh-so-happy and disregard the rest. The Bible is applicable in every.single.way. Even the uncomfortable stuff. Everything we do with our teens has a purpose and we always link it back to scripture - the happy stuff and the tough stuff. Heck, our lives are a product solely on the love and works of God in the old and new testament; why shouldn't we do the same and revolve our lives around both the old and new testament?

four// How can you have so many issues? You're a youth leader - you're supposed to be a representation of having it all together!

This myth, by far, irks me the most. I don't care if you're a youth leader, pastor of the church, police officer, politician, mother, father, carpenter... You're HUMAN first and foremost. Just because a title has been placed across your back does not mean you are exempt from struggles in life, sinful temptations, etc. When I'm frustrated beyond words, I will let a cuss word or two slip. When I've had a stressful day, I may have not just one glass of wine, but two! There are moments that my husband and I don't necessarily like each other (doesn't mean we don't love each other). There are people in my life that make me so spittin' mad that I could just slap 'em some days. We're real; we struggle; we're trying to figure out this life too. Take us off the pedestal of perfection and understand that we are human too. Hunter and I believe in full transparency: we've got issues, you've got issues, let's do this together.

There are so many other myths out there, and many more will come up throughout the years. Regardless, Hunter and I love what we do. We love God first and foremost, and then people secondly. We particularly love teenagers and cannot wait to do life together with them. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, constructive criticism, feel free to let me know! Like I said earlier, I can handle the judgment. Can you handle the response?
 
 
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Grateful Monday + Cardboard Testimonies

Happy Monday after Easter! I hope each and every one of ya'll had an amazing Easter, ate lots of yummy foods, hunted many eggs, and gave all the glory to our wonderful Father. We had a busy Easter but it was wonderful nonetheless.
 
Our day started off at 5:45am to head over to our small church for sunrise service. Hunter shared his testimony with the folks and it was beautiful to watch the sun rise above the trees.
 
Next we moved onto our main service where our youth did a skit called Cardboard Testimonies. In essence, it's your testimony of "Before" Christ and "After" Christ. These are just some examples of what our students shared with folks...
 

 
 

 
 


Today, I am so beyond grateful for these teenagers and their life stories. I'm grateful for their hearts and souls, and their love for the Lord. I'm grateful that they are real with us, transparent with us, and can come to us to ask for advice or prayers. Thank you, God, for these children of Yours.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, April 3, 2015

It is a Good Friday indeed


First and foremost, happy Good Friday! I absolutely love this time of year. It's a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and rebirths. It's a time of reminding ourselves why we are here, what our purpose(s) is, and really, just a reboot in life.
 
I can remember last year's Easter so vividly...
 
.... We spent the weekend getting the house ready for our families to come together on Easter Sunday to celebrate ....
 
.... Hunter and I were baptized on Easter Sunday with the sole purpose of showing our friends and family that we are pretty dang serious about out faith in Jesus ....
 
.... It was the day that Hunter asked me to be his wife ....
 
That day brings back so many warm memories! I truly hope that each and every Easter brings about warm memories, or allows for future memories to be made. Remember that, although the cadberry eggs are yummy and the egg hunts are fun, Easter is a monumental time in history. It is the time in which our dear Savior was murdered for His faith and good works, yet rose from death in the ultimate Resurrection.
 
It is the time in which He saved us from ourselves and our evilness, and did it with love and compassion. We are not worthy of His love, His death, His resurrection. But because of Him, we are given the opportunity to choose to have eternal life with Him someday.
 
I've had people ask me, "How can you believe something that is just so far-fetched?" My answer to them is this: Easy. My faith alone is what trumps my doubts. Let me put it to you this way: can you see the air around you to know that it's there? No, but you just know that it's there, surrounding you and providing the very essential aspect that you need to live. That's what my faith is to me - it's the air in which I need and I trust that it's around me, even though I can't necessarily see it.
 
Happiest of Easter's to you my friends!
 
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rain fall soft upon your fields. May God hold you in the hollow of His hands.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We have an announcement

Wednesday's always bring me so much happiness. It's halfway through the work week, which means I am that much closer to the weekends. Makes sense right? Right. I do have an announcement today but first, I want to take a few moments to let the anticipation build...
 
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Are you chomping at the bit yet to hear this bit of an announcement?

Okay, okay, I give in. Hunter and I are PREGNANT!

 

Crazy right?!?! Oh but wait, there's more....
 
April Fool's
 
Don't freak out Mom and Allison (MIL), we're not expecting. I repeat, WE ARE NOT EXPECTING. Thank you Lord But I just couldn't help myself! Hope ya'll have a great April Fool's Day!

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