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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sick Days

Have ya'll ever been struck down with cold-like symptoms so fast that you honestly thought you were dying? Yea? No? Me neither...

Maybe dying is an exaggeration but it sure does feel like my throat is being scraped with rusty nails. Lovely depiction there, I know. So as I sit here poppin' pills and paying bills (because #payday #praiseJesus), I realized that we have a busy few months ahead of us. Exciting things, folks!

one:// This weekend, our youth will be assisting in church cleanup for our upcoming Homecoming event at the church. We're celebrating 150 years of life. Look at little ole Antioch being a party animal!

two:// Shameless plug here - We've got quite a few fundraisers coming up to help raise money for our students to go to FUGE camp again next summer. Remember all the fun we had this past summer? If you are wanting to help us, we would love prayers! Prayers that our students' hearts will be molded and softened until it's time for us to leave again in July. Prayers that God will provide for each and every student that wants to go, to have the opportunity to. If you would like to donate to our camp fund, check out our account at Go Fund Me. Thank in advance for all the support and love!

three:// I realized last night that Hunter and I sort of, need to, gotta make plans for Thanksgiving. It'll be here before we know it!

four:// I'm trying to figure out how to construct (not buy) a wheel that will spin and land on different things. At our Fall Festival coming up at the end of October, the youth will have a booth to raise money for camp (I know, imagine that). I want to do a carnival type theme and basically you can spin the wheel to land prizes. One of them being the opportunity to smack their youth pastor (Hunter, not me) in the face with some good ole pie.

five:// Anybody have any training recommendations for a stubborn blue tick hound that refuses to use the bathroom all day when he's outside and then come in to promptly hike his leg on my rug? Yes, we could take him to the front yard once we get home but that requires us monitoring him and making sure he doesn't terrorize the neighborhood kids because #thatsfun. He's doing this on purpose too, he's mad about something because he's only started this in the last couple of days. Not freakin' happenin' captain. I've already told Hunter, unless we move somewhere with land, no more big dogs! That hate rampage only lasts for about 10 seconds then I'm right back to loving on Jep. 5-second rebound woman right here.

You can't help but love that face

And then there's our perfect child. Except for when it comes to door frames. And blinds.

Have a beautiful Wednesday my friends! I'm about to go pop more pills, lay in bed all day, and watch Pretty Little Liars. I know, I'm ashamed I've allowed myself to become addicted to this mess.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Gratefulness + #WDE

What an amazing weekend! Hunter and I were able to escape life for a bit and spend time with family, friends, football, etc. It. Was. Glorious!

 We traveled north a few hours to see family in Georgia, and then partook in tailgating all day Saturday for the Auburn football game that night #wde. Sunday was spent with them in their beautiful church plant and lunch afterwards.

 Guys, ya'll know how there are those godly folks that just exude His grace and love, and you can't get enough of it? That's my uncle, aunt, and their kids. Hunter and I love talking ministry with them.
Their church is inside an old cotton mill - that's right, you don't have to have church in a "church"

I'm so grateful for those rejuvenating weekends with family that really just re-jumpstart your soul. It's the late-night theological discussions, the BBQ dinner that was to die for, an all-day low country boil because that's how we tailgate, the Sunday morning worship that allows me to be with God one-on-one. Ya'll, that's some good stuff right there.
Tell me, did you have a glorious weekend?
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Q & A Time

So a couple of weeks ago, I shared with all you lovely folks (mostly gals, except for my ever-faithful-of-a-fan husband) that Hunter has decided to accept God's calling for his life to go into the world of ministry as a career. I'm, of course, tickled to death and at the same time realizing that I probably need to work on my too-honest attitude... Ha! Who am I kidding.
Anyways, after making that exciting announcement, I thought how nice it would be to have a little Q&A with the hubs because le duh, who doesn't want to know more about somebody else's life #bloggerprobs. Without further ado, let's welcome Hunter!

During a game at camp this past summer
Me: Thanks for stopping by today babe! Welcome to my humble abode of the interwebs. I know you're a huge fan.
Hunter: Well thanks for having me!
Me: Let's hop to it. So you've decided to go into ministry as a career. What does that look like for you right now?
Hunter: Ministry, right now in my life, looks like loving on people wherever I'm at. And sharing the love of the Lord in where He has placed me.
Me: Are you excited? Nervous? Be honest, it is the internet after all....
Hunter: Both because of the unknown.
Me: You're no stranger to judgment when it comes to changing your life for the better. What can you say to those who have changed their lives to follow Jesus, and are being judged by family/friends/etc.?
Hunter: Jesus tells those that want to follow Him that the world hated Him first. So because they hated Him first, they will hate you too. Jesus warns us from the very get-go to count the costs that it takes when you decide to take your cross up daily. Casual Christianity (just going to church to warm that pew on Sunday and Wednesday's, be a part of something to get that checkmark, etc.) needs to stop now.
Me: In your mind, what does it take to be a great leader in the world of ministry?
Hunter: To put others first, yourself last. You need to understand, biblically, what it means to serve others and to follow the Lord's example. Let me put it this way, if Jesus could wash the nasty feet of His disciples, you can serve others. If He took the wrath of our sin, you can serve others.
Me: You've been a youth pastor for some time now. What is something that you've realized or learned about being in the presence of teenagers?
Hunter: Teenagers are people too. They have real problems just like adults and they need someone to talk to, or listen to. Be real with them and they will be real with you.
Me: Lastly, anything you want to share with all my readers? (Except don't share with them how I wake up every morning in a state of total confusion and I "look like a baby fawn opening its eyes up for the first time" - his words - because ain't nobody got time for that)
Hunter: Thank you to everybody for the support! Peace out.
There ya have it folks! The mysterious pastor husband of mine. What can I say, there's really not much he can't do that just doesn't make me melt.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Grateful + Memories

As I was sitting on my couch the other evening, I was immediately struck with a blog post that I had written some time last year, before we were married. I knew I had to find it because I wanted to reflect on where we were (pre-marriage) and where we are now, almost celebrating 1 year. To catch ya'll up to speed with me, here is the post I had written back in July 2014:
In the midst of all our times together, and leading up to the wedding, it's been exciting and an honor to watch Hunter grow.

Over 3 years ago, I was so smitten by his sweet smile, his caring heart, and his southern ways. He had stolen my heart early on. As our time together grew and we began to learn more about each other, it was when he fully decided to follow Christ that I just fell head over heels in love with him.

Don't get me wrong, I was in love with him before he decided to follow whole-heartedly his Savior. But once Hunter made that decision to walk in the Spirit, I had never experienced a love and respect for somebody as deep as I did for him.

I'm talking gut-wrenching admiration for a man that I didn't know was possible. Because he was adament in loving like Christ did, loving him became so easy. And amazingly, that love and respect only deepens with each passing breath.

For me, the latest song by Lee Brice called "I Don't Dance" reminds me so much of Hunter's journey over the last 3 years. He used to be hard-headed, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. A guy that loved, but with reservations. He'll be the first to admit that, in essence, he "didn't dance."
I’ll never settle down,
That’s what I always thought
Yeah, I was that kind of man,
just ask anyone
As we have grown closer over the years, and as he learned to trust and love like Christ, his heart melted and he opened up. It was inspiring and still is to this day, and moves me in so many ways to be a better woman.
Thank you Lord for loving my husband-to-be so much that you changed his heart. Thank you Lord for bringing a man into my life that loves me just as you want him to. Thank you Lord for our every day struggles, triumphs, and dreams because we're experiencing them together.
I thank God EVERY DAY for Hunter's life intertwining with mine, and for allowing me to be a part of his.
Love’s never come my way,
I’ve never been this far
Cause you took these two left feet
And waltzed away with my heart

Hunter, for a man that never danced, it's been a blessing dancing with you. I cannot wait to dance away the rest of our lives. I love you.
Wow, that brings back so many memories and all I can do is smile. And just be so grateful for all that God has blessed me with. I am not worthy of anything, especially His love and grace. But gosh dang it, He gave it to me and you and all of us so freely; what a concept! Happy Monday folks :)

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey


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Friday, September 18, 2015

Horace + Bessie

Last night, a group of gals from work and I were able to spend some time together over yummy Chick-fil-A and an art class. In the art class, we were able to choose various designs of pre-cut sheet metal to paint. I chose the reindeer and had so much fun decorating him! Everyone, meet Horace, our Christmas reindeer that will make his presence on our front door in a couple of months.
The front of the shop houses repurposed things for purchasing. So when I was browsing around, I saw this beauty and immediately fell in love. Everyone, meet Bessie, the cutest stinkin' painting of a cow. She currently is hanging in our living room, watching over us.
You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of her
Happy Friday folks! Fun nights with friends, laughing over dinner and our efforts to be artistic, and just knowing that you work with a great group of ladies is so rewarding and humbling. Enjoy your weekend!
**To my local folks, go check out Miss Mandy's - the store itself is fabulous! The art classes are so worth every penny.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Currently + Kelly style

Happy Wednesday to all you lovely folks! Wipe those eye boogers from your eyes and put that smile on, it's a new day. I'm playing a bit of catch-up here today so let's make this a relaxed get-together, shall we?
reading:// Spiritual Leadership - it's a book about leadership and the skills one must be endowed with to be able to lead effectively and with purpose. It's really good so far!
eating:// Don't judge me, there were leftover donuts and cinnamon bread. I'm having one of each....
thinking:// I cannot wait to see my babies {fur babies} tonight! Oh how I've missed them. I'm also picking my mom up tonight and taking her to dinner as a thank-you for watching our babies all week long. Poor thing, she's had a crazy week.
how can you not love this face?!
thanking:// God that we had a wonderful 4 days with the boys we've been watching. I was actually sad this morning to see them off to school, knowing it was my last morning to wake them up. We're definitely up for doing it all again!
planning:// our Disney trip! We're about 1.5 months away from celebrating 1 year of marriage at the happiest place on earth. I just squealed typing that.
loving:// my husband. He's really the best.

Uh le duh, who else would be on my phone screen?

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Gratefulness + All BOY

Did I throw ya'll off with that last part of the title (All BOY)? Nope, no secret pregnancy here. Plus, if/when we do get pregnant we're all about that let's-wait-til-the-kid-arrives-to-know-the-gender.
Sorry family...
Instead, Hunter and I are spending the next few days with some pretty awesome sauce kids and you guessed it... All BOYS! Good friends of ours (hi Gretchen and Lem) are celebrating their anniversary at the happiest place of all (hellur Disney, we'll be seeing you next month) and Hunter and I have happily taken on the parenting role to not just 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 amazing boys! I'm sorely outnumbered right now ha!

In all honesty, we have enjoyed being with them so much. I'm so grateful that we have the
opportunity to really get to hang out with them and practice our parenting skills. It's also pretty awesome that we're being trusted with 4 little humans and the parsonage... Ha! We won't burn it down, promise.

PS - Hunter, you will be an awesome daddy one day.
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Where were you?

Hey God,
Thank you another day of life! Thank you for waking us up to be able to do your work. God, just thank you.
God, please forgive me for my sins. I'm sorry for the words I've said that cut you deep, the thoughts that broke your heart. Please break my heart for what breaks yours.
My prayer today is for our nation - a broken nation at that. There's so much hatred, divide, and evilness amongst our great states. God, I pray for peace. Please don't give up on those who continue to spit in your face, reject your name, and deny your truth. Please, God, don't let go of our nation just yet.
God I pray for healing, not just for now, but for a continued healing as we will always remember September 11th as one of the scariest days of our lives. Thank you for reminding us of your grace and mercies, and that each day is made new only by you.
For a nation that has pulled you continuously out of everything, I pray that your name be made known. God I pray that your gracious love will come crashing down on this world so hard, that it'll rattle people to their very core.
I pray all of these things in Jesus' name,

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Paving a {New} Way

One of the many joys in marriage is being able to watch your spouse succeed in different areas of life. I have to take a hot minute and just brag about Hunter: Not only does he work full-time at a "real job" (whatever the heck that means), but he's also a full-time (not paid) youth pastor, and going to school. Plus being a married man, a fur-baby daddy, and then there's the whole thing of having friends and family to spend time with.
I mean, the guy is freakin' incredible in my opinion.
When one has a plate that full, he/she certainly wants to utilize time in the most efficient way. School hasn't always been Hunter's most favorite thing to do simply because he wasn't sure what he wanted to study. Call him funny, but he wasn't all about spending that money for something that wasn't what he wanted to do. Can't say I blame him.
I've watched Hunter over the last year or so really begin to open up to the idea of going to school for ministry. Now don't get me wrong - we love what we do and the youth ministry that we're in. But Hunter really wanted to be sure that that was something God was calling him to do, and not just something for him to do. Get what I'm saying? Let me spell it out - Ministry is one of the most demanding and rewarding jobs all rolled into one happy bubble. Thus, if you go into ministry with the wrong attitude (aka go into it because you just "felt like it") then it's going to be a long ride friend.
Hunter and I always laugh when people ask about our ministry - it never stops. You're on call 24/7, 365 days a year. Not that we don't love it, but Hunter knew that if God was calling him to pursue ministry as a career that we (team effort here) would be in for a ride.
After so much praying, conversations with his mentors and fellow pastor friends, odd experiences that really were God-orchestrated, Hunter has accepted his calling to go into ministry. I can honestly say I never saw myself being a "pastor's wife" but I'm beyond thrilled for him. God is good, God is sovereign, and God will prevail.
Hunter has been taking a few steps before going into ministry school next year to really begin to lay the foundation for His work. It's been so fun watching him grow and change, and really accept what God has planned for him. I just ask that ya'll would continue to pray for Hunter as he goes through this journey. Pray that he's accepted into the school his heart desires (Baptist College of Florida, can I get an amen?!). And pray that through all of this, no matter what, God's name is exalted in the highest.
Guess I'd better step up my game as a pastor's wife, eh?!
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor{less} Day

Happy Monday (Tuesday)! If I keep telling myself that it's Monday then when Friday actually rolls around, I'll be all like, "Oh it's only Thursday..." and you lovely folks will say, "No Kelly. It's Friday!" And it'll be like Christmas came early. Mind games, people.
I sure hope many of ya'll were able to enjoy the 3-day weekend like we did. We spent time with friends, celebrated birthday's, and stayed in our pj's until we had to absolutely leave the house. Having that opportunity to just be, was glorious.

It's those moments of just being that I'm so grateful for. Just being in the moment, being with people I love. These don't get to happen too often so I tend to hold tight to them and allow them to linger just a bit longer. It makes getting up and coming back into work on rainy day just that much easier.

Happy {Monday} folks!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Glass House

As a Christ follower, I know that I am constantly watched by all those around me. I know that I'm being watched to see how I react to certain things, what I say, and sometimes, I know I'm being watched to see when I fail.
We should all be pretty familiar now with the whole Josh Duggar drama that's been swirling around the last several weeks. I'm not going to go into detail about the events, nor will I state whether I agree with one side of the argument or other (because honestly, I have better things in my life to discuss rather than someone else's mistakes), but I do want to hit on something. Josh Duggar and his family were placed under major scrutiny from the very beginning of their time in media simply because of their faith. Plain and simple.
Tim Tebow was scorned, and still is completely disrespected, mocked, and ridiculed simply because of his faith. Don't believe me? Just find a couple of articles and there will be mention of his faith. And what's even worse, there are those that are hoping he fails at something in life (other than football - not saying he has) so that they can string him high upon the cross.
It's a disgusting and sad world we live in.
But! Jesus warned us from the get go that if we take up our crosses daily, we will surely be mocked, hated, scorned, and even killed for our faith. So I can't say that we weren't "told ya so".
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26 ESV
Hunter and I strive daily to teach our students how to lead by example; we aim to walk the walk and talk the talk simply because we know that we're being watched, not just by our students but even by family, friends, and the community. Do we get it right every time? Heck no, but we make a conscientious effort to live as Christ would. So let me pose this question to you:
Are you walking the walk and talking the talk?
Don't quote scripture one minute and then use awful words to tear somebody down on social media.
Don't pray for someone and then immediately turn around and slander their name just to appease your sinful nature.
Don't lie with your wife/husband at night but then lust over the opposite sex all throughout the day.
Don't take pictures with inappropriate poses (read: flipping the bird at the camera) and thinking it's all cute and fun. It's not cute, trust me.
Are we all going to be perfect in our daily walk and talk? Lord no, and that's why we have the grace that Jesus so perfectly gave us on the cross so that when we do fall short, we can pick ourselves back up and move forward. The whole process is sanctification. Look it up and start living it.

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