Friday, September 16, 2016

Hi from Jodi!

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." 
Matthew 28:19-20

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we also be glorified with him." 
Romans 8:16-17

Hello, friends!

Billy asked me if I was ready to write my first blog post, so here you go! At first I had no idea what to say, but if you know me very well, you know I can't stay quiet for too long...

As of today, I am 2 days from my due date as we prepare to welcome our sweet little Isaac James into our family. Right now it's just a waiting game, and I have to say that I am getting impatient in my waiting! After nearly 10 months of growing and preparing for this child, I'm ready to meet him. We also signed a contract on our house this week after having it listed with a realtor for only 24 hours. Isn't God awesome?! I am daily amazed by how He chooses to provide for us.

Life as we know it right now is a bit crazy. Billy is working hard at the radio station, and during his free time he is working hard to raise support for our pending move and new ministry in Oxford. Ellie Grace is doing very well in 1st grade. She loves her teacher, friends, and school. She is often tired and a bit grumpy or emotional in the evenings.  School is hard work! Will, Matthew, and I spend our days trying to stick to some kind of schedule that we know will change in the next couple of months in some drastic ways.

I share all of that information to say this: There's nothing special about us. Our lives are so very average. I always find myself thinking that there must be something extra special about (other) people that God calls to ministry. They must be super spiritual or have it all together. However, if you read in the Bible about the people that God used to lead people to him, you will notice a trend. They are all sinners unworthy of the grace and favor of God.

I have been studying Paul and his ministry for the last couple of months. It's outstanding! God took a man whose life's goal was to persecute His followers and used him to lead many to Him and plant churches all around the region. His life was far from easy. In fact, God said in Acts 9:15-16 that Paul was a chosen instrument to carry his name to the Gentiles and that he must suffer for the sake of God's name. God was so faithful to Paul, and Paul was full of joy despite his trials.

My prayer as we continue on this journey is that we would be faithful to God's calling. Trials have and will come. We are moving right at the beginning of winter, and it will be a new experience for our family. We are leaving everyone we know. It won't be easy, but I have absolutely no doubt that God will be faithful. So, pray for us. Pray that we will be full of the joy of the Lord despite whatever trials may come. Pray that Ellie transitions well to her new school and is able to make friends. Pray that we are able to get out in the community to meet people. Pray that the hearts of those we meet would be receptive to the life-giving gospel of Christ.

I hope to blog soon about my perspective on reaching people in Oxford. Keep your eyes open for it, but I ask for grace as I have no idea how life will change once Isaac decides to join us! Thank you for going along on this journey with us! It's going to be quite a ride!

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