April First

A few days ago my older sister, Julie, sent me a text message. This is what it said:

I had a former student email me today. She and her husband are currently in the Jackson area, but will be moving to Winston-Salem for him to finish his residency. They are interested in finding a church when they arrive. I told them about y’all’s church and she was interested. Would you give her a call tomorrow on her day off? Her name is Ella Funt and her number is ***-***-****. 

Cold-calling folks is not my cup of tea, but she never asks for too much, so I thought, “Sure. Why not?”
I also thought I was sure glad I don’t have to walk through life with the last name Funt (if anyone’s name is actually Funt, my apologizes for offending you).

Some of you reading this are already laughing. Others, however, are like me. Hang in there…you’ll catch on soon. Hopefully.

The next day I called the number she gave me, but I encountered a couple of problems. 1) It was a business number. 2) I couldn’t understand what the automated message was saying.

I texted Julie.

Me: That’s her work number

Julie: Were you by chance able to talk to her?

Me: (With eyes rolling and a bit of sarcasm) No, you said today was her day off. Do you have her personal number? If not I will call her tomorrow.

Julie: I thought may be she got called in or something. That was the only number she gave.

Me: I’ll try again.

So I try again. Again, I get a somewhat garbled message at the beginning and can’t figure out where I am calling. I begin trying to enter her last name into the automated directory. F-U-N-T. “That name does not exist” Maybe I typed it in wrong. F-U-N-T. “That name does not exist.” So I press “0” trying to get an attendant. Nothing.

I text Julie again.

Me: I can’t find her at this number. I can’t even understand what they are saying on the message. She’s not in the directory.

Julie: That’s weird that you can’t locate Ella Funt at the Jackson Zoo.

And here’s your sign MacKenzie. Here’s your SIGN! If you still haven’t gotten it, run the name together. EllaFunt. Also known as Elephant.

The worst part is that she pulled the same April Fool’s joke on our brother, sister and parents. My mom warned my younger sister. That sister warned my brother. NOBODY WARNED ME. NOBODY. Thanks family.

So, I figured that since the rest of my family is having a good ole laugh at my expense, the rest of the world might as well too.

Your welcome. Now go dry your tears of laughter.
MacKenzie

Open-handed

I’ve been reading through Hebrews lately, and for the last two days I have been stuck in chapter 11. I can’t seem to make it but a few verses at a time before something makes me stop and ponder for a bit.

The first verse that made me stop was verse 8:

By faith <span class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”>Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place <span class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”>that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (emphasis added)

 Genesis 12:1 says it this way:

Now <span class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

Abraham had zero knowledge of where he was going. Zero, zip, zilch, no comprende.

Abraham’s response?

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from <span class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>Haran. (emphasis added)

Abraham went. He said “Yes,” and then God told him where to go.

What a great example of faith, of trusting God even if goes against everything society told him. God had a huge plan that would come through Abraham’s simple act of faith. Through the simple act of going an entire nation came into being and would show the world the glory of God. Through this one man God would make Himself known to the rest of the world. That’s incredible to me. I wonder if Abraham could grasp the magnitude of his obedience, of God telling him he would become the father of a great nation.

Most of us don’t have God telling us the end result of our obedience like Abraham did. We’ll never know the impact our obedience has on other people. The same goes for our disobedience. I hate to think about what my disobedience has cost both me and others.

I’ve written before that at the end of my life I want desperately to be found faithful. I want to walk in obedience, even if that obedience means I do not know what is coming around the corner. But I don’t want my life to just be obedient. I want to be open-handed with my life. Let me explain a bit. I don’t want to be close-fisted with my life, with my decisions, my possessions, my time, etc. I don’t want to hold it all so closely that it is a struggle for me to let it go. Instead I want to be open-handed with it all. Whether it be going across the street, helping someone in great need, or going overseas I don’t want to think twice about it. I don’t want to question. I want to be obedient without argument or doubt.

How I long to walk blindly in faith. To go because God is telling me to go. To not worry about the details. To not agonize over the decision. To not be concerned about what others will think. To just go and do. 

I pray that God leads me to trust Him more and more as I continue to walk the path He has set before me. But even more than that I pray for open-handedness.

A Yelling Update

Here’s some honesty….The yelling ain’t gone so great great the past week or so. Or maybe I should say the lack of yelling.

At times I have been: 
impatient 
overly frustrated
incredibly stressed
angry
to the point of tears
disheveled
exasperated

I was talking to Paul about it the other night, and I confessed that the last week or two I have not been the mom I want to be. I am so afraid that all my kids will know is a mom who is all the things I listed above. That breaks my heart. It makes feel ashamed. It makes me feel embarrassed.  So much so that I don’t even want to spend time with Jesus. I am just too ashamed of my behavior, of not loving two people the way he loves them.

Paul gave me a great outside look into the situation. He said, “I’ve noticed you’ve been saying ‘No’ a lot to the kids lately.”

I thought about what he was saying. He was absolutely, 100% right. All the kids had heard me saying was “NO! NO! NO!”

Then I realized I  was telling them “No” because I had a bunch of things I was trying to do. I had a check list in my mind of things that needed to get done and by-golly they were going to get done.
That’s part of who I am…I am a doer. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It is who God made me.

But I was so busy doing things for my kids that I stopped spending time with my kids.

What I was doing weren’t bad things. They are things that have to be done. Washing their clothes, making them food, giving them baths, cleaning at least one bottom. But in all that I failed to read to them, make play dough sculptures, color, watch a movie, pretend to be a dinosaur or ninja turtle, or enjoy a make-believe cup of coffee.

I was just too busy doing.

My doing for my kids reminded me that I can get too busy doing things for God to the point that I forget to just be with Him. And that’s what He desires. Me to be in relationship with Him. He wants my heart. From the beginning of scripture to the end He communicates this…it is our heart He longs for. How many times do I push off spending that intimate time with Him because I am busy doing things for other people (all in His name of course 😉 ) or maybe from being tired from all the doing? Sometimes the doing has to stop, even for a few minutes, so that I can refocus and all God to take hold of my heart again.

This leads me back to my kids.

When I am so busy doing things for my kids, and even for God, I tend to forget to be the hands and feet of God to them. I cease to live out the Gospel in front of them. My focus in on other things, not bad things in and of themselves, but when they consume me they transition from being good to bad. Paul and I are our children’s primary teachers of Jesus because we spend more time with them than anyone else. Out of the two of us, I spend more time with them because I am home with them all day. They will learn how God loves them by the way I love them. What if they think God is too busy for them because Mommy is too busy for them? What if they think God is a mean tyrant who will yell at them for any and every mistake because Mommy yells at them over the simplest thing? What if they think God is an angry God because Mommy is an angry mommy?

I’m not trying to give myself an overdose of control over my children’s lives. But I do know that our upbringing shapes who we are and how we respond to things. I know that God can work despite me and my bad parenting days. I know He can work through the issues they are going to have because of mistakes I make in parenting them. But I don’t want them to think that He is too busy, angry, and unforgiving.

So this week I am taking more time to play and inviting the kids to help out with tasks that have to be done. So far (granted it’s only Tuesday) we’re having a great week. As a result, I am not only closer to the kids but also to Jesus.

When We All Get To Heaven

From BiVo by Hugh Halter

The scriptures say that we might be told, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,’ which also suggests that Jesus can also give us the thumbs down for how we had lived life and managed the tasks he had ordained for us to do.
 I’ve often thought about this moment and I’ve decided I don’t care f Jesus says, “Halter, you were awesome, the best one I’ve ever seen.” I’d settle for, “Halter, you were a blast to watch!” I’m not looking for an A-rating, but I certainly don’t want to have him say, “Hugh…I modeled true leadership, I gave you clear instructions to make disciples or apprentices of my kingdom, but intend you wasted your time managing church services, consumer Christians, and worrying about all sorts of things I never asked you to do….All I asked you to do was make people who looked, smelled, and acted like I did.

This paragraph has been in my mind for the last two weeks, and it has taken me two weeks to wrap my mind around it, come to grips with it, and to gather my thoughts enough to write about it.

Then today I read this in Restless by Jennie Allen:

But I can tell you that at the end of our lives, when we stand before God, these are the only things that will matter: 
Did I do what God wanted me to be doing while I was here?
Did I complete the works he had for me?
Did I fulfill my purposes in my generation?
So instead of waiting until we’re standing in God’s throne room, let’s work backward and ask those questions now. Let’s live them today. Not for a salvation that can be earned, but in response to a God who built and rescued us as a part of his great purpose. 

I’ve often thought about seeing Jesus. It is a wonderfully sweet thought. However, my thoughts have always stopped there. I’ve never really considered what he will say to me. I am a little afraid of what that will be at this point. I think overall I have lived an incredibly selfish life. I have allowed my insecurities and fears to hold me back, never understanding that in my weaknesses He is strong. I have been consumed with things inside the church instead of outside of it.

I am no longer satisfied to live my life so that it is centered around Sunday morning, focused on myself, and full of excuses and fears. I am ready to tell God, “Finally, I am all in, even the parts of me that are afraid and even my many weaknesses.” Honestly, though, saying that makes me a little bit nervous. Not about what he is going to ask of me, but rather that I will fail to do it, reverting back to my old ways and habits.

However, I know that deep in my soul I long for more, more than what I’ve always done, more than a life of ease that makes sense not only to me but to those around me.

When I get to heaven and stand in front of Jesus I want him to say that I completed the works he had for me to do, that I loved as he loved, and that I did what he asked of me without excuses. I want to be found faithful.

Lessons from Children

We had beautiful weather here yesterday, so I decided to stroll the kids down to the grocery store to get some diapers for Lil’ Paul and then across the street to Tart Sweets, a neighborhood bakery. Little did I know what would happen when we entered the store.

Before I continue with the story of events that occurred yesterday I need to explain to you that my children have their father’s extravertedness (I think I just made up a word, but let’s go with it, okay). Gingernut more so than Lil’ Paul; however, Lil’ Paul will follow Gingernut’s lead. If she starts gabbing away with someone he will join suit. I love this about them, absolutely love it.

Back to our story.

While eating her chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream icing and rainbow sprinkles, she asked, “Where’s the lady?”(meaning the lady who sold us the cupcakes and is also the owner)

“She’s sitting down working,” I said.

“I’m right here,” said the lady.

“Mommy, can I go talk to her?” Gingernut asked.

“Sure,” I said.

Gingernut proceeded to enter into a conversation with the lady for the remainder of our time there. She told her about the Ninja Turtle pancakes we make (they are just colored pancakes, but they make Gingernut happy). She also invited her over to eat them. During the conversation we exchanged names and had great conversation all because a four-year-old and then a two-year-old began talking to someone they did not know, who had sold them a great tasting cupcake. In fact, before we left Gingernut told the lady she loved her.

I think we’ll go back…and continue to build on a new relationship that was started by my children.

Paul picked us up from the bakery because I didn’t want to push the stroller uphill the mile back home and we went downtown to serve the homeless a meal and then help them check into the shelters they would be staying at for the night.

Gingernut and Lil’ Paul were amazing. As soon as we arrived Gingernut wanted to walk around to meet people. She engaged others in conversation, played tag with them, and served people napkins and hotdogs. Lil’ Paul warmed up quickly to everyone, playing tag and helping pass out food.

As I watched them, I couldn’t help but think about when Christ tells us when we have given food and drink to the least of these, we have given to him. I thought about how Christ tells us to care for those who can’t take care of themselves. I thought about how he dealt among those that others considered lowly, and I watched in amazement as my children played with, served, and talked to people that society today considers lowly.

They loved blindly, without prejudice, with the innocence that comes with childhood.

But isn’t that how we all should love? Isn’t that how Christ loved?

Last night my children did not see people’s condition and all the things that the rest of us think go with it. They saw people, and they treated them as such.

My children are teaching me many things: to speak to those I don’t know, to invite people into our lives, and most importantly to love with as Christ loved.

When he is 13

Lil’ Paul has been keeping odd hours the last week or so…except for tonight. Tonight he was passed out on my shoulder at 6:00, which means he should be up by 4:30 in the morning. Other than tonight he has been staying up late, wanting to sit in my lap and watch the Olympics…well, he just asks to watch TV, the Olympics happen to be on. He has been waking by 5:00am.

Folks, that’s early for a two year old to rise and shine.

There are nights when I just want him to go to bed because I have a list of things that I need to get done before I fall out from sheer exhaustion. There are many mornings when I groan because he has awoken before the sun yet again. The mornings are when I wake and have my time that is just mine. It’s when I seek out Jesus, when I can be still and quiet with him.

However, in the midst of the desires to have some alone time or even productive time, I have to remind myself that I will not get this time back.

Yesterday morning, as I was holding Lil’ Paul who had beckoned me from a deep slumber by the cries of “Momma, hold you” at 5:13 AM, I couldn’t help but think of all the things that he does now that he will not let me do or do himself when he is…oh, say 13.

When Lil’ Paul is 13 he won’t cuddle up with me in the morning, sipping on his milk, slowly rendering me bald as he plays with my hair.

When he is 13 he won’t give me sweet little kisses on each side of my cheek. He also probably won’t try to lick my face, which will be a plus to his growing older.

When he is 13 he won’t want me to sing him to sleep and sing along to “Edelwiess”, “It is Well With My Soul”, “Jesus Loves Me” and “Oh How He Loves Us”.

When he is 13 the won’t tackle me with the hugeness of his hugs. This is one I hope doesn’t change.  Hugs are my favorite.

When he is 13 he won’t bury his little face in my shoulder as he snuggles when he is tired.

When he is 13 he won’t run to door when he sees me come in from the hour I was away from him.

When he is 13 he won’t make silly faces, sending Gingernut and myself reeling with laughter.

When he is 13 he won’t fall asleep in my arms, giving me that sweet moment to look in to his face, give him a dozen soft kisses and dream about how God will use him.

When he is 13 he won’t reach up to take my hand in his, and if he does that hand won’t be so little anymore.

When he is 13 I imagine I will still see that sweet little boy who played with my hair as he drank his milk in the early morning hours.

So tomorrow, and in the days that follow, I’ll cherish it all…even the hair pulling moments.

Keep Making Me

The kids are at a The Fierce Beagle‘s house this morning. We switch up watching each other’s kids so the other one can have a little break. Best idea she’s had. 

When I got back home from dropping off the kids I put on iTunes radio. While going about picking up the house a song came on that made me stop in the middle of my dining room. I stopped, listened, and entered into worship of my King. Just me and Him, with me crying out within my heart as the words sang out around me. 

Below is the link to hear the song and the lyrics. 

The Song “Keep Making Me”

Keep Making Me – by Sidewalk Prophets 

Make me broken
So I can be healed
‘Cause I’m so calloused
And now I can’t feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty
So I can be filled
‘Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed 
When You are with me 
Make me empty

Chorus
‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

The To-Dos of Everyday Life

Do you make to-do lists?

I live by them, whether they are written down or just in my head. I really like writing them down though because then I get to mark through them when the task is done. This gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing what drawing a line through “iron clothes” can do for my psyche.

When I don’t write my to-do list down, I am usually a little less accomplished. The following is an example of what will happen.

I’ll go to the kitchen to start breakfast. I realize not all the dishes were washed the night before so I will wash up first. Then I will see the toys scattered around the kitchen floor and put those away. The kids will begin complaining they are hungry and I will remember about breakfast. After breakfast I will begin clearing the table, only to be told by Gingernut that she needs help in the bathroom. I go help her out and after we’re all done figure I might as well get the kids dressed and ready for the day while they are in their rooms and in close proximity to the bathroom. Thirty minutes later I will remember the dishes from breakfast need putting in the dishwasher. On my way back to the kitchen I will want to brush my teeth really quick and have a bathroom break because I haven’t had one since 5:00 A.M. and well, my bladder is about to explode. Then, I will finally make it to the kitchen to clean up only to be bothered by the cat who feels as though I did not give him enough food that morning and should top his bowl off. I will spill cat food on the floor, which I will begin to clean up. I will look around the rest of the floor – specifically that section under the table. Realizing that it looks like we ate on the floor instead of the table that morning I will sweep up that mess. I’ll see the candle on the table and think about how I should light it to make the house smell nice. On the way to get the lighter I will notice the how nasty the rug is and go vacuum it. I will remember the dishes in the sink and go BACK to the kitchen to clean up but by this time it is snack time so I have to stop to get the kids food. At some point I will light the candle.

It’s only 10:00 people. That’s 10:00 A.M.

And so my day goes if I haven’t written things down.

But whether my tasks for the day are written down or in my head, my days can fill up with the busyness that days fill up with. It’s not bad things. The kitchen has to be cleaned. We have to eat. We all need clean underwear…except Lil’ Paul who is in the process of transitioning to underwear. So now, I also add to my list of things to do cleaning up pee from the floor.

Six months ago I would let that busyness keep me from stopping and being at rest in order to have some time that is just for me and Jesus. The dirty laundry would tease me that it was now piled taller than me. The toys scattered on the floor would laugh at my attempt to keep them in the place. The soap scum in the bathtub would sneer at me as it built up thicker than the six inches of snow we are about to get tomorrow.

But thanks to some convicting of the Holy Spirit and wonderful words written by friends I began to ignore the teasing, laughing and sneering of the things in my home that needed doing and to be still for a bit with the Lord. My heart began to change and it soon required little effort to not do everything that needed doing before I sat with Him. I began to not just need Him, but to long for Him, to come to Him with anticipation of what He would show me that day.

However, I have failed to ignore all the callings of the to-do list to spend more time playing with my children. It’s not that I don’t want to play with them. I just know how much needs to be done and the kids end up taking a back seat so very often. What I need to realize though is they need me to play with them. They need me to read a book to them. They need me to eat a snack with them. They need me to teach them.

I’m not saying that I ignore them. Quite the opposite, they get 95% or more of my attention. But what kind of attention am I giving them? This is the question that I am pondering and doing battle with. Instead of having a mom who was in the kitchen all the time, I would rather Gingernut and Lil’ Paul have a mom who let them help bake cookies with her in that kitchen. I don’t want to give them what is left over of me at the end of the day. I want them to have the best of me. I think when I do that consistently it will become easier to not fold the clothes so I can play Candyland, to not clean the kitchen for the fifth time that day to put together a puzzle.

And I will begin to look forward to doing those things with anticipation.

MacKenzie

Side Effects

A few weeks ago I wrote about yelling and how I am trying to kick yelling out the door of our home. Let’s add to that sassy pants, attitude, and grunting. Bear with me folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Tonight, I want to share a side effect of being more intentional with how I speak and interact with my children.  By being kinder to my children, I am becoming kinder to my husband. Shut the front door!

And you know what else? We spend more time together…more time talking, laughing, joking around, talking about Godly things, and the general hanging out. It’s been unbelievable. He wants to spend time with me!

Why has this side effect occurred?

I have a theory, which stems from the wisdom of God.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25
As I mentioned in the post about yelling, when I yell I have stress, frustration, and anxiety. However, when good words flow from me, I am glad…interesting how that works.

“A soft answer turns away wrath; but a harsh word stirs up anger” Proverbs 15:1
Harsh words stir up anger not only toward my children but also my husband…all innocent bystanders of a woman who can’t rein it in and control her angry emotions. Poor Paul gets the brunt of it, and a lot of times he doesn’t even know it. It’s rantings in my head directed at him. Poor guy.
I wonder if Solomon was directing the “wrath” and “anger” at the person giving the “answer” and “word”.  It changes the proverb a bit, doesn’t it? Instead of a soft answer turning away someone else’s wrath, it turns away my own. Instead of hard words stirring up anger in someone else, they stir up anger in myself.

“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”
This needs no explanation.

“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.”
Hmmm…I really don’t want my house to be described as a “desert land”.

Why is my husband responding to me differently? I truly believe it is believe God is changing me from the inside out. I am not quite as anxious anymore. I speak kinder to the children and him. I am less quarrelsome and fretful. I readily admit that perfection has not been achieved, folks. Not even close. Just this past week…forget last week, today…I had a moment where I just completely broke down because one of the children would not put clothes on. I was in a hurry. We had places to go and people to see. And I couldn’t handle the frustration that came with my child wanting to play instead of change clothes. Sheesh! And because I did not control my feelings, anxiety came in and began to weigh me down. Harsh words began to raise their ugly heads.

So, is it going perfectly? Well, no. No it is not. However, sanctification is a process. A beautiful, hard,  some painful, joyful, send me to my knees process.
And I am learning that the side effects of that process are sweet beyond reason.

MacKenzie

An Unexpected Surprise

Ok, so the title is slightly misleading.

A couple of days ago my friend, Sharon, called to let me know she and her husband, Vince, were sending us a package.

Today it arrived.

When we pulled out the box inside the shipping box, our eyes widened.

Paul: “No way!”
Me: “That’s not what is actually inside the box.”
Paul: “I bet it is.”
Me: “No, no it’s not. It’s probably the only box she could find.”

As Paul began to open up the box, I fully expected to see our favorite candy, a movie, maybe a book or two.

I was wrong.

And it pains me not at all to say that Paul was right.

Their gift rendered us speechless, and it also brought forth many tears. It was a huge thing for them to give us.

It got me to thinking today about who they are and what they have meant to us over the years.

You may have heard me talk about them or read about them on the blog. I talked about Vince and Sharon Rice a fair amount. Why wouldn’t I? They have shaped so much of how I think, what I do, and why I do it.

Vince and Sharon have taught me how to give generously. They themselves are generous to a fault, if that is possible. It is not something they do, but part of who they are. Our gift is but a small drop in the bucket of their generosity to others.

Vince and Sharon have taught me over the years how to move forward in my relationship with Jesus. Whether it is learning how to spend quiet, sweet time with Christ or stopping the busyness of my life to focus on what it important, they have helped me mature into a closer, more in love with Jesus disciple.

Vince and Sharon are disciples in every sense of the word. They are 100% in love with Jesus, and they follow Him with everything in them. That is contagious. They have multiplied their small group numerous times, and each of them is filled with people who have been influenced by how Vince and Sharon live daily for Christ. Their legacy is one that will live on far after they see Jesus’ face.

Vince and Sharon love people. They go around the world to help people, love people, take care of people, care for people, mourn with people, share hope with people. They do the same at home. They are the hands and feet to the world around them, to their sphere of influence. This is something they taught me. Who is in my sphere of influence and am I being Christ to them? It changed my way of thinking and how I live my life.

Vince and Sharon serve others. They give of their time, their money, their energy, their home…everything. A great example of this occurred when I was going through the deep darkness that was my morning sickness with Lily while living in Naples. My mom could not come over until the summer. Paul called Sharon and Vince to ask if Sharon could come over. She would have to pay for her own ticket. She would have to find someone to cover her responsibilities at church. She would have to travel alone. She came. She read the bible to me because it made the nausea worse if I read myself. She cooked for Paul. She cleaned the apartment. She held my hand. She served us, as did Vince by giving up time with his wife so she could be with us in during a really difficult time.

Vince and Sharon are humble. I imagine when they read this Sharon will shake her head and say something like, “We don’t deserve all those things to be said about us. We’re just being obedient.” I imagine her saying it because I have heard her say it. That’s the way they view everything they do. They are being obedient. It is nothing great about them, but Christ through them. They will tell you they struggle, sometimes with the same issues over and over. They are honest about their lives, never putting on “airs” or pretending that everything is ok. They are so very honest, and have taught me how to live an honest, authentic life.

We met Vince and Sharon at 121 Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas. They were our door greeters and wrote our names on a name tag. They later became our small group leaders. From there they became our friends, our mentors, our disciplers, our encouragers, our shoulders to lean on, our discipliners. All we did was walk through a door of a church one day.

What an unexpected surprise.

Thankful for friends who are family,
MacKenzie