merry merry christmas!

we have had an amazing two days celebrating christmas at elevation church! i love love my church and would have no other place we would rather be! its been a busy two days, but i have enjoyed every minute of it. and the kids have too! what an honor to have a front row seat to the amazing things God is doing in my church! i love it!

it is christmas eve and i am waiting on the kids to fall fast asleep so i can begin to wrap their presents, nothing like waiting to the last minute, huh?

i just wanted to wish each an everyone of you a very merry christmas! i hope that you enjoy celebrating the true meaning of the season.

i may post some christmas pics and a short post here and there... but i will be taking a little blogging break until the new year! wow! 2010 is just around the corner!!


psalm 126:3

the Lord has been good to us and we are filled with joy!
psalm 126:3

our christmas card

if you are anything like me, you probably don't have much time to read long posts if any at all, so i have been trying and will continue to keep mine short and sweet. this one is a little lengthy, but it does have a point!

from this weekend forward, it is going to be the last stretch of the race for me, as i am sure it is going to be for you as well. it has been a busy week (busy month!) and this next week will be too! we have a lot of fun things going on this weekend and this week, i am looking forward to all of it. but i know it is going to be lightning speed from here on out. honestly, i am really looking forward to getting to christmas day and just enjoying our family. until then, i will be hanging on while this week flies by and trying to keep the true meaning of christmas at the heart of it all.

i think i told you before i knew that before we even started this month, we had literally two, yes only two days, that we had nothing scheduled. the first day was during the first week of the month. the second day was this past thursday. and that quickly changed!

i will back up to tuesday, when my sister called me to let me know that she was scheduling a hair appointment for me on thursday morning for my christmas present. i was soooo excited. she even arranged for childcare for my kiddos who would be home that morning. so thursday morning started out with a much needed haircut - i am so grateful that my sister thought of that for me! that afternoon, i found out that our good friend's were in need of prayer and encouragement. so that evening, jamil went over to their home with a group of other men from our church and they prayed for this special family. both great things but our one remaining free day wasn't free anymore.

on thursday, jesiah and jaelyn both started running fevers again. i started to realize that my plans for the next day would probably change. i had a babysitter lined up so that i could go out for the day and knock out all our christmas shopping without kids. on friday morning, which i might add was miserable weather wise (freezing rain and very cold), both kids were still feeling yucky and running fevers. so, i had to cancel our babysitter and began calling our doctor's. finally, i got threw, two hours later, because their phones were down,and got sick appointments for them. i most certainly would have rather been shopping than taking my kids to the doctors. as much as i love our pediatricians, i was ready to get the shopping done!

i must say i was pretty stressed out about the change in plans. i had no idea how it would all get done. i was also stressed out to have to pay nearly two hundred dollars in copays and prescriptions. but my kids were sick and i had to do it. jesiah had a sinus infection and jaelyn had an ear infection. i was in a pretty grumpy mood because of all of this.

friday. was also our ten year anniversary (which i have failed to post about like i said, ooops) and everything was going wrong. by late afternoon, i knew i had to stop stressing out and change my attitude! that was when i realized that i could still do my shopping online and it would get here by christmas (hopefully ;) so, my mother in law took the three big kids to her house for the evening. jaelyn went to bed early and jamil and i had a date night "in". he went to chili's and got some food to go - yum! then we spent the evening ordering the kids' christmas gifts from our comfortable warm home. i began to fight the enemy and realize that God was still at work. even though my day had fallen apart, He was still at work. and things were going to be ok! i just had to let go of all the yuck of the day that was thrown my day. i had to choose to praise Him! i had to focus on the joy that i have in Him! and know that He always provides for us! He is so good!

i was so thankful that we had the money to be able to take care of our kids' medical needs. the money came out of what we planned to spend for christmas, but i was ok with that, we just cut back what we planned to buy for the kids and i found some really good deals online! i realized quickly my kids could be lying in a hospital and really truly sick and it could be costing me a whole lot more. i was so thankful that my day was so miserable because i was able to see how He really provides. i sat in my warm home out of the rain ordering christmas presents from the internet. how dare i complain again about things not going my way. i had to look at all i have and not at what i don't have. He is showing me how to have a simple christmas after all! i am keeping things in perspective and choosing to find joy in everything good and not so good!

so this morning i was able to go out and knock off several more things off of my shopping list. jamil stayed home with the kids so they could continuing getting well. so now, i am almost done with everything! i did have a minor set back when i went to get our christmas cards, but we were able to fix it.

i have no idea when or how i will be able to keep my posts going through this busy week. so it may be kind of quiet around here! i have lots of things i want to post, but not sure if it will happen.

so what about you how have you seen God work in your busy life this christmas season? are you choosing joy over stress? i know it is hard! but give it a try!


a peek into our home for the holidays...

with trying to keep things simple during this christmas season. simple is also how i choose to decorate our home. with having four young kids in a small home, i don't like to have a lot of things around that can get broken. i really like clean lines and a simple look. but i still want our home to look festive. i thought i would share how i have decorated our home. i am also participating in the nester's tour of homes 2009 - better late than never!

welcome to our home...

my mom is the queen at making my wreaths and bows!
she is my personal wreath and bow maker!!
she made this wreath last year for our front door.
i loved it so much that i wanted to use it again this year.

our foyer...

our one and only christmas tree...

i think i mentioned the fact that i considered not getting a tree this year. but i decided it just wouldn't be christmas without one! we only have one tree. i know lots of people have several. maybe one year i will do that but for now, i am good with having just one tree! we went this past weekend to lowe's to get our tree. we literally had 10 trees to choose from, oh well, it isn't the prettiest tree but it is ours and the kids and i had a great time decorating it. i would love to make a trip to the mountains next year to get our tree ~ maybe next year we can start that tradition!
take notice to how bare the bottom of our tree is! can you guess why?

our mantle (minus the stockings)...

our stocking holders are a very heavy pewter and i decided against doing stockings for the fear of our 14 month old pulling one of them down and hurting herself. last year one got knocked off of the mantle and it put a crack into the fireplace tile. so i didn't put up our stockings. we also need some new stockings. i would like to find some and have them embroidered with our names for next year!

above the armoire...

please excuse the mess!

our dining room table

the plate reads psalm 126:3, our special christmas verse!!

archway between kitchen and great room...

above is how i decorated the counter that is in the archway.
it was a little cluttered for me! a lot of things end up on this counter because it is in a central location so i simplified it. took away the angels, the gold canister, and changed out the candle.
now it looks like this...

a lot more functional and simple!

thanks for taking a sneak peek into our little home!


almost wordless wednesday...

the reason why the bottom half of our christmas tree is bare...

yesterday she discovered that the ornaments come off of the tree and now she is curious!
let the fun begin!


super fun, super easy handmade ornaments....

every year for christmas i like make ornaments. i think that a handmade, personalized ornament is a great little gift. i just love using all kinds of ornaments, flat glass or ceramic (in different shapes) or glass ball ornaments or wooden shapes that you find in a craft store for pretty cheap! so,i thought i would share a few ideas that i have used over the years.

personalized glass balls...

i found the idea for these on several different blogs. they are so easy and are so cute! so last week i gave it a try. i am super pleased with how these turned out. here is how i made mine.

~ fill a glass ball (frosted or clear will work) with paper shred in whatever color you chose.
~ tie coordinating ribbon on the top
~ using letter stickers you can spell out a name or you can do initials or one letter for a last name

i made these for my girls, with each of their names in different color schemes. i also made a few more for some special gifts! jordyn did a great job helping me fill the balls with the paper shred. her fingers are smaller than mine and easier to push the paper in the little hole.

paint drip swirl balls...

for several years, i have used the clear glass balls to make these pretty ornaments. they are so fun and so pretty. the colors swirl around so nice. they are super easy also. here is how you can make these...

~using a clear glass ball, you drip a few colors of your choice of acrylic paint into the ball.
run the paint down the side of the ball.
~rotate the ball every 15 - 30 min. giving the paint a chance to drip and swirl inside the ball.
~tie ribbon on the top or through the little wire hanger.

our family ornaments...

a few years ago, amy and i started getting together to make ornaments. and each year we do something similar but with a different twist. we make between 10-15 ornaments that we give as gifts, primarily to our families. using different types of ornaments we create a "picture of our family" here are the ornaments we have made over the last few years.


i think this is the first "family ornament" we made.
the snowmen were made out of jordyn and joshua's littl thumbprints placed onto a bell shaped glass ornament. at one time it was filled with fake snow,
but i think it "melted" with a little person's help :)


here we used shrinky dinks (remember those?) to create this ornament. we had done a craft in our mops group with shrinky dinks and that gave us this idea. this is a little more complicated than the glass ornaments. but really cute. we cut the shrinky dinks in two shapes (tree & square) then we drew our family and wrote on the shrinky dinks. we punched wholes in the tree and on the square. we baked the shrinky dink paper. then using craft wire we hung the little ornament charms and bells from the holes. that was really quick directions, if you would like to give it a try, let me know, i can explain it better!


using a flat glass ornament (circle) we used the kids fingerprint's again to make snowmen. this time we have three!! then on the back of the ornament we painted the tree. and used a sponge to create "snow" on the front.


for this one we used wooden ornaments (snowflakes) first we painted it white. after it dried we used the kid's fingerprints to make reindeer!


here we used a flat ceramic star ornament. we used the kids' fingerprints and made them into little angels. look at how little jaelyn's fingerprint is.

i love to look back at each year and see how their fingerprints have grown! and how we have added new fingerprints over the years! i give these to my family each year. it is like a tradition we have started. i was so excited this year, amy and i made ours on veteran's day (nov. 11) when her son and my kids had the day off of school. we were ahead of the game this year. i will post a picture of this years ornament later. if i post it now, it will not be a surprise to my family who reads my blog!

so, what about you? do you like to make ornaments? if you have any fun or different ways to create ornaments for the holidays, please feel free to share your ideas, if you posted an idea on your blog - please leave the link!

easy kids' crafts...

a few saturdays ago, jamil was working all day and at church all evening so we had our sweet babysitter, johanna, come on friday and sleep over to be here with us on saturday! she watched the kid's while we had a date night on friday and then was here to help me with the kids all day on saturday. my goal was to decorate that day for christmas. so i got some things for the kids to make some crafts. they were busy making some cute things while i was busy decorating! and johanna was here to do whatever i needed help with! we love her to pieces!!

first, this $5 box of snowmen are so cute and my kids love them. we made a few different crafts and continues to keep them busy. there are little white snowmen shapes and then all different glittery colored hats, scarves and mittens. so the kids "built" their own snowmen!

they made cards, ornaments and gift bags with these! here are a few examples....

jesiah gave his ornament to johanna, he didn't want to wait until closer to christmas, he is just like his mommy! we simply built the snowman onto a flat glass star shaped ornament - easy! the big kids made those for their teachers. we are giving their teachers a few different handmade ornaments.

they also made these cute and easy snowflake ornaments using glittery pipe cleaners and beads:

this is jordyn's elevation sign made out of pipe cleaners!

they also made some things using popsicle sticks too, but i don't have a picture. they used the sticks to create a "frame" and put a snowman on a piece of cardstock.

i found large snowman foam bodies that we had from a craft from a few years ago, so they decorated those...

they had a great time creating all kinds of things and did it pretty much all day, that let me get a lot of decorating done!! i love that my kids love to do crafts!!


monday ramblings...

wow! it's monday again. only 11 days until christmas. that is crazy. we had a very busy weekend. the boys both had their first basketball games of the season. and jesiah's first game ever which deserves a post of it's own. we got our tree this weekend, finally. we put it up and now there is a leak in the stand and the throw rugs we put the stand on are soaking wet. so now we have to figure out how to get an already decorated tree into a new stand. fun times! it is always something at our house!

on friday, jaelyn woke up with a cold. and by that afternoon she had a fever. that makes five out of six of us who have this cold. i wish the germs would go away. i also wish the sun would come out. it is so dreary and cold here. very unlike our usual weather in the south. i think it has been over a week since the sun has made it's appearance.

on friday night we attended a leadership event with our church. it was such an amazing night. we continue to see God do huge things in our church! fortunately my mom kept jaelyn so that i could go. what a blessing. i will share the details in another post of how God is working!!

i was not able to go to church this weekend because of jaelyn being sick. bummer. i was getting ready to go yesterday to serve in a new volunteer role but she was just miserable. her fever was gone but she was a mess. i knew i couldn't take her to church like that. although, i knew that our wonderful nursery volunteers would have loved on her and cared for her, i knew she was best at home with me. i was sad to miss my first day volunteering, but there is always next week! as i am typing this i realized that i haven't told you about what i am doing at our church now. but i think i will save that for a post of its own!

have you sensed a common theme here, i keep telling you about little things that are going on and giving you no details! sorry about that! i guess i am setting myself up for lots of good writing material! hopefully i will have the time to follow through!

i didn't really have a point to this post other than to catch you up on a few things that are going on here. i realize i haven't posted much about christmas plans or traditions. i haven't even posted any pictures of any of our celebrating either. i guess i better get busy on that too.

thus far for christmas, we have done a little bit of decorating, some craft making, barely any baking and zero christmas shopping. i plan to do my shopping this weekend. nothing like the last minute, huh? so how about you have you done your shopping yet?

i am off the baby is waking up and i realized we haven't eaten lunch yet or gotten dressed! its been one of those days. i do have hopes of writing some more posts later for this week! hope you have a great week!


stressing over trying not to be stressed...

we try to keep things really simple around here during the christmas season. that doesn't mean that we are not celebrating this season, we celebrate it big, by remembering the true meaning of christmas. we don't do a lot of buying of stuff. we do crafts, baking and other acts of kindness as part of our giving. i thought that keeping it simple would be easy, but it is still hard to try to keep it that way. its till hard to do all of those simple things when there is always so much to do.

i so desire to not be stressed this time of year. i am finding that i am running out of time to do even the simple things on my list. and my lists keep getting shorter and shorter as i realize that everyday is a day less on the "christmas countdown". i keep crossing off things that are not must do's or must have's or must go's.

everyday life just doesn't stop to celebrate christmas. i can't exchange my daily to do list for the christmas to do list like i wish i could. the laundry doesn't stay clean and put away. dishes don't disappear. kids still have places to go. errands have to be done. bills have to be paid. food has to be planned and prepared even if it is frozen pizzas.

and then yesterday this happened...

and today, i have yet to clean it up. its just a big huge mess in the girl's closet. jordyn attempted to climb onto the shelf and the whole thing broke and fell down. so until the shelf is replaced i can not put all of that stuff back in its place. sigh! i know i could have it a lot worse right now!

but it is a another thing to take care of while i am stressing over not trying to be stressed out this christmas season! i am trying to keep my cool and have a good attitude! i really am!!

i keep telling myself it is going to be ok. things will get done. christmas will be celebrated. but it is hard to keep from wondering how? and i just want it to be simple and come from the right place. but that still presents a challenge!

does anyone else feel challenged by what they have to do this time of year?


an awesome giveaway...

one of my very favorite bloggers, kelly at kelly's korner is giving away a brand new hp computer(touch smar!) to enter the giveaway, go here

what an awesome christmas giveaway, how fun would that be to win a new computer! i would love love it!! how about you!???!!!???

wordless wednesday...

...and yes, the kid on the right is my four year old boy! ha!


14 months old & more...

so, it is just 17 days before christmas, how are you all feeling about that? wow!!! i have so many plans and so much to do, but things are slowly getting removed from my to do list if they don't rank in the top important things to do - ya know?

i know i say this a lot, so much that you are probably tired of reading it. but i just have to say it again, where does the time go? yesterday, went by at super sonic speed. i was talking to amy and she was saying how she had fed her girls lunch and i was thinking wow, its like 10 am she is feeding them early. then i looked at the clock and it was almost noon. and the rest of the afternoon flew by too. i met jamil at our church office so he could take the kids home so i could go in for a meeting. and then jesiah had his first basketball practice last night. he took josh along too, so my sister stayed with the girls until i got home. a lot of juggling. and we even missed jordyn's dance class because she was home sick yesterday. how would i have done all of that?

i kept jordyn home from school, she has a cold. she is somewhat better and does not have a fever so she went today. i thought yesterday she may end up running a fever like jesiah did the day before, but she didn't. but now i have a cold too! it just doesn't seem to end. and i just can't get sick we have such a busy busy schedule. we usually don't jam pack a month like we have this month, so i know it is short term, but wow, my head is spinning.

there is so much great stuff going on, and there is some stress surrounding it all. although, i am truly trying to focus on the season and the true meaning and not on what i have to cross off my list! even keeping it simple, there are still things i desire to do to celebrate the season. i wish i could just wiggle my nose and it all get done!! i am sure you do too!!!

almost looks like jaelyn is wiggling her nose for me!!

who knows how much time will pass before i can post again! but before the day goes by, i have to tell you about my sweet baby girl. she turned fourteen months on sunday, here are some pictures and a little bit about what she is up to this days...
so on sunday, even though we couldn't go to church i put her in this cute dress so that i could take a few pictures on her 14 month birthday! i took a few shots and then my battery died, but i have 2 to share!! this one and the one below are my favorites!!

jaelyn is such a super sweet, super smart, super adorable baby girl!
she is sleeping pretty good, still taking two naps during the day and sleeping mostly through the night. we still have a few nights when she will wake up but overall sleeping great!

jaelyn's vocabulary is increasing, she is constantly learning and saying new words. in addition to momma and dadda, she can "say" all her siblings names! she also says pop-pop for her grand daddy, we are working on "meemee or grandma" and aunt julie! she points to things and tries to say what they are. like cup, cracker, ball, baby! it is looking like we will have another talker!! that's four out of four who love to talk!!!

jaelyn is starting to stand on her on a little bit more. she has started taking a few steps here and there. but she is still a little unsure of the whole walking deal. which is ok with me! she does like to walk if you hold her hand or give her some light support. but on her own is a different story right now!

jaelyn likes to eat for the most part. she easily tries new things. sometimes she can be picky and throw things she doesn't want on the floor. she doesn't have a huge appetite right now. but i anticipate that will change. i think she may be working on some new teeth. and we are continuing to work on her manners, talking or signing instead of screaming for more! she still takes one bottle at night as part of her bedtime routine. i know she is over a year and my other babies were fully weaned at one. but i love the sweet time with her!

jaelyn continues to be a mommy's girl! but daddy sure does run a very close second!! and she is fascinated watching her big brothers and sister! she generally does not have seperation anxiety. she easily goes to most people, especially those she knows and loves! sometimes she will cry a little when i leave her in the church nursery, but i know she is in good hands and she will not cry long! they love on her in there!!!!

jaelyn is a busy girl!! for her first birthday she got the fisher price walker/baby stroller, which is in the picture below. she loves to push that around. we also have a big girl stroller that is jordyn's and she loves that too. she pushes them both around all over the house.

we have to keep all of the doors shut in our house, or she will escape and get into all kinds of things! i try really hard to keep our living room/dining room/kitchen (all one open area) as baby proofed and friendly for her. it is so hard with the big kids and all the little pieces to their toys and games. it gets really tiring keeping up with all of that. i have been trying to teach them, but they aren't so good about keeping those little things away from her. i get frustrated. but we will continue to work on that. anyone have any suggestions on what works for you? the big kids keep their toys in their rooms, but somehow end up in our main room way too often!

it's hard to believe that my baby is becoming a toddler! she is so sweet and i enjoy every single second of her! i could eat her up! everyday i look at her and hear her sweet voice i just melt and am reminded of how good God is! she is such a blessing to us!!!


roller coaster...

i wouldn't describe this season of life as a journey, or even a walk, rather, i feel like i am on a roller coaster. this is how i have been describing my life as of late. this year has been a different season for me. i am in full force being a mom of four kids. sometimes i look at my kids and can not believe they are mine and that i have four of them. this year hasn't been full of any big changes. we have been kind of going along for the ride. we have had some ups and downs. my faith has definitely grown and i am learning more and more about who i am in Christ.

so this is why i don't feel like i have been just cruising along this journey. it's this feeling that i have that i haven't been able to describe other than to say, i just feel like something big is about to happen. kind of like that anticipation you feel as you are riding to the top of the hill when you are on a roller coaster, it is like you are chugging along kind of slowly, but in your head and in your stomach you just know that something big is going to happen

what is that something big? i don't know for sure.

on some roller coasters you reach the top of the hill and then quickly descend to the bottom, enjoying the ride but feeling like maybe life is passing you by. on some roller coasters you get to the top and then take a little jolt down and then you begin twisting and turning right and left side to side, not sure when and what the nest turn will bring. some roller coasters have a mix of all three, going up and then going down, and then going up again and then side to side.

for quite sometime i have felt the anticipation building as we have been making our way to the top yet we have no idea what to expect when we get there. is the ride going to be so wild that we are going to be dropped down hill so fast that we won't know what hit us. or is the ride going to be full of twist and turns and we won't know if we are going to ever get off.

there are two things that keeps me securely fastened in my seat and make me want to hold on as i am riding on this roller coaster not sure what to expect. the first is God. i know that He knows the plan He has for me. and the other is my husband, i am so fortunate to have a husband who takes the lead and holds my hand while we are riding on this roller coaster. he may not know what is coming at us next, but he stands in confidence of God's will for us and his faith keeps me feeling safe.


change in plans...

i am home with the kids on a sunday morning which is so rare for us. i am flying solo today as i do most sundays, because jamil is at church doing his thing! jesiah woke up not feeling very good, i could tell first thing this morning that he was not himself. he barely ate breakfast and wrapped himself in a blanket. i gave him a bath in hopes that perhaps he would be ok and we could still go to church. by the time i got out of the shower he was still lying on the couch. this is the first clue that i knew we were not going to church. for jesiah to be still is not normal. usually he is bouncing off of the walls. so i took his temperature and it was over 101. and now he is sound asleep in his bed! so we are not going to share our germs today with anyone at elevation. and we had plans to get our tree this afternoon, but not sure if that will happen either.

i really don't like to miss church and i really wanted to get out of the house today. but i decided that i needed to find the positive in the change of plans instead of complain. my first instinct was to get really grumpy and throw a pity party for myself. but i canceled the party. and despite the fact that i am flying solo today, i decided to make it a good day.

i started the morning off by making a to do list of chores and such. i figured since i am home and we have a busy week coming up, i might as well get some things done. i have done a few things on the list and decided to sit down while two are sleeping, one is at grandma's house and one is busy on his nintendo ds. i thought i would do something i like to do for a little bit! one way to make the day positive! another positive is that i will be able to watch the worship experience at elevation online at 7:00 tonight! i love my church!!! i am so thankful that i will be able to still hear the message tonight!!

today, jaelyn is 14 months old. wow! i had a sweet little dress picked out for her today to wear to church. i think i will put it on her when she wakes up anyway and take some pictures for her special day!

we have had a busy weekend! on friday afternoon, our amazing babysitter, johanna, came to watch the kids so that i could run a few errands and jamil and i could go on a date night. we ate some yummy fried seafood at a place in charlotte called captain steve's! it was so good. johanna spent the night so that she could be with us on saturday. jamil had to work all day on saturday on a project. and he went straight from work to elevation for the night. it was wonderful to have johanna here. i was so glad we planned this with her! i was able to get the house decorated because of her amazing help with the kids. and the kids did several crafts too! i would never ever have been able to do all this and keep my sanity! and then last night we went to my parents house for dinner! it was a good day!

today will be a good day too even though our plans were changed and we may not go to get our tree. i will take care of my little guy so that he can get better. that is what is most important. he is suppose to have his first basketball practice tomorrow night. i hope he will be better so he can go!

happy, happy sunday to you!


going to the chapel...

one of the other reasons that i just love this time of year is because jamil and i celebrate our wedding anniversary one week before christmas. and this year we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary! i am so excited about this huge milestone!

with our anniversary being so close to christmas, we usually don't do anything real big. i guess you could say that is one of the downfalls to getting married at christmas. but we had such a wonderful wedding day. it was perfect to have the season of christmas in the air while we were preparing for and enjoying this big day.

we got married in the church where jamil grew up and his family still attends. and then we had our reception at the dunhill hotel in uptown charlotte! we have some fabulous pictures from our special day especially with the christmas lights uptown! unfortunately, our pictures are all hard copies, we have none on cds or dvds ( i don't think this was around too much 10 years ago! if i can figure out a way to scan them and upload them, i will post them.)

anyway, as our big anniversary approaches i am going to do a few posts here and there about marriage! i plan to do that and also share with you some things i have learned and am continuing to learn through this wonderful 10 year journey. feel free to leave me a comment if there is anything you would like to read about in regards to our marriage/relationship. and if you have shared on your blog your story of your wedding day, let me know that too!

*photo taken by the beautiful mess!!


to uganda and back...

on sunday, i heard one of the most life changing, most powerful, most amazing message. pastor steven preached his message while he, our lead staff and our video crew were in uganda.

one of our goals at elevation church is to reach our community. we want to make an impact such that if our church were to no longer exist, that the charlotte community would truly miss us and feel the effects of our absense. we give back to our community in so many ways. we partner with several outreach organizations by providing volunteer and monetary support. one outreach partner that i have spoken about on my blog, that is dear to my heart is called safe journey (through communities in schools). it is a fabulous outreach that is designed to keep teen moms in school. i volunteer on the lead team from elevation for safe journey.

elevation church is now taking our outreach globally. we are now proud partners with samaritan's purse. our staff traveled to africa with the samaritan's purse. while, in uganda, my pastor recorded the message that we would hear this past sunday. honestly, the video was done so well, that i felt like i was there with pastor and the rest of the staff. and his message was amazing. i was so glad that i had tucked several tissues into my purse!

this sermon was about our response to what we saw and heard about in the message. we can react with greed, guilt or generosity. it was powerful. what i saw and what i heard put so many things into perspective. i have never had a desire to travel to africa or be a part of a trip such as this. but now i do! my heart has been changed and i have a new outlook on my life and how i am living it! to see the people in uganda, to see their living conditions and to hear their stories, especially one about a four year old boy named james has forever changed how grateful i am. to see their passion for God in the midst of having virtually nothing is amazing!

honestly, this is an experience that you do not want to miss. this is a message that will really put things into perspective for this holiday season. you can watch the video here. or you can catch it live here through dec. 4 @ 12, 6 & 8 pm. please make time to do this! you will be forever changed!

**you can also read pastor steven's wife, holly's commentary on sunday's message here

wordless wednesday...