Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Day....Blown Away

There are moments in life that you know will always stay with was one of those.

Today was our last day at Praise Assembly. This was our first church home away from home, our first Children's Pastor job, our first family away from family.

This journey here at Praise has been amazing. We felt like it was home from the first time we came. We were loved on and pulled in from the beginning. 

Since coming on as staff we have truly been so blessed and supported and loved. It's truly unbelievable what God has given us and done in us and allowed us to give in the two years we have pastored here. 

Words are so limiting in this moment.

We have truly made life long friends and have opened our hearts up completely to be used and poured out and I believe that God really was able to use us to minister, touch and love the kids, youth, and families here.

What an unbelievable confirmation that God is faithful and truly has a plan for our lives to impact His kingdom!!

I am so blessed beyond words! I am so blown away!

Blown away by the loved we received today. Blow away by the support we received today/ Blown away by the hugs, gifts, words, and true blessings from today! (Just so that I never forget: Locket from Stacy & my Girls Only class, Card from all my kids, Pictures from the Harper girls, necklace from Kiana, and many hugs and prayers and sweet words of love and encouragement from so many)

Just deeply blown away!

Jesus, my heart is so thankful and so very full. Thank you for allowing us to love your children, young and old, and for allowing us to minister. Thank you for providing for us and loving us and for giving us Your Wisdom and love to give out! Thank You Jesus mostly for changing our hearts so that we can indeed make a difference in the lives of others because we are changed from the inside out by your incredible love! I have no words that can do justice to the gratefulness of your love, forgiveness and salvation. 
You, Jesus are the reason that we can love and teach and impact and minister to your people. 

Lord, I ask that in this new chapter that you would be glorified in all that we do. I ask you to give us Your Wisdom and Spirit to guide us to love your children and people and to make an impact in your kingdom! We need YOU Jesus! We thank YOU Jesus! We trust YOU Jesus!

In Jesus name, Amen. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2014

Well it is Christmas and to be honest it doesn't really feel like Christmas this year.

I miss our family and I miss traditions and getting to be together. Christmas is so different without family.

I am so very thankful that this will be the last year that we have to be so far away from our families for the holidays.

I look forward to the stress of balancing families in comparison to not have any family here to balance and spend time with.

Lord give us Your wisdom in the future as to how to best balance our families and this Christmas would you be close to us as we miss our families and spend this one last Christmas without them.

Today is Christmas Eve...

Marshall will work from 8:45am to 12:15pm today at the bank and I will be home packing.
Later when it gets dark we will go get hot chocolate and coffee and go look at the Christmas lights.
We will miss our families.

Christmas Day, we will sleep in, open a couple gifts and then go eat at Waffle House (it was what we did for Christmas our first year here) and go watch a movie together.
We will miss our families.

But there is so much hope and joy in our hearts. We are so encouraged that we get to go back home, I know that with God we can do all things but we miss our families so much and I don't know if we could have gone another year without being close to them.

It makes my heart so sad to think about all that we've already missed but my heart is so happy that we don't have to miss anymore and that our families have been so supportive of us following God here so far away.

God has been so very faithful. So very very faithful!! Even in the moments that we were so lonely and sad and missed our families so much it was hard to breathe, God was right there with us and was our strength!

He didn't let us ever skip a beat and for that I am thankful. I don't feel like our lives were debilitated by it like they could have been. And that alone is because of God and his great love and care for us.

What a wonderful God we serve, and Oh How He Loves Us!

So on this last Christmas that we are so far away from our family and home I focus on Jesus like I won't have the luxury when we get home and we have the additional stress of balancing families.

I focus on what our Savior did in coming as a humble baby instead of a ruling king. He related to us and he came for us...for me. And there truly is no greater gift that I will ever receive than that. In all my years of living nothing will ever top that!

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for coming as Immanuel - God WITH us!

I love you Jesus! Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happenings during transition

It seems that life just keeps moving full steam ahead and I find my self waffling back and forth between being ready to go and fighting for more time with those we love.

There are moments that I just cannot wait to get back home to Alabama and begin getting to know our new community and church family as well as get to spend time with our families.

And then there are moments that I am with those here that I love and I want time to move slower.

Oh change you are a funny thing!

Our days are so busy with work, visiting, planning and packing and of course the unexpected things such as our car sliding off the road due to ice and snow, Tater getting sick and needing to go to the vet, and now Marshall being sick.

I feel as though I am caught in the middle of a wind storm and things are just flying to and fro.

Yet underneath it all there is still this Incredible and Indescribable peace that truly does surpass all understanding.

And God has been so very Faithful. He has provided friend to help in moments of need and low fees for the tow truck and vet bill and time that comes out of nowhere to get necessary things done and time together with loved ones that we will miss. He has provided strength and calmness and a house to live in and possible jobs in our new home. He has provided encouragement at just the right time and in just the right way. Thank you Lord for your GREAT Faithfulness and love for us!

Next week is Christmas and honestly it doesn't really feel like Christmas and I have forgotten that it is Christmas several times. But this year more than ever it is not all about decorations and gifts, but just about how incredible our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is and how much we love Him because He first loved us.

I don't even mind that it doesn't "feel" like Christmas. I am content to be in the moment we are in and to be learning and experiencing this new transitioning time in our lives.

Thank You Lord for this time, help us to learn all that we can from it. We love you and trust you and we thank you for taking such incredible care of us and for letting us love your people. Thank you for leading and guiding us always and for loving us so that we can love you and others.

In Jesus name.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas in Transition

Christmas this year isn't all decorations and lights and presents under the, this year we are in the middle of a very difficult but exciting transition and therefore will not have our decorations out and will not be spending a ton of money on gifts.

We are in the process of moving back home to Alabama which means that this will be our last Christmas far away from our families. This will be the last Christmas that we will be alone on the holidays missing out on all the togetherness of the Christmas season.

My heart aches in so many ways...I ache to miss yet another Christmas with our family, I ache that we are saying goodbye to people that we have fallen so in love with so that we get to be back with our family, and I ache because change is just hard.

However, there is JOY. Joy that my Lord sees exactly where we are and what we are facing and none of it surprises Him, He has been preparing us for this transition and He has been with us in the lonely moments all these years away from our families. There is Joy in this last simple Christmas when we are not juggling schedules to get to everyone's house for Christmas, Joy in the sweet moments that are closing in too fast with those that we will be leaving shortly. Joy in the sharing of memories that have been shared and made together. Joy in the faith that is being built up within our hearts - which I feel like is that best gift that I can receive this season. Joy in seeing God move and work and put pieces into place that we never could have expected. Joy in the new things ahead and the future that God is writing for us. Joy in the familiar that we are still in. Joy in the sweet faces of the kids that we love, Joy in the beautiful faces of the teenagers that we love, Joy in the friendships that have been built and will last for a lifetime. Joy in the hard work to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. Yes there is Joy.

I am sad to let go and excited for what is ahead. 

I am excited to stand in faith that my God is putting all the pieces of His promises in place and to see the beautiful story that He is writing for us. 

God is faithful and always has been. I love to see the way He works, it is truly incredible.

So this Christmas of 2013 is a Christmas of Transition and it is hard, sad, joyful and exciting. 

Thank YOU Jesus for who you are and for the ways that YOU work in our lives. Thank you Father for your promises and faithfulness and for Your will which is multi-faceted and covers us, those we are leaving and those we are moving to. I can't wait to see the beautiful story unfold.

I am thankful for the baby Jesus during this Christmas in Transition.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Being blown away by the winds of change

Once again the winds are shifting in our lives.

We have spent a year praying for God to reveal His will for our lives so that we can begin to put down roots and begin thinking about the possibility of starting a family (terrifying thought for me).

Since aproximately one year after we moved to Springfield, Missouri to attend Central Bible Collage we have wondered what God's plan for our lives would be.

We were certain that we would move back to Alabama after graduating, that is until we were offered a job as Children's Pastors at our church in Springfield in December of 2011, a little over a year after we moved here. 

We prayed and felt the Lord leading us to take the job and that He would lead us.

At that point we had no idea what our future would hold. Would we stay in Springfield or would we move back to Alabama after we graduated with our degrees?

That is why we begain to fervently pray for God's will in January 2013. We want nothing more that to be in God's will always and we just needed to know what that was before we began making big life decisions (buying a house, starting a family).

The first half of 2013 I think was very hard for my husband as he was missing home and family so much. It hurt to see him hurt so much and want to be with family so much. Then after camp the tides shifted and I began to struggle and miss home and family so much. It was at that time that I began to pray that if our strong desire to be closer to family was not God's will that He would take it away from us. However the desires only grew stronger and I began to struggle even more.

I could not understand what God was doing or see how things were going to work out.

Then a few weeks ago we got a call from a pastor in Alabama and all of a sudden our world shifted. As this pastor began to talk and share his heart for children's ministry, pieces of the puzzle of our lives began immediately to shift into place. He would speak words that had come directly from our hearts. It blew us away.

After much prayer and a peace that literally surpasses any understanding...We knew that this was it...God's will...we knew that they would offer us a position (even though they were interviewing another candidate) and we knew that we would accept. It was as easy as breathing. Things just lined up so much and in such a way that it could ONLY be God writing this new chapter.

Since then we still have such a great sense of complete peace but we have begun the hardest transition of our lives.

We have completely fallen in love with our kids here at Praise, with the youth, with the families, and certainly with our friends and this process of saying goodbye and letting them go and trusting them to the Lord completely is most certainly one of the hardest things that we have ever done.

I certainly know exactly why God placed longevity in our hearts...I never want to say goodbye like this again. We have made life long friendships here I have no doubt, but we must let the kids move on to what God has for them.

We understand that even in the hurt that this is God's will and that there is much to learn during this time of transition. 

One thing I have already learned is that God's will is not one dimensional. He has made it very clear to me that this is not only His will for our lives but also for Praise and those we love here. I know without a doubt that we can trust Him with those that we love and that He has a purpose and a plan for all involved.

We are praying for His words and wisdom during this time of transition for us as well as for Praise and for the new church that we will be moving to.

Lord have YOUR way and help us to glorify you in all that we do! In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We have flipped again...

It has been so neat to see the way our marriage has ebbed and flowed as far as household duties.

My husband is so amazing, he has always jumped right in and done whatever needed to be done and taken up slack in areas that I am very weak.  It is no secret that I am not an excellent housekeeper or cook, but I am growing in those skills every year.

Recently while my hubby was out of a job for a short while he took over all of the household duties. He did the laundry, reorganized the house, cooked, and cleaned, the whole nine yards. I have to admit he did it all so much better than me! I loved having him home to take care of things it was truly wonderful.

However, he got bored and was more than ready to go back out into the work force. So we have flipped roles again.

I was truly so inspired by how awesome he did that I feel like I have done a better job at keeping things up this time around.  I strive each week to get all of the household chores caught up before Friday so that I can relax on my off day.

Last night I had dinner on the table when he got home from work and he cleaned up the dishes after dinner.

I just have to say that I know that God blessed me so much with this man of mine. I am so thankful that God shares him with me and that I get to be his wife and he gets to be my husband.  I am constantly blown away by him and he inspires me to work harder and be better than I have ever been.

I am so thankful for our life together and I have to say that I am thankful for the time that we both had before we met to really shape and mold us to be the spouse that the other needs. God is faithful, He is so faithful.

Father I am thankful for you and I am thankful for how you work and how you placed us together to serve in Your Kingdom. I love you Lord. Thank you for Your Great goodness to me! In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, November 04, 2013


One of my favorite things about November is that everyone begins to focus on what they are thankful for. It is such a great practice, thinking of what you are thankful for, and it does something special to your heart and thoughts as you begin to focus on good things instead of the many other things that the world and the prince of this world would like for us to focus on.

Thankful Month has begun.

I find myself overwhelmingly thankful for my Heavenly Father a fresh these days. For when I wander away or become stagnant He never flinches, He simply stands waiting for my return or for me to regain my senses and mostly His love NEVER changes.

As far as people go, humans, it is very difficult to find that our love never changes, I see this about myself clearly. We change with the wind of emotion so easily, we change with our circumstances so easily, we cange with the crowd, we change with the media, we change. It is quite difficult to holdfast, but I do not belive that this is an impossible task. For God asks us to love like He loves. God asks us to follow His example and His lead and I do not believe that He would ask us to do something that is impossible. Hard yes, Impossible no.

God gives us the example and the tools and we have to choose to follow and work. I would like to say that I have made it and have become perfect and loving like God but I would be lying if I said that. It is a lifelong journey to love as He loves.

I want to get better and better everyday and I am terrified at moments of how imperfect I am at it. It is no easy task.

However, God is so FAITHFUL, PATIENT, UNDERSTANDING, AND FORGIVING. He stands READY to help us along, to guide us, and lead us.

I must admit that this is what I am so very thankful for right now. I do not want to give up, I want to continue striving to love as God loves. Unconditionally and selflessly.

So as we move further into the Thankful month and into the Christmas season I want to focus on loving more and loving more like God, more like Jesus, and with the Holy Spirit guiding me.

Here's to thankfulness.
Here's to God's love.
Here's to the journey with God, my Savior, and my Helper at my side.

Thank you Father for your example and for challenging us to continue to strive to be more like You. Thank you for your forgiveness and patience. Thank you for never giving up on me no matter how far I may have wandered or how deep I have dug my heels in to stop. Thank you for Your perfect love for me and for all of your children. Thank you for Your work in my life and in the lives of you children young and old. I love you Father and I am thankful for Your Great Love! In Jesus name. Amen

Monday, October 21, 2013


I cannot believe that it is already so close to the end of another year! Wow, how times flies as you get older!

Marshall and I just celebrated our FOUR year anniversary, which just seems crazy! We had a sweet day in Branson just walking through shops and we had a nice dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse, thanks to Pastor Appreciation month!
Hubby and I on our way to Branson for the day!
 Our Pumpkin for our 4th Anniversary pic.
My Handsome Hubby at Branson Landing
Hubby & I on Main Street in Branson
Pumpkin Pic
Over a week ago we got to celebrate with my brother Jared as he married the beautiful Hannah! It was such a beautiful wedding and Marshall and I were so very glad that we got to be there in Chicago with them! I have never seen my brother look at anyone the way he looks at Hannah and I am so happy for them and can't wait to see what God has in store for their lives together. I pray that work for them slows down so that they get a chance to enjoy life together! I can't wait to see thier brand new house! What an exciting new start for them!  So happy and excited and full of love and pride for them!
 Mr. & Mrs. Jared Wiggins!
Their happy exit!

Marshall and I are both officially done with school. We both now have our diplomas from Central Bible College! How incredible is that! When we began this journey three years ago, it was hard to see the end in sight and there were certainly moments (mostly math moments) when I felt like I would never make it and actually get that diploma! But thanks to the support of our family and friends we both did make it! It feels great to have accomplished that together!
 We did it!

We are absolutely loving life in ministry! I feel like we still have SO much to learn and so much growing to do! We just have SO much fun in Kids Church teaching and playing with the kids! We have seemingly found a nice rhythym ministering together and I cannot wait to see how God grows us and changes us as the years continue to pass by at lightning speed!

Our 3rd Sunday Team! Love these amazing workers so much!
The kids love the new BGMC wishing well!!
My precious Girls Only class! Oh they all have my heart!!
 Pastor Appreciation lunch with one of our students/workers! Love Titus!
God is always so faithful and loving! We are so blessed with the wonderful students, friends, staff, and family in our lives!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Life these days...

Life these days is filled with laughter. It seems my wonderful Hubby gets a kick out of his silly wife. I tend to make us laugh by accident and sometimes on purpose and I love it because there is absolutely nothing greater than my handsome husband’s laugh.

Life these days is filled with math. I am almost through my very last college class, which happens to be college algebra. I love my teacher and currently I have an ‘A’ in the class. My, oh so patient, husband gets me through my homework and my funny and easy going teacher gets me through class. So far it is going much better than I ever expected it to and I know it is because of God’s timing and God’s placement! I am thankful.

Life these days is filled with ministry. We fall more and more in love with our students every week. We love pouring into them and loving them and connecting with them and we are so proud of how they are learning to worship and how they are reading their bibles! We are also about to begin being youth sponsors as well and we could not be more thrilled about that! We love youth as well as children and I feel like a piece of my heart is returning once again! So excited!

Life these days is filled once again with softball. Monday nights are once again softball nights with my hubby and our friends! I look forward to it every week because my hubby loves playing so much and because we have built such beautiful friendships with our friends and it is a perfect time to hang out and visit!

Life these days is wonderful. God is good and oh so faithful and we are so excited to be doing what He has called us to do. We are loving life these days with our Jesus!

We just returned from a mini getaway to Eureka Springs, AR and we had such a beautiful and peaceful weekend away! It was just what we both needed! I am so thankful for what I have coined as our “Sabbath” trips. It feels like such a true Sabbath when we are able to get away like that. It was nice to wake up every morning to a slow pace and sit out on the balcony with my journal, bible, and coffee and spend some quite time there. It was nice to walk leisurely down foreign streets hand in hand and onto wooded trails. It was nice to eat out and take it easy. I truly love our Sabbath getaways!

And I have to just say that I am more in love with my amazing husband than ever. That man absolutely blows me away with his patience and love. I know that God truly thought of everything when he picked this man for me and I am thankful to God every single day for sharing this man with me! I know that I am blessed and I know that if I had settled how very much I would be missing out on!

We are blessed with a wonderful family and wonderful friends but mostly with an amazing Heavenly Father that meets all our needs and blows us away on a regular basis!

Blown away by life these days.

Peace is what I seek.

In the midst of life and all its joys and woes…I seek HIS peace.

In the midst of plans mine alone, others, and HIS…I seek HIS peace.

In the midst of the unknown or the bits that I think I do know…I seek HIS peace.

I believe that all my life all I have ever wanted can be found in the Peace of Jesus Christ. He is the one who has calmed my every storm and fulfilled my every dream.

There is nothing of greater value than my relationship with Jesus, from it stems everything. Every relationship I have is directly affected by my relationship with HIM. Every word I speak is directly related to my Heart in which HE lives.

Why then do I take such poor care of my relationship with the KING OF KINGS?

Why do I falter so?

I think there is nothing more frustrating than being humanly imperfect. I fail. A lot.

Sounds depressing right…oh but it is NOT!

For my Jesus stands waiting to take me in and waiting to forgive and smooth over all my rough places with HIS grace, mercy, and peace that transcends ALL understanding.

My Jesus stands ready to teach me the most valuable of lessons…if only I’ll pay attention and listen and seek.

What a Lord. What a Savior. What a Friend. What a Jesus!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Always my Battle

I remember my God mom teaching me once that I need to “be present”.

I translate that as connecting and engaging with people.

You see I have what I call a “do mode”, this is when I get busy or have a task that consumes me or when I am completely overwhelmed with something (emotions, situations, doubts, fears, insecurities).

When I slip into “do mode” it is very difficult for me to stop and connect with others. I can be right in front of you and be a million miles away. I know we have all experienced this with someone before.

I find that I have slipped back into this place again. I am struggling to simple “be present” in the lives of those around me outside of my Hubby.

My Wednesday night class has gotten “do mode Mrs. Tabbie”, my kids on Sunday morning have been getting “do mode Pastor Tabbie”, my friends have been getting “do mode – checked out friend”, it is a struggle indeed.

Well as my God mom also taught me…the first step is recognizing and I have recognized it and my prayer this afternoon is that I can stop being “do mode Tabbie” and “be present” beginning tonight with my Girl’s Only class.

No more glazed over looks or rushing from here to there or half hearted listening and responses.

I’m so mad at myself for slipping back into this rotten place! It is a selfish rotten place to be and I do not want to be this person.

What I recognize is that this will always be my battle. I will also need to fight here. It is likely that I will forget again and slip back there at some point but my hope is that I will recognize it much much sooner. My hope is that I have not created too much damage in the wake of this stint as selfish unfocused Tabbie.

My heart is broken over this and Father I ask you for forgiveness. I ask you for your help to remind my heart when this begins to happen to stop it before I slip back into that place again.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your eyes to see and for your forgiveness.

Here I come world…ready to engage again and to listen with all my heart and hear and ready to “be present”!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jumping In

Things are in full swing and I am jumping in!

We started a new series in kids church on Sunday and it went so well. God showed up and spoke to hearts and that is all I ask for this year. I simply want God to show up and move and work! I am so thankful.

I started what I hope to be my last college class today - Intermediate Algebra - I have a super sweet and caring teacher and I am setting a goal to pass this class with an A and surprise everyone, including myself! I can do this and I want to do this and do it well!

We had a great week of fasting last week and I felt God drawing me nearer and nearer to Him and I came out of the week just wanting more and more of Him. Is there any greater desire than that - Nope! I want to see God move this year in big ways in my heart and life and in the hearts and lives of those around me and in my church!

Hubby and I had a very fun and relazing weekend.

Thursday - Hubby bought me a groupon several weeks back for a paint night with three friends. So I took three speical ladies to paint with me and we painted snowflakes. We had a very good time. There were awkward moments as I placed together three people who do not normally spend time with each other but overall it was truly a great night. My heart was that each of theses women would feel special and thought of and loved.

Friday - Hubby and I just relaxed at home and watched some movies that we had recorded on our DVR and that was fun! I enjoy down time so much!

Saturday - Hubby and I slept in and then went to look at beds. We are wanting to upgrade to a king size bed this year and since we are not impulse shoppers we wanted to go look and get an idea of what we liked and what the cost was of the things that we like. It was fun. We came back home and hubby watched football while I relaxed before heading to the church to get some work done and going to our end of fasting Worship and Prayer service. After service we set up kids church and headed out for dinner before heading home to crash!

Sunday - We began our new series by teaching the kids how very important it is to read their bibles. The Lord led me to be very transparent in something He had recently taught me about putting Him very first in my days instead of social media and I know that God annointed my message and our worship time and spoke to hearts young and old! I am so thankful. We then went out to eat with some friends, where I did not get my meal until many around the table were already done eating. But it was a very fun lunch with some very dear friends! We then went home to nap before JBQ dinner and practice. Our evening was then spent bowling with Old Navy peeps as their Christmas party or after Christmas party. It was so fun to bowl and catch up with sweet people I had previously worked with and who Hubby still works with. And I beat my Hubby on the last game! Fun!

We are truly blessed with great friends and people and we had a great weekend! I am looking forward to this week and what God has in store. I have my eyes open for opportunities to bless and minister to others and I plan to be in His Word and Presence as much as possible for there I find who I truly am and I find strength, joy, and peace! He is good, so so good!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The New Year has arrived

Yes the New Year is here and I am in full planning mode as we prepare and plan and dream about all that God has in store for this brand new year.

Currently I am working on getting everything ready to start a brand new series called - There's an App for That! We will be using popular iPhone apps to teach the kids biblical truths! I am so excited and I think it is going to be very fun and good!  We have two GIANT iPhones for the platform with apps that will rotate! So excited!

We will also be using our new curtians that my mom made for us! They are Lime Green and Blue! I just love them so much and they are so much brighter than the ones that we have been using!!  I hope the kids love them as much as we do!

So I have been in my office all week working on those things! I love being in my office working! It truly is one of my favorite places to be!!

I love my job and I love our kiddos!!

Hubby has been working hard this week on finding us an electric heater that will help offset the cost of our gas furnace this winter. I hope that we have finally found one that will work well enough that we do not have to run our big furnace the majority of the time! Gas is so expensive and one of our goals this year is to cut back on spending!

I am waiting with baited breath for my January Birchbox! This is truly one of the best gifts that I have ever gotten becuase I get a new one every single month!! I am loving it! I am most excited about January because I found out that you could adjust your profile to your specific preferences so that you get products in your Birchbox that you are most interested in!! I can't wait to see what I get this month!! So fun!!

I am realizing more and more that I need to take care of my skin better, especially the older I get.  So I am in the market for good skincare products this year! I will be saving and researching to buy some things that I hope will help my aging skin! Oh the joys of getting older! I don't mind though, it just means that I am getting wiser!! At least that is my prayer everyday!!

I am officially ADDICTED to COFFEE! Most likely because it is winter and it helps keep me warm, whatever the reason I LOVE IT!!

Well that's a wrap for now, I am getting ready for my Girl's Only class tonight!! I cannot wait to see my girls!! We are talking about colleges tonight! I love getting to be part of their journeys and helping them to prepare for the things that God has in store for each of them!!