The summer has gone by way too fast for us! It's been full of swim lessons, zoo trips, pool days, science museum, grandparents, neighborhoods hangouts, and an anniversary celebration. A little over 9 years ago Brooke and I began dating and 8 years ago we were married. What a whirlwind. I'm still thankful she said yes! (And I hope she is thankful for that too...)
It really has been a good summer for us as a family. We've stolen plenty of moments together and made lots of memories. It'll be gone soon – tonight I'll be taking Henry to get pre-enrolled in... I can't believe I'm saying this... Kindergarten. The school is two blocks from our house and it's something Henry has looked forward to since we moved in. This kid loves structure, friends, and learning. He was made for this. We tried some new things with the kids this summer: potty training for Eden and bike riding for Henry. Both attempts have been met with much resistance, but we will persevere.
Summer isn't totally over yet (school starts August 20). Next week, we'll have a brief staycation with the kids, then Brooke and I will head to Florida for a few days. It will allow us to catch our breath before the busyness of another semester kicks in. We need it and we will enjoy it!
My role has been adjusted here at the church over the past 6 months or so. In mid-to-late spring, I added a couple of responsibilities to what I've been doing. In early March, we began a youth ministry at Providence Road. Over the summer, we've seen around 10-12 students (all middle school so far!) coming weekly and it's been cool to be in on that from the ground up. That will only grow with time as we develop more consistency as a group and see new families come into the church.
We've also shifted our approach to leadership in worship. We have a wealth of talent and giftings in our church of people who are musically inclined. Sometime in April or May, we decided to move forward in more of a team approach to our Sunday morning worship leaders. This has been how the church was formed in regards to our preaching ministry and the elders made the decision to also move in that direction in our singing/liturgy as well. When it was decided that we'd move in that direction, I assumed responsibility over that team. I won't be picking up a guitar or singing, but I have learned a lot about music, the needs of our worship team, and how to lead a group of artists.
There are a couple of ways you can be praying for us over the coming weeks and months. About a month from now, our Missional Community will be sending out two couples (and maybe more) to begin a new MC in northwest Norman. It's a bittersweet time for us, as we've grown close with our current friends for two years now. At the same time, we are confident that this group will be led well and a new MC is needed in our church. I'm looking forward to watching what God does in and through this newly formed group over the fall and spring. Pray for the new MC going out as well as the new dynamic for the MC that will be staying with us.
As I write this, there are still questions about our long-term future here in Norman. I fully anticipate everything getting worked out for us to be here, but with things not being definitive for us yet we are asking that you pray for us. Leadership here would like us to stay and we would as well. Our support raising will end on December 31, so working through the details of absorbing a fully salaried position has yet to be finalized. Could we have raised support for another year? Sure. But when we began, we looked at about a 3 year window to raise support. We felt good about ending that in 2019 and still feel that way.
We trust that God will provide for us. We want that to be in Norman and I still believe that it will be. But if not, God will still provide for us even though it might look different than it has. Pray for us as often as you think of us, that we'd trust God with our future and follow Him wherever He leads us.
We love you guys and are thankful for your continued support and interest in our ministry in Norman!