Friday, July 1, 2016

Thirteen Years

It's been a long, long time since I've written a blog post. I don't think anyone even checks here anymore. That's okay. Tonight, I'm writing for me.

Back in October Patrick and I began a new adventure with a group of friends to plant a church in Plant City. It is an adventure that I Never thought I would be on again. We tried to plant a church once, alone, in the Chicago area, with very little resources. It didn't go so well, because of, well Life! Anyway, this adventure has been a complete 180 from that experience. I love where God is taking this beautiful group of people. Things are so different, but so good. Back in October, I was working in the nursery during a Hangout to introduce new comers to City Pointe. During that meeting the people where encouraged to change their Facebook profile to reflect that they were church planters. When Patrick told me, I don't know why, but I just couldn't do it. Patrick changed his, but I never could change it. I had a sense of fear about it that I just couldn't understand or sort through. I couldn't change my profile.

Tonight, I changed my profile to reflect my new position at City Pointe. I've been asked to be the preschool ministry leader. As I was changing my profile I noticed that Facebook gives a timeline of your major life events. It's been thirteen years since I was officially in ministry. You see, that last position, thirteen years ago, that was a paid preschool minister position. I was fired from that job with no real explanation as to why. I was reassured that I was great with the children. I was told that I would never be a minister. I was asked to lie to the congregation and tell them that I had another position somewhere else. I refused to do that. I was not given the opportunity to tell the 75 children or their families goodbye. I left that church with my heart in shambles. My hopes and dreams where shattered. I was confused and hurt. Thirteen years ago. Of course I have been ministering in several ways since then, but not in a position like that one. My confidence in God's ability to use me, to work through me, to even Want me to minister has been wavering at best and most of the time non existent. Church after church Patrick and I have ministered in and church after church I have been rejected over and over in children's ministry. Yet, I can look back at every place we've been and count friendships, children (some now very grown up), and lives that were changed because I served God. I definitely don't know what I'm doing. God is using me anyway and He always has been.

There's still this voice in my head. The voice says I'm not worthy, that I'm unusable, that I'm a failure, that I'm never going to be a minister. This has been a heavy burden on my heart the last two weeks. And I come to this: the voice is correct. Satan uses a bit of truth in his attack. I am not worthy. I am not usable. I am a failure. I'm not going to be a minister. And then there comes my favorite words in all of scripture. But God . . . In Ephesians 2 we see that we are dead because of our sins. There is nothing we can do, we are dead. Then, everything turns on verse 4. But God . . . I was dead, but God loved me and the blood of His Son restores my life. I am not worthy, but God. I am not usable, but God. I am a failure, but God. I'm not going to be a minister, but God. My heart is heavy for the task ahead. My desire to see God glorified in this ministry, in this church, is burning like a fire. I know that I cannot do anything, but God will. I cannot wait to see where He leads. I am awed and excited and honestly fearful of what He is planning. I pray I am up to what He asks.

The last thirteen years have brought a lot of pain, sorrow, and depression. Some of that has hinged around my deep, deep desire to fulfill my calling of ministry. Some of that has been a result of that voice and my strange propensity for listening to it define me. Satan likes to do that, to define me in a way that will paralyze me. It's hard to remember he does that because he's scared of me. Tonight I read a quote: "Pay the enemy back for all that he's thrown at you by BECOMING the person he always feared you would be." Tonight, as I changed my Facebook profile, simple words, that honestly don't mean much except that I have a passion for teaching little people and their families about Jesus, I realized that thirteen years is long enough. It's time to allow God to change me into what Satan is afraid of me becoming. I will replace the voice with The Voice of Truth.

I can do all things, through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Tradition 2014

Mother's Day 2005

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Mother's Day 2006

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Mother's Day 2007

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Mother's Day 2008

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Mother's Day 2009

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Mother's Day 2010

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Mother's Day 2011

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Mother's Day 2012
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Mother's Day 2013
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Mother's Day 2014
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Monday, January 20, 2014

List Three

I love lists. I love to write them, talk about them, mark them done, and I even enjoy reading other people's lists. So, when I read the 52 Lists Project I decided it would be a fun project.

List Three - list the things you should be proud of

Patrick
marriage
four children in heaven: Hannah Grace, Colin Michael, Airen Lee, Dash Liam
Aiden John
Anthony Joseph
Abigail Jaicee
Andon Josiah
Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Addiction Studies
Masters of Arts in Christian Education with an emphasis on Preschool and Children's Ministry
natural birth with first child
breastfeeding three children for a total of 44 months
surviving the loss of four children
Journeyman in Japan for two years
leading children all over the world closer to Christ

I don't really feel proud of these things as much as I feel grateful God allowed me to have them, experience them, and enjoy them.

Monday, January 13, 2014

List Two

I love lists. I love to write them, talk about them, mark them done, and I even enjoy reading other people's lists. So, when I read the 52 Lists Project I decided it would be a fun project.

List Two - list your greatest comforts

Patrick's arms
chocolate
french fries
God's word, His promises
making lists
Thankfulness Journal
Mr. Wonkers
little hugs around my legs
alone time in a great coffee shop
chicken fried steak
talking to my Mommy
compliments and encouragement from my Daddy
yellow roses
fuzzy socks
pajamas
Lambie
Christian music
playing the piano
The Island
waves

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lists

I love lists. I love to write them, talk about them, mark them done, and I even enjoy reading other people's lists. So, when I read the 52 Lists Project I decided it would be a fun project.

List One - list the words that touch your soul

Jesus
Emmanuel, God with us
burple (yes I spelled it correctly)
family
Koishii
tomodachi
decaf caramel mocha
thespianize
wandering
alligator (Abby's word for my GPS, navigator)
sweesh moes (Anthony's word for marshmallows)
beep beep (Andon's word for car)
Beautiful (Patrick's name for me)
fuzzy
edify
symphony
tapestry
Holy
Redhead
Peanut
Hershey
Babycakes

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014

Hello New Year! I took quite the hiatus, kind of unintentionally, from blogging last year. So many computer issues, so little time to explain. I'm going to try to move forward and slowly fill in some blanks from last year along the way.

I'm feeling hopeful and excited about this new year. I've reorganized myself and put some goals in place. I'm praying the year brings personal growth for my family and I. Happy New Year and may God bless you!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

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Merry Christmas from the Bailey family! We had a great Christmas this year. The boys got toolboxes and gift cards to begin building a fun project with their Daddy. Abby got a much asked for stuffed pink manatee. Andon was thrilled with his ball and has already run down the batteries in his toy drill. Patrick got an old school Atari. I received the most beautiful silver earrings with beautiful sapphires in them.

However, I think my greatest Christmas gift this year came in the form of a lesson Abby taught me.

One day we were driving to the grocery store and Abby exclaimed, "Mommy! Did you see those angels? And baby Jesus?" I told her I didn't see them, but I would be sure to look the next time. Well this scene repeated itself several times. I kept thinking, these Christmas decorations must be amazing for her to get so excited about them! This went on for about three weeks.

Finally one day I saw the angels and baby Jesus. They were old, plastic, dirty, and the paint was peeling off. Their backdrop was a piece of weathered grey plywood that wasn't even centered behind them. I was shocked and taken back as Abby's excitement grew, "Did you see them Mommy? Did you see the angels praising baby Jesus?" I couldn't understand it. She had certainly seen prettier, sparklier, more expensive decorations that were symmetrical for goodness sake! Why was she so taken with these decorations?

God spoke. "Angie, why aren't you?"

It's not about the sparkly, the new, or even the symmetry as much as it pains my OCD self to say that. It's about the baby. And this depiction of his birth was more realistic than any other thing I had seen. Abby got that. She was so excited about the baby and the angels that announced the King of Kings, it didn't matter to her that they were dirty. They were beautiful in her eyes.

Father, help me see You through the excited eyes of my three year old girl child. Thank you for her perspective. Amen.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6