It’s a Christmas miracle! I am blogging 2 days in a row! Can I keep this up? We shall see. A question I get very often is: so, you’re going to be on staff, right?
When Chris and I met I was working for an awesome ministry. I had just come from working at a church for several years and I never saw myself leaving ministry. At this time Chris was also working for a ministry but in more of a strategic/design role so wasn’t “in the trenches” (if you will). I ended up leaving my job after a very intense year there and just needed a break from ministry, this was about a month before we got married. I started working with a fantastic company that serves ministries (and other industries), so I felt like I was getting a break from ministry but still having the ability to work with Pastor’s, etc. Right around the same time, Chris lost his job and then started on staff at Cumberland…are you still following me here? It was a really seamless transition and God totally orchestrated all of that!
When Chris went on staff at the church I realized how amazing it was that God had moved us in opposite directions so perfectly. I actually say (quite often) that I can’t imagine if both of us were on staff at a church/ministry because we would literally NEVER see each other. If you have ever worked in ministry or at a church you know it doesn’t stop. Something ALWAYS takes priority and needs to be done immediately. Chris works A LOT…and very weird hours, which is totally great! Come november I quit my job and started working (very happily!) from home with (once like a spark). Working from home is SO my gig. I absolutely LOVE my job, I work with the most amazing women, and I am also able to run another business (re:volt consulting) on the side with one of my very best friends…who also happens to be one of the owners of (once like a spark) AND on top of all of that…I still have time to teach Turbo Kick! The best thing about the situation is the freedom and flexibility of working from home. For example, on Thursdays Chris goes in late and works very late – so that is a morning where we go to breakfast together, pray for the church, and just hang out – it’s so refreshing! He works late…so I work late (or shop, or watch Grey’s…). It is really the perfect situation for us.
So, back to the point here – no, I am not going to be on staff, and I am MORE than ok with that. I am clearly 100% behind this church plant and am praying daily that God reveals to me how I can support Chris is the venture. I plan on being EXTREMELY involved by volunteering and serving wherever I can, but at this point…we are both in our sweet spots and loving it!
*want to check out an AMAZING wedding on a goat farm? you should definitely go check it out.
*check out my Facebook for my newest project – Project 31! It’s my intention to post a photo every day for 31 days to give you a little visual into my life!
So, I am kind of revamping my blog to be a journey of the next year or so and my journey with Chris as he is planting Resonate Atlanta. For about 3 years now (wow!!!) Chris and I have been attending Cumberland Community Church in Smyrna, GA – 2 ish of those years Chris has been on staff as the worship leader/programming director. We absolutely adore Cumberland…but we have always kind of wondered why God led us there. I left a church that I had been extremely involved in since middle school, serving 3 years on staff, and landed at a church that was not in our community…at all. Living in the city driving more than 10 minutes from our place feels like we are no longer in our neck of the woods. I know that sounds SO stupid, but it really is true…living in a city there is a feeling of a neighborhood, not just in the sense of a bunch of houses lining a street around cul-de-sacs, I mean you know your neighbors, store keepers, see the same people running, it’s kind of hard to explain…even though you are probably thinking, “what is she talking about? You can have that outside of the city!” (and you DEFINITELY can)…
Back to the point here. For the past 3 years Chris and I have both felt very strongly the Cumberland is where God wanted us to be, but we just wondered why. Our church does amazing Sundays called “Faith in Action” Sundays where we literally shut the doors of the church and go work in the community instead of dressing up and sitting in the chairs in the auditorium…we LOVE this about our church, but Chris and I have also never really connected with things on those Sundays. Smyrna is not our community, we weren’t serving OUR neighbors or the schools that impact our neighborhood. Yeah, it was an amazing day, but what would it feel like if we were working alongside our neighbors?
Enter the vision of our lead pastor, Alan. He has always said that he doesn’t want to add on services as Cumberland grows but to plant in neighborhoods around Atlanta…interesting. When Chris told me this I thought “Cool! Maybe they will plant something in the city and then we can go there and he can work there!” Little did I realize that Alan had Chris in mind to actually DO the planting. When the idea first came up I asked Chris what his thoughts were on this and he said “I’ve always wanted to plant a church, but I always thought it would be when I was older.” That kind of made me laugh because I think both he and I like to think we are younger than we are (yes, I know, we ARE very young), but also God pretty much understands what’s going on.
So, here we are. About 9 months down the road from the initial conversation of the church plant and Chris is in full planting mode. Asking people to join our core – these are conversations I absolutely DREAD. I KNOW it is totally not about me AT ALL, but I just fear the “rejection” of people not wanting to join our core…hello…STUPID! If they don’t feel like God is calling them to be a part of this movement, CLEARLY that is ok…can you tell this is a lesson I am learning daily? We are less than a year away from the official launch and I am learning what it feels like to be a Pastor’s wife…more on that later…lots more on that later.
So, what is God teaching me right now? Get ready for the bullet point list….(which are not showing up as bullets in my published post…please standby while I contact my designer…ahem…)
- He is TOTALLY in control of this church plant – Chris and I are simply the lucky ones who He has chosen to be a part of this amazing vision
- I need to get a grip, relax, and trust that He is working in the hearts of the people who will be part of our core team
- PRAY. I have been using my runs to pray for our neighborhood. I’ve lived here for 2 years and have not prayed for a transformation…what an idiot. Now when I walk or drive down the streets I can see the amazing things that God has planned for this neighborhood and am giddy with excitement at what He is going to do.
- there’s a lot more but I really need to get back to work…
Thanks for reading…let’s hope I can keep this up consistently! As part of my job I tell people that consistency is the key in blogging and social media…can I execute these tactics for myself? We shall see.
**this letter was sent to the SVP of Customer Service at Comcast**
Dear Rick -
I would like to start by saying I hope you do actually read this email. I work in customer service and I know how horrible it can be to work with angry customers, so I am going to do my best to present you with the facts of the situation and remove emotion from this.
For 8 weeks we have been trying to upgrade our cable with Comcast. It was only this week that we were able to get someone out here because all other attempts resulted in either (a) a lost online chat to which the representative never followed up and tried to regain contact or (b)a dropped phone call that again, the representative never tried to get back in touch. Seemed a little odd that no one ever tried to get back in touch with us.
We were thrilled that we finally talked to someone who was able to place our order and set up an install to UPGRADE our basic cable to a bigger package with more equipment. Our install was set from 2pm-5pm today (7/12). At 4:57 we got a call saying they would arrive at 6, at 6:05 we got a call saying they were right around the corner. The installation person showed up at 6:47 pm. We scheduled our entire day around this install and when they were running late we said we had another commitment and asked if we could reschedule to tomorrow, they said no – there are no openings for over a week – so I stayed home and skipped a very important meeting. Surprisingly, that is not my main complaint here…that is really just a small thing compared to what happened next.
Once the installation person got here to install they had our order 100% WRONG. We ordered a cable card for our home theater PC (to which we were VERY clear we needed a CABLE card), and he brought a TiVo card. He asked me where the TiVo was and I said we didn’t have one, we have a home theater PC and needed a cable card, so he laughed (quite hard actually) and said it’s not going to work with our system and we shouldn’t have ordered a TiVo card…we did not order a TiVo card. We do not (nor have ever) owned a TiVo and would not have requested a card for one.
Then he moved to the next room to install the HD Cable box we ordered, so I confirmed that it was in fact an HD box and he said “no, this is a digital box, not HD, the work order was for digital.” Again, the man laughed in my face when I told him the order was wrong and at the fact that I was visibly annoyed with the situation and proceeded to show me the order he was given, while still laughing. I said I understand he was given the wrong order, but what is going to happen to make the wrong order right, even if it’s tomorrow? He responded to me and said “oh, they are not going to call you or follow up, you need to contact customer service and start the entire process from the beginning.” He then proceeded to leave and continued laughing all the way from my unit to the door of my building about how funny it was that I was upset.
Honestly, to have the order wrong is 1 thing, but showing up almost 2 hours late, having the wrong order, laughing in the face of a customer AND saying that I am going to have to contact Comcast to get the situation fixed…they will not contact me?! Really? Is this how you expect to retain customers? We have been loyal Comcast customers for YEARS, internet and cable, and you can bet that we will absolutely go without cable or switch companies before we upgrade with Comcast to a better, MORE EXPENSIVE, service if this is the customer service that you provide. I don’t appreciate being laughed at when I have spent my entire afternoon and evening waiting for this service.
Would love to know your solution here.
Although we entered into these 21 days on the Daniel Fast as a spiritual journey (of which it has been and I will post on that later) it has been a HUGE physical journey as well. Tonight at midnight is the end of our 21 days, and although I thought it was going to be a hard, grueling journey, it was not nearly as hard as I expected! So, here are some of the benefits of “eating clean” for 3 weeks and the changes I saw in my body.
-I have a history of breakouts, and after the first 4-5 days, my skin has drastically cleared. I had a dermatologist appointment on the first day of the fast and asked her about my skin and she said it’s totally hormonal and nothing she could do. Although I totally do believe that our hormones affect our skin, especially in our mid twenties, I also think what we eat directly affects our skin! (totally wish I had a before and after pic!)
-Acid reflux is a genetic thing in my family, and I, unfortunately, am one of the unlucky ones! I have been taking medicine for this for YEARS and still suffer from reflux. Well, I have not had ANY reflux the past few weeks…this is huge. I will be REALLY interested to see as I bring foods back in, which ones directly cause reflux. Do you think for one second I will continue eating (or drinking) those things? Heck no!
-For years I have been trying to reach a weight loss goal. Now, I am not quite there yet (Although the 9 lb loss did help!) my stomach is noticeably flatter. The pants I bought the week before the fast that were too tight are not hanging on my hips. All of that to say, my calorie intake did not really decrease, it stayed around the same (I track this daily), the thing I did change is putting foods in my body that my body was created to process!
So, the biggest physical lesson I have pondered: Do you think our bodies were designed to digest and process things we can’t even pronounce?? One thing that I used to eat a lot are the “Lays Light” chips. Those contain Olestra which is a fat molecule that our bodies can’t digest or process, so it just pushes it through your system. Now, why did I think this was a good idea?? After looking at a lot of the low calorie (not natural) foods I like to eat, I realized they are pumped full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners in order to bring the calorie content down. I think I’d rather have a serving of nuts for 70 more calories than a 100 calorie pack that is packed full of processed and fake ingredients…my body much prefers that!
Of course I will indulge in treats and sweets every now and then (ok, and maybe even a diet coke…how could I not??), but my hope is that Chris and I have learned in this time that our bodies were designed to process good foods, and although a bit more expensive at times (but not to the extreme people say…), I believe it it totally worth the investment.
So, I am in Week 5 of P90X and yowza…today was TOUGH!! I am absolutely loving this workout! I have been working out for a few years now and did 2 rounds of an AMAZING program, ChaLEAN Extreme. Well, I decided to change it up a bit and give P90X a go. I am telling you, if you are looking for an AMAZING workout that WILL change your body (IF YOU DO IT!), then I highly recommend p90x. It’s no joke. Although Tony Horton can get SERIOUSLY annoying sometimes, he knows how to give you a good workout, and the great news is you can mute him except for the cues, GENIUS idea there, Beachbody!
When I am done I will post my progress pics (day 1, 30, 60 and 90), so make sure you stay tuned! I can’t wait to see the end result!
oh, by the way! If you want to check out p90x for yourself you can get it from me: www.beachbodycoach.com/coachleahc