When you have a big announcement…

So, if you ever were a reader, or you just happened upon this, I … uh, dropped the ball a bit. Another move, a new job and I sort of set my writing to the side. I regret that, however… that time was probably spent writing lesson plans.

However, this seemed like as a good a time as any to jump back in. Bear with me, I tend to get wordy.

Recap: In May 2014 I finished a degree that I only pursued and completed because I’d made a promise. A promise to God. I try to be reasonable in my literal interpretations of scripture, but I had “vowed” to go to seminary as a wide-eyed 17 year old,  and I did not want to fall short in that. Something about not breaking vows….

Jesus kept me in the classroom, we moved, and I allowed the grieving process of “not serving in formal ministry” progress. I know that for many readers that may seem so dumb…. for someone who has always preached and stood by the truth that there is no line dividing our lives into sacred and profane… I still believe that lie sometimes.

However, as I threw myself into my new teaching position at a new school I did grieve…. properly. I soon could see daily how my classroom (or classrooms, depending on the year) really were my ministry….my mission field.  I have prayed with, and for students. I have been mentored by other teachers that in ways I could not have imagined. In the three years since I finished my degree, I have grown more and more each year as person of faith, learning to trust His plan with peace. 

My first year at a new school I was offered the opportunity to get my ESOL (English as a Second Language) Endorsement. I had just finished a graduate degree while working and thought, surely an endorsement won’t be so bad….. I was wrong. So very very wrong.  It nearly broke me. And I literally tried to quit. I turned in a letter of “I have to quit because I am going to fail and I cannot be a good teacher and mom and wife if I have to keep spending nine hours on piddly grades….” If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you might remember that post– aptly named “I quit.” The short story is, my school would not let me quit. I struggled through that program and cried a lot. But I finished. And at the end of it, I thought, “why did I do this?

All I knew was that when I had received the email, I had felt a nudge, a jerk, a pull– something in my gut that said: THIS. DO THIS. Much like my promise to go to seminary.  It was hard, but I did it.

Two years later, another new school, a class peppered of ESOL students,  my heart is full, and my skills are put to good use. Over the last year the tug has gotten harder. That tug that you can’t think about without tears falling down your face. That voice that is shouting so loud you keep wondering, “Why doesn’t anyone else hear this?” So much so, that you repress those thoughts anywhere in public for fear of concerning those around you.

When will you go?”  Image-1

So now friends, we are going. The path that has wound itself in loops and trajectories that made little sense,is now creating a circle. In July 2018 Nathan and I will be going to Romania with our church. We will be joining Tomorrow Club ministries and serving in an “English Camp” that will give children the opportunity to learn English and hear the gospel. And friends, I can’t even type this or talk about it without tears flowing. I am so excited and humbled and full…. And we haven’t even gone yet.

And so, I have an ask, which is hard for me. I am the last person that likes to ask for help, money, or a cup of sugar.  We do have to raise the funds to go. Which surprisingly, I have little anxiety over. I do believe that the Lord will provide. We also need people to pray. Pray so much. For us, for our team, for the hearts of the people we interact with. For my sweet Corbin and Gabriella, who understand why we are going, but still aren’t sure about us being gone for a week. For God’s grace to cover it all.

If you are able and  would like to donate, the easiest way is go to this website. You can donate funds securely through our church’s website. You only need to choose Nathan or my name from the drop down tab. If you would rather mail funds, email me  or comment below and I can send you an address.  Every small little bit helps.

If you are not able to donate, but are willing to commit to praying for us as we prepare, and while we are on the trip, that is also very needed.

So, there friends, is our big announcement! Our first foray into Missions has begun!

Thank you for all your support!

-Cody

On Ten

A decade ago you changed my life.

You started it. You turned a flighty girl into the fiercest mama bear the world will know. You gave me the reason and the bravery to run after and fight for the things we needed. Someday you will understand that you, sweet boy, are the reason our family is here. You made US. 


A week in, and we knew that your will would match mine. You were the hungriest baby and I have seen that turn into a symbolic hunger in all things. You are always seeking more and I admire it so. You helped me learn the true meaning of responsibility, love, and sacrifice. 

And so, Corbin Paris Williams, I hope that you know how much you mean to me. My love for you is deep and full of gratitude. We have battled mightily at times, but I am grateful for your quick mind and tongue– even when it does get you in trouble. A brilliant professor once told me that, “people are who they will be in character and personality by the age of 10.

 If this is true, I am the luckiest. You are brilliant. Your intelligence already scares me. You are musical, artistic, and witty. More importantly, You love Jesus. You already care about the heats of your friends. You are your sister’s keeper. Your consideration and kindness to your peers puts me to shame. Your heart is sincere in your desire to do good. 


I cannot wait to see where the next 10 years takes you, but I need you to slow it down. You feel nearly grown and Mama simply cannot deal. I miss my cuddly, squishy baby. I know you will do great things; this year, and in the years to come. However, you will have to excuse me if I kiss you in public and make you hold my hand when we walk. You will always be my baby boy. 

Small Obediences

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

This morning my devotion was centered on Phil. 2:4. The text was encouraging those of us who are in a life that is not allowing for grand acts of spirituality…..the ones that are NOT shaking up the world right now…

God sees our hearts, and our daily obedience to Him honors Him even if our life does not exhibit grand gestures. 

 This spoke to me. I don’t feel trapped, but  I do feel a lot of other things: like deep sadness and lament for our current political state, the same sadness for the division growing on my social media feeds as well as my personal life. I feel guilt for not doing things…  

I fall into what Sarah Bessey referred to as a “complicated middle” that” won’t make Facebook rants.” And remember, freedom of speech is not a real thing for teachers.

 I feel angst and restless for things beyond this current season, like faraway missions, and radical career and life changes all in a ravishing pursuit of the Kingdom. Actions that Jesus, for whatever reason, keeps saying,”No,” or “Not yet.” 

I really really really don’t like “Not yet.” 

Despite all my “book learning” and life experience I still listen to lie of a division between the sacred and the profane. 

I took today off to go to a much needed appointment. As a teacher I rarely take days for the doctor for myself. I worry about my students missing instruction and as I read this devotion I had a sneaking sense of guilt for actually not going to work. However, as I prayed through it I kept hearing the words, “small obediences.”

Help me Lord to honor you in small acts of obedience. 

Help me Lord to trust that you do see my heart and recognize the fire there. 

Help me believe that my small obediences are enough. 

As I drove to my appointment I made a list of other things I could do to be productive with the rest of my day. I begrudgingly added chores that would help at home, like laundry and dishes. 

When I walked out of my appointment I had a call from the kid’s school.

I picked Corbin up. Somewhat agitated that my list would be abandoned to another day, but my boy is sick.

We received a positive Strep test and he buried his head under coats while I drove to get a prescription and pick up his sister.

And I am grateful for today. Not that C is sick again, but that in a Grace filled world, I was already off and could pick him up. Grateful for a kind doctor who took care of us. Grateful for a God that still speaks quietly to my heart to show me where He needs my focus and gives me opportunities to live it out. 

Small obediences. 

Washing dishes, doing laundry and cooking dinner everyday after a long day at work. 

Devotions every.single.morning, even when it makes you late

Staying in a career when you are restless and ready for change 

Compassion for every.single.person you face. 

Homework and discipline

Kindness and faith

Maintaining hope for the Kingdom to come.

Small obediences

Beloved by the Father. 

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9