Friday, December 12, 2014

Let's Keep Dating Forever

Ever wonder what your life will look like five, ten, 
twenty years from now?

Well. Today is my “sixteen years from now” moment.

December 12th, 1998 a handsome young man knocked on my door.
The front door.
The door that no one ever used.
But, really, how was he supposed to know that everyone uses the back door?

He walked in and tried to make eye contact with my parents, while at the same time tried not to make eye contact.
You know what I mean.
Trying to be respectful but super nervous.
Like, if you look me too long in the eyes, you’ll read my soul kind of stuff.

We left for a casual date and I don't think either of us knew what was about to happen. 

That night started a journey I never knew could be.
A life I wouldn't trade for anything.
A joy I found that I had never known before.
A love that will last a lifetime.

Let’s keep dating forever, my love.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Henderson's Choice: Halloween

I've seen much debate on opinions regarding Halloween. I could give you opinion after opinion after blog after blog after origin after origin after scripture after scripture to back both sides. 

The truth is, every family and every community is different. 

We all must each discern what is right for our own families.

Do we let our children dress up? Yes.
But is their identity wrapped up in that? Absolutely not.

Do we pass out candy? Yes.
But is our goal to give every kid a cavity or send them on a sugar high? No.
Do we have pumpkins and bales of hay on our front porch? You betcha.
Do we have chopped off hands and bloody bones hanging from our trees? Gross.

Hear our hearts and don't just chalk it up to flirting with the world.
You see, we live in a community that is filled with young families. FILLED.
And we've made it a point to get to know our neighbors.
So we've chosen not to close the doors, turn lights off, and pretend they aren't knocking.
Now, do we think that by giving out awesome candy we will win them all to Christ? No. But maybe it will open some doors.

Could they ask us why we don't participate in Halloween, and we could give them an entire spill on the supposed origin of Halloween? Yes. But would that bring them close to Christ? Maybe. Maybe not.

And would they know if we were in the house with all the lights off, watching TV?
Maybe. Maybe not.

But instead, we've chosen to turn on as many lights as we can.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden, y'all.
Be that city on a hill!
Halloween itself may not be a redeeming holiday, but you are redeemed!
And if you know the Redeemer himself,  open your door and smile so big and so bright that you blind every dark thing that comes your way!  

You see, we as not only Christians, but Pastors, have the opinion
that the light shines brightest, when the darkness is darkest.

Be the house that all the kids want to come to every year! 
And you know what, you may smile so brightly, that they may knock on your door next week for your kids to play. And by your kids playing with them, you may have a bold lion like my A & E who just think EVERYONE goes to church :) So they ask them where they go!!  And sometimes they do already go to church. But sometimes they don't. My kids have br
ought more kids to church through these simple front yard conversations than any other. 

To go a step further, pray a simple prayer with your kids before you ever open the door the first time: "Lord, let every person who knocks on our door tonight see just how much we love You!" 
Make lots of popcorn.
Brew some coffee. 

Have Andy Mineo or Lecrae playing when the door opens.
Light up your fire pit for a warming station.
Pass out stuff to the kids AND the adults. 
Halloween is just a name folks.
And we've simply chosen to not shy away from it.
Give Halloween a chance.
Be a blessing to someone.
Love your neighbor.
Use this to your advantage.
When is another time of the year that you will have your neighbors knocking on YOUR door! You wanna talk about door to door witnessing. They are coming to YOU! Just open your door. 

You might still be shaking your head about our decision on how to enjoy this evening. And that is perfectly okay. Our best friends don't celebrate Halloween with their kids at ALL. And we honor that. We totally do. And just as we honor them for their decision, they honor ours. You can bet that we don't go toe to toe over the dinner table regarding our stance on Halloween!

Bottom line, we use this day to our advantage. We leverage it. 
And we totally have fun along the way.
Putting green eye shadow on my Tinkerbell last night brought me back to recital days for my sweet girl who is quickly reaching the teen years! When I zip up Lightning McQueen tonight in his race car, I'm totally gonna reminisce on the times we cuddled up to watch Cars together.
We dressed up for our student party last night.
We will dress up to walk around our neighborhood tonight.
We will be dressed up to pass out candy at our house tonight.
And will will dress up tomorrow night for our church's Fall Festival.
And we will be planning out what we get to dress up as next year :)

Let us not forget, that as believers, we are ALL on the same team. 
Choose your words wisely, if you choose to speak of this at all with others. 
It is not right for those who DO participate, to call people "super spiritual" for NOT participating. 
On the other hand, it is not right for those who DON'T participate to call others uneducated or young in their faith if they DO participate.  
This is most assuredly one way to tear down the kingdom, verses being a kingdom builder.

I'm gonna love you the same tomorrow, come November 1st.
I hope you feel the same about us :)
We love you deeply. And we love the Lord passionately. We promise!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Never Say Never

I said I would never ever, ever let a dog live in my house.


In August 2011 we uprooted our kids from all they had ever known. 

And in a moment of raw emotion, we promised our children a dog once we made the transition from Florida to South Carolina. 

My children are HUGE animal lovers. 

Cory and I are NOT. 

So we were internally relieved when we moved into an apartment for the first part of our transition, and we weren't allowed to have pets. Shwew. 

But then. 
We purchased our home. 

And once our year mark of being in our home hit.
And being asked a million times from our kids "when are we ever gonna get a dog?" 
We realized we had to keep true to our word. 
We had held off as long as we could without starting the actual dog search process.

So, we went to PetSmart when they were hosting the Homeward Bound Shelter dogs. 

We were fully intending on looking and NOT buying. 
That was established with the kids before we even left the house.

And then we saw this beautiful pup; took him out of his cage to play; and my kids were in tears. 

We left with them in tears. 

I texted my husband (in the drivers seat) and told him that we couldn't let the sun go down without that dog being in our house. 

This clean freak, sensitive nosed, everything in its place Momma, has really become quite fond of this sweet pup. 

Alas, welcome Cooper Henderson to our home. 
He has found his forever home. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five. Cinco. Cinq. Pende.

However you say it, our little guy turned FIVE this week! 
Time really goes fast when you're loving life! 

I often wonder what he'll be like at 15. Teenager. Sports? Hormones? 
I often wonder what he'll be like at 25. College? Girlfriend? Career?
I often wonder what he'll be like at 35. Married? Daddy? Live close? Far away? 

But for now, I'm going to revel in the awesomeness of the five years we've already had with our boy. 

He's conquered that whole speech thing that he battled for years. 
He loves to be at home. Want to see him in his element? Just come to our house! 
He's really good at basketball. Even from the top of the stairs! 
He makes friends with kids his age at any play area, play place, or group setting. 
He has learned how to use the phrase "oh crap" perfectly. Oops. 
He loves school, his teachers and his friends. And the red bike on the playground.
He loves the color green. 
His favorite character is Luigi. 
He still tells me constantly that he loves me. Sigh :) 



Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Kind of Friend

There are people who walk into your life for a season. 
And then there are people who make a deep impact. 
The ones who are forever friends. 
You know the kind. 

The kind of friend who asks you to be her bridesmaid; and somehow a journey of sisterhood begins.
The kind of friend who comes and sits with you, and cries with you, when you lose your baby. 
The kind of friend who puts a cinnamon dolce latte on your desk in the morning; or on your front porch and then texts for you to open the door. 
The kind of friend who puts on a cocktail dress and heads to Captain Andersons for a girls night. Just because. 
The kind of friend who cries and screams when you call to tell them you're pregnant ... again. 
The kind of friend who sits in a waiting room for hours upon hours ... upon hours ... waiting for the newest arrival to the family. 
The kind of friend who sits with your 6 day old so you can take a shower and the 6 year old can have some daddy time.  
The kind of friend who moves into an office right beside you when there are better options. 
The kind of friend who introduces you to Rocketman.
The kind of friend who rejoices in your victories; and hurts during your defeats. 
The kind of friend who throws a rock star baby shower ... twice.  
The kind of friend who inherits a puppy simply because they are asked. 
The kind of friend who brings ChickFilA and Krispy Kreme when your one year old is in the hospital with RSV.
The kind of friend who makes this famously awful, yet cute face with you. 
The kind of friend who helps you moves into your new home ... three different times.
The kind of friend who sits outside of Starbucks way past closing time, to discuss potential life plans. 
The kind of friend who calls me first when she is pregnant; so it can give me hope during a dark day.
The kind of friend who stayed up late and then woke up at the "butt crack of dawn" to do yard sales together. 
The kind of friend who invites you to every family function, because that's what feels normal. 
The kind of friend who not only offers to keep your kids, but genuinely wants to. 
The kind of friend who gets me to join a gym and actually go to workout classes with her. 
The kind of friend is so much more of a giver than a taker. 
The kind of friend who cries when we sit down to lunch and no words have even been spoken; simply because she knows what's coming. 
The kind of friend that is an amazing mom, a phenomenal worship pastor, a Godly wife, and a loyal daughter. 
The kind of friend who is a sister to me by all definitions of the word. 
The kind of friend who my heart misses and my soul desires daily conversations with. 

The kind of friend who has a birthday today. 

She is the kind of friend I wish I could be there today to hug and tell her I love her! 
Since distance separates us, these words will have to tell her how much she means to me! 
I miss you more than you know! 
Happy Birthday to the best friend a girl could have! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Simple Words. Simple faith.

The kids and I were driving down the road this week. 
Normal errands. 
Normal day. 
And my daughter rocked me with a few simple words. 

As she spoke, unknowingly saying words wise beyond her years, 
I simply sat and let the words penetrate my heart and my spirit. 

Then I prayed to have the same reaction and responses. 
Without hesitation. 
Without fail. 
Without doubt. 

Here was our conversation: 

A: "Mom, there is a car with a "Pray for Kennedy" sticker. 
Can we get one?" 
Me: "I'm sure we can. But I don't even know what it's about. 
I've seen that everywhere." 
A:" She has brain cancer, Mom. And they say there's no cure."
Me: "Oh wow, baby. I didn't know that. That's awful." 
A: "But Mom. We know a cure." 


And just as quick as the conversation had started. It ended. 

We were almost home. 
And I didn't need to ask her what she meant. 
And she knew she didn't need to explain. 

We DO know a cure. 

Will you join us as we begin to pray for Kennedy? 
Will you simply believe in the cure that enables medicines to work, the cure that guides doctors hands and gives them wisdom, the cure that allows trials to become workable treatments? 
The cure that took stripes on His back for our healing? 

Here is Kennedy. 
She needs a cure.

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Thursday, August 2, 2012

If We Get All Technical

If we get all technical ... 

Today is one year that we moved our little family to Columbia, South Carolina to begin our journey as the student & young adult pastors at Christian Life. Our intent was to move into our apartment on the afternoon of August 1st. But with a broken down uhaul on a country road in the middle of nowhere, that had to be hauled by a tow truck to Columbia with the contents of our entire home (irony, right?!), we slept the night at DoubleTree on August 1st and "moved in" on August 2nd! 

As we pulled out of our driveway in Panama City, FL with our eyes as puffy as they've ever been. Our sleep was more than lacking. And our muscles were sore (not from moving - we had oodles of help) but from the tight hugs we've been given and received. 

I don't think in that moment of driving away I fully realized what it meant to leave family and kindred friends. That was probably Gods infinite wisdom of protecting my heart and helping me make the move in a blind faith I'm not sure I've ever had before, or since! 

My husband processes things BEFORE big decisions. I process things AFTER. I tend to think it's Gods amazing way of balancing us out. It's freaky sometimes! 

As I look back over the last 12 months, I am so thankful that God gave us what HE knew we NEEDED and not what WE thought we WANTED. 
Because there were a few days that I wanted to pack my babies and husband up and high tail it back "home". I saw people looking at Easton with raised eyebrows as he would yell at them or he'd attempt to talk to them. I didn't WANT to explain to everyone that my son had a speech development and couldn't talk. I wasn't sure if Autumn would make friends. Heck, I wasn't sure if I was going to make friends! I missed the safety of our ministry we had molded & shaped for almost a decade. I missed knowing history of the church we were a part of. And being a part of the history of the church. I missed a lot. 

And then God would gently give me glimmers of what my heart needed. It was like he was feeding me small doses so that I didn't take it for granted.

In due time, 
He gave me girls who would call out my name when I drove up and give me a hug. 
He gave my son really great big brothers who took time to get to him & his personality. 
He gave us people who at first squinted their eyes as they were listening to us ask them to trust us for a few months, and then one day their eyes were open as they were listening & their heads were nodding. 
He gave us a pastor who feeds my spirit each and every week with a word that the Lord has given him.
He gave my daughter a place she could use her mothering gifts while working in the toddler class. 
He gave me small group co-leads who became just as much my friends as my partners in ministry. 
He gave me a business I can use to get to know women through. 
He gave us a student & young adult ministry who desire for Union to echo in their every day lives. 
He gave my son a school and teacher that has helped him form sentence upon sentence upon sentence.
He gave us a home that I could not have ever dreamed we would own. 
He gave my husband some young men to circle around him and not only help him with ministry but to simply walk through this new life with him. 
He has given us more than I can imagine in a short 12 months. 

I can't even begin to speculate on what the next few years will look like.
But I can tell you that we are looking forward to them with excitement, hope and a passion to reach a city that needs the love of Jesus. 
As our pastor says, he wants Columbia to be a hard place to go to hell from. 
That couldn't be a more accurate cry of or hearts! 
#union #CLA #oneyear #moretocome

14 “You are the light of the world.(A) A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.(B) 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,(C) that they may see your good deeds(D) and glorify(E) your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16