Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"...i am doing a new thing..."

{forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. see, i am doing a new thing! now it springs up; do you not perceive it? i am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.~isaiah 43: 18-19}

life in our household has been quite eventful for the last few weeks. to say that God has been at work seems almost to be an understatement because it almost seems as if He is completely turning our world upside down...in a good way. throughout my journey with the Lord, i can truly say that He has taken me places and given me opportunities that i never would have dreamed or imagined could happen. i am so thankful that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts! because i am so clearly not as imaginative or creative as He is. {total tangent but isn't it awesome, humbling, amazing, breathtaking, astonishing, and downright crazy that the Creator of all things is interested not only in the big things but in the little things, too? His presence in my life is just plain overwhelming.}

the calling into fulltime, vocational ministry came as quite the surprise to my fifteen year old self who had not even really begun to consider what i would do with the rest of my life. i remember my encounter with the Lord as if it were yesterday and clearly remember the overwhelming sense of His presence in that moment. i made a promise to the Lord that evening, even though i could not completely comprehend all that it would entail {who am i kidding? even 15 years later, i still don't totally comprehend all of it} i was certain of two things: 1) God was calling me into ministry and 2) whatever...and i meant whatever He called me to do or wherever He called me to go, i would do it and i would go. the Lord has brought that promise to my mind many times as i have walked this journey called life with Him. He reminded me of my promise to follow Him with reckless abandon when He called me to the one university that was NOT on my top ten...or top five list my senior year of high school {but is choosing a school for sports really the right motivation, anyway? yeah, i didn't think so}. He so vividly reminded me of my commitment to be faithful to this calling as my parents left me in ft. worth, texas, for seminary...all alone...in the ghetto in ft. worth...in the DORM, and He brought to mind my promise to be obedient to this calling as i stepped into a fulltime staff job and encountered my fair share of frustrations, struggles, and hard days.

the thing is, ministry isn't easy but i'm sure you already knew that. there were many days that i felt like giving up but simply couldn't because in the back of my mind and in my heart, i remembered a promise. a promise i made to the Lord to be faithful to this calling and to be faithful to be obedient to His leading. sometimes, the Lord calls us to do things that make sense and other times, His leading and His call simply don't make sense to us but we are still responsible to be obedient.

i realize that's a super long introduction to this new thing the Lord is doing in my life and in our family but i believe it's necessary...not just for you but for me, too. sometimes it helps to look back and reflect on how the Lord has worked and see His fingerprints on the past to remember that He is quite in control of the future. {again, i'm sorry...a tangent.} the Lord has been quite clear to both me and to joel that He is leading us in a different direction in our lives and as a result of this new direction, i have resigned my position on staff at my church. it's taken me about 5 minutes and about a million different sentences to finally type that last sentence. it's hard and sometimes obedience isn't easy. don't get me wrong...we are very excited about all that the Lord is doing in our lives and this new direction He seems to be leading us toward but it hasn't been an easy decision or one that was made quickly or taken lightly.

where exactly is He taking us? i don't know. joel has felt the call to ministry, specifically to preach, for a while now and i believe the Lord is getting us ready for this next step in our journey. i am beyond excited to have the opportunity to support my husband in ministry AND to minister with him. i do know this, i am as certain and sure of my calling today as i was when i was fifteen years old and just like that fifteen year old girl praying on the steps of that altar, i don't know the specifics of what or where or when the Lord will move but my promise to be faithful and obedient to the call is as steadfast as ever.

God is God. because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. i will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. ~ elisabeth elliot


Saturday, August 22, 2009

i'm totally a copycat but i'm okay with that :0)

again, i'm totally copying amy beth's survey saturday for two reasons...1) because i like this survey and think it looks fun and 2) because i've been tagged for this very survey several times on facebook and have never done it. so, today's the day!

Three names I go by:
1) amy

Three jobs I’ve had in my life:
1)customer service rep for student discipleship ministries (the see you at the pole people)
2) preschool ministry director
3)kindergarten ministry coordinator

Three places I’ve lived:
1) gastonia, nc
2) plano, tx
3) boiling springs, nc

Three favorite drinks:
1)diet coke
2)sweet tea (with lemon)

Three television shows I watch:
1)top chef
2)army wives
3) drop dead diva

Three of my favorite foods:
1) chocolate
3)almost ALL veggies...weird, i know

Three of my favorite restaurants:
1) pei wei
2) maggiano's
3) bonefish

Three things I couldn’t live without: (i'm interpreting this as THINGS i can't live without...not people because we ALL know that Jesus would be at top of that list and then the awesome hubs, joel.)
1) extra fine point sharpies (in lots-o-colors)
2) cute paper/stationary
3) pony tail holders

Three things I can’t stand:
2)when people don't follow through or aren't true to their word
3)bad drivers

Three things I’m decent at:
1) i love giving gifts to people...and am a little anal that i try very hard to match the gift bag/wrapping paper, card, and gift so that they're in the same color scheme. weird, i know.
2) being an aunt...i love hanging out with my nephews and niece and i LOVE that they still want to hang out with me (even though 2 of them are in the midst of the teen years).
3)cooking...i think i'm slowly getting the hang of it and am having fun changing and tweaking recipes to make them my own.

Three things I’m looking forward to this weekend:
1) looking at lots/house plans with my mom
2) hanging with the in-laws and seeing my sister-in-law, nephew, and niece who live in norfolk
3)quality time with hubs...just being together

Three things I’m addicted to:
1) diet coke
2)reading blogs/facebook/twitter...sometimes, i'm too connected!!
3)quality time with hubs...seriously, it's one of my top love languages


Saturday, August 8, 2009

show us your life...wedding reception and honeymoon

i decided to join in on kelly's blog carnival again this week (a few days late...). i had fun looking back through old pictures and reliving the reception through the video!

the reception:
our wedding reception was absolutely beautiful and magical. we had it at the schiele museum in gastonia and had the best time. we have loads of pictures but i thought posting the video of our reception would be best. enjoy!

the honeymoon:
we had an amazing honeymoon. we spent 4 days in new york city and then flew home to switch suitcases and then spent a week in hawaii. so that we would have the opportunity to see the island, we cruised around the islands with norwegian cruise line. we had an unbelievable 3 room suite with a hot tub on our balcony. we visited islands during the day and cruised at night.

our hotel...the westin at times square

smiling for a picture at times square

carriage ride in central park

macy's and the empire state building

joel surprised me with tickets to wicked...amazing seats. we had the best time!

us in front of the tree at rockefeller center

gorgeous picture, i thought...it took several tries before everything lined up just right

we stayed here in waikiki the first night in hawaii before boarding our ship

the view from our balcony...that's waikiki beach and diamond head

our ship: the pride of america

maui tropical plantation

rainbow falls in hilo

the shoreline at puna...absolutely gorgeous

being cheesy at the luau...so much fun!

we really enjoyed our time at the north shore on our last day on the islands


survey says...!!!

a blog that is on my daily reads list posts a fun and random survey every saturday...i'm a big fan of these silly little surveys because i think they're fun and they're interesting. you get to know things about people that you wouldn't normally think to ask. so, i decided to copy amy beth's survey today and join in on the fun over here on all about the alleys.

1. Have you made a new friend this year? yes, of course! i have a new furry friend (we love our paisley) and several new friends from church.

2. Have you fallen out of love this year? nope, not at all. i've never been MORE in love, in fact.

3. Have you laughed until you cried this year? umm...i live with joel alley. he's pretty much the most hilarious person i've ever met. he makes me laugh until i cry all the time. (he doesn't always show that side to everyone so i feel completely fortunate and blessed that i get to experience it :)

4. Have you met someone who changed you this year? hmm...well, paisley was a great addition to our little family and it did kind of change our life. other than that, i don't think so.

5. How many kids do you want to have? one to start with an option to add two more. we have to see what it's like to have one although, a friend from church mentioned the other night (she just had her third) that she thinks the first two children are your initiation into parenting...kind of like a hazing. apparently, her third has been a breeze compared to her first two. so, we'll see! :)

6. Have you ever wanted to change your name? several times. when i was going into 7th grade, i decided i wanted to change my name to elizabeth (my middle name) but my friends and family just couldn't catch on to it. just last year, i was trying to decide whether to keep my middle name, drop my last name right before we were married, i was tempted to drop my first name. i would have been elizabeth alley but it's a little late in life to change your name when you're 30.

7. When is the last time you saw your mother? i had lunch with her yesterday. joel and i will also see her in about 2 hrs because she is showing us houses (YAY for that!!! very fun!)

8. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life? hmm....funny you should ask because there are one or two things that i'd like to change that might possibly happen in the near future. i'll keep you updated :).

9. What are you listening to right now? joel fuss at paisley for biting (it's a constant, "no bite" around here lately) and "sell this house" is on tv.

10. What’s getting on your nerves right now? the fact that we're going to be late to meet my mom.

11. What’s your most visited website? facebook...thanks to my crackberry.

12. What are your nicknames? i love my nicknames...ALL of them... amybeth (my family calls me this); amyjane (sometimes my mom would call me this when i was little); aims (from the bff); gracie, graceland, grace-a-licious (all from the same amazing friend); baby (from hubs)

13. What’s your relationship status? M-A-R-R-I-E-D...i love that.

14. What do you like about yourself? i try really hard to be loyal and devoted in my relationships...if you need me, it's my goal to always be there.

15. Have you ever broken someone’s heart? i don't think so...

16. Have you had your heart broken? yes but am now thankful that relationship ended because the Lord had much better plans for me!!!

17. Do you believe in love at first sight? no...i think love develops over time.

18. If you could pick a day from last year and relive it, what day would it be? definitely my wedding day. it was amazing, simply amazing.

19. Are you afraid of falling in love? nope...the Lord has blessed me with an incredible, Godly man who takes such great care of my heart.


Monday, August 3, 2009


desperate. amazing. humbling. incredible. awesome. thankful. overwhelming...pretty much sums up my weekend. i had the opportunity to spend a few days with some great friends, annointed speakers, and unbelievable worship. the Lord knew exactly what i needed to hear and that i was desperate for a Word from Him and He was so faithful. i wish i could sum up everything about the weekend in this post but it's impossible and to be honest, it was such an intimate time between the Lord and me that some things just aren't meant for the blogworld to know :).

DeeperStill - Greensboro NC

"forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. see, I am doing a new thing! now it springs up; do you not perceive it? i am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." ~isaiah 43:18-19