Sunday, March 4, 2018

this NM life

I really do love living in the mountains. I LOVE the beauty. I appreciate the peacefulness. I appreciate nature (i've never been much of a nature girl!) I like the quiet. Living in a place like this really does calm my heart and mind.

I've learned how to be still living here. I've learned how to be ok with quiet.

In Georgia there was always somewhere to go and something to do. Or at least the option. Here we only have one grocery store, a family dollar, some locals shops and restaurants. That's it. Sure, we stay busy with normal life and spending time with friends but we don't create busyness by running to this place and that store just for the heck of it.

I like the relaxed feel of Angel Fire. It probably helps that it's a place people come to retire or vacation, ha.

I love Gabe's school. It is truly a family atmosphere. I think the teachers are outstanding. The students seem to know it's a safe place and seem to know they are loved (not just taught.)

The classes are relatively small which is cool. The rooms are nicely decorated creating a peaceful place to learn.

They have encore on Thursday afternoons. G LOVES encore. Two weeks ago I wanted to leave early because I had a headache but it would mean G would have to miss encore...that kid said NO to leaving early. I'm sorry, what?! What kid doesn't want to leave school??

Encore is when students mix up by age and go to a class for something different. They rotate teachers every week.  I am not explaining this well.  Bottom line, they get to hang out with a different group of students and do something fun with a different teacher.  I know one teacher focuses on science stuff for her encore, one does music/drama type things, and the others vary theirs. But the kids LOVE it.

I can't lie. I do too. I try to go to a different encore every week. Mainly so I can see what the teacher is doing and so I can be with a different group of students.

This last week I went to Mr Peppers encore. They are working on a play that the K-2 students are writing so he began with helping the students learn about being an actor/actress. I can't remember the whole "chant" they did but it was cool.  Let me see what I can remember... voice, listen, concentration, cooperation and self control. I probably left something out. They have motions for each so that if someone is getting out of hand during their play practice all he has to do is motion to them instead of calling them out or interrupting practice. Brilliant!

Then they played a fun game where they learned to do improv. So cute to watch! He'd say "take a picture of me" and the kids would find him somewhere in the room and pretend to take his picture. That would get them quiet and looking at him. Then he'd give them something to act out. Y'all. They were adorable. He went in every direction from being a snake, to driving a race car, to being an HR person firing an employee...ha. It was so fun to watch.

I just loved it. I am so excited to see the play the students are writing. I got to hear a little about the story from Gabe. I think it is going to be adorable.  Jay may help put the music part together. That'll be fun.

I don't know why I just wrote about all that except to say I think this school is different and special.  The atmosphere is structured yet relaxed. I appreciate that.

Gabe has loved being on the ski team. He skis every Monday from 9-3.  (school is Tuesday - Friday.) He has enjoyed learning a lot about skiing and making new friends. He would ski every day if we let him. He is ADORABLE coming down that big ol mountain with his tiny self. I wish everyone could see it. I think he'll continue to do ski team and undoubtedly get involved in competitions in the future.

He'll start golf team/lessons in May. That will be adorable as well.

He has made some really special friends here and we are so so so thankful. Leaving family was hard on all of us but of course we worried most about G. But God has been so very faithful to fill his life with precious, life-long friends. He asks me often if we're going to move again and quickly follows it up with "I hope not!" Me too buddy. I do love this life.

Jay stays busy with Village Church. He has done a fabulous job of planting this church. He hasn't rushing into anything. I'm probably not as much help as I should be because of work but I try!

We've grown from 8 people in our living room to anywhere from 30-50ish on a Friday night. I know for most of you that sounds pitiful but in Angel Fire that's legit!

God has shown up in every detail of this church plant. He has given us a core group of people that are starting this church out on a strong foundation. I am amazed. I wish you could meet each of them. They are unbelievable.

God has done some super cool stuff for Village Church. From a random, nice leather couch just showing up (nobody knows from where) to people donating chairs for us to sit in, to Jays friend from college making our offering/communication boxes out of reclaimed wood, to people donating time and energy to clean/renovate, to precious visions that God has given people for our church (that are truly encouraging!), to angels joining us in worship. Legit.

We have already seen God answer promises that He gave us before we moved. Here's one of my favorites...

When we visited last winter, Jay forgot his prescription meds. So we had them called in to the local pharmacy. We went in to pick it up and I KNEW God was telling me the pharmacist was going to be part of our church. I had no clue if he loved clue if he would even consider going to church but I knew he would be one of the reasons we moved to AF.

I didn't move here and bust into the pharmacy on day one and invite the pharmacist to church. Not at all. I didn't feel like it was anything I had to do...God would.

(I was excited to see his son was in Gabe's class! That made me smile.)

I met his girlfriend soon after arriving and absolutely adored her! I mean, y'all, this girl is hilarious and so much fun. She makes my heart happy.

We had them over to our house for a party or two and again just fell in love with them. Such gentle, fun, loving and engaging friends.

But I never pushed our church.

Then several weeks ago they came on a Friday night. I was so nervous that they would hate it. ha! Lots of faith I had in that moment, huh?!

LONG story short, last week we had a time of sharing at the end of the service and they announced that they had found their church home!!!!!!!! y'all!!! that precious vision that God gave me on a random trip the pharmacy had come to fruition. My heart just leaped!

I could share so many stories like this but I'll stop for now. Mainly because I don't think this blog makes much sense.

Did I mention I'm highly drugged because of a sinus infection? I am.

I'll write down the stories of God's faithfulness and do an entire blog on it. Next time!

I love being a NEW new Mexican. I can't believe we've already been here 9 months. What a wild, fun ride it has been!!!!!!

God is good y'all. If He is calling you to do something out of the it! He is too much fun.

Monday, February 5, 2018

a few G quotes for entertainment

G quotes for your enjoyment

Age 4:
“mom, your hair looks great but mine looks better.”

“do king snakes only bite kings?”

he walked into the playroom at chick-fil-a and said “what’s up ladies?” (I may have prompted that.)

Words he used in sentence at age 4: similar, hollow, exoskeleton, intelligent, replicate and extraordinary.

At age 4 he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. That sweet heart.

“son of a nutcracker!”

age 2 & 3:
 Jay and I were talking to him about his obedience and he said “all of this talking makes me boring.”

he asked jay "whatcha doin' brotha?"

because our neighbors called jay "mr. jay" when they all played in our backyard.  G would refer to any man as "mr. jay" in our backyard.

he called pancakes “tantakes.”

guitar = "tar"

when retelling David & Goliath he would call it a "wing shot" and end it with "the giant berry, berry died."

"i love you infinity square, square." followed by "i love you more, i win!"

when asking for grilled chicken he would say "i only like chicken without crumbs."

names for family "umple josh, aunt pwaire (claire), big dd (allie), little dd, and juwanna."

G asked for something in the car and i said "can you say please?" His response..."can you say waffle house because I love it, love it, love it." 

“when dad gets home I’m going to rough him up and make him cry like a girl.”

“watch your words, watch your words.”

He called chick-fil-a “chick-a-play” for years

“mom just watching you workout makes me tired.”

He saw the pope on tv and said “I want to drive God’s truck.”

“I get madder than the hulk when another kids scores in soccer.”

I lit a candle and he said “mom I like your jar of fire.”

At age 2 he and his friend didn’t say good morning at school…they lifted up their shirts and did a chest bump.

“tiss” – kiss

he would come in our room at age 2 and say “hey mom, it’s me gabe.”

He asked jay if his legs had a beard.

He saw a picture of the Titanic and said “the boat is doing a wheelie!”

He called dunkin donuts “dumsy donuts.”

He was riding his balance bike saying “that’s how I roll up in here!”

He woke up and said “I had a rough night.”

I didn’t get to his crib fast enough and he yelled “I’m trying to wake up Taci!”  (kaci.)

Playing with an ipad he said “I’m frustrated with my email.”

I asked G for a hug and he said “sure, want to talk about it?”

He called the smoke detector a “smoke etecor.”

White butter = butter, black butter = syrup

Saw something on tv and said “this is ridiculous.”

“sometimes me do, sometimes me don't”

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lil update on us, Village Church and more

I just told Jay how much I love it here. I recently posted a blog about what the Lord has done in my heart here. I'm still not over it. My heart & mind feel as fresh as the mountain air. CHEESY but so very true and my heart is full.

God has blown us away with His faithfulness. He is everywhere. He amazes me daily, hourly.

He has helped Gabe's heart go from "I'm never leaving Columbus." back in May to "I hope we never leave Angel Fire, ever." I feel ya kid. I feel ya.

Here's a few stories I wish I could tell each of you over coffee...

One Friday night, a month ago or so, we made coffee and put out some snacks in preparation for our weekly service. (Still being held at our house for three more weeks!) We had a rather small group that night I think there may have been 10 of us. We began like any other night - in worship.

We began singing our last song and I kid you not it sounded like there were 200+ people singing with us. At first I thought it might be something playing on the computer I was holding. (I'm the tech girl. That should make EVERYONE laugh and fear for our church.)

Then I noticed Jay was weeping. Y'all know me. I'm the simplest Christian you will ever meet but...without a doubt I knew what was happening..... ANGELS.

We continued singing with what sounded like Christ Community on a Sunday morning instead of our living room with 10 people.

ANGELS y'all. I'll never forget it.

After we finished we just all just sat in awe. Then Jay said "do you realize we just sang with the Angels? That could mean one of two things, or both. Either they were coming to protect us from something the enemy was planning against us OR they wanted to join in with what we are doing tonight and in this village." I think BOTH! Come on Jesus.

It was truly an amazing moment that I hope everyone can experience this side of Heaven.

Another way He has been faithful is with opening up doors for us to reach out and love on people. We saw a waitress crying one day. She never came towards our table for us to pray over her but we prayed for her without her knowing. When we went back a week or so later she came over to speak and we told her we'd been praying for her. She wrote us a long note telling us what was going on in her life so now we get to pray for that specific need. (I did write her back too)

We've also been renovating the church building. Eww. One night in the POURING RAIN we all scrubbed bathrooms, pulled up carpet and did other cleaning jobs. The folks that came worked HARD. In the dark (we had very little light) doing grunt work. One friend who came is a leader in another church in town. He'd been up since 3:30am and he had to be up at 3:30am the next morning. He still came. What a guy.

We didn't finish all of the work that night because it was a lot. (sweet jay thought we would...) So Jay called the boys home in Eagle Nest to hire some guys to help.  These guys have all had hard lives. They've been in jail/prison and this is their half-way house (more or less) before rejoining the real world.

The first day these two guys showed up. Jay befriended them fairly quickly and towards the end of the day got them talking/sharing about their lives. Neither had grown up in a healthy environment. Jay asked them at one point if they knew the last time they'd sat down and had dinner with a family, any family, not just their own. They both responded at least 5 years ago.

Jay said something in him broke hearing that. So he said "well, we'll have to have you guys over for dinner with our family some time."

We've since had 4 or more other guys come work with Jay. All sharing the same life story.

I went by one afternoon last week to pay the two guys that were finishing their work day. I talked to one for a while about skiing, how beautiful Angel Fire is and what the building was they were working on, etc. They weren't scary guys but you could tell they'd had a hard life and had done some "not so christian" things...

As I was getting in my car one of the guys yelled "hey, are you that wife that wants to have us over for dinner?"  Y'all, he went from looking like a punk we might hide our purse from to a 5 year old little boy in that moment. He looked like a precious child asking to have a family, even for a night.

I smiled a BIG OLE smile and said, "Yes! Absolutely I want to and look forward to it."

Only God.

He has put some amazing friends in our lives who know and love the Lord. We are so thankful. My friend Kelly told me when we moved here that "to make it in a small town you have to throw yourself out there and get involved." So I have! I've hosted parties at my house and am in the middle of planning a Friendsgiving. I've joined PTA and started volunteering at G's school. I have met precious people at church and at work.

It's been so sweet.

One last story about God's fun ideas. When we were still praying/considering this move last fall Jay called a NM pastor in a nearby town Red River. Jay told him what we were thinking and asked about the culture here, etc. The pastor, Ed, explained all that and they probably talked 30-45 mins. Then Ed said, "I don't know how you'd feel about this but God works in mysterious ways...We'll be looking for a worship pastor next Fall. Maybe you can fill that role." (i'm paraphrasing b/c it's been a year.)

Well, in July Jay started helping with worship at Faith Mountain in Red River on Sundays and yesterday took the worship pastor role (at least for a year.)   It is the sweetest, friendliest church! We love being involved over there and love how God has used that job to provide for our family.

He just thinks of everything.

He has given us friends who don't know him that we can pray for and hopefully show them Christ.

I could go on and on about how wonderful God has been to us. But you are probably tired of reading.

I shared this song on FB a while back (i'm not much for sharing songs) but this one has carried me through packing up my house in Georgia to putting myself out there in a tiny town in NM.

He is so good. And "not for a moment will He forsake me." Or you.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Realizing more & more about this move...

It's been just over 4 months since we left GA. I can't even begin to tell you all that these 4 months have brought. But I'm going to try...

Leaving Columbus was hard. Leaving family was the worst. I'll never forget that last Sunday with my family. I'll never forget weeping through church sitting next to my family thinking "I can't leave them." I'll never forget crying...let's be honest...weeping the entire time I drove that Sunday afternoon. I cried most of Monday as well. (I'm crying now just typing about it.)  I knew I loved my family but the thought of not seeing them at least once a week broke me hard. 

The first several weeks I cried every Saturday evening. I don't know what it was about Saturdays but I fell apart. I missed my family. I wanted to be able to see them at church the next morning. I missed my church family, my running buddies, my neighbors...I missed "normal" life. 

But as the weeks went on the Lord began to calm my heart. He kept reminding me that this is where He had called us to. He literally reminded me every day I walked in our house and saw the painting from my friend Ashley that says "Don't dig up in doubt what you planted in faith." - Elisabeth Elliot

He reminded me over & over in the faces of the people here.  

Lately, I've started to notice something else He's done in this move. At first I thought it was just a by-product but I'm sensing it was part of His plan all along...

(Disclaimer: All that I am about to explain was a KACI problem not a Columbus problem.)

I'm FREE here. It's a beautiful freedom that I've longed for. 

This may sound silly to some but this move has helped me be myself again

In Columbus I'd gotten way too focused on myself.  We all know I was too focused on my weight/appearance. I'd let the devil tell me I wasn't enough: pretty enough, popular enough, rich enough, thin enough, etc. I'd listened and believed those lies. 

Moving here has given me freedom from all of those things for lots of reasons. Some make me laugh. 

First of all, nobody here knows that I used to weigh 30 lbs less than I do now so to them I'm "just Kaci." Now, I'm sure to people in Columbus I was "just Kaci" too but I was so ashamed of myself and so self-centered I couldn't see the truth. The devil had me convinced my worth was wrapped up in how skinny I could be when in reality that didn't matter and certainly had NOTHING to do with the Kingdom of God. 

(also I was gross skinny and looked like a drug addict so even though 30lbs may have been a TAD much it's still better than looking and being hungry.) 

Secondly, I had convinced myself that I wasn't "cool" enough or beautiful/perfect enough, wealthy enough or  junior league (nothing wrong with it!) enough so I should just hunker down in my own little world and never branch out. So stupid.

I was stuck in a RUT in so many ways. I thought I HAD to run at least 4 miles every morning and do Uncommon Athlete at least 5 days. I had the same daily routine. I had the same fears, anxieties, and unworthy feelings yuck.

Here I have taken my eyes off of myself. I've quit caring who seems to "have it all together" or has status (probably helps that I simply don't know) and I've just been myself. I've reached out. I've started conversations with people that I don't know and felt free to do it.

Taking my eyes off of myself has allowed me to LOVE other people well. I did that some in Columbus but often found myself too intimidated to reach out to people that I felt a nudge to.

I'm determined (with the help of Jesus) to love, encourage and reach out to whoever He tells me to in Angel Fire. Trust me...He's already called me out of my comfort zone but I'm going for it.

Last night I had a house full of friends and kids. And I LOVED every minute. I wasn't thinking about how chunky I felt, how much more beautiful the other girls were than me (and they are!), or how much smarter or successful the others were. I just laughed. I just talked, listened and had fun.

That is such freedom for me.

I did almost announce around at one point that "they didn't have to leave but I was about to take my pants off!" That's how I always got our community group to end on time.

I love this place. I love this life. I love the sweet friends that God has put in our lives. I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love our church. I love the school that Gabe attends and the staff that works there. I love that God has called me out of my comfort zone in every way.

PS - I do miss my family. I still cry bc I miss them. And I won't see them again until MARCH...y'all. I can't.

But He is so faithful.

I was miserable and stuck the last couple years in Columbus. Of course I had joy because of Him but I felt stuck in my self-centered world and I hated it.

Who knew a cross country move would FREE me? Who would've thought it would free my heart to be and do what He has called me to do? He is so creative. He is so exciting and full of surprises.

Lord help me to stay in this sweet place of freedom so that I can keep my eyes on You and the people that You love and have called me to love in this beautiful place.

A sweet friend sent me this a couple weeks ago and it couldn't be more true...

So now I will pack up my life and trade all this beautiful certainty for beautiful uncertainty. And I know God will meet me there in the middle of the questions with answers in His perfect timing, in His perfect way. Because that's what He does. That's what it's all about...this simple thing. This surrendering thing. This walking with Him thing.

The End Beginning.

Mandy Hale, #BeautifulUncertainty

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

our first church meeting!

Wow, it has definitely been a whirlwind since I lost posted. We are still loving this Angel Fire life. I won't lie...I do get homesick often (ok sometimes daily) but I am sure we are right where we are supposed to be.

The past several weeks have been so much fun. First my brother, his wife and 5 kids arrived. Y'all. I could hardly contain myself the morning of their arrival. I told Jay I was tempted to drive towards them just so I could see them faster. We had so much fun together. We ALLLLLLLL stayed at our house which was extra fun! People, stuff, food, clothes, etc everywhere and I loved every minute of it. We had one snag in the trip when G got crazy sick. I mean temp of 104, saying things that didn't make any sense and shaking uncontrollably. The timing made me question God but I know it was His timing because Josh & Claire were here to calm me down, pray with us and keep our spirits up.

I won't go into details of all that we did but it was a good time! I was sad to see them go but knew I'd see them again in a week so I didn't cry...too hard.

A few days later the three of us headed to Albuquerque to pick up Hannah and Elle! They flew here while Luke rode Jay's motorcycle. (that is a good friend!) We, of course, had a blast with the Smiths. We missed Moses but look forward to him coming next time! (with Potch and Annie we hope!) It was surreal to have our best friends in Angel Fire! What a fun weekend.  Yes, I cried when they left.

The Saturday they were here G and I left to go get Allie and meet the Dunlaps for lunch. Again I was sooooooo excited to see them! I got to hear about their awesome week at Trail West (YL family camp) and bring Allie home with me to stay for another 10 days!

I won't lie. I cried HARD for 30 minutes after leaving the Dunlaps. It was hard to say goodbye because I'm not sure when I'll see them again. Maybe not til November. Lord help me.

Allie brought back some nasty virus with her. I tried to take care of her while waiting on my parents to arrive. I'm not good with sick people. Apparently I helped her too much because the next night I got SICK AS A DOG. Y'all. It was coming out in every direction for 12 hours at least. I slept and puked, slept and puked. AWFUL.

Finally I came back to life (kind of) on the 4th of July. So we went to the parade in Eagle Nest, lunch and had some fun that day. The rest of the time my parents were here was a blast! We went to Taos, Eagle Nest, Red River, Cimarron and of course spent time in Angel Fire. I loved loved loved having my parents and Allie for a solid week. I hated to see them leave. But I hope my parents will come back with my Aunt & Uncle in September.

Sunday was Jay's birthday. We were kinda lazy. Had lunch out and then laid around a lot. Jay was going to ride his motorcycle that evening but it rained so we just watched TV, napped and ate supper together. It was sweet, quiet and perfect.

This week we've been trying to get back into the swing of things. Jay's been talking and meeting with contractors for weeks now. We think we finally have a bid that we're comfortable with. Hopefully before the end of the month renovations will begin at the Village Church!

PS - we may try to do some work ourselves. SOOOOOOO if you have some skills, some time on your hands and want to come out and help some we'll make sure you have a place to stay and food to eat!!!!!  It's NOT HOT here :) Just text or call us if you're interested in helping. We hope to get a team together rather quickly. Jodie Creswell is another person you can contact. (thanks Jodie)

We will have our first church service this coming Friday!! We are so excited. We haven't posted on FB about it because we want our first month or so to be our core group who will help us set our mission statement, values, goals, etc. We plan to meet at 6pm and begin worship at 6:30pm with prayer to follow. Please pray for our night! We are asking the Holy Spirit to go before us and guide us. We want HIS will to be done at the Village Church. We have open hands, minds and hearts moving forward. We want desperately to reach this village for Him.

Thank YOU so much to those who have written notes and sent money. We are beyond thankful and feel blessed to have people walk alongside us. We cannot do this without support of friends and family.

Few other things you can pray for:
-Jay hopes to sell his sequoia and get something 4 wheel drive. Pray that happens!
-G will start kindergarten in a month or so. AHH, pray for him and us!
-I'm trying to find a part time job. Jobs around here don't pay much so who knows if it'll help much but I'm looking anyway. Pray for wisdom! I want to be super involved in Gs life & school so this job stuff is tricky!
-Pray for our homesick hearts.
-Pray for the people of Angel Fire to be open to what God is wanting to do here.
-Pray that we will continue to see the people of Angel Fire the way God does.
-Pray for us when cold weather hits hahahaha.

Monday, June 19, 2017

one month in and i'm overwhelmed (in a good way)

Tomorrow will be our 4th week in Angel Fire. We are still trying to find a routine and settling in but it definitely feels right. It feels like home.

If God told me today that I could move back to Columbus if I wanted to I would say no. I'd ask Him to send my family HERE (ha!) but I would say no to leaving. Here's why:

Life here is much slower. Could be because there's not really anywhere to go (haha) but it is such a gift to our family. We aren't in a hurry.

People here are kind. They aren't in a hurry either so they take the time to say hello and introduce themselves.

The mountains are GORGEOUS.

The lake near is house is beautiful and such a peaceful place to run in the morning. Deer and Elk all around. (Bears too apparently. Thankfully I haven't seen one.)

the crime rate is like 0.

I love watching mountain bikers ride down the mountain. I can't get over the fact that they do that.

I posted randomly on the Angel Fire "better than the post office" site that I was looking for a running buddy (because, there are BEARS.) And ended up with two running friends and a hiking friend. Try that in Columbus...

Gabe has made PRECIOUS friends that I believe will be life-long.

God is definitely working in this village and we are honored to be a small part of His work.

We met with the church that meets in the same strip mall that we are meeting in and they asked how they could help us! They weren't the least bit grumpy that we were coming to start a church.

The people here are not pretentious. I'm not saying everyone in Columbus is (by no means!) but seriously, NO ONE here is. That is so refreshing to my low-maintenance self.

we have a Friday night concert series like Columbus! except you may need a blanket. they have music, face painting for kids, etc. so fun.

we have market days too!

people are always outside (during the summer) riding bikes, hiking, picnicking, playing golf and tennis. i LOVE it.

i played golf last week and LOVED it!

Funny things about life here:

in Columbus our Internet speed was 60 mbps. Here it's 1mbps.

the closest big grocery store (we have one small one) is a 40 ish minute drive away

a lot of restaurants/coffee shops are closed by 4pm at the latest.

family dollar is our wal-mart.

everything is within 2.5 miles of our house

very few people have A/C (including us)

kids only go to school tuesday - friday

G will have 9 kids in his kindergarten class

Gs school has horses and a green house type area.

the sun rises before 5:30am. that's just wrong. and in the winter it's dark by 5pm. I will be wearing PJs by 5pm like no body's business

there are prairie dogs EVERYWHERE

RVs are everywhere too.

I love this village. I love the charm. I love the people. I know there will be tough days (just like any place) but I can't help but love Angel Fire.

We've made really precious friends that we adore. Fran has taken me under her wing and helped me feel right at home. Of course Lisa has too. And Kimberly. And Margie. And Fe. And Margarita. And Mary Ann. And Mary. Gosh, I could name so many...

Jay has also made great friends. He makes friends so easily. He's so lovable. (Ben, James, Trinity, David & Eddie to name a few.)

I am beyond excited to see what God is going to do here. He has given us a vision. Isaiah 61 is our hope, our goal and what we believe He desires.

We are going to start inviting people into our home to meet on Saturday nights in July. Please pray that this time will be sweet, real and purposeful. We want to gather what we feel like will be our core group and our leadership to help make decisions about our church.

We hope to meet together for worship, prayer, teaching (and of course food) and begin stating our vision and mission statement. We pray that this group will grow together and commit to helping the Village church flourish. Of course God will ultimately do that but we understand our job and the need to have godly people working alongside us.

We are excited, terrified and fired up for this opportunity.  We covet your prayers!!!!!

We're working on our website and online giving so stay tuned!  Go like our FB page if you haven't already. @villagechurchnm

We hope to start doing outreach in the community soon as well. We're planning to make gift bags for resort employees (with water, chapstick, sunscreen, etc.)

We may even put matchbooks in the bars/restaurants with our logo.

Feel free to send outreach ideas our way. We want to love this village to Jesus.

Thanks for loving us and caring about this journey.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

one week in Angel Fire

Well here we are. We’ve been in Angel Fire a week now. It is definitely a different life! Thankfully, it is starting to feel like home.

Let’s back up to just before we left Columbus…

Thursday before we left Jay’s motorcycle riding buddies, Jodie Creswell and Lee McBride set up a benefit for us. What a fun night! It was hard to hold in tears as so many friends that we love with all of our hearts lead us in songs from Jay’s life (different bands, etc.) and ended the night in sweet, sweet worship. It was so sweet. The amazing people in attendance raised over $12,000 for our church in Angel Fire. We were blown away.

We were also blown away when a few minutes into the night Jay’s precious parents walked in!!! They surprised us! I can’t believe my mom kept that quiet.  We had so much fun spending a few days with them. My mom, Jay’s mom and I laughed A LOT while packing up boxes in my chaotic house. Janice took the funniest picture of my mom drenched in sweat with hair standing up everywhere. Those moments will forever stay with me. What a sweet memory.

That Saturday morning around 15 friends came to help us load the uhaul. Again, memories I’ll never forget. So many laughs. I’ll never forget Jonathan Payne & Theresa Robertson’s face when we rounded the corner with a lawnmower after they had carefully loaded (tetris style) our uhual.  Too funny.  We will forever be grateful for friends who were willing to get up early on a Saturday and do the job that everyone dreads being asked to do.

That afternoon my family all met for lunch at my brothers house. By that time my precious Aunt and Uncle from Florida had arrived. They love Jay like a son (and of course love me, ha!) so they wanted to come for Jay’s last Sunday at CCC. We gathered and enjoyed delicious food my parents had prepared. While I was making Jay a plate Paul Benitez from Texas walked in. I literally screamed! He’s been a precious friend to Jay and I for years. Talk about HILARIOUS memories….So many in my life involve Paul! Oh what a gift to have him come!

I remember sitting at lunch next to Allie, Ava and Addison trying to hold it together. Knowing my time with them was coming to a close…oh I cry now thinking about it. I remember wanting to just hold them (but knowing that would freak them out hahaha.) Julianna was chatting it up with Jonathan and making us laugh. Vasa and Gabe were being loud playing video games…every memory etched in my mind.

After lunch we sat around the table and prayed. That was it. I was a goner. I wept like a fool all the while trying to keep my makeup somewhat decent for the wedding I was about to attend!  We praised God for all He’s done, family prayed for safety, comfort and peace for us all. I don’t think any adult walked away without tears.

Fast forward to that evening. Luke, Hannah, Moses and Elle came over. They brought lawn chairs (since we had zero furniture!) and a gift basket from the Newcomers and Smiths. Again, precious memories. Gabe opened a hot wheel named “Mo mo” and said, “Moses, this car will always make me remember you.” Well, Hannah and I were a hot mess. I couldn’t even say bye to Luke and Hannah. I just hugged them and walked away. (I’m crying again now.) Moses gave me a hug and said “I love you aunt Taci.” Lord help me. I went to my room and WEPT…SOBBED for at least 30 minutes.

The next morning I met Kami and Theresa for one last run. I can’t even put that time into words. Those sweet girls have walked through so much of life with me. We have laughed, prayed, cried and shared so much life. I know we will continue to but oh how my heart aches for morning runs with them.

Then I got myself and G ready for church. We went to both services that day since it was our last. I lasted about 30 minutes before I lost it. Jay lead worship with the band for the first 4 songs. Then he lead the last two songs by himself. That’s when I lost it. I just love him. I love his heart for God, worship, people and in general. He is such a good man. So I wept. Then HE started crying as he finished leading and began to share about our next steps.

I cried. Then I saw that Ava, Allie and Addison were crying. That completely killed me. They love Jay and he loves them. The relationship they share is absolutely precious. I know that won’t change but it’s hard not to see them regularly! Jay already said how he will miss them coming to talk to him after church every Sunday.

After the first service my dad baptized a friend. Gabe fell apart. He’d been asking for a month or so to be baptized. My brother sat down with him and asked him questions about his heart, faith and about serving Jesus. Long story short, my dad and Jay baptized G right then and there. Again, I LOST IT.

After church we met my family for lunch at Country’s. I tried to soak in every moment. I didn’t want that time to end. I can’t talk much about it because I can’t see to type.

We left there, loaded the Uhaul and headed out of town. LOTS of funny things happened during that time and lots of tears as well.

We only drove 3.5 hours that afternoon because we were (obviously) exhausted in every way possible.

The next two days were driving days. We still had fun. Jay and I called each other about 20 times a day. We missed each other driving in different cars.

We arrived on Tuesday late afternoon to sweet cheers (and homemade cookies & dinner) from some PRECIOUS friends. They helped us unload cars and light our pilot light on the hot water heater.

I won’t go into all the packing and unpacking details but it was A LOT of work. Sweet Sarah, Mundo (who is tough as nails) and Fran helped us get our house put together. We are forever thankful for their help.

We’ve settled into somewhat of a routine. I have only cried twice. I cried writing this and I lost it Saturday night. I wanted my family. I wanted “normal life.” I asked God what I had done!!! Sitting out here in the woods without family!??! What in the world. I cried for about 30 mins and then felt better.

Got up the next morning and went for a run. (which is SO HARD at 8406’ altitude) I asked the Lord to forgive me for questioning our call and thanked Him for allowing me to be honest and cry when I need to!

We got ready and headed to church in Red River. God answered our prayer and gave Gabe a sweet friend named Thomas. We have a play date tomorrow. I am so so so thankful.

We went to lunch with friends. That time was so good for my heart. The food was delicious. It’s one of my favorite places in Taos. The company was just what my heart needed.

That afternoon the Dumlar’s drove down from Colorado Springs to visit. Again, a sweet reminder that God sees us and knows what we need. They stayed for several hours, we ate pizza and they prayed over us. That time was PRECIOUS and again good for my heart.

We had a wonderful Memorial Day with friends as well.

Yesterday we went to look at the building we plan to make our church. It made my heart excited for our future!

God has been faithful. We’ve been able to spend time relaxing with friends, worshipping with friends and in sweet prayer time with friends.

It is hard. I won’t lie. This village is TINY. There’s not much to do. But God’s presence is evident. We KNOW we are right where He wants us to be. We recognize that it’s not going to be easy but obedience is always worth it.

Few other things about this new life:

-The weather is fabulous. I do not miss humidity.
-A slower lifestyle is peaceful and allows much more time/space to hear from Him.
-The mountain views never cease to take my breath away.
-Gabe loves to go fishing. Who knew? He’s also good at rock climbing!
-People here are not in a hurry.
-We’ve met several people who are interested in our church. That’s exciting. James who runs the rock climbing and Colleen who works at the Uhaul place to name a few.
-Gabe’s school is sweet. I went Friday and met his teacher and toured the school. He’ll have about 9 people in his class. Perfect.
-Kriss can grill some burgers. Dear me those were amazing.
-The sun rises at 5:30am (or earlier.) not awesome.
-the altitude makes it hard to breath. It’s humorous. Get to the top of the stairs and you have to sit down ha
-it’s DRY. Therefore you will have dry skin, lips, nose and be very thirsty. If you don’t drink a TON of water you’ll have a killer headache.
-it’s May 31 and I’ve worn jeans and a long sleeved shirt every day since we arrived. (talk to me in December and I may not be as chipper about the weather.)

I’ll share more fun facts and info later. I know this blog is getting long.

This is definitely a new life. We have good days and hard days. Heck, good moments and hard moments. Sadness and loss hits at random times but so does joy and peace.

God never promised us this would be easy. We knew that when we answered His call. But we are beyond excited to see people in this village come to know Him. We covet your prayers.

COME SEE US!!!! We’d love to have you visit. It’s truly gorgeous. You won’t regret it. But watch out  - you may fall in love!

If you want to mail us anything or send donations to the church our mailing address is PO BOX 1507 Angel Fire, NM 87710.

Thank you for caring about us.