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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I guess it was about 5 years ago that I visited Angel Fire, New Mexico for the first time. It was summer time but not hot & humid. Nights were cool and mornings were fabulous for running. I remember asking Jay several times that visit why we lived in Georgia. I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

I mean beautiful. Mountains that take your breath away, beautiful scenery everywhere you look. I wish I could describe it better than I am. God is evident that’s for sure.

How could God not be evident? The name of the village is Angel Fire and the surrounding mountain range is Sangria de Cristo (the blood of Christ.)  Obviously HE has a heart for this region.

We fell in love that village. We love how quaint it is, how slowly the people do life, and we see how God longs to take back that area.

Now, keep in mind. We fell in love and looked forward to many years of VISITING this area.

Fast forward to this past August we went back to visit again. It was the place I chose to celebrate my 10-year anniversary. I chose the mountains over the BEACH, y’all, it’s that gorgeous. As we were getting in the car to leave our friend that lives there said, “if you ever want to plant a church, Angel Fire would be a great place.” Pretty sure she’d said that to us before but this time it stuck in our hearts and minds.

I’d thought a lot about it but didn’t say a word to Jay. In late September Jay told me he hadn’t stopped thinking about it and had actually asked our friend what a church plant in Angel Fire would look like. This began months & months of prayer and fasting to see if this was truly something we should explore.

Our friend mentioned it to another precious lady from Angel Fire and she said “oh we have prayed for a Spirit filled church for 15 years.”

We invited our Pastor and Executive Pastor to pray alongside us. We also asked family and a few friends to join us in prayer. At this point it was distraction to us that we wanted either God to take off our hearts and minds or give us direction for the future.

We went back out to Angel Fire in December and met with 15 or so Christians who live there and meet regularly for prayer. It was a precious time. We took Gabe this trip. This was his first visit. He loved seeing snow! We shared with him that we were praying about moving there and asked him to join us in praying.

The friends we met that week agreed to fast and pray with us. We went back again in January and began to feel God confirming this may be our next step.

One confirmation was a guy Jay had never met walking up to him at the church we attended in Red River saying, “I don’t know you but I felt like I should tell you this is where you are supposed to be.” Well…ok.

Another confirmation came straight from Him. A friend asked me to do soaking prayer with her. I wasn’t completely sure what that was but I was willing. She ran to get her journal and me some paper (she brought two big sheets for me and I laughed…I wasn’t as confident as she was that I would hear!)

But we got our paper out and asked Him to speak to us. I simply asked, “Lord, what do you have for me to do in Angel Fire?”  Y’all he answered!

He told me that I could “laugh and make people feel comfortable.” He also said, “For 15 years the people of Angel Fire have prayed and for 15 years I have been training you through Teen Advisors and Young Life how to build relationships and love people to Christ.”

Without God it makes NO SENSE. There is no reason (other than the beauty) that we would want to leave our families, our beloved church, our friends and move ourselves and five year old son to a town that doesn’t even have a Chick-fil-A or Target!   Only God could call us to do this.

I have to say - Gabe has been faithful to pray and to ask us if we’ve heard anything from the Lord. One of the sweetest times we talked about it he said, “mom, I’ll move to New Mexico if God says to but I sure will miss my toys.” That sweet boy was willing to leave everything (to him… his hot wheels are everything!) to follow Him. I almost wept. Now he’s started telling people, “my parents are moving to Angel Fire but I’m not.”

Here are some other ways God has confirmed this calling for us:

He has very clearly given us Isaiah 61 for this village. We are taking a HUGE risk of faith and leaving everything we know and love to bring the truth of the Gospel to these precious people.


The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[
a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.



God has given us His eyes, His heart and His hope for these people.

God has used friends, family, scripture and more tangible things to confirm our calling. Our house went under contract after being on the market for three days. Do your thing, Lord!

We had one set back that lasted less than 12 hours. But it was HARD. And the Lord gave Jay this scripture hours after our hearts were broken, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

We went back last week and had supper again with 20 or so friends out there. It was an amazing ending to a HARD 24 hours. We ate, talked, laughed and prayed together. I know that God is at work in this tiny Village. I am so thankful that we get to be a part of what He wants to do.

We are excited. We are scared! We are nervous and we are ready!

PLEASE pray for us. Good grief we covet your prayers.

We won’t lie. We’ll also take your financial support. Just do whatever God leads you to do! (Lead on Lord!)

We’ll gladly add you to our email list for updates but we won’t be offended if you aren’t interested in that!

We plan to head out June 1. We have A LOT of furniture to sell so stay tuned for pictures!


PRAY!!!!! We love and appreciate you!