You guys, I know it’s 2:57pm and I’m just sitting down to write today’s blog post. I know I normally write the night before and schedule it for the next morning. But I didn’t last night because I was with family and my husband and, you know what? Sometimes those things are more important than a blog post.
I’ve got a pretty freaking sweet tater tot, beef, and cheese casserole in the oven right now. In a little bit, hubs and I are heading back over to church for an “old school potluck” (as our pastor so appropriately put it) and I’m pretty confident my casserole is gonna be awesome. Just saying. I’ll share a recipe this week if you guys want me to… Then we’ll be having a “party on the patio” at our church for baptisms! I’m helping to do post-baptism interviews. I love love love love love talking to people right after they get dunked in the name of Jesus. It’s pretty awesome.
But there’s also a little bit of bittersweetness about tonight. Tonight’s the last night before our pastor as his family go on a MUCH DESERVED three month sabbatical. And today’s the last day my dear friends Kevis and Ariel are here before they move back to Florida.
So, I felt like it’d behoove me to just say thank you to them. I’m pretty bad at goodbyes, or “see you laters,” so I’ll say a few words here.
TO KEVIS & ARIEL: Thank you for the last year that y’all have been in North Carolina. You’ve blessed our church beyond what I think you will ever understand. And you’ve blessed me far beyond what I think you’ll ever understand. KEVIS, thank you for bringing production at newhope to a “whole ‘nutha level” – and THANK YOU for doing such an AMAZING job with the lighting for our wedding ceremony.
ARIEL: you are fabulous. I love your sarcasm, your wit, and you have FABULOUS accessories. But seriously, you have a heart for people and a heart for Jesus that is rare. I loved the night I took you out for your 21st birthday after worship practice – getting to know you was such a joy. And you just continued to amaze me this year with your servant’s heart and continuous effort to love on people. I will miss you like crazy. And I’m going to ABSOLUTELY visit you in Florida.
To PASTOR BENJI, AMY LYNN, AND THE FIVE KELLEY KIDS: newhope has been a church home I never thought was possible. You’ve challenged me with your words, you’ve welcomed me with hugs, and you’ve made me want to be a better person and continue to serve others like you so selflessly serve. You guys deserve this sabbatical like no one else and I pray that it blesses you like you have blessed me and so many others at newhope.
Pastor Benji, thank you for marrying my husband and I. Your guidance as we started our marriage meant so much to us and we can’t thank you enough. You have a heart for Christ that is unbelievable and I hope you know how much I appreciate your honesty and willingness to bring the word every day.
Amy Lynn, thank you for your encouragement in my participation in the prison ministry at NCCIW. When I first joined the NCCIW ministry, I wasn’t sure I could do it, I wasn’t sure I’d be good enough, but you spoke a few words into my heart that will stay with me forever and since that day, I’ve loved my time serving the women in that prison. It’s impacted me and it’s helped me grow far beyond what I can honestly articulate. So I thank you. SO much.
To the five Kelley kids: Have fun this summer… and keep an eye out on your mom and dad this summer.
I read this verse this morning:
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”
Kevis, Ariel, Pastor Benji, Amy Lynn – you all love everyone with brotherly (and sisterly) affection – and you absolutely out do one another in showing honor on a daily basis.
Thank you for blessing me and showing me what it means to love others like Christ loves us.
Happy Sunday, y’all. Who are you blessed by? Who are you thankful for today?
xoxo, all for now.
“And if you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” -Deuteronomy 4:29b NLT