First, very briefly, we received some pretty heavy news last week from our elders at our church. The elders met with Jon two Fridays ago to tell him the budget for Emmaus Road (where Jon has served as youth pastor the past 3 years and interim-ed for a year before that) was suffering some shortfalls and after praying and agonizing, they had made the decision to cut the stipends that we have been receiving starting in January. That news brought to us a lot of emotion because that would hinder Jon's ability to continue serving with the youth that he's loved and poured his love for Christ into, as well as seriously impact our own finances. Why would that hinder Jon's ability to serve with the youth, you may ask? Well, if you know us, we are a single income family. Because of this cut, Jon or I or both of us will have to pursue another source(s) of income to make up for the shortfall which won't leave much time to continue serving in that capacity.
After a week of grieving over these facts, we've recommitted to serving Emmaus well during Jon's last few months of being on staff and have begun praying for God to close our time on staff with Emmaus in the presence of His love and grace as we begin to look forward.
We have received so much love and support from our family at Emmaus, too, and it has brought about a lot of peace and has reminded me of God's faithfulness and promise to always provide for us. (Matthew 6:28-34)
On a lighter note, we are preparing for Emerson's 5th, that's right, 5th! birthday this week. We had a party planned this past Saturday for all our family, but silly me took the older two kids to my parents house (over the hill in Cheytown) on Friday night. My parents were going to bring them back in time for the party on Saturday, but I didn't check the forecast, which included several inches of snow and fog. Whoops! So Emerson and Braeden both were snowed in and didn't make it back for the party. Well, the rest of the family wouldn't have made it either, I suppose, since they were also traveling from Cheyenne! Ha! Oh, well. Emerson still has her sleepover - her very first sleepover- to look forward to this weekend and I know we'll plan a party sometime very soon so she doesn't get gyped of that special "I'm turning 5!" attention she deserves from the family.
And as the winter season begins (wait, isn't it only early October? Oh yeah, I live in Laramie!) we've already had ourselves a few good snows, but unfortunately our family has been faithfully passing around the latest bug and I have not one good picture of my kids playing in the snow (and as much as I like to say "Ugh!" to this early snow, I always have a little bit of an excited and awakened feeling when I wake up in the morning to a fresh blanket of snow).
So here are some recent ones of us "sicklies" in the house instead:
Braeden and Emerson in their blankie tent in the living room: