2016 Year in Review

12.20.2016 |

  • It was a leap year 
  • We celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary 
  • Gas averaged $2.28 
  • Mark was ordained as a pastor 
  • Summer olympics in Rio de Janeiro 
  • Zika virus outbreak 
  • Ezra turns 1

Ezra will soon be a big brother to his little sister Piper Joy! She will make her big debut in January 2017. Pray for us as we make the transition to a family of 4. We are thrilled to make new memories and share new adventures with her.

In June, we made the cross-country journey to Richmond, Virginia from Starkville, Mississippi. The Lord has been so gracious to us as Mark is now the youth pastor at Swift Creek Baptist Church. Though a hard transition from the south, we have loved the past 6 months in RVA. Ask for our address.
Our last 6 months in Mississippi were jam packed. Ezra was dedicated at First Baptist and took his first plane ride in February. I finished my third year of teaching in May. Mark went on a mission trip to Puerto Rico in March. We were able to go to several MSU baseball games, one of our favorite things to do. We miss Starkville immensely, but are finally planting our roots in RVA. Once we moved to Virginia, it seemed like the last 6 months of the year flew by. Ezra started walking and now talks non-stop. I am learning how to be a stay-at-home mom and to do it with joy. Mark finished the first half of his third year of seminary. He is expected to finish Spring 2018 with his Masters of Divinity from SEBTS.

It has been exciting to reflect on the many ways the Lord has revealed his steadfast love for us this year. We moved into a house in RVA that was infested with mold; therefore, we were without a suitable home for Ezra and for me being pregnant. We lived with a family from our church, the Caishes, for 3 weeks! What a blessing! They have become our adopted family and some of our very best friends. We also saw the Lord use two families to provide for us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. One family gifted us a new bedroom suite (ours had been completely destroyed by mold). A man at a car shop purchased a new tire for us, we were just going to put the donut on it. Once again, the faithfulness of the Lord to provide and the obedience of these families made it so we could see the Lord’s hand at work. Mark is so diligent to pray for Christ’s provision in our lives. It’s so comforting to see it play out.
Mark has really enjoyed being the youth pastor at SCBC. He was able to take the kids to New Jersey for a mission trip and lead a D-Now (a weekend of gospel-centered fun!). He is learning more each week how to effectively reach the kids within our youth group. Christ has certainly blessed Mark’s ministry and given him a gift of teaching and loving on students. It is exciting to watch Jesus transform the hearts and lives of the students.

Being a mom has proven hard work, but seeing Ezra develop into a happy (for the most part) and loving toddler is one of the greatest joys. I have gotten to know other moms and found refuge in a weekly MOPS group and bible study. The Lord has really shown me how motherhood is a picture of what “dying to yourself” (Luke 9:23) looks like on a daily basis. Motherhood has also shown me more of what loving someone unconditionally means. Parenthood, in general, has been a beautiful demonstration of how Jesus loves us as his children.

Favorite Bible Verses 
  • “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” 
-Philippians 3:8 
  • “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” -Luke 12:32 
  • “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 
-Isaiah 43:1
  • "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God."  -1 John 3:1a 
  • "But I do not account my life o any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."  -Acts 20:24 
  • “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” -Ephesians 5:1-2 
  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

We wish you a very warm and merry Christmas and the happiest of new years.


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