Big Move

We’re moving to Washington!

So, let’s talk about this shall we?

The biggest passion and goal for Jesus & Jessie (thinking we might need a new name…thoughts?) is to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ. As of right now, Washington seems to hold the greatest opportunities for Zach and I to be trained up and do work for the kingdom.

Astoria, Oregon has held an amazing experience for my husband and I to grow and strengthen our relationship as husband and wife. This river city will forever hold some of the sweetest moments of our first year.

As we’ve grown in the Lord, as we learn more about ourselves, and as we grow as one flesh we’ve come to realize that  we need to keep pressing into the infinite…
accomplishing what we are put here on this earth to do.

“But if I say,
‘I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,’
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”

— Jeremiah 20:9

So prepare yourselves West Sound Community Church!

We are newlyweds crazy in love with Jesus Christ and each other. We have dreams and a vision of where the Lord can use us.

Some of our goals:

-Be further discipled and trained by Ricki (hi dad)

-Soak up the fellowship with the community of WSCC

-Spend quality time with our families

-Be available for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving

-And be at the disposal of all who would listen to the Good News

Time Flies

“We were together.

I forget the rest.”

— Walt Whitman

So uh…
it’s been a while.

But there’s so much to share!

Here’s the basic story for you:
Four years ago I met a very attractive boy named Zach.

We became really close really fast. We met at Ecola Bible School and within a matter of six months (January to June) this boy and I were calling each other “best friends” and “brother/sister”. It dawned on me in the middle of the summer just how dangerous our closeness could be. So, I put a great distance in our friendship.

After Ecola, I started a ministry that has really taken shape. I adore what I’ve been allowed to do. I’ve met incredible souls and done things I couldn’t have dreamed of. I speak to the military, high schools, junior high and middle-school camps, and I even got to tell a few people at Ecola what I get to do.

The next thing I know it’s three years later!
It seemed like everyone I knew was getting married..
..including a dear friend from Ecola.

It was last August that our dear friend’s wedding took place in California. So, naturally, a bunch of us hopped on the band wagon and made our separate ways down there. Amongst all the friends was, of course, Zach. I didn’t expect things to go quite the way they went but…you see, he wasn’t a boy anymore. No, in fact, it seemed as if I barely knew the man dancing with me at that beautiful wedding.

Here’s where it gets crazy:

Five months after the California wedding we were dating.

Four months after that we were engaged.

Five months after that we’re married!

*takes a deep breath

Let me slow down:

At the wedding I realized it had been two years or more since I had really talked with Zach. I missed two crucial years of intense growth in his life. Zach now stood before me as a wholly different person. He was more “a lot of good things” and way less “the big…not-so-great things.” Enticed by the man I saw, I got a little swept off my feet. My heart was pounding. Apparently that crazy crush I’d had on him for all those years hadn’t changed in the slightest. It was intensifying. What really changed was Zach. Now he noticed me noticing him…and he liked it.

I have to confess something though: I did things out-of-order.
I was so smitten with the man he had become that..I lost my marbles and…I held his hand…

I spent the whole plane ride home praying like a madwoman. I wanted to do this right. I wanted to do all of it right from the beginning, but I was so dizzy. So, when I got home I called him…

The next five months were full of emotion, questions, answers, talks, dreams, and more prayers than I’d ever prayed before. Diligently, I watched him, listened to him, and prayed for him to make certain that he was the man he appeared to be. Finally, in January, I said yes to exclusive dating. (Old school…I know.) When we started dating, we spoke openly about our pasts and our potential future together. So it was pretty clear from the beginning that we were heading happily for the altar.

May 7th (the day before my birthday), he took me up to a beautiful park on Mount Tabor in Portland. He asked me, very simply (like us…simple,) to be his wife…I said yes quicker than The Flash.

I started dreaming up our wedding. By the end of a month, I had all the dreams done and all the details left. The rest of the summer, I was dreading the details of wedding planning. Until, finally, it dawned on me, “My future husband is great with making dreams happen!” So, I handed the details to my very sweet fiancé.

We got married Saturday, October 4th, at my home church out in the sunshine. We were surrounded by our loved ones and dear friends. Then we hopped on a flight the following Tuesday to the beautiful city of Paris, France. It was a dream honeymoon. I had my best friend, a gorgeous and historic town, and as much fun as we could pack into two weeks.

Now we’ve been home, (our new home of Astoria, Oregon) for over a month.

Marriage is basically a permanent sleep-over with your best friend!

We’re  loving our time together.
God is shaping our identity as a husband and wife.
With encouragement from my husband, Jesus and Jessie is still in motion.

Now we have a brand new team member!
Zachary Ricks, my best friend and my love!

That’s it for now. I’m glad to be catching up a bit. More in-depth and personal writing to come out soon…so stay tuned!

Just Say No

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

— James 4:4

Have you ever caught yourself justifying a momentary, fleeting emotion because you simply, “want it now?” Oh, come on, I know you have, we all have.

It happens so subtly sometimes. You just begin to hear yourself say,

Maybe this is what I want,

Just one more time won’t hurt me,

I’m stronger than this, it won’t affect me like other people,

Tomorrow I’ll start the change.

If you haven’t said a single one of those sentences…

You’re name is Jesus.

We’ve all done it.

That’s the problem.

You can’t have both the world and God.

They can’t be put together. They aren’t pieces to the same puzzle.

In fact, God isn’t a puzzle piece to just be fit in somewhere convenient for us!

He is the God of the universe!

Eyes up, brother! Eyes up, sister! Eyes up, self! Remain, forever, heaven-bound. There is no satisfaction for the new creation in anything outside the will of God. God has delivered us from evil, why would we ever want to be friends with it? We can choose to be friends to the Lord most high.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Galatians 2:17-21

“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Tattered Leather

 

I looked down at the floor today, which I tend to do quite a lot, and saw an old worn pair of brown leather shoes. To any other person they’re just old or cute or whatever, but I see so much more than a pair of shoes. I see a lifetime of memories. I see bright sunny days, smiles and laughter. I feel the warmth of a love that could last me the rest of my life. I smell monkey-bread, coffee, and dinner in the oven. I see my father with his arms wrapped around my mother and his eyes always on her.

I see more than an old pair of shoes. Once upon a time they were worn by a woman of the most noble character. A wife, mother, missionary. In the life of a Christian woman she had lived the dream. Married to a man of God, raised three children to fear and love the God of the universe, and she herself had fallen in love with the Savior of her soul.

I call her, Mom.

She was a woman I could never explain in full, of my pride and love to call her, Mother. I called her by that name often. I walked directly behind those shoes near to every day of seven years of my life. I know those shoes. I know their every movement. I know their every path. I know how they danced, they walked, they served. I should know, I mimicked their every stirring.

It has been fourteen years today since those shoes ever graced her servant’s feet. It took me ten to fit into them. It took another four to bring myself to place them on my feet. I looked down this morning and saw an old worn pair of shoes, at least, I know that’s all you’ll ever see, but I see much much more. I see my most cherished memories, (no matter how small), and all my hopes. I see a woman who lived a life for the Holy One and therefore found favor in his eyes and in the eyes of the down-trodden.

Today I spoke at my old elementary school (Gateway Christian School) where my mother and father had both spoken when I was a child. Fifteen years ago, I was in first grade and my parents came to chapel to speak on what it truly means to be a Christian. I gave that very same speech this morning. I couldn’t think of a better way for my life to come full circle. I had once sat in those chairs and watched my parents share about the grace of God and the promise of secured salvation. My mother, with her very real and secure salvation, met the Lord the following year. Fourteen years later, at the age of 21, on March 14th, 2013, I spoke at chapel with the same message. Talk about the circle of life…

So when I looked down this morning, I didn’t just see a pair of old shoes. I saw something very different.

I see the woman I want to be.

One day I’ll put her shoes away again. I’ll put them in a box with a letter she wrote to me as a child. On that day I’ll look in the mirror and see something I can’t see yet. I’ll finally see a woman of noble character. I’ll allow myself to see the woman I’m meant to be. I’ll have earned the honor of being her child. I’ll have earned the right to pass the shoes on.

I’ll be a woman of noble character for my grief has become my strength.

My heartache has made me whole.

Lamentations 3:31-33

“For men are not cast off

by the Lord forever.

Though he brings grief, he will show

compassion,

so great is his unfailing love.

For he does not willingly bring

affliction

or grief to the children of men.”