"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ainsley - 7 Months Old

These are pics that we had made of Ainsley a couple of weeks ago. She is such a precious little girl!!

Our sweet baby girl is moving more and more these days. She is not quite sitting up yet, but we think she will be within the next couple of weeks. Her personality is coming out and she is just as sweet as they come. We can tell that she is going to be a talker because of all the noise she makes during play time and eating times. She is only kiddo out of the three that we can just lay down wide awake in her bed and she will go to sleep on her own. (Like she just did! Amazing!) She naps twice a day and sleeps like a champ through the nights. Ainsley is still very easy going and she LOVES interacting with her bis bro and sis. Austin and Audrey continue to be very sweet with her and Audrey especially loves to be around her and in her face 'playing' most of the day.

We officially have moved out of survival mode! YEA! I have done several successful play dates with other moms and my 3 kiddos by myself. (Big step!) And Andrew and I took all 3 kids out to eat this past weekend and we haven't stopped talking about how great everyone did - Austin actually ate the food and then went potty in the restroom, Audrey stayed in the high chair and was pleasant and Ainsley ate her baby food and hung out - no complaining from anyone! This is a BIG accomplishment in the Werley family! Last night was the night we have been preparing Austin for the passy removal (He has been able to have his passy's only in his bed since he was 2). So, Andrew and I were mentally gearing up for there to be tears and drama when it was time for him to give them up - NOPE! He gave them to me, we put them in a plastic baggie, he asked me if I was going to throw them away, I said yes and that was it!! He didn't ask once for them! WOW! So now we just have to keep up with one kiddo's passys (Audrey) and hers will be bound to her bed as soon as she turns 2 as well. We are so excited! Austin is shocking us these days with how much of a big boy he is becoming. He is potty trained, eating "better" and really has turned a corner with behavior and everything all around. He is also a very sweet big brother to the girls. I love our little family and praise the Lord for these precious little lives!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;

He gives all this to those who fear Him."

Isaiah 33:6 NET

This has been my memory verse for the past two weeks and it is AMAZING how much I have been able to claim and apply these simple truths over and over again this past week! Yesterday was a tough day of ministry at FBC Anna since we began to serve here. One instance brought both me and Andrew to our knees and honestly, I wasn't sure at one point of the day how we were going to ever recover from it. But, that was all that it was - an attack. Andrew responded only the way he could have by the strength of God alone. I was so proud of him. You see, the LORD has placed us here and only He will remove us. He is our constant source of stability and He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom to those who fear Him. I praise Him that He is who He says He is and that God is going to do what He says He is going to do!

Ministry can be a very hard and lonely place at times, but He didn't promise that it would always be easy. God has given us such a heart for the people of our church and our community here in Anna. There have been many wonderful days, conversations, services and people who have ministered to us and didn't even know it. We have seen people get saved by the power of the Holy Spirit, lives changed forever, marriages saved, decisions made to surrender finances and circumstances, and have watched many people begin a new journey with their Father in heaven. It has been an amazing year that we look back and say, "Did God really do that much?! YES!" Sometimes you don't hear anything until someone is upset about "how you do church." All we know is to be obedient to the Lord and then to let Him take care of everything else. I can definitely say that this position of ministry being a pastor and pastor's wife is not for the weary or faint at heart. You have to grow tough skin and be able to look and see everyone as He sees them. That has been our prayer many days - "Lord, give us Your eyes and Your heart and Your love for the people of Anna."

I am also coming to grips that in any place of leadership there will be conflict. Those of you who know me know that I do not do well with conflict and have always tried to avoid it at all costs.:) It is just not "fun" for me. I am the peace maker and sometimes tend to want to be a people-pleaser. The Lord is building up His character in me as well as Andrew and it is days like yesterday when you initially want to walk away saying, "we don't deserve to be bullied and treated like that." I completely understand now why so many men and women leave the ministry all together. The conflict and confrontation can be very overwhelming at times and sometimes just doesn't seem worth the battle. But what we have realized is that it truly is a spiritual battle we are in the midst of every day. If you let conflict and such take over your mind it~ is what you think about when you go to bed and when you wake up every day. It consumes and divides your mind and for a pastor who is supposed to be focusing on the Word the Lord is giving him for the people he is responsible for leading, it is exactly the way the enemy attacks. So, today is a new day and amazingly enough we are even more excited about what the Lord is doing here at FBC Anna. We know without a doubt that this is exactly where He wants us to be - in the center of His will.

I am so thankful today that we serve an almighty God who is so faithful and just. It is only by His grace that we are saved and held in His hands. Thank you, Lord for Your everlasting love, comfort and protection!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Anybody Game?

This was the title of a recent Beth Moore blog that I read. If you are not familiar with Beth Moore - she is an incredible godly woman and teacher of the Word and she has been a spiritual mentor to me for the past 15 years. If you have not done one of her Bible studies you truly are missing out! The Lord uses her in amazing ways to lead countless numbers of women! Anyways, I check out her blog daily and right before the new year she posted a challenge for other women to join her in making 2009 a Jesus-year by memorizing 24 scriptures throughout the year with her. I totally want this year to be more about Him and less of me and I have had a huge desire to be more disciplined in memorizing scripture and having His words constantly in my heart and mind. So, I have committed along with about 3000 other ladies to memorize 2 scriptures a month for the entire year. That sounds feasible doesn't it?! Let's face it, being a mother of 3 very small kiddos- I don't want to commit to something that in the end I really can't do at this stage in my life. I've gotten very frustrated with myself many times by saying 'yes' to too many things and then not being able to give 100% to each thing. I have learned (I hope:) to be a little bit more reasonable about what I can commit to and at the moment I am not feeling too overwhelmed. (BUT, the year has just started:)

I would love for anyone who wants to and who has been feeling the same type of conviction from the Lord to join me! Go to this
link and it will tell you everything you need to do. On the 1st and 15th of each month we will begin to memorize a new scripture and I have decided to do the same scriptures that Beth memorizes each time. The 1st is Isaiah 33:6. So much fun! We can do this! We are commanded to hide His word in our hearts. We are in a spiritual battle every day and I don't know about you, but a lot of times I feel like I am going into this battle with only my pj's on if you know what I mean. Sometimes I just feel totally unequipped and beaten before I even get out of bed in the morning. This shouldn't be and I am determined with the Lord's strength to change it! Join me and watch what He does with your life and heart! Let me know if you are in! Thanks for reading!

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:21-23, NIV)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet boy!

Today is Austin's birthday and like always I am super emotional and trying to savor every moment with him. He is probably tired of me hugging and kissing all over him and just wanting to love on him, but I have to do it while I can! :) He has become such a big boy in the last few months from potty training to his verbal skills and all the many questions he asks about life and the world around him already. I think with having two baby sisters we have expected more from him and he has taken on the role of big brother and protector with great pride. some things about Austin the 3 year old -
- he has never met a stranger and LOVES people (definitely part of his spiritual gifting and the way the Lord will use him later in life:)
- he is into Thomas the Train and Friends (he got a train table for Christmas this year!), learning to ride his new bike, playing at the park or outside, cars and pretty much anything that goes, elephants are his favorite animal these days b/c they are SOOO BIG, he loves to help us vacuum and cook :), we also have watched the Polar Express about 50 times since July - his favorite movie
- It is still very challenging to get him to eat nutritious foods. His favorites these days are pizza, special treats (fruit snacks), pop tarts and cheese. Yep, that's about it. :) He requested popcorn, marshmallows and special treats for dinner last night. It is a daily battle, but he is still a growing and healthy boy, so we don't worry about it too much.
- He loves going to Church and any play date that we can be a part of and he is very adamant about doing things "myself" like taking off his clothes before bath time or putting his straps on when he gets into his car seat.

Austin is a true joy and he is our child that will always keep us on our toes we think. He is also pretty strong-willed and can be stubborn at times (where he gets those qualities I have no idea!:) There will always be something special about our boy b/c he is our 1st born and he made Andrew and I parents - something we prayed a long time for. He fills our home with laughter and excitement and even though today is Austin's special day, I can't help but praise the Giver of life. We are so undeserving, so unworthy of such unfailing love! I am in awe of His goodness to me and how richly I am blessed as a mother. My prayer is that I will reflect Him and bring Him glory in raising this precious boy.
Here is a fun video of some pictures of Austin's 1st 3 years of life! Enjoy!

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalms 139:14