"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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Bob Johns

Bob and Debbie Johns

What do you say about a person who has probably outside of parents and your husband had the most influence on your life? How do words like "thank you" suffice for the person the Lord chose to use to help mold me into the woman I am today?

Bob Johns - my youth pastor from 1994-1997 celebrated 25 years this past week of service to First Baptist Woodway as their Youth Pastor. 25 YEARS!! Most youth ministers stay at one church up to 3 years and then move on to the next church. 25 YEARS!!! That is AMAZING!!!

My freshman year of high school I was invited to go to First Woodway's D-Now called Chi Alpha. My family was attending a small church in Waco that didn't have a youth ministry and though I was a Christian, I was starting to not make the right choices and my friends at the time were having a negative influence on me. I remember Christmas of that first year of high school that I prayed for the Lord to change my heart and to guide me in a new direction. So, I decided after Christmas break that I was going to "find" new friends who were Christians. When this D-Now opportunity came up I was so excited to go. I remember meeting Bob for the first time and seeing how laid back and fun he was. He was so kind and pulled me in right away. The theme for the Chi Alpha weekend was 'Hold on Tight - Let it Go' (I still have that green t-shirt!!:) and that is exactly what I decided to do - let go of my current life, choices, friends and heart and let God move through my life and change me from the inside out. Still to this day it was the major turning point in my life/walk with the Lord. I came home from that weekend and "announced" to my family that I would be going to FBC Woodway from that point on and that they should join me. (It was a process, but I think once my parents saw the changes that Bob and this group of people were making in my life, they made "the move" for me, my brother and my sister's future. AND they are still there today and talk all the time about what a great decision it was for our family. :)

So, that weekend started my journey with the Lord. Here are some things Bob taught me in high school: how to spend time in the Word daily, how to read my Bible and where to start, that there is actually "cool" christian music out there!, how to listen to God's voice, how to worship, how to serve, how to pray, how to stand up for Christ on my sports teams and in classes, being a Christian and going to church are FUN!, how to pray for my friends and teammates who weren't Christians, how to respect my parents, what it takes to keep seeking the Lord through every stage of life, and how to take my insecurities/baggage and lay them at the feet of Jesus.

This incredible man that the Lord placed in my life accepted me for who I was and loved me all the same. He was there when the Lord called me to be a minister's wife my junior year of high school at camp that summer and he helped me navigate those unknown waters. It was even so fun to be one of his only youth to come back and be "on staff" with him when Andrew was the young adult minister at First Woodway for a couple of years. So fun! There were so many mission trips, Sondays Camp memories (too many to name!), Ranger games, road trips, eating out, Bible studies, praying for both Bob and Debbie as they went through the process of adopting baby Hannah, Chi Alpha's, Wednesday Night Live each week and Bob's messages to us, games, music, Burger's Lake, Passion 97 and many more revolve around Bob Johns. What a true gift the Lord gave me and so many others through the years including my bro and sis and even some students I taught at Waco Baptist Academy that are now part of his youth group! Now THAT is weird!!

Bob, I love you and I praise God for your life! Who would have ever thought that little freshman would end up being a pastor's wife?! Thank you for being the amazing godly man that you are and for letting the Lord use you in such ways to impact student's lives for eternity for so many years. You are definitely one of my hero's and I only hope and pray that my kiddos will have a youth pastor as wonderful as you one day!

Here is a pic of me and Bob my senior year of high school (about 12 years ago!)

These were (and still are) some of my favorite people in the world who were such incredible friends to me in high school. Such fun memories! Bob, you know that we are still one of your favorite classes to come through your youth group! ;) And look at sweet Hannah!! She will be a freshman in high school this year! CRAZY!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Lovin'

We have been having a blast this summer! We haven't done too much, but we are loving the warm weather and all the fun play groups and family outings. I haven't taken near as many pictures as I have wanted, but when managing 3 kiddos sometimes the camera just doesn't make it out of the bag. :) Here are some shots of the past month. Enjoy!

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Werley for the fun new stroller and matching outfits for the girls. I love these real smiles from Audrey! We just can't catch her beautiful smile too often on camera, but Daddy was extra funny this day! :)

With this face, you know he is going to get away with a lot! Too cute!

Another cute pic... the new stroller is a hit!

Ainsley with cousin Sophia at Lake Grandbury. These two are going to be best buds!

The best pic I could get on the 4th of July. We spent a wonderful weekend at the lake.

The latest pic of Ains standing up. No, she still isn't crawling, but I think we are slowly but surely making progress. Pray for her and for us as we navigate these unknown waters and for us not to worry too much about our sweet little girl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little Stinker!

Once a month our Nana (Andrew's mom) comes up to our house to watch the kiddos while we go out on a "date night". It is always a wonderful time and we look forward to this weekend each and every month. This month it was no different than our usual night outs (except for the whole drive to another city to find that the restaurant is not where the GPS says it is and the store you wanted to go to closes early on Satuday nights - good times!) We had a yummy dinner at Saltgrass and then an interesting trip to Walmart for diapers and such and then we came home to chat with Nana for a bit before Andrew went to study/go over his Sunday morning sermon. Right before we went to bed, I remembered that I forgot to put the sheets on our guest bed and I turn the corner to go up the stairs and THIS is what I find!!

We don't know when our little stinker snuck down the stairs or if it was before or after we got home, but it scared me at first to see his little body laying on there like that! (The pic looks light, but the stair well was dark. I had to make my camera flash to get the cutie!) I told Nana and Andrew to come and look, we took some pics for laughs and then Andrew carried Austin back upstairs to his bed. When we asked him the next morning when he came down stairs and why he decided to fall asleep there, he said he didn't know. He is way into being sneaky and hiding lately, so I am sure he was loving "hiding" out on the stairs! Austin is so fun right now and always a ball of energy. He is becoming such a little man and even though he is hard to reign in at times, we are so proud of him and the sweet big brother he is to his sisters. He just loves life and learning and I know that he will always keep us on our toes! Epecially if he continues to pull things like this! Such a fun time of life!!! Enjoying every minute of it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our Beach Experience in Pictures

A couple of thoughts/highlights about our first Beach trip as a family:
1. My babies DO NOT like the sand.
2. Ainsley throwing up twice the 15 hours we were there.
3. Our "breakfast at the hotel" experience. Good times.
4. My babies think the sand and ocean are "dirty" and Austin commented several times that he wanted to swim in the "nice clean pool." Why we drove that long to swim in a hotel pool I will never know!
5. The drive to Galveston wasn't as bad as we thought it would be with 3 toddlers. :)
6. Audrey refusing to step foot on the "dirty" sand for like the first 20 minutes we were on the beach.
7. I absolutely LOVE just being at the beach and breathing in the ocean air!
8. Feeding the seagulls and looking for seashells to give to Papa.
9. We had a wonderful anniversary and it was definitely a memorable experience!
10. Did I mention how much the sand bothered my kiddos?!
We will hopefully try again next year!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ainsley's 1st Birthday Party

Our sweet little Ainsley is 1 and we had so much fun celebrating her first year of life a couple of weekends ago with close friends and family. No more 1st birthdays from the Werley family for a while! hehe! Here are some fun pictures from the day:

Here is our beautiful little girl in her "big girl" car seat for the first time. Look how BIG she is!! I just can't believe it!