"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, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday - What an Amazing Weekend!

Oh my goodness! I don't even know where to start when describing the weekend I just had! A little over a year ago I was reading Beth Moore's blog and she challenged her readers as well as herself to make 2009 a year about memorizing scripture. After reading her post, I was so excited about committing to a year of hiding the Word in my heart and I asked one of my very best friends, Mandy if she would do it with me so that I could be accountable. (I just KNEW that I wouldn't do this unless someone else was pushing me. :) Mandy was a perfect accountability partner and 2009 was the perfect year to be pouring scripture into my heart and mind! We memorized 24 scripture passages throughout the year and to motivate us even more, Beth planned a Scripture Memory Team Celebration the following January in Houston that would be a free event for all the Siesta's who committed to this. Not only was this a big challenge for me and Mandy, but we both also had a pretty crazy 2009. Mandy had baby Dax last summer and I was trying to just keep up with life chasing around my 3 kiddos 3 and under and keepig up with the demands of ministry. EVERY scripture we learned applied in some way to what I was going through personally during the course of the year and just like what Beth said at the conference, I feel like if someone were to get my note card booklet and read it, they would have a good picture of the ups and downs of my life last year. :)

So the celebration event in Houston was so much more than a weekend sitting under Beth's teaching for me. Beth has been one of my spiritual mentor's since I first saw her teach at Passion '97. I was only 17 then! She and her ministry to women mean so much to me and I praise God for her passion and love for the Lord that I so desire. I have done many of her Bible studies and even was blessed to have the opportunity to be one of her 'Hometown Houston Girls' on Tuesday nights when we lived in Katy several years back. The Lord has used her to speak directly into my heart and life on so many occasions. Who knew way back in '97 that I would be a pastor's wife here in 2010! So, I was celebrating not only what Mandy and I accomplished over 2009, but also the journey He has taken me on for so many years with Beth as a part of my life. Thank you to Beth and LPM ministries for giving me and so many other women a weekend that I will never forget! Here are some pictures from the fabulous weekend:

Me, Mandy and Beth. I heart this pic so much! We were so excited that she stuck around to take pictures after the event. It was the icing on the cake for us to spend a moment with her and take a picture.

One of the greatest friends the Lord has ever given me. We talked so much during the weekend that my sweet friend lost her voice! When the two of us get together we do talk A LOT!! Mandy, thank you for taking this journey with me. You are an amazing woman and a true friend! Love ya, girl!

This is Travis Cottrell and he led the worship for us throughout the weekend. He truly does have an amazing gift of being able to lead others to the throne of worship! Check out his music here:

Me and Mandy with Kim and Melle. I just knew that we were going to see someone we knew at the conference. There were only 500 other women at the event (I say only b/c there would usually be thousands! Both Mandy and I were very excited about this! :) On the first night during our coffee and chocolate cake time Mandy spotted Melle. It was so fun to see both Melle and Kim (Both women who live in Waco and go to FBC Woodway) and have time to talk and catch up. Melle is a sweet friend from our Waco days and she also facilitated several Beth Moore Bible studies that I was a part of. I TOTALLY miss that group of ladies and the fun times we had on Wednesday nights! :( Kim was (ok - I have to say it...) was one of my P.E. coaches in ELEMENTARY school and also a very special woman in my life during my high school years. (It was a full circle moment for me with all these spiritual mentor ladies at this conference!) Kim taught my Sunday School class every Sunday morning and I still don't think she even knows the kind of impact she had on my life. I also have fun memories of a San Antonio trip my senior year that Kim took our group on. Fun times! It was so great to see both of these sweet ladies!

Here is a pic of Beth and her daughters, Amanda and Melissa on stage during the event. All three of them are just so beautiful and fun!

And this is a pic of Beth with a precious 8 year old girl who memorized scripture all year with her mom and came to the Celebration Event. Now that is amazing! ( And I was proud of myself as a 30 year old! ;)

Here is a picture of me and Mandy holding up our note cards. That little booklet has come to mean a lot to me. I guess anything would be after you carry it around with you for a full year. :) I thought I lost mine at one point of last year and I was so sad to think that I was going to have to write the scriptures that I had already memorized over again. It just wasn't going to be the same without Audrey's (my 2 year olds') purple pen marks all over some of the verses. BUT I found it and was able to keep up with it. It was also our ticket in the door on Friday night. Such a neat thing to see all these women's notebooks (from 42 states and Canada - we didn't meet anyone else from Texas the whole weekend besides Kim and Melle!)
Things I loved about the weekend: Quality time with Mandy, worship - AMAZING!, being anonymous - LOVED that no one there knew me! As a matter of fact at one point during the weekend, Beth asked the pastor's wives and women ministers to raise their hands and I felt like I had blown my cover. Like the two sweet ladies from Pennsylvania that we were sitting next to us had just found out my TRuE identity! Haha! :) I also loved Beth's teaching from Psalm 119. She opened up so much about this amazing passage like she always does and the Lord spoke to my heart on several occasions. I LOVED that I could go to this conference and be poured into. I needed that more than I knew. :) Thank you, Lord for incredible times like this past weekend that you give us as just another reminder of how much you love and adore us! It was a time that I will NEVER forget! Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This and That

Here are a few pics of things that have been going on around our house these days:

Here is the fam in their new seating arrangement at the dinner table. We moved Ainsley out of the high chair and into a "big girl seat". She LOVES actually being at the table and we LOVE that the high chair is out of our kitchen! :)

Audrey just was given a trunk full of dress up clothes and shoes (thanks Blake and Avery:) and she has started lining the shoes up like so. It's the smallest things that can be so cute to me. Austin still does the same thing with his cars. :)

Here is our girlie in her Umpa-Lumpa outfit as we like to call it. :)

Austin got some snazzy Spiderman sheets for his birthday that he just loves.

Funny Story: We gave Audrey a sucker and in like 2 minutes she lost the thing. We looked and looked around our house for this lost sucker to no avail. We ended up handing her another one only for her to turn around and us to find it HERE. It was a funny moment and pretty much sums up our life here at the Werley home. :)

A-Town was very excited about his shaving kit he got for his birthday. Now he can be even more like Daddy!

Doesn't she look cute? Audrey looks so much like my sis to me in this pic it is almost scary!

The 'A' poster that "we" did for Austin's class. ;)

Sweet Ainsley turned 19 months last week! She is getting so big! Some of her favorite things right now are: the word 'no', climbing our stairs, throwing trash away, her lamby and blanket, reading before bedtime and trying to put the lids back on sippy cups. She is currently in both physical therapy (not walking yet) and speech therapy and she loves all the attention those ladies give her each week. :) She is still as easy-going and happy as always and we were very thankful that a bunch of blood work that she had done this month all came back negative. She is a healthy and active little girl and the joy of our home!

Audrey went to a birthday party this weekend with Grandma Werley (mom was out of town) and she had so much fun!

Thanks for taking her, Grandma! We love you guys!

And Austin made his first trip back to Fuddruckers (where he ran into the corner of the bar-thingy behind him and split his head open at the beginning of this month). He was nervous about it, but managed to walk out ER and blood-free. :) Great job, Buddy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Super Spidey Birthday all the way!

This year we decided to theme out Austin's birthday party Spiderman style. It was a lot of fun (and work), but also one I think our boy won't ever forget. We almost spent the money to do a bounce house place party where there is no mess and no worries, but I am not sure how much longer our little man is going to let me go theme crazy like this (and get a lot of my stored-up teacher energy out, so we went for it and Austin loved it! Doesn't take much to make this 4 year old happy! :) Here are some pics of our Spidey adventure:

The Cake/Cupcakes
The DecorationsI wish I had a picture of Austin's face when he walked into the door and saw the place (our Church's Fellowship Hall) all decked out in Spiderman. That right there made all the late nights of working on this day worth every second! So fun!

This birthday party was the 1st where Austin invited his school friends along with our Church friends and family. I just love this pic of Austin and his sweet friend, Dalton! They got right to playing like crazy after this. :)

Our little bounce house is always a hit (and this year it was a last minute addition - THANK GOODNESS we had it so the kiddos could get out some much needed energy being that it was 18 degrees outside the day of the party!)

Andrew's dad with Austin's 2 great-grandmothers who were such good sports at such a loud and rowdy party. They are both AWESOME and so much fun!

Let the games begin!

Audrey with her Grandpa Werley looking at the fun balloons.

More games! Loved how Daddy showed the kids how the game 'Pin the Spidey to a Bad Guy' works! Hehe! Way to go Dad! ;)

Singing Happy Birthday - do you think Austin is enjoying all the attention?! That's our boy!

All of Austin's sweet friends who came to play and party. Always love the group shots!

What is a party without a pinata? And a Spiderman one at that!

Our princess had a lot of fun, too!

Thanks SOOO much to Aunt Alisha for taking all the great pics of the day and for Peyton for being such a big help with all the littles during the party! Love you, girlies!

We have a 4 year old! Unbelievable!
It was a great day, but Mommy and Daddy were also glad when all the partying was over. ;) We were wiped out!! (And even compared it to the 'after our wedding day tired'!) Thanks to everyone who came to make this day so special for our son! We have such amazing family and friends! Austin, we love you TONS and are so proud of our little Spidey hero!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Extravaganza!

Austin is officially 4 years old! We still can't believe that our little man is getting so BIG! Birthday weeks are so much fun and birthdays are a big deal around our house. We had a great week full of fun surprises and memories. Here are some pics from Austin's actual birthday (Spiderman party pics to come. :)

Our sweet boy so excited to be 4 eating our traditional birthday breakfast - doughnuts!

Opening presents from Daddy and Mommy.

Putting his new race track together. (Way to go Daddy for picking put such a fun gift!)

One excited little guy! Love this pic!

Austin chose Chuck E. Cheese for lunch (of course!). Love lunch at that place b/c no one is there! The kiddos (and Daddy) ran around playing anything they wanted to and we had a blast!

Pretty girlie!

Ainsley played on this play set the entire time! She was so proud of herself for being able to do the entire thing on her own. It was too cute!

One of the A-Teams favorite toys at Chuck E. Cheese. We always love a competition! ;)

He loves beating his lil' sis. :)

We surprised Austin that night and took him to his first Dallas Mavericks game. Audrey and Ainsley stayed home (thanks, Louise!) so it was just the 3 of us and we had a blast! I wish I would have taken a picture of his face when he first saw the inside of the arena. He was in awe and so excited!

This picture pretty much sums up the night - he ate the ENTIRE bag of cotton candy pretty much by himself! He loved Champ - the mascot, the big screen, all the fun music and dancing, waving the Go Mavs sign and all the yummy treats he got to eat all night long.

BMX halftime show that was so awesome! Austin now has aspirations of doing tricks like those guys. He loved it!

It was a great game and such a memorable day. It is so much fun as a parent to watch your kiddos be so excited about life. Austin brings us so much joy and laughter and this day was no exception! I hope he will remember this fun day forever! I know I will! Happy, happy birthday to our Austin! We love you!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday - We love these people!

Andrew has been the pastor of First Anna here in North Dallas for 2 years officially this past December. It has been an overall wonderful experience with many ups and downs along the way like we anticipated. We still believe without a doubt that the Lord has called us here and He has given us such a heart for the people of our Church and this community. I will have to post a blog one day soon of the many incredible things God has done in the lives of so many people and our Church since we have been here. They would blow you away! That is one of the greatest things about being a pastor's wife is seeing lives literally transform in front of you as God takes a hold of people's hearts. It is amazing and I praise the Lord that He allows us to have a front row seat in this adventure of ministry. There have been very hard days and sometimes seasons here as well. Days when you feel as though you just aren't doing enough or when you feel as though you have failed. The enemy is alive and well in this city and he has been trying as hard as he can to create divisive hearts and destroy what the Lord is doing here. I am telling you, this is such a crazy ride of extreme highs and lows, but we are so grateful for God's protection and His vision and purpose. I am saying all this to mainly point out that there are other people the Lord has also called to this Church that we wouldn't have been able to get though last year without: our staff. What amazing people! In '09 we pretty much did a fruit basket turn over where our staff is involved and Andrew and I look around now and we honestly can't believe how much the Lord has blessed us with these people He literally dropped in our laps as an answer to prayer to serve alongside us in ministry. God is so good! I am so excited to brag on and about them!

This is Jonathan and Brista and Susie and Jeremy. We had the privilege of walking Jonathan and Brista through 8 weeks of premarital counselling last spring before they married in May and Andrew performed their beautiful wedding. Tuesday nights were so fun and we loved every minute pouring into this awesome couple and building a neat relationship with them in the process. Jonathan is our worship leader and wow - he is so great at it! He takes us to the throne room of God each and every week through worship and his heart and passion for the Lord is right on! Brista is fabulous and has already made Jonathan a better man (wink, wink!)

Susie is our incredible new children's minister and I am telling you, she is AMAZING! The story is crazy of how she ended up on our staff: Her and her sweet family (Jeremy and 4 kiddos) already lived in Anna and she was on staff at a church in Mckinney. One of my bff's worked/went to church with her and she told me randomly one day about Susie. Their church had to move one of their campuses and that led to them having to let Susie go b/c there was already a children's minister at the main campus. We immediately started praying after I found that fact out and Andrew called her a few days later for an informal interview. We knew from the second we met her that she was perfect! And she is!! Susie gets a lot of doses of our family b/c all of our kiddos are in her ministry (she handles it really well! ;) She has done an amazing job with what we have thrown at her. And even though her head has probably been spinning since last August and her family was hit with a major tragedy of losing her sister last fall, we know without a doubt that the Lord wanted her here for a purpose and we are so grateful. Jeremy is one awesome guy with a servant's heart and he has been more than involved helping out his wife and our church since they have been here. I am telling you! Both of these couples have blessed us more than we can say!

This is Zach and Louise (get to Zach in a minute). Lousie has stepped into the position of our Church secretary (if I am not mistaken, the 1st secretary our Church has had in a very long time) and she is absolutely FABULOUS!!! I can't even begin to tell you how much this woman has been a blessing to Andrew, our staff, our Church and the Werley family! We love everything about Louise and praise God daily for bringing her to our Church and for helping get everything in order and organized. (We needed so much help in this area! Thanks also to Karen who is not pictured for helping/saving us on the financial/business side of it all. You are one amazing woman and we love you and your sweet family TONS!) Louise has an incredible spirit about her and a love for the Lord that is contagious if you are around her. She is so fun and encouraging and has been there for us so many times. We are so sad that she will be leaving us this summer after she gets married and moves back to east Texas, but we are soaking up everything we can while she is here!

Just wanted to throw in this pic of my sweet hubby doing one of his favorite hobbies these days - tweeting. :) Also wanted to take this opportunity to say what an awesome pastor he has been for me and all of First Anna. His leadership and teaching has transformed so many hearts so that our Church doesn't even look the same as it did when we first came here through the Lord's power and grace. Thank you for being real every day at home and for being transparent and letting God lead you each and every week as you guide this flock of people the Lord has entrusted you with. I would follow you anywhere and I am so proud of you!

This Zach and his beautiful bride Ashley. Zach has done such a great job with our youth group this past fall. He came in and hit the ground running with so many great ideas and it is evident that he has the hearts of our high school and junior high students. He is such a hard worker with a servant's heart and really has become Andrew's right hand man in so many situations and conversations. He is perfect for Andrew in that way! Ashley is awesome and we have had a lot of fun hanging out with and without our kiddos in tow. I love the heart she has for the girl's in our youth group and she has to be one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. We are continuously blessed and sharpened by this couple! Thank you for serving beside us - we are so thankful for each of you!

This was such a fun Thankful Thursday for me and one that has been stirring for a while now. You can't do ministry without incredible people surrounding you with the same passion and desires that you have. We know that the Lord has pieced together the perfect formula of staff for this season of First Anna and we are forever grateful! Again, the Lord met needs that we didn't even realized we had! Don't you just love it when He does that?! Thanks for reading!