Monday, April 27, 2015

My husband, JD and I quickly fell in love with our First Austin community after first attending in late 2012. Like so many, we began again our previously abandoned search for a church home after the birth of our son earlier that same year. We came to the Church because we want to raise him in a life where he is not only exposed to church, but is involved in a community of deep faith, love and acceptance. We have found that in abundance at First Austin.

We became very involved in our small group, Berekah and soon after became very dependent on the community and growth we experience from this group, as well as the bigger Church. Therefore, when we were asked to take over as shepherds of Berekah a few months back, we took it very seriously. First and foremost, we were extremely honored and frankly, surprised. There are so many amazing couples in this class (and throughout the Church) who would have so much more to offer. However, we feel this group is such a blessing to us and hopefully, all who are a part of it that we want very much to ensure it continues to meet all of our collective expectations through times of great change. JD and I were so blessed to participate in Berekah under leadership of not one, but two amazing couples in this relatively short time. Both of whom have contributed to our spiritual growth and experience in ways they will likely never fully know. We decided to take on the daunting task of continuing in their footsteps and with His grace, hopefully will touch lives like they have so greatly touched ours. We are greatly indebted to our leadership partner of the group, Dan Pryor, for his fantastic teachings and leading of group discussion. JD and I are forever grateful for these leaders and this group of amazing adults who we call friends. Thanks be to God.

Early this year, one of those friends asked me if JD and I would consider hosting the Marriage Course put on by the Church to begin in March. When she informed me it was a seven week course spread over a nine week period that was a three hour commitment each night, I thought she had officially lost her mind. “We have a two year old!” I thought. How on earth would we ever make this work? It’s so easy for us all to have the knee-jerk reaction of “we’re too busy!” but I try to remind myself often that we indeed make time for what we want to make time for. If there was ever a worthy place to make time for to us, it’s First Austin. After seeking wise counsel from dear friends and prayerful consideration, we decided to do it. With that said, please don’t misunderstand. It is always important to put family first, especially children. I will never commit to something I feel will have negative repercussions on my family. However, if it’s something we can manage, we absolutely will. What blessings He has provided us through this experience! We actually celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary during the Course and have grown and nurtured our marriage in many wonderful ways! We now have one session left and I am grateful for not only the blessings and gifts to our marriage, but I am equally grateful for the friendships and community we have fostered as a result. We are eternally humbled and grateful that our Church entrusts us with such important works. Once more, thanks be to God and to He, all the glory shall go.

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