Today is my dad’s 63rd birthday. I am so thankful to have been blessed with a father who loves me and is proud of me and who tells me so on a regular basis. He has taught me that following Jesus is fun and full of adventure (among many other things). Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!
Over the past 3 days we have gotten more snow that I ever remember in my 12 years of living in North Carolina. It just kept snowing and snowing! The kids have had a blast. Notice how Abbey has on a rain jacket and socks on her hands, only in the South! Thought you might enjoy a few pictures…
Have a Happy Valentine’s day!
This is me and my grandma, Juanita Boitnott. She passed away 3 years ago at the age of 97. She would have turned 100 this November. Her birthday was 11-12-13.
Grandma B lived in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia all her life. Juanita was not Hispanic. She did not know her name was a Spanish name until my older sister told her one day (to which she replied, “Well I’ll be”). She loved to talk and tell stories. But she only told good stories, happy stories. And she had sad stories she could have told.
For some reason I have been thinking about her lately. And I think there are 2 things I want to learn from her example.
1. Don’t worry about something that probably does not exist. My dad has told me that one day he asked her if she ever heard voices in her head. He said she looked at him and said, “No. And you don’t either.” She told him to eat his breakfast and they never talked about it again.
Now how many moms of my generation (myself included) would have had an appointment with a psychiatrist that afternoon if our child had asked us this? I often have to tell myself to calm down and just let my kids be kids. They can work out their social issues at school. My 2 year old is not demon possessed, she is just 2. And my children will not grow up to hate each other. In Jesus Name, “No, and you don’t either!”
2. Healing from tragedy is possible. When my grandmother was in her early 20s her fiancé died in a car accident. Not long after that, her mother died in an accidental house fire. Grandma B had scars on her arms for the rest of her life from trying to put the fire out on her mother. Somehow she was able to go on living. She went on to marry, have 2 children, and open up her home to house many others in need. She had a relationship with Jesus for more than 70 years that obviously carried her through some very dark times.
I have not even come close to experiencing a tragedy like that in my life. I don’t know what it is like to lose a child or a marriage. But I do know that if my worst fears came true, Jesus would be there at the bottom with me.
Some of the best life lessons we can learn come real people. Not movie stars or holocaust survivors but people that we interact with every day. What are some lessons you’ve learned from your real life heroes? And even further, if you lived to be 97, what lessons do you want your life to leave for others long after your gone?
Summer is officially over as of yesterday. No more lake, no more beach. No more lazy mornings, no more late nights. No more loads of laundry that smell like sunscreen. No more kids that smell like sunscreen even though the have taken a bath.
My favorite season is officially over but there is much to look forward to this fall. See you next summer, Summer.
Yesterday we served at Promising Pages, an organization that gives books to kids in need. The kids made bookmarks while the grown ups sorted and wrapped books to be given out later. The books are distributed at local schools and shelters. Promising Pages has an audacious goal to distribute 1 Million books this year! They are ALWAYS collecting new and used books.
Tonight I am serving at Girls Night Out. A night of fun for high school and middle school girls served by our partners, One7, Safe Journey and Right Moves for Youth. It will be a night full of glitz, glamor and pampering. I can’t wait to share pictures with you.
Tomorrow night is the Elevation Worship LIVE recording at Blakeney, everyone is welcome (hint: get there early!). And this weekend EVERYONE can participate in opportunities on location after worship experiences on Saturday and Sunday. Check out ElevationOutreach.com to see more opportunities to get involved.
Last night we got to serve as a family. Servants with a Heart is an organization that provides food for hungry children all over the world. You may have seen a lot of pictures of people packaging this food this week because we have a goal to package 350,000meals by this Sunday and we are well on our way!
This is a fun activity that everyone in our family enjoyed. Together with other families, we formed a line to assemble bags full of rice, crushed soy (protein), powder with vitamins and flavoring, and dried veggies. The bags were then weighed, measured and sealed. Tonight we even got to taste the stew cooked and it was delicious!
If you’re frustrated because many of the sign ups are full, keep checking the LOVEweek site because we are adding events daily!
Today we will have a memorial to celebrate the life of my father-in-law, Larry Furtick (also known as the L-train). After a very long, hard battle with ALS, L-train went home to be with the Lord this past Wednesday. He loved me like his own daughter and I am a better person because of him. Thank you all for your prayers and condolences over the past several days.
Today is a special day in the Furtick household. It is Steven Furtick’s 33 birthday. These pictures were taken this past Sunday morning before he left for church. He knew the snow would be gone when we got home. I wish you could know him the way we do. You would love and respect him even more. He is an incredible husband, an amazing father, a brilliant leader and a man of God.
I hope you had a wonderful new year and a very merry Christmas! I have certainly enjoyed a break from blogging but also excited to be back. 2012 was an incredible year for us. Our ministry and our family has never had a bigger year than we did in 2012. Here are my 12 favorite events from 2012 (in no particular order)…
1. Code Orange Revival. Although it feels like a lifetime ago, this did, in fact, occur in 2012. It was a whirlwind 2 weeks that had a significant impact on my life personally and on the life of our church.
2. Elijah’s baptism. There is nothing like seeing your firstborn express their own belief in Jesus. What an incredible moment.
3. Trip to Hillsong Australia. I was so proud to accompany my husband to Australia and hear him preach at not only one of the most influential churches in the world, but also one that has impacted my life personally.
4. Banner Years. Elevation is filled with moments where God came through. Banner Years is one of those moments for me. Our church believed God for something big. My husband and I gave sacrificially along with the people of our church and God multiplied it. My faith grew yet again.
5. Greater, a NY Times bestseller. When my husband released his 2nd book this fall we had no idea how it would be received. We were blown away at the response it got as the book made it’s way to the New York Times bestseller list.
6. An incredible vacation. Halfway through this crazy ride, we took a family vacation. The trip was a breath of fresh air for all of us.
7. Abbey turned 1. The first birthday is significant because you realize that you made it and if you can make it through the first year, you can make it through the next 17.
8. 7 Mile Miracle. Our team wove the most unbelievable Easter worship experience and many people came to know Christ.
9. Graham’s birthday trip. Our Graham Graham turned 5 this year. We snuck away for three nights with just him and had a blast. It is always so special to spend time alone with one of our kids!
10. Best Christmas ever. Because of our amazing weekend support team, I was able to sit and hear my husband present the gospel 10 times that added up to 34 worship experiences city wide (plus one in Toronto!) and I got to do fun stuff with my children in between. There is nothing like watching people stand and give their lives to Christ and there is nothing like doing church as a family.
11. 10 year wedding anniversary. My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this June and we can honestly say we not only still love each other but we also still like each other.
12. I officially took up tennis. I began taking lessons this summer for the 2nd summer in a row, only this year, I kept it up. I have played tennis almost every week since July and am loving it. If you know anything about me, you know this is huge for me as it is the longest I have ever played a sport (and actually the only sport I have ever learned).