Monday, November 19, 2012

We're All In

Wow… hard to believe it's been almost a month and a half!  So much has happened, and God is working in wonderful and mysterious ways!

First, a not-so-quick update on my 31 in 31 list.  In just a little over a month I have already accomplished (or I'm in progress with) 4 of my goals!

#9. Avoid soda for an entire year.
From the day I posted this, not a drop of soda (or any carbonated beverage) has crossed my lips.  And you know what?  I really don't miss it!

Give Up Soda No More Soda Goal
So far I am soda-free since October!

I'm drinking a lot of water, skim milk, coffee and unsweetened iced tea.  And wine… but no soda!  It feels so good to be able to say I am successfully whittling away at this goal, I am truly proud of myself (Now just 10.5 more months to go, but who's counting?)!

#24. Save, and then spend, $1000 on something fun for our family.
I had no idea how God would work in this one.  As I wrote the 31 days post I had nothing in mind, just that I wanted to be able to feel good about making a large purchase with saved money and not on credit.

Literally within DAYS of the post, an opportunity landed in our laps and we prayerfully accepted.  After the accident, Tony and I are both driving cars graciously given to us by family members.  Both are older and in need of work.  Because of how immensely God has blessed us with Tony's job, we decided to purchase a new vehicle to rebuild our credit - though the idea of going back into debt really gnawed away at us.

I asked a good friend to pray for us to make a wise decision - and instead she offered to sell us a reliable vehicle for - guess how much - $1000!  Exactly what I had hoped to save and spend on an unknown purchase for our family this year!

God provided a vehicle when we prayed
Meet Bruce, the newest member of our family!

#13. Surprise my husband with an amazing gift.
We've aptly named the 'new' truck Bruce.  He is a beast, and he's already a member of our family!  Bruce is a beat up old pick up truck and though he's reliable, he could use a bit of work… so as an early Christmas gift I surprised Tony last week with a rather large sum of money for he and Bruce to go on a shopping spree.  Tony has never had a no-strings-attached fund to spend on a vehicle and I knew he'd be thrilled.  I'll never forget the joy and gratitude in his eyes when I gave him the gift… worth a million times more than the money itself!

#15. Give like never before.
Again, I had no plans when I made this goal.  Just an overwhelming gratitude for how God's blessed our family, and a heartfelt desire to give it back for His glory. 

The weekend after we purchased Bruce (which meant we would not have a car payment after all), our church announced a major new giving initiative.  Not a "building fund" to scrounge up millions of dollars to construct a shiny new coffee shop in a jillion-dollar building - but an all-in missional journey to allow God's work to be done through our giving - to reach people in our metropolitan area and around the world for Jesus!  Amen, and sign me up!

I teared up as the pastor laid out plans for this All In journey, because I knew God had masterfully orchestrated our budgeting for a new car, then our purchase of Bruce, alongside my desire to give like never before - just in time to coincide with the All In initiative.

Just last weekend we made our official commitment.  I won't discuss specific numbers or percentages because it's all about His glory, not ours.  But let's just say, we jumped ALL IN, and we are truly giving like never before - and it's all God's doing and for God's glory!

And it doesn't end there…

God's got some more big ideas brewing in our family and our church community, and through them I expect to check off a number of other goals.  He has placed some amazing people into our lives, whose friendships are much-needed and whose guidance and knowledge we are leaning into.

If it's God's will, we will be moving our family to a nearby community in the new year.  There we'll begin building relationships and laying the groundwork for a new church plant (I am giddy just thinking about it - another of my goals that I trust God will accomplish!) … I will share the details as they unfold, but know that in this busy season we are pouring our hearts out for God - if I am scarce around here it's because I am off investing in the Kingdom (or just crashed out amidst a pile of moving boxes).  :)


  1. Wow, Jess! What a powerful testimony your life is! Thanks for being 'all in' in all areas of your life! It's a pleasure to call you 'friend'!!

  2. How cool to read your All In story! I love how God has blessed your obedience this year!

    (Oh, and I think soda is overrated. I don't drink much at all, and I think it's awesome that you gave it the boot! Now, if you start talking about giving up cheese or chocolate or something, I'll think you've gone crazy! Haha!)

  3. Wow, that's really amazing how you put out the intention of having $1000 for your family and then it came to you. It's the law of attraction in action.

    I don't drink soda either. I like all kinds of tea, though.