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The sweet prayer ladies at our church gave each of the pastors these amazing baskets filled with goodies and a gorgeous bouquet of colorful flowers. October was pastor appreciation month, and they all signed a card to let us know that they appreciated us. Jon brought it in after work, and I squealed with delight. Literally. Ask my husband. But after a few moments of chocolate bliss, a realization hit me. This is our last pastor’s appreciation day. Not because we got fired, but because we feel like God is calling us to a different area of ministry. We have been in ministry together since before we were ever dating. Almost 16 years. And full time pastors since Hope was born, so 12 years now. It has been all we know. Our kids have grown up in the church with us as their only Children’s pastors.

It truly is a new and strange season. I say strange because for the first time (possibly ever) we drove to church together today to attend ‘adult’ service. Ever since Hope was born Jon has left early on Sunday mornings, and I would bring the kid(s) for service. For the next two months, we are stepping away from Children’s Ministry even though the end of December is our actual final month. By doing this, people begin to go to the others in charge for any Children’s Ministry needs, yet we are still here if they have any questions. It will help with the transition so by January they will have a well-oiled machine and be able to run things smoothly. And it will also give Jon the time to work on things to come starting in January. So last week was our official last kid’s service. Weird.

Hope asks, “So…what are you guys going to do?” Ha! Not totally sure. All the way to church today I kept telling the boys, “Look, daddy’s in the car!” And of course, they all just looked at me like I was crazy- maybe it’s a bigger deal for me, I don’t know.  But it is. It is kind of surreal.

So for now, I savor each day of lasts, because that means that we are going to experience many firsts in the future. Last few months in our house, last time as Children’s Pastors, last few months of living next door to my brother & sister in law, last time as a kids choir director, and there’s one more big one, but I can’t announce it yet.

I know, as our pastor preached today, God is up to something good. Stepping out in faith is scary. We could have stayed in this position, but we felt like God was going to start a new chapter in our lives that looks nothing like the previous chapters. I’ve always loved a good story that had an unexpected twist! It just happens to be our story. I pray that as our kids see us step out in faith, that they too will be people that step out wherever God leads them. Because He is life, and apart from Him, there is no life. I want to be smack dab in the middle of His will, no matter what it looks like.

So for now, that is where we are at, at last! (get it?!)

Lord, I pray that you would help us to be a people that step out in faith. That we wouldn’t stay so comfortable that we would be afraid to take risks. I know that you have placed dreams deep in our hearts. You have an amazing plan and a purpose for everyone reading this. Now show us the steps we need to take to step out of the boat. May our lives bring you glory in all we do! Amen.

If you have no idea why we’re stepping down and into our next chapter, read this: https://celestebarnard.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/fathers-heart/