Monday, September 29, 2014

If I'm Honest.

If I'm honest with you, sometimes being in ministry makes me cry.

Some days it's because I feel like we're doing everything all wrong.

Others, it's because we must have done something right.

We had a high school student contact Cody this week, worried for his friend who hadn't had a new pair of shoes in over a year and a half. He had a simple question: "Can you do anything to help him?"

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Church is sometimes messy. It's a collection of broken people, loud people, quiet people, hurt people, happy people, opinionated people, sad people, "I've done my time" people... all looking to meet Jesus in the same place.

We meet Him on Sunday mornings in worship together, at Monday Lunch serving high school students, in the emptying of trash bags, moving TV's to set up for Bible studies,  and over committee meetings to help chart the course of ministries.

Some weeks it feels like too much. Is there really one more church activity that we can fit onto our plate? But other weeks, it feels like just enough. And those are the weeks that make it all worth it.

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About this time last year, a Finance Committee  started working on a budget. They fine combed through it prayerfully, before passing it on to the deacons to approve it and finally taking it to a vote with the church body. And because that body said "yes, we believe in our ministers and in the money they need to make things happen" when the question was asked, "Can you do anything to help him?" we answered with a resounding yes.

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After picking out shoes, we realized there was probably another need that hadn't been asked for. Luckily, the question for help came at the same time as our only departments store in town was having a major sale - 70% off, plus an additional 50% off the lowest marked price. Coincidence? I think not.  I'll be honest, it's a little hard to shop for someone that you don't know and have no idea of their personal style.  So I did what any sane woman would do... I bought it all! Not really, but close. A polo for $4, of course! Tee for $2.50! Dress shirt for $10! Long sleeve hoodie for $4 with two colors available, I'll take them both! In the end I think I got at least 15 tops, two pairs of jeans and a pair of shorts, all for under $100. I'm sure I looked slightly like a crazy lady in the store... wavering between a joyful smile as I pulled out another item and tears for this boy I didn't know.

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The money spent on these clothes is a drop in the hat when it comes to our  church budget. But this week, that money made all the difference in one boy's life.

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If I'm honest with you, sometimes being in ministry makes me cry.

Some days I feel like we're doing everything all wrong.

Thank you Lord for letting us have a part in something right.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Late To The Game

here's a few things I'm enjoying that the rest of the world has probably been talking about for months...


I am probably one of the few ladies who hadn't seen this movie, but I finally fixed that last weekend. Y'all, this movie is hilarious and definitely hits the mark on so many levels. [the intro nailed motherhood. salmonella, salmonella, salmonella, salmonella...] I knew it was a Christian movie, but I didn't realize it was put on with help from the same people that did Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, etc. If you are somehow like me and missed this when it first came out, watch it asap!

fyi for local friends, our church will be hosting a mom's night out on oct 9 and showing the movie... you should join us!


The downfall of living in a small town without a certain chain coffee place is that I can't jump on the psl bandwagon the first day that the rest of the world seems to. I was actually in a major town last week with some friends and we hit up two separate starbucks and both were OUT OF PSL. Like seriously... how does that happen? While there was a nearby Dunkin Donuts that came to the rescue, I finally got my first real PSL on Monday and it was heavenly.  I think I'd really forgotten just how good starbucks coffee is. We're headed to Sacramento in a few weeks for a youth conference and our hotel has a coffee shop right outside... you better believe I'll be a repeat customer!


While I've seen countless friends posting on social media about She Reads Truth, I've just recently joined in with their "Open Your Bible" series and I've really enjoyed it so far.  It's an easy, straight forward plan to help lead you through a daily quiet time. I love that it's meaningful but not too time consuming. I definitely recommend printing the reading guide and downloading the app if you haven't used it yet!  (This is definitely an app/website geared for women, but I think this particular study could definitely be done by men or women. It just helps get you in the word every day)

What else am I behind on??

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let It Rain

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of something and go,  "what was I thinking?!"

Last May I volunteered to be the Childcare Coordinator on the Steering Committee for our MOPS group. Despite the fact that everyone kinda looked at me like I was crazy when I took it because it is one of the more time intensive positions, I really felt like God was leading me to it. If I'm being honest, I was intrigued by the thought of finally helping to be in charge of something again; to be able to show some initiative and  go-get-um that isn't really required for a SAHM.  I may have even told Cody that it would be good for me to do something volunteer wise to help pad my resume in my off years from working.

Funny, because then I got the [perfect for me] part time job without ever evening show my resume.  Now we're in back in the trenches of the school year and between my ministry stuff, cody's ministry stuff that griff and I like to go to and MOPS on fridays, we have about one day at home. I've spent a few stress filled, sleepless nights asking God "What is the lesson in this for me this year?" [it seems to sound a little more mature than WHY ME?!?!?!?!?!?] 

I haven't actually gotten an answer yet. I've handled the silence much like a four year old would in the car waiting to know "are we there yet?"  It's not the answer, but I have been reminded that it's not my turn anymore. I came to MOPS in April of 2013 and it was such a relief to my bitter working mom soul. I'm not saying that it's always perfect, but I've been able to form friendships that bless me every week. I know because of my Steering Committee position I probably won't get to spend as much time with our MOPS members during the meetings, but I'm prayerful that friendships will bloom while moms know their kids are being taken care of.

Yesterday at church my children's sermon was over James 5:16 - the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. I was able to use rain as the example. We'd actually prayed for rain in the kid's service Wednesday night and God delivered on Saturday and Sunday, a major answer here in Texas. We have a chance for more rain this week and I encouraged the kids that when we pray, for rain or a sick person or any other thing, we need to carry around our umbrella and wait expectantly for the Lord to rain down our answer. 

waiting expectantly

It may take me the full school year to learn what my lesson is in what all has been put on my plate this year.  I've got my umbrella ready and waiting for the answer though. 

Monday, September 1, 2014


Well hello there. It as been forever and a day since I feel like I've had a moment to sit down and actually blog out some real thoughts. Between adjusting to my new work schedule, Griff going to daycare, Cody trying to finish up the youth room remodel, both of us prepping for Wednesday night church activities to start back and finally, Cody getting knocked out for a full week with an extremely painful infection, August was one crazy, quick month.

Oh yeah, don't forget to throw in two birthday celebrations in the midst of all of that.

Y'all, I'm tired remembering all of it!

I am not ready to throw in the towel on this blog yet, so here's a few pictures and snippets from August:


Last year for Mother's Day Cody and my dad gave my mom and me a "Girls Day Out" and we finally cashed in on it! We spent the day shopping, eating, talking, laughing and finishing up with massages. It was such a fun day and mom and I agree that it needs to be a weekly occurrence :)


This hooligan finally got a haircut and instantly became a big boy! The spikes certainly fit his personality.  Every single day he surprises us with the funny things he comes up with, but also how sweet he is. He loves to sit outside and wave at cars as they go by, he is great as using his please and thank you's, and he's done a great job adjusting to day care.  He keeps us on our toes with the things he gets in to, such as my lipgloss:


and nail polish!



I planned a "Pajamas and Pancakes Party" for our Children's Ministry to kick off our new Sunday School year. Griff enjoyed getting to take his blanket to church and it was a great turn out. If you're a Children's Minister, this is a fun, easy, and cheap event to plan for the families in your church.

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We had a fun Monsters University party for Griffin at our church. I put too much effort into making some decorations for the party, when all that was needed was a blow up pool, some balls, and a slide. Seriously, the kids spent two hours playing in this thing without bothering the parents. If you have a toddler, you should invest it one!


Hope August was good to you!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back To School Prayer [ children's ministry resource ]

I'm hoping to start sharing a few children's ministry resources as I get into the swing of my new position, starting with a back to school prayer for parents to use for their kids as school kicks off for another year. 


The right side is for a girl and the left for a boy. 
Here is the link if you want to download and share with your parents. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Sunday I took a fabulous three hour nap and enjoyed a late evening Diet Dr. Pepper... which  was all fine and dandy until it was 3 a.m. and I was WIDE. AWAKE. During the four hours I lay in bed I covered quite the variety of brainstorming, problem solving and other various topics, including worrying about and praying for Griffin's first day at daycare. My momma heart knew he would love it, but it's still so hard to trust them to others. So I prayed that Griffin would learn to be a good friend, to enjoy playing with others and to really flourish in daycare. I also prayed that I would grow in trust, remembering that God has orchestrated these details and would keep him safe.  I believe I even said something along the lines of, "I know as a parent I feel like I'm the only one fully capable of keeping him safe, but I trust you... please grow my trust through this process." 

Fast forward to Monday afternoon. Griffin didn't even bat an eye when we left him that morning. When I went to pick him up, he gave me a small wave of acknowledgment but then went straight back to playing. He played with every toy on his way out, which makes for a slow, long process, but was a relief for this momma to see him so happy.  We came home, back to our safe place, shared a snack and while G was playing on my phone, I grabbed a quick load of laundry to start. (our laundry room is enclosed, but you have to walk outside to get to it right off of the back porch) G saw me and wanted to come out to help with "aundy" so I leet him. He was of course, distracted on the way, stopping to say hi to Kota, picking up colors and drawing a few scribbles before running to join me in the laundry room.  He tripped on the way in though, and stepped right onto one of my projects: a lid full of furniture tacks. (basically bigger thumb tacks, if you're not sure what I'm talking out.) 

Bloodcurdling screams. Blood. Lots of tears. We were both freaking out, Griff from pain and mom wondering if we needed to head to the ER. I ended up calling a nurse hotline in Lubbock to try and get an idea if we needed to go for some type of tetanus shot or if he was ok because he was up to date on his shots. It took a while for her to understand what was going on because Griff wouldn't stop screaming, but we finally were able to talk. She told me to clean it with a good soap, which I immediately did in our sink.  Playing with the water in the sink was an instant perk for Griff and his tears dried up.  After telling me that keep him on pain meds but no need to go the the ER, she finished our conversation with this: "No need to worry... you're a good mother and stuff like this happens to everyone!" I told her she deserved a bonus just for those sweet words. 

Monsters University and Motrin seemed to do the trick to get him through the night, but he was definitely limping on his left foot this morning, which took the brunt of the tacks with 12 marks.  


It was totally my own stupidity for leaving the box on the ground. I could have prevented this from every happening and I hate that Griff is in pain. However, it's one of the easiest physical lessons for me to learn: I think that I am the best source of safety for Griffin. I can plan and over protect and do whatever is in my power to do what I think will keep him safe, but life still happens.  Despite my great attempts, he will still get hurt. Sometimes it will be a physical pain that can hopefully be healed with Motrin and eventually it will be emotional hurts that will be much harder to heal. God is answering my prayer though and growing my trust that He is the one capable of fully caring for Griffin. As long as I do my best to raise a man that seeks after him, then I've done my part to keep him as safe as possible, even if following the Lord's plan takes Griff on some wild adventures. 

Just in case you need to hear it too...

Hang in there mommas. You are doing a great job and stuff like this happens to everyone!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five on Friday


 Well, the Neinast family has gone through some big changes in the past week... I'm officially employed again! After a whirlwind few weeks, lots of meeting and a round of voting at our church, I am now the part time Children's Minister. On one hand, it happened very fast, but on the other, it's something that Cody and I have dreamed about and talked through the "what if this ever happened" for quite some time. Last June I filled in one Sunday morning and did the children's sermon during the church service. (where I ran in dressed in a rob, hair curlers, glasses and coffee mug, acting like I overslept and just got to church. the kids were speechless.) After that service I had a good friend tell me, "Girl, the Lord has already showed me that you're going to be our Children's Minister some day!" Since then I have repeatedly told Cody, "The only way I'm going back to work is if the perfect part- time job landed in my lap.. I'm not applying!" And finally, I've wanted Griff to participate in a Mother's Day Out Program, but it certainly wasn't in the cards for us financially. This new job is 100% an answer to all of those prayers! I am very excited about it and can't wait to hit the ground running in preparation for school to start!

(we don't have any wednesday night children activities during the summer, so I have a few weeks to prep before kids are actually "back.")


My new job status means that a certain someone starts daycare this week. Funny how I so wanted Griff to be able to go to MDO, but now that it's happening, I have major mixed emotions about it! Despite my momma guilt and thinking that he's going to think I'm abandoning him, I know Griffin is going to love it. He is such a social butterfly so I expect him to really thrive in his new setting. He'll go four days next week to help him get acclimated to the schedule and all of the teachers, but then he'll just go two days a week when I work.


This is Griff trying out his new nap mat. Every teacher and friend has guaranteed me that they will be able to get him to nap during the time frame, but I think he'll give them a run for their money! :)


I have always been irked to no end when parent's put up pictures of their kid's first day of "school" and it's a little two year old headed of to daycare.  "Just call it what it is!!" I've ranted in my head multiple (oh so sadly multiple times.) Eat your words Abby Neinast. Now I'm sending my own kid there and everything else sounds stupid and not fun, so off to "school" we go.


Because Griff will be gone four days next week and I'm only working two, I've been anxiously planning what I'm going to do on my other days "off." Sadly, part of one will probably be spent whipping our house back into shape and doing some of the chores that never happen around here (washing little finger prints off of lots of windows, for instance.) But, part of it will include a manicure, pedicure, a few naps and potentially a massage. I fully expect to walk around with an angelic glow about me from all of the pampering I'm going to get.


it would tie this post up nicely if I had one last point about my new job, school or something of the likes, but I don't. So I'll leave you with this cutie instead. Safety first when cooking peeps!