what a joy to be in Colorado, surrounded by family and fun and some of the best foods ever. what a great opportunity to give and look forward to a new year. all of it is so good, but what is so great is the real hope we have in the Savior born two thousand years ago. He came to redeem the world to Himself. And those who see with their eyes ad hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, He will heal them. I am so grateful for my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, praise His holy name.
Merry Christmas to everyone. He is the reason for the season.
the angels have been rejoicing over this heaven-bound soul. My friend Nikki (left) who I have been living life with for the past three years has been loving her roommate Colleen (right) and telling her what she knows about Jesus. Over the past three years Colleen has been curious yet uncertain about taking a step toward Christ.
The other day as Colleen was walking on campus she understood she was a sinner who needed a Savior for the first time. Praise God that He knew what it would take for her to see her need. And now she is my sister, my Kingdom neighbor, and I cannot wait to see what God has for her. What an amazing God I know and love. That He would reconcile me and Nikki and Colleen to Himself through sending His son. His very own Son bears the marks of His love for us in his hands. Thank You Jesus. Your love is incredible.
I am often reminded of my lack of blogging by my sister. I cannot believe a whole month has gone by right out from under me. In the past two weeks we have traveled to Tennessee and back and Georgia and back and plan on being in Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona in the next three. Ahh. I am having a hard time feeling like it is the Christmas season with all of our busyness. I haven't even decorated our apartment since we have hardly been home.
But we have plenty to be thankful for. We had the privilege of spending our first thanksgiving in three years with family. We drove to Knoxville with Josh to spend the holiday weekend with David & Pamela, Nick & Katie, Caryn, and Lindsey . . . and then Ryan & Katie joined us for an hour or two on friday!
This is all of us at the park. We all are CSU alumni and met in Navs. How exciting to have God bring us together for thanksgiving in Knoxville. Who would have known?
We ate lots of food, played games, talked, cried, worshipped the Lord, drank coffee, laughed and drank more coffee. John and I loved staying at David and Pamela's apartment where the graciously made their home our home for a couple of days. After thanksgiving we decorated their apartment with Christmas delight.
We looked at Katie's wedding pics as the guys played some disc golf. Although we are scattered geographically, we are all learning to trust God in our various situations of life. Most exciting of all is the little Hamilton growing inside Katie (far left)
Also noteworthy is that John and David dressed alike!
Last weekend was so much fun. Most of our weekends are but last weekend was exceptional. We started it by playing Settlers of Catan with two couples from our church. Everyone ganged up on me as I gained more and more points until the win was stolen from me. But it wasn't enough to ruin the weekend. The next morning I went to a Champagne Brunch for a new for the fouth time mom. Delicious food, fun atmosphere and girl time. Then, late that day I swindled a deal with Jenny from AT&T (this was really exciting until tuesday when the wrong phones arrived and I spent 2 hours with Sean from AT&T trying to figure out what Jenny was thinking.) So I was still thinking we were getting a great phone deal and John and I headed out on our date. We ate at Macaroni Grill and just had a relaxing time.
Soon Sunday morning came and we decided not to attend church but to play hookie hookie hippo. We rode our bikes to the grocery store and John make banana pancakes with cinnamon apples. Later we got our hobby on and John fiddled with his bike as I tackled my apron for the first time this semester. I was delighted to see the end in sight and I finished that 2 year long project! Of course I wore the apron to make a dinner of mashed potatoes and apple-pear chicken with the last bottle of Abbey left from New Belgium. That apron did not leave my body all night long. I needed to make sure I did not spill while reading and watching TV!
I realize that food plays a big roll in making my life so good. I am thankful for a weekend to remember.
I got to go back to Colorado for a weekend a couple of weeks ago. It as so much fun. Despite the fact that all of my treasured toiletries were taken from me at security because I was trying to save money by not checking my bag. While being distraught over my products, I arrived at my gate to find they were boarding already. I thought I was early, but I boarded nontheless. Only to find some man in my seat. After much confusion about seat assignments, my neighbor looked at my ticket and asked me "Are you are the right plane?" " Of course," I replied "we are headed for Houston (my layover,) and he said, "no, we are headed for Newark." So I frantically grabbed my things thinking for sure they would be locking me in soon. But I called John and we laughed together at my troubles. Eventually I made it to Colorado and enjoyed a great weekend.the reason I went home was to surprise my newly 18 year old brother for his last regular season home football game where he would be recognized on the field with his family. However, when I arrived at DIA, Brandon was there to surprise me. He had overheard April spill the beans about our plans. This is one of his senior pics that Eric took of him. What a stud.
They won the game which was important. They are undefeated!
I had so much fen being a part of this moment for my brother. He has worked so hard for years to be where he is at. And it has been so hard not to see him play every friday night and root him on. But I got to be there once, and it was amazing.
We also celebrated Brandon's 18th birthday. He has grown to love sushi as much as I do and so we went to his favorite and my favorite place in the world to get sushi, Suehiro. My parents are not so much into the sushi, but they grinned through it and might have made a few faces. I loved being with the fam.
We also saw some of my cousin's soccer games, we ate at the token spots, Lucilles and Big City. Obama was in town the same time I was, it was nice of the future president of the united states to plan his schedule according to mine.
Updates will come, as Bro is now in the playoffs and is ranked #2 in the state.
Wow! Thanks for praying for the retreat any of you who did. It went so well. You know it was a good retreat when the biggest problem was not ordering enough t-shirts.
The women I meet with are still talking about Deb's messages. It was such a blessing to be able to worship with women and learn about God's intricate design for us.
Women embracing God's design for us is a huge part of my heart in ministering to women. And this weekend was a perfect time for the Lord to reveal to soft hearts His love in fashioning them. Great is the Lord.
Would anyone join me in praying for our women's retreat this weekend? Pray for Deb as she speaks three different times about God's design for us as women. Pray for open hearts of college women and staff as we hear from God's Word. Pray for relationships to build. Pray for me as I direct the thing. Pray for God to be ultimately and beautifully glorified by our gathering.
Last weekend we took 50 students to the beach. Last year it was such a success we were looking forward to it. The lack of beach pics shows how little time I spent on the beach. I spent more time at the grocery store than I did at the beach. But here are some irresistable pics of Sam at Chipotle when we got home.
Who knew a kid with a block in his mouth could be so adorable.
This pic is not so much irresistable as the man that I am kissing in it. He is UNBELIEVABLE!
John invested in a MacBook in order to be able to design web pages, tshirts and the like for our ministry. But so far the greatest thing about the newest addition to the family is that it takes funny pics of us.
There is something about my season of life that has made me more reflective. Not necessarily of the past but of the present. I knew that finishing school would provide for me a freedom in life and ministry and marriage that I had not experienced in the past two years, and I am trying to enjoy every moment of that freedom. What I have realized is that life is on it way and most of the time I don't slow down to realize how good it is, and how good I have it. It is contrary to my nature to sit and contemplate where I am, but I am exercising my rest and contentment muscles every day. And the truth is that I am living the dream! I get to wake up with new mercies available to me in Christ Jesus every morning. I am married to a delightful man who makes me laugh and shares all of life with me. My job requires me to spend time with Jesus every morning, who doesn't need time with the Creator carved out for them? I have the freedom to ride my bike (named free spirit) to campus and meet with women who are also growing to understand the intimacy with which they are loved by the Lord. Simple things give me so much joy as well. I love baking bread! the Farmers Market has been a fun addition to my weekly grocery trips. My sewing machine still frightens me, but its available whenever my fear subsides and my creative fingers get movin. We are building relationships with people in Gainesville that have brightened our lives and refresh us weekly. I never dreamt of living a life like I do, but I realize its God's perfect provision for me! I am living my dream.
It has been a whirlwind the past two weeks. I am finally feeling better after 14+ days of a high fever and weird cough. All the while I was sick John was so busy on campus with the our new staff members and Ben. They put in countless hours meeting new students, getting to know new names and playing ultimate frisbee. John was incredible in how he worked long hours while taking care of me, feeding us, getting me medicine, sitting with me in doctors offices and fundraising on top of it all. What a man I married, and what a God that provides for us on a daily and detailed level.
Being back in Gainesville has been refreshing. There is nothing like seeing familiar faces, catching up and looking forward to all the opportunities we have together. John and I have felt so at home here among the staff, students and our church family as well.
The nature of our ministry, staff team and my capacity is going to look so different than it has. I am truly looking forward to spending more time with Jesus this semester as He teaches me how to love John well, how to lead women in the Word and how to embrace being His Beloved. My life is offering me so many opportunities and choices with my time, and it makes me feel free. I told one of my girls, "I am a free spirit this year" There is nothing like being set free from classes and deadlines and having time to bake bread, read my Bible on campus, meet with a girl or sew something new. I am truly a student in all of those activities, but I cannot wait to get started.
There are plenty reasons why this post is the first in a month, the most recent being that I am on day 10 of the flu. But I guess being sick should give me more time to reflect and update . . . so here is a short list of my favorite memories of the summer.
drinking sonic with my girls. All day every day.
eating with my husband at our favorite spot along the river, a gourmet mexican restaurant that puts my salsa to shame.
finding the best dried mangoes are sold at Walmart.
Now that I have gotten my food fixes out . . .
going to John's aunts house in Oklahoma for a weekend with my team.
listening to "swing swing" in the car with my ladies drumming on the seats and dashboard
seeing God use ordinary college students and me to further His Kingdom!
being a part of three women's intense, life-changing growth
developing an increased desire to spend more and more time with Jesus, reading my Bible.
feeling surrounded as God's Beloved.
watching my husband use his unique ability to lead men and women in life, understanding of
Scripture and walk with Jesus. He is on fire folks.
So John and I ran away from Branson for two nights this past week. It was unbelievably refreshing for us to be together and enjoy all the plans John had made for our time. We camped on the shores of Table Rock Lake the first night in our new tent. He loves memories of camping as a boy so I was so excited to let John show me how he wants our family to camp! We made a hobo dinner that we tailored to our tastes and whatever was in the cooler. And we make dough-boys, which to everyone outside the Teten family is a buttermilk biscuit cooked over the fire and anything sweet thrown in to the center.
Then our next journey was into the quaint town of Eureka Springs in Arkansas. It is like the Boulder of Arkansas if that is possible. We stayed at the cutest Bed and Breakfast and had our own little rock cottage.
As we walked around we dreamt of Kristi and Jens owning a B & B and how perfect they would be at providing amazing food, an inviting place to stay and a place for peoples pets too! Eureka Springs was made for the Davis family!
The breakfast might be the best we have ever had. Peaches and Cream, fritata, asparagus, tomatoes and pecan crusted bacon. And who doesn't cap off breakfast with a pumpkin spice cake with spiced whipped topping? You might see a theme of great food. It is such an important part of our times together.
And finally, we posed with Christ of the Ozarks, and we still don't know how we feel about it.
There is so much of me that wants to recall some funny story or amazing memory that we have created here in Branson. But the thing is . . . I am sitting in a motel office without AC getting internet for the first time in a week and the other part of me just can't do it. So here is a teaser.
This pic is actually from our anniversary in Memphis for a couple of days. We walked around downtown Memphis and tried to eat at the best places the town had to offer. So needless to say we ate delicious fried chicken!
And here is a sneak peak at the women I am honored to lead this summer. Starting at the left, we have Ashley from University of North Texas, Marianne from UF, and Suzie from University of Lousiana, Monroe (suzie is praying about joining marianne and I at UF, she just can't get enough). These women have joined me in marveling at Jesus this summer. Would you help me pray for their spiritual growth this summer?
Also, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with an 18 year old named Aubree, would you also pray that we would have the chance to meet together to discuss what Jesus has done for her?
Finally, we have recently started relationships with international students from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Spiritual discussions are all over the place, please pray with me for these precious ones to know their Savior.
I am off to a pool party and ice cream social we are holding to get to know our students co-workers more.
Branson has been a whirlwind since we have been here. For those who have never been here, it is impossible to understand unless you see it with you very own eyes. It has been called a clean hillbilly las vegas, and I am not sure I disagree. There is so much to do here, it is a mecca of lights, shows, and tourist traps. But we love it! It will be such an adventure for us to live in a motel along with 65 other people in our program and try to serve God each other and the people around us without tearing each other apart piece by piece. Actually I know it will provide a platform for the Lord to work on our hearts individually to become more like Him. I know my patience and humility will be tested time and time again. thanks for everyone who has been praying for our summer and those who might start! I do praise God for the staff team we are working with and the amazing team leaders that will make this program shine! Pics will hopefully come sometime throughout the summer.
Branson MO is our destination for the summer. We are embarking to the Ozarks for 9 weeks to live and work in the "family-friendly Las Vegas". John and I will be a part of a Navigator staff team who will provide intensive training for students. They will work at the different theme parks and we will provide them with bible studies, evangelism training, a chance to get to know God better and a lot of fun. We don't know what to expect except for hard work, chiggers and great memories. If you think of it you could pray for our travels . . . we leave in less than 10 hours, and for the overall success of our summer. Looking at the collage above, I am not sure there is a better place to invest summer time?
I am so thankful for the reality of how amazing marriage has been. The past two years have been filled with adventures, lessons, challenges and a lot of fun. I love the journey that the Lord has us on. What a complete treasure He has given me in John. He deserves all of the praise from John and I. We owe our joy to Him, and we desperately need Him to walk us through His happily ever after.
We made it back to Colorado just in time for me to join my gals to celebrate Katie's going away into marriage party. The Melting Pot delighted our senses as it does, it was so good to laugh with my friends!
Katie on the right is now betrothed to a dashing young Ryan McCulley. Congrats you two.
Fun-loving David and Pamela took us on a spin around town to the free beer tastings. New Belgium always pulls through for us. And then we ate some of the best that FoCo has to offer at Cooper Smiths. Thanks for the treat Tetens.
Enjoying good ol' Coca Cola at the Moddelmog-McCulley wedding.
David and I celebrated our graduation together too. Except for that it looks like we are going on a cruise instead. We'll take it anyway.
My momma on Mother's Day. Poor woman had to host a graduation party on her day of love. Thats the love of a mother though. What a picture of grace, beauty and strength this woman is.
Our favorite stop of the trip was seeing sweet Vivian Joy. John got to hold her forever because I was and still am dying from the plague of eastern colorado. But she was so fun to watch and Kristi is a perfect mom for her. It is going to be hard to watch our nieces grow up over the virtual world of emails and blogs, but they are so pretty we will take all the pictures we can get. Thanks once again to the willagers of Colorado for our fun-filled week.
My Suz came to visit Flo-rida. She was in Gainesville for a few short hours, but we squeezed in a campus tour, and pizza with those left in town.
This is a fun picture because it shows 3 spiritual generations. Suz met with me in college and was also met with by Melissa Nugent who also now pours into me. And then I meet with the two amazing ladies on the left. Nikki and Brittney are spending there summers at Eagle Lake with Suz, so they are going to call her grandma all summer . . . all because of the wonders of discipleship! beauty.
There is much to blog about. The whole world passed by in the past month, at least it felt like it to us. Wowzers. First of all, I am DONE with school. Raise the roof, praise the Lord, and open a bottle of champagne! Woohoo. To celebrate John and I laid by the pool, the Nugents hosted a party for me and I got a hair cut.