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Monday, August 20, 2012

Our History (Part 1)

     If you are not close friends and family, you may have a little catching up to do on our lives to this point.  This will be the cliff notes version of our past.

     I was raised in a military family because my dad was in the Air Force. We moved a lot. I was born in Arkansas, then we went to Holland when I was 2, Germany age 3, South Dakota age 5, England age 7, Idaho age 12, then settling in Alabama at age 15, or starting 10th grade.  I think moving so much is what really hindered my school spirit, but also taught me to appreciate all types of people and cultures. I had a definite salvation experience when I was 5 at a VBS camp there in South Dakota.  I specifically remember the teacher having short dark curly hair, and taking me into a small room and asking me lots of questions, and telling me that if I became a Christian then Jesus would come to live in my heart and be the boss. Then my mom drilling me more at home later on. I had a very difficult time making friends in England at the British school I attended.  I remember in 3rd grade feeling very lonely all the time and sitting around at recess talking to God, and taking consolation in the fact that He was my friend. However, I didn't start reading my bible daily and digging into what it meant to honor God until we moved to Alabama and my family first attended Southside Baptist Church.  It was there I really became actively involved in loving Jesus and getting to know him personally because I had a wonderful man of God as my youth pastor, Randy Sims.  I also had some great Sunday school teachers and got know a few other young women following Jesus and had great support. I knew God was calling me to be a teacher, and I went to the University of Alabama in Huntsville for that purpose. I also wanted to do mission work with kids, but wasn't sure where or how to go, so I stayed in town and worked full time at the Boys and Girls Club downtown. When my education classes interfered with my hours at the Boys and Girls Club, I started working at a gym and teaching exercise classes.  I enjoyed teaching the Les Mills programs BodyPump, BodyCombat, BodyFlow, and BodyAttack. I was even a personal trainer for about a year. This is where our paths crossed.

     John was born in Huntsville Hospital and grew up living in the same house there in the small southern town of New Hope, Alabama. He played basketball, baseball, and football all throughout school and is a die hard Alabama football fan. He had a definite salvation experience at the age of twelve, however he unfortunately went the rest of my middle and high school time in and out of church for lack of discipleship and Christian male role models.  John spent two years playing college baseball before feeling called to the ministry at the age of 20.  He went on to get his Bachelor’s degree at Athens University where he felt like his ministry could be through coaching.  Instead of finishing his seminary degree at that time, he taught for the next 5 years, coaching football and baseball in middle and high schools, while working part-time or full time in youth ministry.  John worked out at the Riviera Fitness Center in Huntsville where I taught classes and was a personal trainer.  One of his friends was dating an instructor who knew me, and he asked her to introduce us. We met in January of 2008, and were married in October. 

     We had a stressful first year and a half as we were getting to know each other.  I was pretty stressed out after student teaching and working as a special education aide in Huntsville. Then we moved to Clarksville, and it was my first year of real teaching. I was staying at school until 8pm almost every night until February while John helped coach football and was feeling torn between coaching and seminary.  We prayed, fasted, and asked older Christians for guidance. It was February of 2010 when we definitely felt God leading John to finish seminary and go into a ministry position full time.  We stepped out on faith, quit our jobs, and moved to Memphis Tennessee that summer.  That brings you up to 2010, and is long enough for now.  I'll catch you up on the last 2 years later. 

     Here's some pictures of our first years, before kids!

                                          Dating, April 2008

                                    Engaged, September 2008

                                        Married, Oct 4, 2008

                            Around our 1st Christmas, in Gatlinburg

                                            Summer 2009
     For the rest of the story, here's part 2 and then you can also check out the "ABOUT" tab and the top. :) 

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