I hope you had a fabulous weekend! As you may already know, Tim and I have decided to try out a different restaurant every Saturday. This time, we made a visit to Hopdoddy, a local burger bar that serves fresh, all-natural, local ingredients alongside an impressive selection of beer on tap. The meat comes from local ranches, is hormone/antibiotic free, and is ground daily on site. Just look at these boards...I knew I had just walked into something amazing..
Yes yes..I had to take a picture of my bottles of love. Do you like how they're centered in the collage? Yup...they're that important. They clearly know what they're doing, offering sriracha as one of the condiments ;). I like!
That lovely drink is Socosweettea - House-infused lemoncello, fresh brewed iced tea, served with a sugar rim. I ordered a buffalo burger and Tim got the classic cheeseburger. We shared an order of perfectly cooked and seasoned fries, hand-cut from Kennebec potatoes. I didn't know what they were so you bet the Curious George in me came home and looked it up. I'd love to discuss my findings, but I have a lot to talk about in this post, so I'll leave that up to all you curious foodies out there ;). But take my word..they were mighty tasty!
We had a marvelous time! Tim said this was a life-changing burger and couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day. These are the simple moments that I cherish.
And to top it off, right when we were about to leave, I ran into my high school friend whom I haven't seen since graduation!
She was pregnant with her second child! We exchanged numbers, and I can't wait to catch up with her soon!!
Now that I've shared my marvelous eats, allow me to share with you what
challenging marvelous things are happening to me spiritually!
Last Thursday, our church held a vision night to discuss the details of the upcoming building project. To give you a brief background, our church, a church plant, first opened its doors back in 2007 with just a handful of members. Services were and still are held at a local YMCA. Since then, our church has commissioned 3 churches to be planted throughout the city and has multiplied to 600 members attending on any given Sunday. Praise the Lord! But as you can imagine, we are busting at the seams when it comes to space.
After many months of careful research, planning, and praying every step of the way, our pastor and the elders brought forth a plan about 4 months ago to purchase land on which we as a congregation voted and gave the thumbs up. Although it's been a brief time, it's clear that God's hands are all over this project. Just to name a few of the miracles - The new building will be strategically located in the center of a new developing residential area which is projected to be the town center years out from now, the landowners are generously asking for $2.50/sq. ft rather than $4.50/sq.ft (what?!?!) and extending the sewage line free of cost from an elementary school that's miles away. I was thrilled to see the layout of the new church and just the fact that we're moving into a building of our own! You see, setting up and tearing down every Sunday can be quite a daunting task.
However, then came the part that I wasn't prepared for - the building fund campaign, which consists of two parts. 2 years will be devoted to the land purchase starting this October, and after a short break, a separate campaign for direct building costs will continue for another 2 years.
Our pastor walked us through the necessary steps to take as a family in deciding how much to contribute. Tim and I sat down, went through our finances, and discussed the logistics of how much we can give and what we can cut from our expenses. To start, we talked about getting rid of our gym membership, DVR, and cable. At first, I had a sudden panic attack. I can't live without any one of these..I NEED them! Some thoughts that instantly ran through my mind, "I'm going to lose what little muscles I worked so hard to get..what if I can't record my fav shows? Wait, never mind I can't even watch them!" Then I thought, "oh I'm sure there are plenty of "well-off" families who'll contribute, so no worries."
However, as I continue to pray, God's slowly opening up my eyes and mind to see that these things that I'm hiding onto for dear life are not necessities but rather luxuries that the Lord has generously allowed me to enjoy. I'm not making a sacrifice, rather I'm simply giving them back to God. Also, it's not about how much I'm contributing because what God really wants to know is where my heart is.
In all honesty, I'm a lil' scared. No! I'm terrified! I can't imagine giving up anything that I have right now. But what's more important than church? Church is where I find the purposes God has for me - worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. I don't want to be just an attender of a church. I am a member! That means I am committed to contributing and sharing the responsibilities of the church.
Tim and I will continuously pray throughout this process and see where and how God transforms our hearts and leads us into action. So for now, bye bye group classes and "Giuliana and Bill". There're so many areas in which I can cut back. I don't need to spend $20 on a shampoo or browse around Amazon and purchase something bc it's free s&h. It's a marvelous feeling to know that I can give back (even though it's so tiny compared to what the Lord's given me) to respond to God in love, faith, discipline, and surrender.