Today has been a very strange Monday for me.  Our schedule at school was thrown off quite a bit between testing and other special events, as well as one of our students being absent.  (When you only have 8, 1 absent makes a pretty significant difference.)  Our packing is moving along, and my parents will be in state over the coming weekend while we move.  (HUGE bonus blessing during this high-stress time)  To top off the oddity, Mason and I visited with special friends of ours at the funeral home tonight.  There has been so much on my mind and heart that I have wanted to post, and to help me process I will just share my current thoughts.

The Dixons will always hold a dear place in my heart.  They have been our friends, our fellow believers, ministry partners, and at times like a 2nd set of parents to us.  Josh is one of the first teens we fell in love with when we moved to Keller for our time of ministry at Alliance Baptist Church.  He attended camp with us, and quickly became a “favorite”.  (I know, youth ministers aren’t supposed to have favorites, but let’s be honest, they all do; some people are just closer in relationship than others.)  We loved his “real”-ness, and soon came to realize its’ source lay in his family, his parents: Wendell & Becky.  Through the last 2 years they have provided us meals, a place to meet weekly for small group, tons of hugs, laughter, prayers, a printer, a wireless router, and a ride from the side of the road on a hot day after our car broke down.  Just to name a few things.  Josh was even a main inspiration behind our Winter Retreat ’08 theme: Monster vs. Rockstar.  They never shut us down for being ourselves; they always encouraged authenticity, even if it meant dealing with raw emotions like anger, hurt, discouragement.  Wendell & Becky spent many nights helping us to better our ministry, instilling courage in our hearts when we grew weary of doing the good God had called us to.  They offered us words of wisdom, not gleaned from pithy books, but from their own experience.  Mason and I looked up to them as great godly parents (who let their son be himself and make his own choices), and as one of the most loving married couples we had met.  They had learned through adversity, through trials, and held up by the hand of their God.  They knew that life was about choices.

I loved worshiping God with them because no matter what was going on in our lives, we could passionately pursue our Father together.  It was always our choice to do so.

You choose: what you think, what you do, what you say.  It’s ALWAYS your choice.  And when you’re following God, know that people will choose to believe whatever they want…b/c it’s their choice too.  And that’s okay.  You just make your choices on your face with God, and know that He is the only person you answer to.