So...I have neglected this poor little blog! Geesh...I mean so much time has passed and so much has happened...where do I even begin?!?! Hmmmm...hmmmmm...ummmmm....ok, got it. I will start with GOD! The past few months have been nothing short short of amazing. It all started when we began an AWESOME study called Not A Fan. Looking back, God's grace (and a little sense of humor?) was really apparent in how we got involved in this study. We have been a part of a married couples study group for about 5 years. The past few sessions, our attendance has not been that great. It wasn't really a priority for us, but rather a "oh if we're free on Saturday night we might go"type of thing. We had stopped going to church regularly (and by that I mean MAYBE once a month, but usually less.) In all honesty, at first I was nervous to go because Sophia had gotten in trouble for hitting a kid, and I didn't want a repeat. But then it seemed like every Sunday a kid was sick, or something came up...but mainly we had just grown lazy and accustomed to our Sunday morning sleep-ins, big breakfasts, and family time. I hadn't hardly noticed, but my relationship with God had pretty much gone un-attended for almost a year. Last fall I got into a bible study group at my church and we did a Beth Moore study. I totally felt God tugging at my heart strings and while it hurt, it felt good, too. Kinda like a "hurt so good" feeling; I had neglected my personal relationship with God and this study really made it apparent that I couldn't go on any longer like that! I felt renewed and rejuvenated...but then there was a lot of homework and I got behind and then I got overwhelmed. And while I know I didn't get as much out of it as I could have, but it got that fire burning in my heart again. Meanwhile, our married couples small group was discussing doing a study called "Not A Fan". Our whole church was going to be doing the study and it would correlate to what our preacher would preach about on Sundays. Our preacher wanted all the small groups to do the study. Well, we hadn't been at church in a LONG time so I had NO clue what this "Not A Fan" was all about. Ernie and I discussed it, but when we realized it would require us to meet EVERY Saturday for 6 weeks, we were like "No way. We can't commit to EVERY Saturday!" So we bowed out for this round, rationalizing that we had been a part of this group for a long time and needed a little break. I decided, however, to see what this "Not A Fan" was all about on Wednesday's with my women's group. Well, the first Wednesday was life changing. I went home and told Ernie we HAD to rethink our decision to forgo this study with our married couples group. He agreed to go and see what it was all about. Well, if God speaks to most hearts, He SCREAMED at ours that night. The transformation seemed to begin truly overnight...suddenly we were THIRSTING for Him, all the time. We eagerly looked forward to Saturdays with our married couples group. Wednesday nights with my women's group couldn't come soon enough. Tuesday mornings with Ernie's men's group climbed to the top of his priority list. And Sundays...oh Sunday mornings have become something we just cannot wait for...and not for the sleep-ins and big breakfasts, but for the opportunity to hear God's precious word through our amazing pastor. And what about all the rest of the days, you ask? Well, those other days have been filled with more positive attitudes, much more prayer, and a marriage that has been blessed with more honesty, openness, and joy for these past few months than it had seen in the 5 years leading up to this point! Now, it hasn't been ALL unicorns and butterflies, either...we still have "off" days and struggles. We still sin daily. The difference, though, is on those "off" days, we see hope for tomorrow. We wake each morning, attempting to die to ourselves and pick up our crosses...and when we fail in sin, we ask for forgiveness and strength to not do it again, and TRULY mean it. We don't want to be "Fans" of Jesus any longer. We want to be fully committed followers of the Lord. We want to experience the kingdom here on Earth, and even more, we want to be a part of it and further it all for God's glory. We have discussed different ways we want to serve, and have put a few into action. If you had known us 5 or 6 years ago, this would seem like an alien, out of body experience for you because we were NOT living for God. Even a year ago, even after knowing Christ and being baptized in Him, we still did not "get it". Sure, we were good people and we were definitely fans of God. God did some pretty big stuff in our lives about a year ago, and we took it for granted. We weren't ready to commit. But the Lord has been there, waiting patiently for us to realize that He longs for a relationship with us. He wants us to put Him first. He doesn't NEED us...He WANTS us. Wow. How did it take so long for us to truly TRULY get that?! Well, regardless of how or why, all I know is the transformation in our lives has been profound...and I want MORE! I want to be on that narrow path that leads to Him. And the best part is this peace that has overtaken our lives is available to every single person who walks this Earth. I know I know...I can hardly wrap my head around it either...but it's not meant for us to understand. So, ask yourself...are you merely a fan of God, or are you a fully committed follower? Short question, but BIG importance. Want to know more? Please feel free to contact me on FB or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share in more detail what God has been doing in our lives. Much love to you all!