Well this little short month, seemed well…really short.
Sadly, we had a terrible play during the superbowl and the Seahawks lost. This is more terrible for some of us here than others. In fact, some people in our house may have actually enjoyed this little fact, but we won’t name any names for fear of regional sports related persecution.
Other than that, I took Cole’s mom to see Rogers and Hammersteins “Carousel” on broadway as a late Christmas gift. We enjoyed a night out on the streets of Seattle (we’re hardcore) eating food and watching a wonderful production. This month on the work-front, my team at work achieved their highest month ever in sales, exciting! And, I was able to go with both my girlies and their school to “Advocacy Day” in the state capitol to raise awareness for all the great benefits our Head Start Schools provide for those in lower socio-economic and disabled kids receive.
Cole took his dad (also a late Christmas gift) to see C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” at the Moore Theater. I’m gathering from pictures they enjoyed crazy Seattle coffee snobbery (Chemex…don’t ask…I don’t know) and a great production. Cole is sort of continued later..stay tuned…
The kids (yep, all four) started sports at the YMCA. Oren in karate, the girls in ballet and gymnastics and all FOUR in swimming (totally looking forward to lots of camping and pool time this summer!). Oren also participated in his first ever science fair (which resulted in my first ever science fair related banging my head on a desk..whomever thought 1st graders should do this is NUTS! #facepalm). I can’t harp on it too bad…he loved it, BUT what 1st grader dropping mentos into diet coke wouldn’t?
We as a family also FINALLY did our last move-in task and we set up our “Bohemian Basement” (for those of you pinterest followers thinking, “What is Ashley up to?”). We wanted a space for group gatherings, dinner functions, etc. It turned out amazing, and to be honest if you are EVER in need of a cheap home decor: Go Boho (I feel like that should be a hashtag).
Cole began his first official month working from “home”. He was sent off with a wonderful farewell lunch by his awesome co-workers at World Vision. He is so honored to have been an employee of a great organization who works hard to meet the needs of children all over the globe. I will probably miss his as my 4 yr old girls say, “worker girls” (sounds horrible, but they are 4). This is in pc terms: a predominately female co-worker team as well. Even though I never met most of them, we had some on-going inside jokes and shared yummy chocolate and goodies through my messenger hubby, and I’m thankful for them providing my hubby with constant comedic relief and an outlet of lots of kids stories.
So…what now? Well we (Cole and I) attempt to share office space and responsibilities and hopes and dreams (we’ve always shared that) and he is now able to focus on his passion: ministry. So, that’s the most exciting thing in the last 9 years! :)
Then we launched some great new things with our small group (hopeful core team…click here for more on that).
We partnered with our apprentice church (and Cole and I’s home church for the last 5 years) to co-host a Loads of Love event. We had a group of volunteers take over a local laundromat and provide free laundry, snacks and kids activities for families in need.
This month our group also participated in a worship night which included a purposeful group prepared meal and a communion style dinner. Over our meal, Cole taught on the cost of discipleship and we shared a reflection on song, Bible verses, and thoughtful connection with God through the collaboration and participation of each persons skills and talents. Of course any time you have 18 people (a majority under the age of 5), there will probably be baby barfing, babies screaming, and thankfully we had playdoh in our candle holders which acted as a make shift toddler and kid distraction. It was a beautiful reminder that God has woven together His people to encourage, uplift and challenge us to live life in raw gospel filled community and it doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be good.
Our group also launched out into two discipleship groups: men and women. Our goal as we apprentice together is to learn, grow and share together and go deeper in our faith. This is just one of the ways we are doing this. We all had our first session this month which was really a time of community and get-to-know-you’s and a lot of laughs (and can I just add: really good food).
Lastly, Cole began his pre-work as a Pierce County Chaplain. This is an on-call volunteer position, and will provide Cole with valuable extensive training in both crisis intervention and grief. He will be one of our counties emotional first-responders and provide emotional and spiritual support to victims, families in trauma and to emergency personnel in need of this support. Oftentimes, they are the ones who help the family get further assistance with planning a funeral, connecting to local churches and counseling services. When you watch the news and a traumatic event or community situation arises, know that my hubby and his fellow chaplains are present on the front lines. Please pray for him as he attends further trainings, and experiences these different heart-breaking situations.
As we now have time on our hands (with 4 kids is that really possible?…in theory anyway), Cole and I are strongly working on developing community connections. Our goal is to spend time with our neighbors, friends, children’s schools, and with community members. We believe firmly that God has called us to deepen those ties as we pursue ministry.
We could use prayer in the following ways:
-As briefly stated, Cole’s training with Pierce County Chaplaincy. This month he attends “Crisis Intervention” training.
-Those who have made a core team commitment are headed to church planting boot camp, March 17-20. Please pray that God will speak to us as we look ahead, are trained, and work out all the details of starting a non-profit and church.
-Our team is amazing. We have some great things planned for March. Pray for us as we spend time in our city meeting people where they are and bringing Christ’s love to dark places.
-Pray for discipleship groups.
Thank you for taking time to check in with us again, we are so thankful for your prayers and your un-waivering support. If you would like more info on anything were up to, would like to make a contribution, or would like to join us please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Cole, Ashley and the littles Chambers (and Merci Mae too)