Friday, December 2, 2011

Heart's Desire

I am a teacher. I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I love my job. I have put a lot of effort into what I do. I have stayed too late and brought too much home. I have shed tears over students. I have been doing what I felt like I was meant to do for 6 years....

and then God blessed me with a miracle baby who needs his mommy and God entrusted us with His lead...and shepard...

God changes the heart. He calls. He commands. He requires obedience. As Michael has taken the role of lead pastor of a young church plant, my role has changed. I had no idea how much it would change as a pastor's wife. I had no idea that all of a sudden, my heart would be burdened, not by first graders, but by women in the church. My heart would yearn for ladies to become disciples. My heart aches for women who are hurting within their marriages. God is making it clearer and clearer that I am to partner full time with Michael next year. I am to be available for whatever...

Obedience is hard. Obedience means faith. Faith that brings about that brings about fear that constantly has to be repented of... Faith that says, "If you are calling, Lord, then Yes, I will obey."

So many questions, so many what-ifs, so many financial obstacles....He's calling though...I know He is...and I know it's going to require obedience. So, my heart's desire is to get to stay home next year and not go back to teaching (I NEVER thought I would say that)! My heart's desire is to be able to serve alongside my husband and serve him as he leads ARCC. My heart's desire is to be home with my son to teach him and nurture him. My heart's desire is to have ladies in my home to love and encourage. God is so faithful. Praying for bigger faith through these worldly eyes....just wanting to fix them on Jesus...just wanting to obey.... but a little scared of this heart's desires.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

1st Birthday....Help!

Fellow moms: what are some fun activity ideas for a first birthday party? We are having Tatum's party at our house and our house is small. It is hot outside so I am trying to come up with some indoor activities. Let me know of any that you did or have seen done that worked well!

I am already planning to do a craft table where the kids decorate a paper necktie (we are doing a "little man" themed party).

I'm open to any and all suggestions! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alamo Ranch Community Church

In January, the 16th to be exact, we launched a church in Northwest San Antonio. When we moved to San Antonio we jumped right in to serve alongside Michael's dad at Vineyard Hills Church. Michael became the worship leader and we were on leadership. We were happy to serve where there was a need. Michael was called to preach when we were in college and knew that someday he would have that opportunity. VH ran about 30 people on a Sunday and we were kind-of at a place where we stopped growing. We were at this place for a few years even. We (the leadership) all felt as if God might be calling us to do something else. We began to pray. Michael was a middle school math teacher in an area of San Antonio where there is a tremendous amount of growth. On his drive to work each day, he noticed how few churches there were in this part of SA. He began to tell me that he thought God may be calling us to re-plant VH in this particular area. During this time, Michael's dad felt like it was time to hand over the preaching to Michael, so in October he took on the preaching full time at VH.
Michael could not escape the call he felt in his heart to Northwest San Antonio (specifically the Alamo Ranch area). We all began praying and we met with all of the people of VH to ask if they would be willing to go with us if we re-planted. (This new area is quite a drive for a lot of them) All of our members at VH said they would go! So it began, the praying and planning...
January 16th was the launch Sunday for Alamo Ranch Community Church. We are meeting in an elementary school in the AR neighborhood. We were so excited (but nervous at the same time). As people kept coming in the doors that Sunday, we felt such a comfirmation from the Lord that Michael had been obedient to the call west! Ever since that Sunday, we have averaged about 135 people to love on and minister to. We hear so many people say that they were waiting and praying for a church in their area.
So, here we were, 135 people to minister to.....and a pastor/worship leader who also taught middle school math! Michael and I began to pray that God would open the door for him to be able to resign his position as a math teacher so he could pastor full time in the fall. A few months before school got out for summer, Michael turned in his resignation letter to the school district. We are so excited! The time he was having to devote to studying the word and meeting iwth people after school hours, did not allow us to have family time. We are so thankful that God has given us the go on him pastoring full time. We aren't 100% on the finances as a church to pay him salary, but we are trusting and praying! Our elders have gone to our people to ask them to pray about giving over and above so their pastor can go on full time. We know God is able and we feel like this was the right step of obedience for our family.
We are so humbled for the opportunity to serve the Alamo Ranch community and beyond. I am thankful for a husband who leads us in faith and obedience. I am confident that the Lord will provide.

Monday, June 20, 2011

10 Months

We are still here! Tatum is 10 months old today! I never knew what people meant by "time flies" and "they grow up so fast" until now! Holy cow! We are 2 months away from having a one year old in the McCracken house. It is unbelievable!
When Tatum went to the Dr. for his 9 month checkup he weighed 22 pounds. I am sure by now he is 25! He was in the 75% for his weight and height and 90% for his head. We have a big boy on our hands!
I am absolutely loving being home with him for the summer. He is so much fun. At 10 months he is pointing, crawling super fast, pulling up on everything, walking along furniture, standing on his own for a few seconds at a time, babbling a lot, eating cheerios and lots of puffs... and a lot of other fun things! He loves to go to the pool and he loves to be outside. Tatum means bringer of joy and he is certainly living up to his name! We are so blessed!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

So tomorrow is my very first mother's day. I am overjoyed as I type that sentence and as I sit here thinking of my beautiful and healthy 8 month old sleeping in the next room. I am overwhelmed by the faithfulness of the Lord and His grace upon my life.
In my joy, I am also heavy-hearted. My heart is heavy for those I know who want so badly to be moms and haven't been able to have children. My heart is so heavy. I used to dread Mother's Day. It used to be a super emotional day and selfishly I used to wish we could just pretend like it wasn't mother's day even though I wanted to honor my own mom.
So, tomorrow, I am celebrating Jesus's power to answer our hearts' cries for our own child. I am celebrating my mom, who has endured so much in her life and still presses on. I am celebrating that God answers prayers....and I will be praying without ceasing for my friends who are hurting so badly on their infertility journeys. Oh, Jesus, be near to my precious friends who want the blessing of children. Father, open their wombs and heal their bodies. Father give them peace in You and satisfy their souls with your presence. Be glorified in their stories and in ours!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Half a Year

I cannot believe that Tatum is 6 months old! I keep saying, "that's half a year!!!" Here are his current stats!

  • 26 inches long
  • 17.15 pounds
  • 50th percentile for weight and height
  • 90th percentile for head (the Dr. said his brain is still growing) His body has to catch up with this head! :)
Tatum is healthy and happy! He has started eating veggies, which he is not a fan of...must get this from daddy! He makes the funniest faces when he's eating veggies, that is when I can get him to open his mouth!

We are still working on those naps. If you have any pointers on nap schedules, I am all ears! He is sleeping 11-12 hours each night which is amazing.

We love our "bringer of joy" and are continuously humbled by the grace the Lord pours out over our lives. Happy 6 months sweet baby boy!

Monday, February 7, 2011


So, I've debated over posting this for some time now...but tonight Tatum is sleeping and Michael is at a meeting....and I can't stop thinking about it. I am going to be pretty raw here because I have to. I'm not even sure who will read, I just need to journal what is going on in my heart and has been for a while.

I gave my life to Christ when I was 9 years old. In that moment, I was saved by grace, through faith. Following my decision to follow Christ I found myself getting very wrapped up in the do's and don'ts of life (legalism). I had some things happening in my family that were pretty tough and wanted to make sure our "image" at church was not hurt. I did everything in my own power to make sure everyone thought I had it all together. I wanted my reputation to be the "good Christian" girl. I really struggled because in my heart, I wanted to passionately desire Christ, but all I could find myself doing was checking things off the list.

Fast forward to college. God led me to Texas Tech and really got ahold of my heart. I learned what it meant to be a disciple of Christ. I had amazing women in my life like Janis and Melissa who discipled me. I had incredible roommates who walked with Christ in front of me. I learned. I grew. I felt passionate in my love for Christ. I felt hungry. I am humbled that God would even, in His grace, place such incredible people in my life to spur me on and challenge me....people who weren't afraid to ask me tough questions. In all the struggles I shared, I don't even know that I ever came to a place of confessing and admitting that I really struggle to be completely "real."

So why do I share this? I have had an excessively long dry season in my walk with the Lord. I have let the enemy completely convince me that if I read the Word, it's just me trying to check it off the list and if that's the motive then I just shouldn't do it. What a lie! I am tired of having conviction and not acting on it. I am tired of seeing Michael in the Word every day and just thinking, "must be nice that he has time for that." I have let the enemy convince me that I don't have time and if I don't have enough time, I might as well just not get in the Word. In the past 5 months I have become a mom and a pastor's wife. These are both areas where my struggle to be totally real will be even harder.

So, in all of this rambling...what is my point? I want to be real. Transparent. I desire to know Christ. I desire to study His Word. I will not let the enemy have victory over me in this area. So, here it is, real me...admitting that I have kind of stunk for a while. I am don't want to be dry. I feel like I don't even know where to start...but I know I have to start somewhere...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

5 Months

It's so crazy how much life can change so quickly! Our little man was 5 months old on January 20th and I can't even remember what life was like without him! We are so blessed by this miracle baby and just can't get enough of those chunky cheeks!

Our sweet Tatum,

Your name means "bringer of joy" and how true that is for your life. Your life on this earth already brings so much glory to God.

You are officially a PK (preacher's kid)! You would be so proud of your daddy. He is an amazing communicator of the Word. I can't wait for you to hear him preach some day. As for now, you are holding down the fort in the nursery of Alamo Ranch Community Church. There have been more kids in the nursery and we are praying that they will become your best buds!

You have started to sit up on your own for a few seconds at a time! You start to lean to the side or forward after a few seconds. You want to reach for everything and are starting to show a little bit of a strong will! Nana says you always want the remote control and you get mad when she takes it away! You have started to say "bah" and "dah," which we love to hear!

You have a very high pitched squealy cry when you are sleepy and you rub your eyes a lot. For some reason though you will only nap for about 45 minutes at a time. We think you are already afraid you are going to miss something...your daddy says that means you are just like me! You are constantly looking around to check out everything around you.

You have started soaking your bibs within a few hours. We are pretty sure you'll be getting a tooth soon! You like so sleep on your tummy and it makes you mad when you roll on your back during the night. We love to go in your room after you've gone to bed to see you sleeping with your little bottom in the air! My favorite thing is to hear you waking up in the mornings. You wake up happy and just talk and talk in your crib. I love walking in to your room to say good morning! You always greet me with a huge grin!

When daddy says your prayers at night, you grin at the sound of his voice. You are always reaching out and trying to grab daddy's nose while he's praying. We laugh and we praise Jesus for laughter.

Tatum, you have only been in our arms for 5 months and we can't imagine life without you sweet boy! You are a constant reminder of the love of Jesus and of His grace upon our lives. We love you sweet boy! Happy 5 months!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life with the Little Man

I am constantly surprised at the fact that so much time goes by between each of my blogs. I really thought once Tatum was born I would blog all the time on all of the events of his little life. (not sure why I thought I would have time!) I am sad that I haven't documented each month better. So, I want to be a better blogger!

It is so hard to believe that our miracle boy who we prayed for for so long is almost 5 months old! December 18th marked the one year anniversary of the day I found out that I was pregnant! Time truly flies! Some things about our sweet Tatum in his 4th month of life:
  • He is eating rice cereal and oatmeal. He leans forward with his mouth wide open in anticipation of the next bite!
  • He rolls from stomach to back and back to stomach. This is all fun until it's bed time! He likes to sleep on his tummy and when he rolls onto his back he gets really mad, resulting in a screaming baby in the middle of the night!
  • He is sleeping from about 7:30 pm to 5 am. We are hoping that 5 am wake time will get later soon!
  • He is a drool king!
  • He grabs at anything and everything. If he happens to hold on to something it goes directly to his mouth!
  • He LOVES his daddy! Michael can just look at him and that boy lights up with a huge grin! When Michael is in the room Tatum just follows him with his eyes everywhere he goes.
  • He loves to take baths and splashes like a crazy man.
  • He loves his wubbanub monkey paci.
  • A book I was reading about sleep says to have a "key phrase" when putting baby down to sleep. Mine is, "mommy loves you, daddy loves you, but Jesus loves you more!"
  • He laughs out loud but the things that make him laugh can never be duplicated.
  • Tatum loves his Jumperoo that he got for Christmas.
  • He furrows his brow for his really "serious" look!
  • When we pray with Tatum before bed, every night Michael prays for his salvation, his friends, and his future wife.
So, there you have it! Tatum James in his 4th month of life. We are thankful and humbled. I will say that being at work has been harder than I expected. I always thought it would be easy for me to work and be a mom. It's overwhelming. Some days I feel like I stink at everything...teaching, being a wife, and being a mom. I have to give this up constantly. I will also say that I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do right now for my family. We are so blessed to have Michael's mom keep Tatum! She comes to our house every day. When I get home, my laundry is done and my house cleaned. We are so blessed. I love knowing Tatum is spending his days one-on-one with his precious Nana.

This Sunday, January 16th, we are launching Alamo Ranch Community Church. We are so excited! God has called us to the West side of San Antonio where there is a TON of growth and there aren't many churches. Michael is the lead pastor of ARCC. We are praying for growth. We are praying to reach this community for Christ. We are trusting God. We have taken a step of faith. We are trusting God.

I have been inspired like never before to blog more, to journal our lives, to share about the Jesus we love and want to be just like...