Hear where we are in our fundraising goals and just how close we are to 100% of our monthly support raising goal! Will you consider a monthly reoccurring gift to support us? If so, please let us know at email@example.com or click on Partnering with us… to go ahead and sign up. June 1st is our goal date and we need your help to get there! #finisher
Just in case you aren’t familiar with #Hashtags (please don’t call this the pound sign, your children will be completely embarrassed and call you old) they are a simple and fun way to label something, briefly explain your thought, or make a point. Our family plays this game where we have an entire conversation using only hashtags. Elly is the queen at using hashtags and she is hilarious!!! I should video one of these conversations for all to enjoy one day. I will try to keep that in mind.
Lara and I jokingly have a few self labeled hashtags that we are using in this season. When something happens instead of explaining how we feel or getting into a long story we just throw out one of the hashtags like #allthingsaredying. It’s a silly way to recognize the irony of what is happening and allows us to brush it off and laugh at things that normally would drive us crazy. Let me explain #allthingsdying so that you don’t get too worried about us. This one is actually a good thing that the Lord is using to move us on to the next season of life.
A few months ago we began noticing that random things around the house were starting to die on us. Mac even mentioned that it feels like everything is wearing out at just the right time. Just so you get an idea of what we are talking about here are a few examples from the past couple weeks.
- Mac’s ipod…he accidentally put that one to death in the car door!
- both of our cars began showing signs of dying in the same week – but were brought back from the dead
- The A/C in our home – was dead but has new life
- our cloths dryer – dead
- the ice maker in our fridge – dead
- my wireless earbuds – dead
- our microwave is barley hanging on to life
We then came to the conclusion 3 weeks ago that we are going to need to sell our home, which honestly felt like a death to us. We love this place that God has blessed us with and didn’t want to give it up. Through listening to others, prayer and a lot of tough conversations we believe that this is His best plan for us. This was not an easy decision and we took a week to mourn our loss. Through this decision Lara began to recognize this theme of dying to ourselves. Dying to yourself and your desires hurts and isn’t all that fun but we know that we can trust the Father! If death is what He has for us then it must be the best for us! Dying to your old life gives birth to the new life and paves away for an abundant life. God doesn’t take things a way too be mean but takes them away because He knows what is good for us.
Through dying we can see He is faithful, trustworthy, present, for us, sovereign, loving, compassionate, mighty, glorious, gracious, and the list goes on. Dying is a necessity and dying is worth it because we get more of Him and His goodness he has stored up for us! Psalms 145
When you are going through a time of death (and you will) and you can’t see past what is happening right in front of you read and re-read what the Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you. They are good plans, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope!” He never goes back on a promise either!
Did you know that your skin cells are constantly dying. In the next minute 667 skin cells will die and fall off your body, the next hour 40,000, over the next day close to a million cells die and fall off your body! That is kind of gross if you think about what happens to all of those that have fallen off your body this week alone. Where are they??? Back to my point, they have to die so new cells can grow. As skin cells grow and others die your body is able to heal it’s self, protect you from infections and viruses, and technically makes you waterproof (seriously, think about it). But none of this would be possible if your skin didn’t die constantly so that better, newer skin could be born.
What is dying in your life that God is wanting to use for your good?
What needs to die in your life to allow you to experience the abundance He has for you?
Fundraising update as of April 1st
I get the question all of time, probably daily, “How is support raising/fundraising going for you guys?” I am thankful that I have plenty of people who care enough to ask us how things are going but I really get tired, to be honest of answering that question. The good thing is God that is providing some amazingly, generous people!
I have recently gone to part-time hours at work so that we can focus the other half of our time on meeting with people for support raising and working on all of the millions of details that go into moving a family of 5 across the world. Knowing that I have the freedom to share my time allows me to have the margin I need. We are very thankful for this time UWM is offering me.
To answer your question you may be wondering, “How is support raising/fundraising going for you guys?”…
Short answer is, we are at 62% of our monthly needs and goals! This leaves us with a $3400 gap we are still working on. We have also had 35% of our set up cost donated already in special one time gifts!!! Lara and I are super grateful!
We have enjoyed sharing our story, passion, and vision for ministry and our family in South Africa with so many over the past couple months. Through this we have gained some great relationships with new friends along with new monthly financial supporters! We are thankful for these opportunities and people the Lord has been putting in our path.
Our goal is still the end of the summer so please be praying that the Lord will surprise us with irrationally generous people, churches, and businesses that would love to partner with the Rousehouse!
Thank you for asking the question! (wink wink)
Be still, Wait on the Lord, & Watch Him do it
For the past couple of years I have tried to pay attention to the themes I believe the Lord is wanting me to learn or hear from him. Last year, for instance, was “I am His beloved son”. Those lessons learned changed my perspective on a lot in life and I believe will empower me to run this race of life better, for sure!
It is now close to the fourth month of the year and I am just now starting to see clearly (clear as mud currently) what this years theme might be from the Lord. “Be still, wait on me (God), and watch me do it!” I like the last part of this theme, “watch me do it” but the previous two points frustrate me to be honest. Maybe this is why He has chosen to teach me about them.
Be still – In my personal experience over these past couple months I have since the Lord saying, “CHILL OUT! REST! Let me refresh you!” I love to rest and vacation but I think that there is a time and place for that. So when I hear this part of the my yearly theme (Rest) over and over it frustrates me. Most days I feel like I have 1 million things to accomplish therefore if I don’t do all that I can the world is going to fall apart, right???
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10
Wait on me – Again not a topic that I excel in. I like action. I am a head down, check off the task list, don’t get in my way kind of person. This idea that I am suppose to not only be chilling with God but now I am suppose to stop trying to figure life out and make things happen makes me feel like I am going insane. I have crazy questions rumbling around in my head like, “How long do I wait? God are you paying attention to the time table I have set? How far behind are we going to be, if God ever shows up and gets started”. Don’t judge me I know you have all thought these same things before, I just said them out loud. **BTW, I think God is ok with us getting real and asking our stupid, off the wall questions. He may even enjoy it when we get this honest. What I perceive to be the real meaning for me behind “wait on me” is trust. He wants me to trust that He is good and in control as I rest in Him and wait.
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalms 33:20
Watch me (God) do it – This one isn’t too developed in my head, heart or life just yet but I LIKE IT! I know that He likes to show off His glory and I believe that there is nothing too big for God to do. At least in my head I know these truths so maybe His point with this one is to get it in my heart. The thought I keep having is what is “it” and how big is He going to show up doing “it”? I’ll keep you posted on this one.
I know that my God is moving in great ways and I know that He deeply longs for me to trust him and let go of the steering wheel. The funny thing is, when I do the opposite of these three I don’t enjoy life as well nor do the people around me. I believe that the Father is trying to lead me in my life in such a way that I will thrive, be refreshed, enjoy the fullness of Him and be a blessing to all of those around me. What a surprise, He does know what is best for me (said with much sarcasm).
He is good and is pursuing us with a great passion! Let’s pay attention today to how He is working and loving us! Stay tuned. I know that I will have much more to learn over these next 8 months of 2017.
What’s happening, March 2017
I can’t believe that it is already March 2017! This is the busiest season of our family’s life ever, I think! It seems like time is just flying by and we are trying to soak up every moment and event. There is a lot happening around here and we want to catch you up on all things… family, transitions, preparations, kiddos, etc. So here we go…
Elly has just taken a big step in growing up. She got her ears pierced this past week along with her bff! It was her best friend’s 6th birthday so they decided to go together and get their ears done. It was a memoriable experience for these little girls to have got to do this together! I think it hurt Grey and Daddy way more than it did Elly. Our little baby girl is growing up!
We are learning a little bit of Afrikaans (one of the major languages spoke in South Africa) as a family in preparations for our big move. Lara has come up with this creative board that hangs in our kitchen that tells the days of the week, date, and weather. We have fun talking about these items and trying to pronounce these foreign sounding words each morning over breakfast. I wish I could record it because it is hilarious! Lara and I try to make everything sound like Spanish and Grey is our leader in language learning. He does really well and seems to have a natural ability to learn languages. He can say all of the days of the week, months and count to 10 on his own already!
Mac is enjoying all things middle school and is always busy! This guy just finished up his first rugby season in which he did really well. He is not the most athletic guy on the field but he is a hard and disciplined worker which granted him the title of “team captain”. Mac is also doing judo and is in a robotic/science club after school. He is way smarter than mom and dad, and knows it! When he has a question with his homework the conversation usually ends with, “Google it”.
Lara and I are staying busy with all of the millions of details around moving to another country, raising support, and transitioning all areas of our family’s life. We never knew there would be so many todo’s. You just buy a plane ticket and go, right??? Everyone just recieved passports in the mail last week, which is really cool. We can travel the world as a family now! We are currently at 60% of our monthly financial support needs and 25% of our financial set up goal. This is wonderful and we are constantly looking for, asking, and seeking God for more generous people to help meet these needs and goals. And we believe He will! There is still a lot to do like apply for South African visas, finding renters to move in and take care of our beautiful home, figure out what we are taking with us and what we are selling, while continuing to pray for God’s vision for the work in South Africa! We actually made a list of many of the details we have been praying about in the form of a prayer card with the kids. We love passing these out and inviting others to come alongside us in praying for these.
Current Prayer Priorities:
Strength and joy – This will be what sustains us as well as enables us to enjoy this crazy and busy season of life as we prepare to move.
Sensitivity to the Holy Spirt – We want to hear, see, experience, and be lead by the spirit of the Lord.
Wisdom and understanding – to see what He sees to know what we need to give our time and attention to each day.
Financial supporters – We are asking the Father to raise up in the heart of more people irrationally generosity. People we know to ask and people that we may not even know their name yet. We still need about $4000 a monthly commitments. If you would like info on how to partner with us, check this out… Partnering with the Rousehouse
Certified Fitness Trainer, What?!?!
Four years ago when I began this journey of better health I never ever ever thought that this day would come nor did I set out to achieve something like this. I simply wanted to lose a little (lot) of weight and be able to keep up with my kiddos. To be able to say that, I am officially a Certified Fitness Trainer seems so cool! Couldn’t have imagined that I would ever say that.
Why? Well, I enjoy learning about fitness and nutrition in all forms. From stretching, to lifting techniques, to multiple forms of cardio, to all of the many details of nutrition. I actually think that it’s fun learning about the effects of glucose, resistant starches, and clean foods have on my body. Weird, I know. So, when I was asked if I would be interested in getting my certification and helping fill in at my gym (Carolina Sweat), I immediately said yes. I think I might had even said at one point that I was going to go back and read a few chapters for fun. And I have done just that, a few times.
I took 31 quizzes, one after each chapter I read. I then took a 160 question exam (only missed 9!), wrote 7 essays on different topics, and lastly did 2 case studies where I had to build workout plans and nutritional guides for new clients. It was a ton of reading, lots of writing, and a bunch of studying but I did it!
Lara and I talk often about how we can serve others better. We like the idea of having multiple tools in our “tool bag” of life that we can use to help and bless people. We know that we all are holistic people and if one area of our life is out of balance then everything will be out of balance. We can’t just pay attention to one area of life and expect to be healthy in all areas, much like fitness. You can do biceps curls all day everyday and have great looking arms but that will never help you have strong legs or good cardio. I have learned that when I physically feel better I also feel stronger mentally and emotionally.
Helping with the physical fitness side of life could very possibly lead to helping someone become spiritually, mentally, and emotionally a healthier person as well. That is the best reason I have for pursuing this hobby as a Certified Personal Trainer.
Much thanks to Lara for supporting me in this and Sarah Pay for pushing me to do it!
The Rousehouse is Moving to AFRICA!
The Rousehouse has taken some big steps before but this may be the biggest one yet! We are moving to AFRICA!!! We are so excited to publicly announce this news as well as tell you a little bit about our story. So here you go…
Last summer our family moved into the neighborhood that surrounded Piney Grove Elementary, the school we had built a partnership with through Ridge Church and had been volunteering at for the past few years. We had no idea how the Lord was going to use that step of faith to call us to even bigger ones. We moved into the neighborhood because we loved the idea of our family living missionally beside these people we had been serving and fallen in love with. We loved the idea of our family being intentional about building relationships in a community of people that maybe didn’t look or act exactly like we did. We believe there is a great big God who is constantly at work in this great big world and by living our lives this way our family will be able to experience Him more and hopefully, just maybe, He would use us to bring others closer to Him. What a privilege!
Fast forward to this past March…
Lara and I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to visit a missional community that I serve with at UWM called East Mountain. As we spent time with this group of people we saw something that sparked a passion inside of us. The excitement began to grow as we saw how they serve and support the local church and how they live in healthy community with one another. It was also very exciting to see how they are partnering with ministries in South Africa similarly to how we have partnered with Piney Grove. As East Mountain is serving alongside these national workers God is using them to grow His church, strengthen indigenousness leaders, and do good works while living in healthy community with each other. Lara and I have patiently been waiting for God to provide an opportunity for our family to serve overseas for a few years and through this trip He did just that. Our time in South Africa was awesome, simply because we heard the Father’s voice calling us to something amazing.
After a whole lot of prayer and discernment, we feel like this is how the Lord wants the Rousehouse to, “Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you” (Ephesians 4:1). We feel like this calling is God extending His grace to us. It is a privilege to serve alongside the other missionaries in this community as well as be a part of how the Lord is building His church all over the globe, especially in Africa, a part of the world we fell in love with many years ago.
We have committed to serve in South Africa for 3 years on staff with
East Mountain. East Mountain is a community of people who love Jesus and are passionate about teaching, developing and empowering leaders. They accomplish this through one-on-one discipleship, training workshops, theological education, and spiritual formation as well as forming authentic relationships with leaders already engaged in excellent Kingdom work in churches, non-profit organizations, and schools. While we are there we will spend a third of our time doing a specific role/job, and third of our time will be spent serving as a family in one of these local partnerships, and a third of our time being developed ourselves as leaders and Christ followers.
Lara and I have been involved in missions from the very beginning of our marriage. We have served in Brazil, Panama, Uganda, our local church, and in our community, Piney Grove. Our whole family shares this love for people and we know that we were created to live our lives this way. By living in community we care for others and we are cared for, we disciple others and we are discipled, and as we serve others we are blessed beyond measure. We are super excited about the work God has called us to and we know He has not called us to do it alone. We are seeking a team of partners that will help with meeting our financial support goals, praying for us, and connecting us to others who may be able to partner with us as well.
There will be many stories and lessons learned that we will want to share here on our blog, we hope that you will stop by and follow us along the way! God is doing a good work and we look forward to telling you all about it!
If you would like to grab coffee, a meal, or simply give us a call to hear more please email Spanky directly to set up a time we would be honored to answer your questions and share more with you! firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also learn more about East Mountain at http://www.eastmountain.tv .
It is our desire to make an impact globally, serve locally, and invest deeply in God’s people and we would love to have you on this journey with us!
If you would like information on how to partner with us through sending us, praying for us, and supporting our family in this mission you can either let us know by emailing Spanky or clicking here.
What a big year!
-2016 Summer Olympics
-Cuba, you can now freely (legally) visit this beautiful island!
– Zika virus outbreak stormed Latin America
-The Queen of England turned 90 years old
– US Presidential Elections…Oh my!
– Syrian Crisis
-Is the UK leaving the EU???
And so much more happened in 2016!
For the Rousehouse it was a big year too!
-Elly started Kindergarten
-Mac began middle school
-Lara and I took a trip to South Africa
-Mac made it to Africa for the first time!
-I was able to play a role in mobilizing/recruiting 61 new missionaries. PTL!
-Family camping trip for Fathers day
-I visited China for the first time
-Family trip to Atl to see the Braves play one of their last games at Turner Field
-Spanky ran his first (of many) Spartan races! hoorah!
This past year also included some significant spiritual formation for both Lara and I. Both of us went on an amazing weekend with the Battle for the Heart where we have seen the Lord spark something great in us for Him and His word. We have seen the Lord grow our children physically, mentally, and spiritually this past year. We have seen our relational influence grow in different circles of life. Our fitness and nutrition has been on a good path where we have seen some wonderful changes and feel much better. We have heard from God in many ways and as a family have been seeking after His plans for our lives more intentionally.
This has been a memorable year for the Rousehouse! I know that 2017 will be even more eventful, challenging, and more rewarding than we can even imagine. I can’t wait to share more details about our next steps in this journey of life come January. Be on the look out because it is the biggest “MOVE” we have ever taken and we are super excited to share it with all of you!
2016 verse of the year is Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is one of the things that I believe the Father has been trying to help me understand. Be still, slow down, wait on Him, don’t try and make it all happen, rest in the fact that He has it all figured out, and enjoy His presence fully.
What am I called?
1 family + years of serving = 1000’s of disciples
I have the privilege of working with some amazing hero’s of the mission world…as I am sure you have heard me say many times by now. When I am with them or hear their stories I am constantly blown away by the impact they have by simply answering the call to “go”. Being present with people, loving the unloveable, caring for the needy, and living a life that reflects Jesus is all it takes to make a great impact among the nations.
One of these couples that are making this kind of impact are Mark and Annemarie Dye. They have lived in Africa for much of their lives and currently reside in Kenya. They know how to love people, teach the bible, and disciple new followers…they do this with a remarkable joy as well! I usually describe them to others as the people I want to be like when I grow up, and I mean that wholeheartedly. They embody so much of what I believe it takes to be hero’s of the faith, servant leaders, and lovers of people – world changers!
They lived with their 3 boys for many years in the northern area of Kenya with the Turkana tribal people before moving to Nairobi where they now live. While being there they simply began sharing the Gospel and discipling new believers. Today there are over 15o0 believers and the church is still growing. You can watch this powerful, short video of Mark telling the story of what God is doing among this people group today by clicking the link below.
When I watch this video I am reminded of how blessed I am to serve alongside missionaries like this. Thank you to all of you who financially partner with the RouseHouse and pray for us regularly. God is doing a great work around His world and He has chosen to allow us (all of us) to play a part!