Wednesday, February 23, 2011
February has been a great month so far!
Brian is still hitting the books with two new classes this semester. He is taking Quantitative Economics and Business Finance. I'm glad I'm the creative one in the bunch, because I could not do all that numbers stuff! I am blessed with a husband who is brilliant in business and who really understands all that over-my-head business stuff. Thank you, Lord!
I was blessed with the opportunity to help lead worship with the First Baptist Worship Team at the Joe Gibbs Prison Ministry Outreach this February. I had never done an adult prison ministry before, so this was definintely something new and different. I really have a heart for grass roots ministry that meets people in the pits of life. The team was able to sing some oldies that really put a smile on the prisoners faces. I even got to sing some original "Miss L" stuff! I was scared, but God spoke to me in that moment and said, "Don't make this about you. This is about them." So with God leading the way, I just pushed my insecurities to the side and sang, and boy, was it worth it! The prisoners really appreciated the ministry and were very welcoming. 183 people made decisions for Christ!!!!
Brian really has a heart for prison ministries, so next time, he definitely wants to go and minister to those men.
Lastly, I have something really exciting to share...something that has been in the making for a while.
Allow me to introduce the FIRST LOVE ABSTINENCE PROGRAM at First Orlando!
The Lord has been so great to bless me with great people in my life who truly have a heart to serve people. I have been in prayer and talks with the Director of the First Life Center for Pregnancy about starting up a solid abstinence program. She has been so willing to get this going and has let me take the lead in this program.
This program will start by having a monthly workshop held on one Saturday each month from 12-4pm. This first workshop will be Saturday, March 12th, from 12-4pm at the First Life Center for Pregnancy on the campus at First Baptist Orlando. Teenagers 12-18 years of age are encouraged to come!
Call 407-514-4354 or email me at LaureyNelson@firstorlando.com to register!
Please be in prayer about this ministry!
Our church always challenges us to pray that God gives us a word for the year, something to focus on for 365 days. This year, my word is "GO". The Lord woke me up one day and said, "Go." He reminded me of Matthew 28:19," Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." This was such a break-through! For a long time, I felt bad for not feeling the need to go overseas to do international missions. However, God has been working on my heart and now I KNOW that it is time to go.
Brian and I will be going on an international missions trip this year. Right now, we are looking into either the Dominican Republic or Haiti. We would love to go to Haiti, to see our sponsor child of almost 2 years, Wood Erlens Delva. He is 5 years old and is so precious. We will be going on our missions trip this year in the Fall. We would love if you would join us in prayer as we prepare our hearts for missions, and seek to discern God's will for where He would have us go. Also, if you feel led to help us financially, please feel free to contact us. We would greatly appreciate your efforts in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After much prayer, Brian revealed his word for the year, "Surrender". He has sought the Lord through prayer and Scripture, and is challenged and excited to practice this spiritual discipline of surrender this year. I am very proud of his efforts, and growth as a Christian man.
Brian and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the 2011 Haiti Walk with New Missions, a missionary organization that is based out of Florida. We will go through New Missions to go on our mission trip later this year. :) Check out the video on the following link. If you look close, you can see us walking in 2 shots. Yay Haiti!!
Also, take a look at the slide show of still photos from the walk. Great pics!
January 21st: TIME TO CELEBRATE the BIG 2-9!
Brian turned 29 this year and we had a low-key, yet fun celebration. I made him his favorite strawberry cake with whipped icing, and decorated the house in honor of him. He asked for the 400th year Anniversary Family Edition of the Thomas Nelson King James Bible, and he was excited to receive this gift. I made sure that he got a few smaller, fun items just to let him know that he is loved. Also, we celebrated his birthday at our Commissioned LIFE Group fellowship event. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY! Next year is the big 30, so we are going to go all out to celebrate!
On our way up to Pensacola, Coby (my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt) reached a milestone: 100,000 miles! WOO HOO! Way to go, Coby!
Brian makes sure that Coby is always in tip-top shape. He makes sure she is washed, oiled up, and fine-tuned. He loves me AND my car....priceless. :) It just shows that his character is one of provider, and I deeply admire this trait.
Brian's Dad took us over to Gulf Shores, Alabama to show us his new office. He is back in the saddle running a communications center, so call him "Mr. Boss Man" again! We were all very impressed with the way he runs his center, and his employees seem to respect him for the transformational work that he has done there.
Brian and I bought our *First Pumpkin* for the Fall season this year. He likes how I decorate the house and says that it really feels like a home. (Just wait until we have kiddos!)
My favorite month! December started off with a bang at Brian's Brighthouse Networks Christmas party. This year, the rented out a portion of Universal Studios City Walk and Universal Islands of Adventure Theme Park. Can you say AWESOME? I got to meet some of Brian's co-workers and they bragged about what an great guy Brian is (professionally and personally). It was neat to meet the people he works with on a day-to-day basis.
After we ate a bite, we went on the roller coaster rides!!! This was so fun! We definitely needed a night out, especially with Brian being in the books all the time. It was a great time to get out and enjoy Orlando.
HEY, HEY, IT'S MY 28th BIRTHDAY!!! Yep, I turned 28 this year. A group of friends and my hubby all gathered at Bahama Breeze (one of my favorite restaurants) and had a birthday fellowship dinner for me. I had a great time with my buddies and the cake??? WHEW! A double-layered chocolate chip cookie cake! YUM!
Christmas this year, was spent in SWEET HOME, ALABAMA! Brian and I flew up to Birmingham and got to spend more than 2 weeks with the fam. We enjoyed seeing Mama, Christy, Ronnie, Nanny, Carol, Larry, Stephen, Lisa, Elijah, Luke, Jason, Kristin (and baby Issac), and Hayden! We also got to see Brother Mark at Sunview Baptist Church and hear some awesome preaching.
Dad and Terry came up from Pensacola, and were were able to drive out to see other family members, too! We spent some good time with Grandma, Aunt Beverely, Michelle and Maddy. It was too short, but at least we got to see them a little bit. :)
Larry and Carol were once again gracious to let us stay in their guest house, or "cabin" as I like to call it. It's our home away from home!
All-in-all, we had a fantastic holiday season this past year with the Nelson crew. Merry Chirstmas!
I was blessed to sing at the "Women After God's Own Heart" event in Oklahoma City. I performed 9 original songs and preached out of the New Testament between songs.
*Brian surprised me with a sweet bouquet of flowers and candy when I came back from OKC. He is such a sweet heart!
Brian picked me up from the Orlando International Aiport and we drove STRAIGHT to Disney for the Night of Joy performance. Then, out of nowhere, the rain started pouring! I was originally slotted to perform at 9:55pm, but did not get to go on until about 11:30pm. However, God is faithful and I had an amazing time singing His praise at the Magic Kingdom.
This is my second year to minister at Night of Joy, and each year it proves to be a continual blessing. :)
After all the fun and games, I began a new full-time job as a Youth Care Specialist at the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise, FL. My schedule was not the most ideal, Thurs-Monday, 3-11pm, and the drive was about 60 miles round trip. Whew! Talk about a tired lady!
At this time, I also took on a part-time position at our church, First Baptist Orlando. I serve as the Assistant to Children's Music and Worship. I have the most tender-hearted boss, the BEST volunteers and a fantastic group of kids that I get to facilitate and work with on a weekly basis.
It truly is a blessing to work in the Music & Worship Department of FBCO. God definitely has me where he wants me right now!
I have never worked a full and part time job before, so 60 hours a week with NO off days began to be a little draining. (I missed my hubby, too!)
By October, I felt an unsettling feeling in my spirit. After fasting and praying, the Lord revealed to me that the job at the Children's Home was not where I needed to be. With no idea of what other job I would have to supplement my lost income, I felt the Lord's peace about leaving the Children's Home position. How many of you know that God is so faithful? He really is! I tell you that before my last day of work on Friday, God had provided me with a new job to supplement from this upcoming job loss on the Wednesday of that week! PRAISE JEHOVAH JIREH, the Lord that provides! It is so comforting to know that when we draw close to Him, listen and DO as His peace leads, He will provide. This is a promise!
Currently, I still work with Children's Music & Worship at the FBCO, and I also have the privilege of taking care of 2 precious little girls (age 2 and 4 years) part time. All total, the Lord provides me with 44 hours of solid work each week....and I am so much happier than I was with the 60 hour work weeks. He is faithful and is teaching me a lot about household management, time mangament and motherhood through this second job as a caretaker. I'm a mom-in-training! :)
Friday, August 20, 2010
Hey everyone! Well, it's that time of year again....auditions for the Disney Night of Joy Talent Spotlight 2010!
I had the awesome opportunity to be selected and perform at last year's NOJ and I am hoping to perform again this year at the Magic Kingdom!
God is so good and so gracious in continually opening up doors for me. I pray that when I sing that I make HIS name known.
Please take a moment and click on the link below to vote for my video, "ReCreated". You may vote one time per email address, so if you have multiple emails, please vote away!
If selected, I will be performing 2 songs on either September 10 or 11th at the Magic Kingdom.
Voting ends on Monday, August 30th, so please tell your friends!
Thank you & God bless!
"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make music." ~Psalm 57:7
Friday, August 13, 2010
As soon as I found out about the funding cut, I immediately began looking for a job. To spare you the details, I will say it was definitely a journey. My time, patience, worth, trust in God and faith were tested. I stayed strong for the most part, but there were a few times when I would just sit in our room and cry, while feeling overwhelmed and like a failure, all because nothing was "happening". When I say "happening" I mean that my selfish and impatient flesh was throwing a fit because God wasn't moving fast enough. But, of course He was right on time. When will I learn to die to myself? I love His teachings during those times. It's like I could feel Him whisper, "Trust me, Laurey" over and over in my ear.
After countless job applications, online searches and a few interviews, I just felt like surely God had something better for me. Brian and Mrs. Libby were so strong for me. They kept reassuring me and reminding me to be patient. Mrs. Libby said to me one day, "Wow! It's getting close to the wire. Isn't it exciting?" Umm, exciting would probably be the very last word that I would think about using. But, who can argue with Mrs. Libby? I'm pretty sure she is going to have a specialized crown in Heaven because she is one faithful woman of God!
Even though I was frustrated, I just kept thinking about my 26-hour trek to Orlando from Dallas, and how I had NO CLUE where God was going to lead me in my job search, yet He took care of me, and it was perfect timig. I found peace in remembering His goodness and His peace during that season. I felt like something was brewing, but I had to keep my faith and cling to my Father.
I recently accepted a part-time position at our church, First Baptist Church of Orlando. I will be working with the amazing Naida Hardy, as her Children's Music & Worship Assistant. I volunteered as the creative movement teacher all last year, and I truly fell in love with the kids and the ministry. I am so blessed to work for my church and I am thankful for the people who encouraged this placement. God blessed me with some amazing people!
On Wednesday, August 11, I drove into work and was talking to God. I told Him that I trusted Him and if He wanted me to stay at ThinkSmart until the end of the grant, then I would do it and I wouldn't doubt or grumble. I told Him that I knew He would take care of everything and I wouldn't fret anymore.
Sometimes I think God holds out on His blessings to see if we will trust Him enough to release ourselves to Him. Did I say sometimes? Let me correct myself and say EVERY TIME. I came home and was preparing dinner for Brian. My phone rang and I thought, "It's 7:15pm, I bet it's Ashley calling." I looked at the phone and it was from a "386" area code. 386...3-8-6....hmmm.......it's THEM! I grabbed the phone, told Brian it was "them" and ran into our room, closed the door and answered my phone. I got the job. I start on September 13th. :)
So, who is "them"? "Them" is the next chapter in my life. The next season that God has choosen for me. One that will be filled with challenges, tears, heart-ache and the joy of Jesus.
In less than 1 month, I will begin my new position as Youth Care Specialist at Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise, FL. :)
I love the mission of FUMCH: To empower children and families to experience God's love and care as revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. I will be working with teenagers and I truly cannot wait! God is so good!
So, from ThinkSmart to First Baptist Church of Orlando and Florida United Methodist Children's Home....God has NEVER left me. He has guided me through it all, even though I couldn't see His plan at times. I am so thankful for my Jehovah Jireh. Boy, does He provide! Thank you to everyone, especially the Commissioned class, who has been praying for me to get a new job!
I know that working 60 hours per week will be very challenging, but I am totally up for it! While Brian is working 50 + hours per week and will now be taking 2 classes at UCF per semester, I feel like this is my time to work as much as I can so we can pay off debt and save for our future family. Please pray for endurance and strength as we walk into this new season. Both of us will be very busy, but I know that God will honor our hearts and our work ethic. PRAISE GOD!
It just goes to show that when 1 door closes, 2 open! :)
Monday, August 2, 2010
For those of you who may not know, Brian is a HUGE fan of sharks! That was one of the first things I learned about him when we were friends. Seriously, anything shark related, he loves!
One day, when we "grow up" I want to take him to Seal Island off of Cape Town, South Africa! This is the site where the most Great White Sharks have been seen, due to the high volume of cape fur seals on the island.
I literally love Shark Week because it makes Brian smile! Last night, I went into the living room to DVR all of the new shark shows for the night. He was so excited that he went into our room and got his toy shark that I bought him at SeaWorld. So, there he was...in front of the t.v. with shark in hand, watching Shark Week. It was so cute to watch! I bet our future kiddos will love them, too!
Shark Week reminds me of when I first met Brian and I look forward to it every year because of that fact!
I went to Discovery.com and "sharked" us. Hope you all enjoy!