Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I am currently doing a study on Nehemiah, which can be found here (I highly suggest it!). So far it has been wonderful and really changing my outlook on the day. I find myself hurrying to get out of the shower & boil some hot water for tea so I can settle in for just a few moments & read the day's devotion. 

Today, I read about Nehemiah asking for help from the Israelites to help him rebuild the wall & defend Jerusalem from an attack at the same time. The study then led me over to Hebrews for this verse, "... and let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25). It was a great reminder that we are called to be in relationships, to seek our friendships and encourage one another. We need to ask for help from friends and return the favor to them. Nehemiah was not afraid to ask for help from others because he knew if they combined their talents and efforts they could complete the work for the Lord. 

Today I am thankful for friendships, near and far, that challenge me, encourage me and spur me on to new adventures. For women in my life who would do anything for me, and I for them. Thankful for sweet friends that have traveled with me, studied with me, run & pushed me (sometimes literally when running) through challenges I thought impossible. For friends who have shared hospital beds with me and sat in on difficult doctors visits, women who comfort me and make me laugh. For friends who do the weirdest things with me & throw themed parties like you've never seen. Thankful for new friendships and old ones. Today I am thankful for friendships that last through years, life changes and miles of distance & for people who I can call on when the storms roll in or if celebration is in order. Let's remember the importance of friendships and "provoke one another to love & good deeds."

^ sharing a hospital bed shout out goes this lady, thanks friend.

^ themed parties & costumes like you won't believe, these girls know how to have fun & take things WAY too far.

^high school graduation, we would then go on to be roommates/housemates all four years of college 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A bittersweet ending

Wednesday tutoring is nearing the end as the school year quickly comes to a close. It is truly a bittersweet end as I have so loved getting to know these sweet kids & (hopefully) providing a little extra help on homework and schoolwork. It has been such a joy to see them grow both academically and socially. I have seen one of them go from speaking only Spanish and not understanding a word of English to being able to look at word problems in English and figure out what they are asking all on her own! How incredible! 

We still have plenty more work cut out for us as we work on getting them up to speed with their classmates, but oh we have made strides! I'm sad that my Wednesday afternoons won't be filled with a car full of kids, laughing and screaming. I sure will miss pulling into their trailer park and seeing the kids lined up waiting to pile into our cars. But, I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a long relationship with these guys and their families. I am excited for what's to come & I know that we will have visits this summer. So thankful for the opportunity to love on them & eager to see more changes in years to come. 

pictured above: Darlin, Jocelyn, Rikci, Bryan (photo taken by little Miss Melanie).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Film incentives & trusting

I realize that many of you may not be familiar with the tax incentive program for film in North Carolina. Currently, film companies receive a rebate to encourage more film business to come to North Carolina. Recent studies have shown that for every dollar of credit issued, $9.11 in direct spending was generated by the film industry in North Carolina. Film companies & their workers support local businesses, restaurants, hotels... not to mention they provide thousands of jobs to locals. 

The film incentive program in NC is set to expire at the end of this year. In the next month, the "short session" of the General Assembly will be held and if not mentioned or renewed, the film incentives will simple expire in December and film companies will choose other states for work. What does this mean for us & so many others that work in film & support their family through this industry? Well, we're honestly not sure, but most likely the work will go away & we will either have to move elsewhere or pick a new career. 

I feel hopeful that they will re-up the incentives, but there is a very real chance that they won't. Our friends that also work in this industry are starting to talk about back-up plans and discussing moving if it came to that. Will and I have talked about it and we keep coming back to this: We really love where we are and don't want to move, but if thats what happens we may have to do that. We basically have two plans going right now, one where we will be buying a house in Wilmington next summer if all goes well, or the other we will be using some of that saved money as we transition to a new place/new jobs.

At first, I felt really worried, job stability has always been (thankfully) something that Will has had. I felt anxious at the possibility of starting all over and going back to being uncomfortable and having to search for new jobs, friends, a home etc. But, I've had a lot of time to mull it over at this point (we've known that this was coming for a while now). I feel at ease and am trusting that we will end up where we are supposed to be, whether that be the land of the pines or elsewhere. 

So we would appreciate prayers. We've rallied in downtown Wilmington, contacted local representatives and now all we really can do is pray. The short session begins May 14th and will last about 6-7 weeks so we should know pretty soon if the film incentives have been renewed. I know this is good for us, to be forced to simply trust & let the decision be made for us. Updates to come for sure.