Yesterday was Father’s Day and in The Salvation Army circles of the South it was also Farewell Sunday. Those two combined caused my heart to ponder and think. I have the best Daddy. I am incredibly thankful for him and the way he has led our family. Since I was 13 I have also watched him and my mom “parent” hundreds (maybe thousands) of men in recovery. Our holidays, vacations, and daily life looked different because there were lots of “brothers” that needed guidance, discipline and love. I have watched as mom and dad have met with men, prayed with men, worked alongside, and taught them recovery was possible with Jesus. Our family has expanded through the years and it has known great joys and deep sorrows. The questions “where are you from?” and “what do your parents do?” has always made me laugh (literally, I giggle almost every time someone asks). How do you explain yourself as a former military brat turned Salvation Army officer’s kid? Seriously. It confuses people. Yesterday all across the Southeast people bid farewell to their church, where they have called home for a few years and my parents were no different. Except this farewell was different from the previous four. Mom and Dad are not leaving Suncoast to go to another center to be “Mom and Dad” to more men. They are heading to Atlanta, to headquarters to work on the ARC Command staff. Not gonna lie Jack and I have prayed for this for a few years (good thing I told my mom this the day we found out or she’d pinch my head off). Atlanta is about 4 ½ hours from us. 2ish from my brother and his family. 4ish from my grandparents. It’s basically the closest they can get while still serving. We are thrilled to have them this close but it means a big change for their daily life from the last 17ish years. It means holidays, vacations, everything looks different. They have done an amazing job shepherding and guiding men (and staff) through the years and now as they take on a new job, new titles, new responsibilities its exciting and a little sad. My Dad preached his last sermon as an administrator yesterday, Mom asked them “how they were doing?” (Souled out in Suncoast) for the last time. I am excited to see how the Lord uses them in this new position because I know the Lord has gifted them and called them for this time. It is also with a little sadness in my heart because “growing up” in the ARC has been a joy! I could tell story after story about summers working for them, studying in the staff dining room for finals, bringing groups from school to do service projects, and learning what it means to “lead people in the right way and not the wrong way” all while knowing the Lord had called my parents to do his work in The Salvation Army. Their work is not done it will just look a little different. I cannot wait to see God’s plan unfold. Watch out Atlanta … The Wilsons are headed your way!
Monday, February 13, 2012
OLIVIA SUSAN WILSON!!!
This is our newest niece and she is amazing!!
She likes her Uncle Jack a lot!
Her and her awesome brothers! Let me tell you, Olivia will not lack for love from these two! They LOVE their Princess.
Proud Sweet T and Uncle Jack!
(pardon her Daddy's thumb! ha ha)
Already she has a onesie with Pearls. Yes, starting her young.
We love her and her precious family!!! :)
Monday, January 30, 2012
Friday, July 22, 2011
This post is full of emotions so join the ride! :)
When Jack and I got married three years ago we exchanged family rings. I got an antique ring that belonged to my great - grandmother on my mom's side and Jack received the ring that both his dad and granddaddy wore.
(it's hard to see mine in this picture but it's there!)
(the thick band is his!)
It has always been a neat point of interest to talk about my Nana that died shortly after I was born and more than likely brought this ring "off the boat" with her from Ireland. We would share that Jack's Grandmomma bought the ring for his granddaddy and when he passed away kept the ring and gave it to Ms. Becky who gave it to Mr. Ricky and they gave it to me to give to Jack.
Fast forward to July 3, 2011.
We were invited by some sweet friends to spend the afternoon at Gantt Lake. We went and after hanging out for a while went out on the boat. The guys were gonna get in the water to see if they could find some catfish and Jack jumped in first. He took about four strokes in the water and felt something funny on his hand. When he pulled it out of the water he realized his ring had come off. We had NEVER had that happen before. He held his hand up and said "my wedding ring is gone." I asked if he was serious and of course he was. He had stopped immediately so the guys jumped in behind him and all started feeling around with their feet and looking. Nothing. Meanwhile I'm on the boat explaining to the girls why the ring is so important and crying. After that we weren't so excited to be out and about at the lake. The next day we told the Armstrong's and my precious father in law was wonderful. He kept telling us "Accidents happen. We love ya'll more than the ring. Don't worry about it." We were both devastated. It was a rough couple of days.
On Monday afternoon I text a friend from Auburn to see if her son and daughter-in-law still had their scuba gear. They did. So I text them. The next day we talked to them on the phone and scheduled them to come down later that day. They drove down here and we went out on the lake. We had a pretty good idea where we were when it came off so we went straight there. As we got close we noticed the weather was getting bad so we hurried a bit more. Well we ended up taking shelter under the carport that was at the house closest to the spot. We ended up meeting the girl that lived there and she told us the weather wasn't getting any better. Jack asked if we could just come back straight to her house to look instead of coming by boat. She said yes.
We left and went to dinner. We were bummed but Matthew was encouraging saying that he felt fairly confident that if we had a metal detector we could find it. (Thanks Matthew and Emily McVay for coming!)
We ordered a metal detector the next day. :) Of course it took a few days to come in and then we have been BUSY the last couple of weeks. So, today, July 22, we went out ring hunting. We loaded up the jon boat, the metal detector, the underwater flashlight the McVay's left, goggles and extra batteries for everything and headed back to Gantt. We got to the Lake about 11:45. We tried to let the homeowner know we were there but she never answered. We unloaded all of the above gear and off we went. I sat on the boat ramp and watched for other boats and made sure our boat didn't float too far away. About 8 minutes after Jack being out there "detecting" he said "come hold the detector and and I'm gonna check". I waded out and held it while he dove. He came up with a not so happy face. He had a Bud Lite can. NOT what we were looking for. I stood in the same spot to help him keep his bearings. He took about 5 more s-l-o-w steps and heard something again. This time he said "I'm gonna feel with my feet and then check." He felt for a minute or so and then said "do you see the anticipation on my face?" "YES, I do, go check, I'm super nervous." So, he dove. When he came up his face was blank and then his hand popped out of the water and the RING was in it. It has an inscription so we checked for it.
IT WAS OUR RING!!!!
(the whole process took about 15 minutes!)
I screamed, teared up and started shaking. We were THRILLED! I sent out several mass texts that said "What was LOST has been FOUND!!!!! We found Jack's wedding ring!!!!!" Everyone was excited for us. We loaded up the truck just as the rain started. Thank you Lord for holding it off! As we headed home we called the Armstrong's who were shocked and thrilled! :)
It was dirty so we took it to a local jeweler to get it cleaned up.
After 19 days in the bottom of the lake.
We just kept smiling and laughing. We could not BELIEVE that we found it.
We talked about how Jack has a perfect sermon illustration when preaching on Luke 15. This was a perfect reminder of how we should pursue our friends and family who have not repented and share the Love of Jesus with them and a good reminder of the CELEBRATION we should throw when the Lord saves a repentant sinner.
We are so thankful that we found such a precious family heirloom.
We'll go pick it up from the Jeweler's in the morning!
(and NO worries, it will NOT be worn in the lake ever again. ever.)
Monday, June 27, 2011
The day after Ordination we went to THE BBQ HOUSE in Auburn to eat breakfast. It was delicious as always.
After the boys took a nap we went "shishin" or fishing for those of you who don't speak William. It was sooo much fun to watch him and Uncle Jack fish. Gatlin tried because he's always trying to keep up with big brother. It was a fun afternoon!
Ridin' in Uncle Jack's truck
Uncle Jack and William - tackle boxes and fishing poles
G-daddy and Gatlin
G-daddy, Gatlin and Mawmaw
Daddy getting the fish off the hook
Uncle Jack and William with the fish they caught
Gatlin trying to get in on the action
the gang minus Mawmaw (who was taking the picture)
isn't this adorable?
he is a mess!
My handsome honey!
Sweet T and Gat
Mommy and W
Gat trying to tote the tacklebox
love these boys!
this was take 3 with these two. Funny boys!
Sarah helping W reel in the fish
Me and Jack
(my AU hat was a graduation gift from Jack ... you know he graduated and I got a present. haha - No worries I bought him a fishing pole and tackle box with bait.)
Sweet T and W
Gatlin trying his hand at fishing
Me and my Sarah!
This was right at the end. It was a FUN afternoon!
I don't know if I can accurately describe what a PRECIOUS time this was for Jack and I. On May 22, 2011 we sat on the front row at Lakeview with the other 10 who have walked this path with us the last three years. Bro. Al preached to the church with his emphasis towards the six men who just graduated from seminary. At the end of his sermon he asked the six "guys" to sit across the front steps of the sanctuary and any ordained man in the crowd to come and pray over them and essentially send them out to spread the gospel. As our husbands were being prayed for and over many of those men came and prayed for us the wives. It was amazing. The sweetest thing and something I will never forget, was as I looked up from being prayed for by a precious man I see my Papa, my Daddy and my brother praying over my husband. Let's just say the tears flowed. How grateful I am for the godly heritage we both come from and to see it that night just blessed my heart. It was emotional and wonderful to be sent out from our church that raised us the last eight years. Thank you Lakeview for your love and support. We are eternally grateful!
After the service they had a reception and it was a fun time to give hugs and thank people! Here are some pics from that time! (please ignore red noses and runny makeup, I already said it was emotional.)
This was the cake at the reception. It had all of their favorite books, a pot of coffee, a box of pizza. It was so very fitting.
The guys with their cake.
Sarah Lane, Allie and Rye - three girls who have been around from the beginning. They were in 7th grade when I moved to Auburn, some of the first to ask me about Jack and now are about to start their 3rd year in college. Yeah, I feel old.
Us with the Armstrong's and Caldwells
Us with the Wilson's including my Papa and my
Me and the cutest new Pastor around :)
The wives with Ms. Kem - I am thankful for the time she spent pouring into us and teaching us what it means to be a woman of God and a woman who loves her preaching husband.
Just the wives. Can't explain the blessing these girls are.