life and rest, and joy and peace

all of our visiting family has gone home, my husband has returned from his week at seminary, my lessons are prepped for monday and peace has descended on the emerson household.

the past two weeks have been stressful and left me exhausted; bryan left for seminary the same day i began my summer accelerated class. i luckily have an awesome family that was willing to babysit zu (and even visit from hours and hours away so they can watch zu while i teach!).  life is just better with my husband home. we got our house back in order this morning and even made it to our new church.


just to fill you in...
bryan was serving as minister at a local country church for several months, so when the search committee went to do the vote, which we had been told was just a technicality, they voted no. i won't get into all the details--to sum it up, the church did not have a unified vision of what they wanted for their music ministry, and they were pulling in two separate directions (the direction opposite bryan won).

we were hurt as a family; the ones that had wanted to go in the direction bryan was planning to take the music ministry had told us that we were hired, so we felt that we had been "led on" when we were told otherwise. and it was hard because we'd started to make friends and get plugged in at the church, something not very easy for an introverted person like me to do.

after all that happened, we decided that we were ready for something different--a church that was not steeped in church politics, run by the deacons, directed at just one age group. something different just seemed like it would be nice, if we could find it.

the next day i was looking online for churches in the area and found this website...and i typically don't get "feelings" about things, i just found myself immediately excited about their mission statement and the way the church was set up and what it stood for.

we've started attending Three Rivers Community and we are so happy God led us there! the preaching is awesome and the people are friendly and i can see our family growing there for a long time.


bryan does still feel called to the ministry, and we aren't sure right now what his ministry is going to look like or if we'll end up leaving 3Rivers for another church at some point. for now we feel like this is where we are supposed to be. 

if you think of it, please pray for our family as bryan looks for a job. he has some exciting opportunities for spring, once he completes his master's, though he'd like to find something part-time sooner to do in between now and then. his job hunt is starting this week.


this morning i was worn out. my family had just left, i'd just had a hard week of being basically a single mom, and i was feeling tired, burdened. i snapped at bryan that morning and grumbled. i planned on making my week to-do list during service (i know, awful. i was not where i needed to be this morning).

then our preacher started in on his sermon on helping children understand the gospeland i put away my pen and list and i was convicted, to the heart. his story of how he had grown up in the church was similar to mine and it cut me to the quick.

i was convicted of how i've been feeling so burdened and stressed the past few weeks over all these worldly distractions--keeping house and work and staying on top of things--when my calling to share the gospel, first with my little one and future little ones and then onward--is what is really important. and Christ can carry my little burdens so easily if i give them to him. and there are future things i've been worrying about--like how will i handle thisorthis when i'm barely handling this (sorry for vagueness)--that i need to trust in Jesus about.

i can't carry my own burdens; i try! and it makes me so tired. i am thankful that God has taken care of our little family and led us where he has led us; that he's blessed me with a job i love and a means to help support our family while bryan works in the ministry; that i can rest peacefully in his hands.

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


  1. Does Bryan feel called specifically to music ministry forever? Sometimes ministry can look a little different than you picture it initially in your head; honestly, I think being a high school science teacher can be ministry if that's how you approach your vocation. I once heard someone say that we're all ministers/missionaries but God plants some of us in Asia, some of us in Africa, some of us in advertising agencies, and some of us in janitorial roles. I thought that was an awesome way to look at things.

  2. Also, I know of some church plants in our area - I just assumed Bryan wouldn't be interested because you guys just moved to Rome, but let me know if you ever would want me to send things like that your way. Our church is all about church planting and we have some friends that aren't from our church that are planting a Reformed Baptist church next summer somewhere in Nashville, so we are always hearing about things like this.

  3. Wow, you have had a lot on your plate! I'm glad for you that Bryan is back; I don't know how single parents do it. Having that help is just so so vital!

  4. @erin--yes!! and bryan helps me a lot, he's a very involved dad!

    @heather--bryan and i have been praying about a lot of different things....he's thinking of maybe getting his dmin degree, of maybe taking the music ministry (though not music Minister) job available at shorter in the spring, maybe doing both? right now he does feel called to music ministry but he feels like being a really involved layperson might be what he's supposed to do right now. and then there's always missions, which he minored in at seminary because he loves it. personally, i think church planting is where we're going to end up...i doubt it was coincidence that i worked in the church planting office while we were in louisville, or that we just happened to start going to a church that is Very much about church planting (they're sending a team to Portland soon! wouldn't that be cool to live in portland??). i don't see us moving anywhere in the immediate future but i doubt we've settled for the rest of our lives. Anyway, i'm still up for anything! i like a good adventure.