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Catching Up with the Hays’

Driver’s license address changed. Check. Voter registration changed. Check. Bank and credit card addresses changed. Check. We are official residents of Wise County! Woohoo. I definitely underestimated the amount of effort and time involved in packing up 37 years of your life and moving to a new location, but the majority of the work is behind us and our new season has begun!

New season, as in literally and figuratively. Our first few weeks were greeted with day after day of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees with 70-80% humidity. Yikes. These “panhandlers” were heat and humidity wimps!! But we survived and are now enjoying some beautiful mornings and evenings out by the lake.

But a new “season of life” has also been entered into and we are so excited for what God is doing!

Mercy Culture

We completed our new members process at our new home church, Mercy Culture (MC), and are beginning to plug in. Part of the process for membership is taking several online assessments to help identify ways you connect with God that you may not be aware of. So fun!! It also identified top areas of spiritual gifting.

My results: (both enlightening and confirming)

The top three ways I connect with God were identified as Learning, Reformation and Conversation. For each area, I was provided scripture passages, books, and suggested activities to further understand each of these pathways to a closer intimacy with God. It has been an eye opener!!

My top three spiritual gifts were Knowledge, Faith and Giving.

As I began praying over how and where to get involved with MC, I felt God encouraging me to “fill my plate”, “taste” and then decide where to serve. In the past, I have been very protective of my time, very intentional with my areas of service but I felt God was directing me to not be afraid of overcommitting, but rather to try everything and discover where I am being called – while basically doing an internship on numerous areas of service within and outside the church.

So far:

I have completed a Justice Reform workshop, childcare training to be able to serve in the nursery, volunteered for the Food Bank for 2 hours on Wednesday mornings, signed up for Candidate University (an 8 week course on government and campaigning from a biblical perspective) and the Justice Reform Advocacy Program (a one year program to be trained as a mentor for survivors of human trafficking.)

It’s a start. 😊

Hays Inn

One of my greatest concerns about moving to a community of 1,500 from a population of over 200,000 was being isolated and alone. Leaving friendships and community that you have invested in for three decades is no small matter. But God has been SO faithful! The weekends when we are not traveling (which has been quite a bit between multiple trips back to Amarillo as well as visiting kids/grandkids in Lubbock and Spring Branch), we have had a steady flow of visitors!!! And it has been so awesome. Having overnight guests, sharing meals together has allowed for a much deeper level of fellowship than your typical day to day interactions with friends and family. We are seeing the potential for having a constant revolving door of travelers coming through the area (or even coming specifically to see us) and we are delighted.

Favor

It has been amazing to watch the level of favor that Tracy is walking in, in particular related to his writing. He has made several contacts with school administrators for potential placement of his latest book, The Captain is Courageous, as a historical reference book for Christian educators. He also added an additional brick and mortar store for distribution, along with some interview opportunities. For several years, he had attempted to gain access into some publications from his fraternity and university alum associations, with no success. But since our move, his information has been accepted both by the Baylor and Sigma Chi publication process.

And for his biggest news . . . Tracy recently signed with Westbow Publishing (a support system for self-published authors through Thomas Nelson/Zondervan publishers) that will provide access to multiple platforms that were previously un-accessible.

So exciting!

Grand Finale

This past Sunday, Pastor Che’ Ahn, head of Harvest International Ministry and part of the “New Apostolic Reformation” movement, was the guest speaker at Mercy Culture. At the end of his message, he gave an opportunity for those who felt called to impact the area of government for kingdom purposes – whether as a candidate, a support staffer or general activist to help educate and motivate the church in the area of government – to come to the altar for prayer. (I hope I didn’t harm anyone on my rush to the front.) The government mountain of influence has been my heart and passion for years. I do not know what may be in my future, but I know it will include some level of involvement with this arena. As a friend that was visiting with us stated . . . it felt like a “commissioning” for the next season of service.

Let’s Go!!!

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