Emily Shares…….

how to PIONEER CHANGE today!

Month: September 2012

Answered Prayer

So I have been praying for a long time for God to give me the ears to hear him and the courage to follow him.  I am often amazed at how directly He speaks to me and to be frank often shocked by it.  Today’s message at Community Christian Church was about using the Bible to guide your life.  We are in a series called “Alive Without Breathing” stemming from a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King that says, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

An area in which I need to grow spiritually is reading the bible.  I know that the times I do I feel so connected, so in tune with where God is leading me and so much more prepared when it comes to spiritual warfare.  Everything really seems to fall in place even when life is thrown off track.  I have asked God to help me be disciplined when it comes to reading His word and again give me the ears to hear His voice.

I kid you not when I came outside to relax, I went back inside and grabbed my IPad so I could continue reading “The Books of the Bible” which is part of the Community Bible Experience and where I left off last night was the exact place that Dave Ferguson talked about in his message!  Now I had no idea what was on the topic of discussion today, but what I do know is that it was not coincidence!!  If I would have continued reading last night I would have read over the words, probably tired and not really retained much of the information,  Instead I was given the message through Dave this morning and then God spoke to me again through this book.

Jesus was able to fight the devil when we was being tempted because He knew God’s word so well.  I want that for my life, my kids life, and all of my friend’s and families lives too.  When I get these messages more than once I know God is saying “Hey Emily, listen to me.  I don’t want you to miss this.”  This is a direct answer to my prayer.  I know He has a lot more in store for me so without a doubt I am going to keep reading to find out!!

Taking away an answered prayer,

Emily

Saturday’s Snip-it Sept 29

Saturdays are family days around the Weber house so I have decided to make the blog for Saturdays short, sweet and reflective.  Each week I will answer the same set of questions in hopes to gain insight.

Tony Robbins once said:  “Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential. Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

  1. What new resources did you discover this week?  Since this is new I will tell you a new resource I have found since moving to Yorkville.  Brinlee and I attend gymnastics at Phenom Gymnastics in Oswego Illinois.  We do this to get out of the house and have a good time together not to mention I would like to get her used to a structured class before I am her dance teacher in hopes it will help.
  2. What beautiful experiences did you share with your family this week?  This week we went back to our hometown Cornfestival and got to witness it through the eyes of our 22 month old.  It was really special and I am so glad we decided to do it.
  3. What lessons did you learn from your failures? This week I learned that I just need to be consistent when it comes to time-out.  I am in the oh so not fun stage of discipline.
  4. What is the most influential thing you have read this week? I have a block on my window sill that was given to my by my aunt.  It says, “The WORLD is waiting to hear your story.”  I started this blog.
  5. What were you able to give? My time and energy to my children.
  6. Who did you meet and add to your network? This week we met The Kendall County Regional Planning commission and they are happy we are here.
  7. What projects did you start/finish this week? I started this blog and so far I am loving it.
  8. What did you do to live a healthier life? I started eating fish and I remember I really like it!  Target has a great tortilla crusted tilapia in the frozen food section…..making me hungry!
  9. What referrals have you given and why? I refer my wonderful friend who happens to be an amazing photographer and all out amazing person.  Beth Kolar Photography is her business but really you need to meet her. She is a gift!
  10. Who has given you the most “warm fuzzies” and how do you plan on saying thank you?  My friend Jamie.  She gave me an opportunity that has reminded me that this gift I have is special.  I have already told her thank you but really 1000 thank you s would not be enough.
  11. What risks did you take and what did you learn from them? I was vulnerable and opened myself up in a blog about the struggles I was having as a mommy.  I learned that you can inspire and touch people’s lives by being real.  People respect that.
  12. What are you doing to draw closer to God? I am doing the Community Bible Experience and I am loving it!!  I love reading the Bible as a love story.
  13. What was the best thing you did for your children? I prayed with them.
  14. What was the best thing you did for your husband this week? I am spending quality time with him tonight!!
  15. Name the name of a person you met for the very first time this week.  If online counts…Darcy.

A letter to my mom

Dear Mom,

 

I am writing this letter so you will always have it, you can look on it often and know that I am so thankful for your unconditional love.  There were several times I did not deserve it and now that I am a mom myself I finally understand.   One of my hopes is that with this letter you never have any doubts about what kind of mom you are and always have been.  You are the kind of mom I pray that I can be to our girls. A loving, honest, disciplined, break the rules sometimes kind of mom.  With that being said here are some things I need you to know.

  1.  This is number one because it is most important to me.  Thank you for being a Godly woman and for finding your way back to God.  Your baptism day was one of the best days of my life. I love knowing that I will have no questions when it comes to knowing we will spend eternity together.
  2. The times that you have been brutally honest with me are the times that I have never forgotten and cherish.  My favorite being the day you told me that nobody can MAKE you feel the way you feel, that usually it was an insecurity of my own that was making me feel that way.  That has helped keep me balanced especially in my marriage.
  3. Thanks for baking with me as a kid, letting me play in the dirt while you planted flowers and tap dancing in the basement while you did laundry.  I look back on those times often and can see us in the house on 47 together, much like Brin and I do now here on 47.  I love quality time with you.
  4. Thank you for putting me in dance to help my pigeon toe.  Look at the lives that have already been impacted and that will be impacted because of a decision you made.  That’s HUGE!
  5. I remember as a kid being annoyed that everyone would say I looked just like my mom…not now.  I am happy I do because you are beautiful.  The most beautiful smile and spirit that I know…it is contagious and the best part is I see it in our Brinlee.
  6. I want you to know how sorry I am for all of the times that I yelled, hit, called you names or told you I wanted to live somewhere else.  Teenage angst and I hope I handle it with as much grace as you did.
  7. Your belief in me is one of the many reasons I am the woman who I am and am trying to make the impact that I am.  You have always said I can do anything I put my mind to.  This is true.  Please feel free to keep telling me that as I embark on this next journey.  I have a feeling I am going to need it.
  8. Thank you for loving my kids the way that only you can and all though I often get on you about it, thanks for giving them sweets and treats.  They will cherish those memories and grammy  and bumpa’s house.
  9. Thank you for teaching me discipline, hard work, responsibility, and most importantly how to love.

And last thank you for praying for me.  I know it has made all the difference.  Jesus heard your prayers and gave me Brian and my life was forever changed.

I could go to 100 but these are my top 10.  You really are a remarkable woman and mother.  God blessed Jason and I from day one when He gave us to you.  We are very lucky kids.

I love you mom,

Em

Couch Cushions

Yesterday Brinlee, my 22 month old, found a bobby pin, picked it up and tried to put it in her ear.  You see she knows that she is not supposed to do this so as she does she gives me her sneaky, sly, mommy I’m really cute so don’t take this away, smile.  I take it away from her and stuff it down the side of the couch hiding it away so she doesn’t see it.  As soon as I did this today’s blog came to mind and got me thinking.  My couch cushions are home to many little treasures; bobby pins, safety pins, pens, q-tips, rubber bands, coins, cheerios, a plastic bag, a dirty diaper (yes I’m serious and I have no idea how long it has been there) and many crumbs from various little treats that Brinlee has consumed.  Most of these items I have stuffed down in fear that Brinlee will poke her ear drums out, swallow, stab her sister with, stab me with, stick up her nose…you get the idea.  Well what does that have to do with today’s blog?  I got to thinking about the things, my weaknesses that I stuff away in my life’s “couch cushions” in fear of what other people will do with them.

Will they take my weakness and judge me, talk about me, laugh at me, be passive aggressive, empathize with me or relate to me?  Well here it goes I am pulling out my cushions for all to see because let’s face it we all feel better when they are clean.  The thing that has lived in hiding for a long time is that I have everything under control and the truth is there are days I am screaming on the inside, crying on the outside, and all I want to do is go rock in fetal position in the corner for a while.  Take yesterday for example.  I had hit a wall and lost it.  God gave me Brian for many reasons one being that he is my rock and he knows exactly what to do on these days.  My vent to him went a little like this: (inserting caution…this is not pretty) this is not a blame it is more of a vent and once I get it out I think I will feel better. I know that being a stay at home mom was the job we chose that was best for us and the girls. I will never regret that. I also know I am not perfect even though I try so hard to be. So with that being said there are times I want to scream and run away. I would only tell you this because I know you love me. The job has gotten to me today….Every day I cook 3 meals, load and unload this dishwasher, do at least 2 loads of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away), clean up the house, breast feed 8,000 times, calm screaming kids, get hit, kicked, yelled at by a toddler who I feel as though I’m failing daily, try to teach her right from wrong, all while feeling terrible about myself because I usually never put make up on or do my hair, am always in the pjs I slept in, have mascara under my eyes because I actually did put make up on but didn’t have the energy to wash my face or shower last night, I smell like baby spit up because it is covering my arms and all down my shoulder and back, usually have ugly roots, ugly toes, torture myself for not handling a situation with Brinlee better and feel bad that I can never spend alone time with Brinlee during the day because Haven needs me so much. I am jealous of you who gets to leave everyday to spend time in a quiet office with adults, who gets to be the “fun” dad almost all the time, gets the biggest greeting when you come home, gets to do social gatherings and never have to worry about how much milk you have in the fridge and what are the most important times it needs to be used for. A very ugly side of me seethes whenever someone asks you about mowing and you say it’s actually like escaping into your own thoughts for 5 hours….I can’t even get my own thoughts for 5 minutes without interruption let alone 5 hours. I cry usually during nap time when I can finally take a breath like I am now and there are days like today when I am afraid to stop and actually think because I know I will just lose it.  My heart is racing as I re-read this knowing I am putting my most vulnerable self out there but it is a step I need to take knowing I don’t have it all under control all the time and that is ok.  I also realize that this sounds like a spoiled brat whining and that there are much bigger problems in the world beyond my duties as a house wife.  I am not insensative to those things.  This is just where I was yesterday.

So again I am reminded that I was not created to be perfect and it is ok for other people to know that.  I am and always will be a wonderful work in progress and I am thankful for that and I am very humble.  God loves us exactly where we are even on days like I had yesterday.  For a long time I thought that I needed to “clean my act up” or “get it together” before God would love me, but I quickly learned that is the farthest thing from the truth.  So each day I try to learn from the day before and today I know that it is ok for people to know my weaknesses.   My hope and prayer is that God will use me to help someone else who reads this and help them grow closer to Him.  So my question for you is what are you hiding under your “couch cushions” of life in fear of what others will do them? Would you be so bold to open them up?

Ok now I need to vacuum out my real couches…they were pretty nasty,

Emily

The Tool Box

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. Our house sat on a good piece of land with a large cornfield behind it and the only thing separating our grass from the corn was a dirt path where my brother and the neighborhood boys would ride their dirt bikes. I can close my eyes and put my 5-year-old self right in the picture as if it was yesterday. You see I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys. Now when I say neighborhood I know you probably think of a street with houses on both sides or a winding cul-de-sac, but our neighborhood was a string of houses along a busy highway. We enjoyed the small things in life, like taking old scraps of fabric and making army bands, or building forts in the woods, playing baseball in the front yard using the big apple trees as bases and playing “pig” with the hoop above the garage. Now you might have guessed that I was a little bit of a tomboy but I didn’t care, it’s what I loved to do. I also loved to help my dad in the garage. Now my dad loved tools and boy could he use them. To this very day there isn’t much my dad can’t fix, build, or create, he is a craftsman at heart. While he worked I would watch, probably talk his ear off until he couldn’t take it any longer and would give me a small job. One of my favorites was sweeping the garage floor. I’d put this orange stuff down to soak up the car grease and sweep and sweep and sweep. Now my dad probably thought that he was keeping me busy and keeping my mouth shut so he could get some work done, but to me it was love. Fast forward 26 years later and as I’m typing I remember from the book The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman that my love language is quality time and that time together with my dad was filling my love tank.

When I would ask him to help he would always let me at least try to and would teach me how to use the basic tools. I know now that my learning these basics was important to him.  He wanted to make sure that I knew the basics and could help myself when I got older. When I went away to college I made sure I packed my tool set. It was small at the time but it had the necessities. After college the small tool set was a tool box full and I was proud of what was in that box. At the time I wasn’t quite sure how each tool worked but as years passed I would come to find out.

Today it hit me, God has been building my tool box and giving me small jobs since the day He created me.  The most important tool in that box is His word.  I must admit this is one of many areas that I really need to grow in. I know the more time I spend reading my bible and talking with Him, the closer I feel and the fuller my love tank becomes, however a lot of times the day-to-day hustle and bustle distracts me from taking the time.

So looking back at my childhood self sweeping the garage floor I can see God has been working on me one small job at a time. My tool box is full of the necessities love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  These tools will guide me in the job He has called me to do and build a strong foundation to stand.  What are the things God has put in your “toolbox”?  I bet they are exactly the things you need for the job you are called to do.

Inch by inch,

Emily

The Renovation

Brian and I were overwhelmed by the love, support, and help that our friends and family showered over us with our new move and adventure.  We want to share just how much it is appreciated and how much it has impacted our start here in Yorkville, IL.  We had several different ideas about where we could live here in Yorkville; all the while we prayed that God open the doors to where He would like us to live.  The process seemed a little frustrating at first but we never gave up hope knowing that He had a plan for us.

Brian came across this property and it intrigued him.  At first I was very hesitant, honestly the idea of living on the same property where we ran our business did not sound appealing to me.  I did however know that we at least needed to take a look.  That day arrived and we were looking at 9 listings total, this one being the second to last.  When we pulled in the drive it instantly felt right.  Brian and I took a tour around the buildings and the house and the land.  As we watched Brinlee run so care free in the yard, we both looked at each other and knew this is where we would call home.

We continued to pray that our offer would be accepted, after a few back and forth counters, we all agreed on a selling price.  God continued to open the doors.  Funny thing is I don’t remember much about the house that very first day we walked through it.  I remember the kitchen was big and it stepped up to the pantry and that is about it!!  I was in complete awe of the land I had forgotten or overlooked (may be a better word) the house.  I guess “the smoke got in my eyes” so to speak.  I remember my girlfriend asking me what the house looked like and I honestly told her, “I don’t remember.”  Her exact words were, “What do you mean you don’t remember?!?!  You are buying a house and you don’t remember what it looks like?”  Yep!!  I did remember the feeling we had while standing and watching Brinlee run and that always eased my mind.

Well fast forward to another walk through and nothing could have prepared me for what kind of shape the house was really in.   It was disgusting, nothing we couldn’t handle just more work than we originally thought.  The smell of smoke and cat urine saturated the air, the floor, and every inch of the house.  Dirt and cobwebs caked on the walls and ceilings.  We never got the feeling that it was too much though, we knew we were on mission and that this was a home where life would be shared.  We closed on June 27, 2012 (my mom’s birthday) and started working on it June 28th!

That first weekend we had a crew of people here helping us renovate this house.  Brian had put together a list to help keep us organized and I directed the crew.   I must mention I was 9 months pregnant at this time.  We scrubbed everything insight, ripped carpet, pulled staples from the floor, removed doors, removed wallpaper (not fun), replaced urine soaked floor boards, moved our stuff from our Morris home into the buildings here on the property, scrubbed cabinets, and my dad mowed for a total of 8 hours with a zero turn commercial mower that we rented to get the lawn looking decent again.  Six short days later our beautiful baby Haven would surprise us by being 19 days early!!

Many blessings came with her being early.  Brian and I were able to be in the hospital air conditioning during some of the hottest days this year and get a much-needed break from the day in day out work on the house.  I recovered quickly and was able to get back helping so that our little family could move in as soon as possible.  After Haven was born we continued by priming and painting every inch of wall, ceiling, and floor.  We had the carpet and wood floor installed, I scrubbed nicotine off of the windows, we cleared out a basement and attic that were full of junk from the previous owners, and we scrubbed the cabinets again, and had the ducts clean.  I am almost positive a small animal was sucked up through their machine.  The duct work company told Brian it was the dirtiest house they had ever done.  Their vent normally lasts them three houses but it was no longer usable after they did our house.  We are so thankful we spent the money on this as there was rat poison in the registers!!  With that being done we were ready to move in.

With two children 21 months and 1 week old, it was a slow process.  It was important that I get the girls’ room done first so Brinlee’s transition was as smooth as possible.  After that we slowly moved things in from the building while at the same time continued to do small projects like paint doors, hang fixtures, etc. I know I put this in my other blog but we believe so strongly that God’s hands guided this project each and every day giving us days of rest when we needed, provided the perfect people for the perfect jobs to make things go quicker, gave us encouragement on days we were feeling discouraged, and has continued to provide each and every day.  We are so blessed and so thankful and very truly could not have done this without the help of so many.  Many of whom helped watch and care for Brinlee so we could get in as soon as possible.   In 20 short days we rehabbed an entire house and 6 acre property….THAT IS AMAZING!  This is part of one of God’s glorious plans and He will help us do great things through this property.

We still have projects weekly and sometimes daily and we are thankful for them.  It gives us time together as a couple and grows us in patience and in strength.  I could write about every detail of this story and it would probably be a best seller.  Most importantly this is now our home.  A beautiful, comforting and welcoming home.  It is our hope and prayer that people will visit often, stay and relax and enjoy all that this property has to offer….total peace and comfort.  The next step you may ask?  It is time to build out the buildings and make the vision of the Yorkville Performing Arts Center (YPAC) come true.  Keeping watching I will be updating often.

Gearing up and really excited,

Emily

Our Story

Three years ago Brian and I both felt very strongly that He was commissioning us to move to Yorkville, Illinois.  We were not exactly sure as to why this area, with the exception that Brian worked here.  We looked at houses up here that year and the following year and always came back to ours thinking, “We just can’t leave the house we are in.”  Well last year was different.  We heard God remind us that it was just a house, yes a beautiful one but something material.  We knew there were bigger and greater things for our life beyond a Victorian home.  We made the decision to move.  It was then that I made a commitment to really listen for God’s direction and exactly where He would like us to grow individually and as a family.

At the time we were attending our church, Community Christian at its Shorewood location.  We were in a series called “The Ladder” which spoke of growing in generosity.  Brian and I were both so moved and knew this was the exact area in which God was working on us and we knew it would be through our gifts and talents as well as our time and resources.  We told our pastor John on a Tuesday and our family on Thursday of that same week, where God was leading us.  That very same Thursday we found out we were pregnant again with Haven Amelia. Our babies are 21 months apart and 20 years apart from our Nikki.  It was at this time that He confirmed that I needed to make another life change, a change to be a full time stay at home mom.  I believe this is my most important job and always will be.

We know that each of our daughters is a gift from God each in their own way.  Nikki has taught us unconditional love, what it means to be a family and laughter when there were days I could barely smile.  With Brinlee we were reminded that God is in control and His timing is perfect, and that He can make miracles happen.  Haven is gift for listening, following, and sharing God’s work with others and absolute peace.  I am very humble that God has entrusted me to guide these beautiful girls!

I tell you about my kids because they are a huge part of this story.  It is important to Brian and me that we are involved in the community where we and our kids will “do life.”  This is where Yorkville really became home.  We always thought that we would find a house, move and that our transition to our CCC Yorkville campus would be the last one, but on the last day of “The Ladder” series Brian and I both walked out talking about how we felt God tell us it needed to be the first transition.  Wow did He speak loud and clear with that one and for good reason.  We started coming up to the Yorkville campus a little gun shy but were instantly comforted.  Brian and I were instantly connected with family after family who seemed to either need us or we needed them.  We started sharing again what God was doing in our life and our plan to move here and the types of places we were looking at living.  We put 3 offers in on 3 different places and each one fell through for some reason or another.  I was pregnant, impatient, and frustrated, not a fun combination for my husband.  I kept wondering why it wasn’t easy if God wanted us to be here.  Then my answers came with what we now call “The Property” and future home of the Yorkville Performing Arts Center (YPAC).

We bought 6 acres with a house, 2 pole buildings, a parking lot, a stable and pasture……hence the name “The Property.”  We renovated the ENTIRE house, had a baby, and moved in just 21 days. (That’s a whole other blog to come)  You ask how?!?!?  We believe so strongly that God’s hands guided this project each and every day giving us days of rest when we needed, provided the perfect people for the perfect jobs to make things go quicker, gave us encouragement on days we were feeling discouraged, and has continued to provide each and every day.  We are so blessed and so thankful and very truly could not have done this without the people God put in our lives many of whom came from our early transition to Yorkville CCC.

I believe so strongly that there is a season to each part of life and we are currently in a season of change.  We remind ourselves and each other almost daily to enjoy the process.  There are so many times in life that you can think, “I’ll just be happy when we get to this next part.”  I have to stop myself often, look around and remember that I am happy now, right where we are at in the midst of a lot of change.  My hope and prayer is that we can be a blessing to the community of Yorkville and Kendall county through YPAC and that our children and our community’s children  will learn and grow in an environment that was created because God whispered and He chose to give me the ears to hear Him.

Still listening,

Emily

Ready…Set…Blog

I am excited to say I finally started blogging!!!  I have been wanting to do so for a while now, but always wondered if anyone would be interested in what I have to say.  I now have something so exciting to share that I can’t help but talk about it with anyone who is interested and now blog about it, because I want to share this journey and our continuing story with as many people as possible! For me setting up the blog was like ripping a bandaid.  Now that I have started it seems pretty easy.

In this blog I will share why we moved, the adventure of buying the property we are in, the 20 day remodel and the have a baby 19 days early project, setting up the performing arts center, articles related to dance and music, and anything else I feel inspired to write about.  This like anything else is a journey and new experience for me so bare with me if you will.

Comment as much as you like. Ask questions….I’ll answer them as best as I know how.  I hope this is an enjoyable read and also an educational one when it comes to YPAC.

Much love and God’s blessings,

Emily

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