A Long, Overdue Face-Lift

As you can tell, my blog finally got a MUCH needed face lift! Yay! I’ve been wanting to update the look of my site for a good 4-5 months now but who knew it was such a process?? I’m so excited to have more of a personalized style to my blog now that hopefully gives a better hint of the personality behind the screen. There are still a few loose ends to tie up, but I just couldn’t wait any more to share it with you all! (Plus, I’ve put off writing because I wanted to focus solely on the design, and quite frankly, I’m ready to write again!) Also, BIG THANKS to my friend Cosbie for doing all the dirty HTML work!

Hopefully the sight is a little bit more user friendly than my last one. The menu bar at the top makes things a little easier to navigate and find, especially if you’re coming to my site to look for a specific post. Please be sure to check out my updated “About Me” section and “My Story.” Those two pages will help you get to know me better than anything else you’ll find on the site.

Also, I know it must seem silly to have an entire “Photography” section with all of TWO posts, but I put that there because I’m eager to learn and take more photographs of people. If you are interested in Christmas card pictures, random couples’ shoots, or anything else you can think of, please feel free to contact me!

Be sure to check out my social media sites to your right, and if you REALLY like what you see (or if you just really love me) feel free to subscribe to my blog over there at the right side of the page and you’ll get email updates whenever I post new content!

 

Thank you all so much for keeping up with me and for showing interest in my little slice of the internet. I hope to be more faithful to write and keep you up to date with my life and the things that the Renney’s are up to!

My Life in Sweatpants

Sweatpants.

We all love them. They are man’s greatest fashion invention for all of us who enjoy a nice lounge day every once in a while. They are also man’s greatest invention for the uniform of the Nanny.

I feel like I live in sweatpants. Honestly. If my job weren’t enough to keep me in them, training for a half marathon in the winter months (ehh…winter/spring) keeps them at the top of my “most worn” list. Most people would love this type of attire to wear all the time. Being a nanny is quite possibly the best excuse to wear sweats and a t-shirts every day of your life. You are constantly running around with kids, sitting on the ground, and getting food and markers and paint on your clothes. However, you’d be surprised how cumbersome the most comfortable clothing of all time can become. When it becomes your uniform, it begins to have another kind of mantra attached to it: “All I ever wear is sweatpants. I feel like a slob.”

I’ve had many a conversation with other nanny friends of mine who completely understand with where I’m coming from. While we’re grateful for the ability to dress comfy every day, there comes a point when we begin to feel like a bum. It gets so exciting to wear a pair of jeans and heels on the weekends. Party animals. I know.

Yesterday I was wearing my sweatpants, at work, like I do nearly every day, and I began to think. Because my job description basically requires me to keep the kids alive and busy, there’s surprisingly time to ponder different things. I don’t have deadlines for paperwork. I don’t have office meetings. I don’t have work to take home. But I’m beginning to wish that I did. That got me thinking. As I was swinging on the swing set, I feel like the Lord began to draw some parallels together in my heart.

Swinging on a swing set is a lot like chasing your dream. When you’re first learning, it takes some time and effort to figure out how to get started. But once you nail the pumping of your legs, back and forth, out and in, you quickly can get the hang of it. But you have to keep pumping in order to get higher. You have to keep pumping in order to keep swinging. As soon as you stop putting forth effort, you begin to slow down and lose momentum. You’re not even maintaining. You’re on your way to a complete stop.

Now I don’t know if the Lord meant for this to be a defining spiritual moment for me, but I do feel like He taught me a lesson. Not even close to the caliber of the Apostle Paul(Philippians 4), but I do think that I’ve learned to be content in my current job situation. I didn’t say I’ve learned to love it. I’ve learned to be content. But if I ever intend to move on from here (and I must, kids do grow up eventually and don’t need a nanny anymore), I have to keep pumping my legs. I can’t just coast and expect opportunities to show up out of the middle of nowhere. I have to keep pushing, keep trying, and understand that it might require a lot more work than I originally expected. But in order to go higher and further than where I am right now, the work must continue. The research must not stop. I have to keep talking, asking, and looking for God’s open doors to my future.

If I ever hope to have my dream job, I have to keep pumping my legs.

Quitter

Book #2 is in the books! Pun intended.

Quitter

For February, I decided to read the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. It was more of a whim read than something I had been looking forward to for a long time. I started following the author @jonacuff on Twitter, and he often posted excerpts from the book. It intrigued me. So I bought it on a discounted website and planned it for this month. I read this book in 18 days. That’s got to be some kind of record for me. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The whole theme of the book is “Closing the gap between your day job and your dream job.” Which, as most of you probably know, is something that I would definitely say I’m striving after. Believe it or not, my dream job is not nannying 3 boys 5 days a week. It might be close, but that’s definitely not it. Who am I kidding? Nannying was one of the jobs that was furthest down on my list. But sometimes you just have to take what opportunities come your way when you have student loans up to your eye balls and the bills that have to be paid.

All that goes to say, my degree is in Women’s Ministry and Biblical Studies. What drove me to that field was a heart for teenage girls. I want them to fully know their identity in Christ and allow Him to satisfy every single ounce of who they are. I feel like it has been a neglected area of ministry for far too long and I wanted to educate myself on how to reach that black hole. However, I don’t know how to even get started there. I feel like since I graduated, the Lord has revealed even more things that I’m passionate about. Godly marriages, healthy lifestyles, purity, and even more recently, the hot topic issue of abortion. As I pray through how the Lord would have me to follow Him in these different areas of ministry, I know I have to obey Him where I am currently. And currently I am a full time nanny for 3 boys, ages 4, 5, and 7. And until I’m grateful for that job and do my absolute best at it, He will not let me move on.

Reading this book was very helpful to me. It helped me to realize the importance of working at my day job longer than I would like. It helped me understand that pursuing my dream does not mean throwing caution to the wind. It means striving for excellence in my day job and slowly working toward my dream, or taking steps toward my dream job in my spare time. If I become a professional Quitter in trying to find that “perfect dream job” out there, I’ll never be satisfied and I’ll probably be a terrible employee if I ever do have the opportunity to work in my preferred area of ministry.

If you’ve ever used the phrase, “I’m a __________, but I want to be a _________, ” I highly suggest picking up a copy of this book and applying the lessons from it. It will definitely start giving you hope towards making your dream a reality.

Also, he’s a hilarious writer. I literally laughed out loud throughout every chapter. Ask my husband.

The new and improved!

My blog was stale. I realize this. Even though no one verbally communicated that to me, I knew it all along, but kept putting off making it better. However, time is on my side today so I figured a little sprucing up was in order. I’m not positive that this is the final layout, title, or set-up, but it’ll do until I think of something better.

Again, I’m not much of a blogger, but I might as well try to make use of it since I’ve got one now. Plus, when the Lord is teaching me so much, why would I not want to share it with the world?!

 

Right now we are t-minus 29 hours from the High School Girls Retreat. It’s taken tons of planning and preparation, but we’re almost there and I’m PUMPED! The Lord is up to BIG things and I can’t wait to see what He whips out during this short weekend. I’m confident that the students won’t be the only ones being challenged. Even in my preparation for the one session I’ll be teaching, the Lord has been reminding me of His faithfulness and ability to answer prayer. He has been working behind the scenes, in front of the scenes, and all throughout the scenes. Just get ready to hear about what takes place this weekend as we watch and participate in the things the Lord has planned for us!

Please join us in praying for every person going on this retreat. All the students and all the adults. We’re waiting expectantly for the Lord to chizzle away the flesh and replace it with more of Himself!

New to the Blog World

 

Well… Here I am, a new found, self-proclaimed….blogger. That’s right. Didn’t think it would EVER happen. Typically I write my thoughts in a journal and reflect that way. But I guess this is similiar, it’s just available to all who are willing to take the time to read it.

This summer God has given me such a tremendous opportunity to serve alongside our youth ministry and specifically reach out and disciple the high school girls. To say I am absolutely LOVING it is an understatement! It all started with HS camp, then MS camp, and now we are doing Monday night Bible studies through the book of 1 Peter. It has been amazing, and God has been using this time to draw me closer to Himself as I lead others to do the same.

My heart, passion, burden, and goal in life is to glorify God by the way that I live. It is my understanding that if He was finished using me, He would have called me Home as soon as I received salvation. However, I know He is not finished with me, and I am thrilled to get to be a part of His story. God has given me a unique passion for high school girls. Maybe it’s because they are not afraid to be themselves, tell you how they feel, or completely allow themselves to get wrapped up in the most dramatic situations, just for fun. Even though this age group gets a lot of flack from adults these days, I know that they are much more potential and heart than they are given credit for. Teenage girls are fully capable to understand the Gospel, share it with others, grow DEEP in God’s Word, and live their lives above reproach. It is my desire to run alongside them, to encourage them, and to help equip them to be Biblical women of God, who find their trust and satisfaction in Jesus Christ alone.

 

That’s why I am here. That’s why I am doing this internship. That’s why I’m investing my time. Because I believe the Lord has a great work to do among the high school girls, specifically of FBCW. It’s time we step up to the plate and allow God to amaze us through our obedience to His calling.