Organized Chaos

Life as an Associate Pastor's wife: community, family and God

Update: WOF Imagine November 9, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Inspiration,Ministry,Women of Faith — Jessi @ 8:00 am

Women of Faith: Imagine stage and arena full of women

A couple of weekends ago, I had an opportunity to attend Women of Faith: Imagine in Fort Lauderdale. I left my nice camera at home because I didn’t want to have to lug it around so instead I brought a smaller camera that didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I’ll chalk it up to User Error. The main focus of the Imagine conference had to do a lot with overcoming fears and hurts that may be keeping us from living life to its fullest. One speaker in particular, Dr. Henry Cloud, talked a lot about recovery and co-dependency. He told us a story about a dad who came to him and was concerned about his son’s drug and lifestyle “problems”. The dad had been feeding into his son’s behaviors by helping him and saving him at every turn. Henry asked the dad where his son was, and he said, “He’s in Colorado skiing.” Henry told him that his son doesn’t have a problem. The dad had the problem because he was the one taking on the worries of this other person’s bad behaviors. We should be givers, but there comes a point when we have to tell some people NO because we end up becoming co-dependent.

Left to Right: Me, Cathy and Sandy (Photo taken by Karen Bennett - one of the sweet ladies that Sandy introduced me to at the conference)

One really exciting thing for me was that I was able to bring a lady from my church with me to the conference. I had never met her (Sandy) until a few weeks before the trip. She saw my post on Facebook about attending the conference, and she asked if I was going with anyone, and things seemed to fit into place so that she was able to go with me. God works in such cool ways! I was a little nervous about going on a trip with someone that I didn’t know that well, especially because I was afraid that we’d have nothing to talk about. Turns out, I worried for nothing. Sandy introduced me to several ladies she knew from our hometown that were at the event. They welcomed me into their circle with open arms.

I have read a couple of books by the speakers at the event, but I had never heard them in person before. They shared their personal stories with us that make you ache inside, but also make you see that God gives hope and peace amidst the storms. Every story was unique, but one thing remained constant…God’s grace. I admire Angie Smith, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper and Nicole Johnson who boldly shared their stories and allowed God to use them to speak to other women that may be going through a similar situation. I can’t say that I’ve ever faced anything like these ladies have faced, but I know that there are women out there who have. If you’re in a place of fear, worry, anxiety, helplessness, etc. then I think you’ll benefit highly from this conference.

The lovely ladies of MaryMary

And lastly, I can’t forget the worship leaders and MaryMary who did an excellent job leading us in worship to our great God. Music for me is therapy for the soul, and being in an arena full of thousands of women singing praises to God is breathtaking.

Women of Faith is wrapping up it’s 2011 tour this weekend with WOF Imagine in Hartford, Connecticut. If you didn’t get a chance to attend a Women of Faith event this year, no worries. 2012 promises to be another exciting year for WOF with Celebrate, Women of Faith ONE DAY and the revolve TOUR: Dream On.

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Women of Faith: Imagine October 5, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Ministry,Women of Faith — Jessi @ 12:53 pm

At the end of this month, I will be attending my first ever women’s conference… Women of Faith: Imagine in Fort Lauderdale.  I’ve been to many conferences before, but never one for JUST women. I’m really excited and a  bit nervous. Large crowds scare me, and large crowds of women are even more intimidating. I consider myself to be a friendly person, but when it comes to making deep heartfelt connections with other women, they’re few and far between.

So a few things that I’m looking forward to at the Women of Faith conference Oct. 28th – 29th…

1. Connecting with other ladies on a more personal level…possibly producing a lasting friendship.

2. Natalie Grant and Mary Mary…Being led in worship by some very powerful voices from some killer artists!! YES, please!

3. Diving deeper into my faith so that I can more effectively share it with others.

4. Laughing so hard that my face hurts.

5. Speakers…like Angie Smith (writer of the new release What Women Fear), Sheila Walsh, Lucie Swindoll and Lisa Harper, (who’s book, Stumbling Into Grace, I happen to be reading right now).

If you’re going to the WOF conference in Fort Lauderdale, I’d love to meet up with you and connect.

 

Baptism on the Beach August 31, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Ministry — Jessi @ 1:23 pm

Pastor Scott baptized this group of new believers. I had never been to a beach baptism... that is until this past Sunday. The setting was gorgeous and a really special moment for everyone involved. It's always a joy to celebrate with new believers and welcome them into the family...God's family.

Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 

Jensen Beach, Jensen Beach June 3, 2011

Filed under: Family,Married Life,Ministry — Jessi @ 2:23 pm

I’ve been off the blog for several months, but BIG transitions are in the forecast for Team Whitt. We’re moving… in 24 days to be exact. I just couldn’t hold the news in any longer. Billy (so proud of my husband) has accepted a position as Associate Pastor of Media and Worship at Sunlight Community Church in Port Saint Lucie, FL. You don’t know how excited I am for warm temperatures year round! Ok, so the warm temps aren’t everything, but it’s an added bonus. The community in PSL and people at SCC were super welcoming, and we instantly connected with the staff and praise team when we visited back in April.

I am really excited for where God is leading us. That being said, I’m also thankful for where God has had us for the past 4 years. We’ve made several friends that have seen us through the ups and downs. I believe that God has used these past 4 years to mold us and prepare us for this next chapter in our lives.

We currently live in WV so we will be traveling almost 800 miles South with 10,000 lbs of STUFF, a 125 lb golden retriever, a cat and 2 JEEPS. Things could get a little crazy on the way down!

Please pray for sanity in the coming weeks!

 

Share the Love #1 February 16, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Ministry,Wade Center — Jessi @ 10:23 am

This past weekend for Valentine’s Day, the small group that my husband and I lead spread a little cheer at a local retirement home. A couple of the college girls in our group got together with their friends and made homemade Valentine’s for the residents. We played Valentine’s Day Bingo and sang/played a variety of musical tunes. One of my favorite moments was when my husband Billy called out “boyfriend” as a Bingo word, and one of the ladies sitting up front asked him if he wanted to be her boyfriend. So precious! Caring for others truly is my passion. Thanks to my small group for helping make this special day happen! I hope this is the first of many opportunities we have to Share the Love of Christ to people in a tangible way.

Check out some of our pics.

 

Thanks-GIVING December 1, 2010

Filed under: Holidays,Inspiration,Ministry — Jessi @ 3:59 pm
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I know it’s a little late for a Thanksgiving post, but I can’t stop replaying my day over in my mind. Bill and I did something a little different for Thanksgiving this year. We volunteered at our local mission by serving Thanksgiving meals and groceries to the less fortunate in our small community of Bluefield, West Virginia.

I met so many volunteers who willing gave up a portion of their day to serve others! One volunteer in particular Glen Carlyle made a huge impression on me. I met Glen while bagging groceries, and we had the typical introductions… How are you? What’s your name? Yada, yada, yada… Where are you from? Glen, “Alabama.” Me, “What, wow!” This man drove all the way from Alabama to West Virginia just to serve his “neighbors”. That’s just amazing to me!

While most of the volunteers stayed inside on the grocery packing assembly line, I had the opportunity to help recipients carry their items to their vehicles or for some up the street to their homes. It may not be the most glamorous job, but it’s right up my alley. Forming relationships and interacting one-on-one are my middle name! My cup was full of joy all day, but it was also full of sadness. How it can be both at the same time I can’t explain, but my heart just broke knowing that this may be the only meal some families will eat all week. I wanted to do more, give more, but all I could do was carry their groceries, listen to their stories and share kind words with them.

We served an amazing 700 people! We gave them food. They gave me a bigger heart for ministry!