Our wedding invitation reads:
Ashley Dawn Rosell and Joseph Earl Armstrong
Choosing to live the adventure…together.
Adventure has been a part of our marriage from the beginning. We believe life is better spent taking risks. (Read post: Big Things.)
To prove it…
We dated long-distance for 6 months and were engaged long-distance for 9 months.
On our honeymoon, an elk charged us while hiking in Flagstaff and we were kicked out of the national park in Sedona because we were “too close to the ledge.”
We lived in Baylor athletic student housing with men twice our height where Joey was the resident chaplain. RGIII lived above us…before he was a household name. And the next year we shared a two bedroom apartment with another couple to save money. So much fun!
We hitch-hiked in Slovenia for an entire summer, ministering to local rock climbers and outdoor athletes. We slept either in a tent or on a dirty tile floor. We documented six days that it did not rain. (Read posts: Bovec: A Memoir and Slovene Rain)
We traveled from Venice to Rome to Florence to Salzburg on a whim that same summer.
We worked three summers in Durango, CO as wilderness guides for a Christian adventure camp called Compass. (Read post: Water Gushed Out)
We house-broke (is that a word?) a lab puppy. (Read post: Jersey Girl)
After five years of marriage, we chose to have a child (and the Lord allowed). However, this child for whom we prayed may never walk and would have 8 major surgeries before his first birthday. We were told in the NICU he may be severely mentally handicapped and might never communicate with us. (Read post: The Valley)
I chose to leave a comfortable (though unsettling) job at a large gym and open a personal training studio with Angie, my training partner. She and her husband owned it and I helped manage it. All my clients followed.
Angie. My boss and partner. Client and trainer. Friend. Love you, girl.
We chose to get pregnant again (and the Lord allowed) despite the risk of having another child with disabilities. (Read post: Pink Bows)
We choose daily to expose Finn and all his beautiful differences to the world, risking our pain, his embarrassment, lots of staring and/or pointing, and even a little meanness. (Read post: On Being Different)
We followed God’s leading to Tulsa and to LifeChurch.tv, leaving a large, traditional denominational church and all the wonderful people we met there. We said goodbye to some of the most generous, fun friends we’ll ever encounter, but we’ve already said “hello” to such genuine, cool people in Tulsa, particularly at LifeChurch.tv. It’s truly an incredible ministry and we are humbled to be a part of it. (Read post: Let’s Go)
I believe good things come to those who risk; those who are willing to step out in faith, expecting God to show up–yet understanding that He may choose not to.
Pastor Craig delivered a fantastic sermon this evening on faith and risk.
“But without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6)
It’s one of the core values of our church:
“We are faith-filled, big-thinking, bet the farm risk-takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking or safe living.”
I love this. I can rally behind this.
Once, in high school, I asked the Lord to expand my faith. I’m not naturally a very faith-filled person. I’m skeptical, logical. I like to be in control. But the Lord answered my teenage prayer and has given me multiple opportunities over the years to increase my faith. And He proves true. Every time.
Joey and I’s latest “risk:” the Daniel Fast. Along with the LifeChurch.tv staff and attenders, we’re restricting our diet in the first 21 days of January to fruits, vegetables, whole grains (though Joey and I are choosing not to include whole wheat or tortillas), nuts and beans. No processed foods, sweeteners or chemicals. But we’re adding chicken. And coffee (I blame this on Paisley).
The goal here is to feed my spirit more than my flesh. Denying myself things I want will help me focus more on what I need. And the only thing I need more of is Jesus. Join us as we fast!
(Happy 60th Birthday, Terry! You’re a good one.)