Sunday, January 10, 2016

Big News for the Everitts!!

No, this is not a pregnancy or adoption announcement. But it’s big news for us! After years of praying, the Lord has told us the “time is now” to begin a new adventure. The Lord has opened the door for our family to join a church plant in urban Tampa. 

Beginning on February 1, we will “officially” join the Redeemer City Church plant. Kevin will partner with three other pastors and their families to form the launch team for this small plant in the city of Tampa (specifically the Channelside/Ybor City area). Kevin will serve as the Worship Pastor alongside of Mitch Kuhn, the Lead Pastor, a Creative Arts Pastor, and a Next Gen Pastor. We’re very excited to reach the inner city of Tampa. For many years Tampa struggled to maintain fruitful urban churches, but in the past years, we have a seen a movement of Christ take hold. Successful church plants have begun to take root, and we are thrilled to be a part of this wave to share Christ with the millions in Tampa. 

Kevin will be re-entering the banking world in February with the Bank of Tampa. He will maintain a full time “secular” career while working with RCC in the evenings and weekends. The other three pastors will be doing the same thing. We desire to pour available resources into the church. For the next few months, we are holding launch team meetings on Saturdays and Sundays with an official launch in the later spring! We’re very close to securing our building. Please be in prayer that all of the paperwork goes through quickly!

To learn a little more about the mission and vision of RCC, visit redeemertampa.com. The website is still in development, but you can catch the vision. 

We’ve listed our home with a great real estate agent and are praying for a quick sell. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, we will be house shopping in the Tampa area (Seminole Heights/Riverside Heights areas). If you know of anyone who is looking for a wonderful home in a quiet Ruskin neighborhood, have them check out our home. It’s well-loved and maintained since it was built. 

Mallory and Tabitha will remain at Seffner Christian as it will actually be a shorter commute than the 70 minute round trip commute that they take each day to and from Ruskin. So the shorter commute will be welcome!

We covet all of your prayers as we embark on this new adventure. We know the Lord is faithful to supply our needs as we make all of these transitions. It’s an amazing emotion knowing that the Lord is actively moving you to a new work. However, we are sad to leave our ministries at First Baptist Church in Ruskin. We have made great friends who we love like family. We are thankful that we’ll only be a 45 minute trip down to see them often. We love and will dearly miss the church members and especially our kids in the EDGE student ministry past and present. We love them like our own kids. Our last Sunday at FBC Ruskin is January 31. 

Now onto the next adventure God has prepared for us!!!





Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Annual Christmas Update

Every year since we were married, we have sent out a Christmas card and family update letter. This year, we thought it was time embrace more technology. We've still kept the traditional touch of a Christmas card that has been sent out to our friends and family near and far through snail mail. However, instead of the traditional letter, we directed you to our family blog (which you are now reading). This way you can see our year blow by blow through our posts. :)

As you can tell, we're getting a jump on things since Thanksgiving is just days away. This year has proved to be more busy than ever. So it was time to get ahead or get left in the dust of the holiday season.

The highlights of 2013 can be seen in the 7 or 8 blog posts below. Most importantly, we officially made it official with Tabitha. She took our name, "Everitt," and according to the laws of the land, she is ours forever and ever.  Even though she was ours from the moment we laid eyes on her, we have the paperwork to prove what was always true in our hearts. We continue to thank God every day for His perfectly laid plans for our lives with all the hormones, drama, taxi stops, volleyball practices, cheerleading uniforms, homework hours, youth activities, "coaching" sessions, car conversations, and night time prayers. We are officially the parents of a teenager!!!

May this Christmas season bring you love, joy, and hope with friends, family, and our Savior.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  ~Luke 2:10-12

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Birthday and Halloween!

We have a girl who you could consider a "Halloween baby." She was born just 7 days before this fun holiday. One year ago at this time, we had just begun our unsupervised visits with T. We weren't able to celebrate her 12th birthday on her actual birthday, but had a little time a few days later to celebrate with her. It didn't feel like we could give her all she deserved for a birthday, since we were on such tight restriction in visitation.

This year was our first big birthday bash. It was T's first big birthday of her life and her first "friends' party." She was turning 13, but it was like a first birthday. :) Instead of an actual birthDAY, she got a birth4days.

The blow by blow of her birthday:

Thursday, Oct 24-
Breakfast in bed with the "celebrate plate." (the plate our family eats on special celebration days).
Cookie cake brought to lunch for her class.
Dinner of her choice (Genghis grill.... where we took her last year for her birthday).

Friday, Oct 25-
Birthday concert with friends (Ashlynn, Cayla, Mackenzie, and Molly)
Finding Favour, Hawk Nelson, The Afters, and Building 429
Aunt JoJo, Auntie K, and Auntie Steph came, too!

Saturday, Oct 26-
Mom-Mom and Pop-pop fly in from PA to spend the weekend with her.
Shopping spree with her grandparents
Joint family birthday party with her fave cousin, Micaiah. (They are one day and one year apart)
18 people gather at Spaghetti Warehouse for a big party!

Sunday, Oct 27-
T gets to spend the entire day with Mom-mom and Pop-pop all to herself!

Once her birthday weekend ended, we ramped up for Halloween. Gigi made her a BEAUTIFUL Princess Belle costume. Hours were put into that dress to make it look perfect. She wore her mom's Homecoming Queen crown for 2001, and Mammaw found a huge crinoline to wear under the dress. She really did look like a princess. This was her first major Halloween costume!

On Wednesday, she went to our church's trunk or treat and fall festival. On Thursday, she decided that she wanted to give candy rather than receive it. So she sat in the drive way and passed out candy to all the little ones that came through the neighborhood. It was so cute to watch.

To top it all off, T made straight As on her report card!! Proud Mom/Principal moment!

November 21st will be our official first anniversary as life as a family under one roof. We're looking forward continuing our family traditions that we began building one year ago around this time. It's amazing to look back at this astounding journey. God is the Master Designer, and this was HIS perfect plan! We thank God for the prayers He answered in unconventional ways.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and this Sunday is "Orphan Sunday". Learn about ways you can be a part of caring for orphans even if you can not physically adopt or foster a child. www.orphansunday.org.


Breakfast in Bed

 on the way to the concert
 
 Waiting to get into the concert
 
 Dinner at Genghis Grill
 Birthday at school
 
 The concert
 Auntie K and Auntie Steph
 
 Joint birthday with thee favorite cousin!
 
 presents!
 
 Cake!
 
 New outfit from Aunt Jojo
 
 Mom-Mom and Pop-pop
 
 More dessert
 
 Princess Belle
 
 Ready for Trunk or Treat
 
 The homecoming crown gets "new life"
 
The report card!!!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why adoption...



It's been a year since we met T, and almost 2 years since we've began this adoption journey. I joyously I announced my "adoption pregnancy" on Facebook. "Adoption is the new pregnant." Since then, Kevin and I have shared our desire and joy to bring a child into our family. Many have asked the question, "Why Adoption? You're perfectly healthy and can have your own children. Why not have your own first then adopt?" This question never offended us. It gave us a chance to share our heart for adoption. I know we've shared on our blog in the past our desire to give a child a home and be a family to one without as the book of James calls us to care for orphans and widows. HOWEVER over the past 1-2 years, God has taught me even more about the beauty of adoption.

It also made me realize what a difference adoption has made in my own life and I am not referring to us adopting our T. I am talking about the moment that I was adopted into God’s family.

The Bible tells of the most beautiful adoption story every written. God’s intentions were for us to live with Him forever but sin destroyed that plan and separated us from God’s family.(Romans 3:23). And so God created adoption and a beautiful story of redemption was written. If you have put your trust in Christ, it’s your story of adoption, too.

God’s redemption plan included sending His Son to this earth in the form of a baby born to a virgin in the little town of Bethlehem. (Luke 2) Jesus lived on earth and then died on a cross as payment for our sins. (Luke 23). Three days later her rose from the dead and ascended back to Heaven to go and prepare a place for us to live for eternity. (Luke 24)

My life is completely different because God adopted me into His family. I was destined to be a life of no meaning that would ultimately end in death. But, at the moment that I gave my life to Jesus, He took me into His family and completely transformed me. Everything from my life before Christ has no bearing on who I am today.

It’s the miracle of adoption.

I’ve thought a lot about what T's life would be like had she not been adopted into our family. It is hard to even imagine her anywhere but with us. I shudder to even imagine where she would be if she stayed in that situation for any longer than what she was there. My eyes tear up when I even think about it. T was not born into our family and had she stayed with her birth family, her life would be totally and completely different than it is today. (We'll just leave it at that).

I was not born into God’s family and had I not accepted God’s free gift of salvation for me, my life would be totally and completely different than it is today. It's better, fuller, and purpose-filled. It's the joy of living in Christ (the family of God). Had I stayed in my sins, my life would be void and consumed with attempts to fill that void. God's love SAVED me from my hopeless situation and gave me hope and a family. That is true love!
Am I getting the parallel across? This is why the adoption is a picture of God's amazing love for us. If God did that for me, how could I not do that for a child here on earth who was without hope and family. God's love is healing and restoring. It heals all wounds, hurts, and scars. It's that love flowing through us that heals that child. We can love because He first loved us!! (I John 4:19)

Now, I'm thrilled and excited to see more children join our family through adoption as well. My sister and brother-in-law are adopting from Ethiopia. They are in a long and arduous process of bringing a child into their family on an international scale. While their obstacles may be slightly different than ours, it is still a labor of love for this child. Yay! More nieces or nephews! Bring that baby home!

You can follow their journey at www.kuhnadoption.com

Here we grow again!!!