Welcome to the start of a new series of blogs for my site. One of the greatest opportunities in life is to be in relationship with other people; God created us to be in a loving relationship with Him and we are to live that out in our daily lives with others as well. Over the years I have gotten an opportunity to spend time with some incredible people, and I thought, “Why don’t I let you on the other side of the internet get a chance to meet and hear the passions of these people that have influenced my life so much”. So, every Thursday I will (hopefully) post a new “Being the Way You Were Made.” I hope that these people will touch your life, just like they have touched mine.
Since this Thursday is Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be only fitting to start with my lovely and talented wife, Heather. We met in early Fall of 2002 and have been together ever since, getting married on May 13, 2005. We have had numerous adventures, a few arguments, and a lot of love shared over the years. She is working on her Masters in Counseling here at Asbury and hopes to one day to be a ministry resource for the UM church and offer preventative family counseling and educational opportunities, as well as marriage and career guidance. She is a great writer (with a published poetry book, Leave a Light On, by Heather Cartwright to prove it) and editor as well, including this post.
1. Name a formative experience in your relationship with God?
How long do I have again? I think one of the times that has really challenged and shaped my relationship with God is when I stopped playing softball. It was one of the hardest decisions and times of my life, but one that God was asking of me. It was so difficult to walk away from 13+ years of competitive softball that had been such a large focus of my time, effort, and passion (false idol?!). However, as I’ve learned, choosing to walk God’s path requires tough choices, but also returns abundant blessings. I knew that if I really wanted an authentic relationship with God, that this was a sacrifice I had to make. God, being merciful and desiring goodness for His children, helped make the decision a bit easier; I needed knee surgery. Bonus: Choosing God over softball led me to OCU, which led me to you. God’s Master Plan!
2. What have been the wows and the pows of moving to Kentucky, and how have you dealt with those?
Wows and Pows, aww the days. A few pows have been the distance from family and friends, and Sooner football every Saturday. I think the biggest pow has just been change and adjustment in general. It has been very lonely at times (I really miss hugs every morning from Emily and Hallie), very demanding at school, and very busy with work. Not having a solid support system near is hard. But change brings growth, and growth brings us one step closer to the person God desires me to be.
A few Wows! God’s provision has been amazing! Even though it has been tough, God has given us all we need so far, providing money, jobs, scholarships, and new friends. Our families are supporting us in prayers and other means. We have a beautiful house (thanks to your parents), which feels like home more each day, and great friends to watch LOST with. Plus, with technology, the people we love are only a call or email away.
Wows and Pows are a reference to the way that we shared our joys and concerns with her first youth group in Seminole.
3. In your calling to work with families, what do you see as the most pressing issues to be addressed?
I think the breakdown of families is one of the most pressing issues. We have families who are busier than ever and vital time together is slipping away. Parents choose or have to work, work is more demanding and pays less, so you get struggling families with more demands, less time, more stress, and fewer connections. Also, kids are scheduled for everything under the sun, and parents are running them to and fro, or someone else is. By the time everyone is home, fed, work is done, and everyone is settled, there is little time or little energy left to spend quality time just being together and loving and growing with each other. God desires for families to spend time with one another, and together with Him, and when we don’t, foundations start to crack. I also think finding better ways to support single parents financially, emotionally, and educationally is something that churches and communities need to address. There’s more, but, you said keep it short. Let’s just say, love and communication.
4. What have you learned in your almost 3 years of marriage?!?!
Are we digging for compliments? What have you learned?
I have learned that I learn something new about you almost everyday, and that keeps things interesting. That being married should be considered a full time job and blessing. That compromise doesn’t always mean you end up with what you want, but sometimes it does. That you can get annoyed by nothing at all, and that’s okay, but it’s important to give fair warning. That I love the way I want to be loved, but that may not be how you need to be loved. That love is a choice everyday. That God must be at the center, and first in each of our lives.
That everyday with you has been a journey, and I wouldn’t change a step.
I’m not digging for compliments because I don’t need to! The biggest thing I have learned is that it takes a lot of effort to love. Not that at times it doesn’t come naturally, but other times it is easier to just space out instead of being there for someone else and recognizing their needs and desires.
5. How is God moving in your life right now and how can we pray for you.
God is really working on my heart by asking me to depend on Him completely. To let go of my control, and trust in His plans and His timing. There is so much that I want, or that I think I have planned, and God wants me to wait on Him and let Him lead. Day by day. I know He will never let go and will guide my steps. Pray for strength and courage to let go and let God. That the right job, friends, scholarship, and plan will come in the right time and place. His perfect will.
Thank you Heather. If you like her answers here feel free to check out her blog
. Tune in next Thursday for our next “Being the Way You Were Made”