In April, my circle of "besties" had planned a special birthday lunch for me at M Kitchen, including sushi, keylime pie, flowers and gifts...my favorites with some of my favorite people on the planet. Melissa, Sharon, Julie (who came down from Greenville), Allison, and Melodie joined me in person, while Beth sent a precious message, Yvonne a sweet card, and Julie and I were able to FaceTime with Yvette (who lives in Kentucky.) My soul sisters. Melissa asked me a question after opening our time in prayer and reading from Scripture: What did I see this year holding and what did I hope to accomplish? A new book?
Honestly, I was in such a giddy, celebratory mood, so excited to have my girlfriends all together, that I was caught unprepared for such serious contemplation. I later laughed and thought that if that had been the Miss America on-stage question, I surely would’ve lost that pageant! All I could think of at the moment was how excited I was to be heading to ski with Ross and Brianna in Denver over spring break, and then go to Disney World with Hannah and Clayton in December!
She read from Psalm 90, and these verses stayed with me: v. 10-11, "As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away." v.12, "So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom." This was my double nickel birthday. That’s a big one. In ten years I will officially be a senior citizen, can it be so? Raising my children went much quicker than I had anticipated. I look back now and realize how the years flew by. I love Sharon’s response to answer the question as we mulled over it together later: "I’m OK as long as I am walking closely with Jesus, knowing He will direct me in that day to do what it is that He has set out for me to do. Not flying by the seat of my pants, but seeking Him daily and walking closely with him." Because the truth of the matter is that when we see Jesus clearly, we will follow Him more closely.
After lunch, Julie and I went for a ride in her convertible, top down, laughing, talking. She said that our relationship has been one full of joy and pain, and that’s what makes our friendship what it is. Lifelong. The theme for the retreat the next day for which I was speaking on the North Carolina coast ironically enough was "Time: Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven."
As Allison, Julie, Sharon and I had time to just sit and be together at the beach last week, I am deeply grateful for these sisterfriends the Lord has allowed me to walk alongside "for such a time as this." Yes, our days are numbered. Oh, may we seek to gain a heart of wisdom as we continue to live each day, hand in hand, heart to heart, seeking to follow Jesus closely. Together.
As Sister Sledge sings, "We are family!" I got all my sisters with me!"
We ARE family,
June: 6/9: a.m. Pine Grove Baptist (Lugoff, SC) p.m. Kelleytown Baptist (Hartsville, SC) 6/16: Father's Day 6/23: a.m. Belin Memorial UMC (Murrell's Inlet, SC) p.m. available 6/30: a.m. Mt. Horeb UMC (Lexington, SC) p.m. available
July: 7/7: a.m. Pacolet Mills Baptist (Pacolet Mills, SC) p.m. available 7/14: a.m. Clemson UMC (Clemson, SC) p.m. available 7/21: a.m. available p.m. New Life Baptist (Union, SC) 7/28: a.m. & p.m. available
August: 8/4: a.m. & p.m. available 8/11: a.m. & p.m. available 8/18: a.m. & p.m. Grace Baptist (Florence, SC) 8/25: a.m. holding p.m. available
Ministry at a Glance May closed out a very busy spring season, and what a wonderful and blessed time it was. Thank you to everyone that hosted me: Clarice Hagerman and the WMU of Providence Baptist Church in Leesville, SC, what a lovely Ladies' Tea you hosted; Pastor Jason and Claudia Brewer at Mullins Presbyterian Church in Mullins, SC for welcoming me back as your guest speaker for Ladies' Day; Janice Holdman and Grace Covenant Church of God in New Ellenton, SC as we all enjoyed your elegant Mother/Daughter Magnolia Tea; and pastor Kelvin and Greta Hinson and Flint Ridge Baptist in Flint Ridge, SC. I count each of you my dear friends, and thank God for allowing us to serve alongside one another in sharing the Gospel of Jesus together. This Sunday I am excited to be kicking off my summer concert series, and enjoying a bit of a slower pace here at home.
Funnies from the Road
When a 2 hour drive turns into an almost 3 hour drive after being up since 5:00 a.m., you trust there is a reason (beyond the fact that you are blonde and you were having such a good conversation with your friend (Yvonne Howard) that you did't even realize that you were going in the opposite direction) and choose to be thankful to be safely home and heading for a later than anticipated but oh so welcomed nap on the couch. #Iampretty
Back to reality can be all too real sometimes, can’t it? After a wonderfully restful vacation, I am grateful, happy to be home with my fur babies. After driving home from the beach Monday, not 1, not 2, but 3 piles of poop were discovered in the basement as I was rushing to vacuum up 8 days of dog hair before my 4:30-6:30 students came. Barefoot, the house a wreck, still not unpacked, I had just sat down to email my summer students’ families a quick reminder of lesson times before resuming clean-up when a mom and her 2 little girls, brand new students, arrived at 3:00. While they are scheduled for Wed., they had asked to come Mon. this week. I had failed to write this down and knew I had Tuesday to go pick up their brand new beginner piano books in plenty of time. Sun. night I was watching a movie with my bestie in an oceanfront condo after going out to dinner. Mon. night I was shampooing carpet after grabbing a Twix mini and some tortilla chips. Isn’t life a funny thing? Still haven’t unpacked. Nothing to do but do the next thing and laugh (to keep from crying.) Back to REALity.
On the Homefront
Mother's Day weekend included a rare pedicure with Allison, a wonderful service in my home church, and lunch with Yvonne Howard.
Sammy and I enjoy our (almost) daily visits with my "adopted" mother/neighbor Martha.
"Miss Aunt Dawn" is one of my most beloved titles, and I so loved getting to see Birkes and Page in their championship coach's pitch game (they won!), gymnastics meet and first dance recital. Oh how the memories flooded this mama's heart as the ball game and dance recital both were where I once watched Ross and Hannah do the very same things.
A gift I will treasure... when I arrived in Denver in April, Ross & Brianna had this precious early Mother’s Day gift wrapped and waiting for me. How thankful this mama’s heart is.
My 28 music students finished the year well, with 24 performing in our end-of-the-year recital presented to family, friends, and residents at Still Hopes Retirement Community's Keenan Auditorium.
"Fake Aunt Dawn" is another of my favorite titles, and what a beautiful celebration it was as my college roommate/"longest" bestie "Aunt" Julie Caldwell's youngest Hudson married his beloved Sara.
To close out the busy month of May, what a breath of fresh air my annual week at God's glorious SC coast was. Thank you again, Tom Moore, General Manager of Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront Myrtle Beach for your gracious hospitality to us. If you are looking for a wonderful place to vacation, they are Christian owned and operated, family friendly, and absolutely wonderful in every way.
This year I had a (friends like) family vacation and it was so much fun. Allison and her girls were able to join me the first weekend, Julie came down for a few days, and then Sharon spent the last weekend with me. Vitamin Sea, my besties, perfect weather, beach days spent in my chair with a good book til the sun went down were just what the Great Physician ordered. Sleep, eat, read, talk, sing, laugh. Repeat. I read 3 good books and started a 4th, and came home rested, refreshed, and rejuvenated body, mind, and spirit.
Supporting Jordan Ministries
In the slower summer months, often times ministries like mine struggle financially. There are no women's conferences or retreats, and summer church schedules slow down, along with giving, due to summer vacations, camps, etc. In April when I was home on a rare Sunday morning in my home church, Newspring Church of Columbia, SC, my pastor Alden Ellis had texted me the day before. He was confirming that I would be in the service that Sunday, saying he had something to give me. I was thinking it was going to be a birthday card or something like that since it was the week after my birthday. He, our precious Women's Ministry Director, Ashley Jones, and I stepped into a meeting room, and Alden handed me an envelope. Our church tithes 10% of everything the Lord brings into our church regularly, and Alden began to tell me that in staff meeting that week, it was unanimous that Jordan Ministries receive the very unexpected, generous contribution to my ministry. I could hardly speak, and if you know me, you know I am NEVER speechless. The tears began to roll down my cheeks as I hugged them repeatedly, thanking them for this most unexpected gift. Alden spoke such life-giving words to me, saying that even though I am out most Sundays in ministry, my church family back home loves me, prays for me, and supports me. How humbled, grateful and blessed I am to be a part of my No Ordinary Family.
In 32 years of ministry, I have never taken a sabbatical, simply because I have been unable to financially. As Ashley and I had just recently been talking about the importance of rest for those who are ministers of the Gospel, she just returning from a 3-week sabbatical of her own, clearly this is the Lord's provision for me. While I am sharing in concert ministry this summer, I am able to take a slower pace and have some down time here at home, deeply grateful for the respite. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Alden and Newspring Church for your generous support, love, prayers, and encouragement.
While I have never had a set fee that I charge any church that has welcomed me into their sanctuaries, God has always been faithful to meet every need as He has called me to live by faith. Should you feel led of the Lord to come alongside Jordan Ministries with a one-time gift, or monthly gift, please know that Jordan Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all gifts are tax-deductible.
If you wish to mail a check, please make it payable to Jordan Ministries and mail to
P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063.
Here is the link that will take you directly to our online giving option. (Click Here)
You may also scan the QR code to the right for electronic giving.
Thank you for your prayerful support as Allison and I continue to serve God and His people for His glory alone.
On the Road Again
Sunday, June 9th
Pine Grove Baptist