As I drove almost 2 hours early on the first Saturday morning of June to share my story and music with some sweet ladies at a church in the Charlotte, NC area (Wilson Grove Baptist), I was struggling. My daughter and new son-in-law were in town on Friday night for a wedding that next day, and had asked about staying with me that night. That is until I told them I had to leave by 8:00 a.m.Saturday for a ministry commitment. They then decided to stay with her dad and stepmom, and I understood. As I drove, I had a conversation with the Lord about how hard it was to do what He had called me to do at times, not knowing if I would be able to see my children before they headed back to Charleston where they now live. The ONLY Saturday that I had a ministry commitment this entire month was the one weekend they were home. At the conclusion of the women's ministry event, a precious woman came over to me with tears in her eyes, hugged me and told me that her sister and sister-in-law had gone on a weekend trip and she had not been invited, and was very hurt, not understanding why she had not been included. Then she told me that she now knew why, because the Lord had wanted her to be right there that morning, and how He had very specifically spoken to her, as if every word I shared was directly from Him for her. How grateful I was, and told her of my own struggle that morning and how much her words meant to me. As I walked in the door at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, my daughter texted me to say they were coming by, and we enjoyed an hour visit that included homemade brownies this mama whipped up to go on ice cream sundaes and banana splits, which truly was the cherry on top. Sometimes when we walk in obedience to the Father, it won't be easy, but we step out in faith anyway, trusting that He sees, and is working in ways we cannot see but we will simply choose to trust Him. And He cared not only about that precious woman that day, but also about this mama who was desperately missing her daughter and longing to see her, hug her, and simply enjoy her company before she had to go back to her own new life. He is so good. Scripture says He is a God who sees. He sees you, He sees me. He knows the struggle, the conflict in our hearts and souls on many days when the choices are difficult ones. And once again, He did above and beyond all I could have ever hoped or imagined in a simple choice to be where He called me to be that day. Yes, often times the cost of obedience requires self-sacrifice, and as my friend Lisa Shaw wrote on facebook to me in response to my sharing this story, "Sometimes we obey & never fully see the reasons God is working on. And His rewards are even sweeter than the desserts." And many times it is the very disappointments that turn into unexpected blessings. As one of my favorite songs says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."
Ministry at a Glance:
This past month I was honored to be with several different churches in ministry as well as attend all of the Miss South Carolina Pageant 80th Anniversary festivities. June 4th I traveled to Mint Hill, NC and had a wonderful time in the Lord with the ladies of Wilson Grove Baptist Church for their luncheon. On June 8th I spoke at the Easley First United Methodist Church for the Methodist Womenís Meeting. It was extra special to reconnect with a former Columbia College classmate Tracee Stewart Simpson while there. Just a few days later on June 12th I shared in a concert at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Saluda, SC.
The next week was spent walking down memory lane and reconnecting with my Miss South Carolina sisters and friends. Sunday, June 26th I shared in concert at Red Bank United Methodist Church in Lexington, SC. The day before, June 25th, would have been my sister Shari's 49th birthday, and it was such a sweet surprise to see her best friend from high school, Edie Taylor Key, her husband, and her mom there that evening. We exchanged hugs, tears, and special memories together. Then on Tuesday, June 28th I was so blessed to share some encouragement through music and testimony with the teachers at Hebron Day School at Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia, SC. However, I am the one that left encouraged by their sweet words of love and encouragement.
Looking forward to July my summer concert series is in full swing. I kick off July 10th with a morning and evening concert. At 11:00 a.m. I will be with Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Lancaster, SC, and 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church Bishopville, SC. July 17th I will be sharing in a community concert at Wightmon United Methodist Church in Prosperity, SC beginning at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 27th please join me in Chester, SC at First Baptist Church for a missions week concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. On July 29th, I am looking forward to being with the residents at Deepwood Estates for a concert that evneing. July 31st I will be with Round Hill Baptist Church in Lexington, SC for a morning concert at 10:30 a.m. That evening, at 6:00 p.m. I will be sharing a concert at Lexington Church of Christ in Lexington, SC. I would love to see you at any of these ministry events, and as always, appreciate your prayers as I am given the responsibility of sharing the Gospel of Jesus in these precious churches hosting me.
We are most grateful for a full summer concert calendar, and are excited to be scheduling Dawn's ministry calendar into the fall and 2017. Dawn is grateful to have had a somewhat slower June, but July and August are packed. To schedule her for your upcoming fall church event, women's conference or ladies' night out, Christmas concert, or in 2017, please email us at email@example.com or call (803)772-7747.
Funnies From the Road:
As we are living in an age when all of us are guilty of posting only our perfect pictures on social media, this is my favorite of all of the pictures taken at the Miss South Carolina Pageant last week. It is real, it is not poised or perfect, and makes me laugh every time I look at it. So have a good laugh right along with me and a few of my Miss SC sisters!
On the Home Front:
As the summer heat has descended upon us here in Columbia, our "famously hot" city, I made a special trip to Wal-Mart to purchase one of those big blue, blow-up pools that I used to have every summer for my own children. Now that they are both grown and on their own, I am thoroughly enjoying being Aunt Dawn to my 3-year-old nephew Birkes and his sister, 6-month-old Page. Pool days here at my house are a highlight for us as we enjoy the pool, and sweet time spent together here. Pizza, ice cream, ice pops, and my sweet sis-in-law Caroline and her equally sweet hubby Casey and I have all fit into this $48 10 by 2.5 foot pool! Allison and her 2 little ones came over for a pool day too, and so far, this was definitely a good investment into summer fun.
I loved it that on the first Sunday afternoon this month I got a text from Hannah asking me what I was doing that next Monday, inviting me to come spend the day with her in Charleston. You know this mama cleared her calendar immediately, and Cookie and I hit the road for a day trip to see hers and Clayton's adorable new little home/apartment. Hannah and I took Blue and Cookie to the beautiful dog park there on James Island, where the dogs enjoyed a cool dip in the lake. Hannah and I enjoyed shopping, lunch, a walk on the beach and pier at Folly Beach, then the 3 of us went out for seafood after Clayton got out of dental school before I headed back to Columbia that evening after such a wonderful day with my beloveds.
Our church had a summer cook-out and it was so much fun to enjoy time with friends.
My college roommate/friend Julie's daughter Sally's wedding was June 18th, and Hannah, Clayton and I enjoyed attending their beautiful celebration. It has been such a fun spring/summer sharing in the role of MOB with 2 of my dearest friends.
The Miss South Carolina Pageant's 80th Anniversary was June 20-25 at the Township Auditorium here in Columbia, SC, and it was so much fun to reconnect with my Miss SC sisters and friends. On Monday night I was asked to sing my original talent from 1986 (yes, 30 years ago!) at the Crowned Cabaret, an evening of former Miss SC state and local title holders from over the years to benefit the Children's Miracle Network. What fun it was to share my aria, "Ah! Je Veux Vivre" from Romeo and Juliet, and enjoy other contestants' talents. I must admit I was so glad I had sung 30 years ago, as one of my friends, Lorri Shealy Unumb, had danced, and she came back and did a fabulous job! Though missing Hannah and Ross as they always accompanied me to the pageant, this year I once again enjoyed the company of my 2 sweet "dates", Lauren Cone and Laurel MacCallum. Having worked with 7 contestants in the Miss SC and Miss SC Teen Pageants coaching them for talent competition, I am so proud of each of them. Britney Ernest, my piano/voice student did a beautiful job in the Miss SC Teen Pageant, as did another of my voice students, MaCayla Ratcliffe, who won the non-finalist talent award. Anna Mills Polatty, a precious little sister in Jesus, was named 3rd-runner-up to Miss SC, and I was so proud of her, privileged to have worked with her over the last 3 years on her journey to Miss SC. As "Forever Miss SC's", we enjoyed catching up with each other, and I especially always love seeing the beautiful Miriam Stevens Breckenridge, Miss SC 1953/Miss America finalist, Miss SC USA/Miss USA/Miss Universe 1954! I am truly privileged to be a part of this unique group of women and sisters. While exhausting, I wouldn't have missed it for anything, and look forward to returning again next year.
July will be a very special month as both of my children have birthdays. Hannah will be 23, and Ross 20. I have my airline ticket and will be flying to Denver to visit Ross and Brianna, having not seen him since August 31st, as they pulled away for the long drive, much too long for this mama! I am counting down the days when I get to see my son in person, hug him, and kiss his precious face. Oh how I have missed him, and can't wait to take in Denver in the summer since I have only been in the wintertime. Thankful to be living in the age of smart phones where we are able to facetime several times a week, but truly thankful for frequent flyer miles taking me out there in just a few short weeks.
Hoping you enjoy some time with your family and friends over these long, hot summer days, and find refreshment in doing so.
This month, instead of a Product Spotlight, we want to remind you that Dawn's family's story that was depicted in the original CBS made-for-TV movie, "Nightmare in Columbia County" that also aired on Lifetime Television, is now on Netflix under the title "Victim of Beauty." Click here to view it.
The summer is a good time to have a family movie night and be inspired by a family's faith in the face of tragedy.
Dawn's Blog Amazing Grace Notes
My new blog is entitled "Amazing Grace Notes," and I would love to invite you to join me at http://dawnsmithjordan.blogspot.com/
for regular updates.
As you are prayerfully considering becoming a monthly partner, or sending a one time gift to Jordan Ministries remember all gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, Jordan Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Make your donation to Jordan Ministries, and mail them to P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063. Thank you for partnering with us through your financial gifts and prayers.
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Sunday, July 10
Tabernacle United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 10
First Baptist Church Bishopville
Sunday, July 17
Wightmon United Methodist Church
Wednesday, July 27
First Baptist Church Chester
Mission Week Community Concert
Friday, July 29
Sunday, July 31
Round Hill Baptist Church
Sunday, July 31
Lexington Church of Christ
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
A Note from Allison
Every month when I sit down to type my "Hodge-Podge" section of the newsletter containing my thoughts/musings/life lessons, I. am. stumped! And I often find myself thinking about a friend I have that writes the most beautiful, spiritual, thought provoking posts on Facebook. And 99% of them come from a revelation God has given her through one of her children. She sees their everyday actions and hears their daily discussions and questions and somehow she gets this incredible revelation of God and who He is, and how He sees and relates to us...and I think, wow! I just see dirty clothes, and a kid who wont put her shoes on and get frustrated. I sometimes feel so angry at myself and "un-spiritual" that I couldn't see God in those situations. Like I've missed something and am failing. But I have to remind myself that God also gives each of us different gifts and talents. Even if he revealed these things to me, I might not be able to relay those messages as eloquently as she does or to reach as many people. But God gives me abilities in different areas, in which He uses for His glory in a different way. So let's remind ourselves (me included) to not compare ourselves to others, and how God uses them versus how He uses us. Rather, let's pray for God to show us what he enabled us with and ask Him to grow that in us. And to open doors for that talent or ability to be used more and more for His glory and sharing Him.