Happy April 2nd! I am in Tyler, TX as we are sending this greeting your way, though I am writing it from my home office overlooking the most glorious fuchsia, white, and hot pink azaleas, underneath our blooming dogwood trees. It is a beauty I have to enjoy from the inside, because pollen is not a good friend of mine. This has been a season of sickness for me, as I seemingly went straight from the winter crud that so many of us suffered from into allergy season. Ross & I have had a time, but seem to finally be turning a corner, thankfully. Tis the season...
I asked Jennifer if she would like to share something this time around, as she is such an integral part of this ministry, not to mention a very gifted writer. She has just begun her 5th year of serving as Jordan Ministries' Schedule Coordinator, and is not only a joy for me to work/serve with, but also such a blessing to all of the churches and hosts, while being a precious friend to me. I am always both challenged and encouraged by what she has to say...
God knew that I had the potential to be an especially arrogant and self-righteous parent. So He entrusted my husband and I with some kids that struggle with some particular challenges to open our eyes to a greater extent of our need for His grace. On a daily basis we have to work through the joys and challenges of kids with ADHD, generalized anxiety and an autism spectrum disorder. As a particularly prideful person I often have to struggle through what other people are thinking, how incompetent I look as a parent in public sometimes....but then in private I have to work through how utterly helpless I feel to know how to respond appropriately. In spite of it all, the lessons we are learning along the way are beginning to open my eyes to the gift that our children's struggles are to all of us. The other evening, after an especially difficult day for one of my girls, in which she had made a number of bad decisions and had experienced the consequences, we were sitting on her bed talking through the events together. She looked at me with tears running down her face and said: "I just wish there were a rewind button that I could push so I could start this day all over again." I thought about her comment and realized that we actually have a better button than a rewind button. Because the truth is that if we could live a day over again we might not make the same mistakes, but we certainly would make different ones.
But Jesus has provided a better button altogether. It's the erase button. "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1. John 1:9)
How many times have we not all wished we could do something all over from the beginning....only to realize that no matter how we do it, without Jesus we mess it up each time. I'm so thankful that He hit the erase button when He died on the cross for my sins. And I'm so thankful I have some really good news (the Gospel itself!) to share with my little ones on the hard days. Dawn talks a lot about choosing not to live in the past - how we are prone to wish we could live the past over again; do things differently. Have you let Jesus hit the erase button on the things in life you know aren't pleasing to Him? If not - why wait any longer? We'd love to tell you more about what that means - or I'm sure your pastor would love to chat with you as well. Let us hear from you. (The picture above was taken of our three kids at the Teva games in Vail this summer...there are perks to living at 9000 feet elevation and one of them is getting to visit some fun new places!)
March/April Ministry At a Glance:
March was so full of God's blessings. I love surprises! I was asked by my new friend Dr. Debbi Dunlap of Miles Road Baptist Church in Summerville, SC if I would be willing to lead worship for their women's prayer retreat in beautiful Black Mountain, NC March 2-4. If you noticed, the prayer retreat hosting church was not named specifically in our last newsletter or on our website. I had the privilege of speaking for their fall women's retreat back in October of 2011, and she wanted my participation in their prayer retreat to be a surprise. What fun that was! It was a God-ordained-divine appointment for me personally, as I felt such a kinship with Debbi when we met in October, and loved their ladies so. She is Director of Family Counseling at Miles Rd. while also the Director of Women's Ministries, the mother of 10 children, and a widow that one week after her husband's unexpected death, took over his counseling practice. But little did I know how much more there was to her story, as she shared with us at the prayer retreat. My life will never be the same, and our hearts are knitted together as sisterfriends from this day forward. We spent over an hour in her room Saturday night laughing and crying all at the same time, and it was obvious that the Lord brought this dear lady into my life.
I was thrilled to return to New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, SC and be with my sweet friend Cindy Pilkinton, Director of Women's Ministries, and with their ladies (5th grade & up) on March 24th as we focused on "Beauty From the Inside Out", what true, godly beauty "looks" like, and then stayed over for their Sunday morning worship service to share special music and a brief testimony March 25th, being privileged also to hear their pastor Brian Buckner preach with such power and conviction. Saturday night I got to meet my college roommate and dear friend of 30 years, Julie Caldwell, for dinner and Starbucks, as she lives in Easley. There is nothing like getting together with a good girlfriend over Mexican and coffee to refresh and encourage the soul.
This weekend I will be back in Texas, where I spent 3 years in the DFW area earlier in life. Saturday I am speaking/singing for First Baptist Church of Jefferson, TX's Ladies' Conference, then staying over to share a mini-concert in their Sunday morning service (March 31st-April 1st), reconnecting with the pastor, Jeff Taylor, and his wife that were also in TX for their seminary days the same time I mentioned earlier. That evening I will share a concert at Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore, TX, then Monday, April 2nd, return to be with my friends Billy Bob & Cindy Dempsey, in their church of First Baptist Church of Tyler for a Ladies' Night Out, where I was a few summers ago. On April 10th, I will head to Siloam Baptist Church in Easley, SC for their Ladies' Night Out, then to Murrells Inlset, SC for Belin Memorial United Methodist Church's Ladies' Conference, and stay over to sing special music in their Sunday morning service, April 21st & 22nd. That night I will be at Kingstree United Methodist Church in Kingstree, SC for the Megan Piatt Memorial Scholarship Concert. I am so grateful for each and every opportunity God allows me to share the ministry He has entrusted to me.
From the Home Front:
March has been a very busy month for our family, as Ross has played for the Irmo JV Lacrosse team, with the final 2 games of the season this week, while Hannah began working as a hostess at Ruby Tuesday. Ross scored his first goal the night that my brother Robert came to see him play, so that was extra exciting. Hannah and her boyfriend, Clayton Little made a day trip to Atlanta to audition for the TV show The Voice. Though they didn't make it past the first round, they had a great time and an experience of a lifetime. Both continue to do exceptionally well in school, and I am such a proud & blessed mama. So many folks ask me where they stay when I am gone, especially on long trips like the one I took in February to Oregon, or this weekend in Texas. I am grateful that their dad and step-mom live in town, and these trips allow them time to spend with them, while giving me peace of mind in knowing that they are well-cared-for.
I know your family is looking forward to celebrating Easter as much as ours. May it be a joyful celebration this year as you remember that Jesus hit the erase button for us when He died on the cross for our sins and conquered death in His resurrection that glorious first Easter morning. He is risen indeed!
We are making three Mother's Day Specials available. These specials include shipping and handling and give you the options of 3 CD's for $25, 2 CD's for $15 and one CD for $10. Songs included are "A Mother's Prayer," "A Love that Leads to You," and a new release "Watching My Heart." These CD's will be a tremendous encouragement to mothers and mother figures in your life. For more information see www.dawnsmithjordan.com.
First Baptist Church
Forest Home Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Siloam Baptist Church
Belin Memorial United Methodist Church
Murrel's Inlet, SC
Megan Piatt Memorial Scholarship Fund Concert
Kingstree United Methodist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
At this time Dawn is opening up her summer concert calendar to churches within driving distance of Columbia, SC on a love-offering basis during the months of June/July/August, asking only that her expenses be covered. We would love to hear from you if you would be interested in hosting Dawn as a part of your summer concert series!
Little Dale Tales
We have a lot of favorite stories - but one of them is of my middle child when she was at the doctor's office. She was about 3 years old at the time I think. We had been working hard with the kids to teach them to say please and thank you and to be polite and weren't sure if the lesson had stuck or not. It was time for her shots and just as most kids do, she cried and was pretty upset in the doctors office. The tears dried not too long after and we were heading out the door when she turned around in the waiting room and yelled at the top of her lungs for the doctors, nurses, and patients to hear: "THANK YOU FOR MY SHOTS!!" I could hear everyone in the office chuckling as we left!