Happy November! As I was prayerfully considering what the Lord would have me share with you this month, He clearly brought my mind to a blog post Jennifer had written earlier in the week. I want to share with you what she so beautifully wrote in expressing just how I have felt in the last few months. It has been a season of juggling an awful lot for me...7 weekends of ministry in a row, preparing, packing (repacking), practicing, traveling, teaching piano/voice weekly, running a ministry, mothering 2 college-aged students, being a sister, friend, neice, aunt, daughter...on and on the list goes. And yet, the Father is teaching me how to continue to look to Him to be all He has called me to be. Here, let Jennifer's article speak further on that subject...
I have often visualized myself in life as the plate spinner. And there are weeks when it really gets to me....I vigorously spin the "homeschool plate" and the "housekeeping plate" is on the other side wobbling precariously, so I run to spin it and the "caring for (insert name of kiddo)" wobbles ... and so on...you get the picture. And you understand I'm sure. It's nerve wracking. Add to it that you feel (whether accurate or not) the expectations of others around you who only seem to see the plates that are wobbling, not the ones you've just spun, and it can become a situation riddling with people-pleasing fear and paralyzing anxiety.
So the other day this conversation ensued: Me: "Jesus, I'm exhausted and weary! Please be my plate spinner - I am worn out!"
Him: "What if I have no intentions of spinning your plates? What if I have something completely different in mind? What if I want to take your plates down completely, set them on a great big banquet table and serve a filling, nourishing banquet to those around you - using each one of your plates?"
Me: "How is that even possible - I have absolutely no food to give, nothing to provide!"
Him: "I'm the Bread of Life. I am the Living Water. I am Abundant Life."
Enough said! :) I'm still not quite sure what all of that is supposed to look like, and I'm still not quite sure how NOT to spin my plates, how to rest and let Him take them down without breaking them, how to let Him prepare the banquet...but I know it starts by spending time with Him every day and letting Him nourish me. And I can tell you, the idea of not being a plate spinner anymore sure fills me with a tremendous amount of hope!
Ministry at a Glance:
October had me in Chesnee, SC at Casey Creek Baptist Church for their very first ladies' ministry event and Sunday morning service with some dear friends, Pastor Jerry and Janet White (seen here with me.) What a sweet time that was. Then I was delighted to share a concert in Camden, SC at Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church where a few friends joined me. What a wonderful weekend in NC in Dunn (PFWBC Women's Conference), Goldsboro (Ray of Hope Free Will Baptist Church) and Lumberton, where I was privileged to return to be with one of my favorite churches, Antioch Baptist. Then it was on to the beautiful Epworth by the Sea in St. Simon's Island, GA where I spoke for the Winning Women for Christ Retreat. (Here I am with the sweet ministry President, Ann Douglas). What a joy each and every place was to me, and what a privilege to serve in each one. The last weekend of the month I was so grateful to just be home, for the first time since the last weekend in August! I slept in, enjoyed taking Cookie to the park, worked around the house, watched a movie, cooked, and just rested. Grateful for the busy ministry season and for God's grace to enable me to do all He had called me to.
The month of November is a little lighter so far though I do still have a few dates open on a love-offering basis if your church is interested in having me (see below for more information about my schedule). I will be in Pigeon Forge, TN for the MLC Ladies Retreat November 6-8, at Deepwood Estates in Lexington, SC on November 14th at 6:45pm, at Bethel Pentecostal Holiness Church in Leesville, SC on November 15th (time to be determined), and at Cedar Creek Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC on November 23rd for the morning service. I am so thrilled to be able to have Robert, Elizabeth, James Michael, Hannah and Clayton join me in Pigeon Forge, TN at the end of the MLC Retreat to stay a few nights and take in Dollywood! And then before we know it, Thanksgiving will be here!
On the Homefront:
October was another busy month of ministry, but I was able to enjoy some wonderful family/friend time as well. The first weekend of the month had me in Chesnee, SC, but only on Saturday and Sunday morning. So that Friday I was delighted to take Ross and his girlfriend out to lunch and enjoy some time with them. Then when I realized I had that Sunday afternoon/evening open, I made the 1-hour drive over to see Hannah in Clemson! On the way, Robert, Elizabeth and I met for a quick hello. Did I ever milk that Clemson visit for all it was worth! Starbucks with Hannah and 2 of her girlfriends and 2 of the dogs (they enjoyed their complimentary puppacinos, one of Blue's favorites), Clayton (Hannah's sweet boyfriend of 3 years now) came by to see me, then three of us girls went to the afternoon worship service at New Spring Church in Anderson, then sushi for dinner with Hannah and her best friend before I headed back home to Columbia. Oh what a precious time that was for this mama!
The SC State Fair was in town, and though it was once a family tradition, with both kids now being in college, my friend Sharon and I kept our annual date and went together, joined by my Aunt Sue (to also celebrate her birthday) and her friend. And once again, we ate EVERYTHING you can imagine, but at least we split MOST of it. There were elephant ears, pronto pups, Fiske fries with vinegar, fried mushrooms with ranch dressing, teriyake chicken on a stick, mixed ice cream cones, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Believe me, I am DONE until next year but it was SO fun! We don't go to ride, just EAT.
I was so delighted to get to head to First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC last Thursday night joined by my friends Beth Tolar, Melodie Griffin, and Aunt Sue (McLeese) as we went to a Ladies' Night Out that included dessert, coffee, and Sherry Thrift Bradshaw (Miss SC 1985 that crowned me) speaking. What a blessing it was to just get to go to an event like this for a change! Sadly, Hannah and Ross's stepmom's mother passed away and Hannah came into town on Friday for the funeral, and we had such a sweet visit together. Cookie and Zoey were especially happy to see their "sister." To close out the month, this mama is already doing her happy dance as Hannah will be home Oct. 31-Nov. 4 for her fall break! There will be homemade vegetable soup to be made, homemade pimento cheese, and of course cookie dough! I am so thankful for all of the sweet memories made this month with those I love dearly, and looking forward to more.
Be sure and read to the very end of this newsletter, as you don't want to miss some VERY exciting news from Jennifer and her family in "Little Dale Tales" as they have an extra special blessing for which to be grateful! Congratulations to you, Jennifer, Reid, Ian, Julie-Joy, Jenna and Lillian.
So as we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you. Thankful that you allow me to share my heart, home, and ministry with you monthly. May you, your family and your life be filled with the goodness of God as you focus on the blessings He has generously given.
Announcing Dawn’s newest CD Release:
Your Presence for Christmas Including the following titles:
1. Jesus, What a Wonderful Child
2. Your Presence for Christmas
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
4. I Bought You a Plastic Star for Your Aluminum Tree
5. Holiday in Your Heart
6. Mr. Santa
7. Bethlehem Morning
8. Let it Snow
9. Winter Wonderland
10. Grown-Up Christmas List
11. Frosty the Snowman/Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
12. Christmas Time is Here
13. Silent Night
"Your Presence for Christmas" is a 2014 re-mixed, edited, CD with two new songs. This CD is set to arrive at our offices on November 3rd. It features Dawn on vocals, accompanied by Jerry Sims on guitar. Pre-order your copy/copies today by mailing $15 + $3 S&H to Jordan Ministries, P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063 just in time for Christmas. For your order of five or more CDs, receive a free copy. You can also order it here on Dawn's website.
Dawn's New 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.
Alaska Cruise in August 2015
Join Dawn on a cruise through Alaska, August 6-15 (or an extended trip through August 19th is also an option) in 2015. Come and enjoy the breathtaking Alaskan landscape and then join Dawn as she will be sharing several concerts in the evenings. At this time Princess is offering some discounted rates. Please contact Bill Ballou at A&B Travel for more information about current rates - 903.534.7050
Dawn's Concert Calendar
It's time to get your event on Dawn's Concert Calendar! The rest of 2014 is just about completely booked except for a few open spots that we have left. The dates that are now available simply on a love-offering basis (only Dawn's expenses would need to be covered - usually mileage and meals). November 16th is available (am & pm) as well as November 23rd (pm only, Dawn will be in Hartsville, SC that morning), and December is completely booked on Sundays except for December 21st (pmonly available, Dawn will be in Mocksville, NC that morning). So if your church would like to get on the 2014 calendar, let us hear from you. For more specifics on available dates, visit my schedule herehttp://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/schedule.php.
If you are considering an end-of-the-year donation to a ministry, would you prayerfully consider supporting Jordan Ministries? All gifts to Jordan Ministries are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated as we continue to share the good news of the Gospel. Jordan Ministries is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Mailing Address is:
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, PO Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
I wanted to begin including Jennifer's blog, as well, so you can be more informed as to what she, her husband, and their family are involved in at Timberline Bible School, as well as how to pray for her family. Her blog address is http://reidandjen.blogspot.com/. Her son Ian is leaving in two weeks for a mission trip to India. You can visit her blog to read his letter and to learn more about his trip and the outstanding support he still needs.
MLC Retreat (Mary Lynn Crider/Making Ladies Christlike)
Music Road Hotel
Pigeon Forge, TN
Follow Dawn on Facebook and Twitter where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale)
We have a good bit of excitement going on at the Dale Home these days as Ian, our oldest, is getting ready to head to India with his grandparents for 7 weeks (his school is working with him so that he will do his school work by extension). He will be working at an orphanage in Southern India (a typhoon hit it recently and they will be doing relief work among other things) as well as as visiting a Bible School in Northern India. He is very excited! :) He will, however, miss the "big reveal" as we will be having the "gender reveal ultrasound" while he is gone. Yes, you read that right! :) Much to our surprise and delight the Lord is giving us Number Five to join our family. This little one is due in April - one of our biggest snow months up here in the mountains of CO, so we hope and pray that the pass will be open when we need to get to the hospital in Denver! :) Thankfully so far I have never had quick labors but of course one never knows...