As I continue to plow the land that is present and constant and as I fall asleep and rise I realize that land is so much easier to tend to when the life and noise around you is very simple.  Simplicity brings a centering and a calm that allows us to truly have the capacity to dig in and spend the hard work of continuing to plow the ground so that the seed that is there can take root and grow.

The Rhodes family has been hibernating in that lately.  Sifting through the many area’s of our lives and getting back to the core of finding the simplicity in all that we are being called to do with our time, ability, access….

Rhythm is one of those things that in anything you do needs to be present and consistent in order for everyone who encounters your life or your families life to be able to find access and a place that they can revolve around.  I’m till trying to find that personally and also within lens of our family.  I think anytime you uproot and move into a different place so many rhythms about yourself and even the functioning of your family have to be evaluated and changed in order to sustain the new area, relationship, capacity and even calling upon your life.  I think someone once said it takes a good three years to really feel established in a new place.  I pray that is not true.  I hope it’s more like a year.  I feel we are almost there.  Almost….

One decision when we uprooted almost 7 months ago was to “shed” a lot of our personal belongings.  We knew we needed to relocate from the upstate to Pawleys.  With a home still not making any progress in selling we began to search for a place in Pawleys to rent.  In our search we found a furnished home that seemed to be the perfect place for our family to function out of for the next part of our journey.  Thinking we would put our things in storage for a while we agreed to rent this house.  A few weeks later our home finally had an offer on it.  One exception, the couple wanting our home also wanted to purchase almost every piece of furniture  and decor in it.

Take a look around your home, and ask yourself  – would you be willing sell it all if given the choice? That was the question I was faced with.  Of course I live with a visionary who see’s 5 years down the road at all times and really does not like to think much in the present. He was willing in an instant to leave it ALL  – clothes and toothbrush included.  But for me it was a harder thing to process through.  So much of our “things” were pieces I had been so intentional about gathering.  Many were purchased out of years of time and sacrifice and love and waiting.  And no doubt each piece had so many memories of our family associated with it.  Again, would you sell it all if given the choice? In the end, we did sell it all (with exception of a few pieces that were too personal to part with)  And in the moment as hard as it was to let go I never really understood what the Lord was truly teaching me then and even today as I continue to walk to His voice and chose to willing follow and obey where He leads.  He was teaching me how to Let go of so many area’s of my life, even down to the things we owned.  And He was preparing me to begin to have the capacity that He knew would be needed for me and our family in the life in Pawleys He was sending us to and the things He had planned for us to be part of.

This morning I sit in an abundant, crazy, and outfitted home.  A home that has met every one of our needs as a family, as a community. And the physical blessing has cost us very little.  Our act of obedience in simplifying our lives has allowed our lives to be in turn blessed with the most amazing detailed extravagance. I’ve never lived in a place I call HOME that encompasses many things that are not mine.  I never knew what it would feel like to live on borrowed things.  Today, I must say that I’ve never lived in a physical place that has ever felt more like home to me or more free.  In the odd irony, even though I know the things in my house are really not mine as in “We don’t own” them, in every way they are ours and our family functions in the space in such an amazing way.  We love and that we get to call this place home.

Dave and I and our children are learning so much about what it means to live a simple life.  Where we function on His provision to us.  Where we have set ourselves up free of “things” to where we are really available and willing and able to ACT when we hear his voice calling and stretching us.  Living a simple life has increased our capacity in ways I never imagined possible.

I’m not suggesting everyone sells their stuff and lives off the things of others… But I am suggesting that everyone do what it takes to Live Simply.  Whatever that means for you and your family.  And as you walk in that simplicity, enjoy the amazing extravagance that only the Father can lavish on those He calls His Children.


Hello 2012

Woke up this morning to saying Hello 2012.  This year it’s pretty simple for me.  I’d ask for a word about a month ago for 2012.   It came rather fast.  Not a single word but rather a phrase. “Plow the Land”

It makes a lot of sense to me.  We have been given new territory to settle on.  Amazing Land. But now it’s time to start plowing, tilling, unearthing the soil to ready it for…..  well I did not get that far.  Just know I’ve got to Plow the Land right now.  So this year is about doing that.  I’ll do it physically, spiritually, emotionally, missionally. Plowing is never easy.  It’s an act of work.  Work I know that sometimes does not give immediate results.  But I know by doing this that things that need to be planted and harvested on this land  will in turn be different because the land where life and substance grows has been prepared.  So there you have it.  Bring on 2012!!!  Plow the Land!

Side note:  I think this is worth sharing.  Yesterday in saying goodbye to 2011 we decided to take a walk on the beach.  It was the most beautiful day here yesterday.  You could have fooled me with it being 70 on December 31 and the sand warm to the toes. We even met up with friends and I tried for the first time ever this…..

Paddle boarding.  Doing this up and down the Marsh area…  This is something I know I would really enjoy.  Can’t wait to go out again!  But I’m digressing….

Before we left I wanted our family to partake in an exercise.  I make us do these things a lot.  Dave rolls his eyes half the time but for me it’s a physical act of doing something that normally we can just verbally say and move on.  I had the idea after reading Jo Saxtons post yesterday about her walk on the beach and drawing a line in the sand.  So the exercise was to stand on one side of the line and decide what things you wanted to let go of or take from 2011 into 2012.  And when you were ready, you shared with the family what it was and then walked over the line that was drawn in the sand.

Izzie goes first because if you are wanting someone to volunteer to share, she’ll be the first to do it anywhere.  She said she wanted to leave behind the sores on Frankie’s head he had a few months ago.  I agreed, and said “yes, Izzie let’s press into good health for 2012.  No sickness.”  She crossed the line.

Frankie went next and said, “I want to take the Wii” and he jumped over the line.  We all had a good laugh over that one.

Then Emma sits down in the sand and starts literally crying…. “I don’t want to leave behind Nana or Greenville.” “Why are you crying Emma?” I ask.  “Because leaving things behind is Sad and I don’t want to do that.”  Dave has stepped in by this time and has assured her that we can take Nana and Greenville into 2012.  And then he implies let’s ask that this be the year that Nana moves here with us. 🙂  She’s better now but still not happy about having to think about 2011 and crosses the line.  By this time Dave and I just cross and start heading to the Van.

Then Izzie who I’m helping into the van, has a moment of revelation.  “Momma, we can also leave behind our sin.  We can always leave that behind.” Yes Izzie… you’ve got that right.

Anyway, it was interesting reflecting a bit as a family yesterday.  This year was full of lots of Change for us all and change often requires of us a loss of some magnitude.  The loss of our family living in the same town has impacted us all this year but we Hope that sometime in the future we’ll live close together once again. 🙂 Or at least that is part of the hope we are taking into 2012.

Goodbye 11 – What Was

I  love last days of a year.  I love times of reflection.  I reflect A LOT right here in this spot. Probably most because this spot itself is a physical representation to me of Faith and Blessing.

I love the time of pondering  WHAT WAS before you can dream of WHAT WILL BE.  I remember my hopes for this past year…  I wrote about it in CAPACITY to CHANGE as I reflected on 2010 with hopes of what would come in 2011.

I wrote, And 2011 – I can only dare to dream that this new grown capacity was given to us for a reason.  2011 I believe is going to be a year of lots of change for me and our family. I believe it will be good change and hard change.  A change that I hope not only impact our family but will give us the opportunity to “lay all our cards on the table” and give all we have to a movement we believe in with all of our heart, soul, and spirit.  A movement that has carried us for our past years in ministry and one that will continue to allow us to keep going after it. As you will often hear us say, “we have come to play and play to win.”  I really believe it is possible to win.  So much so, that I’ll give my life for it. And who wants to win alone?  Not me.  I’m so thankful for the people that are in our lives that are going after the same thing.  Their wins become our wins and vice versa.  It’s just an honor to be playing on the same team with everyone.”

In the midst of playing and winning you find battles of great Faith.  2011 will always be marked for me a sweet journey in my life.  A time where Great Faith was required almost daily.  I wish I could say it was really simple.  But the honest look at it was that in moments of my biggest breakthroughs, there was much doubt that lead up to it.  And in that struggle, and receiving a grace I did not deserve, I found something so profound for me personally.  In the midst of all the mess that leads to Great Faith, I found the Father took and did what only He could do.  He worked all things for HIS good and in return, giving me not what I deserved in my doubt but rewarding me with incredible blessing I’ve yet to be able to fully understand.  And He did not do it only one time.  This year he has done it time and time again.  The only requirement from me that remained consistant in the process was that I had to step into the future without knowing it would work out.  And in those steps of doubt, fear, excitement, joy… He always was Faithful, and always blessed in more ways than I could ever imagine.

2011  – The year of….. “Faith and Blessing.”

I will ponder that today.  I will reflect on the journey He’s lead us on this past year. I will remember.  And then as I sit tonight and ring in the new year, I will let all of that BE and will press into the NEW that is in store for 2012 and the DOING it will surely require.

2012. -The year of ……… will have to share more of that tomorrow.

Frankie’s Adoption Day

What a BIG moment for me personally.  One of the most memorable in this whole process.  Frankie’s adoption day.  Dave said it best that day, “What was already family is now official.”

Jeff Hall took our pictures when we first arrived home in Greenville.  He captured our first family photo’s and it only seemed fitting that he as there as we ended this part of our journey.  If only I could book him now for Frankie’s Graduation and Wedding (which is already pre arranged with a sweet little Haitian girl named Bella from PA.) 🙂

These are a few of my favorite:

My Sweet Boy on His Very Special Day:

Waiting BEFORE the hearing..

With The Judge:

Celebration Shot Afterwards:

First Official Legal Family Picture:

We had a Canvas for the day that everyone signed that Frankie will always have to remember this special day.

I will never forget when the Judge announced his name:  Franklin Joseph David Rhodes.


A Glimpse Into a part of our Life

We do LOTS of Communities in Pawleys.  Between Communities/Workshops/ and Camps I think we have at least 40+ on the schedule for 2012. Which means lots of amazing people always coming and going.  Lots of meals together.  Lots of teaching times together.  Lots of sharing times. Lots of breakthrough times. Lots of time opening up our homes and lives.  Which could in itself explain the lack of blogging but we won’t go back there.  Our family truly has collided into a wonderful season of our lives. Community Life.

This week our entire team (except a few of us holding dow n the fort) is down at Seacoast,  hosting.. you guessed it.. A Learning Community. Over 4o churches have gathered.  They are on a 2 year journey with us at 3DM and this is their second encounter with our team and they are exploring content this week of Multiplying Missional Leaders.  I’ve enjoyed seeing a few pictures make their way to Facebook these past few days.  Who says you can’t work really hard and have fun doing it.

It’s great being part of investing in something that will be still going long after we no longer roam this planet…  Anyway, A little peek into our lives through pictures and what we are part of doing with an amazing team of people.

Public Space Gathering Area:

Social Space Training Going On:

THE TEAM HOUSE:  Where everyone stays and each evening we host around A LOT of  people for Desserts.

Izzie Turns 5

I don’t know what it is for me about the number 5.  But having a child turn from 4 (toddlerhood) to 5 (childhood) is sad for me.  For the past 9 years we have been in stages of having children in the age range of 1-4.  And that window into our lives is about to close.  It’s a passing of a season for me.  And come March when Frankie turns 5 I know I will officially feel that window has closed.  It just brings up the reality of time and how quickly it passes.  And although I won’t miss all the hard things of having babies and toddlers in the home I truly will mourn a bit the passing of that season of our lives.

Yesterday I experienced a first.  One of my children had a birthday party and Dave and I were basically the only family members that were not in attendance.  For Izzie’s birthday our gift to her was sending her to Greenville to share a weekend with all the grandparents and cousins.  And while there, they threw her a party.  From the looks of these pictures she had a wonderful time.  Looking forward to getting her back home tonight.  Happy Birthday Izzie.  The journey to have you was one of the most faith defining time periods of my life.  And with your presence from the moment we found out about you till today you continue to bring “much laughter” to us all.

Out of Hibernation…

So August 30th was the last time I posted.  Really?  Has it been that long?  I feel like I’ve been sitting next to this tree above pondering and reflecting. I’ve had a light turn on in my world in the past few months and the reality is that it awakened me to see so many things that I just never knew were there.  And sometimes in that process you just stop everything you are doing and take in all that you are seeing.  I guess that is the best way to describe what has happened the past months.  And it has to happen that way.  When you live and “are” in a place for over 10 years and then you uproot…  There is always that time needed of preparing the soil again so that as you plant yourself back down in a new location… the roots are protected and placed with such a careful hand so that hopefully in a matter of a short time you’ll be strong and grounded in your new surroundings.  So that is me.  I am finally feeling like the strong winds can’t blow me over and I have some major roots that have anchored here in Pawleys.

And so, now what??  The bigger hurdle is where do you start to jump back in and keep going in blog world?  Especially when you feel like you have too much to share and have no where to begin.  So I’m going to stop sitting around and thinking about because then I’ll never probably ever blog again and just pick up with today…  And one day I’ll hopefully get the time to share about all the transforming things that have happened over our “transition” time.

So here is words on paper coming more often!

Our New Pace of Life

On Facebook this morning Rage Against the Minivan was posting about how to blog from your iphone.  I’m trying to figure out time to post from my computer.  So much catching up to do and so many new routines.  I’ve got calls to return and paperwork to be filled out.  And so many people asking how it is going.  So with that said, I really wanted to give you a peak into life for us since we have moved.  We are by all means doing fantastic.  Still feel in a daze at times and wonder if this new journey we are on is real, a bit of a dream? But as the daily rhythm starts to find itself I’m getting more grounded and am confident that yes I am home.

Pawleys Island.  Someone this week posted on my FB page saying they say that Pawleys is a piece of heaven on earth.

I dare say that is true and wake up many mornings wondering if this new way of coastal living is really happening.  Pawleys is beautiful.  We knew this last year as we took a sabbatical here for 3 months.  But I think in the process of physically knowing this is now home, a new awareness of it’s beauty it evident.  I am so thankful to be here and to dive into life here.  It’s a peaceful place.  And that is so good considering the work we are part of is intense, advancing, always moving, so the peace of the land here is something that balances our life quite well.  (Every day a new white board appears at the office it seems with some new advancement.  It’s very fun and exciting) (and as you can tell Dave is REALLY enjoying his new life here.)  Just kidding.  He’s the hardest working man I know!  He’s in Atlanta this week with half our team who is helping to train leaders.

I have spent the last week waking up and going to bed thanking HIM for all he has done for us.  Our home in Greenville closes tomorrow and the couple buying it are so excited about it.  The home we are renting here is beyond anything I could have ever desired for us.  It even comes with a pet alligator.  (can you see him in the middle?)  Izzie has named him Crockie.

My kids have begged for a dog for years and instead I give them an alligator! (don’t worry mom, I’m told this is normal) I’ve already met some wonderful neighbors who have given us gifts of welcome as we settle in.  Nothing like flowers to make you feel truly at home.

The kids have all made the smoothest transition. Emma is doing so well in school and already making many friends. Can’t believe she has started 3rd Grade this year and she was so excited about the first day of school.

Izzie and Frankie are keeping me on my toes and they too will start school here soon.  But everyone here is happy, content and at peace.

We are settled into our new offices.  We have an amazing space here that our furniture from the Wayfarer office just fit right in.

I have lots of hopes and dreams for this next season of my life.   My heart still beats passionately for adoption, Haiti, ministry, wives of ministry, Oikos, discipleship. I want to be part of and do great great things for the Kingdom but even more than that I want others coming behind me to do even greater things than I could have have ever done. My end game is to give away all that we have been given.  Hold nothing back.  A season of blessing always requires the need and desire to give even more.  At least that is what I have experienced.

I was reminded today that He is Faithful.  Not just to meet your needs emotionally, spiritually, physically, but to do far exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine.  He has done that for us.  It’s our testimony to share.  And He can do that for you.  It does not mean there won’t be hard times.  In the midst of all the good going on our car took a beating this week.  It happens. Nothing is perfect.

BUT He is Faithful.  And I praise him for that today.

So that is what you have been missing.  I hope all of you are well and good and like I said before, our home is always open to you and I hope we see lots of those we love make their way to visit us here.  Pawleys and the Rhodes will welcome you with open arms.


The house is still and all in boxes.  Just waiting for Dave to arrive sometime today to begin loading the truck.  What a crazy way to end the summer.  I picture him riding in on his white horse, waiving his wand… truck starts to load by itself and we pull away off into the sunset with 3 kids in tote.  It’s really not going to happen that way but I am celebrating today the end of his summer schedule.  And boy has that man been busy.  I was just about to look at the calendar and see how many days he was actually home but then I would get a glimpse at how few days there were so why bother.  Our family has had an incredible summer of ministry.  WE LOVE SUMMER CAMP.  You get to meet so many people, partner with so many amazing organizations and groups.  And at the end of the day, lives collided and were challenged, encouraged and shared.  And hopefully a Kairos happened that will leave us and others different.  And I must say our summer on the home front went amazingly well too.  For so much unknown to be part of everyday… I think I handled the kids, packing fairly well.

A few years ago when our family was going through a lot of ministry change, our family and the Reichley family headed to Pawleys Island to meet the Breens and Cockrams.  People our husbands had met at a “Taster” and they were bringing us wives back for a 24 hr visit.  I still remember arriving past 11:30PM and pulling into a plantation neighborhood and this tall, slick, Brit, welcomed us with opened arms.  Not far behind him was another Brit waiting to take the Reichleys.  I remember going to bed in the Breen home and wondering if I could ever feel more welcomed or honored to be somewhere. Do they do this for everyone?  Of course later to find out they do.  It’s what they do best.  Open up their lives and challenge and invite people.  Our time there was nothing but a Kairos moment for me.  In our weakness we were encouraged to remain and be reminded that we were in the pruning process.  Pruning is hard.  I don’t think anyone likes it.  But it was a good season for us to reflect on ourselves and things the Lord wanted to trim back in us.  But the thing about pruning is that it’s necessary for growth to happen again. So as we remained, rested and abided and after a lot of time…  we looked around and started to see some of the first fruits coming.

Looking back I can’t help but think that trip was a prophetic one.  Who would have ever thought that our first encounter with 3DM would lead our lives and our family back to Pawleys as we joining together in family and ministry. In a few days the Rhodes will enter the same gates we did a few years ago and establish home, and the Reicheys will enter the same gates they did a few year ago and establish home.  He is perfect in his way.  Looking back now I’m truly blown away.

I know I’ve not updated much about our move.  What a year it has been.  Our home has been on the market for OVER A YEAR.  We have had countless showings and people always walking away telling us how much they loved our house.  Agents and clients alike.  I think we only had one showing that said they did not care for it.  I wondered so many times if so many people just loved our home then why no offers?  All along Dave would say he’s not worried about it.  But I was.  I knew it would all work out but I also know things don’t always work out in a pretty little package tied up with a bow.  Plus I was TIRED.  Try living in a home for a year that in a matter of hours could be shown.  Add three children to that home and I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve been on my hands and knees wiping the floors for the next showing.

About a month ago, July 15th to be exact… Dave came home after some conversations with our team and said to our family, we’ve got to go.  It’s time to “go before know.”  Until this point we were not moving till the house sold.  This changed things.  We were now making plans to be in Pawleys by August 15.  This was great news to me.  It was a plan in the unknown.  Was I worried?  Yes.  Did I know it would all work out.  I hoped so.

We had a crazy trip there for a day (took my mom too)  thought we had a lead on a place and when we saw it we quickly realized there would be no way a family of 5 could fit and host and entertain like we plan to do.  I was defeated.  Do you know how hard it is to find decent UNFURNISHED home in Pawleys, the place of retreat where everyone has furnished rentals?  So with our friends and mom in tote we looked at one last place.  I was just in a fog by this point.  We thought it was unfurnished (which is why we even went to look at it) but when we pulled up we could tell it was furnished.  We decided to still take a look.  Walked in the place and had that moment of just knowing this was our new home.  I think I will remember my mom’s reaction the most that day.  You see the price they were asking surely had to be wrong.  They must have meant that price by week, not month.  But it was the monthly price and at the end of the day we are paying even less.  It’s the perfect home for us.  Dave said he’d live there the rest of his life.  My mom did the hallelujah dance, we cried and thanked him the whole drive home for providing for us just as he knows how.  Even if we had to put our furniture in storage it would be worth it.

BUT we still had a house to sell and no clue how on earth we would ever afford 2 home payments a month.  We finally put our house on the rental market.  Which I really did not want to do.  But I met a wonderful woman who we listed with who get this.. has a HUGE heart for discipleship and has worked at a church for over 12 years doing just that.  Has even been to Africa trying to disciple people.  I’m not saying our house did not sell all this time just so that our lives would collide but I would not be surprised if that was totally why.  She’s coming to Pawleys soon I hope for some time with us.  So as our house was listed for rent, we called our realtors one last time to make one final price drop so that we knew we did all we could to sell the house.  Rent or Sell was what we were praying for.

I called our realtors Wednesday night last week.  They said someone called them that same night and wanted to see our house on Thursday.  They looked at the house Thursday with our realtor.  They LOVED it.  Came back Friday to look again.  On Friday By 5 PM, just as Dave’s plane was landing we had an offer on the house.  by 9PM we had signed all the contracts just in time for Dave to leave again the next morning.  I’m really not making this stuff up.  And the blessing in it all (I think) is that part of the offer was that they really wanted a lot of our furniture.  Which I might have struggled with a bit but also know a few weeks back the Lord provided us a fully furnished and beautiful home.  So it was no big deal to sell them some of our furniture as well.  For some reason we were supposed to release our “stuff”. We close on the home Aug 31.  And could not have asked for a better couple to come in have our home.

In a matter of 2 days HE DID IT.  I’ll never forget those 48 hours and the people that stood in the gap for me with their faith when I felt mine lacked.

SO IN HIS PERFECT TIMING..  we will depart the upstate Monday morning and head to start this new season of our lives.  I could not have planned things any better with the timing of everything.  I really have cherished this time.  I’ve gathered all the memories and stored them in my heart.  And HE has given me closure in every area of my life.  Even area’s I did not know I needed it.  He made sure it happened.  I leave the Upstate knowing our time here was well served.  I have so many Happy memories of ministry and family here.  And I have the most peace about leaving.  And we will be back to visit since our family is all here so that is a wonderful thing to have as we leave.

I’m very encouraged.  I feel the Lord has given me a few major life experiences of being in the waiting on infertility issues, adoption, a home to sell that have built my faith in ways that hopefully I’ll be able to really be able to encourage others in their own journey’s they find themselves in.

So, someone once said – “You never know how many friends you have till you have a beach house.”  We don’t actually have a beach house but we can “almost” walk to it.  I hope this statement is true.  I hope that many of our friends come and visit with us in this new Chapter of our lives.  We promise you are always welcome.  We will invite you in with open hearts and will challenge you just the same as we all continue on life’s journey.  I sometimes get glimpses into the future of the movement that we at 3DM are creating. The team of people and families that are part of this journey with us blow me away.  It’s exciting.  It’s rewarding.  It’s going to be hard work.  But WE is better than ME any day and I’m thankful for the team that the Lord saw fit to collide us with.

Goodbye Upstate…. Hello Pawleys…..We are ready to get after it!