Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet Time with Neighbors

Last night we had all of our neighbors over for pizza and beer and it was such a sweet time of community and building of friendships.

Nate and I have been planning to do that for a while and just finally got around to it. I honestly would never have made the move to walk over and invite all of them over but Nate and the girls made invitations and I walked with the girls over to each house and we put them in the mailboxes. The girls were really excited about it.

So, last night as I was driving home, I started to get nervous that it was going to be an awkward time of people getting to know each other and not having much in common and leaving, not having had a good time. Quite the opposite happened, actually.

We had the neighbors on either side of us and the two houses across the street. There were not two people in the house who were similar in looks or interests and it was the coolest thing to see these people getting to know each other and become friends. They actually all really got along and left saying..."let's do this at our house in 2 weeks. Same people, same time. We'd love to grill for all of you." What a sweet moment for me. I loved that there were people sitting in my living room who have lived two houses from each other for over five years and were just learning each other's names. One of the girls across the street plays the guitar and writes songs and sang for us a bit (she and Nate took turns) on the front porch. (So, I guess there were two people who had something in common...Nate and the neighbor, Shelly, who are both musicians.) She helped Ava write and sing a song about our dog, Jenna.

I am thankful for my husband who pushes me to step out of my comfort zone to do things like this. Everyone who came last night thanked us over and over for putting that together and everyone left with 10 more friends than they came with. I could tell how much it meant to them that we would take the time to do it.

It encourages me to see how living missionally, in even just my own neighborhood, affects people.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Austin City Life

I promise this isn't intended to be a cheesy plug for my Church. I just want to talk for a minute about how this Church, this community, has changed my life.

Nate and I started attending ACL back in September of 2007. We were still living in Belton and Nate attended more than me. He would drive down to Austin on Tuesday nights and lead worship in the Dodson's living room...filled with about 8 people. Maybe 10. I could tell that he was really being affected by this small group of people and it kept him driving back and forth every week. I kept myself sort of removed for a while because A)we lived in Belton and I had a full time job and not much time to drive to Austin and back and B)I felt I had already found my Church home at The Vista in Belton. The Vista will ALWAYS hold a special place in me because I feel that I was first introduced to a community who extended grace to messy people, all along, wanting to help them grow. Anyway...Nate came to me at some point and said "I want to move to Austin and be a part of Austin City Life. I believe in their vision, what they're doing and this guy Jonathan who God is using to carry it all out." I said ok, and we moved.

We are now over a year and a half into ACL and I've never grown more spiritually and relationally in my life. I am learning truly what the gospel means. I am learning what Jesus taught. I am learning how Jesus' teachings play out in real life. I am learning to love my neighbors (like...my real neighbors). I am learning how to be missional in EVERY aspect of my life. I am learning true forgiveness. I am learning true repentance. I have become more prayerful. I am learning how to glorify God in the way I am a mother, friend, wife, sister, daughter. I am still SO far off on perfecting these things. I never will. But by God's grace...I get to try.

Thanks Austin City Life for what you have meant to the Navarro family. Thank you for following Jesus with us and teaching us along the way. I am so thankful for you.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Please check out www.earthday.net to find out different ways to be eco friendly and help reserve our planet that god blessed us with!

You should also check out The Earth movie trailor here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLz_1LNAuAQ
I am taking the girls to see this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I totally stole this. But I loved it.

Call It Grace

Being made right with God by his grace, we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends. Titus 3:7 (NCV)

You may be decent. You may pay taxes and kiss your kids and sleep with a clean conscience. But apart from Christ you aren't holy. So how can you go to heaven?

Only believe. Accept the work already done, the work of Jesus on the cross.

Accept the goodness of Jesus Christ. Abandon your own works and accept his. Abandon your own decency and accept his. Stand before God in his name, not yours.

It's that easy? There was nothing easy about it at all. The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so he paid it for us. Call it simple. Call it a gift. But don't call it easy.

Call it what it is. Call it grace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Easter is a beautiful day for those who profess to be Christians. It is the day that Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking our sins with him.

When we sin or mess up (in dumbed up terms), it is sometimes hard for us to forgive ourselves and also hard to forgive people we feel have sinned against us. I reminded myself on Sunday, in remembering that Jesus died for our sins, that to not forgive ourselves, accept forgiveness, or forgive others, must be heartbreaking to God. He sacrificed his Son so that we could, and would, extend forgiveness to each other and accept forgiveness from God and those we have sinned against.

I am so thankful for the cross, for Jesus, and for forgiveness and grace.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dorcas Acquah

Dorcas is the little girl in Ghana that our family sponsors through Compassion International. I would really really encourage you to do this. Sponsoring a child is not something you do for your kid's sake...it affects all of us. You're never too old or too young or too busy to sponsor a child. It helps a child in another country receive education and water and food and clothing. She wrote our family a letter this week...

"Dear The Navarro's,

I am happy to thank you for taking me as your sponsored child. I attend Rhema Prepatory School. I am in KG2. I live with my mother who sells tomatoes in the market. I am six years of age.

I also live with my two elder siblings, Bright and Emmanuel. My best friend is Lydia Sacky and I learn with her always. I like rice and stew. What is your favorite food?

Pray for me to get good knowledge.


We have a picture of Dorcas on our refrigerator and are so excited to send her letters back and even some fun books to read!