A Family Update – September 2020

Every once in a while, I think it’s helpful to update you on what’s going on with our family. I know that many of you pray for us regularly, and your prayers are better directed and facilitated the more you are informed. 

Here are few recent updates from our family… 

Our kids are crazy. 

We are blessed with their mess. This is a very chaotic season for our family. Adahlae just celebrated her ninth birthday in July. Klayton turns seven this weekend. Kade is three and full of it. Their lives are filled with love, excitement, and chaos. We need all of that. 

With that being said, this is a chaotic season. Small children in abundance bring their own needs, and this season is full of that. Amanda text me this morning that it appears one of our kids wiped their butt on the shower curtain. This is our normal, and it will be our normal moving forward for a few years. 

Pray that we continue to have the focus and energy. Our kids are in a high-need season, and we want to do the work we’re called to as parents willfully and joyfully! 

Things have settled down. 

When the “shelter in place” orders were issued here in North Carolina in March, we had no idea what we were dealing with. To think that we’d still be in a pattern of restrictions six months later wasn’t even fathomable. However, that’s where we find ourselves.

When the transitions happened, Amanda worked from home as a teacher, homeschooled all of our kids, and prepared us for a move. Oh, yea… We sold our house right before all this mess happened. So… We moved. She took taught the kids, fulfilled her responsibilities as a teacher, and helped keep all of us on track. 

When we pivoted to mostly online, I worked for almost a month straight with no days off. There was so much to figure out and change. The stress was so great. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve even processed it all yet. 

Just to be vulnerable… We had this dream of building a life-giving church in Albemarle. Then we launched Vortex, and it’s been amazing. At the beginning of 2020, things were going so very good. We had record attendance days on off Sundays. So many new families joined the church. And then all this. I was so scared it would all collapse. 

Our first Sunday of online-only ministry, I remember feeling so proud of our church. We showed up. Over the next few months, we had a strong online presence, but it slowly transitioned. We were in the summer months. People were tired of looking at screens. I get it. I was, too. 

A little over a month ago, we reopened for in-person services. We returned a high percentage for only being a few weeks into it. I’m still crushed by the families that I see that are not engaged now. I believe in the local church. I believe it has such a significantly high value for every family, and it hurts me to see so many who, without reason, have disconnected from it. According to recent studies, one-third of those attending church before COVID-19 have stopped going to church. That breaks my heart. 

Now that our kids are in school, Amanda is back to teaching, and we’ve reopened for in-person services, our lives have settled back down. There’s a lot to catch up to, I’m finding out. I have quite a bit of stress from this past season that I still need to process through, but I’m in a place to do that now. 

Amanda is in pain. 

On Labor Day, we took our family out on our boat. Amanda started complaining earlier that morning about her back. By the end of the day, she was in pretty consistent pain. 

On Thursday of that week, she woke up and was in incredible pain. We took her to the doctor and then went to the hospital for an MRI. We found out that she has two particular and severe issues in her lower back.

Currently, she has an appointment with a neurosurgeon in a few days, and we’ll be following up with a coarse of treatment following that appointment. The doctor we’re seeing is highly regarded, and we’re expecting God to continue to provide healing and relief. 

Here’s how to pray: 

1. Pray for our kids, that God will continue to shape their hearts, minds, and lives. Also, pray for us as parents to not grow fatigued in our obedience to the call of “parent” on our lives. 

2. Pray for healing in our heart from the trauma and stresses of this past season. We’ve had a crazy year, just like you. We have many people who depend on us, and we want to be healthy for them. 

3. Pray for healing in Amanda’s lower back. Pray for wisdom and guidance from her neurosurgeon. Pray against any adverse effects until she’s treated. 

Finally… 

As always, thank you so much for loving us. We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve you. 

3 Comments

  1. Thank you Kevin for opening your heart & your personal life. Now I can pray more specifically for you, Amanda & your kids. We know God has a reason for this season.
    We just need to trust & obey & love. ❤️

  2. Prayers for u and ur family going up daily. Absolutely beautiful family.
    I am staying n Church daily. N my studies, different online services and helping those n need right now.
    At this time I have chose not to come back until this virus is contained. I do not feel comfortable coming n a room sitting right beside people with no mask and thats something I have paid attention to with the online services.
    Not once in this whole pandemic have I been fearful, I have prayed and God has put peace n me when it comes to that but I also feel confident n wanting to b apart of a solution and listening to the doctors and scientist. When I pray about this, the scripture Proverbs 1:7 comes to my mind.
    Not saying anyone is wrong n the way they feel. But I have to do right now what I feel God is telling me, personally.
    I know u said that people have stopped coming for no reason and I just wanted u to know I am still here, just doing things a little different. I can’t wait to come back and pray I am welcomed back but right now this is what I feel is right. This is the directions I feel God has led me. I have got deeper n my studies. More personal. I am trying to help people that have been struggling during this pandemic.
    Please don’t think because someone is not there there is not a reason cause I respect u to much and I didnt want u to think that of me. I love u and truly miss u all!!!

    1. Hey Monica! I completely understand where you’re coming from. We’ve encouraged people all along to be mindful and responsive to their needs. We have many families that have concerns regarding their safety in public because they would classify as one of our most “vulnerable” due to health issues and underlying conditions. In this post I was just sharing my perspective and some of what has been a struggle in this season. I have consistently noticed that you ARE engaged to our online presence and I’m so thankful for you and Kerry’s faithfulness. You’re amazing friends.

      When I mentioned that my heart has broken, it was for those who aren’t engaged at all. As I mentioned in this post, statistically (and our church doesn’t quite fit this trend) one-third of those attending church prior to the pandemic aren’t attending church at all (online or in-person). That’s heart-breaking for a Pastor who was watching them grow and develop.

      Here’s an article that references the data that I’ve referred to:
      https://www.barna.com/research/new-sunday-morning-part-2/

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