Monday, May 31, 2010

Grayce's Room

I LOVE Grayce's room. It started six years ago, when we first moved in, and I wanted to paint the room the perfect shade of pale blue for little Matthew. This was the first time we were able to choose what color to paint our walls! The room instantly became the most peaceful room in the house, with that beautiful shade of blue.

The boys moved to our third bedroom, and the blue room became Grayce's when she was born. It transferred seamlessly to a girls room. Now we are moving to an apartment with walls that are some shade of beige.... and we need to sell much that is in Grayce's room: her beautiful white crib that I traded for a photo shoot, the turquoise tufted velvet chair that I LOVE, her beautiful crib bedding, her pretty white curtains with the pom-pom trim.

So I'm in Grayce's room, taking pictures for Craigslist (although she doesn't know I'm taking pictures to SELL her stuff), and I got a few cute pics of Grayce in her room for our last week here. So precious! I'm going to miss this room....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Letter to the Church

This is the letter I read in Church on Sunday Jan 24th

Hello everyone,
It has been seven years this month since the Hardin family arrived here at First Lutheran, and Matthew was only two months old. Jill and I have enjoyed the many blessings of friends and community here in Venice. After three years, I started feeling God’s call towards Pastoral Ministry. In the summer of 2007, while visiting family in Missouri, we made a bold move to look into what it would take to respond to this call and we visited Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. It was a great visit, but Jill and I both felt that God was not calling us to that place at that time. When you hear God calling it is best to respond. We understood that trip as God affirming that the great ministry we were involved with in Venice was where he was continuing to call us at that time. But the calling to pursue pastoral ministry didn't go away. I looked into another programs towards ordination and I found Concordia Irvine had a Multicultural Program. This program would allow me to continue in the ministry at First Lutheran while I studied to become a pastor. I applied and went to the interviews and felt very excited about the idea of starting school and continuing to minister here at FLV. As Jill and I looked at the idea of school and a four-year workload it became evident that this was not the answer. Last summer, Jill and I both felt God calling us to look into the Seminary in St. Louis once more. As I have ministered here at Venice several things became clear to me. I wanted to learn more about Scripture and I wanted to develop my skills as a leader. I have poured over the class schedules at the Seminary and I have found myself excited to dive into full time study. As much as the idea of moving cross county and becoming a full time student sound like an insurmountable obstacle I feel confident that this is the best for Jill and the family as we look forward to the future. I remember a Bible verse from Romans 11:29 “for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.” God has called us to Venice for many blessed years. God is now calling us to a new place to continue ministering in new ways. We invite you to support us with your prayers and financially if you wish, for we will be at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis for two years while I am a full time student. On the third year, Concordia will place me as a full time vicar in a congregation. I feel blessed to have Jill who shares my joy and call as well. Whenever Jill and I have separately prayed to God for direction, He has always given us the same answer. It is my hearts desire to answer this call from God. I feel humbled by this call and by God’s grace I will answer. Again, please pray for us as we work to make this happen. Classes start this summer in early June and we have many things to figure out between now and then. We will continue to minister here at First Lutheran until that time, and work towards a smooth transition for the Youth and Family program here at First Lutheran Venice.
Blessings and thank you,

David Hardin

Heading to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

So David is out in the garage, packing? Sorting? Welding a bike rack to haul our bikes to St. Louis? I'm not really sure, but he sounds industrious. I'm sitting in the midst of a million empty boxes, ready to pack, scattered among my studio lights, backdrops, and canvases ready to be mailed. So much to do in preparation for our new life, and yet still so much for me to finish here!

Trying to measure every item we are taking, in order to determine if it will fit in our 26 ft. Penske truck, and then, to fit in our new apartment. Thank God (and the nice housing people at the Sem) that we got the four bedroom apt.! Thinking about unpacking all those boxes is really motivating me to get rid of more stuff before we leave...

Trying to figure out how to fit in time with all of those we love before we go. Family farewell (Dave's family lives in Orange County), Ladies Night, date night with good friends, play dates with kids.... Everyone here is like family to us, and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to share with everyone.

As hard as it is to leave all of those who have become our family over the last seven and a half years, I remain so motivated by these words in Romans 10 - v.9-"if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. v.13-15"for 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'"

Hmmm, seems pretty obvious, huh? So here we are, following God's call. Preparing to preach, so that they may hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and believe.