This year started off rough health wise, which was a carry over issue from last year and years ago. After much consulting and prayer, I made the decision to have the major surgery of a hysterectomy. It was a 6 week recovery but I am 100% and haven’t felt this way since 2004. My Doctor, Dr. Scott Hite, was amazing throughout the whole journey. I see him next week for my 6 month check up.
Just 2 weeks ago, I move 3 blocks away from where I was living. I loved where I was but it was time for a change. The new place is an upgrade for less rent. So now I am blessed to see this view every day.
I can’t say enough about family. Had our largest family reunion on my father’s side this year. Just about everyone was there, so there was about 60 of us. We committed to getting together every 2 years for this large reunion but on the off years smaller groups would connect. Well 5 of the 6 girls cousins I grew up with connected just this month for the first time as adults and it was so good.
I’ve always been blessed to have incredible friendships in my life. This year, I’m especially thankful for Suzzette, Terrell, Tina, Lacie and Cathy.
Food is the ultimate gatherer of people. No matter age, race, gender, economic status, it brings people together. I’ve had some great memories this year around food. And today, on this Thanksgiving, I hosted dinner at my house with some amazing people.
Beloved Greater Chicago Church Family,
1 year ago today, May 8, 2011, I woke up on Mother’s Day and was heading to visit GCC for the 1st time. I learned about GCC two weeks prior to my visit from my friend Jason Upton, who was coming to be a guest at the Flame of Love Conference. I said to myself, “if they are bringing Jason in, they must be halfway descent.”
I walked into the school with an open mind and ready to receive and had prayed that this would finally be home.
Let me give you some background. You see, I had been looking for a church home since July of ’08 after moving back to Chicago. I grew up on the north side of the city and moved to Florida in August of 91′ with my family. I have lived in 8 cities, 3 states, 2 countries, been on 5 church plantings, 9 mission trips, was on staff and/or senior leadership for 13 years and traveled the world during my 17 years away from Chicago…but there is no city I love more than CHICAGO. There was something calling me back and when the timing was right, I made the move back.
Now back to that 1st GCC visit. I was really enjoying the service and thought to myself, “I sure wish this was located in the center of the city cause I am not called to the suburbs.” Shortly after that through, Ian finished preaching and went into the offering and then said ” when we move to the city…” and all else was a blur. <insert happy dance>
After that 1st service, Dan Pietrini was the 1st person to introduce himself to me, and knew right away he was the youth pastor. Ha! Then I went meet Ian, to thank him for a great service. I was appreciative that he was approachable and I could tell he had a humble spirit and was a gentle giant (but later realized he was a black woman trapped inside a white Irish man’s body). Cathy McFadden was speaking to him and I got to meet her that 1st day. He smile was infectious. Ian then introduced me to Heather Treadway because I was drawn to the story of the logo on the church website and she had written it. We clicked right away. Jamie Cleghorn was standing close by and boasted about how his wife, Heather had written most of the songs we sang during worship. I thought , ” gotta a love a man who boasts about his wife to a stranger. He’s a keeper!”
Over the last 12 months I’ve build great connections with some of my GCC family like Rachel – the incredible spiritual mother of GCC, Jay Fancher – the GCC connector, Lisa Brown – I’ll never forget that 1st talk in your car, Donnie Brown – my brother, my co-mayor, Dave Fife – loved our weekly gatherings, Brenda O’neal – my gospel music partner, Michelle Lenz, Carol-Ann Abraham, Lorena Ybarra – Toronto was unforgettable, Holly – That grace talk will always stay with me, Lacie Wilson – Easter was the start of something special.
I’ve been overwhelmingly blessed by this 1st year at GCC…though it took 3 years to find…it was well worth the wait! I’m looking forward to the next chapter as we move into the city and possess the land!
With Gratitude and Love,