Trust…

This is so true for Daniel and I, especially as we approach our 2 year mark of stepping out of the boat–our comfort zone! God has seen us through SO much in the past 2 years and we stand so much stronger in Him! We both can attest to “He never leaves you and never forsakes you.” There is always a Bigger Plan–trust Him!

How’s it going?

This very week last year changed the course of our life tremendously.
This was the week, Dan was approached with the decision of a lifetime and as you have read over the last few months it has been quite an adventure! (One Little Yes)
So how is the Feliciano family doing?
I do get lots of texts/emails/messages asking how things are, how the girls are adjusting and so forth.  I figured it’s time for an update.
We are doing great overall!  We have settled in to our new home quite well and getting used to the culture of Florida life. The girls love their new school although it is more challenging they both have stepped up to the plate.  They have made new friends and are excelling in their studies as well.  Alyssa has gotten straight A’s this past quarter and will be in the Spelling Bee representing her school.  Alaina is constantly singing her alphabet, the months of the year, telling us about her science projects, and just loving Preschool.  Aliyah is now 13 months and has four teeth (that she no doubt likes to use on her sisters) and hopefully will be taking her first steps soon as her goal seems to be to keep up with her big sisters!  Dan is busily working his 9-5 and then having to do the church plant as well–his biggest task is to put together a worship team from scratch. So he definitely has his hands full in balancing right now but God is faithful. Me? Well, I’m simply happy.  I am home with Aliyah and that is a huge blessing as we felt it’s definitely worth the sacrifice since we are in a new environment and didn’t want to put her in daycare.  I am also working with the lead pastor’s wife as we have to set up the children’s ministry as well. But I will be honest–I am BUSY!  I don’t know where the time goes during the day.  Before I know it I’m leaving to pick up the girls from school and start our nightly activities.  But let me save that one for another day/another blog entry.

How is life different?  Well for one–us Northern Virginia folks are always rushing around.  So for Dan and I we haven’t really found our rhythm where we find it enjoyable waiting at a traffic light or waiting for service folks to call us back when it’s convenient for them or even getting it straight in our minds that it really is ONLY 15 minutes or less away to our destination. I wouldn’t say grocery or  gas is any cheaper but the fruits and vegetables do taste sweeter.  We are learning the city life in comparison to the suburbs where we grew up. We don’t have the leaves changing but I will say we all take notice of the amazing sunsets that paint the nightly sky.  We do spend more time outdoors, walking on the beach, playground/parks and especially fishing.  In VA, we had no problem eating the fish we caught but fishing here has opened our eyes to a whole different array of colors and types of fish.  So yes we have been catching and releasing, just seems too sad to eat such pretty fish!  We have taken advantage of the Florida residents rates at Disney so any chance we can sneak in a visit to the park we try to. People here are definitely more friendly and we have had to open up more than the usual culture up north would. One of the biggest differences here in St. Pete compared to Northern Virginia are the highways are pretty much empty.  When we first moved, we just couldn’t understand it.  Everyone uses the side streets and everything pretty much intersects one way or the other.  There is no just take I95, I395 or 66!  There are at least three different ways to get the kids to school but watch out the traffic lights will get you!

To sum it all up–our family has gotten closer over these past few months as we do and experience everything new together.  The two older girls share a room currently and they are already trying to convince us that they want that set up permanently (who would have thought) because they love laughing and talking to each other before drifting off to sleep.  To think back to last year at this time that I would be writing about our family living and setting up ministry in Florida seems impossible. But here we are, a year later from when Dan was approached with this opportunity, and that impossible dream is our living miracle each day!
Thank you all for your loving support and your constant prayers.  There is so much to be done in the next few months as we approach the launching of our church, Church By the Bay (CBB) and we covet those prayers as we not only focus on ministry but our family life as well.

One Little Yes

 

IMG_5813If you have been checking out my blog you might be wondering when will she address this walking on water, H2owalkerlife bit. Well I am ready to share some pretty amazing things (over time) that has been happening in our family. Most people whether church goers or not have come across the story of Peter walking  on water with Jesus. For those who might not have read or heard this before you can find the story in Matthew 14: 22-23.
Walking on water always equates to the impossibility of a task and the faith it took for Peter to climb out of the boat filled with safety and comfort and being willing to take a step into an element of the unknown.

So where do I start? Dan tells it best…

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Who knew that one little YES would lead to answering a 15 year-long prayer?!
In late summer of 2014, my longtime friend, Asif Shaikh, sent me a copy of the Circle Maker, seemingly out of the blue.  We hadn’t really connected in over 10 years so He had no way of knowing at the time that I was in the midst of a real struggle to discern the will of God for my life.  Over the past 15 years the Lord blessed me with a wonderful family, successful career, nice home, and I was even volunteering as a worship leader at our church. But all that time I knew in my heart that there was a bigger dream, a greater calling from the Lord on my life towards full-time ministry…I just couldn’t see how it could ever happen.  Until one night, out of pure frustration, I admitted to Shivaulie how I wished God would just someway, somehow send someone to flat out offer me a job as a full-time worship pastor!  I felt so ridiculous even hearing myself say it.  But she lovingly reminded me of how things in life just don’t work that way…and she encouraged me to actively seek out different places to serve until I could find the right opportunity…great advice I never followed.  I did, however, follow her advice to plan out a 40 day Circle Maker prayer and fasting marathon leading up to my 40th birthday, hoping that by the end of it, I would hear from the Lord.  Well honestly, my 40th birthday came and went…I didn’t get clear direction, but I did receive a fresh revelation of God’s peace and rest, and a renewed confidence to trust Him to do the impossible. On November 5th, 2014, I said YES to a casual lunch invitation from Asif for us to catch up since he was serving at NCC in DC. (Mark Batterson’s church)  Midway into our lunch Asif leans across the table and flat out asks me if I would be willing to serve as his worship pastor for a new church plant in St. Petersburg, Florida!  I was stunned.  The only response I could muster was…umm, I’ll pray about it.  He didn’t know how I was desperately seeking the Lord for the past 15 years for this opportunity, or how I fasted and prayed for 40 days circling this dream in prayer.  I went home that night and told Shivaulie still stunned that God had heard and directly answered my frustrated prayer.  I thought I had given up on that dream, but really, I had just given it completely to the Lord. After receiving wise spiritual counsel from Shivaulie, my dad and a close friend, I unexpectedly found myself on a plane to St. Pete that very weekend to seek and hear from the Lord in the very place I was being called to serve. I knew that saying YES to this calling would be saying NO to what we had accomplished the last 15 years of our life…leaving behind our immediate family and close friends, our home, our careers, our church and community.  But I quickly realized that the past 15 years spent crying out to God, were the same 15 years God was preparing me, maturing me, and nurturing me for the next season in my life…but now it was up to me to say YES.  After a weekend of fasting and prayer in St. Pete, I knew beyond a doubt that this call was from the Lord and I came home saying YES. Since that one little YES to lunch, and then that one big YES to serve in the new church plant, God has shown Himself in miraculous ways.  (Dan Feliciano)

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This testimony is still unfolding and as Dan, the kids and I embark on this new adventure where we are walking on water with Jesus, I will continue to share with you our lessons learned, our ups AND downs, and it all began with one little YES…!

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

 

 

 

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