I have a learned a lot about love in this last year mostly through a lot of heart ache this last year.  I have learned to love with all your heart. Sometimes it is hard, but you must persevere. I have learned to appreciate those that invest in you. The people that believe in you are the people that keep you going. Those are the people that come into play when everyone else is gone. I am learning to value the little things and hold on tight to the things that are here for only moments. I am learning to laugh a little more and cry a little less. Most of all I am learning that love, REAL love does conquer all. It is not fair, it is not easy, but real love is amazing!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Grandstaff’s!

To all those that love us, thank you!!!!

In the Beginning…

Before I met Tim I made a list. My dating life in college was slim. I could say I was picky, or maybe I just needed to improve a few things 🙂 , whatever the reason, I had a desire to one day find the man of my dreams, a man that loved me and a man that I could really be happy with. So I dated this guy, whom I will keep nameless, for he was a jerk. He treated me horrible, took advantage of the kind things I would do, and quite often insulted me. I was close to finishing my years at college, and I questioned if this was just how it was suppose to be, all marriages have problems, but was this it? Well, thankfully we broke up.  So I wrote this list, a “wish list” if you will. This list of expectations of the man I wanted to marry, and let me tell you they were high. Some would almost think impossible, but none the less I wrote it, and I prayed for it, and 4 months later when I started dating Tim I pulled out my list and I was shocked. Tim met the requirements of everything on my list (honestly, I think I would have taken him had he been a few short).  He was that good. My list was fulfilled.

Tim and I have been planning for a little over a year on this one thing. This one thing called Genesis. This one thing that will maybe be the rest of our lives. I can honestly say I have spent this last year excited, scared, emotional, questioning, and more trying to figure out how Tim and I are going to make Genesis work. The greatest thing in all this, is it isn’t our church, it is God’s. I love that! I love this, because when I start to freak out and get overwhelmed, I can know that this isn’t mine. God has called us to do this and we are doing everything we think God wants us to do, therefore I do not have to worry. May times we would say “What if…” but now we had the chance to develop and create. So we made a list of everything we felt God wanted Genesis to be:

A place where people can learn the original meaning of what God intended for life.

A place where hurting people needing hope and love can walk through those doors and feel acceptance.

A place for people wanting to know more about God can come and learn. Not from a cookie cutter sermon, but REALLY learn.

A place where there is community, people living together. People caring for each other. People loving each other.

A place where kids have fun, and parents feel good about leaving their kids.

A place that appreciates those who volunteer.

A place where finances would be spent wisely, not on wants but needs.

A place where numbers are not a concern, except to make sure we are letting everyone we can know of God’s love.

A place where family is honored, more over church. A balance for both, but family is always first.

A place where families learn together.

A place that teaches there is more to life than ourselves.

A place that believes in missions to our community and across the world.

A place that is a reflection of God. His ways. His love.

This last year as we started to develop our “wish list” we looked back on all our life experiences. What better way to learn right? So we looked at the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, everything we wanted to keep and those things we didn’t. I thought back to my personal experiences with the head of the nursery to preschool department at our former church, Senga. She was amazing. She encouraged, she understood, and most of all she loved me and my kids. She was patient with me. It was not easy I am sure, but she cared that I felt good about where my kids were. Not everyone was like this, but she was. And I think of Melanie. She stopped everything she was doing to grab my little Cayden from me to ensure I knew that Cayden was well taken care of in the nursery. She will never know what that meant. Cayden had to have three surgeries on her eye and had this enormous strawberry growing on her eye-lid, but Melanie loved her every Sunday. That, I will never forget.

We looked at the bad, going all the way back. Experiences that we might have been a part of or just observing. We learned to always appreciate those who worked for us, even if it was just a letter of appreciation to say “thanks.” I know we might not always be perfect at it, but we will try, for without  We learned the importance of finances. Where our money goes is important, and for that matter, what is important? We believe helping Haiti, or Africa, or a neighbor down the street is more important than how our church might be decorated. You might walk into our building/school and you may not be “wowed”, but know that there are bigger things that are happening because of it.

So here we are. At the beginning. Our journey is just starting. We will mess up, we will fail, I will freak out (!),  but how exciting to be a part of something that was designed by God. That is the only thing I rest in. I get overwhelmed, I think about what happens if this fails, I do freak out, but when I remind myself who and what this is all about, I can rest.

So here are a few snap shots of what has been going on:

Speaking to his team before Genesis 1.

Sign outside our church

Where it all happens

Carter playing in KidGenesis

Our sign and name for our Kids Dept.

Kennedy getting some loving in the nursery!

The pre-k kids.

The kidgenesis kids using insturments during praise time.