Intersecting Life and Faith

Author: Jody (Page 1 of 102)

Jody is a sojourner, wife, mom, pastor's wife and writer with a compulsion to blog about her faith intersecting real life. Living in apple country in upstate New York, beginning her day with a grateful heart and a cup of coffee.

2021… onto 2022

A year ago today, I was looking forward to 2021. While COVID was still the topic of conversation in most circles, the hope was we would still not be talking about it on New Year’s Day 2022. While I listen to the news and do my best to stay safe, my hope is not in the latest news story.

2021 was good, 2021 was hard, but God was with us the whole time. Our family welcomed twin grandsons at the end of March, Wayland, and Wellington. I’ve got pictures I’d be thrilled to show you if you ask me. We also welcomed David Buff to our family when he married our daughter Lauren. It was an outdoor ceremony/reception on a beautiful Saturday in August. In fact the only Saturday it didn’t rain that month. The hard we navigated were the ups and downs of COVID rules in New York state. Whether in church or decisions I was a part of with the local school board I serve, it wasn’t always easy to know what was the right path to follow, but God was with us.

I also began, very slowly, my home baking business, The Farmer’s Daughter Baking Co. I am happy to say I will be able to put more time and energy into this project for 2022. If you would like to know more, I would be happy to add your name to an email list. I recently resigned from a part-time job at church, so I will have time to enjoy this new endeavor. And spend as much time as I can with Wayland and Wellington.

This blog will soon be fourteen years old. There were years I wrote every day and there have been years where I only wrote a few posts. I am coming back to my original intent for writing and that is for my friends at Lafayette Alliance Church. I wanted a way to communicate the encouragement I continue to draw from, which is the eternal Word of God and my love for Jesus. I won’t be sharing these posts on Facebook or Instagram. There are a few ways to read these posts where you will find me talking about the Lord, what I’m learning in God’s Word, and happenings with the Gates clan. You can subscribe to these posts via email. There is a place on the sidebar to subscribe. You can also find these posts linked in the Weekly Connection and our Church website.

My prayer for you as we begin the new year is that the “Lord will direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

May we always remember every day, whatever the day brings, that we “see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

Women, You Want to Know

These posts are about women I know, faithfully following Jesus like the disciples who gave up everything, not knowing where they were going or what their life would look like, but following anyway.

As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon(who is also called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. “Follow me,” he told them, ” and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20

As the owner and writer of Jody Lynne, I have a category of posts titled Dusty Women, which you can read here. The last post in this series is three years old and I’ve never answered the questions I have posed to others. You can read a bit about me at the tab labeled about. What follows is a bit more in-depth of who Jody is…for anyone who wants to know. 🙂

Describe yourself in 5-7 words

Dependable, responsible, hard-working, faithful, Jesus loving.

Briefly describe your walk of faith, where Jesus found you.

Jesus found me as a teenager in the country church we were attending. My lifelong friend Lori and I, answered the call to come to follow Jesus as teenagers. We haven’t looked back and love him to this day.

What do you do for work? Family?

I always wanted to be a wife and mother. I can’t remember wanting to do or be anything else. I tried different paths, but they did not fill the desire I had to be a wife and mother. Off to college, I did meet the man I would eventually marry. He would be called into the ministry and follow the call God had placed on him to be in full-time ministry. I had no idea what it meant to be a pastor’s wife, but I would soon find out. After five years of on and off again dating, we were married. You can read all about my growing up on a farm, college years, how Rob and I were married, and our ministry life in Confessions of a Farmer’s Daughter.

I remember the conversation we had regarding beginning a family. I could go to work full-time or we could begin our family where I would stay home with our children. I chose this path and never looked back.

I followed my desire and the call I believed God had placed on my life. I am privileged to be the mom of four adult children and four grandchildren. Over the years I provided childcare out of our homes, worked in bakeries, and recently resigned from a part-time job at our church. My newest undertaking is to get The Farmer’s Daughter Baking Co. up and running out of our home.

I love to write, bake, and drink coffee. I presently also serve on our local school board.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

The advice I would give to my 16-year-old self would be to stop chasing boys…stop daydreaming about boys…forget about boys. I guess you would say I was boy crazy, but not much to choose from at the country high school I went to with 23 in my graduating class. Chase your dreams, which means the life you want won’t come to you. The life you dream of and want is full of hard work.

I”m looking back on more years than I have in front of me, so I can say I’ve tried so many things I have loved, but not always easy. I wanted to write a book, so I self-published the book I previously mentioned. I love to write, so I began this blogging in 2008. During the COVID 2020 year, I began a YouTube channel( I don’t have many posts there.) If there is something you want to do, give it a try. While I don’t like to fail, it is part of learning, and I try, try again.

What does God’s Word mean to you?

God’s Word is food for my soul. I love to read it, study, and keep it near. I love to teach other women to love God’s Word through teaching Women’s Bible studies and Sunday School.

Do you drink coffee or tea? Sweet or salty? examples?

I drink coffee, black, sometimes with a flavored creamer. My favorite drink to order out is a Dirty Chai, which is a creamy chai tea with a shot of espresso. My go-to snack is any kind of chips.

What encouragement would you give to women today?

The encouragement I would give to women today is to be the woman God has called you to be. Don’t look to the right or to the left or behind you where the past lies and cannot be changed. Look to God’s Word for the woman He wants you to be and ask God to help you not compare yourself to any other woman. Be a woman who loves God with all her heart, mind, and soul and your neighbor as yourself.

Drawing New Lines

2021~~This is a re-post from a couple of years ago but wanted to share, it’s one of my favorites.

When I saw this, I thought, ‘yes, that’s me too.” I don’t advocate breaking the law or disobeying authority, or not following the Word of God.

But what has become evident as four children are now out of the nest, doing their own coloring, I did advocate drawing new lines. For sure, people, well-meaning people, will tell you to stay well within the lines, don’t color too close to the edge because your picture won’t look perfect. I want to know why we stress over making sure our picture is perfect? In what world is life ever perfect? Why can’t we draw new lines? With the picture perfect world of social media it’s even harder to color outside the lines, as we compare our lives to others. Don’t compare my friends, do your own coloring. 

Traipsing across the country following my husband/pastor(Ruth 1:16) we have had the time of our lives. Our children were born in three states, moved four times, made life long  friends every time. It wasn’t easy for this girl who loves her people deeply and has a hard time making new friends. But, I tell you, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I have 

  • learned the steadfast love of a heavenly Father,
  • gained the deep, trusting love of a husband who loves me despite my failings
  • gained friends around the country and in other countries.
  • learned to laugh without fear of the future(Proverbs 31:25), because the Lord has clothed me with his strength and his dignity

The advice I would share with anyone who will listen is this:

  • Encourage your kids to learn, play, and find their way in this world by encouraging their dreams and ideas. Let them fall down, let them…be.
  • Encourage them to work hard at whatever they are doing.
  • Teach them to work hard, even at a young age, little ones want to help and contribute. 
  • Encourage them to draw new lines, lines that don’t break civil or God’s law, but new lines that will let them dream and follow what they believe God has called them to do. Tell them often to follow their dreams, their goals, what they believe they want in life. I would encourage you to begin this at a young age. May they be independent of us as parents and lean on their heavenly Father. 
  • Pray they will love God with all their heart, with all their mind and with all their soul and love their neighbor. 

So, yes, my friends, draw new lines. Follow the Lord in the  new and exciting…and the mundane of Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Ask him for guidance for each step, he will answer and help you color the page he has for you.

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