We have had a crazy busy time over the last couple of months. Holiday time was great, but short since the hairstyle world doesn't get off for holidays, because people want to look snazzy for seeing family and pictures. So we both worked a lot and only had a few days off for Christmas to take a quick jaunt through Oklahoma to see my family, Missouri to see Keeva's, then back to Des Moines to work. Then Keeva had to leave on a business tip and I was left by my lonesome over new years to fend for myself in the cold, but luckily my friends from Mars helped cheer me up for a few days, and we hung out downtown and I even jumped in on percussion on an open mic.
Part of why we've been busy lately is because Keeva has been promoted (which is what the business trip was) to salon manager for the Ulta Salon in the Merle Hay Mall to help build a team there and revitalize the store. The mall once was the largest in the state and that Ulta was the highest grossing as well, but after the huge Jordan Creek mall and shopping area (where she had been working in another Ulta) went up in 2004 in West Des Moines, the area has seen a decline, but it is currently going under an update and revitalization. So it's a very exciting opportunities, as the mall is in our area of the city, the promotion comes with a salary that enables her to actually work less hours than her 2 part time positions up to this point, for more pay, enabling me to not have to work as much as ministry meetings and involvement increase.
On that note, we have also seen God's hand in so many things (including Keeva's promotion) as we prepare to plant a church and seek out friends and partners in the city. One of the first churches we visited, Westwind Church in Waukee, has been very helpful and the lead pastor immediately offered up help and support as we got into the city. So through them and the BCI director, and even through the new friends I make every day at Mars, there are several opportunities and individual partners in the works that we are praying through. There are so many possibilities and people that have been feeling, and answering the call to start new church gatherings in Des Moines, it's easy to see God's hand at work and be excited, but in the end it's not surprising as we are led by and share the same Spirit.
Also it's been deathly cold up here lately, it's currently negative double digits with even lower wind chill, after about an 8" snow a couple days ago, as noted by my frozen Jeep up above. Keeva is about 7 months pregnant and while it keeps her warmer mostly, her belly won't fit into coats, so it's sad/funny/cute.
Be in prayer with us as we seek clarity and direction with some key people. Also be in prayer for those in various stages of feeling called to serve in ministry in Des Moines, as God continues to build this ground swell of workers in an influential Midwestern city, that's quickly growing.