When Husband and I moved to Joshua in 2007, I never imagined I’d be nominated for the Community Spirit Award by the Joshua Area Chamber of Commerce. My position at First Methodist Joshua affords me countless opportunities, every day, to be a community ambassador and liaison for outreach ministry. I love what I do, but it’s not a job. This is my calling.

Growing up, I remember my Mom serving in different roles for various organizations and community groups. I spent many evenings in meeting rooms, City Hall, or school gyms while she presided over an agenda, read minutes, or contributed to council discussions. They were dreadfully boring then and not much has changed today! While I don’t think my Dad ever called a meeting to order, he helps coordinate events benefiting children’s hospitals, military veterans, school booster clubs, and anyone else in need. He smokes a mean pork chop and people will pay for it!

Despite my upbringing, I was completely shocked then this happened at the Chamber Awards Banquet last Friday:

Community Spirit Award / 2018 JACC Awards Banquet

I never expected to win the Community Spirit Award and even begged our Chamber President to remove my name from the ballot. I still don’t think I deserve this recognition!

Stepping onto the stage was emotional because I did not get here alone. Obviously, my PARENTS had a huge influence on my life’s direction by modeling service to others regularly. HUSBAND and KAMDEN have sacrificed time away from me so I can pursue my calling. UNPAID SERVANTS at First Methodist Joshua have just as much community spirit as I do. There are MENTORS who have showed me how to give generously (and it’s not always money).

I’m telling you right now, what I do and the community spirit I have would be NOTHING without other people. Their names should be on this trophy, not mine! I accomplish nothing alone.

Community Spirit Award / 2018 JACC Awards Banquet

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is PARTNERING with government officials, business owners, school administrators, faith-based organizations, and other church leaders. I joined the Chamber so I could connect with these people on a regular basis. The seeds that were planted five years ago are beginning to produce fruit and THAT EXCITES ME!!!!!!! This “community spirit” is really JOY for the Lord and getting a front row seat to HIS works. 🙂

Community Spirit Award / 2018 JACC Awards Banquet

Two of my greatest ministry partners are Lisa Schwarz of Crazy8 Ministries and Amanda Burns of Joshua Independent School District. Crazy8 won Non-Profit of the Year and Amanda was named JISD Employee of the Year. It was a privilege to share the stage with Lisa and Amanda – they reflect Christ’s love and affirm my calling. They also make me smile, which makes me giggle, and that enhances my community spirit! I work closely with both of them, in some capacity, every single week. They are my kind of people – tenacious, gracious, sassy, and sweet as sugar. I thank God for their friendship and Lord knows we’re responsible for a lot of shenanigans. We work hard and have fun doing it. I’m truly blessed by these amazing women.

Shameless promotional moment … if you’re in the DFW area Saturday, June 2, Lisa Schwarz will be at First Methodist Joshua for RELATE, a women’s retreat, Saturday, June 2. Register HERE.

If you need some community spirit, I’ve got plenty to share!

This article was featured in the Cleburne Times-Review on April 10, 2018.