Vacay, Church-planting, a New Book and Email Friends {life updates}

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I am writing from Balboa Island, California…and yes it is as amazing as it sounds.

Vacay!

This quaint island stacked full of sidewalks and houses, lined with gardens and surrounded by sparkly blue water is straight out of a storybook. Oh, and running straight down the middle of the island is the coolest “main street” full of shops, the perfect juice bar, amazing restaurants and more. Now in case it is looking and sounding too glamorous for you, well here is the reality. The second day here I was walking down “main street” filled with LOTS of people when I felt something hit my head. I looked down to see my youngest daughter Sophia staring up at the side of my head with her mouth gaping open. She quickly informed me that a bird had pooped on my head and "yes she is serious" and "yes it is disgusting". Lovely. So, I walked as fast as I could trying to brush my bangs back a bit to cover the poop on the side of my head so all the people around wouldn’t see the large pigeon poop...and I was pretty sure everyone was staring directly at my head the whole way home. 

(pic from instagram)

Luckily it was only about a five-minute walk to where we are staying. That is the first of many funny stories I am sure we will have here. We will be here for a couple of weeks as my hubby is doing his residency for the Doctor of Ministry program at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University).

The rest of us decided to make a vacation out of it! 

The Church!

California is a nice getaway for us to refuel as the last several months have been filled with lots of change and exciting developments in our lives. We have been in full-time pastoral ministry for over 15 years and planting a church has always been on our radar…something we have dreamed about for a long time. After much patience and praying, my husband approached the church he was on staff at to inform them he would be stepping down to take a step of faith into the unknown. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was scary. Yes, people thought we were crazy. But we know that if God has called us, He will certainly guide us and provide for us. Last fall we packed up the fam and headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan to plant a church. From the day we announced it in late August of last year, God has affirmed our decision over and over. Not that we have known all the details but as we have trusted Him, He has shown up in His timing, and we have been amazed at how He has opened doors and provided thus far. We now have a large core team of people gathering as Refuge Church, and I can’t believe the amazing people that we get to be a part of this with. I will continue to share our journey with you and would so appreciate your prayers and support. {sidenote: if you know someone in the Ann Arbor area send them our way…we would love to have them join our core team}

The Book!

As if we didn’t have enough to keep us busy, after two years, our marriage book is launching in July. I will be announcing all the details with pre-order goodies for you next week! And seriously....I canNOT wait to share this book with you! If you want a peek into real life with the Schwenk Family this one is for you! 

Want to Be Email Friends?

As we draw near to five years since this community started, I am just astounded, amazed, and in awe of how God has brought hundreds of thousands of us together to learn and grow as moms. As of recently I have been thinking and wrestling through how I personally can connect with more of you more often. The beauty of The Better Mom is that we have many writers from all walks of motherhood which I adore sharing with all of you. But as I share them all with you there are many times I want to share a bit more of my personal life with you guys and I just don’t always have the space to do that. I do of course have Instagram and the Facebook Page where I occasionally share Facebook Live videos so I would love for you to join me there. But I would also love for you to join my personal email friends list for occasional life happenings and updates from me. I'll be sharing more there about my trip to California so I'll "see" you there! 

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Ruth Schwenk

Ruth Schwenk is the creator of The Better Mom, and along with her husband, the creator of For the Family. She is a pastor’s wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. She loves leading, speaking, and blogging. Ruth is the co-author of Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off and two forthcoming books with Zondervan. A graduate of The Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been in full-time local church ministry for over fifteen years.