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May 11, 2016

Marked By His Love

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Today I’m continuing my “Marked By” series. For a full explanation of these posts see here. I’m so pleased to introduce a friend who I’ve gotten to know better through Facebook. She married my friend from college, and as I’ve seen glimpses of her heart through her pictures and posts, I knew I needed to include her among these women of faith. I hope you enjoy her candor, fun, love of Disney, and bold faith as much as I did!

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Family

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Gina Funderburg. I am 29 years old and live in Austin with my husband Luke and two children, Laila and Brandon. I am currently a stay-at-home-mom-that-doesn’t-stay-home-much. On the days my children aren’t attending mother’s day out at our church, I love to take my kids to our local YMCA, Chick-fil-a, on play dates at the park, and to Bible Study Fellowship classes.

Though we are on the go a lot, we do love to stay at home and play outside in what our daughter calls her forest. We have a sweet, cozy home on an acre of land and we are just in love with it. I absolutely adore this season of life with my tiny humans. The preschool years are filled with so much wonder and magic and imagination. It has been so good for me to be able to visit enchanting worlds with magical creatures under forts made out of sheets. We all need this imagination in our life. God used my kids to bring mine back.

My family attends a local church that loves and serves our community and we are so grateful for the friends we have made. They are our tribe and our village (I just love those trendy words used to describe friends, don’t you?). I am a stick-my-foot-in-my-mouth-regret-everything-I-just-said kind of communicator. It’s because I love raw and authentic conversations. But because I am a recovering people pleaser, I am always wondering if I said too much. I can talk your ear off about Jesus, my family, and my favorite kinds of workouts.

What brings me the most joy at the end of each day is sitting on the couch with my hubby, with a big ol’ bowl of popcorn and watching Person of Interest. I like to write as though we are sitting across from each other at a coffee shop. Informal. Most likely incorrect grammar with prepositions at the end of most of my sentences.

I like to write like I talk. And I hope, one day, women will really talk to each other. The kind of talking that is hard. The kind of talking that breaks down walls and builds bridges. When women do this, we forge bonds and friendships that cannot be broken. And we show the world that other women are not our enemies. They are just unknown territory. Let’s know each other. Like really know each other.

Tell us about your work!

I don’t want to sound like a Sanctimommy at all, but when people ask if I work, I initially think to myself, “yeah, it’s called managing a household, teaching and guiding little hearts and minds, keeping a castle for my husband to want to come home to, and also taking care of myself mentally, physically and spiritually.” But the truth is I don’t see that as a job. I see it as a calling. As my mission field. I love it. I am not a super mom. I don’t sew or crochet, I don’t create awesome crafts with my kids. I am learning a lot on the job.

But maybe that’s why I love it. It’s always new and exciting, just like an adventure. Even on the hard days, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I do feel for my mommy friends who work outside of the home and as a result are struggling to find balance. I know many of you find yourself in that boat. Whether you want to or not, I know you have two jobs and I respect your ability to get it all done. So I fight the initial vibrato to get in someone’s face and get my Sanctimommy on when asked this question. Do I believe managing a house is hard work? Absolutely. But I am in the most rewarding season of my life ever.

What are your hobbies and passions?

My hobbies include working out (I know, I’m one of those people), researching all the things (just give me a screen and google and I am happy as a clam), playing outside with my kids, and going on family vacations. I also just love to hang out with my husband. It all sounds so simple and non-creative or home-makery, but the truth is I am a pretty simple person. I also sing on the praise team at our church and once upon a time I wrote an album in my pre-married with kids day. Oh my stars. So embarrassing. But I do love music.

Tell us about your story of faith.

I grew up in a loving Christian home with my parents in the ministry. Like many Christians, I accepted Jesus into my heart at a young age. I was the well-behaved, “good Christian girl” that- looking back- never quite understood God’s grace until much later.

Many of the choices I made were out of fear of disappointing my parents, not out of genuine love for God. My merits were based much on my own self-righteousness rather than the righteousness Jesus offers. When I went off the college I had a crisis of faith. I wasn’t wrestling with whether God existed, I wrestled with whether God loved me and had my best in mind. You see, I didn’t understand what “my best” meant. I thought it meant a relationship with a non-believer, but God in His grace stripped that away from me.

I lashed out at God and wrestled with him over it. For about a year and a half. He was faithful to me, even though I was having a really long and dramatic tantrum. And when I hit emotional rock-bottom because my relationship idols had disappointed me, as all idols do, He dragged me out of the pit. Hosea 2:14 comes to mind, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” God allured me to himself and gave me a love for his Word like I had never experienced before.

As a junior in college I began to devour the bible. Scripture was fresh and new, as though I had never read it before; it was as though I was reading it with fresh eyes. Since then I have walked through various seasons of life. Some have been comfortable, some have been tempered by frustration and heartache, driving me deeper into His side. I have seen the fruits of sanctification in my life, but I have also seen the devastation of my own spiritual pride. I am on a journey to become softer. For a strong-willed, hard-headed, opinionated lady like myself it will be a lifelong journey. But I want to be known more by my strength of humility and service than the words that come out of my mouth.

I want to be known more by my strength of humility and service than the words that come out of my mouth. Tweet: I want to be known more by my strength of humility & service than the words that come out of my mouth http://bit.ly/27cxC0i #markedbyseries

What’s a typical Tuesday like in your house?

5:45-6:00 am- Wake up. Sshh. Don’t talk to me until

6:00-6:45 am – Coffee and reading time

6:45-7:15 am- Kids awake and watch praise baby DVD’s. Obsessed with the PB!

7:30-8:00 am- Breakfast/skype with one of the grandmothers/bible story

8:00-9:45 am- Free play, chores, get dressed, brush teeth

10:20- 11:30 am- Mom works out at YMCA, kids play in their child watch program

11:30 am- Lunch picnic at the Y

12:30 pm- Daughter has dance lessons while I wrangle my exhausted son for an hour at the dance studio

2:00 pm- Home for naps/rest time for kids, chores/emails for me.

3:00 pm- Mommy/daughter play time outside, coloring, painting, etc.

4:30 pm- Son awakes from nap, kids play or watch Daniel Tiger while I prepare dinner

6:00 pm- Hubby is home, family is whole! Play time and dinner

7:00 pm- Bath, books, Bible, prayer

7:30 pm.- Bed. BOOM.

8-10 pm- Hang out with hubby, catch up on emails, etc.

If you could have coffee with one of our readers, what would you share?

I would advise any woman to let go of things that are not Life-Giving. If it ain’t relational, eternal, or a commitment you’ve made, be okay with letting it go.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

For breakfast I had coffee, two eggs and a banana.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?

If I didn’t have a family I would be a Fairy Godmother in Training at Disney’s Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Except I can’t do hair. The other option is that I would live in Africa and work with orphans and engulf myself in the culture.

You’re a box of cereal – what are you and why?

Reese’s Puffs. Always. Because peanut butter and chocolate. Is more explanation really needed?

Finish this sentence – “My life is marked by ________.”

Being asked what your life is marked by is a really hard, and even multi-dimensional question. There are questions I have to ask myself like, “What SHOULD my life be marked by?”, and “What do I WANT my life to be marked by?”

Then there is reality.

There are so many things I am not good at. So many areas of my life that need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit and rough edges that are in the process of being worn to softness. But when I think of my hero Jesus, when I look at His life in the bible, I see a picture of strength and humility, truth and grace. He was all of these wonderful things wrapped up into flesh and blood. One thing He said sticks with me. He said, “they will know you by your love.” Not by what you do perfectly. Not by how many things you get checked off your list, or how many spiritual badges you wear, or how many ministries you serve on. He said love.

As His follower He beckons me to that life. He calls me over to the uncomfortable places. He calls me to the unlovable people, because I was the unloveable. He calls me to love because He first loved me.

My life is marked by Love. His love. Not my own.

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I am so encouraged, particularly by her heart for women to build bridges by tearing down walls. The more we share, the less we compare, and the more we encourage each other in our unique ways. See her BIO below and connect with her.

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FamilyGina currently lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Luke, and their two children. She considers herself a jack-of-many- trades yet a master of absolutely none. However, she is in the process of reconciling that she will not be the best at anything and is okay with just being “okay” at some things. She believes her purpose in this life is to be a helper and encourager to her hubby, to guide her children and help them see all God has in store for their life, and to be an encourager and friend to all who need it. She currently volunteers at her church as an ESL teacher and has so enjoyed getting to know women from all across the world by building bridges despite a language barrier. Gina also loves holistic health and finds working out to be not only a hobby but the key to her mental sanity on most days. Despite claiming mental sanity she is a crazy Disney lady and would pack up and move right inside those Magic Kingdom gates if it were up to her. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram, or you can read her blog at funderandlightning.blogspot.com.

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