Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Reunion

Two weekends ago, I traveled with a dear friend Keri to see two other great friends. We first drove to see Katie Rae's girls basketball team from Union University dominate a game. We then all traveled to Nashville to spend the night with Melina. It was great to see these girls. I am so blessed to have them in my life, not only as bridesmaids, but as constant encouragement to my heart. I am encouraged every time I see them. We talked, laughed, ate, ate, and ate again! I enjoyed this weekend so much friends!

We are all laughing because this is like the 20th picture we took.

We took so many because some wanted everyone to laugh instead of focusing on the picture. haha! I love it!

Every time without fail! :-)

I love these girls. Thank you for living life with me!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Berry Covered in Snow!

I love Berry College! I love it even more covered in snow. It is such a beautiful place!

Christmas 2010

I know it has been forever since Chris and I updated our blog. We promise to get better. So, here is the start of something new.....hopefully! :-)

Chris and I went to my parents for Christmas. We got to hang out with my sister Katie and her new husband Melvin. I say new husband but they really have been married for a year and a half now. This was the first time that the entire family was together, and it was so great getting to know Melvin and enjoy family time.

We then went to see Chris' family. We had a family dinner at his precious grandmother's, Grammy, house.

Christmas 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

I guess I will start this one as I start many others by saying sorry for not posting in what seems like forever, basically all summer. I figured since I turned 28 yesterday that I could at least post something. I haven't had a whole lot of eventful birthdays in my time, but yesterday was a lot of fun. My team from work met at Cracker Barrel at 8:30am for breakfast, then drove up to the Ocoee River for some white water rafting. Of course it was a blast and was a chance just to have fun away from the crazy busy work life. And it's a great opportunity for team building. We had a blast and owned that river. After eating lunch we headed home. Then I had to book it in order to get to a wedding rehearsal I had here in Rome that I played for, which was fun. Then I got to spend some time with my amazing bride and eat dinner and just hang out at home. Man am I exhausted today, but what a great birthday.

In some other news, I love my job. I just can't say it enough. To get the chance to be a small part in the advancement of the gospel and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and to get paid for it is unbelievable and very humbling. God is really moving in the Rome and Floyd County area and changing the lives of people all around. It is abundantly clear that God has ordained FaithBridge Foster Care to change the way foster care is ran not only in Georgia, but across the nation and I just can't wait to see it come to fruition and be a tiny cog in the machine. To add to the joy, on Friday I found out that the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Georgia's Department of Human Resources, who is over all of DFCS in Georgia has resigned from his position and was hired by FaithBridge to be our Chief Operating Officer. I mean, this is a big time guy who has seen God move through our agency and he wants to be an active part and I am stoked. Mark Washington, welcome aboard sir, we are glad to have you. I'm sure the kind folks at DFCS offices across Georgia are scratching their heads going, "What's up with this FaithBridge deal?" Haha, I love it. Stay tuned for more updates on this awesome ministry.

Last, but by no means least, there is my beautiful wife. She started the school year and although she now has 18 students, 5 more than last year, she really loves her class. This, her 4th year of teaching, is the first time she has been able to teach the same thing in back to back years. She teaches fourth and fifth grade History, Science, Bible and Health. Yes, all four classes, although it isn't quite as much as it sounds. It does help that she no longer has Grad School classes and work to worry about and it has given her more free time, even though she still has a lot to do being a teacher. We really enjoyed this summer though since she didn't have much to do and could rest, spend time with friends, do things at home, read and most important of all, spend time with her loving husband, haha. We got to spend a ton of time together during the summer since I work from home a lot and the fact she didn't have plans every day. It really was a sweet time for us, something we didn't have a lot of during our first two years of marriage. The only thing negative was that we didn't get to take a vacation and haven't since our honeymoon, but hopefully next summer we will be able to since we'll have the money and I should be able to take the time off of work. We're thinking a cruise with some friends, but I guess you never know.

I guess I'll leave you guys here, but we do appreciate those of you who take time to show interest in our lives and for all your love and support. We have quite a busy fall full of traveling and packed full weekends, but God is good and we love our lives and the grace he has given us although we don't deserve it. Take care and hopefully I will have another post here much sooner than the last gap between posts. Check out the Project 127 facebook page, there is a link on the right side of our blog. Thanks and God bless!

Hayes Party of Two

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Long Road is Over

I realize the last several posts have been predominately about me and my new job and things of that nature. Well, this post has absolutely nothing to do with me and that is the way I like it. My beautiful, amazing, smart, funny, captivating, motivated, organized, over-achiever, loving, sweet, cute, perfect-for-me wife graduated from Berry's Grad School program yesterday with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Not only did she do that, but she graduates from a very prestigious institution with a 3.88 GPA only having made one B during her 5 semesters of Grad School classes. Ten out of her eleven classes resulted in A's. That B came because her professor told the class they would only have to study from their notes and that the tests would consist only of things discussed in class. Then the professor gave a test covering nothing that was taught in class or in their notes and that one grade kept her from getting an A that she actually deserved. She graduates with a membership in a big time Honor's Society as well. The most incredible accomplishment may be the fact that she did all of this while teaching full time and by helping lead the children's ministry at our church. This woman hardly had any free time to herself the last two years including having to take 6 weeks of classes last summer. She spent most evenings having to grade papers, do homework, read, do lesson plans, study, write papers along with helping to take care of me, keep a good home and so many other amazing things that she does. To say that she earned this incredible feat is a huge understatement.

I am so proud of her that I cannot put it into words well enough to capture my true joy and pride to be her husband. My wife strives for excellence in everything she does. She never accepts a challenge or does anything without giving her very all and doing the best she can. She also is the most honest person of great integrity that I know and she challenges me to be a better person. Those children who come into her classroom have no idea how much she cares about them and how hard she works to give them the best education she possibly can and they are extremely blessed to have her as a teacher. She can finally relax some this summer and sleep in, read books, go swimming, work around the house, spend time doing things that she loves to do and really do whatever she wants. I promised her I would not make her do anything that she doesn't want to do this summer.

Brittany is my treasure and I love her with all that I am. I am so grateful that the Lord has put her in my life and I cannot wait to see what he has planned for our future together. I am excited to see how God continues to grow her and draw her closer to him. God is good and he is sovereign and faithful. My wife is my truest puzzle piece that fits me perfectly and fills in every hole that I have and that is not be accident. She is a gift from God and I enjoy spending my life glorifying God first and loving, leading and serving my wife a close second only to Christ.

Here are some pictures of Graduation Day.
May 8, 2010
Berry College

Hayes Party of Two

Friday, April 30, 2010

Floyd County Will Be Changed

I have now been working for FaithBridge Foster Care for three weeks and the excitement level I have for this is at an all time high. Basically I've spent the last three weeks just learning the ropes, following the other consultants around on visits and things and filling out lots of paperwork. Yes, it is indeed like drinking from a fire hydrant, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Technically it is a job, and I get paid for it along with a lot of other great benefits and those have been a great blessing to my wife and I. Still, I consider it to be much more than a job or occupation. It is a mission field and a ministry and I truly believe that God has ordained this partnership and has entrusted me with a huge responsibility.

FaithBridge's mission is "Changing the way America does foster care". It is great to work for an organization that you can tell 100% that every single employee believes wholeheartedly is a true statement. I am no different. I believe God wants to change the lives of millions of children across our great nation. For me, that starts in Floyd County and I am ready to stand on the front lines. Floyd County is the fourth highest county in the state of Georgia as far as the number of kids coming into care. Per capita, it is the number one county. What that says is that the need is tremendous. My new life verse right now comes out of Matthew 9:37-38 which says, "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" I believe that with all my heart. There is an amazing group of Pastors who have joined together to create Project 127 Rome, which is partnered with FaithBridge and I get to play an important role in seeing this vision come to pass.

This all got me thinking. How many times do we actually believe with all our heart that God is going to do something? How often to we just assume his faithfulness, but don't necessarily believe in it? What has happened to our faith? I can say this because I am as guilty as the next person. So often I agree to pray for something or someone, and I usually do once or twice. However, I can't remember the last time I just fell before the Lord and begged him to move. I love that Shane and Shane song "I Beg" because it just captures for me my heart right now. I want my life to be a picture of someone lying down at the feet of Almighty God yearning for Him to move and do something huge. God is sovereign and He is going to do His work whether we help or not. But how amazing is it that God allows us to be a part in His Kingdom coming to pass. God is going to completely change the way foster care is done in this country. He is going to use the church. You can either step up and be a part of it, or sit on the sidelines. Before you go getting mad at me, I'm not saying that you aren't a Christian if you don't become a foster parent, but I am saying that you are missing out on something incredible by not getting involved somehow. If you can't foster, then do respite care. If you can't do respite care, sign up to be a volunteer through the Church. If you can't volunteer, then hit your knees and pray for these children and for our foster families. If you've been blessed financially, then return that blessing and give to a Christ-centered cause knowing that your money is being used to change lives and bring people to Jesus.

We serve a King who loves children and who will not let them be neglected, abused and forsaken without desiring His people to be a part in the change that is taking place. I worked for the state with DFCS, but the state is not getting it done. There are a number of incredible people working hard at DFCS all over the state, but it's just not working. Floyd County is sending too many children away from home because there aren't enough families here to take them. Too many sibling groups are being split up. The hardest part of all this is that in most situations, these kids have done nothing to deserve any of this. They are the ones who suffer the most and too many times the Church has just stood around in our nice buildings and comfortable homes and done nothing about it. Maybe we write a $20 check once a year or we send out a simple prayer for all the children. While those things aren't bad, it is not enough. We must have the compassion and desire to see these kids be in good homes and have the chance to live a full life free from abuse and neglect and to have people who love them and care for them and are Jesus to them. I believe there is not greater calling than investing in the life of a child.

Okay, I will leave you alone now, but I pray that you are moved by this and feel led to do something about this need. If you want more information on FaithBridge, check out their website:

Hayes Party of Two

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Addition To Our Family

That's right, there is a new member to the Hayes family, one that we will cherish, spend lots of quality time with, take care of, and always be there for. Okay, no it is not a baby. Sorry to all those who constantly remind us that we do not have children yet and how much we should have one. We get it, haha. We promise to have a baby this decade.

Seriously though, many of you know how much I love music and instruments. Ever since my freshman year of college I have wanted a Taylor guitar. I played a friend of mine's and fell in love with the sound, action and the look of these beautiful instruments. For me as a worship leader, I have long felt it would be the best way to go. Unfortunately, these are very pricey guitars and there is just no way I could have afforded a $3000 guitar. However, the Lord is looking out for me. My friend Lawson Bost came up to me about a month ago after church asking if I was in the market for a new guitar. My response was, "yes, I am always in the marked for a new guitar, but I'm not sure my budget is." He told me he had a Taylor 714ce, which is one of the two models that I have really wanted for many years so my brain started turning and my heart started yearning for this guitar, but I didn't really think it would truly work out. Luckily for me, I was wrong.

Lawson let me borrow it a few weeks ago just to hold on for a little while and play it and see if it fit me. Well, of course I loved it. He told me on facebook one day that he really just wanted to bless me with it and that although he could get somewhere from $1800-2500 for it elsewhere, he wasn't looking for that. He told me to pray about it and talk to Brittany to see what we could possibly afford and then to let him know and we could even do payments. Lawson is a musician as well, but hasn't been able to play it very much and wanted it to have a good home. He is very passionate about cycling and wants to buy a nice bike. I won't mention the price we finally decided on, but it was the same price that Lawson had been thinking and hoping in his mind which both of us felt was fair and feasible. Brittany and I told Lawson and his wife, Jessica, on Sunday we definitely want to buy it and now it is mine.

My wife is so amazing to let me have this guitar. She knew had badly I wanted it and she wanted to get it for me as a surprise, but unfortunately things didn't quite work out that way. That is probably because I kept pestering her and making it blatantly obvious that I wanted this guitar badly. I only hope I can get her something nice in the near future. If anyone wants to donate some money to my "Get Brittany a Nice Gift" fund, let me know!

Here are some pictures of my new baby. Any ideas on a name for her? (yes it is a her, I had to explain to my wife that guitars are always female names for guys, similar to boats, it's just one of those unwritten rules of life)