Archive for September, 2011

A Most Blessed Day

Posted in church on September 30th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday September 27 2011 was an amazing day.  Our entire family was up before the crack of dawn because it was my husband’s big day in Findlay Ohio – his meeting and official interview with the church conference that was going to decide if they agreed with the local church board’s recommendation that my husband be their new pastor.  We allowed plenty of extra time that morning because we weren’t sure what bumps we might encounter while rousing 4 kids out of bed while it was still dark outside.  But it went perfectly – all the kids were agreeable and all were ready before it was time to leave, unprecedented!  No one complained about going to the babysitter’s; actually, they seemed excited about it.  My husband and I dropped off the kids, and as we turned onto the long country road that would take us most of the way there, I noticed a stunning effect of the sunrise.  A beam of orange light was coming down from the clouds – not in the east where the rest of the sunrise was visible, but off to the west.  It was really more like a column of soft orange light – an orange rainbow.  It was beautiful, unlike anything either of us had ever seen, and we enjoyed it together until it faded into the dawning of the new day.

The almost 2 hour drive was most pleasant; my husband and I always enjoy each other’s company.  Plus our spirits were buoyed by the kids’ great behavior that morning and the blessing of the orange rainbow.

My husband’s meeting went well while I explored Findlay by myself a bit.  I found an African Grey Parrot (my favorite kind of bird!) at the pet store, so I played with her for a while and checked out some other stores.  We ate a wonderful lunch, and then my husband got the call – the conference approved him; he is the new pastor of Union Chapel!  Now the waiting is over, and we know for sure the direction that God has been pointing us.  We finished out our day in Findlay with a movie and another peaceful long drive, just the two of us.  As we left the town of Findlay and headed out into the Ohio countryside, there was a full-size, full-color rainbow in all its glory.  Two rainbows in one day (occurring almost 12 hours and dozens of miles apart)?  They seemed to perfectly epitomize God’s blessings on this day for us, beginning with the kids being so great, followed by our long drives going safely and smoothly, and finally, the good news about my husband’s new calling.  Does God speak to people using rainbows?  For sure, He used a rainbow to illustrate his promise that He will never destroy the earth with flood again in Genesis 9:11-15:

 “11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

And, God loves it when we notice His works of art in nature and offer praise to Him – there are more than a few examples of this in the Bible as well.  My husband and I saw the rainbows as messages to us from God; reassurance to us as we embark on yet another new journey at this stage in our lives, stamps of approval for a very blessed day and extra nods of encouragement from Our Heavenly Father as we might be tempted to be distracted by our uncertainties.

It was a very blessed day spent with my favorite person in the whole world.  I am so proud of him for everything that he is, everything he is becoming, and for his being hand-picked by God to take on this incredibly awesome responsibility.  And to say that I am honored to realize that I am the one who gets to experience this life by his side is a gross understatement.  For these reasons and others, I thank God every day.

Unfortunately, this isn’t either of the rainbows we saw the other day because I didn’t have my camera with me to take pictures.  But I figured that I needed a picture of a beautiful rainbow on this post!  🙂

One Foot Out The Door…

Posted in church on September 20th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Changes abound!  So many things happening that I can’t keep up writing about them on my blog.  It seems like every time I sit down to relax, I’m doing something with the kids – playing board games, homeschooling, doing puzzles, cuddling while we watch home videos together…  Mommy and kid time is so much more important than blogging, of course, so I’m not losing sleep over it…  but I do miss blogging, and I know I will miss having a chronicle of these days for future reading.  I was just looking back at my blogs from the past; looking to see how I felt after my cesarean 3 years ago, hoping to maybe find some tips for recovery this time around.  It was so nice to read about what was going on in our lives at that point, the challenges we were enduring, how the kids were growing, what they were doing, that kind of thing.  But these days, if I have a kid in my lap, there is NO extra room to have a laptop nearby!  As of Friday September 16, I am 36 weeks pregnant – home stretch for sure!  While my belly is not bulging nearly as much as it did with my previous 4 pregnancies (I’ve actually LOST weight since July, but dr said baby is growing fine and that’s what matters), I am looming large these days, and the seemingly most mundane of tasks is an effort on my part and seems to take me forever.  I am blessed with an awesome Hubby who has really stepped up around the house to keep us running despite the craziness and challenges that a 4-kid household brings.  Very Honorable Mention goes to my oldest daughter who has also been amazing lately with her willingness to help.  She has gone above and beyond, not only doing everything that is asked of her but also coming up with her own ideas to pamper pregnant mom, following through with these ideas, and also excelling in our newly designed homeschooling program.  A few weeks ago, Taylor surprised me with a manicure/pedicure, and she even kept going outside to check on the little ones while Mom’s nails were drying.  The other day, she came up with the idea and made me breakfast in bed.  Her emotional and spiritual growth lately has been amazing to see, and hopefully I will have the time to blog about the lesson in forgiveness that she taught our whole family.

So how is the homeschooling going for us?  If you remember, we began homeschooling our two eldest this year – 6th and 2nd grades.  Many people have asked how it’s going, so it’s time for a formal update on the blog…  It’s going GREAT!  Thanks for asking!  We began with a very planned out schedule, but we’ve found it necessary to be more flexible.  We’ve also tweaked our planned curriculum here and there and attended our first homeschooling book sale and picked up some things to supplement our curriculum.  All normal and necessary parts of the process, and we’ve seen the kids become closer with each other and us their parents, all while getting to watch them learn new things up close.  I can’t wait to jump in as a full time homeschool teacher, but my patience is being tested since I have to wait until I recover from my planned cesarean in October.

Now for the big news: a few blog posts ago, I wrote about many doors opening for our family.  We were still determining at that time which paths to explore, and our prayers have been answered; the paths whittled down to an almost definite road.  Loonnngg story made very short is this: my husband was offered a job as a pastor at a local church, and he accepted.  This means that we will be, in effect, switching churches.  Talk about something that came out of the blue!  There is nothing about our current church that I don’t like, and I had planned on going there for years to come and raising our kids among our church community.  But, as we all too often learn, God has plans for us.  And who am I to argue?  I KNOW His plans are so much better than any road map I could have drafted for myself and my family.  So now comes the transition to the new church.  It’s a much smaller church, so among my husband’s and my first duties will be to acclimate ourselves into the new church environment and create a children’s ministry.  It will be challenging but also extremely exciting.  My husband has one final meeting with the regional governing board of the church to finish out the interview process, but everything we’ve been told by the elders of the church is that this is just procedure.  So, last Tuesday, I sadly gave my notice to my friend and mentor that oversees my 2nd/3rd grade girls Sunday school class.  Oh, how I will miss those kids!  I’ve known them and watched them grow for a year and a half now, ever since I had them as 1st grade students last year.  But as I said, who am I to challenge God’s plan?  While this all happened so suddenly in our lives, the chain of events and circumstances that led up to my husband being chosen to lead this church was so obviously orchestrated by God that there is no need to doubt whether it was meant to be, nor is there need to go into detail about exactly how it happened.  I will just say how much we KNOW that it was meant to happen, and that will guide me in the future if I ever begin to have fears or doubts in my own abilities to fulfill His work for me.

October 7 is when I am scheduled to have the baby, and 2 days later (while I’m still in the hospital) is when my husband is to spend his first Sunday at our new church.  As soon as I feel up to it, I will join him there, and our kids will follow as soon as we set up our children’s ministry.  That leaves me 2 Sundays to teach my current Sunday school students, or possibly just one if I decide to go and meet more of the congregation at the new church before I go into the hospital.  I may have one foot out the door, but I’m walking into a whole new world.  Because it is the world that God has designed for me at this point in my life, I could not be more excited!!!