Monthly Archives: April 2009

Packing

Whew!  Now that’s out of the way I can whine about how tired I am of packing!

Actually, it’s going quite smoothly.  My hubby brings home a carload of boxes every night and the next morning I pack them up.  I have most of the living room packed… only a shelf or two of books left.  We got smart this time and we’re using the small boxes that copy paper comes in to load up my book collection.  I tend to just put them all in one big box and then it takes two men to carry the box.  I’ve also tackled the kids’ craft cabinet and most of my scrapbooking/stamping supplies. 

I’m praying that things continue to flow smoothly during this entire process.  We still have unknowns with my hubby’s job and with what our living situation will be when we arrive in Phoenix.  One step at a time… I’m doing what I can and that… is packing.


Changes

I frequently use this blog to document things about my children or record special events or to sort out my thoughts.  Not every post I write gets published.  Sometimes they get deleted right away or they sit in drafts for awhile – or a long time.  Writing is more about the process – getting it out where I can see it.  I’m trying to push myself to post more of what I write.  I appreciate the feedback and support I get from y’all but there’s always that little voice saying “What if they think you’re crazy??”  Ha.  So far I know everyone that comments and you already know I’m crazy!  What do I have to lose?? 

Having said that.  Here’s one of those posts that have been rattling around in my head for awhile.

We’re moving.  To Phoenix.  In June. 

I’ll let you recover for a moment.  And then you can ask me why.

About four years ago my hubby and I started talking about moving.  Through many conversations and a lot of prayer we felt that we were being called to move out of state.  More prayer and research led us to Lynchburg, VA.  We took a trip out there and fell in love.  It took about two years to finally move and then it was to Roanoke (about 45-60 minutes west of Lynchburg) where my hubby could transfer his job. 

This June will be 2 years that we’ve lived here.  I can’t say that I’ve loved every minute of it but I have grown, changed and learned from our life out here.  It’s been amazing watching my children experience their life here. 

Here’s where it gets kind of muddled.  Why are we moving then?  I don’t know that I can pinpoint any one answer or any one moment that pointed me back.  It’s been little things building up over time.   The time that my niece had the scare and thought her cancer was back – it was hard to be so far away and I missed spending time with her.  I have only seen her briefly in the two years we’ve been gone.  Seeing my mother get off an airplane in a wheelchair – that was hard to see.  Having both of my parents age and taking life slower… knowing that tomorrow isn’t promised…  And of course, there’s winter here.  It’s not a true heavy winter but it’s cold and dreary.  I wasn’t prepared for the depression.  I love the rain – I’m from Phoenix!! ha ha  But day after day of rain or grey or wind wore on my mind.  It was an effort some days to get out of bed.  That’s been hard to admit – the depression.  It’s been difficult to make friends.  There’s something about women in the south… Everyone is charming on the surface but to get beyond that surface is not easy – doesn’t help that I am reserved too.  I have made some girlfriends here that will be hard to leave.

The timing has just fallen into place.  The tail end of this winter I was struggling with my desire to move back and my desire to want to be obedient.  Follow that?  I wanted to want to be obedient and I felt guilty for wanting something other than what I believed He had in store for me.  It took me awhile to just pray about it.  He already knew the desires of my heart – I just needed to voice them.  When we left Phoenix two years ago my hubby said he would never move back.  In fact, he’s only been back once (and only then because I said he had to).  I knew that if we were to move back it would take God moving in my hubby’s heart.  I was shocked when he came to me and said that we could move back.  That’s been one of the biggest confirmations.  My hubby’s work is opening a bunch of new positions this June which helps his transfer back – with possibilities of a promotion.  Another confirmation.  Work in children’s ministry is never completed but many things are winding down or have been put in place.  There are some changes coming but this is the lull right now.  This is a good time to change directors at the church.  Another confirmation.  We live paycheck to paycheck and we were trying to figure out how we were going to afford the move.  The money is in the bank.  Another confirmation. 

All of these confirmations and yet I feel like I’m sitting here with my fingers in my ears saying “La la la la la I can’t hear you Lord la la la.”  I’m afraid that He’s going to say, “No, you need to stay here.”  Why?  Why do I not trust Him?  Especially when He’s been so gracious with the confirmations?  It’s irrational.  This too has been difficult to admit.  The move here was huge and our time here has been life changing.  God was in all of it.  Why then can’t I put my trust in Him?  That really isn’t quite it – I trust Him to move us back.  It’s the ‘why’ that I’m having a hard time dealing with.  Why is He letting us go back when it was so clear that He sent us out here? 

As I sat here formulating those last few sentences it hit me.  It’s because He loves me.  I still struggle with accepting His love.  Why does He respond in love to my selfish heart’s desire?  I don’t know.  Oh my head knows – I know that He created me, loves me, died for me.  I know that.  But my heart struggles with that – struggles with just how much He loves me.  It’s something He’s working on with me.  And I suppose that the answer to why He’s letting us move back is tied in there with Him showing me how much He loves me.  I need to chew on that for awhile…


Holding pattern

Picture that you’re crossing a stream by jumping from rock to rock except that you’re doing it in pitch black with someone else holding the flashlight.  They light up each rock you’re to jump to but only one at a time and only just before you jump.  Now you’re in the middle of the stream – standing in the dark – waiting and trusting that the next rock is going to be revealed.

That’s where I am right now.  I’ve crossed many streams with God and each time He has been faithful in showing me the way one rock at a time.  The darkness can feel overwhelming – terrifying – dizzying – thick – neverending.  But all it takes is a tiny pinprick of light to reassure that there is indeed a Guide and that He knows the way.  Many times my friends are standing along the banks – reflecting the Light – encouraging me and praying. 

While I’m frustrated and impatient and unsure I’m also very grateful for all of my friends that are praying for me and my family during this time in our lives.

I also think about how everybody’s stream is different.  I have a dear friend right now that is balanced above a raging river that is waiting to sweep her off and drown her.  She’s perched on a tiny rock in the middle of the river and she’s been telling the Guide that she doesn’t want to go where He’s showing her.  He wants to flood the night with Sonlight for her. 

I didn’t mean for this post to be heavy – in fact, I just wanted to thank my friends for the encouragement and prayers.  However.  I was reminded how there is a spiritual battle going on all around us.  I ask you – right now – to take some time to pray for your family and friends.  There is so much power in prayer.  I think at times that I take that for granted.  He hasn’t left us stranded in the dark but has given us the power of prayer.


Walking a mile in her shoes

I recently made a new friend via my Sunday school class.  She and her husband live about 6 houses away and they have a preschool aged son.  It has been fun getting to know them and her husband never fails to get us laughing. 

A few weeks back I learned that she is allergic to wheat and has to avoid it.  This is something she was diagnosed with as an adult so she knows what she’s missing out on.  Last Thursday, while we were in Lynchburg visiting our friends, we went to a store that carried a full aisle of wheat and gluten free foods – including mixes (pizza dough, chocolate chip cookies, brownies….).  I thought it would be fun to buy the cookie mix, cook up a batch and surprise her in class this morning with a treat she’s allowed to have.

So.  I got up early and cranked up the mixer.  It was a simple recipe – just add some butter and an egg – mix and bake.  After dropping the last dough ball on the baking stone I couldn’t resist scraping the last bit of dough and popping it my mouth.  This could possibly be one of the largest mistakes I have ever made.  Seriously.  If you ever find yourself making wheat/gluten free cookies DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO TASTE THE DOUGH.  Just don’t.  I cannot stress that enough.  I was gagging and dry heaving into the sink while my husband stood by, “It’s not so bad…”  “JUST HOLD MY HAIR YOU IDIOT!”  Even typing this is making my stomach hurt.  I could not get that dough out of my mouth fast enough.  Unfortunately it’s very sticky and it had adhered to the roof of my mouth.  When the dry heaving stopped I ran for the bathroom, shoved my poor son with a mouth full of toothpaste out of my way, grabbed my spare toothbrush (what?  you think I’m ruining my good one?!) and brushed and brushed and gagged and brushed.  Even after all of that I was still queasy and I swear I could still taste it.  (yes Jaime – it was worse than that time you tasted sourkraut.  way worse.)

I did bring the cookies to church and my friend said they were delicious.  She ate two of them and took the rest home.  I may have to destroy the plate they were sitting on….  I told her about that morning’s dough experience and she said, “oh yes, you should never taste the dough.”   

Learn from my experience and consider yourself warned. 
Now I need to go brush my teeth again.


X Marks the Spot

Oh my goodness that was so much fun!!  We set out Thursday morning to go letterboxing with the kids.  We gathered up our supplies: one blank journal for each child plus one for me, a rubber stamp, an ink pad and a pen.  The hubby printed off the directions to three boxes that were in close proximity to each other and off we went.  The boxes were searching for were all up near Mill Mountain Star. 

millmtn1 The kids loved listening to each clue and then following the directions.  We found all three boxes and then headed to Lynchburg.  Our gracious friends helped us find the right locations to find several more boxes – including one at Point of Honor and one at the Miller-Claytor house (where Thomas Jefferson ate a tomato to the horror of local residents who believed the tomato to be poisonous!).  Several of the stamps we used in Lynchburg were handcarved to look like the location in which we found the boxes.  Incredible!

It was so much fun and it will be something we will continue to do with the kids.  I have a bunch of pictures that I will be uploaded to Facebook in the near future.  Stop by and take a gander….


The thing about blogging is you have to actually write

So much for posting every day…. 

It’s spring break!  Woot, woot!  All of my west coast friends have had their breaks already but ours actually lines up with Easter – you know, from when it was actually Easter break and not Spring break.  I’d say that the kids are enjoying the freedom from the alarm clock but in reality – they’re still getting up at the crack of dawn.  The Boy has an internal clock that shuts him down every night and wakes him right up in the mornings.  Once he’s awake he wakes up Chickie.  They head to the basement and attempt to be quiet.  Their version of quiet is not the same as my version.  Beans and I are completely enjoying sleeping in.  She doesn’t wake up until somewhere around 9:30 or 10:00.  That should give you some idea of how fun it is to wake her up at 6:30.

The beginning of this week has been slow and lazy.  The kids had the opportunity to play outside yesterday before the rain hit.  (oh yes, more rain.)  Lot’s of Wii and even some Nintendo 64 too.  The Barbies made an appearance – which was pretty surprising.  The remainder of the week is going to get busy.  We have some play dates lined up for tomorrow, letterboxing and Leaps and Bounds and Lynchburg for Thursday, possibly more letterboxing on Friday along with Carvin’s Cove.  I would really love to take a quick trip to the beach but I don’t think that will be happening.  Providing that jury duty doesn’t get in the way, the Hubby will be joining us on Thursday and Friday for our adventures.

I have lots more to share but it’s not time yet so ya’ll will have to wait…


Jury Purgatory

Once upon a time… okay it was only a few weeks ago.. my hubby received a letter in the mail informing him that he has been selected to serve on jury duty.  There was a form included in the letter to fill out and return.  Apparently he didn’t return the form letter in a timely fashion because we had a sheriff hand deliver the next summons.  They take their civil duties seriously ’round these parts.

Last night my hubby called the hotline to find out if he had to show up at court today.  Yes, they needed jurors.  (rural jurors no less 😉  He went down to the courthouse this morning to discover – NO JURY.  Apparently there was a glitch in the system and they don’t need jurors today – but please call back tonight re: tomorrow.  Uh what?  Upon closer inspection of the jury summons letter it states that he has been selected to serve on jury duty for the “jury term” lasting approximately ONE WHOLE MONTH.  Whether he actually serves on a jury or not he has to call in every night for the next month and show up any time they need jurors.  His employer is going to love that.  There goes our spring break plans too.  I think that this jury duty plan was invented by the same people who design mall parking lots.