May this coming year be full of blessings that bring God the ultimate glory!
Friday, December 31, 2010
Wow! 2010 has flown by! It has been a great year full of fun and adventures. I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store. Our kids are growing and healthy, we have a place to live, food to eat, clothes and blankets to keep us warm. We have been so blessed. This really is the first year that I think I have really reflected on all that happened in the past year and wanted to really grow and change and learn from the past year. I am still wrestling with God as to what it all is that He really wants me to do. How to organize my time appropriately and take care of my family and home as I should. Making sure my priorities are straight. I wish it was all so cut and dry but as we grow closer to God and learn more about His will and priorities we change and have to consistently fight the flesh. I pray all the time, God show me the way and then I go back to my own thing. Back and forth all the time. I am so thankful I am saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and I have the power through the Holy Spirit to fight the flesh. Stand up and fight!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
What a beautiful day! Though we were without extended family it was a great day of celebration. Jamey enjoyed opening his gift as well as Lillian's and playing with them both. My wonderful husband got me two movies I have been wanting for a year. He really is wonderful. I am so blessed to be married to such a loving husband. God has reminded me once again how blessed I really am when I do not deserve it. We went to the Village Manor pancake breakfast and helped a man having a heart attack or panic attack. Either way he did not look good. Please pray for Walter.
We then took a gift to our neighbors and had a great afternoon visiting with them including a yummy Iraqi lunch! Seriously, try Iraqi food. It is delicious! Jim had to work this evening but the kids and I had a wonderful Christmas dinner with some friends from church. Again God has truly blessed us far beyond anything I ever expected.
Looking forward to seeing my family tomorrow and spending a few days with them. And by the 30th I will have a new niece, whom I will get to meet in January. :) Such a wonderful time.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
OK so Winter yes. Wonderland: not so much! It is cold. Very cold! It snowed a few times this weekend and there is still snow on the ground and on our car that has been driven everyday since the first snow. It is so crazy. I am not use to this weather at all. I am trying to figure out what clothes I really need for this time of year here in Louisville.
What makes this weather even more fun and lovely is that our precious little girl is extremely cold natured. On top of that she lost weight recently which adds too her coldness. Please pray that as we continue to try to feed her more it will help her to get the calories she needs to get some meat on her bones and help her to stay warm.
I am thankful that we have heat, warm blankets, warm clothes and pajamas to shelter us in the cold. So many people live in this weather and do not have things to keep them warm. We are so blessed!
Friday, December 3, 2010
So thanks to Beth Crouser I am officially addicted to couponing. I went black Friday to get started. As she explained you have to spend some money the first time to get it going, so I found products with coupons and ECBs and I though I spent a little over $30 I received all but 3 cents back in ECBs! After that I am hooked. I have also done decently at Rite Aid but it's system is not as good for me. I am excited about the rebate check I will be receiving from them though. :) I know that over time it will help save a lot of money on toiletries!
I wish grocery stores had systems like this. Though you can find good deals on food it's usually the unhealthy food. Hopefully that will change one day, but saving money in one area works for me!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Today, my precious little girl is 7 months old. How fast the time has gone. She decided to give us a little scare by dropping 11 ounces in very little time, but with solid food she is gaining it back nicely. God has been so good to us. It has snowed some the last 2 days. So we have enjoyed watching it fall and got a couple pictures of Lillian in her first snow. Needless to say she was unimpressed. Not at all thrilled with frozen water falling on her. She is so cold natured. I just don't know what to do with her. She is quite the opposite of the rest of the family and it is so difficult keeping her bundled enough. Hopefully with the solid food she will get some meet on her bones to help her stay warm. Today she ate a whole banana in one sitting! I was amazed.
Another fun thing today, for me at least, was my friend Ann calling to borrow some sugar. I know it seems so silly, but it reminds me of stories from "the good ol' days" and it makes me smile. I am so thankful to have people in my life that can ask me for things and I can ask them. That is part of Gospel living. We must be able to help each other and not be afraid to ask for help. We have created such an independent society that people are afraid to ask for help or people become overly dependent. We cannot live in extremes. We need each other and we need to do our part. That is how we were created and I am thankful to be learning more about that first hand.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I need to pay better attention to when I write on here. It has been far too long and far too much has happened so I will do the best I can but probably do several entries over the next few days, at least that is my hope.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. God has truly blessed our family in so many ways. The move when smoothly and we have been given friends as well as a church family in Louisville. He has provided for us and gotten us through the transition. God is good!
Thanksgiving was wonderful as we included our neighbors in our meal. This is their first Thanksgiving and we taught them about a truly American holiday. They also learned a little about American Football. We had a good time.
Yesterday we had a Thanksgiving meal for the complex. That was neat too!
My family came up for a few days before Thanksgiving. It was nice hanging out with them.
The kids are growing up so fast. Jamey's vocabulary has exploded and he comes up to me just talking about who knows what, but he expects a response. It is so cute. Lillian lost a little weight so we have had to start solid foods. That girl loves bananas. Not a fan of much else, but over a day or two she will eat a whole banana.
I am blessed and so thankful that I serve a mighty God.
It's been 4 months, 1 week and 4 days since we moved. Where has the time gone?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The weather is so beautiful right now. I'm loving the balanced temperature though it does make dressing the kids a bit difficult. The kids and I had a great evening. We went on a nice walk around the complex with the Powells and then went with the Al-wahibs to Target. I love knowing and spending time with my neighbors. It was like that when I was a kid, but as an adult we knew who our neighbors were but did not spend time together. I am really enjoying helping the Al-wahibs learn English. I have never wanted to be a teacher and I'm starting to realize that the reason for this is I do not like the structured environment of a classroom. I enjoy situations that teach and using the things around us to help people learn. For example, Nada rode with me to Target and I taught her the different names for vehicles. As we walked around Target I taught her different words and how to ask for things. It's wonderful! And it is nice when people ask you to correct them when they say something wrong. This is a completely new concept for me. It seems as if people want to be right even when they are trying to learn. But I have been asked to correct them when they use incorrect words or grammar. They really want to learn. It is humbling because I know I am one of those people who wants to be right even when I'm not. And I know there are many times when I am not. So I challenge you, me, all of us to be willing to graciously take correction. Do you avoid trying to learn because you are afraid to mess up? Do you make excuses when you do something incorrectly? This is pride and pride is sin. I need help with my pride and every day I realize it more.
On another note I spent all of this wonderful time with people (which I do believe is more important) instead of working on my SWI homework. To be perfectly honest I am really struggling with it. I am suppose to write a paragraph about a positive feminine trait that is a strength and a paragraph about a negative feminine trait that I pray to change by God's grace. Both of these lists are extensive and I cannot figure out one that I believe is really a strength. That's why I signed up for this class. And the negative I could probably write a whole book. Again why I signed up for this class. Maybe I'm too hard on myself, but I really do feel lost in this area. By God's grace I will become a Godly woman and be what He wants me to be.
Friday, October 22, 2010
This is the word God has been continuously teaching me since moving to Louisville. We have to balance everything in life and it is much more complicated sometimes that we think it should be. Balance family and church and ministry and friends. Balancing school and work along with everything else for Jim. But I am so thankful that I serve a God who can teach me this balance and guides me in the balance and corrects me when I tip the scale too far in a particular direction.
My biggest struggle right now is learning balance within the home. Should be easy, right? No. As I really evaluate what all needs to be done to run a home efficiently, I realize how inadequate I really am as a human to do this. Only by God's grace can I run a home. Only by God's grace can a be the helper my husband needs. Only by God's grace can I raise my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Only by God's grace can I do anything. And I thank God that He has saved me through the blood of Jesus so that I can do these things to bring Him glory and honor.
I love my Embracing Femininity class. It has reiterated this concept to me. As I look at scripture I see how God wants me to be. I see that I need to make the appropriate choices to be the woman He intends for me to be. I know that only by His grace can I do these things. And I pray that by living in His guidance that others will see that there is something difference in me.
I am also truly learning the truth that there are enough hours in the day to do what God wants you to do (paraphrase from Nancy Leigh DeMoss). This too is part of the balance. Some days some things get done. Some days some other things get done. I know that God and my family have to take priority and that after I take care of those things everything else seem to fall in to place. Not always perfectly as this world is still fallen, but I have gotten some things accomplished the last couple of days that I have been wanting to do. The Lord is gracious and is directing my path. I am still having difficulties in prioritizing some of the other things that need to be done, but God is teaching me and it is coming along.
I can't believe it's been a quarter of a year since we moved here. 3 months plus! Crazy!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This Sunday was parent-child dedication Sunday and we dedicated Lillian to the Lord. It was a wonderful time. My family came up and our friends Ali and Asma came to the service. It was such a blessing to have friends and family there.
Monday evenings twice a month we have conversation English classes at the meeting room in our complex. It is so much fun as we get to learn about people and cultures while teaching them to speak, read and write English. This week we talked about marriage and family and the lady I was working with was married at 12 years old! Her mother was married at 7! It is amazing to hear this. We all know that it happened in times past but to hear of people married that young in the last 50 years is so interesting and to meet someone who it happened to is incredible.
After class the kids and I spent some time with the Al-wahibs doing English conversation as they were unable to make the class. They are so loving and welcoming. I seriously need to learn better hospitality.
My SWI class will start tomorrow and it is Embracing Femininity. Hopefully this will touch on hospitality as that certainly is part of learning to be female but there is another class on it i hope to take in the future.
I have so much to learn to become the woman God wants and has designed me to be. It has been quite a struggle recently as many times I just feel inadequate and helpless. But that isn't right. That minimizes the Gospel because I am in Christ and in Christ I have been made adequate as He gives me help. I am looking forward to a day when this will all be natural and make since, but I am in no hurry.
I am enjoying raising my kids and loving on them. Jamey is starting to really eat more finally, though he still has his days. Lillian and I exercise to help her learn to sit up. She is trying. These kids grow so fast and I am really beginning to realize how little time we really have with them.
We had a nice morning with our friends Ann and Ian. We tried to go to the pool but it was closed so we walked around the seminary and neighborhoods around it. Great exercise but I was exhausted afterward.
This is the first full week with Jim being on his "normal" schedule and school so we will see how it goes. Thankfully with his schedule he does still have time at home during the day and 3 evenings off a week, however half that time is spent on school. I just have to remind myself God has put us here and now for His purposes and I just have to look to Him.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
So somehow it got to be October without another post. I suppose as life becomes more routine it seems a bit "mundane" to put the everyday life into an online posting.
In Louisville October and fall actually are simultaneous! I can't believe it. It turned October and cool almost at the same time. It is amazing actually enjoying Autumn weather more than just once in a while. Love it! Though as quickly as it has gotten cool I do wonder how cold the winter will actually be. The only real downside is I cannot seem to keep Lillian warm. She is wearing full sleepers all the time and her hands are still icicles! Poor girl. Hopefully that will stop.
We've had a fun month still meeting people and getting to know friends better. Jim is getting settled in his job and praise the Lord, has Tuesdays off so we can continue in our community group! God is so good and provides in the best ways.
The third week in September my family cam for a visit. We mostly hung out and just enjoyed time together. They will be up again this weekend for Lillian's dedication. I'm excited to see exactly how Sojourn does it as it is a group of people all dedicating their children to the Lord.
God is still working on me and it is taking lots of time. But I guess that too is part of the journey that we are on. I love to learn and I am thankful for the opportunities I have hear to learn. Meeting new people is always educational and exciting.
I finished my first SWI class last week. It was a great class and so excited to be a part of this program. Next week will begin class 2. This is another great educational opportunity. I will say though, I do not think there will be another class like Cross Cultural Ministries. I learned so much about people and cultures and ministry. Things like that are invaluable.
2 and a half months. Where is the time going?
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I love seeing different cultures and ways of life. I see so many things that there is no right or wrong way of doing, just different. Last weekend was the World Fest here in Louisville and it was neat to see all of the diversity here. But as I look at all of this God is beginning to show me how He sees the world. With love and the desire for everyone to be saved. This is a lost world and it is breaking my heart in a good way. He continues to grow and challenge me in my faith and each day I feel myself dying a little bit more and the Holy Spirit truly taking up residence in my soul. Though I must admit recently it has felt like one step forward, two steps back. But I suppose that is the way it will be until we reach our final destination. Those who are in Christ are not of this world but of the eternal home of Heaven with God and Christ our Savior. One day we will be perfect in unity with Him. Oh, what a blessed day that will be. I also continue to meet people to whom I can minister and am learning how to do that. Everyone is different no matter where they are from, and everyone's needs are different. I praise God that He knows all of us and can prepare us to help those we encounter the way they need to be helped and shown God's grace and love. God has brought us here for such a time as this.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wow! We had an amazing time this weekend at Sojourn's membership class. It was a Friday evening and all Saturday talking about their church, the Gospel, their views and what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. Very intense but extremely educational and eye opening. We know God has placed us here as we heard things God has been teaching us and showing us continuously throughout the weekend. God is an Awesome God and we are so excited that He has brought us here to be a part of His work in Louisville until He says it is time for us to go over seas.
It has been a great time for meeting more people to connect with at church as well as seeing how ripe the harvest is right now. We went to the park Sunday evening with some new friends that all have a boy around Jamey's age, well really they are stair steps in months with Jamey being the oldest, and had a wonderful time. Today we had play group with some other moms from Sojourn and it is amazing how God is putting us in contact with like minded people. How amazing! When we are striving for God's best under the cross of Jesus Christ we are unified even in our differences. This place gets better every day.
Jim had orientation for Norton yesterday and this place is going to be a wonderful place to work. It is a faith based hospital (inter denominational) and they are very much for their employees and for their patients. Love that! The schedule is still a bit crazy and it seems like it will be that way for a while, but I know God will use these crazy times to build us in the faith and make us stronger.
I am also extremely surprised at how mobile babies can be before they crawl. Miss Lillian is ALL OVER THE PLACE! Now that she can roll she rolls everywhere and can army crawl like a pro. I do not know how they learn to do this over night but she did!
Jamey's vocabulary is building like crazy, though he keeps dropping words too. We are working on him telling us what he wants instead of just saying Please. This will take some time I know. And he was so sweet with Lillian this morning. He was asking to hug and kiss her and telling her the body parts he knows. But then when he was tired of her hugs he pushed her away. They start so young!
It's been a month and a half and tomorrow is September. Crazy!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I seriously wish I could just think and type a blog. There have been several times I have wanted to write an entry but just did not have the opportunity and now that I have a minute I cannot remember what all I wanted to write.
I will say this, I don't think cooking would be so bad if I had someone to plan the meals and buy the food for me. It took me a total of 3 hours to do that last weekend! Ridiculous! But I really have no idea what I am doing in this regard. Thankfully most of what I have made the past couple of weeks has been successful (tasty) according to Jim. I think I'm just overly critical of myself. We did make some super yummy cheese enchiladas a couple nights ago! And it wasn't that hard. Doing fresh pinto beans was a challenge but this time they were a success!
Tonight I start Seminary Wives Institute at Southern. I'm excited to see what there is in store for me there.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
"People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." Mark 10:13-16
The kingdom of heaven really does belong to children. Thursday afternoon Jamey grabbed our family Bible, took it to Jim and said please! After Jim read the Word Jamey took Jim's hand asking to pray. When Jim finished praying Jamey said "amen". It is moments like these that really show me God is real, His word is true and only in Jesus can we be saved. Though we are born sinful, children know God. I don't know how as it is an amazing and profound mystery but they know God is real and they eat up the Word of God.
We had a busy week last week meeting people, spending time with friends, hanging out as a family and getting ready for Jim to start school.
Friday was orientation. We had a chapel service and Dr. Mohler addressed the new students and hit the nail on the head. God has truly blessed him with wisdom for leading students of the Word. The Holy Spirit is so present here. After chapel there was a lunch provided by Chick-fil-A where they met people from their particular school. I missed most of this as Jamey and I played with other kids and moms in the lobby. They also had a fair with information on ministry opportunities and other school activities. They have a lot of things for women including the seminary wives institute. This is a neat program where you go once a week to learn a touch of what your husband is learning in seminary. When you have completed so many courses you actually "graduate" with a certificate. It sounds really neat. I will be taking some of these courses starting August 26th taking Cross Cultural Ministries for 6 weeks. This is quite exciting for me as I have wanted to take seminary studies but will not be able to do the full load.
It is amazing to see what God is doing here.
1 month already! How time is flying!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Lord is our great Provider! Today Jim got the final say that he does have a job at Norton Suburban and in NICU! He will start orientation August 30, which is much better than starting the same week as school (we thought that was going to be the case). The job is 3-11pm 5 days a week so this will take some getting use to but we are so thankful for the Lord's provision and how well this will work for school. It also has good benefits which is such a blessing as there are not a lot of great options here. How we will miss Kaiser. :(
We had a great community group tonight and our wonderful neighbors watched Jamey and another couples son for us. They are so wonderful with the children and really seem to adore them. They are so sweet.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Yesterday we were invited by our neighbors to go on a picnic. We had such a lovely time. We went to Cox park and ate pizza and talked about moving to Louisville as we are both newer to the area. Huda and Nada had such a great time playing with Jamey and Lillian and we had a great time talking. They are so sweet. We went to Cox park by the river and watched the sun set as we ate and talked and played. It was so beautiful. Ali and Asmaa took us to Brown park after we ate to show us a good playground for Jamey and a place to feed ducks with a great walking trail as well. They have been so kind to us and we are thankful for wonderful neighbors.
This evening we had a quad party for our area of the apartments. We met many more seminary families who are new to the area as well. So many people our age with kids our age. And we all live in the same area. We are just all waiting for it to cool off so we can spend more time outside together. It was a great time to meet people but tonight it was very hot and sticky. I hope I can remember everyone's names when we see them again! And I can't wait to build even more relationships. What a friendly place we live in.
3 weeks 3 days.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Fun week! It still kind of feels like we are on a vacation as we are enjoying some wonderful family time until Jim starts school. One of our community group people is very involved with the Special Olympics in the area and invited us to a softball game. They have a whole league of softball teams that go to the Special Olympics. It was so cool. It was also a great time of spending time with new friends and meeting new people. Again people were very nice and welcoming as we met them.
Now that we have IDs for Southern we have access to an indoor pool year round! I am so stoked about that. We have already been to the pool twice. Jamey is not so fond of it but we will just keep taking and dunking until he loves it as much as we do. :) Lillian seems to enjoy it. When we dunk her she just looks around like "that's cool". She is such a laid back baby. Hopefully she will be use to the water when she is old enough to have an opinion on it. :)
The rest of the week has been enjoyable and low key. Trying more cooking experiments. We tried a different story time. It was better than the previous one, though still not quite as good as the one in Powder Springs. There were around 20 kids there. And it was suppose to be a baby story time and there were kids as old as 7 there. Crazy!
3 weeks and 1 day. Wow!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I so wish I could just think and the things I wanted to post on here would just appear. Several things have happened that I would like to share but I can't just stop what I'm doing and write a post at the drop of a hat. Hopefully I will remember all. If not, I will just come back and do another post.
At a church just down the street they have a big farmer's market on Saturday mornings. I was so impressed! They had all kinds of home grown and home made goods. Some Mennonites and Amish were there. I have never seen so much home done meats in one place. There were also fruits, veggies, eggs, cheese, grain, granola, bread, soaps, honey, jellies, gelato plus a couple of local business like great harvest, an organic cupcake place and a bakery with vegan cookies! So much variety there. Louisville truly has the best of both worlds. You're in a city but the country is just down the road. Love it!
Yesterday afternoon our neighbor brought us some traditional Iraqi food. Super YUM! We were also invited to go to the park with them in the evening, however between the time of the invite and the time to go the mother became ill and they were unable to go. Please pray for this relationship to develop. They are very nice and open so we are praying for opportunities to spend time with them and get to know them.
My kids never cease to amaze me. They are growing so quickly and learning so much. Lillian is about to roll over. She tries so hard. Jamey is all over the place and talking up a storm. He, of course, has his nonsensical jabber that is continuous, but his vocabulary has expanded greatly in the past week. Some new words include: block, spoon, shoe, wall, light on, light off, and today he said Bible! When you say music he does a little dance. When you turn on the music he claps and bounces. And he does ask to turn the music on (his CD). I think we have a musician in the making.
Church today was wow. God definitely spoke to me. The question today: Is your Jesus too small? I know it sounds a bit of a sacrilegious question, but think about it. How often do we take things into our own hands instead of letting God handle it? We try to plan, scheme, figure out everything on our own instead of letting God have control. The way it was put today, we will let Jesus take care of our spirituality, but we take care of our job, our finances, our relationships, our time without letting Jesus into the mix. But Jesus is Big! He created the whole universe and He holds all of the universe together. Jesus made the image of God visible to us. He has rescued us, transferred us, redeemed us and forgiven us through His sacrifice on the cross, through His blood. To listen to the sermon on this visit sojournchurch.com. The text is Colossians 1:14-23. Remember this week, Jesus is bigger than anything you are facing. Let Him be in control.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So bank hunting was actually enjoyable. We met the nicest people at BB&T. The guy we talked to told us about places to eat, pediatricians and shared his and his wife's experience with birth at Suburban. One of the other office guys sings in the Southern Chorus and told Jim if he ever had any questions to call him at work. All of the employees were giving additional Mexican suggestions. We did try Ruben's as Beth suggested and it was fabulous! We tried another one in Mall St. Matthew that was not bad but not great. It was more expensive too. Hunting down Mexican is a chore! But today reminded me again of just how hospitable southern people are. To go in for information about what the bank offers and to get other practical advice and encouragement was outstanding. It's like how SouthTrust Bank was in Smyrna before it became Wachovia. You would not know you were at big bank branch. Very impressive on all fronts.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have been so amazed at how friendly and welcoming people have been here. Today we tried Mimi's Cafe and told them we were new so they gave us a box of YUMMY muffins to take home! Yesterday we went to a local bookstore and the owner gave Jamey a free finger puppet. Our second day we went to Chick-fil-A and received free ice cream cones after telling the manager we were new. Almost every place people talk to you as if they have known you forever. It's like the way I remember Smyrna being when I was real little. It is sad to see how much the Southern hospitality has left the Metro Atlanta area. Louisville is like being home without being home. And people do not look at you weird if you make a random observational note out loud. That is quite nice, as currently I am making a lot of observational side notes as we check out and explore our new home.
Jamey has been cracking me up as he "jabbers" all the time and looks at you like you should understand. He has started saying "please that" when he wants something but it sounds like pizza. He has started walking around with diapers saying "diders" and will sometimes actually say Hi instead of just waving. He learns more everyday and constantly amazes me. Oh, and he copies me stacking blocks and then loves to knock them down. He is such a boy. God really does have a sense of humor giving the oldest of 4 girls a boy first. I so love learning about boys and their weird ways. I still have not figured out why they enjoy being hit in the head or thrown around. If anyone can explain these that would be most appreciated. :)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Well, I had my first Job interview in Louisville today. It went very well I think. The one with HR went relatively well, and the one with the NICU manager was very promising. I will hear back from her on or before Friday, so definitely continuing to pray for God's guidance there. The job will be 3-11 5 days a week, which is more than I was expecting, but I think it will work out in the end. Should be able to work around both school and church schedules. I have been praying for God's provision as I moved up here and this will certainly provide for our family. The benefits are great and I should come close to making what I was making at Northside which would be a nice increase to what I was expecting to make here. Please keep praying for God's guidance and provision for us.
After the interview, we had a nice dinner at home, then headed out to an ice cream parlor we had seen around called Graeter's, which was greater indeed. Very good ice cream. After ice cream we saw a little local bookstore across the street and checked it out. Quaint little place that has a nice children's section and also does story time once a month, so we will definitely be checking that out.
Overall a very rewarding day. Thank you, Lord.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We have been Kentuckians, or what ever people who live in Kentucky call themselves, for just over a week now. How insane is that? Honestly at this point it still kind of feels like we are on a vacation but sleeping in our own bed. I am quite sure that when Jim gets a job or starts school (whichever happens first) that is when the reality will fully set it. Speaking of job if you have not heard yet, Jim has a job interview tomorrow at 1:30pm and your prayers would be greatly appreciated at that time. If this is the job God has for Jim it would be wonderful. We know God always provides and this would be great for our family's provision in many ways.
So yesterday we went to the nicest, cleanest Kroger I have ever seen in my life. It was as nice, if not nicer than the Publix back home. I was in shock. The deli was equal to Publix, their organic section was amazing and not over priced, and did I mention it was CLEAN! I was super impressed. I had my first run at making a family meal last night and unfortunately a first blunder. No matter how done fish looks on the skin, you still have to cook it 3 minutes on each side! 2 pieces ended up slightly undercooked because I was trying so hard not to burn them. Oh well. Live and learn. Everything else turned out tasty so I cannot complain too much.
I am still consistently amazed at all of the things that are with in 5 miles of the apartment and only in 1 direction. Stores such as Walmart Grocery, Borders, Joann's, Babies R Us, Whole Foods, 3 Starbucks, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy's, 2 Malls (yes 2) one with a Cheesecake Factory and the other with California Pizza Kitchen, several banks including 3 branches of BB&T, 3 Walgreens, CVS, Chick-fil-A, Logan's Roadhouse, Jimmy John's, Bowling Alley, and Aveda spa, Massage Envy, several car dealerships and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. There is also a Target, Kroger and McDonald's not on the main strip but still only a couple miles down the road. It's like living on South Cobb Dr. or Cobb Pkwy without the traffic. :) There are definitely some advantages to living where we do.
Church this morning was so Spirit filled and truth that goes right to the heart. As Christians we cannot live in fear or be worried. We have no reason to be because God is in control. I love the reminder that when worry creeps in, as it does in our human minds, we are to pray.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
What a great truth. We can take anything to God. ANYTHING! So do it. He cares for His children and will hear your prayer. That does not mean things will always turn out exactly the way we want, but take it all to God.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I love to look at my life and think, "This isn't exactly how I thought my life would be, but I would not have it any other way."
Yesterday we had a wonderful final day with my parents here. We slept in, worked on more organizing, went to Target (less than 5 minutes from the apartment. I love having everything right here), Ate lunch at Fazoli's, lazy afternoon, walked to BoomBozz for dinner (awesome pizza, spinach dip and dessert) and spent the evening hanging out until Jim took my parents to catch the bus. As everything else with this move, seeing them go was hard but we know we will see them again soon.
So today was our first day with just the 4 of us. Thankfully Jamey let us sleep in a bit again. I am still super wiped from the move. We all are. Jim and I worked on organizing our room and some more of the apartment. It is still a process trying to figure out exactly where we want everything and I am sure many things will change places half a dozen times. We decided to try a Mexican restaurant close to the apartment and I was completely unimpressed. I miss La Parrilla and Monterrey. I guess we'll keep trying until we find something close. We also walked down to the playground for a few minutes and let Jamey swing. It is very humid here. It's not really any different from Atlanta temperature wise right now. However I know come winter it will get quite chilly! I am looking forward to experiencing 4 seasons during the next year. I hope I will not be disappointed.
After dinner we had wind down time with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy per usual. I do love that family tradition. While emptying out a bag I found a stuffed Eeyore and showed Jamey. He promptly went to one of his new toy bins in the entertainment center and pulled out another stuffed Eeyore that he has been playing with the past couple of days. I am always so impressed with my boy. We traded Eeyores and then he took them both. It is amazing how much kids learn and how quickly they learn it, even when we are not "intentionally" teaching them.
This evening he did not want to go to sleep. We did allow him to stay up late last night because of my parents leaving so I guess he just thought it was not time for bed even thought he was acting extremely sleepy. Prayers for his continued adjustment would be VERY appreciated.
Lillian has been smiling, laughing and talking up a storm. This little girl has definitely found her voice. The other night we were eating at the table and she was in her swing. She made herself very loud until we went and got her a seat for the table and put her with the group. Again I am completely amazed by children. She is still adjusting with her sleeping. We have gotten back up to 5-6 hour stretch at night (she was sleeping 9 hours the week before we left) and she was getting up every 3-4 again with the initial move. It amazes me how in tune babies really are. Why do people think children are stupid? She is also quite aware of when Jamey is not around because she is awake and wants to be center of attention. She did bless us with an hour nap in the middle of Jamey's nap today. I have such wonderful children. They are a great blessing from God. They really are.
Jim played Mario Kart with Winston over the internet since we now have that connected. I think they both found it amusing.
And Jim has an interview for a full time evening shift NICU job at Norton Suburban, 3 miles from the apartment! Please pray for God's guidance in this. It will make some things easier and some things more challenging but we know God will provide in whatever way He see fit.
I am enjoying a different environment. This is so interesting and educational. I cannot wait to see what all God will teach me/us here.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Yesterday was a wonderful day. We slept in (for us these days) and worked on making the new apartment home. Hanging up some pictures really helped in making the place our own. Still working on some details then I will take pictures to post of the "put together" apartment. Jamey and Lillian are adjusting slowly. Lillian slept 5 hours last night (she had gotten up to 9 before the move then back down to 3 or 4). Jamey sleeps about like he use to hour wise but has woken up afraid a couple times. Prayers for their continued adjustment are appreciated.
For lunch we wanted to walk to a restaurant just over the tracks and when we got there it was not opened for lunch. :( So we tried a cute little cafe and it was delicious! I was so impressed. I think they make everything from scratch and it's not expensive. Great pastries too.
We went to our first home group last night. What a great time! How wonderful it is to meet with Christians and feel the connection that only can come from the Holy Spirit. There were two other couples, Wes and Beth and Chris and Amy. Beth is our apartment office manager which is even better. How excellent to know a fellow Christian is helping to run the complex.
We also finally have internet at the house! Huge praise and it works wonderfully. Love that. So hopefully it will be easier to stay connected with friends and family at home.
Looking forward to see what this day holds!
Monday, July 19, 2010
We are working on getting the apartment to feel like home. The big stuff is always easy because there are only so many places it can go. Now it's the nick knacks, pictures and other odds and ends that need there place. It's hard making those kinds of decisions. I know you can always move things but I want to "get it right" the first time. We signed our lease this morning and opted for a storage unit. That will help especially since we would like to get bikes and need just a tad more storage space. We are still working on internet and hope to have it in the next day or two. Currently we are sitting outside Chick-fil-A in a storm. :) Fun Stuff!
We made a bigger Walmart run and learning where more things are. I am excited about getting to know this city. A lot of things are very convenient. I have a Babies R Us, Joann's, and 2 Starbucks within a couple miles of the apartment. I will let you know what else I discover.
I am posting a few pictures on facebook and will get more of the apartment once it's more in order.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Great day today. We all went to Sojourn this morning. What a wonderful time of worshiping our Lord. We had lunch at Red Lobster, which is always delicious. We enjoyed our last few minutes with Anna and Winston as they had to head back to Atlanta today. They have been such a great help to us as we have moved into our apartment here and leading up to this day. We are so grateful that they were able to take some vacation time to come with us on this part of the adventure.
I am thankful for Sabbaths. We have worked on a few things here and there but have mostly been able to rest this afternoon. We will have to work on several things this week but it will be good as we get settled. I am thankful that I have most of the things I need and want close to the apartment. Great stuff.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Well we are here. Bright and early Friday morning Mom, Dad, Anna, Winston and we loaded up and made the trek. We arrived around 6:30pm and unloaded enough to sleep. Thankfully the kids traveled well with very little fussing. I have the best children. Today the guys finished unloading the truck and we have some semblance of order but a long way to go. We are so thankful that the apartment is much bigger than anticipated with lots of closet space. I am so thankful for wonderful surprises. Currently I am writing from the Starbucks by the apartment until we can get stuff hooked up so I will update as able. Prayers are still coveted as we settle in and get acquainted with our new home. We have some really great neighbors including other seminary students and some refugees. Great ministry opportunities surround us. Praise the Lord for what He is going to do in and through us.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Last night of Women's Bible study last night with some fabulous ladies. How special it is to be able to meet with our sisters in Christ to share our joys, struggles, concerns and blessings. I had a great evening with Julie, Bonnie, Tamara and Tiffany.
I was able to meet my dear friend Julie for dinner and ran into my neighbor whom I have been praying for opportunities to talk to and hope to witness or minister. She sat at a table across from us and was able to observe Christian friendship including prayer over a meal. I also was able to talk to her and tell her we were praying for their current situations. She looked at me strange but hopefully some seeds are getting planted from these little encounters.
We also saw Jennifer and Brenna during our dinner, which was a wonderful surprise. I am so thankful for these little things that God does. I have run into so many people the past month that I rarely see. Last opportunities to share with some of these people what God is doing in our lives.
I also was able to talk to sweet Kelli who I have not been able to see but share a few moments on the phone with her.
I will miss my friends but I am thankful to know that no matter what happens down here we will one day see each other again.
We are now preparing to load up the truck. Can't believe it is here.
1 more day!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wow! Many hands really do make light work. I am so thankful for the wonderful ladies from church who came along with my family and got almost our whole house packed by noon! What an amazing feat! Special thanks to Carole Fouts, Joy Reeves, Doris Belflower, Harmina Caird, Donna Clippard, Anna Murdock, Dianne Sudduth and Dale Kimmel for their hands in making the light work. The beautiful thing is that after all of this wonderful packing we had someone come look at the house! God is good! Please pray for this prospective buyer/renter. Hoping for a more low key day tomorrow before loading the truck on Thursday.
by: Emily Elizabeth Manor
Packing up the house
It's almost time to move on
Looking all around
Where life has taken me
This is my life, my home
I've known no other place
But now it's almost time
Time to move on
It's almost time to move on
These are the last days
I call this house my home
Sorrow, joy and relief
All flood my very soul
Now it's almost time
Time to move on
God takes us down so many roads
Not knowing what lies ahead
I will plunge forth
Knowing only that His hand is guiding me
And it's almost time to move on
It's almost time to move on
Leaving family and friends
And the comforts of home
The church where I was riased
The love and the support
And now it's almost time
Time to move on
God takes us down so many roads
Not knowing what lies ahead
I will plunge forth
Knowing only that His hand is guiding me
And it's almost time to move on
I am ready
I've waited so long for this time
God has a great plan for me
He will show me step by step
Until I reach my final day
Still it's hard to say good-bye
God takes us down so many roads
Not knowing what lies ahead
I will plunge forth
Knowing only that His hand is guiding me
And it's almost time to move on
Oh, it's almost time
Just a matter of days
It's time to move on
Monday, July 12, 2010
What a fabulous time with family and friends. Some wonderful people threw a farewell party for our family Sunday afternoon. We got to see friends we do not get to see often as well as talk to our church family about what our next step is. Thanks so much to Carole Fouts, Joy Reeves, Charlotte Winkles, Mary Durueke, Harmina Caird and Anna Murdock for the fabulous celebration. We are so blessed to have a church family that cares about our lives and has invested so much in us. Not long at all now.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
This post is, unfortunately, late as our internet has decided not to cooperate the last couple of days.
It was wonderful to spend some time with Kyle, Britney and Brendon before we move. We already see them only about once a month as they are stationed in South Georgia, but now it will be even less. Sunday we had a fabulous lunch at Olive Garden. The best part was meeting our waitress who is from Moldova! I had a feeling when I saw her she was at least from Eastern Europe, but to meet someone from Moldova was amazing! Got to practice some of my Romanian. It caused me to miss Moldova that much more. Our family is wanting to return very badly. I pray God will allow us to return soon. We spent the afternoon together and took pictures of our whole family last time together for a while. More of those bittersweet moments that I will treasure. It was so cute watching Jamey and Brendon play and swing. Brendon is such a fun big cousin!
After our fun afternoon and we were settled at home Jamey went to the family Bible and tried to pick it up. So, Jim asked him "do you want to read the Bible?" Jamey said, "Please!" and crawled up on the sofa next to Jim and watched him intently as he read out of Psalm. Such a sweet moment. It's amazing how early they learn these things and I am so thankful.
1 week 2 days
Friday, July 2, 2010
Something I never thought I would be interested in: Sewing. But not too long ago I made my first skirt and it was quite a success. Today I almost completed a pair of shorts for my sister, however we ran out of thread and so Melissa must finish them hem for me. I need to check out my grandmother's sewing machine and see if I can take it with me to practice and make additional clothing as well as hem up some cloth wipes. I am hoping it will still be a couple years before making clothes for all of us is a necessity but as modest clothing, particularly for girls, is getting more difficult to find, I may be making clothes, at least for my baby girl, sooner than I think. I will miss having Melissa as a near by resource but there are some good things about modern technology. :) I will also miss her awesome sewing machine.
Jim is on his last two nights of work. He has told me people are upset about his leaving as, thankfully, he is well liked. I hope our transition will be a testimony to the importance of following God's call on your life, no matter what the cost. We know his application is under review at one place so prayer is needed as there is not much time until we move.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
What a great way to spend an evening. Our friends, Stanley and Stephanie, and we went to our annual Braves game and took Lillian to her first game. Love seeing a live game and spending time with good friends. We decided we must take Lillian to all games now as the Braves have never won when we go, but they did last night 5-0! Very exciting 7th inning. We all went hoarse. I will miss the Braves. I hope we will be able to make it down for at least a couple more games before we're overseas.
Things are starting to come together hear as we evaluate what needs to still be done, what needs to go with us, what needs to stay and what needs to be gotten rid of. Minimal is better. Why do we get so piled up with junk that ends up in boxes sitting in basements and we forget we have? Sometimes it is out of pure necessity until things can be passed along to kids or things used for special purposes, but so much really is just junk.
God is really working on my heart. Teaching me so much about prayer and how important it is. We are God's people and we are to be people of prayer as we are living temples of the Holy Spirit and the temple (God's house) is to be a house of prayer. I'm learning about praying with out ceasing and that prayer is what will change our hearts, our cities, our land, our world. Through prayer we are connected to God. What a beautiful thing.
I am so thankful for special people in my life who are learning along side and seeing what God is teaching them.
Not much time left! Getting very excited and praying against getting stressed out.
2 weeks and 3 days
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wow! Has this past week flown by. How is it that when Jim has a week off of work the time just seems to zoom? With another week down it is another week closer to our big move. It is getting exciting, especially as I hear of friends at church preparing time and getting others involved in helping us with our move. It reminds me of how great it is to be a part of the body of Christ. We all have a part to play. We all have gifts and talents that need to be shared. We are all apart of each others lives no matter what we are doing, where we are, what church we attend or Sunday School class we're in. We are all connected by the Saving Grace given to us through Christ's blood. How grateful I am for this.
This week has been fun and tiring. We got to spend last weekend with Jon (Jim's brother) who is such a delight. Not knowing if we will get to see him again is difficult, but it just spurs the prayers for the whole family that much more.
It was also great to see Brit and Kyle and eat lunch with the Mayers, McMurrays, Wisenauts and Papaw Jones. These times I will miss but will be even better in the future as they will be less frequent.
Monday the family went bowling (yay for Groupons!). But I did terrible! :( I still am regaining my strength from the pregnancy. I would say I forgot how long it takes to get back, but I never got it back the last time. :)
Jim only has 4 night shifts left at Northside. This is so crazy. We need prayers for a job in Louisville as it really needs to be part time. We have found a couple possibilities. Just waiting to see where God leads.
2 weeks 6 days
Friday, June 18, 2010
Though I am a couple days late, my last night of choir practice was quite surreal. I have sung in choir at church since I was 3 years old. Mr. Wallace pointed this out on Wednesday and it really just blew my mind. 23 years of singing in a church choir. How amazing is that? I love to sing as a form of worship to my Lord and though I will never quit singing, it will be strange no longer singing as a leader of worship. My choir family had a special time of prayer for my family and me as we move on to this next stage of our lives. It was a beautiful time and truly encouraged me knowing that people at home will be praying for us and supporting us from afar. I still have 4 more Sundays to help lead worship and I am thankful for that as it is close to my heart. I will cherish these moments and hold tight to the memories.
4 weeks until we are in Louisville.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We got our official word today, we are approved to move into the Village Manor apartments in Louisville, KY! We are so excited. God has provided once again as He always does.
Our move in date is Friday July16th. That means we will be packing on Thursday July15th and loading up the moving truck as we are moving ourselves. If anyone is available, or know anyone who is available, to help at all on the 15th please let me know some way. We will be packing up last minute things, cleaning the house thoroughly and loading up the truck to leave first thing Friday morning. There is a lot to be done and as we all well know many hands make light work. We appreciate any help we can get.
4 weeks and 2 days left in good ole Smyrna.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
So today, the date of our 6th anniversary we are starting a blog/journal to share with family and friends about our adventures that are to come. As those of you who know us know we are about to embark on a new adventure by moving to beautiful Louisville, Kentucky for Jim to attend seminary. Neither of us has ever lived outside of Smyrna except for a couple years of College in Young Harris. This is, for us, indeed a great step of faith but we know that God has some amazing things for us to learn and many ways to help us grow. Already we are already learning to put our complete trust in Him and His absolute provision for us and our family. In five weeks we will be moving from our life time home and downsizing significantly. Already I have discovered how much I do not need to live. How freeing a discovery that is! I cannot wait to share the little and big things that will occur in our lives in the next few years.
P.S. If anyone knows anybody looking for a house in the Smyrna area send them our way.
And does anyone want a very old but sweet dog? We can't take Birkey with us. :(
Thanks for being a part of our life.