Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hard to believe we are here again... Another Christmas, another year coming to an end. Time just cruises by.

Time cruises by and boys continue growing. This year has been no exception to that rule. Rather, it has been a year of MUCH growth... In more ways than one.

Lucas started high school this last fall. Ugh... I STILL find it hard to type those words. As I do exactly that though, I hear his very deep voice resonating through the house. My little man has turned into a BIG man! He just finished his first semester and we are proud parents. He is on a block schedule, which means he takes the equivalent of a whole year's worth of each class in one semester. He came away with two A's and two B's. He has been a very diligent worker academically. He has been keeping himself busy in various sessions of baseball training with his high school team. He enjoys the challenge of working with the JV and varsity teams. We are looking forward to seeing him play ball again in the spring!

Colby is attending a private school in town. He is doing very well there, just as expected. His teacher has repeatedly told me that he is the one that keeps the entire class grounded. When everyone else gets explosively goofy, Colby steps in and gets everyone back on track. He is well respected by his classmates and his teachers. I think if I were to ask him what his favorite subject is, he would say history. He seems to enjoy it a lot. Reading is a close second, but he mostly enjoys reading what HE chooses and not what someone else chooses for him. For his birthday this year he received a Nook Book and most nights there is a dull beam of light coming from under his bedroom door after everyone else has gone to sleep. I LOVE that we share this common thread. Colby played soccer this fall and he was a star player. He scored a few goals throughout the season and had several assists. His team beat another team that had gone undefeated for two years, so that was the highlight of his season.

Caleb attends the same school as Colby. He is a big fourth grader this year and loving it! It has been the highlight of MY school year to see him enjoy school so much and thrive there too. His teacher tells me almost daily how much she adores Caleb and his helpful spirit as well as his sense of humor. His favorite subject is language arts. He LOVES to construct his monthly book reports.... That in itself is nothing less than a miracle! Caleb has never been much for reading until this year. HUGE growth there! Caleb finally talked his mom and dad into letting him play football this year. As we thought, he's in it to win it. The boy ADORES the game of football!! He can tell you about almost any play, position and NFL player. Now he's tutoring me. I have a lot to learn still. We are looking forward to many years of stadium seating in all kinds of weather. J even went out and bought luxury stadium seats for us. We are the envy of every stadium so far. You can't miss us... We're the ones with the big fire engine red sled looking things being carried on our backs!

J and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary this past fall. Nineteen years seems like a lifetime ago, and then it seems like yesterday. It has been a challenging year for us with a move, and then learning just a couple of months ago that we will be moving soon again. More opportunity for strengthening our relationship. More opportunity for strengthening our faith. We have seen the gifts that have come in packages big and small. We rest assured that there will be more to come... More goodness from the Father. J has been able to get out to the golf course a few times this year and I'm praying for him to MAKE the time to do that more. He has developed a friendship with a guy from church that seems to be growing in unexpected ways. They both enjoy golfing, so maybe they will hit the greens more together. I am blessed by my husband who continues to make his family priority. I am completely aware that in this age, that is a rare thing.

I am staying very busy. It's funny because when people learned that for the first time since having school aged children I was going to have my days free, they would ask me, "what will you do with all of your time?" Hmmm...

I am teaching preschool and kindergarten music classes. I am teaching enrichment classes such as music, creative writing and geography to students 1st through 8th grades. I currently have eight private students that I'm teaching at home. I also tried something I have never done before... I directed the school Christmas musical. It was a lot of work, but an experience that I wouldn't trade. It was extremely rewarding! I hope to have the opportunity to do it again. Of course, all of these things take back burner to being the wife and mom that I need to be. That is still the first place my heart is.

Growth has been a word that has repeated itself all year. There has been evidence of physical growth, developmental growth, and most of all spiritual growth. At times, it has been difficult to witness, and then at other times it has felt like a true privilege. There has been much change this year, but one thing has remained...

God hasn't changed at all. His love, HIs care and His protection over us is solid. He delights in this family the same today as He always has. He notices the growth too. He sees where our hearts are at now and where they need to be and He is faithful in getting us there. We have seen this, and we know it to be very true.

Merry Christmas to you... I pray that this season of Joy in knowing that a Savior came will be a season that lasts more than just the here and now. It should be a season of joy because of our Savior throughout the ENTIRE year!

Much love ~

Friday, December 9, 2011

Eating My Own Words

WOW... what a difference a couple of days can make!

This morning I sat sobbing in my car while on the phone with my mom. Everything that I felt and wrote here just a couple of days ago was temporarily forgotten as I let fear creep in once more. The biggest reason for my tears wasn't even the fear that I was feeling. The tears came because I was in disbelief over the fact that the "surrender" that I felt the other day, the peace? It had taken the back burner to the fear. I was disgusted with myself for letting this happen! Then, my mom reminded me that I am human. Not that that is any excuse. Someday I want to be the kind of woman that stands solidly in her faith system though. I want to be stronger... Wiser. I want to ride the wave without falling off!

We talked with our land lord last night. We will continue our search for a new rental. The word WAIT is still there... It's just not going to be here, in this house. God has a plan still. It's still His and not mine.

Would you please pray for me? Please pray that I will just find rest, and that I will hang onto the words WAIT, SURRENDER, and PEACE. I want to be in that place. I know it's where I'm supposed to be. Pray that I would not let the enemy sneak into every given opportunity and have the victory that he wants. That's what happened today. Oh how I hate giving him any victory over me!

God is still good... All the time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Worth the Wait

Last week was a stressful one.

My hubby and I looked at no less than half a dozen houses in a matter of three days. That may not seem like a lot to some of you, but when you consider the fact that both of us had regular work days, boys to shuttle back and forth to school and after school events, meals to prepare and piles of laundry to deal with... It was overwhelming!

It was a discouraging journey too. Over half of the houses we looked at were dumps! Seriously, I don't understand how people can get away with charging ANY amount of money for something that looks rat infested and moldy. But they do, and someone out there will take them up on their offer. The other houses were nice. They were average homes. Nothing extraordinary. The rent? Well, it was more like a mortgage payment! WOW... What has happened in the past 9 months? Rentals have gone bizerkos!

During these few days as we ran around looking and quarreling about all of this, I kept hearing the word WAIT. At first I pushed this word aside. It kept crawling back into my mind, but I pushed harder. It came in the form of just a whisper in my ear. It came through phone conversations with friends. It even came in a text from a friend... In scripture. The Lord was working hard at forcing me to stop and hear the word WAIT. Finally, I listened. I told J that I would support him if he felt he needed to keep looking, but that I needed to be obedient to what God was pressing upon me and WAIT. I informed him that I needed to stop being his partner in crime cruising daily (sometimes even hourly) through the Craigslist ads, property management web site, etc.. I believed that WAITING was something that I was supposed to do. God has this in His hands.

Saturday morning J and the boys went to a men's breakfast at church. I had the house to myself for the entire morning. I did some cleaning and baking. It was a sweet time. I spent time with Jesus the whole morning! Like a brick wall, it hit me. I knew what I needed to talk to hubby about. The word WAIT came to me because I needed to surrender. I needed to surrender ALL!

Since the beginning of this, people asked if we would just stay in this house while it was on the market. My response was "NO!" with a chuckle attached. There was no way I was going to live here, clean the house everyday just in case someone came by to view it, or drop everything and leave at a moment's notice so that a realtor could bring clients by. That's a lot of work! I know this because I just did it less than a year ago! I did it for us though. I did it to sell OUR house, not someone else's. I was almost insulted when people asked me if we would do this for our land lady. After all... She pretty much stunned us with this decision to sell the house now. I admit my sinful ways... I was angry with her for many reasons. I viewed living here with all of MY decor touches as helping her, and that was NOT something I was willing to do. Period.

When J and the boys came home from the breakfast on Saturday, I pulled my hubby aside. I told him that I thought I knew now why this word WAIT became so prevalent. I took a deep breath because I knew after I said what I needed to say, there was no going back. I told him that I was ready to surrender. I was willing to stay here while the house was up for sale. I would keep the house clean. I would gather all of us and leave whenever we needed to so that a realtor could come into our home and lead strangers around our things. I told him that maybe we were supposed to WAIT here. In return for this life inconvenience, we have asked our land lord for lower rent while it's on the market. We will ask that it be a mandatory 60 day escrow to give us time to find another place to live. I believe that the Lord will provide something else for us that will be well worth this WAIT.

It's not that I don't believe that the Lord is capable of providing something worth the WAIT now. He can, and He will if that is what He wants to do. Our land lady hasn't even given us an answer yet. We don't have any plan still. However, I did what God needed me to do. I let go of anger and I surrendered completely. This is His... Not mine.

A home to live in with my family, whether here or somewhere else will be worth the WAIT. Peace in my soul today... Worth the WAIT. God is good!