Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm the Appendix

You know how we [the church] are often referred to as ‘the body of Christ’? There is even a song ‘If We Are the Body’ that talks about His arms reaching, His hands healing, His words teaching. Lately I’ve had a tendency to wallow in my general uselessness, it seems, when it comes to being a part of the body of Christ. In my mind I’ve joked about being the appendix. Feeling this way doesn't help a whole lot when it comes to fighting spiritual battles. You walk into it already feeling defeated.

This past month has been both very exciting because we sold our house and have a contract on a new one, and very stressful dealing with these same issues as well as multiple others that have come up this month. I’ve begun to feel like the devil’s dartboard. I’ve struggled with fear and anxiety, lack of faith, etc. I've spent many nights praying that God would give me peace, that He would help me trust Him. The problem is that I have the hardest time trusting Him when things are bad. If things aren’t great I question whether I stepped out of His will, or whether I’m under spiritual attack, or if it’s just life and things happen. It’s hard to trust God because I want to trust that He will make everything all right, and that may not be what He will do. So basically, all this has been floating around in my head confusing me.

For the last couple weeks, though, it seems like every time I turn around, I hear or read encouragement to be at peace, to trust God. I have heard this in one form or another so many times lately that it’s impossible not to believe God is trying to get through to me to JUST TRUST HIM. I went to bed one night convinced that instead of begging Him to give me peace, I needed to just THANK Him for all the good things. I fell asleep that night thanking Him. About an hour later, I woke up still thanking Him. Since that night, I have been much more at peace. Now I thank Him for all the little messages He's been leaving around me to encourage me that HE IS IN CONTROL. I still feel attacked sometimes with the spirit of fear, but it’s amazing how much just thanking God is a weapon against it. Today my husband was in a car accident. He called me to tell me he was fine but the car was totaled. I was shaken that that phone call could have been much different this morning. So my mind started asking why did this happen? Why this on top of everything else right now? We just got this car 6 months ago! Does the other guy have insurance? But then, I just stopped those thoughts in their tracks. I started thanking God that even though the car was totaled, Dean walked away without a scratch on him. My husband is alive! My kids still have a father! Thank you, Jesus!

Tonight, I came across an article. The title was THE APPENDIX: USEFUL AND IN FACT PROMISING.

He is Faithful.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Question #26

What ordinary, everyday moment makes you smile?
Journaling: When my kids are happy and loving each other, enjoying each other's company.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Insanity


On Tuesday, July 21st, we got an offer on our house! Friday, I started looking at houses with my real estate agent. Saturday morning was Alyssa’s TriDac showcase mentioned in an earlier post. For the rest of the day I had plans at an all-day crop so Dean went house hunting with Elizabeth (the real estate agent). On Sunday we both went with her. After walking into the same house for the third time, Dean and I agreed this was it! So, on Monday, less than a week from the offer on our house, WE made an offer! The reason why we were moving so quickly is that our buyers wanted a closing date of August 21st. This was too early for us so we pushed it back to Aug. 31st which was still WAY close because of the timing. We had already scheduled a 9 day trip to CT leaving Aug. 1st so we needed to get everything in motion before we left. By the way, here is a picture of our new house (assuming everything goes according to plan, LORD WILLING!)

The trip to Connecticut, while fun in some respects, was really rough. It was very difficult to leave at that time with everything going on with both houses, getting inspections, etc. Plus, it was hard for Dean to leave work for so long. He spent most of the visit either on the phone with work, on the phone with Elizabeth, or dealing with other issues. However, here is a report of the good stuff:

When we left home on Saturday, we went straight to Raleigh, NC to spend the night at my parents. We hadn’t seen them in about 6 months so it was nice to be able to spend the afternoon with them. We also finally got to see my nephew Oscar! I hadn't seen him since he was born (6 months ago), and Dean and the kids had never met him! Roan was especially enamored.

We left early Sunday morning to go to Washington D.C. We wanted as much time as possible. We drove up past D.C. near to where our hotel would be and took the train back into the city. The kids loved it! This was their first time on a train. It was raining at first, but had stopped by the time we arrived at the Smithsonian.

That was actually pretty cool. The weather forecasted rain all afternoon. We fully expected to be walking around soaking wet. We seriously considered doing D.C. on the way back instead. But we decided to stick it out and once we got off the train, we never had any more rain! It was a God thing.
We went straight to the Air & Space Museum.

We knew there was a food court there and wanted to eat first. After lunch, and spending some time in that museum, we walked across the mall to the Museum of Natural History. We enjoyed looking at the dinasaurs, the ocean, mammals, the jewelry (especially the Hope Diamond!), and other precious rocks.After that, Alyssa and I sat on a bench for a while on the mall while Dean and the boys went into the Museum of American History. Alyssa wasn’t feeling very well this day, so she isn’t in many pictures, but she was a real trooper. I enjoyed the time we spent alone together. When the boys came out, we decided to walk to the Lincoln Memorial before going back to the hotel. Roan had been REALLY looking for the seeing Abe Lincoln. I think this was my favorite part of the day! It was a very pleasant walk. Even though it didn’t rain, it was still overcast much of the afternoon, so it wasn’t even too terribly hot. I really enjoyed taking pictures, too! We finally got back on the train. We didn’t get into the hotel until about 9:30 and we hadn’t eaten yet! So, I took the kids to the indoor pool for a quick swim while Dean tracked down a McDonald’s and brought back dinner.

Monday, we set out for Connecticut. We stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s. The kids and I ate inside while Dean was on a business phone call in the van. No rest for the weary! We actually made surprisingly good time. The kids and I spent the next few days hanging out with Grandma and Aunt Edie and cousins Richie, Ashley, and Evan (another cousin we've not had the chance to meet. He is 1 1/2 years old, such a cutie), while Dean spent most of his time as mentioned above. On Friday, our last day there, we all (12 of us) took the train into New York City. Again, the kids loved the train and subways. They were very impressed with Grand Central Station. When Roan first walked out into Times Square, he looked up at the huge buildings and said, "Wow! I never knew New York was so awesome!" He loved all the tall building, lights, and crowds of people in Times Square.
First thing we did after arriving was eat lunch at Tony’s. It was really good. Then we walked around the corner to visit the three story Toys R Us. The kids loved looking at the huge Legos section, the Star War’s section and the life sized animatronics dinosaur from Jurassic Park! Then they all enjoyed riding in the 3-story FERRIS WHEEL that was in the middle of the store! When we left Uncle Richard showed us where the New Year Ball drops. We all thought that was very cool. After that, we got back on the subway and went to the American Museum of Natural History. This was the museum featured in the 'Night at the Museum' movie, so the kids were really looking forward to it. We spent most of our time on the 4th floor looking at the dinosaurs and in the gift shop. The kids had brought their own spending money, so there was NO passing up the gift shop! After the museum, we went to dinner at Uno’s nearby. While waiting for the food, Dean and I ran over to Central Park because I had never been there before and wanted to see it since we were only ONE BLOCK AWAY. I hate that we didn’t get to take the kids there. Alyssa was particularly disappointed but displayed a very good attitude about it. If I’d realized, I would have taken her when Dean and I went. But we were only gone 10 minutes. She didn’t miss much. We’ll just have to go back someday! After dinner, we made our way back to the subway, and took the train back to CT. Saturday morning, we stopped to say goodbye to the cousins, then headed back home. We encountered some horrible traffic in New Jersey and by the time we got to our hotel that night we were pretty stressed. But we had a great hotel! The indoor pool had a hot tub and BOY were we ready for that! That hotel really helped us decompress and the rest of the drive home the next day was much better. We even made it home in time for our small group’s Fun, Food, and Fellowship night! We were VERY glad to be home!

Since then it’s been all about getting ready for school. I’ve had to enroll 2 of the kids in new schools because our new house changes our school zone. But, finally that’s behind me. Today is the first day of school! Just over a week now until the move. Boy, have we got a lot to do! I’d better get back to work…..

Roan Quote: After arriving home from a trip to CT, I said to Roan, “Well, we’re back in the South. Can you feel the heat?” He said, “Yes. I do indeed feel the heat.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Question #25

What moments of your childhood bring back memories of family?
Journaling: Growing up, we always had such fun on vacation. When I was little, we used to go to Disney World for a week during summer vacation. We stayed in a motor home at Fort Wilderness. We also stayed in beach condos, went to Circus World and Sea World. Once we took a month long trip up the East Coast. We went to D.C., visited New Hampshire, stayed in a cabin off the coast of Maine, and went to NYC. Then of course we had many summers of Roan Mountain! I was blessed to have a family who thought it important to make these moments happen and continue in the same tradition with my own family!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Question # 24

How are fashion and fads different for you from today?
Journaling: Unfortunately, current fashion is not too far off from when I was a kid. It was PRETTY BAD back then, though.

When I was a kid I had a record player which was later replaced by cassettes. I didn’t have CDs until after I got married! We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t even have a computer until my tweenage years. No cell phones, no portable game systems. If you wanted to play video games, you had to go to an Arcade and that cost you a quarter for each game! We didn’t even have a microwave oven in the early years of my childhood. TV only had a few channels. The first cable channels as I remember were a couple movie channels like HBO and Cinemax. We loved it when the Disney channel came out. At the time all they showed were old Disney Movies. It’s amazing how fast things can change in 40 years!