Thursday, December 31, 2009

The View...

My view looks a lot different as I peer out my back door today. As a matter of fact, our "view" has changed a lot as we close out 2009 and welcome in a new year.

Though our current view does not quite feel like "home" just yet; it's been a good reminder to me that as Christians our "view" is always supposed to be on things eternal.

A few weeks ago my view consisted of "security", "comfort" and "warmth".

Today I pray that my view will be of "faith", "boldness" and "courage".

As you enter 2010, I encourage you to take a little personal assesment of what your "view" looks like.

Let's make 2010 a year of viewing things eternal.

The actual "view" out my back door this morning:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Balmy Weather...

I don't know what the problem with everyone is...NY is not such a bad place:) This morning I woke up to the balmy temperature of 9 degrees!! Ahh...sun and humidity, where have you gone? :)

We're doing really well here although I wouldn't say that we're totally into the groove yet. I don't really expect that life will feel too normal until Ayden is back in school and we're out of "vacation" mode.

In the meantime, we're having a blast hanging out with family and meeting with people about the ministry.

Gotta head out now...headin' to the "big city" (aka Albany) to return a broken Christmas gift. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009!!

Better late than never! :)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Unto You A Child Is Born!!!

Merry Christmas one and all! Our morning began bright and early (at 6:08) exactly, when two little elves arose and proceeded to wake up the rest of the house!

We are now in the midst of laughter, wrapping paper, superhero costumes and lots of food!

Merry Christmas to everyone! Remember the REAL reason for the day!

I'll be back later with pictures!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We made it!!

After a trip that was delayed a day due to the HUGE storm, and then involved a 4 hour stint sitting on Hwy 81 in Virginia with the car off so we didn't run out of gas before reaching an exit (aka - no DVD player!!) and then a hotel stay in PA because of black ice - we are FINALLY here!! (How d'ya like that run-on sentence!!)

We are getting settled in and finding it quite the adventure fitting all our "stuff" into our college dorm (I mean bedroom):)

The interview that I had scheduled for Monday had to be rescheduled until after the new year because we got stuck in the storm and ended up behind schedule. I'm bummed not to have made it, but I am trusting that, once again, God has a reason for all of these delays. As we've continuously seen, this entire adventure is in God's hands...He's made it very clear that there is NOTHING that is going to be on our schedule!

Ayden and I spent today getting him registered in his new school where he walked around with the principal and met a few teachers who knew his YaYa.

It was 15 degrees here this morning and although my car is desperate for a wash because of the snow we drove through to get here; I am unable to clean it for fear that it would freeze shut if I do:)

On the bright side, I love wearing the cute scarves that I've had for years and never really needed in Carolina.

So, all in all, we're doing well. We're getting settled in and praying for God's direction now that we're here. We're happy to be back together again and I can't thank you enough for your prayers. We know that MANY of you prayed us into NYS and we feel so blessed! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Other Side...

Well, this is it.

The internet gets shut off today and Lord willing, we will drive away tomorrow from this place we have called home for over a decade.

It's a hard day - but a good day.

The day is not without tears and heartache and, the more I've thought about that, the more I've felt blessed by that.

For almost 11 years our family has "grown" in this amazing Southern town. We have fallen more in love here, had our children here, laughed with our friends here and cried with our "family" here. I can't imagine what it would be like if we found it easy to leave this place. I feel honored that leaving here is heart wrenching because I know that means I have lived life well here.

There is much being lost - but so much more being gained.

Following this calling is by far, the hardest thing we have ever done; but there are times when you need to take the step to get out of the boat.

This is that time in our life.

And so, I bid you farewell for the final time from my Southern home. Though the words sting as they come off my lips, they also bring with them a great amount of excitement and anticipation for things to come.

Lord, I thank you for this chapter of my life and what it represents. It's a very hard chapter to close, but I turn the page knowing full well that you are on the other side.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Executive Decision...

I just pulled rank and made an executive decision.

You see, I have an amazing friend who knows that my biggest love in this life are my swiss cake rolls (well; and my coffee). This sweet friend brought a few swiss cake rolls to our Mom's group today in honor of my last day there. I ate one at the the luncheon and then my friend told me to bring the rest home.

At first I refused since I have NO will power and knew I would just eat them by the time I got home, but then I decided that I would save them and give them as a treat to the kids in their stockings.

Then I got home.

When I got home the reality of all I still have to pack kicked in and I began to stress.

I made myself a cup of coffee but it didn't work.

And then I looked over to the counter...sitting so nicely strewn in amongst all the piles of papers and lunch boxes were the 2 remaining swiss cake rolls....Sigh.

And, so I made an executive decision.

I need a little peace and quiet and a break from all the emotions and chaos.

I need two things - my Bible and a swiss cake roll.

So, I apologize to my poor children. Mommy thought she'd have the strength to save the treats for your stockings but, alas, they are now gone...

And now I must be off...gotta spend some time with my Father and my swiss cake rolls.

Better luck next time kids.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Moving Boxes and Post-It Notes...

It's seems like no matter how hard I try lately, I look up at the clock and realize that it's almost time for some kids to wake up from naps and my blogging time has once again gone to the birds (gasp!)

In an effort to give you some insight into our crazy life, I will do a really quick update now before I hear the pitter patter of little feet.

Donn is currently in NY and we are praising God that his truck and he made it safely there! He arrived last night and is working today doing some temp stuff for his uncle who is a CPA. It's a huge blessing to have him be able to make a little money during this interim time.

We have also been blessed as Donn has received a part-time job at a facility that works with special needs people. It's only PT now and doesn't pay very well, but it truly is a blessing and hopefully it will go into FT soon. In the meantime, it's what God has given us so we'll take it. He begins the training for that position in January.

In the meantime, as we've been looking at job opportunities in NY, we've realized that most of the FT jobs are geared more toward my administrative capabilities. Because of that, we decided that it makes sense for me to begin looking for FT work. I sent out two resumes last week for secretarial positions. I haven't done secretarial work in a long time but when the options are few you take what you can get.

I was incredibly blessed to receive a call the next day from one of the employers letting me know that they are currently in the process of trying to get approval for adding a Marketing Director to their company. He then mentioned that since my work has always been in the Marketing Director realm, he would like to meet with me about that. Of course, none of it is set in stone just yet, but it truly blew my mind to think that God might actually give me a job doing exactly what I do here from my home office!

And finally, with all of the change of events and with me now scheduling interviews, the realization that I need to get to NY has kicked in. And so, the kids and I will officially be leaving on Saturday. We had always hoped that the house would be sold by the time we left, but it just doesn't seem to be God's plan right now.

And so I am surrounded in a sea of boxes and post-it notes as we prepare to officially make the move to NY. It's been a bitter-sweet week as I think of closing this chapter of my life but I can honestly say that I think I am ready. God has brought us through so much in the last few months and we've seen innumerable blessings. I am ready to see what He has planned for NY and for our family!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Princess Turns 2!!

I can hardly believe that for 2 years my life has been blessed with this precious little cutie pie! I can honestly say that I feel like I have been given WAY more than I ever deserve as a mother.

As I celebrate your birthday my sweet little Elle, let me tell you some of my favorite things about you.

I love your amazing smile with your adorable little teeth. You melt my heart when you look at me and say "lub you."

I love your hair that smells like fruit and your skin that is softer than a bunny's fur.

I love watching you dance and look at me funny when I try to dance with you.

I love the way you walk up to your "baby dow" and kiss her on the cheek.

I love it when you give us your "big smile" where your head shakes because you are smiling so huge!

I love it when you come running through the room after bath time yelling "I'm nakey!"

I love it when you look at me when I'm having a bad day and you pat my head and say "okay Mommy".

Elle, you have brought me more joy than I could ever put into words. I am honored to have been chosen to be your Mommy and I love you with all my heart.

Happy 2nd Birthday Dolly!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Update...

So, life has been interesting around here (to say the least).

Donn continues to still be here despite the fact that he initially tried to leave for NY over a week and a half ago. After his truck broke down on the trip to NY, he was towed back here where we have now had to wait for it to be fixed. What was supposed to have taken 2 days has stretched on for much longer and yet we continue to be amazed at all that God is showing us.

For one, He is clearly showing us that nothing will be done in any timing other than His own. This has been a hard lesson to sometimes take in, but we can both see clearly that we need to learn it more each day.

Secondly, we can state beyond a shadow of a doubt that this ministry will only bloom through faith and prayer. The incidents, emotions and fears of the past few weeks have shown us that we really have no place to turn but to God Himself. In the times when we feel weak or hopeless; our only refuge is Him alone. Those are the moments when we crawl up in His lap and beg for Him to wipe our tears.

Finally, I'd say another big lesson I'm recognizing is that we are being given the opportunity to find joy in the midst of the trials. We're moving to an area of the world where minimum wage is the norm, jobs are scarce and hope is often more scarce. I can't think of a better way for us to have true compassion then to be forced into a situation where we have a better understanding of what it's like to live with these trials.

Don't get me wrong; I don't enjoy living life constantly carrying a calculator and wondering about tomorrow; but I also have to admit that there's really no point in ministering to people who struggle with money if you don't understand what it's like to struggle with money. When I think of things through that light, I can't help but praise God that we are walking down this path. Learning how to find joy in the midst of these trials has not been a fun lesson but is one that I clearly needed to learn.

When I sit and write down all of these thoughts it seems clear to me that God is still VERY MUCH in control of all that is going on in our lives right now. I praise Him for all He's doing and I look forward to the day when He gives us the green light to move forward.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Old Fashioned Fun

Last night I had a stroke of genius (humble, I know).

You see, in an effort to use our money wisely during this time, our family has been focusing a lot more on conserving energy by changing simple things. For example, I happen to be the worst person in the world when it comes to leaving lights on. Truth be told; I LOVE lights! Little end-table lamps shining in the corner of a room make me feel cozy. That's a great thing, but I have a tendency to just leave them on ALL THE TIME so that I feel "cozy" when I walk into that room.

It's worked fine for us up until now; but with this new budget (or lack thereof) we are making some changes. I have been much more conscious of turning off lights and only using what we need.

Last night our family decided to take it to an extreme. As I looked at a picture of our little Prince from Africa, I said to the kids, "Hey! Let's have an old-fashioned night!"

We literally ate dinner before it got dark and once the sun went down we turned off all lights except the Christmas tree and some candles. We then got in our comfy cozies and cuddled under blankets in the living room while the kids sang and we played games.

It's amazing how something so simple can be so cool. We had a blast as we talked about what it must be like for Prince every night to only rely on candles. It really makes me appreciate the life we have.

Sure, we may not have much by American standards but the fact remains that our little Prince would think we were rich to see all that God has blessed us with. It's a really good thing for me to remember during this Christmas season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Short Term Memory...

Praise the Lord I have short term memory (in some cases; VERY short term memory)!

You see, the other day it hit me that my sweet little poofy haired girl is turning 2 in just a few days.

Sure;for many moms that would mean a quick assesment of gifts purchased and cake choices - But not for me.

For me, the age 2 holds another VERY significant meaning...

NO MORE PACI's and time for a BIG GIRL BED!


And so; with just 6 days to go before the big 2, we have "mailed all the paci's to Santa to give to other babies" and we have converted the crib into a toddler bed.

Surprisingly...the paci thing seemed to go okay. Not sure what in the world Santa is gonna do with a bunch of used paci's but that's his problem not mine!

The big girl bed???

Well, let's just say I have finally stopped putting her clothes back into her drawers and yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of searching the house for the "secret key" in order to get into her bedroom after she locked the door.

Add in the simple fact that Daddy has left for NY and I think it's safe to say that I may in fact be in a rubber room by the end of the week! :)

Soooo; all I can say is praise the Lord for short term see; somehow, with each child I manage to forget how much I hate these little "stages" of life.

Next up - potty training....Hmm...pretty sure I hate that "stage" also. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


The sweet smell of a freshly mopped kitchen floor.

The hum of the dryer in the background.

The sense of accomplishment in a list almost completed

AND a free babysitter coming over tonight!

What a great Friday!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Will of God...

"The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you."

I have repeated this phrase in my mind countless times over the past few days.

Donn's official last day at church was on Sunday and he was scheduled to leave town to go ahead of us to NY on Tuesday morning. About 3 hours after he drove away, he called me and said that his transmission had gone on his old truck. We then spent the remainder of the day watching God provide.

First He provided for Donn's truck to be towed back to Charlotte.

Next he provided for a group of people to come beside us to pay for the new transmission in the truck.

Finally, he provided plane tickets so that Donn can still fly to NY to be at an interview which he had previously scheduled (which he would have missed because of the truck still being in the shop).

Many people have responded to the incidents of the past few months (like the house sale falling through and the truck breaking down) by asking us if God is saying that we should be staying in NC. Although we've asked ourselves those same questions; I can honestly say that our spirits tell us that these trials are from Satan. God is still at work even in the midst of what seems to the world as a disappointment.

In our hearts we know that God has called us to this new ministry. Every part of our being tells us that these trials are a direct result of the fact that Satan is trying his hardest to beat down our spirits and keep us from getting to NY.

On the flip side; God is shining brightly as He provides for us in countless ways such as car repairs and plane tickets.

And so I remeber the quote that I shared with you earlier:
"The will of God will never take you where the grace of God won't protect you."

Today we pray simple prayers. "Lord, let your will be done and let us remain in the center of it. Protect our family...protect our spirits, and guide us down this path."

Faith is not supposed to be easy. I sure wish it could be, but in my heart I know that easy faith is no faith at all.

"The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you."


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Sometimes things don't go as you plan.

Sometimes plans are not the plan.

Sometimes faith requires sitting still and hearing God's voice.

Sometimes it means running and jumping into His arms.

We're watching God unravel His "plan" today. It's a wonderful day...a really hard day and a day that is far from over yet.

More details later, but for right now I will heed the wise words of my sister and go spend some time with my Father.

I'll also leave you with a song that my Mother-in law sent my way after encouraging us in the midst of Satan's arrows.

God is is real...this is all part of His 'Story'.