Monday, November 22, 2010

Lights, Wreaths and Flip Flops?

No, I didn't make this wreath, but after we decided to do some outdoor decorating on this beautiful, unseasonably warm 22nd of November, it may be a bit more appropo than the evergreen wreaths we are currently hanging on our windows, while I am standing outside watching the girlies and Joshua enjoy this fun, festive time of year with shorts and flops on! Isn't this usually a horrid, cold, frosty job whose completion is always merrily met with mugs of hot chocolate and warm baths? I'm not going to complain, though, and even with the gusty wind and the warm temps, I will be glad to greet everyone with a big dose of "Merry Christmas, have a glass of iced sweet tea!" :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

These are the days

Today, I got to experience a great perk of being married to a man in vocational ministry within the local church: THE BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, MOST AMAZING, BLESSED, NECESSARY, FUN, (hmmm. .. I'm sure I could keep going on, but I will refrain) DAY OFF DURING THE WEEK! You see, Sundays, although wonderful and amazing because it's a day that is set aside to worship and praise our awesome God with others who desire to do the same, and made even more amazing to a pastor who gets the humble opportunity to share the gospel with a large group of people gathered at one time to hear from God, it is also a day that is considered a "work" day for those within the vocation of ministry. Many times, on top of worship gatherings, there are also counseling sessions (many times impromptu), meetings, and other things that require a pastor's attention, which usually doesn't include the sacred Sunday afternoon nap. So, many congregations, aware of the need for some extra "recharging" will require pastors to choose a day off during the week to claim as his day off. For now, Fridays are Joshua's "day off" and it's been a lovely day so far!

We got to take the girls to school together, and then, grab some coffee and some breakfast at the sweet, little, local coffee shop in town. It is hidden in a gas station and it has more than comparable Starbuck's quality coffees and other drinks! It was nice to sit down, chat about the week, and just really be able to share in all that God is already doing as we have been living in Hillsboro for the past 20 days! We then headed back to church for the IT lady to come and check some things out and get things a bit more updated and running a bit smoother (Joshua could have done this, but is learning to appreciate that there are people in line for these things and what he has always done as the "anything" guy is being a bit lifted from him and he is starting to enjoy the weight lifted!). Then, off to the YMCA to take a tour and join up. We figured this would be yet another venue for us not only to enjoy activities as a family as well as boosting some fitness opportunities for us all, but to also build some relationships within the community outside of the church walls. Because, as always, it's NOT about church and programs or even worship services, but it IS all about Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross and then, gave us mandate to share with all we can while living this life that we so gracefully have been given! Then, it was time to pick up our sweet Laney Belle from preschool and enjoy laughing at her silly ways and eating lunch together at home.

These are the days that make the last 5 years of 2-3 jobs plus full time school all worthwhile. These are the days that make this past week that has been a bit hazy and bumpy for me seem just that, a thing of the past! These are the days that remind me what a precious gift it is to have beautiful girls together that connect Joshua and I on an even more amazing level than we could have ever imagined! These are the days that seeing God in the little things, including taking a tour of the cute little gas station that houses a generic "Subway" sandwich shop, a little pizza place, a locally owned coffee house, and your usual drinks, smokes and snacks, makes me more and more grateful that God has lead us to this little town for this season of our lives!

These are the days that I have nothing else to do but to be grateful for a great God who saw fit to put me with a wonderful minister (both to his family and to all he meets) of a man, to gift us with two beautiful, wonderful, wide-eyed little girls and still, loves us all through the cross of Christ, even on our worst days!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great Big World, Sweet Little Town

There are so many things to catch up with on here and there just is not enough time, or enough patience to get my brain in order, so I guess I should just start with a quick update!

Joshua, my sweet, hott, minister of a hubby, was recently called to be the lead pastor at a church in a little town in Ohio about 45 minutes northeast of Cincy called Hillsboro. It's a sweet little town that is drastically different than the big city life that is Louisville, but we are learning to adjust to the quiet, more laid back lifestyle offered by a small community again!

The girls are loving their schools and we are always greeted with smiles upon their pick-up! My oldest, Jovey Kay, is now in kindergarten while my baby, Laney Belle, is in preschool 3 days a week. They continue to be more than blessings to Joshua and me, and everyone they see each day! They fill the house with giggles, cries, pouts, excitement and at times, drama and attitude! They are two of God's greatest gifts to us!

Joshua is loving the fact that he finished his master's study in theology in October and that he is only claming one job now. He will receive the official degree in December with all the graduation regalia and will hang another display of the hard work and sacrifice that we have all put forth to see this act of obedience become a joyful time of celebration and fruit, as he now feels more prepared to share the gospel with even more knowledge, conviction and fervor! It is truly amazing how God says to do something and then, in time, always rewards the effort with a deeper love and respect for Him as our creator! Truly, we are forever changed for these past 5 challenging, beautiful, wonderfully tiring years of Joshua's schooling!

I am finding my way. I was born, ironically, just 45 minutes from our new town in the little town of Maysville, KY. Even then, I was definitely a "big city girl" and always would find new energy each time we would go to the nearest cities of Lexington or Cincy or Florence to truly "shop" or experience "downtown". So, moving back to a quieter, gentler way of life has been nice, but is definitely taking a little bit of getting used to! I mean, the nearest Target, Starbuck's, Chick-fil-a and mall are all a 45-50 minute drive! Before, I was within a 2 mile radius of multiple locations of each! Yes, silly, but it does definitely change one when a physical move is involved. Unfortunately, it's never just physical, since with new locations also are included new relationships, so I rely on my super big God to help me see where I fit in this puzzle called Hillsboro, OH. I can't wait to see what He has in store for this little lady in His great big, beautiful world and in this sweet, sleepy little town in southern Ohio!