Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, we hardly knew ye

When I look back at this year, I am completely amazed. Amazed that we survived it, amazed that our whole lives have changed, amazed at God’s faithfulness. Mostly that last one. I’ve been terrible at keeping up on here this year because of everything that’s been going on… so here is my condensed look at our year:

January:
-We had just turned down a job offer that would have moved us to Midland. We finally had some peace in our lives and looked forward to a peaceful year ahead of us…
-We bought our plane tickets to Europe, thus making the trip official. There’s no backing out when you have non-refundable plane tickets.
-We were contacted by PR regarding the youth ministry position. So much for our peaceful year.

February:
-We began the interview process with PR.

March:
-PR offered Lance the job… and we accepted. Peaceful year? What peaceful year?
-We told God that we were following where he called us… and that because of that, we were trusting him to handle the details (like, oh, say… where we’ll live!).

April:
-We began the painful process of telling Legacy folk that we were leaving. We cried a lot.
-Lance led singing for his last few times at Legacy.
-We began packing up our house to get it ready to put on the market.

May:
-Since we had already purchased the aforementioned non-refundable plane tickets, we went to Europe… despite the fact that we had JUST started at PR and our lives were so crazy. We become trans-Atlantic travelers for the first time ever. We had a wonderful trip and totally enjoyed ourselves.
-As soon as we got back, summer stuff began at PR.

June:
-We celebrated 4 years of marriage.
-We put our house on the market.
-My little sister got married.
-Lance was gone an awful lot.

July:
-Our house was still on the market.
-Lance was still gone an awful lot.
-We began looking at houses in Arlington.

August:
-Our house was still on the market, and we began seriously looking at houses in Arlington. We spent every Sunday afternoon touring homes.

September:
-I got an email in the middle of church one Sunday morning that we’d gotten an offer on our house. After reading through that offer, we realized it was someone we knew from Legacy… and that his agent was someone from Legacy… and we cried and thanked the Lord.
-We began packing… like REALLY packing.
-We were still looking at houses and struggling to find something we loved.
-We began starting down the barrel of selling our house without having somewhere to go and making arrangements to stay with Lance’s mom short-term.

October:
-We made an offer on a house that we liked but didn’t love.
-We found another house like a week later that we LOVED and made an offer.
-I worked my tail off and gathered every bit of financial documentation about us in 24 hours (and let me tell you – they required a LOT of financial documentation!).
-We packed up our entire lives.
-We closed on the house 3 weeks later. We got an amazing interest rate and a great price… and we bought our house from another CoC minster. Coincidence? Doubtful.
-We moved into our lovely new house on Halloween weekend. Still can’t believe we ever thought it would be a peaceful year!

November:
-We had two youth retreats in November – one being the weekend immediately following moving into our house. Yeesh. That was stressful.
-We hired a painter to paint all of our common rooms during Thanksgiving week. What a difference that made! It started feeling like OUR house.
-We unpacked.
-We began shopping for Christmas.

December:
-We took our trip to NYC.
-We unpacked.
-We put up all of our Christmas stuff which made it look so much more like a home, and we finished up our Christmas shopping about two weeks before Christmas and got everything wrapped and under the tree.
-We celebrated our first Christmas in our new home, and we enjoyed time with both of our families.

We’re still not done unpacking, and there’s wall painting and floor tiling to be done still… but it’s starting to really feel like home. We have singlehandedly kept fast food businesses in the black this year with how much we’ve eaten there. We can barely button our pants (but we do intend to change that)… but we survived it. At times this year, our marriage felt like a business arrangement as we did our dead-level best just to keep up with everything… but looking back, I feel like we’re stronger because of it. We followed where the Lord called us, and He blessed us.

God is so faithful to His children. In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 is to begin a journal of stories of God’s faithfulness in my life. I believe in and worship a God who continues to move and act in my life. He’s not just the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s also MY God. I stand in awe of the things He does, and I want to continue to remember those… and I want to pass those down so that my children and grandchildren will know that they are part of a legacy of faith.

I think my verse for 2011 is going to be Psalm 116:7 – “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Here's hoping for a more peaceful year in 2011!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

magical pictures

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our magical trip!

Seriously... this trip was such a dream come true. I've always wanted to see NYC at Christmas, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Magical!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

yeesh.

I have been a giant failure at blogging lately. Things are still so crazy. Super speedy update: We had our common rooms painted a couple weeks ago, and they look so good! They are a beautiful, neutral beige… SO much better than yellow! And it was totally worth hiring someone – they look AMAZING, and it took him 3 days to do 4 gigantic rooms. That would have taken us 4 months, 97 cans of paint, 15 sessions of marriage counseling, and we STILL wouldn’t be done. Let’s see… then we enjoyed Thanksgiving, and I went black Friday shopping and got a new TV for our bedroom. We left on December 1st and took a short trip up to New York City . I have always wanted to go at Christmastime, and right now one of our college friends is playing Pumbaa in the Lion King on Broadway (and he has a one-year contract), so we wanted to go up there even though we just took our trip to Europe this year. It was a wonderful, magical Christmas trip! (We saw the tree, watched the Rockettes, ice skated in Rockefeller Plaza , window shopped, bought me a Tiffany & Co. necklace… MAGIC, I tell you. MAGIC.) I did get kind of sick on the day we flew back, and I still have kind of a man-ish voice, but it’s getting better now. Lance and I hung curtains in our dining room last night, and I am SO excited about that. Our house is finally starting to look like we live there. We have some paint color samples on the wall in our bedroom and bathroom, but I am having a much harder time picking those colors than I had picking the common room colors. Sometime soon, I need to post pictures of the house with its new and improved d├ęcor and pictures of the NYC Christmas magic. I absolutely cannot believe that Christmas is in 18 days! So exciting… and yet, so much to do still!