Sunday, January 27, 2008

Family Fun...and Home Improvements

We had a weekend full of fun and celebration. Grammy and Poppy came to our house and we took advantage of their help to change Dylan's nursery to a more boyish room. The light green paint below the chair railing was transformed to a medium blue color - the first of several efforts to change his room to that of a Cars theme by his 2nd birthday (next month).

We also managed to work in some birthday celebrating for me as well. We (the big clan - all 7 of us) dined at a local, quaint, family-owned Italian restaurant and capped off the night with cake, ice cream, and presents at home. All in all, we had a wonderful time playing with grandparents!

The fun made the weekend go by too fast. I woke up Saturday morning without a voice - which made the 5 hours I was taking nurse phone calls from home that afternoon VERY interesting.

Sunday the fun continued as we spent time fellowshipping with our music minister's family - they have 2 sons (ages 6 and 4 I think) and they kept Dylan entertained for several hours. We enjoyed spending time with their family and watching the boys play together. There was alot of energy in that room with 3 small boys present!

This weekend this verse of scripture has been on my heart:
I Corinthians 8:1b - Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

I think that each of us can apply that to many different facets of our life. Knowledge can lead me one of two places: to a proud, puffed-up, haughty place or to a place of reverent humility in awe of the vast, infinite wisdom of God. No matter how much I know, God can always has the "one-up-manship" on knowledge. That takes the focus off of me being "all that" and should lead me to a desire to love, or a compassion for, others - seeking to build them up or encourage them. Yet another example of the truth found in the first line of Rick Warren's best-seller The Purpose Driven Life, "It's not about you."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update to interview

Just had time for an update on Tim's interview:

The beginning of the interview did not go smoothly, as they were having trouble communicating. But by the end, Tim said he gave it a 7 out of 10. The job is for a networker at entry level. Don't know when we'll hear back, but they said they would call. So until then, we will pray...

Monday, January 21, 2008

It may only be January 21, but the new year seems like it is going full speed already. Seminary has started back for Tim and he is pumped about it - since it is his last semester. He has a job interview tomorrow with a networking/telecommunications company - and we wait with anticipation to see what God will do with that. Originally we had considered that maybe he should just stick it out with his retail job, since we thought we might be transitioning to chaplaincy relatively soon. Now, though, it appears that becoming a chaplain may be be a more lengthy process than we had anticipated. Not much can substantially be done prior to graduation, except for some paperwork. Nothing can be submitted until after May, and from there it can take 6 months to a year (we have heard). So, maybe a change of pace from retail would be just what Tim needed to get him through until then. We are hopeful, but trusting God. This place called him based on what they saw in his resume - so we will see.

Our weekend was fun, but too usual. We have had quite the cold temps here recently, but that hasn't kept Dylan in doors. Below you will find some pictures of his time outside.
For whatever reason, this is a slower season at work for me. So, I am enjoying being able to read swiftlly through my most recent literary endeavor - Bringing Up Boys, by James Dobson. If you have boys (or a boy) and have not read it - I HIGHLY recommend it to you. The more I read, the more I am glad that I chose to read this book. There is so much at stake within the heart of our children, but especially so within the hearts of young males - the born-leaders of tomorrow. I was struck by this paragraph from his book:

"The notion of postmodernism teaches children, teens, and adults that they owe their existence to random chance in a chaotic universe with no design and no designer. We are accountable to no one and live for a meaningless moment in a dying cosmos that will end in total darkness. We have no inherent value as human beings and no significance beyond our short journey on the river of time. No wonder low self-esteem and disrespect for others are at an all-time high. It is a damnable worldview that assaults the family and warps its young"

Wow. He goes on to enlighten the reader on how males (particularly boys) are under attack like never before in the history of mankind. Thanks to the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's which went far beyond searching for equal rights for women - valiant men who know how to be MEN are a dying breed, as they are attacked on every side. I have been convicted to do everything I can to raise Dylan to be what God created him to be - a man!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eph. 3:20

Not alot to say today; It is hard to keep up with my posts during this 4 day work stretch. I just couldn't help but post this picture of our boy. Nothin' like a freshly bathed kid! I love how his feet don't reach the end of the couch. When I think about Dylan I am reminded of this verse from Ephesians 3:20:

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jenn's thoughts...and Dylan's Day of Fun

A couple of days ago I read a scripture verse from Isaiah 65 that says "Before they call, I will answer". That immediately gripped my heart and made me want to look deeper into the heart of God's forethoughts of His children. As I searched the scriptures, I also came upon these other references to God going before us: Isaiah 45:2 - I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates or bronze and cut through bars of iron. Isaiah 52:12 - But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Matthew 6:8 - ...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. These scriptures have had a fresh meaning to me in light of this past year. My husband and I were watching the ministry God had placed Tim in be seemingly sabotaged and undermined before our very eyes. Yet, God was going before us and clearing out paths before we knew we needed them. This time last year the job I now have was being opened up so that "Before they call, I will answer." God is showing me time and again that through suffering, the question should not be "Why?" but "What?" or "Where?" On a different note, Dylan had an incredibly fun day yesterday! He got to play with his future wife Jenna (an arranged marriage, mind you) in the morning and a new friend Tommy in the evening. That picture makes me think of the quote by Caeser "Veni, Vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered). Watching his social skills form is really enlightening. Sharing is not his forte, but he is learning. Thanks to Grammy & Poppy for the Cars tent, which has provided hours of exciting fun!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ode to 20-something

As my last chance approaches to put a "2" at the beginning of my age on my birthday cakes, I am growing reminiscent and waxing poetic. Here is my poem entitle "Ode to 20-something"

20's, you have been good to me.
You have seen me through good and blah.
From the single life, to wedded bliss
To motherhood and all that is.
Weight gain and loss
3 apartments, 2 states, 1 house.
My first car wreck, and first new car.
College education, and the "night shift".
The energy of youthfulness
Tempered with bits of wisdom,
I still feel like I'm 21
But hopefully don't act it.
Only one more year left
that I can say
"I'm 20-something. Hey!"
But through the years
God's faithfulness shines.
If the next decade is
anything like the past,
It can only, better, be.

Monday, January 7, 2008

One sick boy

I guess I should consider myself a lucky mother to have never experienced a child's upset stomach in almost 2 years. But last night, we made up for lost time. Dylan must have caught a bug and it left him fevered yesterday afternoon. I went to church and Tim stayed home with him. I had no more got home and eaten dinner when Dylan punily crawled up into my lap, moaning about something. I pulled him in close to hug him and - bleeeeaaack - I got it good. We're talking hair, shirt, pants, underwear, couch, floor, carpet. Poor guy! Tim and I both freaked - we stalled, like cars out on a busy highway. Fortunately, common sense kicked in quickly and we rushed him to the tub. Tim gave him a bath while I took shower #2 of the day. After we all got cleaned up, Dylan sat in his Dad's lap while I sprayed Lysol over every inch we had tread. It wasn't too long after this that Dylan made the score even by getting his dad good. So we repeated the aforementioned scene...and fortunately that was the end of that. He was able to hold down Tylenol and we had a quiet restful night. He is fever free this morning, but hasn't had much of an appetite. When Dylan turns down graham crackers - it is a big deal! Today he has been, for the most part, happy and content to play with his Christmas toys. It's always an adventure...

Friday, January 4, 2008

God's leading

Finally, another chance to blog! The New Year is in full swing and we have been enjoying unusually cold temps.

This will be a difficult blog for me to write and maybe a difficult one for you to read. We have information to share and we're not sure of the best way to get it out to our friends and family. As much as we would prefer to share it with you in person, neither time nor money will permit. So pardon this seemingly cold, impersonal notice - but consider it as us sitting down with you, one-on-one and sharing our hearts with you.

Ever since I learned of Tim's calling to full-time ministry (he felt the calling at age 19, I met him at 20), I have wondered what that ministry calling would look like for us, for our family. Often we have earnestly prayed to God for insight into what He would have Tim do and where he would have us go. For awhile, we didn't seem to hear much in reply. Then, when our journey led us to Arkansas, Tim began to hear the faint whispers of a ministry - one that peaked his interest. A year went by and then Tim took a position as Youth Pastor at our church. While there, Tim felt content to be in that job for as long as God would have him there. But as circumstances under God's direction would have it, that door closed in March of this year. It was at this point that we began the deepest soul searching we had ever known - crying out to God for his direction, guidance, and wisdom. You see, now we were not 2, but 3 - we were a family. As we prayed, those whispers that had once been faint become more audible. The more we prayed, the more we felt the Holy Spirit leading us in only one direction. The ministry that peaked Tim's interest was that of Military Chaplaincy. A professor Tim had in the seminary had been an ex-Navy Chaplain, and had used many illustrations from his ministry. At first, Tim dismissed it - thought it just interested him because it was something new. But now we believe that God planted that idea in his mind much like a seed which, over the course of time, has begun to take root. We kept praying though, but we took the first steps of action. Much like Gideon throwing out the fleece, we put out a fleece of our own. The seminary Tim attends is not accredited, and the Chaplaincy will not accept a degree from a non-accredited school. We were told that Tim would need 3 schools to back-up the credits and degree he is earning. And in 6 weeks time, we got just that. 3 schools willing to lend their accreditation to Tim. So far, Tim has talked with 2 ex-Chaplains as well as the head of the ABA Chaplaincy committee. He has also contacted some of the military branches and notified them of his interest.

We do not know what will happen from here. We do not know if this will fly or if it will flop - but it is in God's hands. We do not know the timing of any of the series of events, how soon they will be happening, or where we will go. We are still praying for God to show us the place He wants us, even if Chaplaincy is not it, especially if Chaplaincy is not it - we want to be wherever He wants us. We will try to keep you informed of the latest. If we could ask one favor of you it would be to please remember us in prayer, we have so many fears and so many questions. But we know we serve a mighty God!