Another six weeks has passed since my last blog entry and our life continues to blaze on into 2012. The end of January brought another birthday for me. #33 was not so kind to me as I spent the majority of the week surrounding my big day SICK! So sick, in fact that I had to take a rain check on a much anticipated road trip to Seagrove, NC...home to some of the best pottery in the U.S. I will be sure and hold that soldier to his rain check promise!
After teaching a class last semester at our on-post ladies Bible study, I decided to take some "time off" from actively serving on the forefront of that ministry and just be ministered to, with occasional bouts of serving when I was led by God. Or so I thought. In January, when I was supposed to be down-timing it (but still enjoying serving the Lord through our music ministry at Chapel), I had two opportunities fall into my lap and felt the Lord tugging me toward both. One is helping to select the leadership team for next year's executive board at our ladies Bible study and the other is helping out a dear friend by acting as Administrative Coordinator within the Bible study group so she could tend to her terminally ill mother. In hindsight, I now see that the Lord was leading me to keep my plate empty so He could fill it at the right time! Otherwise he knows I would have signed up to teach another study! The work has been rewarding and manageable - not too demanding on my time but still giving me an opportunity to serve Him in a big way.
After about 5 months of daily struggling with a VERY strong-willed two year old, hubby and I believe we MAY be seeing a glow which would signal a possible light at the end of this tunnel. This has just begun to happen within the last couple of weeks. I don't want to speak too quickly and have to take words back later, but having been so tuned into her behavior and attitude issues we can definitely say that things have lightened up at least a little bit as of late. This is DEFINITELY an answer to prayer and a much needed break from repeated and disappointing moments of discipline. Our prayer is that God helps us to break her will, not her spirit. It may be too soon to declare us "out of the woods", but we are thankful for even this slight reprieve. It has given me a chance to refocus and see her more as a person, as a child of God and not so often as the object of my correction.
I, too, have joined the world of Pinterest and have not been disappointed with the creative ideas floating around out there! I was so hesitant to join in light of the frequent comments I'd been hearing of the website literally being a timewarp. Last semester the last thing I needed was anything that would demand more time from me. But I endulged myself this semester and have enjoyed being inspired and learning to craft. I have begun to delve into the world of stamping, Cricut machines, bow making, paper crafts, wreath making, among others. My favorite thing about crafting is making gifts for others. For our family, I made this banner that allows us to celebrate each family member's birthday and attach the appropriate number for their age.
Speaking of birthdays, our first born just celebrated his #6. Can't believe that! I know I hear it all the time and it sounds so cliche, but when you experience it...it TRULY is hard to believe that my first baby is a 6 year old! We celebrated in style with a birthday weekend. Daddy came home from a week in the field just in time to celebrate with us. Our 'Bama grandparents made the trip over and joined us as well. He received so many wonderful and great gifts, overwhelmingly fun blessings. His dad and I gave him a new "big boy" bike as promised since he finally buckled down and learned how to ride his li'l kid bike WITHOUT training wheels! During lunchtime on the day of his birthday, sister and I carried a cookie cake to his school as well as a McDonald's lunch (per his request) and celebrated with his Kindergarten class as well. We also had a party in our home, inviting a few close friends to join us for a "Lego Birthday Party". I think the weekend was a big hit with that big boy!
Our favorite chaplain has been faithfully plugging away at his garrison ministry. We led a marriage retreat a couple of weekends ago in nearby Asheville and have a couple more planned for this quarter. Hubby's brigade finally brought in a chaplain and so he finished up his time as acting-brigade chaplain and is somewhat relieved to be back to his battalion chaplain duties only. A new HHC commander and battalion commander have both been installed and that change has breathed a fresh breath of air into the life of his battalion. Perhaps the biggest news for our family is that we will be PCSing (permanent change of station) soon to Ft Campbell, KY. I say soon, but as of this writing we still don't have any paperwork or official orders. But we are expecting a move in either May or June. Ft Campbell is located on the KY/TN border and will put us living 3 hours or less from my side of the family and only 6 hours from Hubby's parents! Thank you, God! We are excited to live so close to family at this time in the life of our family and with our kids at the ages they are. We are already dreaming of weekend trips and of meeting the grandparents halfway to do the "kid drop-off"! Life will get alot crazier before we get to the happiness of those moments, but I am focusing on several different things to keep the anxiety monster away. First, the Army may give us the orders but I firmly believe God has His hand on their decisions. In otherwords, we have given our lives and our family to Him and we are only going where He wants us when He wants us to. Second, change is good. It makes us into better people. And moving means we'll have to clean and purge our drawers and closets. And, man, that feels good! Third, it's exciting to see God work out all the details of our needs when we don't stress and when we let go. I'm looking forward to this adventure and can't wait to catalog how God carries us there!
The Bible study I am in this semester is the book "A Praying Life" by Paul Miller. The Lord is teaching me so much through this detailed study of prayer. One thing He brought out to me recently through this study was Isaiah 57:15 "For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite'." I have read this verse before, but I don't think I've thought about it in the context of prayer. Isaiah is conveying the truth that our God is infinte and yet personal. The response of my heart to this text was, "Why? Why would God who resides in the splendor and majesty of the realm of glorious heaven also choose to be present with the broken, sorrowful, oppressed, crushed, and scared? The depressed, the outcast, the junkies in the backally, the homeless under the overpass, the abandoned, the messed up? What sense can we make of this? Isaiah tells us the "what" of what God does for those people; He restores and revives them. But why? Through this study of prayer I have come to believe that this is because both places -heaven and the broken- are where God's glory is most demonstratively displayed. In heaven, God rules and reigns supreme without limits and in His fullness. His full glory on display at all times. Where else do those aforementioned people have to go? And to whom else can they turn? Their ONLY hope is in that lofty God coming to their aid. And when He does, ALL glory is His. His strength made perfect in not only our weaknesses, but in our utter inability to do anything for ourselves. I heard a famous preacher once say that God deserves and desires glory more than anything else. In fact, God's ultimate end is the manifestation of His glory. So where else would he seek to reside but the holiness of heaven and the humbleness of human heart?