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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, September 28, 2009

What's Going On?

After dividing all our stuff into "Store" and "Move", loading a POD and a moving truck (with the help of great friends), cleaning for the last time our Louisville home for the past year and a half, and driving for many hours through Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and the length of Pennsylvania, we are finally in Philadelphia! We are not quite in our "home" yet, but we are all safe and well taken care of. Moving is difficult. The physical work is exhausting and decision making can be daunting. Our first night in Philly was definitely proof that this is all true. When we realized that moving in to our apartment was not going to happen, we found a nearby hotel. Micah and I both were overwhelmed by all the obstacles in front of us and we wanted nothing more than a good night's rest. Our eyes were tired from driving in the rain for the better part of a whole day and I was keenly aware that I needed time to regroup. For all of us, sleep came very quickly and easily after melting into clean, crisp bed linens.

I don't remember falling asleep. What I do remember is having the thought, "Great day in the morning! What is that sound! It is really loud! Maybe it will stop soon... Oh... It's the fire alarm!!!" Boy was it effective! It was the equivalent of a blow horn in every one of the five floors of guest rooms. The next thing I know, Micah is jumping up, grabbing stuff- including the children, and trying to get to the door of our room to see what is going on. I started looking for shoes, then my purse, etc. but realized I was having great difficulty seeing anything. Was it because of smoke inhalation? Was I losing consciousness? No! I didn't have on my glasses!!! Another important thing to grab. Micah had stuck his head out into the hall to see what was going on. He did see and smell smoke so we were assured this was not some sort of crazy, middle of the night drill. Usually, you don't get to know your neighbors in a hotel, but in this situation, we got to know our neighbors extremely well. There is instant bonding when you see how people look in the wee hours of the morning! As you can imagine, we were all trying to avoid looking surprised at the chosen attire of some less-dressed guests as we all scurried toward the outside exits. There were police men and firemen arriving complete with sirens and flashing lights. Then, we heard someone announce the reason for all the commotion. Someone had set fire to a hot pocket in the lobby microwave. Needless to say, we were all relieved to go back to bed unharmed. Micah and I looked at each other and for the first time since we left Louisville, laughed out loud at our circumstances:)

We still have a few details to work out in the moving in department. The boys keep asking, "Where is our home?" I keep reminding them that our home is where we are all together. At this minute, we are all together at a hotel. Hopefully soon they will have access to all their toys and things and that might help their feelings about the situation:) It has been a while since I was in a totally new place. One of my first objectives was finding a nearbyTarget and I am happy to say that one is right around the corner! Micah started working this morning. The Chick-fil-a he will be managing is in a mall with a train for kids to ride so the boys think Daddy's new work is pretty cool already. I will try to keep you all up to date on our adventures here in Philly. Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving to Philadelphia

We found out Wednesday that Micah will have an interim position with Chick-fil-a in northern Philadelphia, PA. We anticipate being there for around 6 months. This time in our lives- waiting and wondering where we were going to end up- has been trying and exciting. We are thrilled at the opportunity and eager to see what the other end of the road the Lord has paved for us holds. We will be traveling next weekend. Please pray for us all. Andrew is sad to be leaving his friends and familiar places and things. We all are for that matter. Any new place to him sounds strange if it's not "Louisville" or "Carolina". Elijah is just excited about a new adventure but a little uncertain all his toys being put into boxes will actually make it to the right destination. I need prayer as I sort through what to store and what to pack in the coming week. Micah is the cool, calm one in the family through all of the chaos. He is so thankful for this opportunity. I know that God has used all his experience to bring him to this point of managing a store on his own. Please pray for him; for perseverance, wisdom, and strength.

On Wednesday nights at LaGrange Baptist Church, we just started a new ministry to families called Seeds. The past couple of weeks, we have talked about wisdom. I was particularly drawn to the book of Proverbs where wisdom and foolishness is contrasted so clearly. The night Micah received the phone call about our move, I came upon this familiar passage:

The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:1-3

Our family testifies that these words are true as we have been tested and led down unfamiliar paths the past few years. The story of our journey is mysterious to us, but the Author is good, trustworthy, and our only hope.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Farm Fun

One of our new friends is "Miss Mandy" as the boys call her. She had a fabulous idea to go pick apples at Huber Farms today. The weather couldn't have been better for tractor rides and eating freshly-picked apples under the shade of a tree. The boys helped her pick about 22 pounds of apples as well as apples for themselves. By the middle of the picking experience, they knew well how to choose the best apples.
Andrew ran through the vineyard and Elijah studied the grapes.
Is that a watermelon and a green pepper? No! Of course not! It is Andrew and Elijah!
A kind woman shared a whole bag of bread with the boys to feed the coy and catfish and the ducks in this pond. Elijah told Andrew this sign says "Don't Go ANY Closer or You May Fall in the Water!!!".

Tonight, in the spirit of Wendell Berry, we used the apples we picked ourselves to make an apple crisp. The boys were so excited to eat what they had a hand in bringing to the table. Maybe next time we will pick lots and lots of vegetables:)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Help Our Unbelief!

One of my favorite quotes in the gospels comes from John 9. A father desperate for help for his son comes to Jesus. Jesus, knowing he can help says to the man, "All things are possible for one who believes". The man's response to Jesus resonates with me because of its honesty and spiritual self-awareness. He immediately cries out, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

This statement sums up this time in our lives. Last Sunday Micah and I put our children in a car (with Nana, of course) headed to NC and we traveled on a plane the next day to CA. Have you ever looked at those two states on the map? I had before, but never had they seemed so far from each other than on this day. Through my tears, I confessed: Lord, I believe You are the Sustainer of all our lives and will take care of my little ones; help my unbelief!

As we traveled by plane through Dallas to Orange County, CA: Lord, we are 35,000 feet up in the air over a part of Utah that looks like it couldn't possibly have a runway! I know you created gravity and this beautiful sky we now hang in inside a heavy hunk of metal and know if the pilots are well rested today; help my unbelief!

This is my only picture from the trip. I snapped it out the airplane window and then, my camera batteries gave out. Curiously, I had just replaced them. When we returned home and I added new ones, found closeups of my bedroom furniture at the end of the memory card... I think our little Elijah the photographer was the battery-using culprit!

Our time in California was productive. There are some exciting opportunities there! I also got to see my sister Amy and the place she now calls home. As we left our whirlwind of a trip I prayed: God, You have brought us here and provided for us through Chick-fil-a. We know You go before us and have all wisdom and insight into the questions that loom over us; help our unbelief!

And as we continue to move daily through uncertainties waiting on God's will for our lives: Lord, we know the plans You have for us are good and You are doing 1,000 things right now we cannot see; help our unbelief!

We are so thankful for family and friends who are enduring the craziness that is our life right now. Please pray for us- specifically that we will have wisdom in making decisions, for Chick-fil-a as they give us opportunities- or not, and that the boys transition to where ever we end up will be easy for them. We will continue to keep you updated!