Friday, March 30, 2012

Stretched Thin

The hard work and blisters are paying off...

Notice there is now a house next door - almost done!
I have been a busy bee lately!  Whew!  I keep getting comments that I am 'glowing' or 'tan already' - someone asked if we'd been on vacation - just in my backyard...and the ballpark!  The landscaping is coming a long nicely.  I hung white lights up on the deck and with the speakers out there and the almost 24 hrs of shade and nice view it is something we are enjoying a ton already!  Next step for the backyard - some trees - big ones!!  Our grass in the backyard might be a hopeless cause.  It is so rocky...and dry.  We enjoyed several days outside in the backyard and on the deck with Jason, Robyn, AJ, and Jillian while they were visiting this past week.  They drove 12 hours from northern Indiana to come see us.  We have known Jason and Robyn since before we were married.  They are like family to us -- being a part of our lives through a lot of stuff.  We were all so excited to see them drive up.  We enjoyed showing them around, taking them to a soccer game, baseball game, church, Bible Study, pedicures, frozen yogurt, playing Draw Something on our phones, flying kites, having taco night, and just hanging out.  It was a great week.

I've had lunch with two of the girls from our LifeGroup over the past two weeks - that has been fun!  This weekend we are having fellowship time and a lunch together.  Emily has started soccer games now and Evan is playing one or two baseball games a week.  We got to go out with Steve and Wendy and their family also - tried Dippin' Dots for the first time!  LOL  I've been working on setting up our online auction for the Spring Fling that will be coming up in May.  Thankfully I am done volunteering with the after-school program for Tae Kwon Do - it wasn't hard - just more time spent.  

I had a really great Monday at my women's Bible Study this week!  Robyn came along and there was also a new girl that joined who is younger than all of us and single.  My desire is for our group to be very diverse with women in all stages of life so we can all encourage and mentor one another.  We met at a coffee shop this time and it was just really good.  I really enjoyed it.  I feel like God is helping me to feel more comfortable and giving me a renewed excitement for the group.  God's got good things planned - as usual.

Unfortunately, I really feel stretched thin right now.  I am not quite sure how I have ended up so busy - we are new here - I figured I'd be sitting twiddling my thumbs for the first year at least!  Just because I'm busy (or anyone else) doesn't mean I'm in a good spot though.  I seriously am having issues feeling in control of my schedule, my time, etc.  I am tired, so I can't get up in the morning, so I don't have my quiet times (which I desperately need), then I get only a few things accomplished during the day, feel behind on a bunch of stuff, and fall into bed tired.  Repeat.  I am missing my time with Him...must get back.  I don't have a routine yet...still.  I probably said 'yes' to a few too many things too quickly when we got here - I wanted to meet people and get involved.  Good is not always best though.  Right now, I am praying for guidance.  I want to be involved and every time that ANYthing comes up that remotely sounds like something I'd enjoy I have a desire to do it.  But then a lot of days I wish I had nothing to do so I could spend the day at home.  Not sure what is going on- what the correct balance is... have a feeling of being out of control and barely hanging on a lot of the time!  Confused and ready to just settle into normalcy and routine here.

Lord, please lead me to the right places, the right ways to be involved, the right use of my time.  More importantly, please help me to make time with You the most important and the non-negotiable part of my days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Open Sores - In More Than One Way

I can not believe how the weather has changed so quickly!  We got sunburned sitting outside on Saturday during Evan's first baseball game.  We had to turn the a/c on and mow the grass.  It's like full fledged summer already!  The grass and trees are so pretty.  We've been working a lot on the landscaping in the backyard.  It is so therapeutic for me to go outside and pull some weeds and get my hands dirty.  Isn't that weird?  Of course now I have a huge blister on my hand - that is not so therapeutic. 

We accepted and signed an offer this past week that will allow a buyer to rent from us and then purchase the house within 9 months.  God answered our prayers, but once again it was not in our time frame and it was not the answer in the neat perfect little gift wrapped package that we expected!  When He answered our prayers after praying for years for a different job/promotion for Jeff - it wasn't exactly what we had planned to move to NC - but it was still an answer to prayer!!  And one that has been good for us!
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  
We did not like the idea of renting, but this is the best of both worlds for us and the buyer.  Financially we will be good - rent covering our mortgage.  And the contract that was signed is for the purchase of the it is a binding contract.  While we wish it was all done and over with and we were not going to own two homes for the next 9 months, God has provided for us and He has given us peace about this decision as each little detail about this deal has worked in our favor.  Halleluiah!

Some of you know that I have had some problems lately.  I had to have an ultrasound today and they found what I 'knew' (you know when something isn't right) - two cysts on my left ovary.  One is actually 2 inches big and fluid filled.  The other is smaller, but might be the endometrioma that I had problems with 8 years ago when I was trying to get pregnant with Evan.  The doctor wants to wait 8 weeks and do another ultrasound and see what happens.  Sometimes they go away - sometimes they burst (which apparently doesn't hurt much??) - sometimes they get bigger and cause problems.  The doctor will talk to me at that time what I need to do.  So, just waiting to see.

We are excited what God is going to do through our 'new' small group.  The Life Group we joined in January had about 13-14 couples and their children in it.  Needless to say it was a little overwhelming walking in to that and not knowing anyone.  Well, the time came Sunday that the groups had to 'birth' and become two.  It is neat that all of the couples Jeff and I felt we had connected with are ones that will be in our group.  The leaders of the group are the ones that originally invited us to come and Evan and their son are on the same baseball team this season.  Pastor Rob talked about community yesterday at church - he even asked how many people didn't have family here in Charlotte - almost everyone raised their hand.  Our church family will be our family here.  It is important for us to be part of a healthy community here. Unfortunately I have already been reminded what is not healthy for us.  It grieves me to think how I am starting over completely and having to trust people who I don't know very well and are sure to let me down (because ALL humans will let us down - they are incapable of meeting my needs - only He can do that!). At this point I am going to focus on my relationship with God and His complete acceptance and love for me.  I have been very humbly reminded of my fear to be alone - to not be needed or included.  I hurt - like an open wound.  But, I admit it - that I have a need for significance - like every single one of us - and now I am going to let my Father love on me for awhile.  Very thankful for our Life Group and my Bible Study Group - no, we don't know anyone in these groups that well yet - but we know their hearts and their similar-mindedness - thankful and prayerful for what is to come with our 'family' here.  Resting in His loving arms.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Growing Up

The past few weeks have gone by quickly.  And now, it seems as though spring is here - the flowers on the trees are open, the daffodils are up, the grass is greening, and the trees are all budding.  I love this time of year!!

We had a great visit with my parents.  They stayed for a week and we enjoyed it!  My dad put up wainscoting in the dining room for me - I 'helped.'  After I painted it it looks just exactly the way I wanted it!  It makes me smile to look at it! :)
Evan has started baseball practice - his first game is next Saturday already.  He is doing so much better than last year already and his coach is really great.  It seems like baseball is a big deal here - or maybe it is just that he's a year older this year.  There are some GOOD players out  Evan is also enjoying his after school taekwondo that he is doing.  I am helping with the program so I get to watch him each week.  It is well run.  We may have to consider continuing in it after it is over.  Emily starts soccer practice on Wednesday next week.
Unfortunately I had an accident this week.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  The police officer said it was the other driver's fault. It was interesting how all the body shops started calling and telling me that our insurance contacted them and I needed to make an appointment and come get my repairs done.  Too bad that isn't the case.  It's unfortunate how people feel the need to make money.

We had our first women's Bible study at my house on Monday.  It went well.  Three other ladies are doing it with me.  I think it is going to be great!  I am doing an Initials, Inc. party this evening for my friend Alison.  She is in my Bible study too.  I am working on some of the landscaping for around the back part of the house when I can.  It all will definitely need a lot of work.  Good thing I enjoy it.  Love going out there and working.  I'd like to paint a bit more in the house soon too.  Spring is always a busy time with the kids in sports though, so not sure how much more I will get done.  We are so excited to have Jason, Robyn, AJ, and Jillian visiting in just a few weeks and then Chris and Judy, and then my parents again, and then Tyrone, Lynette, and their family for a day! 

Jeff and I continue to pray for guidance, discernment, and to do His will.  We have had 38 showings on our home.  It is constant battle to remain trusting and have faith that His plan is best.  He is growing us though.  And I am glad that we are here.  What an adventure this has been already.  And how we are growing in our faith through this!  We are also growing up - not being right near our parents has helped us with this.  Not that we enjoy not being near them!!  But now that we are...we are forced to 'grow up.'  Seems silly to say when we have been married for 13 years, have two kids, and are 35 years old!  

I definitely have felt closer to the kids and Jeff recently.  I will look at the kids and just try to freeze time for a bit.  I love watching Evan crawl around on the floor with his cars still - I love that he still plays.  But then my heart jumps for joy when I see him doing so much better with baseball this year - actually trying to catch the balls and doing it!  I want to slow time down with Emily who is so pretty and will come out of her room after spending some time getting dressed, doing her hair, getting stuff together in her purse, putting on perfume, and some glittery face did that happen?  I went to tuck her in this week and she had used some new shampoo.  It reminded me of the scent she had as a baby.  I just kept kissing her and wanted to snuggle up with her!!  It's good to stop and cherish where they are right now and chisel it into my memories.  Jeff and I are leaning on each other a lot too.  While we are making friends here - we've only been here a few months.  It is hard to not have the friendships like we did in Indiana.  It will come, we must have patience...and I guess in the mean time...I will continue to pour into the three people who matter the most anyway.