Monday, July 31, 2006

Just kidding.

Well, we aren't moving after all. Stephen turned the job down. I know, I know. Can't you people just make up your minds? I am sure this is what everyone is thinking. But the closer it got to making the decision, the more it felt wrong to leave.

We are very at peace with the decision and now we can throw ourselves into the work at church that we had been anticipating and praying for for some time now. And Stephen can keep doing what he is doing at State Farm for now. But we feel God's peace that we made the right choice.

I will be posting pictures from the beach tonight, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 28, 2006

We're moving!!!

After waiting all week on our vacation for the phone call, the Atlanta job came through today on the way home. Go figure. We have decided to take the job and think it is the best move for us to make right now. We are very sad to leave here, though. We have some great friends here that I am not sure what I will do without. But they are already planning visits to Atlanta, so I know I won't be totally without them. And I know that God has some friends already in mind for me, so I am not going to worry about that right now.

Anyway, we don't know when we will move; he didn't talk details today. I guess that will come Monday. Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know. Keep praying!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It finally rained

They have been saying that there was a 40% chance of rain all week, but it has been sunny everyday. Well, today it happened. We were in a beach shop when the downpour hit. I can't complain. I have gotten too much sun; I think I have sun poisoning. Very itchy. Anyway, if the sun comes back out, you will still find me by the pool. I'm crazy, I know, but I only have one more day here so I plan on soaking it up.

Today we went to the Anna Maria Island Pier. It is 94 years old. Pretty cool. We walked to the end of it and there was a restaurant and a deck where you could look out on the water. The coolest thing was watching two dolphins come up out of the water. They never swam up to the deck while we were there, but this lady said that they had been coming right up to the deck. It was still cool to watch them in their natural habitat.

We couldn't have had a better vacation. The kids have been great, Luke has been great, we have gotten some quality time as a family. Thanks to the Daniels for sharing their beautiful condo with us. We couldn't have done it otherwise. We owe them! We head out bright and early in the morning. Actually, it won't be bright at 4:30 a.m. but it will be early. Pray that we have a safe trip. Look for pictures. We haven't taken as much as I would have liked, but I think we got a few good ones. Hope to see everyone soon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Babies and sand don't mix

I discovered today that Luke really doesn't like the sand. The first couple of times, it was new and fun. Now, to him, it is just annoying. He gets this look on his face like, "Why do you keep bringing me down here? You know I don't like it and will just cry until you take me back in. It gets in my face, my eyes, my swim diaper, just stop bringing me down here!" It is quite funny. I imagine tomorrow will be spent mostly at the pool, except of course during Luke's nap.

Still here...

Still here in Florida. Having a great time. Monday was much like Sunday, playing at the beach, then to the pool, then rest, then do it all over again. Yesterday we decided to take a break from the sun and went to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. It was fun but hot. A lot of the exhibits were outside, but the kids enjoyed it. It was a nice break from the routine.

We came back to the condo and Luke and Stephen took a nap. I got some time with Jordan and Claire which was nice. I don't get to do that much anymore. I took them to the pool for a while. We came back in and Stephen and Luke were still asleep, so we went to the beach for a while. The kids dug in the sand and found all kinds of treasures. They have been so good this week. I am so glad they have fun together and enjoy being around each other. Last night we went back to this ice cream place down the street. So good!

Today looks like more good weather. It really couldn't have been better this week. Sunny everyday. Nice breeze. I guess God heard me. Anyway, off to play. Stay tuned for more stories from Florida...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Great first day

Our first day here was great. We played in the ocean for a while; Jordan learned to boogie board. It was so fun watching him. He had the time of his life! Luke loved the sand, although he loved it a lot more the second time we went out after he learned to keep it off his face. Anyway, in between our trips to the beach, we played in the pool. Claire and Jordan practiced what they learned last week in their swim lessons. Stephen gave me some alone time while the kids were having their rest time and Luke was taking a nap. I got to lay by the pool all by myself. It was so quiet. Dare I say I was bored? But it was nice for a while. I learned that while I am chasing the kids around at the pool at the Y, the top of my legs don't get a whole lot of sun, so they are a little uncomfortable this morning. O well, that is what Florida is for, right?

Last night, we got on what was supposed to be a trolley (they have three, but one was in the shop so we rode a bus) and went around the town. We got off and ate at a restaurant called the Beach House. Very good, but I forget how expensive Florida restaurants are. Or should I say vacation spot restaurants. I think we may have blown our eating out budget for the week. We only planned to eat out twice, but that may have done us in. It was fun, though. We sat outside right by the beach and then we walked to this little ice cream shop. So good! Then we caught one of the actual trolley cars and rode home.

Today we are in for more sun and I think some rain. There is a chance for it everyday, but it is sunny right now. We are really being hit with the fact of how amazingly blessed we are with our kids, our marriage, and just our family in general. Sorry I can't post any pictures, but I will post more later. Have a good day!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hi from Florida!

Looks like I do have inernet access from here. I didn't know there would be a computer here. What a place! It is so nice. The weaterh for the week looks okay, scattered thunderstorms all week, but it's Florida so there should still be some light at some points. When we lived in Florida, it rained about every afternoon so I'm not too worried. The kids are having fun scoping out their boundaries. Our repair bill at the end of the week should be quite exciting! Anyway, I don't have a way to post pictures, but I will let you know how our vacation is going. Have a great week everybody!

Friday, July 21, 2006

On the road again...

We head to Anna Maria Island, FL tomorrow for our first family vacation. We are so excited. We have been on vacations with our extended family, but this is the first time Stephen and I are taking the kids somewhere-just the five of us. The kids are so ready to go. They have been counting the days. We are coming back next Saturday, so I won't be posting till then. I know you all will be on the edge of your seats waiting till I get back. Just kidding. But hopefully I will have some good pictures to share.

As for the job situation, Stephen had a really good interview for the job in Atlanta. Actually, he was interviewing for one of three positions, not just one position like we thought. We feel pretty good about the chances of him getting one of the jobs. They are supposed to call us while we are in Florida, so we will let you know asap. Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Moving might not be so bad

Wow. Do you ever have one of those days where you keep saying things that you wish you could take back? Ever have one of those days where you KNOW your attitude is not reflecting Christ at all and wish you could start over? Well, today has been one of those days for me. I know how stressed out Stephen is right now and I am not only being unsupportive of him, but I am making him feel 100 times worse.

He is always thinking about how to better our family and providing for us. He is always excited about family time. He loves that he is able to let me stay home with our kids. And if he thinks this job in Atlanta is what we need, why in the world would I question when I know that he is thinking of the kids and my best interests?

Yes, I would miss my family and my friends terribly, but God will provide everything I need. Even if it is gas money to come home. And at least I would be coming home from Atlanta and not Columbus, OH. And there are worse places in the world to live. I know God has a plan for us. And I am trusting Him to take care of us. He always has.

So, honey, if you want to take this job if it is offered, then I say go for it. And if you want to turn it down, then go for that, too. I trust you to make the decision that is best for our family and I will support you 100%. I love you and am so proud of you!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The job saga continues

One of the jobs that Stephen posted for a couple of weeks ago called him today for an interview. This one is in the Atlanta area. Closer to home, but still not home. The interview is Friday, so we will be able to dwell on it our entire vacation that we leave for on Saturday. I can hardly wait.

Seriously though, I do want what God wants, I just have no idea what that is at this point. I am finding myself second-guessing everything, and not because I doubt God, but I just want to make sure it is His voice I am listening to. Anyway, here we go again. Stephen has to take his cell phone on our trip because they will probably call him while we are there and will want an answer right away. We'll let you know.

Monday, July 17, 2006

We're Not Moving!!!

Stephen didn't get the job in Ohio. It came down to him and one other person. We had been praying that God would clearly show us what He wanted us to do. Not getting offered the job was pretty clear. We are so relieved. Neither one of us wanted to move. We love Murfreesboro, our church, friends, family, etc. so we are very excited. We are going to Florida on Saturday and we were so worried that we would be thinking about this all week.

That sounds so silly now because even if we hadn't known if he would get the job or not, worrying about it certainly wouldn't have helped and it would have made our vacation very stressful for no reason. God knew what He was talking about when He said not to worry about tomorrow, that it had enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6:25-34 has always been one of my favorite passages. Funny since I tend to worry a lot. But everytime I read that passage I am reminded that I am not in control anyway and no matter how much I worry, the worry isn't going to help anything. Focusing on God and His kingdom is all I am required to do. God wants us to leave the rest to Him. He WANTS to take care of us. I know for a fact that if you are seeking God first, everything will be taken care of.

Thank you all so much for your prayers during this time. We don't know exactly what the future holds, but we are confident that we are in God's will, for now anyway.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Interview update

Stephen called as soon as his interview was over. He didn't have a very good feeling about immediately after the interview, but after he talked to me, his manager here called him. She said that it sounds good from the questions they asked and his responses. He was worried that the interview was pretty scripted and only lasted 45 minutes. She said that all interviews are supposed to last about that long and that shouldn't be a bad sign. She also said that since those managers have been talking to so many other people about Stephen that they may have already knows the "off-script" answers and just wanted to talk to him specifically about the job itself and not much about him personally.

Anyway, he now has about four hours to kill before his plane brings him home. As of right now, even if they offered him the job, we still don't know what God wants us to do. Neither one of us has any clarity right now, which we thought we would have (at least some) after the interview. But God knows when the best time to reveal His plan is, so we wait. Please keep praying. This is a HUGE decision for our family.


Wow. The emotions I am feeling today are so strong. Stephen just left for the airport for his interview in Westerville, OH. This started out as a pretty unsure thing; he was originally hoping to just get an interview. But a lot of things have happened over the last week or so that make him feel like he has a really good shot at this job. I feel like I have been praying constantly over the last couple of days. I know he does, too.

I got home from Girls' Night and I think the reality of actually moving hit me. Community with other believers is so important to Stephen and me. There aren't a lot of churches in the area where his interview is, so we are really scared what that would mean for our family. Jordan said that he is actually praying that Stephen doesn't get the job. We have such a tight-knit group of friends here that it would be really hard on all of us to leave that. But I know that if God does tell Stephen to take this job that He will provide everything there that we need. I know that he will provide the money, church, home, friends, etc. I know that He wouldn't move us to a strange city only to make it a struggle for us.

So I have been earnestly praying for Stephen that he would have clarity. I have been praying for something while he is there that would be that "sign" from God. He asked me this morning if I had any thoughts on what this sign would be. I just told him that he would know God was speaking to him when he saw it. I believe God when He says that when we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him. I don't think I have ever sought Him this hard before, so I know that we will find Him. Please pray for Stephen today. Pray that He can clearly sense God's will. Pray that he has safety while traveling to Westerville and then home, and then for safety to Townsend where he will meet up with our Bible study guys (the group of friends I was referring to) for a weekend in the mountains. He will be driving by himself. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

God is faithful!

I am in a study right now called Believing God by Beth Moore. Let me just tell you that it is amazing! I am learning all about believing God, not just believing in God. He is revealing himself to me in powerful ways right now like He never has before; at least I didn't see it before. Anyway, I am learning things about God that I wasn't taught anywhere growing up. I wasn't necessarily taught that certain things were wrong, I just wasn't taught. I am in no way blaming anyone for this; I am just saying that God is teaching me things now that I need to know "for such a time as this." I know that I am probably sounding pretty vague right now about the things He is teaching me, but let me just say this: IF YOU SEEK GOD, AND BELIEVE HIM, HE WILL BE FOUND BY YOU!!!

When everything that was revealed to me tonight sinks in a little more and I can write about this journey in more clarity, believe me, I will love to share it with you. Right now, let me just say that "I'm believing God!"

More job stuff...

Stephen found out late yesterday afternoon that all of the southern zone jobs he posted for will be calling him to set up interviews this morning. Those are in Alabama (Birmingham and Dothan) and I think there was one in Mississippi. Yikes! Stephen was sitting in the recliner last night holding sleeping Luke. I asked him if he wanted me to put Luke down and he said no, that it was comforting him to hold Luke. He said that the reality of all this was finally hitting him. It wasn't real until he had the interviews. But now, we could actually be moving somewhere in the next couple of months. Please keep praying.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Job Update

For all of you who are wondering about Stephen's job and his posting for new positions within the company, he has an interview Friday for the position in Westerville, OH. We thought it would be a teleconference, but the Westerville office doesn't have that capability. So, they are flying Stephen out Friday morning and he will fly home Friday afternoon. Please pray that God will reveal His will for us through this time. We are very torn with what is the best thing to do. Stephen keeps telling me that he doesn't have a very good chance with this one having been at State Farm for just a year, but I think he just doesn't want me to worry about moving away. I know his potential and so do the managers that work around him on a daily basis. His direct manager is going out of her way to make things happen for Stephen, so I think his chances are pretty good. But the most important thing for us is staying in God's will. We know that if we do that, He will work out everything else. We covet your prayers.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My little climber

This is what I found when I walked into the living room this morning. Luke had climbed into the recliner by himself. You can see how proud he is! He is growing so fast.

The Waiting Game

Stephen has posted for several positions at his current job, and God is apparently wanting us to learn patience. We are waiting to see if he will get any interviews and it is so hard. Both of us wish we didn't have to move in order for him to promote, but right now that is our only option. There is a "freeze" on promotions for him right now. We could just stay here and wait for the freeze to be lifted, but there is no estimate on how long that will be. It could be a month or it could be two years. No one knows.

So, what do we do? For his career, it is absolutely the best thing for us to look for other positions in other cities. For our family, there are about a million positives to stay here and wait. So right now we are praying for God's will. We are praying for Him to open doors for Stephen and lead him through the right one. We know that God has a plan for us, for prosper and not harm, and that if we call on Him and pray to Him, He will listen and if we seek Him we will find Him if we are seeking with our whole hearts (Jer. 29:11-12). So we have confidence that He will lead us. But the waiting is pretty hard.

So, what do we do in the meantime? Go to the pool. That is my answer for everything in the summer. I can seek God there, right? After all, I tell Stephen all the time that Heaven is going to be on a beach so he better start liking it. Joking of course. I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Seek God; you will find Him!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Late 4th!

Hope everyone had a great Independence Day. We had a lot of fun. Stephen's mom and stepdad have a pontoon boat and we were on the lake all day. The kids had a blast! It was the first time they have ever done anything like that before. I forgot my camera, but Becky took hers so I will have to download her pictures. Anyway, when we got home we went to our class party at my friend's parents' house. We shot fireworks, ate, just had a really good time.

Now the kids have gone to Stephen's mom's house to spend the night. Luke is still home with me. He isn't quite big enough to go yet. So, the house is relatively quiet. I am just thinking of all the things I should be doing, but I really don't want to do any of them. So I am just sitting here. Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Let's try this one more time...

Family Game Night - Of all the games in our house, the kids chose Twister.

Claire with her nails painted

Ellie, Lily Beth, Claire

From the Princess Party, the birthday girl is the third from the right in the pink and blue dress, Ellie