Saturday, August 23, 2008

room 124

i actually survived the first full week of teaching first grade. barely. i found myself on a friday night, laid out on the living room couch watching a movie and literally aching from being so busy lately. it's still strange to me that i'm a teacher. it's such a huge responsibility and a lot of stress, especially being in a new school and having to learn new systems, new people, etc. i have a crazy group of kids this year...2 autistic boys, one that didn't even go to kindergarten (which isn't required in IN-stupid), a girl that was suspended AS A KINDERGARTENER for slapping other kids, and then 18 more students. on thursday, i put them all on the bus and then sat at my desk and cried. i know i'll get through it and somehow, i'm still loving it, but i'll go up against anyone who says, "gosh, it must be nice working 7 to 3 and having summers off." even still, there's nothing in the world like teaching.

hopefully once the weeks go by, i'll get more into routine and have this down pat. any prayers in my direction (north, for most of you) would be appreciated! also...there's something to be said about kids who can already read.

marley is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. she loves running laps around the house and diving in the ivy in the front yard. she found out that she loves playing in the creek beside our house and in seconds, was covered head to toe in mud and water from digging frantic holes in the creek bed. it was hilarious, and tim and i loved just letting her be a dog. she's definitely a daddy's girl - tim and marley aren't found too far from each other at any time.

my baby sister moved into college last week, and that officially leaves my parents as empty nesters. i'm not sure how well that will be handled...anyone who knows my dad, knows that he likes his girls close, with more walking in the door. everyone's coming to our house for Thanksgiving this year, including the grandparents. It'll be a giant Fair/Blum out.

i can't believe we've already been at this ministry for 7 months. we are missing tennessee like crazy every day and still have hopes to get back some day. in the meantime, there are things happening at the church that still keep us feeling like we're being used here. kids are over more often, sharing more, trusting us with more. there are several people who just came out of the woodwork to start getting involved in the youth, which i told Tim is a big compliment. we are getting ready to kick off student small groups, and Tim's been hitting us hard with the importance of community and love. (go figure, huh?:))

well, time for cleaning the house and working on lesson plans. love you all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

and life picks up again...

we've been absolutely crazy busy since last time i blogged. everything is about to change (again) and after this, i'll be ready to settle down for quite awhile. new job, new dog, new house. goodness.

we found a great home for our psycho weimaraner at the weim rescue in louisville and got talked into a free chocolate lab puppy. we named her Marley (no relation to Bob...although they are the same color and tim's a big fan) and she's wonderful. possibly the cutest dog i've ever seen, and she's pretty laid back and enjoyable to have. we're still working on potty training, but she's a great puppy.

we are moving into another rental home, and have been doing a lot of work on it today. we deep cleaned and painted some today and there's quite a bit left to go. it's a cape cod style house on almost a full acre lot, with hardwood floors and a great big living room. i'm going to really love the yard and the quiet neighborhood. Marley already loves the yard and the rabbits that like to come by, although i'm sure they won't stay long. everything worked out with finding a renter for our current house so we could break our lease, and we're moving next week.

in the meantime, i'm in the process of moving into my new classroom as well. i'm not kidding when i say it's probably the nicest classroom i've been all 5 years of field experiences and internships, i've never seen a school this nice. it's going to be great, and the staff i've met so far are wonderful. i still have a few things to come together with my Indiana teaching license, which makes me nervous so close to school starting...but God will make it happen, just like everything else up to this point!

it's all a bit overwhelming, but tim and i both agree that we're starting to feel a little more at home in the odd little town of Anderson, and we're really enjoying this ministry. we still have plenty of places we'd love to live and visit...but for now, i'm loving Indiana summers and learning about combines and corn fields.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

old and married

so things are looking up, and God is faithful, always providing. also, Tim and i just passed our one year anniversary. crazy.

we finally got our stimulus check, so Tim's car has hope of being repaired, or turned in...whichever is cheaper.

Tim surprised me (well, tried to)with tickets to the Brad Paisley concert last Thursday for my birthday. Kenny & Nicole came up for dinner, and we all went to the concert together. It was a lot of fun, and one of my favorite birthdays, as simple as it was. Good friends, good music, and a cookie cake. Oh, and a JOB OFFER. The principal from the elementary school I recently interviewed with called on my birthday to offer me a first grade teaching position. The day was complete.

we're also considering moving. not states, cities, churches, etc. but to another house. when the bugs kept falling out of the ceiling, and the termites had managed to unhinge the sliding glass door, it was almost the last straw on this house. i love being renters when stuff like that happens...just have to make a phone call! don't get me wrong, we're grateful that we had it to move into, since we only had a day to look while we were here, but opportunities present themselves and we are definitely considering. we had looked at this particular house months ago, just out of curiousity, but declined, knowing that it was much too soon and more than likely out of our price range. plus, the thought of actually committing to a place was terrifying.

the house situation was long forgotten when Tim got a phone call from the owner about a week ago. he was curious if we were still interested in buying the house, and if not..maybe renting? our ears perked up for sure, and we just chuckled that it was "so weird" that he called us out of the blue months later....but on the same week i finally landed a teaching job...and the same week we had both finally felt at home at BCC. weird?

i sat in the driveway of this possible house (don't worry, no one lives there) on Sunday afternoon, unbeknownst to Tim...praying that if God wanted us to plant seeds in the Anderson community and start to grow roots, that we needed a clear sign. i didn't want to just try and justify a great house for all its perks when it could clearly be a major financial mistake. and yes, i can usually convince myself of almost anything.

not even an hour later, Tim started a conversation about random things he'd been thinking since having a great day at church that morning, finally feeling at home, and finally seeing relationships with kids being established. it was one of those conversations where you take turns saying, "Yeah! Me too!"

once again, we fight the blurred vision that we have as fallen people and try to clear up how to know between God's plan and just odd coincidence. how to be wise and a person of faith at the same time.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:15-16

i can't believe i've let so much time slip by between posts. grandad, i promise i'll start updating more often because i love your comments. :)

i've just returned from a whirlwind of life changing events. all in about 10 days' time, my youngest sister graduated from high school, and two of my very best friends have gotten married. i had a final job interview at a promising school this morning, and am still trying to shake this awful cold/flu thing that my lovely sister Ashley started for us all at the beach. needless to say, i'm exhausted.

my body is weak and tired, but it's an exact opposite reflection of what's going on inside. i'm stronger and more whole because of the last few was the most beautiful thing i've seen in a long time to walk down the long corridor of the Norfolk airport and see my daddy literally bouncing up and down so happy to see me, of course, with a cup of Starbucks as a treat. we both commented how we felt like it was Christmas eve the night before, and kept waking up excited about the next day when we'd all be family back together again.

when my youngest sister ran towards me with tears in her eyes and just wrapped her arms around me when i walked into the skate shop where she works, nothing else in the world mattered. all the car expenses, taxes, dead end jobs, crazy dogs, and heating bills just didn't exist.

when two of my best girlfriends committed themselves to love and honor only one man for the rest of their lives in front of God and family, it was more emotional than on my own wedding day. when your best friend is walking down the aisle in a wedding dress, and all you can see is when she first walked into your dorm room, all sweaty from volleyball all feels different. i always prided myself on being emotionally stable in difficult or typically sentimental times, not because i had no heart, but because i wanted to make sure someone had their head on straight. not the case lately.

i never realized how protective and proud i was of the people i loved until the last few weeks. seeing my dad absolutely beaming when my sister walked out in her cap and gown; seeing my best friend sing her heart out to her new husband and you know she'd been waiting for exactly that moment since she was 10 (we have proof); and watching another favorite dancing with the man who will always protect her all fits into place.

i realized that i thrive off of moments like these in life. not because of the emotional highs, but because those highs are just results of years of trials, laughs, and just getting through life together.

i hope everyone has those moments where they live through the joy of other people they love. there's nothing like it. and i believe with all my heart that that's what God's greatest desire beam from ear to ear because of the joy in the hearts of those He created.

Friday, May 30, 2008

where's my easy button?

i'm officially homesick. it's been months in indiana, and i'm homesick. but not just for my family, whom i do miss dearly, but for a sense of purpose and the "easier" life we had in virginia. in a conversation with tim the other day, he mentioned how he missed virginia because life seemed easier there. i bluntly reminded him, "well, we had more money and less bills." we laughed, but only half-heartedly. i've got to admit, when people ask me how we like it here, i have to think a little more than usual to answer. i want to say, "oh, we love it." but sometimes, i don't. but only because i feel like i have no sense of purpose driving 30 minutes south to work an hourly job that most of the time, i get let go early, and therefore only working enough hours to pay for that day's commute. i remind myself that my graduate degree that i worked hard for will go to use soon when i finally land a teaching job and can dive straight into using my talents for that. i remind myself that life isn't about the money, or the fancy jobs, but about the attitude and contentment that you seek in the day to day humility of being responsible and having to do what you need to make ends meet.

it's jobs like this that make me wonder if God had to stick me somewhere to force me to think about what i want out of life. so many times, i just wanted to cut corners with school and not go all the way, working for my graduate degree. i wanted to just "work a job" and be done with it. but now that i'm actually doing that, i want so much more. while dusting at the store today, i saw a mug that read, "Love what you do." i stopped. i thought that meant either of two things: i need to buck up, and appreciate the dollars that ARE coming in and invest in the people around me right now. or it means i need to be more aggressive in life and really strive to do something that i am all out passionate fore.

i think both are true.

i've heard it said before (or maybe it was another mug?) that life is too short to . nothing could be closer to the truth. i have so much i wish i could do, but i know that i won't ever get to do it. or is it that i've just given up already? i get these temporary "rushes" of inspiration to start looking up job opportunities for what i really want to do, and then after Googling for a few hours, i get discouraged again and walk back into the living room, now grumpy.

i thought it'd all start once i graduated college. then i thought it all started when i got married. then i thought it all started when we started over and moved.

but really...where do i start?

p.s. i promise i'll stop complaining soon and start writing something more...uh, uplifting?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

lost but found

on a trip farther north to chesterton to surprise my best college friend for her bridal shower, i was refreshed. not only in friendship and the meaning of marriage, but refreshed by two rooms in a building. i walked into both of their classrooms, where they both teach lower elementary school and it was like it all came rushing back. as soon as the smell of dry erase markers and the sight of book baskets hit me, it was already familiar to me. it was the first time i'd been in that school, those rooms, and seen those things...but it was the same. for lack of better words, i just knew that teaching is part of what God has gifted me with to give to the world. i remarked that they seemed so "grown up" with their own classes, something we dreamed about as grad students not too long ago when the endless torture of internships and papers dragged on. i felt a twinge of jealousy and felt almost like i hadn't made it yet. and then i remembered that God's timing is unpredictable and perfect.

through college, i struggled off and on with the desire to teach and the desire to be involved in children's ministry. i knew ministry would have been the "easier" degree and shorter school career, but still stuck with teaching.

when i was offered a children's ministry job right out of college at a place i was already incredibly familiar with, a well endowed paycheck, and a staff i already considered friends, it was a match made in heaven. through the months of figuring out who i was as i sat behind a desk i thought i wanted so badly...i realized that i was created and woven together with threads of passion that only thrived in school hallways and on brightly colored carpets. i was designed to have certain passions and gifts, and God just needed a place to "keep" me for awhile until i realized my place.

the funny thing is, i still don't have a teaching job. i'm sure in foresight, i can only see the frustration and impatience of waiting for a job so in the meantime, i make trips to see friends and let them refuel my passion for life. and the God that loves and speaks through them. and the peace that lets me know that i was created to be a certain, specific someone.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

hoosier country living

the past few weeks have been the first time i've EVER seen the city of Anderson without snow or rain or cold. i've never experienced Indiana in the spring or summer. it doesn't even begin to compare to the rolling hills of Seymour, TN but it has its own glory. but now i find beauty in our little backyard, now that the trees finally have leaves and the grass is growing at an incredible rate. i love the purple color of the crepe myrtle and the way the shed sits just right on the hill. i love that in the evenings, if you're quiet enough, you can wait for the white-tailed deer to come walking through the cornfield only several yards from the deck. i love the smell of firepits, almost more common than swimming pools.

on the peninsula in Virginia where we lived, it was nothing but the hustle and bustle of new shopping malls and everything commercially related being cramped together on a peninsula stuffed with growing families wanting wider roads for their SUV's and newer subdivisions for Home Owner's Associations to bicker over. i found things to be proud of in my "home town" like the rich history, the convenient commute to beach life, etc.

Anderson is not that, by any means. oh my, no. i know i often laugh when i'm describing our new town, but then i think...i only hit ONE traffic light on the way to church, i can actually take scenic drives that last longer than a few miles, i am getting used to recognizing combines, Amish stars actually look like they belong on the side of barns, and 200 E is a familiar road to me. in virginia, if you could see for miles it was because you were getting ready to land at norfolk airport. in anderson, it's because you just decided to take State Road 32.

i've never been one to call any state of the U.S. (or any country of eastern europe, for that matter) home for myself. i've moved around so much, i never really had much attachment to one place over the next. i never understood what was so great about taking pride in tractor country.

until i grew up, fell in love with a boy, and followed him back to Indiana.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

fresh ink

For all of you who have actually been praying for some form of employment for me, thanks!

I just recently started working as part of a Store Installation Team for a Hallmark store. Basically, there's a new store going into a huge outdoor mall and I'm part of the many who are helping put it together. We have done everything from unloading, building sets and wall displays, setting product and learning systems for when the store opens. I was a little hesitant working at a cheesy card shop with a bunch of older ladies who were die hards for junky knick-knacks, but I am loving it.

I've worked over 30 hours this week and have been able to use my creative energy almost every day. It's actually quite eye-opening when you learn every single computer/organizational/product system for putting together a major retail chain. I couldn't ask for a better team of operations directors and managers to work with. Talk about patience and kindness-wow.

Once the store actually gets in full swing, I'll go back to being a sales associate, but I'll be put in charge of certain sections of the store to keep re-ordered, processed, and managed. It's amazing how much I've missed learning new things. Being around so much "creative product" it's really starting to motivate me to keep doing what I love most...painting, creating, writing. When you get to know the minds behind the clever greeting cards and elaborate gift wrapping, it rubs off!

I'll be working there for the rest of the spring and summer months, and then they are allowing me to return during any following summers when I'm not teaching. What a blessing! After tax season, dog hospital bills, and car maintenance...working feels really good.

Friday, April 04, 2008

uncle sam, bite me.

death by taxes

so the past few days, tim and i have realized how much being adults is overrated. it all started with figuring out all the taxes to be filed-so not in our favor. we piled that on top of tim's car having to be fixed TWICE and my car windshield having to be replaced last week. oh, don't forget. i still don't have a job and we've successfully used every last bit of anything resembling our savings from Virginia.

it's still raining and cold in Indiana, and I miss my friends and family like crazy. don't get me wrong, I have complete confidence in God's plans for us and this move. i think. but God, i'm tired of staying home all day feeling unproductive. i'm tired of feeling like if i only had a job, we could actually deal with all of this. i'm tired of being told that i'm "not allowed to leave a voicemail" by snotty school secretaries. and i'm tired of hearing, "check back with us at the end of the summer."

i'm sorry to vent all of this, and really sound very unlike a real adult, but to be sucks.

i wish for a time and place where we all live together with people we love the most, do what we love, and have just enough to be content. that's so not a world i'm familiar with, and i'm learning very quickly that it needs to be.

until then, long live the cooking shows, playing with the dog, and the continuous online search for any school systems within 30 miles that i may have missed.

cheers. hope you all are having a happy tax season.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

happy birthday, dad.

okay, so in addition to a nice card that said only what Tim and I loved about my dad, I thought i'd share the love! he loves all of you who read, and i'm sure he'll love hearing from you via comments.

any comments, memories for the old man?

hi, i'm courtney and i'm addicted to cutting my hair

okay, so i'm going to admit it now. i can't grow my hair out. i just don't like it. or i get too impatient, i don't know which. tim will be quick to tell you it's the latter, but i think it's just the way i was made. God created me with short hair follicles and the desire for constant change.

*sigh. now that i have that off my chest, i can update you on the last few days, or weeks, or however long it's been since i last posted. i don't have much to post about since i have no job and the weather is still wintery.

tim and i are falling in love with our weimaraner, Angel, more and more every day. she is more like a person than i ever thought a dog could be. of course, we do cruel things like put her in hampers and cover her with blankets and then call her name to see if she remembers where the walls are, but....our kids will do that one day, so she needs fair warning. we're really just amused by her cleverness and love her to pieces. i learned tonight just how much she hates the rain. i took her outside to use the bathroom, and instead of just doing her thing and going inside real quick, she crawled under our deck and sat there staring at me. now I'M standing in the rain and yelling at the deck (what our neighbors see). she is still terrified of getting in her kennel when we leave, and she's learned that shoes don't indicate good things for her. she actually ran away from tim today when he told her to kennel, and it was a teeny tiny glimpse of what kids will be like. he reacted like any dad and, of course, i just watched and went "oooooooohhhhh!!!" like a kid in the first grade.

i interviewed to start substitute teaching (FINALLY)earlier this week, and then visited 7 different schools to hand in resumes and try to talk to principals. i must've had a sign that read, "I'M TRYING TO GET A JOB" on my forehead because none of the principals were available, oddly enough. i'll try another handful or so tomorrow, and remember to remove the sign.

tim and i are getting really involved in our new youth ministry here, and i think i almost saw his head explode the other day it was so full of new ideas. we like to call these first few months "Information Overload". we're really pumped about the changes we're going to be making to our youth service like adding tons of different elements, setting, etc. i've been roped into joining the drama team for sunday morning services with the adults, so if that doesn't get me out of my shell then there's no hope.

i'm ready for warmer weather and getting to use our backyard, deck, and firepit. it's just been getting snowed and rained on lately, and i'm afraid it won't be there after too long.

oh, and we just bought a GPS system for my car so i won't get lost as much. i mean, who names their roads after latitude and longitude ANYWAY??

Saturday, March 15, 2008

things to be thankful for

hooded sweatshirts
warmer weather
grasshopper pie
new magazines
james taylor cds
new b&bworks soaps
fire pits
brown sugar & fig
saturday mornings

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

frozen New York

I saw this on a friend's blog today. I think some of us thought about doing something similar on JBC's campus as freshman were driving in...? anyone remember that?

Anyway, whoever thought of this is genius.

Friday, March 07, 2008

that heartache Jake was talking about...

as i was reading blogs of friends that reminisced about good times at JBC...i panicked.

i panicked because i wanted to hold onto those memories and never let them get too fuzzy in my mind that i can't remember details. i panicked because it's all too easy to lose touch. i panicked because a part of me wishes those 4/5 years would have just frozen where they were in time. i panicked because Indiana, California, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and wherever else we've landed are already too far.

i propose a vacation. whether it's as crazy as a cruise or as simple as a cabin in the Smokies...i think we should do it. maybe it's the cabin during homecoming week, when most people come back anyway... maybe it's late july when people have vacation time...

whatever it is, i can't STAND the thought of not having my JBC friends with me for the rest of my life. i miss the days of only a few square miles of campus, 2 dorms, and one cafeteria.

life is meant to be lived together.

*deep breath*

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

time for an update....for real.

first of all, like betsy said, it must have been awhile since i've last written because tim's even updated! i guess an office job'll do that.

i can't even figure out where to start. so much has happened since i last signed in. we moved to indiana, obviously, where i can only count the days i could actually see the grass on one hand. i love getting snow, but i'm starting to feel a little spring fever.

we love our little house and our stuff fits in it quite nicely. it's so nice to have a yard and a deck, which i'm so excited about using once the weather permits. tim's adjusting to his job well, and the kids have warmed up pretty nicely to us both. we're diving in to small groups, worship, studies, Starbucks trips, etc. it's wonderful being close to so many JBC friends, and i'm glad we'll be close enough to see Ella grow up:)

we added a member to our family, our weimaraner, Angel. we aren't too thrilled about the name, but since she's already trained with that name we figured changing it at this point wasn't worth it. her favorite outdoor activity is catching frisbees, which is what probably sold Tim. she's the most loving dog i've ever met (as she's barking at strangers while i type this) and she will do anything to make you love her. the only downfall is that weimaraners have separation anxiety. yes, seriously. she absolutely freaks out when we leave, and we've already had to replace mini-blinds and bandage her nose from trying to escape her kennel.

i'm still in the process of looking/waiting for jobs. moving somewhere new in february is probably the worst time to look for a teaching job. i'm just hoping and praying that God has a plan and in the meantime, He has provided.

time to take Angel on a walk keep us both little.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

do it yourself

the days are getting closer to when we make our big trip up north to move into our tiny old house. i'm so excited about having our own place with yard, deck, and basement. it will be so much fun to fix up little things here and there, too. our landlord is letting us paint whatever we want, which is WELL needed. it has a few kinks and quirks here and there, but with a little TLC and our own stuff in there, i think it will end up to be quite charming.

our new place has inspired us to create some new projects. so this last weekend, i made a headboard for our bed. SO much cheaper than an actual bed, and quite creative..which i love. it was dad's idea, of course, but i picked out the apholstery fabric, etc. we all helped put it together and it turned out pretty stinkin' awesome. SO easy, now that i know how to do it. and i paid less than $60 for the whole project! it will look great against our newly painted walls in our Indiana bedroom. we all felt pretty HGTVish when we were finished. I'll put up pictures when we get up there and it's all put together.

well, this week has been a lot of sitting in the office, wondering what i should be doing. i feel like i'd be more productive at home, trying to wrap things up for the move. nonetheless, i have to finish out my time here and do my best. (that's why i'm blogging....?)


Thursday, January 17, 2008

on the road again...

so now that it's official that we're moving to Anderson, it's been a crazy few days trying to think of everything we need to get done between now and then. we only have a few weeks left in Yorktown, and we haven't even started packing. oh wait, i put all my cookbooks and our DVD's in a box. that counts. i'm dreading having to move, since it feels like we JUST did it and this time, it's not as easy as moving in/out of college, where all you do is make sure your stuff is somewhat secure in several laundry baskets, and usually fold up your bedding and stick it in the passenger seat next to you. now, we have actual furniture to load, dishes to protect, etc. AND it's going to be february. in indiana.

my parents and sarah are coming up with us to help make the trip, since we'll be driving our 2 vehicles plus a Uhaul. it will take us at least 12 hours, the usual length of the trip without anything to slow you down. like weather. or Uhauls. or little sisters with unbelievably tiny bladders.

i'm having a blockage of creative posting abilities at the moment, so i'll just give you a brief update on life as it is right now:

we just returned from a short weekend in Indiana for the final congregational vote: passed.
tim's parents have offered to start painting our new house for us before we arrive: awesome.
my littlest sister has been accepted to college and is turning 18 in less than a week: weird.
i'm preparing myself for job hunting again, which includes applying to schools: hopefully not as bad as i think.

oh yeah, and we're going to start looking for a puppy to add to our family, now that we have a place that will be great for a dog. how excited am i!?

Monday, January 07, 2008

more like escape TO endless Mellencamp

so we're moving to Anderson, Indiana.

there, i said it. now those readers who have been wondering why the last few posts have been so vague or unsure...there. make sense?

it's been a long process of lightly treading on ground since we didn't even hold any "for sure" decisions for us. we were at a place in life where we had no idea what the next two months would look like. we had two very real scenarios in our heads, and we gave it all to God to let him turn the pages.

the last several months have been like reading a VERY slow Choose Your Own Adventure book....and we were sitting in God's lap as He was reading our story. when we got to the part where we had to choose the next part of the story...we look up at Him. and He looks down at us. and before we know it, the next chapter started out setting the stage with, "Indiana. February. Youth ministry."

to tell you the truth, it's a great sigh of relief and a huge whirlwind of emotions all in the same box. we moved back to Virginia and feels like we've been holding our breath the whole time, trying to figure out what we REALLY want to do with our lives. we've loved Virginia, and I wouldn't trade our time here for the world...there are so many things we've learned about each other and ourselves in the last several months.

i learned that i don't like being in children's ministry as much as i thought i would. in turn, i realized how much i have missed teaching. tim's learned that his desire for being in youth ministry has rekindled and being the wise man he is, took his time before plunging into the after-college ministry search in order to avoid a lot of mistakes. i've learned i have the most supportive husband in the world, moving back without hesitation to my home town and working a city job so that i could figure out if my dreams were real. i've learned to respect tim more than ever for being careful and wise in his decisions about ministry. i now know for a fact that he wouldn't dare make a move in any direction without being certain that it would be something he would be passionate about and that his family would be happy.

i know that God has things in store for us up north that will stretch us and may even make us doubt why we chose this chapter. but we're most excited about being somewhere that's "ours". our own church family, our own town, our own new house, our own new jobs. those are all new exciting things but, being an army brat my whole life, i know better.

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
-Arnold Bennett