Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yes, it's 2 AM!

Some good friends of mine are moving, and tomorrow (today) is their last time to worship with us. I feel so strange. I am really excited that they will be closer to their family at last (I actually think it was kinda crazy that they moved clear across the country in the first place!), but they really will leave a hole in our congregation, & I know I personally will miss them a great deal.

When I was growing up in north NJ, it really upset me how often I lost friends to a move. One year, I lost 3 best friends in a row! (Yes, everyone that said they were my friend was considered a "best friend") It got to the point that I really didn't want to be there anymore because I kept losing friends, & I was really excited to finally be moving...even if it was the summer before my senior year of high school. I really thought things would be different living in mostly-rural southwest Virginia, but I realized this past year that this is not the case. We live in the midst of two college towns, & people move in & out all the time. How do I keep myself from avoiding friendships? As strong as the desire is to have lots of friends, I am also scared that I will never have that one really good friend because they all leave! I felt the bond between my friend Cindy & I grew really strong in the last year, and now they're moving.

And I didn't mean to make this sound like a pity party for myself. I guess I have some venting to do--Dan just doesn't understand!

I say that I trust God to provide what I need, but do I really trust that in every respect? Do I let Him guard my heart--or do I do it myself? Do I let Him provide for me, or do I seek out the things I think I need? Why is it so hard to let go, really let go, and let God step in and take care of me?

Back to Cindy and her thing that I think is amazing about the Woods is their involvement in so many ministries. Yes, Mike is our campus minister, and their main focus is (was) to serve and minister to the students in our area. Yet Mike & Cindy both were incredibly active in our children's ministry. They also got to know and helped take care of some of the older members in the congregation. They tried to be as involved as they could with the young married group, and they sought to be friends with many of the parents of their children's friends. While I have heard similar things said of my Dad and Mom, I still think it is a pretty unique quality to find in a minister--one who is involved in many areas (and does them well) and gets to know many people of the congregation as friends.

Mike & Cindy are also some of the most sharing people I've ever met. We as a congregation did not pay them all that well. They found other ways to make money, and they found a lot of ways to be frugal with their money. No matter how much money they have, however, they find ways to share what they do have. Whatever they have is for others to have. Whatever someone else needs they find the resources necessary to provide. They remind me of an Acappella song called "Share what we've got." Some of the song goes, "Share what we've got/'cause we've all got a lot/of things to share together/Share what we've got/'cause we've all got a lot/of love to last forever." And Mike & Cindy seem to completely rest in the knowledge that their God will provide what is needed, and they know they are blessed more because of what they're willing to give to others. And they know God's love will cover whatever they are lacking.

And this was way too deep for me to try to write at 2AM. I am signing off in the hope that at least some of this made sense.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Shame on me!!

Here's a story that any parent can relate to (I hope so anyway!)...

Last Sunday morning was a bit hectic during church services. Okay, when is it NOT hectic?! With my grandparents sitting with us, & Dan on the other side of them from me & the kids ... well, it was a bit rough on my side. At one point, I sent Derek over to Dan (which worked, to my surprise) & was working on puzzles or whatever with the older two. Nathan started to get really pesky--poking me, trying to talk to me, just really being a nuisance in my opinion. So we stand up for a song, & Nathan's grabbing my side, tapping me, trying to get my attention. I'm either ignoring him or holding out my hand to say "stop," but he keeps on going. So I get down to his level, look him in the eyes, about to admonish him for all his talking & noise-making during worship, & he does the sign language for "I love you." OOOOOWWWWWWWWWW! Slap me! I felt so awful! I had to look away because I was about to start crying. What a shameful moment for me! Kids can be so annoying, yet so sweet sometimes!! Ah, I love 'em!

Hope you're able to stop and love on your kids today. What a blessing they are!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Our new house ... of course!!

This past week has been so crazy!! I have never had so much going on at one time before. It is mostly exciting, though!

Nathan, Jeremy & Derek are all up in New Jersey right now (after a whirlwind trip driving there & back for me!), staying with Dan's parents. I don't think any of the 7 of us would complain about this arrangement.
Parents: "Cool, a whole week of doing whatever we want & not having to plan around the kids' schedules or naptimes!"
Kids: "Wow, a whole week of being spoiled, eating lots of great food, staying up late & watching lots of movies, going to rodeos, amusement parks, toy stores, playgrounds, & on & on & on!!"
Grandparents: "Ditto!"

All of our animals, on the other hand, ARE complaining about this arrangement!
Sunny & Cassius, Dan's parents' dog & cat: "WAY NOT COOL!!"
Our dog, Snickers: "I miss my kids!! Who's going to pet me & feed me now...or let me out of the house to roam around the neighborhood?!"

"Reasons I'm Excited About My New House," continued:
6--Seven closets!
7--A fan in the bathroom (I told you my pleasures are simple sometimes!)
More later.

Derek's number one reason to be excited about his new house: apples!! He loves going over to our neighbor's yard & picking up apples off the ground & digging in (the apples on our 3 trees are not so great this year)! Or maybe it's his sports car bed--especially since he can get out of it so easily, open the door & go anywhere he wants to in the house...when he's supposed to be sleeping! Okay, I think Derek's number one reason can be summed up by this: lots more ways to get into trouble here!!

Nathan's number one reason: riding bikes in the driveway.
Nathan's least favorite thing: the pink curtains that came with his room ("hurry up, Mom, & get me some more manly curtains!!").

Jeremy's favorite thing: the basement play room, especially getting "B'oon Wagoon" (Balloon Lagoon) out of the cabinet & pouring ALL the pieces on the floor!! AY, AY, AY, Jeremy!!

Well, I'm off to enjoy my house some more. My e-mails & blogging will be somewhat sporadic until we finally get our phone line changed over to the new house, but I'll try to do this again soon!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We're moving tomorrow!!

Unless something doesn't work out with closing, & then we'll feel like big doofs! We've already loaded up a truck with nearly half of our stuff & most of our big furniture! And we're telling everybody that we're moving this weekend!

The 5th "Excitement for my new house" Reason...Reorganization!! I love having a neat, tidy house, even though that would surprise just about anyone who knows me. So after we get all settled in, & everything is in its place, it will be really cool. For a few months anyway...

More later--We're in the middle of packing!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Another Go" and "Excitement for my New House, Part 1"

My friend Tanya reminded me the other day about her blog, so I checked it out (again) & thought, "I should do this!" So I'm giving it another go. The last time I tried, I didn't last very long, but I now have friends & family in farther away places, friends & family who also do this kind of thing, so I think I'm going to try harder this time. We'll see...

As many of you know ("many": as in, "all 3 of you that are reading this"), we are about to move into our very own first house. This is very exciting! You might think that I am most excited about having more space (a 4-room house for 5 people & 1 dog for the past 3 years makes not very fun math!!), or you might think that I am excited about the nearly $1,000 payment the bank will force us to make every month for the next 30 years. I will tell you what I am so excited about, & some of this might surprise you--the simplicity of my amusements continue to amaze Dan--
1--washer & dryer in the same location: I don't care that this location is the basement. I will not have to tote a basketful of wet clothes from one level to another.
2--PLAY ROOM!! For the past few days we have been packing up much of our stuff, including the vast majority of the kids' toys. I can't tell you how pleasant it is to walk into their room now! Our plan is to have all of the kids' toys in our basement play room, & very few things in their bedrooms. How long will this last? I don't know. Do I care? Maybe. But I am looking forward to at least a couple of weeks of having nice, tidy bedrooms. And yes, I am very delusional. (reason #2b would be that I can now say "kids' rooms" rather than "kids' room")
3--a den. We will now have our "formal living room," a "den" off the kitchen/dining area, & a "play room/rec room." For the past 3 years, our bedrooms have doubled as our den, our living room has doubled as our dining room, & our kitchen has doubled as our laundry room. I am SOOO excited about having our computer in the den--where it belongs, in my opinion.
4--this will be my last one for this post--my own separate office space, so my two part-time businesses can really take off. I may be overly optimistic, but I think that with more space for me to organize my business stuff, I will be a bit more enthusiastic about getting into my work. Right now, when I want to plan for a Pampered Chef (from now on, referred to as "PC") show, I pull a bin out from under my bed, organize the products I keep in a large tote on the floor of my kitchen, & make calls from Dan's cell phone in my car.