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Showing posts from 2011

An Update

In case someone out there in the huge world wide web is actually reading this, I wanted to give an update on our current status across all fronts. Hold on to your seat, it's going to be fast....


Our current full time job is itineration- which means we are traveling to churches almost every Sunday to share about what Chi Alpha is and to ask if those churches would partner with us financially and through prayers. Phone calls, meetings, trips, etc are also part of it all. We are currently sitting somewhere between 52-55% of our budget. We need to crunch some numbers to get an exact percentage. So you don't have to do more math than necessary, that means we have somewhere between 43-45% left to raise. We are still basement dwellers. Our temporary digs were supposed to last only 4 or 5 weeks. So far, it's been two months. Here's why....We have attempted to purchase 4 homes. House #1 failed because the bank & real estate agency were holding out for someone to offer more t…

Top 10 Reasons I Enjoy Itinerating:

(In no particular order!) My kids get to play in a different nursery/children’s church each week. This is ideal while their toys are in storage. We get to meet awesome people from all over the area. I get to wear the same outfit each week, which is awesome since that includes my new brown boots. I frequently get told I don’t look old enough to be married, have kids and have spent this much time in ministry. To this I kindly chuckle on the outside and smile huge on the inside. A new group of people get to hear about what Chi Alpha is each week. Eating. Lots of eating. I get a chance to take a peak into the life of a local pastor, whom I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to meet or learn about. Just as any individual would be so dramatically different than the next, so are these pastors. It’s fun learning about them, their family and their unique personalities. Crossing back and forth, this way and that, both near and far across the state of Connecticut (and Mass. later this month) helps t…

Why Oaks Replanted?..............Part One

Around the same time we felt a stirring in our hearts for a facing a new challenge, a little lady prayed for us at a Women's Ministry event. After her prayer, she looked up at us and said something to the effect of, "You two are tall in stature like oaks and God will use you to call others to him, you're like oaks of righteousness". We never forgot that moment. Her words were beautiful, but the difference in height be her and us brought flashbacks from elementary school when I towered over everyone uncomfortably. But, the image of a strong, mighty, tall, visible oak tree seared in my mind.
A sturdy place with small and tender beginnings.
A covering and shelter for those that need protection.

I knew that we weren't righteous. We were and are just people. We have our bad days and our sinful scenarios, too. But I also knew we had a vision to see people know God and in our imperfectness, God's perfectness would shine through.

We spent the next several years think…

New Things Learned About CT

Things I have learned about Connecticut thus far:
- Do not expect to finding a shopping cart in the grocery store, unless you either (a) pay 25 cents, refundable when cart is returned, or (b) grab a carriage from the parking lot. Do not use the term "cart". Nobody knows what that is here.
- Expect to pay 60-70% more on most grocery items.
- People own snowblowers, just as Virginians own efficient air conditioning systems.
- Pay attention to the different prices on the sign at the gas station- one for the cash price and one for the credit card price. There is about a 10 cent difference. Lesson learned- keep gas cash in the car as much as possible.
- I only have to drive 26 minutes to the closest Sams Club, which beats the 1 hour trip I made in VA.
- There is a 30 cent (I think) fee for buying drinks in plastic, aluminum, or glass containers. You can turn in your containers and get your $ back at the grocery store.
- Teenage Connecticut drivers do not have to take a behind-the…

"Mommy, is this Connecticut, too?"

During our first few days in Connecticut, we went on a camping adventure. We stayed in two different campgrounds in the evenings and ran errands during the days. Several times during those first few days, our oldest daughter (5) would look at me with big, curious eyes and arms wide open and ask, "mommy, is this Connecticut, too?" I quickly answered her and got on with what I was doing. She did this at the campground, post office, on campus, at the next campground, and many other places. After the first three or four times, I realized she was really confused as to when Connecticut started and stopped.

For months prior to our move, we shared with the girls about Connecticut and what was going to be there; our new church, our new campus, new students and friends, a new library, and so on. I never thought to give them a head's up that it might appear so different than Virginia. Passing the Welcome to Connecticut sign was helpful for me, but for someone who can't read or …

I never liked the name Irene

Hurricane Irene has come and gone. She left quite the mess. I do not like girls that leave messes behind. We lost power Sunday at 10:30 and had it restored today, Thursday, at lunch time. Power companies from all over the country were in New England helping to restore the electricity.

New Englanders aren't used to hurricanes. Perhaps it all the old trees (aren't trees in the south just as old?), but there was a huge mess and enormous amount of people without power. Gil and I are still in the process of house hunting, so we took advantage of offices being closed (no appointments to be made or kept) and followed our real estate agent around on a wild ride of wires hanging in the road, trees clogging streets and flooded lakes...all to see a handful of houses. She was helpful and gracious as we looked at each one and still wanted the one we had been waiting for.

Today, we went to look at a house that was built in 1740. It was HUGE and had 29 acres. It sat surrounded by a horse far…

SUCKERS! (8.15.11)

Our goal is to explore something each day while our schedules are slower. So, for our adventure today, the girls and I decided to plug in the address to the bank. We made our way to the other side of town and found the bank. I filled out the slips, handed it to the teller and waited for her to double check my math. To distract the girls from their impending boredom, I thought it would be a good idea to get them interested in a counting game. We counted to the bank tellers. We counted the computers. We counted the “this window closed” signs. We counted the money counter machines. We counted the cameras. At this point I began to wonder if the employees were considering me and my lunch-stained preschoolers a potential threat to their safety. Don’t all bank robbers take inventory of the possible items to confiscate or demolish before they strike? (This has absolutely nothing to do with my point, other than the fact that my kids were involved.) 
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, th…

A Counter Full (8.13.11)

When I had approached my nearness-to-nature limit, my new friend called and invited us to come into their home a date earlier than we expected. 
Perfect timing. 
They had been traveling and arrived home just a few hours prior. The girls had been begging to swim, so we took them to the pool for a bit, packed up camp and made our way- via a pitstop at Panera- to our temporary accommodations. My family, included Judah, was welcomed into their home and given a tour of our space. It is more than sufficient to meet our needs. Our hosts had even thought to provide for us a supply of snacks and drinks, new bedding for the girls, cleaning supplies and other necessary items...a counter full of blessings. This melted my heart.  We settled in for the evening. I took a long, hot shower to disinfect myself from any camping thing that decided to use for for a free ride. The girls enjoyed their fun beds. Lastly, we went to bed for a long, deep sleep and rested well...for the first time in a very long ti…

Engaging the Mind (8.12.11)

After many days of hard work packing our house up, then loading the truck, driving for 10 hours with two adults, two kids, an 80 pound dog, and a packed van, I was just plain tired. Too tired to think. Too tired to process all that had happened. My lists had been completed. Everything that needed to be accomplished before we pulled out of town had been and now my mind was left to churn.  During the first few days in Connecticut, I was unsettled. I cried easily and at the most unexpected things. For instance, I was standing at the counter in the local post office registering us for a PO Box. While filling out the form, I had to officially change our address. Duhh! That’s why I was there...but this hit me hard. Right there, in front of the lady that would sort my mail for the next chapter in my life, I lost it. Laughing as I think about it now, I tried to cover up my face with the sun-is-in-my-face-so-I-turn-my-hand-into-a-lame-visor move. I didn’t think she noticed my volcanic emotions …

An 18-Wheel Blessing (8.9.11)

After weeks of packing and saying long, hard goodbyes to people we love and friends that have changed our lives; an 18-wheeler from Missionary Transport, Inc. arrived at our house to haul our things from Virginia to Connecticut. An army of friends helped load the truck. Jim, our driver packed the truck as if he was playing Tetris. He built walls and new floors inside the truck, encapsulating our beloved belongings in a safe way. His attention to detail was amazing. He draped quilts over each piece of furniture and secured things to the walls of his truck. He taught me about E clips and the strategy of loading and driving a moving truck. 
Mia came to play with the girls during the load. She treated them to the royal-tia-mia-treatment. Swimming, breakfast and lunch out, mini mani & pedi’s, and time with one of their favorites. She comforted their concerns of us forgetting something important to them and brought them back in perfect timing for a nap in the car. 
In 3 hours, my entire h…