Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Another Chapter

I haven't updated this blog in so long it's almost silly to do so. But, as I was browsing through old posts my heart was so full (and my eyes got leaky). What a journey! What an amazing journey! My kids are so precious. Man, this parenting gig is hard. But, oh my gosh, look at those babies through years past. The adventures we have been on are outstanding! We are crazy!

This blog hasn't chronicled the craziness that has continued in the last year. Basically, Joel finished seminary classes in December 2014 and began applying for pastoral positions. We decided we wanted to live within about 6 hours of my family in NC, not going east (south) past Atlanta and not going further north than middle Virginia. Or, we wanted to stay in the DFW area. We liked the growth and excitement of Dallas and how it's projected to grow. More people means more need for the Gospel and discipleship and solid churches. Joel sent out over 75 resumes or something crazy like that. He got some responses but they were slow coming in. Churches work slowly...committees have to meet, people do "legwork" then they meet again a month later...nothing happens quickly! Some of the positions were bi-vocational, but we weren't really sure what Joel's other half of work would be. But, he was willing! Plus, I could teach if I had to.

We started talking to a church near Atlanta and thought that was the direction we were going. We were so sure it was happening that we spent the month of June prepping our house for sale. We met with our realtor to get the ball rolling too. But, we heard nothing...just positive murmurs every now and then. Then a church in Virginia contacted us. The process was moving along with a phone interview then a skype interview then a skype interview with the wife and kids. We were pretty sure this was it; they were pretty sure we were it. So, in one fell swoop we went to Virginia for a long weekend with plans to move when we got back if all went well. We listed our house in Texas for sale while we were gone (yikes!), Joel preached and was unanimously voted to be the church's next pastor, we found a rental house (that wasn't really for rent...another story altogether), enrolled the kids in school, and then agreed on a contract to sell our Texas house before we even went back to Texas! We were in Virginia for six days. We flew back to Texas on Tuesday, packed the moving van Wednesday, had a farewell party, and left Texas on Thursday (my birthday). We arrived in Virginia on Saturday and the kids started school Monday. Whew!

It's now been almost 9 months. School will be out in two days. The kids had awards assemblies today and racked up the achievements. I am so proud of how hard they have worked this year, especially with such a major transition! Rylee had a 4.0 GPA all year and was recognized for Music. Asa was recognized for the Geography Bee, his A/B grades all year, and meeting the AR reading goals. Jenna was awarded for having the highest AR points in 4th grade, getting A/Bs all year, and submitting an art project that won at regionals. I've subbed in everything from elementary classes to the local high school near us while I enjoyed volunteering and being with Jett as he finished out preschool. I liked the middle and high schools so much that I decided to apply to teach next year since Jett will be in kindergarten (what?!). Within two weeks of applying, I was offered the position to teach history. I'm very excited about next year. It's been crazy. It's been exciting.

Our church here in Virginia is wonderful. It's a smaller church and many of the people are older. We have so many wonderful church grandparents for our kids! They are being loved on so well! Joel is growing in his leadership. He's being challenged and encouraged regularly. We are excited about what God has planned for this family we're now a part of.

My mom moved to Virginia with us. She no longer lives with us, but has an apartment nearby. She has jumped right in with our church family and fit like a puzzle piece that was missing! We are only three hours from where I grew up and most of my family. Plus, we are just 8 hours from Joel's family. We've already seen family way more in the past 9 months than the last few years combined! It's been awesome.

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