Monday, January 31, 2011

Anybody Got a Crystal Ball I Could Borrow?

Have you ever come to a point in your life where you have so much to do that you sit down and do nothing

I feel I have found that place! 

My mind is busy, busy, busy with thoughts of everything still needing to be done between now and next Friday when we move.  

Yet, for some reason, I am doing very little.  I'm quite the amateur when it comes to moving, and I'm not sure what should be done now, several days before the move, or the day before the move.  I need one of those calendar things, you know, the kind that spells out what to do 6-months out, 3-months out, 1-month out and so on.  I had one of those when I was planning my wedding, and I remember pouring over it every single day for months. 

Yes, a calendar would be helpful.  You know what also would be helpful?  A crystal ball.  To tell us if we are making a good decision.  Moving, renting, changing

I want guarantees.  Guarantees that my children are gonna like our new house/yard.  Guarantees that the couple renting our house are going to be the best tenants in the world.  Guarantees that when it is all said and done, Brad and I will have that moment where we look at each other and sigh with relief that's its all over and its all good

(Here is where I remind you that we are not leaving this neighborhood, just moving into a different house in the same neighborhood.  Here is where I also remind you that this fact will not in any way reduce the level of drama seen/read in me the next 2 weeks.  I'm trying to not over-dramatize this, I promise, I'm trying.) 

I did have a slight *moment* last night when I was tucking Pop-Tart into bed and glanced over and saw the pen marks on her doorframe.  The ones that have marked her growth over the last 5 years.  Gogurt has the same markings on his closet doorframe as well.  We started marking his at 11 months old - the age he was when we moved into this house.  He is 10 years old now, and we almost have to stand on something to mark his height nowadays!

New house, new memories, new marks on a new doorframe.   

In 2 weeks. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


You know how certain creatures regenerate parts of their body?  If something gets cut off, they just grow another one?  Well, I think the stuff in my house is regenerating.

So far, to prepare for the move, we have cleaned out closets, drawers, the attic, the garage, and the storage room in the garage with the hope of *purging* ourselves of all the excess we have accumulated here in the last 9 years.  We have thrown SO MUCH stuff away, it's embarrassing . We have taken two loads to the dumpsters where Brad works 'cuz we didn't want to overload our poor Waste Management guys.  If we had put all that trash at the road, they probably would have laughed, said "Yeah, right," and kept on going! 

Now I could easily get on my soapbox about the excess stuff we all live with here in America, but I won't.  I can tell you that many, many times during this process we both said that nobody should have this much stuff.  Most of our "stuff" is clothes, and it's kind of  a curious thing because I'm not even a shopper!  It's also shameful to see how many clothes I have and then realize I wear the same things over and over again!

The attic was probably the most fun.  I'm serious!  The kids, especially Poptart, absolutely love to get in the attic.  Weird, I know.  It's not so much getting in the attic as climbing the stairs.  My kids think their lives would be complete if we lived in a house with stairs.  Well, that and a trip to Disneyworld.  Well, that and a trip to Disneyworld, and a dog.  Oh well. 

A couple of Saturdays ago we started emptying the attic.  We would bring a load down into the living room, go through it, decide what to keep, what to give away, and what to throw away.  Once done, we would bring down another load.  This process would have gone a little faster, but when you open a box and you haven't seen the stuff in literally years, it's too easy to stop and take a walk down memory lane.  My weakness was baby clothes.  What is it about a 3T Star Wars shirt and a 3-6 month little dress that makes me cry? 

But then I had a thought....I can't see myself, say in 10 more years, cuddling up to Gogurt's size 12 jeans!  I think clothes are kinda like feet, the smaller they are, the sweeter they are...

Once we had emptied the entire attic, (that was a good feeling!), we took the stuff we were keeping to the new house and the stuff we were throwing away to the dumpster.  Then, on every Saturday since, we have tackled closets, drawers, rooms, etc., and repeated that process. 

With all that said, you would think if you walked into my house right now, it would be almost empty.  WRONG!  Something mysterious is happening here - someone help me understand it!

Why, how, can we have gotten rid of so much yet when I walk into a room or closet, it looks just as messy as it did 3 weeks ago?!?!  Arrrggghhhh!

I think we've decided to  start over and purge more seriously.  Like, keep only 7 of everything.  One for every day of the week.  Except jeans, 'cuz you can wear jeans waaaay more than 1 day a week before washing them.  Really, the only thing we would need 7 of is underwear and now that I think about it, we could probably get by with even less than that since my kids don't bathe every single night of the week. 

And toys, oh yes, toys.  We need to get more serious about toys.  Choose, I don't know, maybe half-a-dozen to make the move with you?  Does that sound fair?  Oh wait, I think I hear my kids hyperventilating right now....

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Not Alaska, Honey, But I Gotta Start Somewhere

We've talked about moving for a long time, but every time it came down to making a decision, it never felt right.  When Brad started seminary, the decision was whether to stay here and take courses at the extension or move to New Orleans so he could be on campus, take more classes, and be done in a more timely manner.  We decided to stay here. 

After Brad's first mission trip to Alaska, he felt sure, well almost sure, we would end up there one day.  That scared the bejeezers outta me.  So, once again, we decided to stay here. 

I have come to learn something about me.  Fear has a powerful hold on my life.  And that stinks, because fear and faith cannot coincide. 

I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone, leaving the things most comfortable to me, and I imagine myself to be worse than most anybody. 

This move is not to Alaska, not to New Orleans, heck, it's not even out of this city, or even this neighborhood (ha!).   But we are moving.  Different house, same neighborhood. 


If you remember, about a year ago my in-laws came to live here.  They moved from north Alabama and bought a house in this neighborhood.  Well, they've decided to go home.  And they offered us their house. 

For almost nothing, (in house terms anyway). 

So there we were again, talking and praying, praying and talking about moving, but this time it was two streets over.  Don't laugh when I tell you I still struggled with the decision!  The real estate market stinks, what were we going to do if our house didn't sell?  We can't afford two house notes!  And besides this house needs sooo much work before even being put on the market.  There were so many unknowns, and I was scared

After much prayer, talking to friends and family, consulting 3 accountants and 1 lawyer (yes, we go overboard), we decided we could not pass this opportunity up. 

I know it's not Alaska, but as I said in a previous post, maybe God is stretching my faith in baby steps, gradually moving us to where we are supposed to be.

I'm excited to share this journey with you. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting A New Year

This year has started out with its fair share of troubles.  I suppose we should not be surprised, nor discouraged, because God is in control of all situations.  Between my extended family, church family, and friends, everywhere I look there is a *crisis* situation.  Cancer, very sick children, surgeries, death, and broken relationships just to name a few. 

Going to church on Wednesday night is almost depressing sometimes.  We sit around and list all the sick/dying/lonely/broken people we know. Well, I guess it would be depressing if we didn't end the night with wrapping these people in prayer.  And honestly, right now, I don't feel I have enough minutes in the day to give all the situations surrounding the people I love their due time in prayer. 

I am looking forward to this year however.  As I mentioned before, our family will be doing something we haven't done in 10 years.  Can you guess?  Also, our pastor has set aside 2011 as the year of faith for our church and in our personal lives.  Boy, I struggle with that.  You know, doing something in and with your life that only God could do.  The decisions that make absolutely no normal sense, but you do it anyway in faith?  Oh yes, I struggle with that.  I do hope that this year can be a beginning point in my life with my faith-walk.  And I do think that God has shown me to take baby steps, and perhaps before I know it I'll be taking big giant leaps of faith.  That would definitely be a miracle!

Okay, completely changing the subject, we finally heard from Titus!  We sponsor a 7-yr-old boy from Haiti through Compassion International and finally received a letter from him this week! We were quite relieved to hear he was okay, given the disasters happening in Haiti.  His aunt actually wrote the letter for him in their native language which we think is some sort of Haitian Creole.  Of course, it was translated into English for us!

He is doing well in school and really likes music.  He lives in a house that is covered with a sheet of metal and says he is near the project.  He thanked us for choosing him and wanted to share a verse with us:

"For the Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is His name."
Luke 1:49

How awesome is that!  I can't wait to get to know Titus better and better through the years!

Speaking of Titus and his home country of Haiti, I would like to invite you to watch Franklin Graham address Haitians at the Festival of Hope. 
We are barely home from church by 12:30 central time but if I can, I would like to watch this.  I'm wondering if he will mention the shoe boxes that were sent to Haiti, which, by the way, our church group helped process at the Processing Center in Atlanta. 

Until next time,