Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So, I'm pooped. I rushed home from work today to frantically straighten up the house and cook dinner. Thankfully, Matt went to the grocery store and helped straighten up. We invited a family from the apartments over. Now that we've been here for about three months, we're starting to build relationships and the ministry aspect of what we're doing is just really starting--ironic, really. We had the Gilpins over. He's from Sierra Leone, and she's from this area. They have two adorable children who ran all over our house for the last two and a half hours. Our apartment is definitely NOT childproof. And, when I thought that it would be sweet to have the little girl (about 18 months) play with Nala... she ended up eating some of the dog food instead. Just precious.
Thanks for your continued prayers about the Thailand thing. We've also appreciated the emails and comments. Keep 'em coming. :)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Our time in Texas has been wonderful in many ways... but the fact that we don't "LOVE" it here, probably shows more about our hearts than anything else. It has been hard to be content here... but contentment is in a lot of ways a choice. It's also evidence of walking closely with Jesus. Obviously, this is something that could use improvement. Enough of that...
Seminary. We came to the conclusion a long time ago that seminary was not for us. Definitely not for Matt. We've been chickens to announce this to our family because of pride issues. However, as we've gotten up the nerve to tell people, it seems that many people already knew this too: Matt and I are not 'seminary' people. Matt went to Columbia International University (www.ciu.edu) for his undergraduate degree and had an incredible education and an incredible experience. From an Interdenominational background, to a very 'Southern Baptist' background educationally was a challenge. But we stayed because it was free and we didn't really have any idea what else God might have for us. Seminary seemed like a logical 'next step' after college and for our first years of marriage. But as we've learned more about how God has made us, God has shown us that we will probably never work in a Southern Baptist church. We have more heart to work with the 'unchurched' than to be on staff at a church. I could go on and on and on about this, but the bottom line is that even if Thailand does not work out, Matt will not be continuing his Seminary studies (at least at a Southern Baptist seminary).
Here's where we are in the process of figuring out what God has for our future: We will always be students of God's Word--it's part of a relationship with Christ. We will always be in ministry, but it might not be vocationally or full-time. We feel called to be parents. We look forward to 'multiplying and filling the earth with the image of God' and the challenges and joy of parenthood. We want to love Christ more and more and to love people. We want to know Christ and make Him known... but we don't have it all figured out yet. Who does anyway? God probably mocks most of us who think we have the rest of our lives planned. I was reading Job 39 recently (over and over), and think it's pretty stupid to assume too much about God's plans: His ways truly are above ours. He's too Great to try and understand. Who are we to make too many 'plans'? (See also Proverbs 19:21).
You can all help us remember this when we struggle with control of our lives and contentment. Challenge us to holiness and humility before the Lord. He knows we need the reminders. :)
Friday, July 25, 2008
Matt and I might be going to teach in Thailand--starting in September! 24 hours ago, we did not even know about this opening, and now, we have seen in so many ways how the Lord has gone before us to make so many of the arrangements.
Check out the link http://www.ges.ac.th/ for more information about the school. It's near Bangkok, Thailand and we know a girl who has been teaching there for this past year. She is the one who shared with us about this school.
Of course, as I mentioned, this is only about a day in the making; however, we really do feel that it is God-ordained, and we know we are to pursue this. Please be praying with us that the application process would go smoothly: as well as all of the arrangements that would need to be made here.
Also, if you have any advice or thoughts to share, we really would love to hear from you!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
To convince myself, I've been thinking about the positive things Texas has to offer. Here's what I've got after several days of pondering (in no particular order):
- Sunsets/Sky... truly breathtaking.
- Nala. This is the state where Nala is from (probably).
- Keto. Meeting Keto at the dog park and Laura adopting him is a cool thing about Texas.
- The Morrows. Good friends DO exist in Texas!
- Movie Taverns. These haven't taken off in SC yet, but they're fun here.
- Good storms.
- Wonderful churches. (www.wedgwoodbc.org and www.firsteuless.org).
- Apartment Life.
And, these are the things that I really can't stand about Texas:
- Traffic. (It took me ONE HOUR to drive 11 miles on my way home from work on Monday.)
- The roads. Seriously, why is it so dern complicated!?
- No good Mexican restaurants. (Surprising, isn't it?)
- No beach.
- Really far away from Charleston.
- No Intercoastal Waterway.
- No hurricane season. (See Disclaimer Below).
- No county parks like Palmetto Island or James Island...)
- One way 'frontage roads'.
- Heat! (The guy on the radio this morning said it was going to 'cool down to 97 tomorrow'.)
- Far away from SC.
- Takes a LONNNNNG time to get to any family.
- No downtown Charleston.
- No IOP Connector.
- No shutting down when it gets below 30 degrees.
- Highway 183.
- Minimal trees/greenery/grass.
- A/C is always breaking cuz it has to work too hard.
- State inspections for cars.
I really think I could keep going, but as my lunch break is almost over, I shall get back to work.
Disclaimer: these are very specific to our part of Texas. I do realize that even today a hurricane is making landfall in Texas and that there are beaches in Texas... but that's all about 7 hours away.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Two years ago at this time, we were barely dating.
For our anniversary, we got each other the EXACT same cards--hilarious!
We went to a yummy fondue restaurant that is MUCH more expensive than our beloved Fonduely Yours at home, but it was a great experience. We also got each other gifts: I got Matt Mario Kart for Wii with two wheels (unknowingly creating a Wii widow of myself), and he got me a gift certificate to my favorite store (yes, Lane Braynt), and some Crocs (my first pair!).
We spent some time reminiscing on our first year together in stupid Texas. It's been a challenging year in some ways, but I think we really have a solid, wonderful marriage--only made possible by our imperfect relationship with Christ. Christ being perfect, us not so much.
Even though there are tons of times we wish we were living in Charleston with our family and friends who truly know us, we wouldn't have traded this year on our own for anything.
That's all for now, but we look forward to keeping in touch more now!