Friday, May 22, 2009

Stepping Out Of The Cave

NOTE: If you haven't read "Living In A Cave In Antartica" below, scroll down and start there first! :)

If we lived in a cave in Antartica, and God asked me to step out of that cave in faith, what would I say??

“God, I can’t – it’s COLD out there!”

“What if my jacket isn’t warm enough?”

Or would I run outside into the snow, eager to embrace the cold, frolic with the penguins, and leave footprints in the ice as I walk with the Lord?

I’d like to think I’d be the latter, but truthfully, most days I feel like a little of both.

Our house is most likely selling (nothing is for sure, especially in THIS market, until the dotted line has been signed), and we are looking at moving to Oklahoma this summer.

So what about jobs?

Good question.

A few months ago, I found out about an online job opportunity through some very dear friends of mine. With their help (and recommendations), I have found myself going thru not one, but TWO different interviews with this wonderful company.

I hesitate to say very much about this. Although both interviews have been absolutely wonderful experiences for me, I don’t know, and won’t know, for a little while longer if I will be offered a position at this company or not.

I will tell you this – I could work fully from home, and utilize many odd hours (such as early at morning or late at night) to get some of the work done. I can also do the work from anywhere – making it a great job to have in Oklahoma.

It would be, in short….a blessing. I feel as though the position I have been interviewed for is perfect for me – a perfect fit with my talents and personality.

I have prayed my way through every step of this, and have experienced such wonderful peace about God’s plan and provision. As a matter of fact, just last night, as I was doing some of my Bible reading, a verse in Proverbs caught my heart.

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV)

God’s purpose will stand – no matter what. That means that even if I face the disappointment of not being accepted for this job, that God knows.

I want to glorify Him. I truly do. I want Him to take my heart, my hands, and my life. I want to be a Godly wife, and a Godly mother.

God is also moving to possibly have our daughter K-Bug attend a very special Kindergarten called Veritas. It is a part-time private Christian school and part-time homeschool situation. Again, perfect for our family. A spot is held for her there, even though I do not currently know if that is where she will be this fall.

My dear hubby, for his part, is also walking by faith – and flying by faith – out to Oklahoma the first week of June. His father has decided to take some time off and go with him, a true father-son trip. No matter what happens, both men are excited to have this time together!

My hubby’s resume’ is prepared and he will be looking for both ministry positions and possible contracts for re-starting his own music business in Oklahoma (just like what he does here right now).

For now, we wait, we prepare to the best of our ability, and we pray and stay rooted in Scripture as much as we possibly can!

So, there you have it, as much as can possibly be told in a nutshell, what is going on for the Smith family.

The day-to-day dealings with all of these BIG decisions can make our days seem almost chaotic at times. We have tried to keep things even keel for the kids as much as for ourselves, but we believe that God has asked us to step forth out of the cave and see what He has for us.

With jackets on (and maybe a good set of snow skis) we grasp the hand of the Father, and say one word.


Living In A Cave In Antartica

One of my closest friends growing up had a saying that she would call upon any time a random piece of information used to catch me off guard. With a huge smile on her face, she would always ask, “Where have you been? Living in a cave in Antartica?”

Well, this desert is about as far from Antartica as you can get, but I have indeed been “leaking” small amounts of news that have caught everyone, including me, a little bit off guard.

To my amazing friends credit, if all I had told you was that I WAS living in a cave in Antactica, you would have responded with something like, “We will pray that you keep warm!” and then asked me “WHAT in the WORLD are you doing in Antartica??”

I have given out small pieces of information, mostly thru Facebook, in the last few weeks. I have told you that we put our house on the market, I have told you that we have an active offer on the house (which we’ve accepted), and just a few days ago, I asked for prayer for a job interview (which happened yesterday).

And in the most loving ways possible, you responded with, “We will pray for you, but WHAT in the WORLD are you talking about?”

I apologize right now for doing that to you, my dear friends. It isn’t really very fair to ask you for prayers about which I have been willing to share little.

It’s not that I don’t want to share, it’s more about waiting to see what it is that I really have to share. So much is unknown right now.

No matter though – it’s time for the box to be opened, and to spill out the jumbled contents inside. God is making ALL things beautiful, weaving every part of the jumbled into something that will bring Him glory.

It isn’t any secret that for the last several years, my husband and I have talked, prayed, and talked some more about making a move out of Phoenix. It is not an easy or flippant decision, I assure you. My husband’s family is all local, and my parents have lived next door for almost the past two years – all in all, an awesome situation. My parents have wanted to move out-of-state for a while themselves (they rent the house next door), but have waited here to see what we were going to do – they didn’t want to be far from their beloved grandchildren. 

A few years ago, we visited my sister and her husband in Norman, Oklahoma and fell in love with the place. My sis and her hubby had asked us to consider moving there, so we got a realtor to show us around during that first trip. While there, we found “it” – THE house – our “dream house”. We came back all fired up to try and make a sudden move.

But God had other plans.

Some of our dearest friends had asked us to help them start a church plant, and eagerly awaited our return from Oklahoma to see what we would decide. On our knees before the Lord, my hubby and I both felt that the Lord told us “not yet”. We believed He was leading us to start this church plant, and so we said “No” to Oklahoma and “Yes” to obedience.

Many of you know about all that has followed. It has been almost two years of growth in the Lord – challenging at times (especially for me), but full of so much joy in our obedience. I got pregnant and we were blessed to add J-Boy to the family. The friendships I have here are so deep and so amazing – women that are my sisters in Christ – now and forever.

During that time, my sis and her hubby have moved away from Oklahoma. After a year in South Carolina, they are back in the East Texas area, living in Dallas.

But that call to Norman, Oklahoma has remained in our hearts, and over the last few months, we begin to hear the Lord prompting us to move forward in obedience to Him.

This time the move just might involve moving vans and a brand new state.

Soo….April Fools Day found our house on the market (gulp), and a little over a month later, we had an active offer (double gulp).

We’ve gone thru mountains of paperwork, a home inspection, and yesterday – the appraiser. If all continues to go well, our close date will be June 19th.

Less than a month away….

Where will we live?

I – don’t – know – exactly

There is talk of putting all we can in storage and gutting it out for a month over at my parent’s house – saving as much money as we can.

There is talk of us moving to Norman by August……August???

What about jobs, you ask?? Well, that brings me to the next part of this whirlwind. Read on..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Go Fly A Kite (& Feed Fish)

The first weekend in April found our family looking at sunny skies, windy weather, and a brand-new kite. What to do??

How about a kite festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden?

Some of you know of my dear hubby's love of the Japanese culture. He recently acquired a membership to this small, Japanese garden, located in the downtown Phoenix area. It has become a special place for him to go and spend time with the Lord.

As a "member", he gets updates via e-mail about the various going-ons at the garden. That's how we found out about this small kite festival - celebrated in Japan as Children's Day. We loaded up the kiddos and enjoyed a wonderfully windy day together!

The girlies were immediately drawn to the large, blue tubs of koi fish that were being sold at the festival. Fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors swam in the long row of tubs.

The girlies (and J-Boy) also all had the chance to take to the stage to play a real Japanese taiko drum!! A troupe of young boys performed for everyone too.

Then it was kite time! For a few dollars, the girlies made a small kite (to go with the one that we had already brought with us). Then it was up, up, and away!!

After a little bit of kite-flying fun, we headed over to the garden to feed the large koi fish that live in the pond at the garden. The girls loved how close they could get to the fish and how BIG they opened up their mouths to devour the food!
J-Boy loved the fish too - except he was interested in trying to swim with them - hence the reason he is not in the pictures.

Here are some pictures of the garden - it is a lovely and peaceful place.
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Our family was truly blessed to spend this windy day out enjoying God's creation!

House For Sale



And…..a house…..

For those of you who know me, you know that one of my greatest desires in the last few years has been to abandon Phoenix like a rat from a burning ship (and on a hot, summer day in Arizona, you really do feel like you’re burning…)

Abandon to where, you might ask?? That’s another blog post.

And yet, whenever I would approach my dear hubby about this “burning” desire, he wasn’t ready to take the leap.

So I’ve waited….and prayed….and waited....and whined…and prayed some more

True confession: some of the praying was actually whining too….you know…”But God, this is what I WANT….waaahh”

And then – it happened. One night in March, while my dear hubby and I were praying together, he looked at me and said, “Ok, let’s do it.”

A few weeks later, we listed our house on April 1st - April Fools Day.

I know, God has a sense of humor… :)

So, here it is – our house on the market

Quite possibly the worst market that Arizona has seen in my lifetime.

We’ve had one…count it…one person come to look at our house since we put it on the market just a little over a week ago. Our realtor has not given us much hope to expect many more at this point.

And yet, as I hit my knees in prayer, and approach my heavenly Father with the “Why didn’t you give both me AND my hubby peace about this before now??” question….I am filled with a strange reassurance.

Reassurance that HIS way is always best, that HIS timing is worth the wait, and that HE, and HE alone, will work things out together for the “good of those who love Him”.

So I wait…and pray….and wait some more….
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

J-Boy Is One!!

J-Boy is understandably older (funny how kids do that). He had his first birthday at the end of February. Well….kind-of anyway. Being a leap year kiddo, he didn’t have his actual “date” of birth on the calendar.

We celebrated with a small first birthday party at a local park. He had started to pull up on things and decided to take some of his first “real” steps the day of the party.

He also had a good time eating…i.e. smearing… his own version of dump truck cake (chocolate soy pudding with animal crackers crumbled on top). Mmmmmmm……

He still doesn’t have a lot of hair (seems to be a pattern with my kids), but I sometimes spike what little he does have –so he’s still stylin! I love that boy’s punkin head…

He has since learned how to run everywhere on his chubby legs, and I spend most of my days running after him. He is into EVERYTHING!! For example, about a week ago, I found him in our bathroom. He had managed to somehow get the Listerine bottle out and take off the child safety cap. Thankfully, he had decided to NOT drink the liquid, but was delightedly shaking it and causing large amounts of minty freshness to rain down on his clothes, his stuffed animal, and a pile of clean laundry.

He has started to say a few words – “Dad-dee!!”, “Dogg-ie!” (he loves my parents dog), and his favorite “WOW! He points and uses sign language as well. Despite this cuteness, he doesn’t always get what he wants (isn’t life so unfair?) and he uses his newly developed sense of attitude to tell the world what he thinks about that.

He is a solid chunk, who would rather be outside playing in the rocks, dirt, water, and mud than just about anything else. He would also rather play with his sister’s toys or his Daddy’s guitar than any of his own age-appropriate toddler toys. He tries to play in the trashcan, the cat water, and the toilet on a near-constant basis, and has to be watched constantly when he is awake and moving.

He is...a whirlwind. And he whirls each of my days in a most wonderful way! Here are few pics of him for you to enjoy...

Playing on the computer (a used laptop that Daddy lets his sisters play with) He loves ANYTHING with buttons!

My little sweetheart!!

And...the whirlwind in motion!
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Friday, January 02, 2009

Cooking Up Christmas Fun

We did do lots of fun things during the Christmas season. One of those things was making Gingerbread cookies! One of my best memories growing up was making lots of Gingerbread men every year to give out to family and friends.
So, of course, I asked my Mom if we could all do it as a family this year.
Miss K-Bug LOVES to cook, so she was super excited about the day. Lorelin had fun, but I think she was ready to quit waaay before her sister was.
We put J-Boy down for a nap and got started making Gingerbread. We sure did make a lot of cookies!
Thanks Mom!

K-Bug put the flour on her nose because she had seen it in a book somewhere. She wanted to keep it on there the whole time! Too cute!

Mmmm....yummy...well, not yet..BUT

Soon enough we had lots of yummy gingerbread men. Lorelin DID like the eating part!!!
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