Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reality Check

In one of my former lives not so very long ago, being up at this hour was normal for me. But more persistent than any phone or radio alarm, once again my body is dictating when or if I'll sleep. While sometimes inspirational and presently annoying, this illustration by Mary Engelbreit reminds me that life as I knew it has ended...and apparently it's bothering me more than I realized.

For the past two nights I have awakened somewhere in the 3:00 hour and not been able to go back to sleep.

My brain wakes up much quicker than the rest of me does and within seconds I'm thinking about what life may look like soon. Some of the questions I'm currently wondering about are:

Are we going to have to move out of state again?

How is this going to affect my Mom and her care?

Will we be near an airport so we can get to our kids easily?

How long will I have to drive with a GPS before I don't get lost?

Who will be the people in our lives a year from now?

While not the stuff rocket science is made of, these are some of the things that make up my life. And this list doesn't include things like having to leave friends and family and familiarity all over again.

Yes, it's possible that a job could become available in the Atlanta area and we wouldn't have to move. But initial feedback from Hamp's contacts aren't encouraging and the only interview so far is in North Carolina next Monday.

So we wait. Knowing God is faithful, but also knowing that sometimes we don't get to choose our paths. We've moved away before and can do it again if we have to, but in this pre-dawn moment I don't want to. Thus the conflict inside with the resulting sleeplessness. Too bad I don't look like Meg Ryan as I sigh.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Snoopy must have been living in GA last night because the beginning of his famous novel described our weather perfectly! Poor Kit spent most of the night under the bed instead of on it and I'm pretty sure I woke up every time a new storm rolled through. Oh well, such is springtime and we need the rain to remove the pollen from the air.

So...it's been a couple of days now since Hamp found himself unemployed and you might be wondering if there are any options out there for us. Like every other job-seeking person we know, there seem to be some possibilities but whether anything turns into actual employment remains to be seen.

Ironically, two potential places are in North Carolina and were available last year at this time. But the timing for both didn't fit ours and they didn't work out. Contact has been made and I think I'd be surprised if he at least didn't interview with them. Of course, that's not ideal to me because it would require a move...again. While I have come to believe that every person should move from familiarity to someplace completely different at least once in their lifetime, there's something to be said for stability. Add family needs and circumstances and the complications can multiply and this is where we find ourselves. His Baltimore employer could be an option because even though they closed that plant, they are still a large corporation. Should something work out with them, we could probably live anywhere we choose, but it would require travel for Hamp which we've never dealt with before. Then there's always the unknowns that could still arise which makes job searching the stressful process it is.

Sadly, or maybe thankfully, since we just experienced this a year ago we both are calm for now. Neither one of us has the energy to waste on the "what ifs" or "if onlys" but as nebulous possibilities become potential employment I know that I'll struggle with those. Yet at the same time, we both know that God has a plan for us, this has not caught Him off guard, and we can trust that plan knowing it's for our best.

Moving on, I want to wish Michael a very happy birthday today!

He has entered the last year of his second decade and we're all hoping it brings him a job and some stability for him and Bekah as they move into their second year of marriage.

I don't remember if I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago the CD from Passion 2011 was released with the songs that were done there. It's a great CD and one I would recommend highly.

There's a song on it titled, "Waiting Here For You" by Christy Nockels that is one of my favorites and I find the lyrics running through my head a lot especially since Thursday's news. I'll leave you with a link here to a video of her singing with the lyrics below.

If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for you, I’m waiting here for you

You’re the Lord of all creation
And still you know my heart
The Author of Salvation
You’ve loved us from the start

Waiting here for You
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's You we adore
Singing Alleluia

You are everything You’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we're desperate for Your presence
All we need is You


Singing Alleluia
Alleluia, singing alleluia, alleluia


Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's You we adore
We're singing Alleluia

I'm singing Alleluia
Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's You we adore
Singing Alleluia
Singing Alleluia

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"What Does This Make Possible?"

Enough is enough.....I'm changing the name of my blog.  What began as a creatively named way to keep GA family and friends updated with our move to Baltimore almost three years ago has turned into an ironic new game that I'm tired of playing.  We can't even keep up with us anymore!!

Around 3:30 or so this afternoon, I got a call from Hamp that relayed the latest development in the adventure that is our life with the words, "So, where do you want to move next" followed by, "My job was just terminated".  Really?  Again? 

In defense of my amazing husband, he is not the problem.  The Baltimore job ended because a large corporation was playing monopoly and decided they didn't need the shop he was working in anymore.  The appeal of working for a privately owned company (which moved us back to GA) diminished quickly as the realization that the owner can do whatever he wants whenever he wants as evidenced by today's news.

We were graciously given a small severance that should keep us from having to organize a cyberthon to raise money so we can eat, but a new job must be found soon.  I realized earlier that Hamp started the job he just lost on May 1st last year and could very possibly have the same start date again this year.  That might be funny someday......

So how are we doing?  Right now, I'm starring in the latest installment of "Sleepless in Smyrna" and hopefully Hamp is not.  We're also remembering wise words that friends shared with us recently that are very helpful in keeping our focus where it needs to be.  Those words are, "What does this make possible?"  What, indeed?

Maybe this last job was God's way of getting us to GA so we could be here for a broken engagement and an emergency surgery - events some of our family experienced in which we were able to be a part of the healing process.  Things really aren't in a place where I can leave my mom right now, so it will be interesting to see what God provides.  If nothing else, the last five years of our lives have solidified the foundation God has built our lives on and so in some ways, we really aren't worried.  But I'm a little battle weary right now and could use a break from reality.  In some circles, that could land me in a padded room, but I'm not wanting that much of a break....yet.  :)

I do have pictures to share from our time in Disney but honestly, it's hard to find a chunk of time to devote to this blog because I'm rarely home a whole day.  Hopefully soon I can get to it, but for now I'll leave you with a couple of my favorites to whet your appetite.

This is Joey.  He is wearing a Goofy hat.  There is nothing more to be said.

This is Tiffany and Joey. They are wearing moosehead hats. There is really nothing more to be said.

This is me in the British part of Epcot. I have promised myself that someday I will have my picture taken in a red phone booth in London. This is my reminder, but we probably need a job first.

One more thing - I've recently had people checking out this blog from countries all over the world. That is probably because a key word that someone is searching for might be used in a title and it will direct them to it. For fun, why don't some of you comment and see if we can begin an exchange with each other that maybe leads to new friends in new places. My friend, Pamela, has an excellent blog entitled "From the House of Edward" that you can read if you'll click on the the link. She recently traveled to England and met a couple of new friends from her writings and it was a reminder of how small our world is becoming due to technology. It might be kind of fun to see what happens. Besides, I'm ready to keep up with somebody else for a while. I'm open for suggestions for a new title, but I think "Oh, The Places You'll Go" is already taken.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Baseball

Greetings!  We're winding down the day and trying to decide what our schedule will look like tomorrow.  Tiffany and Nikki have real life they're living and Joey and I were going to go to the Magic Kingdom.  However, Nikki told us this evening that the projections for attendance tomorrow are that they will fill to capacity and if so, will have to close the park until guests leave later in the day.  That means if you do get in, you'll be shoulder to shoulder dodging strollers and crying children.  Ummm......no please?

So.....I guess we'll just make it up as we go along and see how the day goes.  We had fun today watching the Braves win another Spring Training game, but it was quite toasty just sitting in the stands.  Here's the nephew looking dapper in his Braves gear.

Chipper Jones hit another homerun again today and has had a great spring. As another more "mature" member of society, I personally am pulling for him to have a great year and prove to everyone that he's not quite done yet. If Disney was writing the script, the Braves would win the World Series this fall and he could retire after winning the World Series in his first year playing and his last year playing...all with the same team. We'll see if Walt can still work some magic in October, right?

Somebody else I'm pulling for is Brooks Conrad. If you don't follow the Braves, then you have no idea who he is. If you do, then I think you'll agree with me. When his wife had to leave a game last year late in the season in tears with their two boys because of the boos, well...let's just say no mother or wife or player should ever have to experience that.

I know some will argue that baseball is just a game and we shouldn't care that much about it or any other sport in the light of all that's going on in the world. But what I love about God is that when He invaded planet Earth and her inhabitants, He met us where we lived and He still does that today.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Wow - things in the world are a bit unsettled, aren't they? From tragic earth shaking in Japan to flooding in the northeast we have reminders of how life can be changed in an instant or two.

By comparison, when our lives are rocked and the earth sways and things are changed forever, most of the time not many people are aware. There's no number others can text to send you relief, no humanitarian concern beyond your immediate circle of family and friends. Yet the devastation can be just as severe when life as we knew it suddenly ceases to exist and the landscape is changed forever.  Even as I'm typing this, I'm mindful of those who will always have an empty chair at the table where a child should be sitting. Or an empty place in the bed reminding others of broken promises and dreams.

At church a couple of weeks ago, Louie spoke about us carrying the name of Jesus into our world - wherever we find ourselves. It was a great message and you can click here if you'd like to hear it. He talked briefly about how each of us has different languages that are unique to our experiences that only we can speak as we live out our days on this earth.

As I was listening to this somewhat minor point of his talk, God decided it was time for it to be underlined in my own life. In looking back over the last five years of life, I realized that our family has learned several new languages. We can now speak "divorcese", "cityese", "move awayese", "travelese", "broken engagmentese", and "economic lossese" to name a few. I've mostly seen the acquistion of these new languages as something God "did" to me. But as He gently gave me a bigger picture, I realized that each new language has been needed to talk to both old and new friends about the only One who can make sense out of the madness we call life. And it seems that the harder life is, the more languages we get to learn. There is a bigger Story being written and it's not centered around me. I've been invited to be part of it if I will choose to be, but it will go on whether I participate or not.

It feels almost frivolous to tell you that I'm leaving shortly to head to Orlando with Joey for a few days. He has some vacation time and wanted to catch a couple of Braves Spring Training games, see the girl cousin, and go to a couple of the Disney parks. He asked me to go with him and well, you can't let a nephew down now, can you?? It's very thoughtful of the weather to be warming up for us too - we'll be hanging out in almost 80 degrees sunshiny days. It's still hard for me to mentally leave town with my mom living her own new normal of which I'm very much a part of. But my sweet hubby is on call and life is in more of a routine, so I'm hoping for some R&R along with the tourist mode we'll be in.

By the way, if you would like a tangible way to help with relief efforts in Japan, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Symphony

By the time most of you read this it will be Tuesday when "Here For You", the CD recorded live at Passion 2011 in Atlanta, will be officially for sale everywhere.

I get nothing for this promotion...except knowing that if you do go buy it you have some awesome worshipful moments ahead. If you'd like to hear some clips from the songs, check out the link to the 268 Generation Store (Passion) here and you can do so.

Chris Tomlin wrote the second song on the CD which is titled, "Symphony", and I already know it's going to be one of my favorites. The reality of God's creation praising Him just by being His creation isn't new, but it's worth stopping to think about for a minute as we check out some of the words to the song.

"Shining wonders, fields of splendor
How they sing Your symphony"

"The deepest oceans, rising mountains
How they sing Your symphony"

"In the skies and in the oceans
Everything that's living, breathing
A symphony to You"

"There will be no greater song
In the heights above or the earth below
Jesus, all for You"

As great as those words are, I think the chorus is my favorite.

"In symphony with all created things
Sing the song that we were made to sing
We stand in awe, we stand in awe"

Are we singing the song we were made to sing or have the circumstances in our lives silenced our song? Sometimes it happens...and if you think about it, even creation has times of quiet. But just like in the cycle of seasons, hope begins to waken when spring begins to sing of its coming.

As I close, I want to share the link to Tiffany's blog so you can read her latest entry. Hope looks different to everyone and yesterday it came for her in a tender caring of a disabled spouse and a lavender dress. Listen for your song today and welcome the hope of spring - it's just about here.