Friday, April 22, 2011

Way Bigger Than Right Now

Today is Good Friday. That name has always been a little puzzling to me because it seems like such a contradiction to call something good that was so horrible. I suppose the reality that Easter came three days later makes the crucifixion "good", but it's something I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

Anyway, I think the reminder I've needed this week is just that - God's plan is way bigger than right now. Can you imagine what the followers of Jesus must have thought and felt as they watched the earth grow dark as He breathed His last breath? They had been with Him for three years believing Him to be God's provision for not only their lives, but of their people and ultimately the world. Yet, here He was dying in agony in one of the worst ways a human being can die. They had to have felt hopeless, abandoned, and lost. Then as they huddled together in fear a couple of days later, the news comes at dawn: "He is risen, just as He said He would!!"

And here we find the truth that we are to encourage one another with as we live out the day to day here on this earth.  This life is not the end. God's story and plan is way bigger than right now. It's bigger than disease, unemployment, divorce, relocation away from family, singleness, empty wombs, and all the other afflictions we experience on our journey. We're just passing through, yet most of us unpack and settle in as if this life is all we'll get.

Way bigger than right now. That's all we really need to know.

(Click here for a video reminder that it's Friday, but Sunday's coming!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

And Then There Was One

Here I am again - Sleepless in Smyrna. I am about to complete the second night in my life of not sleeping when I was actually trying to. Sigh.... Having a couple of tornado warnings throughout the evening/night didn't help matters.

Sorry it's been over a week since the last post but we really haven't stopped since then. Michael and Bekah came into town for a long weekend and we stayed busy. They came so that Michael could go to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta with my nephew last Sunday and they saw a great round of golf as Tiger made a valiant comeback. It wasn't quite enough to win, but it was still impressive.

While they were here we had a family cookout, competed in a parents vs. kids putt-putt game (the parents won by one stroke!!), and watched the boys play softball together for the first time in many years.

They left on Tuesday afternoon and on Thursday our friend Mel and her sweet baby Ffion flew down from Baltimore to visit.

Her husband, Rich, had a work related appointment and will join us tomorrow (today) for the remainder of the visit and they'll leave Monday. We met them through Gallery Church in Baltimore and they're originally from the UK. We love spending time with them and listening to them talk. Besides the language differences we laugh about sometimes, Rich is 6'5" so it makes for a comical site when he and Hamp walk beside each other. I will try to get a picture of that sometime this weekend.

In the middle of all this activity, Hamp has continued to have discussions with the various people he met with last week regarding a new job. As the week progressed, slowly the options began to dwindle until it looks like there's only one left. He's meeting with the guy again next Tuesday for final discussions and unless something unexpected happens, to work out the details necessary to make things "official". As we've learned all too well, anything can happen and often does, so until then, I'm going to try to keep living in denial. However, unofficially it looks like I'm going to have to learn to like country music after all. Maybe that's why Scotty McCreery ended up being on American Idol this year.

And maybe, just maybe, that's why it's almost dawn and I haven't slept all night. Once we have a job and that domino is pushed, they fall rapidly and I know exactly what's in front of me. And I know exactly what I have to leave behind...again. I know God is faithful and He doesn't have a limit on how many times He needs to be for us. I just think I'm ready to reach my quota of excellent adventures for one lifetime.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mad Hatter

Oh, my! I have no idea how I can catch you up with all that has been going on in the last week and a half! I've tried to find a chunk of time to update things here for those of you who check, but as you know, that hasn't happened. In trying to bring things down to a manageable size, I decided to go with a hat theme tonight. I feel like I've worn many different ones recently, so I'll see if I can be a little creative in the summarizing. Ready??

First, we are still job searching. Sherlock Holmes has nothing on my hubby as he's made networking an art recently.

Here is the schedule he had this week:

Monday - interview in Winston-Salem, NC
Tuesday - lunch meeting in Acworth, GA
Wednesday - sorting boxed info from work
Thurday - interview in Nashville, TN
Friday - interview in Durham, NC

Unless something totally unexpected turns up, it's looking more and more like we'll be heading to TN or NC. We'll chat about that another day....

I've had a LOT of paperwork to take care of for my Mom recently. Written notifications to everybody from a rental insurance company to a credit card company...or five. Add to that many phone calls switching coverage for something or making doctor's appointments and let's just say that my days of wondering if I was learning anything useful while babysitting high schoolers as I tried to work were answered with a resounding "Yes"!! The only thing missing was a PA system and a two way radio base station.

Adjusting to the latest "new normal" emotionally along with the added stress of finding one's husband unemployed unexpectedly has definitely increased my pondering and questioning. God's faithfulness to us through the years has averted a major crisis of faith thus far, but my need to process internally before I can breathe fully again requires yet another hat.

Until the pollen tried to kill me within the last week, I have been able to enjoy some of the Spring beauty around me. Every time I put on my photographer hat, something inside of me takes a deep breath and is stilled.

Here are a few of my recent favorites.

Finally, the hat that has most recently been dusted off for a new season is this one:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, baseball has begun again! Seriously, how can you not smile as you listen to the following words being sung as your favorite team takes the field?

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

Oh, put me in, coach - I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, coach - I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be centerfield.

Well, I spent some time in the mudville nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the mighty casey struck out.
So say hey willie, tell ty cobb and joe dimaggio;
Don’t say "it ain’t so", you know the time is now.


Yeah! I got it, I got it!

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) it’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!


(Click here to listen to it being sung by John Fogarty)

The Braves opened the 2011 on the road this year against the Washington Nationals, so even though I couldn't be there in person, I still had to document it.

After winning two in DC, the Braves headed to Milwaukee and sadly lost three of the four they played against the Brewers. BUT....finally they come home to real grass, warm weather, and home cooking on Friday night (which is now actually later today). I will be there and am hoping to see a win as we face our division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

When I get home, Hamp will have arrived from Raleigh, returned to the airport to pick up Michael and Bekah and be back home again with our northern children in tow who are visiting for a long weekend. Add Matthew driving back from Orange Beach where he took a few days to relax and our family will be mostly reunited for a much too brief time.

I'm guessing that after tomorrow's interview in Raleigh we'll know if there are any job offers forthcoming. Should there be more than one, then we'll have a decision to make. Stay tuned as we juggle the days ahead!