Monday, May 30, 2011

T-Minus 5 And Counting

I did it again. I left you hanging from the last post waiting many days before this update. Good intentions don't always turn out the way you hope. So sorry......

Yes, we found a place to live and after a somewhat stressful two days, we decided on another apartment. It's just easier right now as we learn a new area, figure out where we'll be going to church, and also seeing if this job lasts longer than a year. A little cynical sounding, maybe, but it's the truth. It's hard to imagine actually putting roots down somewhere new, but maybe it will happen and in a year we'll be ready to look for something that feels more permanent.  We'll be in Franklin, TN which has everything we could possibly need in a one mile radius from our apartment, including a Publix. It's the little things.....

As the title of this posts implies, we drive away five days from now.

I think I just realized as I typed the words that I don't quite believe it yet. The weekend was spent sorting, storing, and beginning to pack. It's hard to get in a rhythm because we want "one last" time with someone or something and it just isn't possible to fit it all in. We've begun the goodbyes, or maybe more accurately, the see you laters. We now know that we will see friends and family because 4 hours is much closer than 13 and a lot of you came to Baltimore when we were there. We'll have two bathrooms this time so that's a big plus!

I have a couple of things I want to update you on. In my last post, I mentioned friends we know from our kids' high school days who are on a hard journey with their sweet baby girl. Jennifer personally updated her blog not too long ago so for any of you who want to see how God is carrying them through this tough time, you can click here.

A week from today, Tiffany and Nikki will be heading to Greece for a study abroad/sight-seeing trip that Tiffany got to bring someone with for school. They are quite excited but have a lot to do to get ready. If you want to keep up with them as they hopefully update along the way, click here for Tiffany's blog.

As hard as it's been to deal with moving and leaving family and friends again, God has been encouraging us with potential connections in the Franklin/Nashville area through other people. It seems like everywhere we've turned, someone is telling us about a church they know about or someone they know lives there, or else they used to live there and can tell us lots of things about the area. I know that might not seem like much, but when your heart is tired and weary, those glimmers of hope are huge! I'm as ready to go as I can be and I have the confidence that not only has God gone before us, but He's been there for quite some time. :)

Before I head to bed, I wanted to share with you that yesterday Hamp and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary.

For any couple that would be quite an accomplishment, but in today's world it's sadly becoming the exception and not the norm. I suppose it could make us appear pretty amazing to have reached that milestone, but if you're married (or even if you're not) I think you would agree with me that if were not for the grace and faithfulness of God, we never would have made it.

Many times we obeyed our way through seasons of frustration, difficulty, and selfishness knowing that what God had joined together was not to be separated by man. We don't understand each other sometimes, we don't have the same dreams sometimes, and we don't like each other sometimes. But that's when looking to the cross of Jesus reminds us that there's a bigger story going on. The same submission to His Father's will that Jesus displayed is available for us to choose and when we do, the things that divide us fade and we are brought together again by obedience. It might not make for a good Disney story, but it's a picture of the Greatest Story ever told and we are humbled and grateful to be small testimonies of it.

Because we were going to be working on packing while Hamp was home for the weekend, I had figured we'd just find a time to celebrate once we got settled. In retrospect, I apparently never passed along my conclusion to my hubby, so you can imagine my surprise when he pulled out a large box that contained a new pair of cowboy boots for me.

Sadly, I haven't had time to get pictures downloaded and organized on my computer so you'll have to settle for one from the internet. Mine aren't that colorful and I'm not quite sure exactly where and when I'll be wearing them yet, but Nashville seems like the place to begin. Speaking of Nashville, I have to give one last shout out to the new American Idol, Scotty McCreery!

He's a strong Christian young man and I'm excited to see how his career in country music takes off. It would appear I'll be in the perfect place to watch it happen, right?

If we come to mind this week, any and all prayers would be appreciated. There's a lot of unknowns ahead and while I'm getting better at being okay in the not knowing, it's still hard. Thanks and I'll keep you updated...really!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quotable Quotes

Oh, my. This has been a standing in front of a firehose sort of week. I have to drive to Nashville tomorrow morning to meet Hamp who is already working there so we can find a place to live. But I wanted to update things here and finally can because I have my laptop back.

This is a picture of my computer:

The operating system is Windows Vista. I have hated this computer more than I have been thankful for it since I got it two years ago. However...that has changed for now. It last worked the morning I left for Florida to see Tiffany almost two weeks ago. When I got there, the screen was completely black when I started it. After taking it to a Best Buy (we had a service plan) I found out I had to send it from one back in GA so once it was fixed it could be returned to the same location. I did that and was without it for a week. One very long week. We have an old Mac that Hamp was given when he left Baltimore (over a year ago) that barely allowed us to do minimal connecting. I did not realize how much I took for granted things like remembered passwords, important software loaded only on my laptop (thank you ADP for amazing customer service so the fine staff at Gallery Church could be paid!), and a fast processor that didn't take FOREVER to work. To top it off, my computer is running better than it has in a very long time and I didn't lose anything. Thank you, God!!

I'm behind posting pictures of life from recent days and I'll have to catch up slowly. For now, however, I thought I'd hit the highlights of life lately through quotes I've come across.

I recently re-read the last book from a series that I love.

While Savannah isn't dealing with relocating in the book, this excerpt hit me as I've been struggling with the reality of us having to do so again.

"Amazing how life requires letting go to receive. But in each instance, no matter how painful, each brought me to a different place, a better place, dare I say a wonderful place. I shed tears over what I had lost, but I would always know in my knower that what I received in exchange would take me to new and better places."

I got to visit with a dear friend a few days ago and she gave me a wall hanging to take with us to our new home...wherever that may be. When I read the words on it and looked into her eyes, I knew that she knew my heart and no words had to be spoken.

"The Lord, your God is with you, wherever you may go..." ~Joshua 1:9

Needing to remember that grief is a process and that it can resurface when you aren't paying attention, I pulled out the best investment $3.99 can buy earlier today.

"I have learned that if you follow your tears, you will find your heart. If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God. And if you find what is dear to God, you will find the answer to how you should live your life."

If things sound a bit melancholy to you, then you're quite observant. But even Eeyore can get to the heart of the matter sometimes.

"A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference."

And speaking of a little thought for others, I have a couple of blogs I'd like for you to check out. One is Tiffany's which a lot of you might already read. For those who are newer friends, she is our oldest child and our only daughter. God is writing her story in ways she didn't expect at all (doesn't He always??) and she finally had a few minutes to update how things are going for her. If you'll click here, you can read the latest entry.

Lastly, there is a precious family that we've known casually from Tiffany's and Matthew's high school days. Jennifer has walked a road similar to the one as Tiffany, but then met and married an amazing man and was pregnant with their first child. Early on, they knew that their precious little girl had serious developmental problems and she ended up going to be with Jesus a couple of days ago before she could be born. Their faith in the midst of difficult circumstances has been such a testimony and I thought some of you might want to help carry them in this trying time. If you click here, you can read their story.

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me. I know there are countless blogs out there with far more exciting things going on than keeping up with a family that is beginning to resemble the gypsies. As impersonal as cyberspace can be, it does help keep us connected...even if we don't say so.

Time for bed! Next stop - Nashville!

Monday, May 2, 2011

And We're Moving...Again

Yes, it's true. As the last month has unfolded, it turns out that only one job offer was forthcoming and it requires a move...again. Of all the options for relocation, this one was the most appealing for many reasons. Where will we be going you ask?

Yep, to Music City. The advantages are many - we're still in the south so we don't have to learn a new region or culture. It's only 4 hours from Atlanta so traveling to see family and friends won't be that difficult. We should get lots of visitors because there's a lot to see in Nashville. And last but most definitely not least is that it's not that much colder there than it is in GA.

Hamp heads there tomorrow to begin the back and forth routine we're sadly accustomed to until we can get moved around the end of May or the first of June. And because I can, I'm heading south to the Sunshine State while it's still a reasonable drive to visit Tiffany for a couple of days.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of mixed emotions because I will no longer be in GA close to my Mom as she continues to deal with the life changes her health issues caused. But for now, there is peace because we know for sure that this is the door God opened for us. We don't know what area we'll be living in yet, where we'll find a church, or even who might be future friends. Unlike many people we know, however, we do have a job which will meet our needs and we are thankful. With all the unknowns swirling around in my head, it really is helpful to have the certainty that God has provided and has gone before us to prepare the way.

I need sleep for now, but I wanted to at least catch you up on this latest news. It was quite a tedious process and took a while for things to work out and actually be "official" so that's why I've been quiet recently. More will come soon - stay tuned.