Monday, December 21, 2009
I have been sitting here surfing the net and realized I was in a restless mood. Have I forgotten to relax? hhmmm....
Fred got the official 'in writing' papers from the Tx job. He will be starting on Feb. 1st. I think we can now breath a little easier knowing for certain that we are going. We won't really do anything till after the Christmas break, but then we will get with our realtor and Fred will put in his notice at work.
I am ready to start packing!
But it's not time yet. I guess instead I can pack for our NC trip. We are leaving Saturday to visit with the Stancos in Asheville and then head to my brother's place for New Year's. I am SO looking forward to this trip! I love getting on the road with Fred and leaving everything behind, even for just a week.
AND if we get to see snow, boy! that would the icing on the cake!!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
We have a wonderful group of folks in our class. They welcomed us in to the class as Fred took the teacher's responsibility. The class was actually compiled of 2 separate groups who lost their teachers. Earlier this year, another class had their teacher step down because of job responsibilities, so we gained them too. It has been a transition, but we have come together well. They really appreciate Fred's teaching and are always ready to give input in the lesson, so our class is always very interesting.
Fred shared with them last week about the job in Texas. It was a very hard thing to do as the class has gone through so many changes in the last couple of years.... After he finished speaking, the men stood up (Fred thought they were leaving) and came to him and prayed for him. The ladies in turn came and prayed for me. It was a very touching moment and as Fred said, it was making it hard for us to leave.
Today, one of the guys gave Fred a pair of boots. He just put them on and they look good! It's funny, Fred has never worn boots in his life! haha
This has been a very rough year, and since February, I have been saying that I can't wait for the year to end and SURELY 2010 will be better. I had no idea what God had planned for us. And as I look back, I know that HE had everything under control and that Fred and I have grown a lot because of it.
It is crazy how we can sit back and see God's hand in all this. God is allowing Fred to get a new job that will challenge him, financially sufficient for him to walk away from his current job of 20+ years, and putting us closer to his brother in a smaller town environment. And it continues: Colleen Ross has an uncle that has lived in Texarkana for many years and she is trying to connect us to him. One of the men in our SS class knows the commander of Red River Army Depot and he is going to contact him on behalf of Fred. Before we even get there, there will be people to help with all the changes we will be going through!
So let the adventure begin!!
Friday, December 11, 2009
After praying and weighing in the pros and cons, we have decided he should take the job. It is what he has been looking for the last 2-3 years. It is about 30 minutes from his brother, it's a rural (slower pace) area, and the job is going to be more challenging than what he's been doing for the past 23 years.
The pay is less, but with the cost of living comparison, it's actually a raise.
A lot of things were considered: Andy and Steph, we are concerned they don't quite have their heads on straight, and coming with us to Tx is definitely NOT an option for them. But we figured it's time for them to be on their own. (Steph has been in Orlando for a while, but we have always been here to 'help' her) Mom, we have encouraged her to come with us. I truly don't think she can be left here by herself. She is not well and she is getting more and more forgetful and confused. (though she will deny it) She said she will think about it, but I have a feeling she is leaning towards staying back.
I am excited about the move, though, ideally, I was hoping for Tennessee, Texas is nice too. And Fred has been wanting to move closer to Tom for a while. Tom seems real happy about our move...he has already sent us 2 silly videos welcoming us to Texas. lol
There are SO many things that will need to be taken care of. The biggest is that Fred will need to start work with them on Jan.18th. I will stay back and sell the house, so I will be here for a while, I presume. He is concerned I will fall apart by myself. I will be the first to admit that there will probably be days when I just want to run and hide. But I don't think he gives me enough credit. When push comes to shove, I can handle things. I will be making a lot of lists to keep me on track. And I appreciate the time to help the kids get on their 2 feet before we officially leave them.
Yes, this is going to be a bit scary, but we have prayed for this opportunity for a long time. We are very comfortable here in Valrico. We have a wonderful home, a great church, I have job that I like MOST of the time, and Fred's is a secure position. But I think it would be a mistake to stay here because we are 'comfortable'.
One of the many good things about this move, Freddy will be 6 hours away. Not that we will see him regularly, but it will definitely be cheaper and easier to see him. Becky & Tym are heading to San Antonio as soon as their house sells, so we can maybe plans for vacation time to see them.
And after saying all this, Fred still needs to go through a physical and a background clearance before it's 'Official'. But I don't think he has any skeletons in the closet and he is quite healthy.
We are telling our SS class this Sunday. Now THAT is going to be hard. Our poor SS class has gone through a lot of teacher changes. The class is actually compiled of 3 separate classes who lost their teachers. And they simply LOVE Fred, they really do. So Fred is struggling with what he has to do. But again, do we stay here because his SS class loves him? No, God will provide someone to come behind him and love the class.
So to say we would appreciate prayers is an understatement. Pray we continue to follow God's lead and that we will have minimal 'bumps in the road' these next few months. Pray for me that I will handle the new responsibilities as such that Fred won't have to worry about us....
Saturday, November 28, 2009
We didn't get up early for Black Friday, but Fred and I went out later and had our annual "Black Friday" lunch at Steak n Shake. And, of course, we had to hit Best Buy. But we didn't get much.
Now, to start the Christmas Season!! I got all the decorations from the attic and had every intention of starting the decorating today. But I got one of my famous migraines so that didn't pan out. I have to get busy on it soon, though. Our Sunday School class party is next Saturday and I want the house festive for it. It will be the first party/social we have had in a very long time and I am looking forward to it.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and will slow down and enjoy the Christmas season!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Well, not yet, but he's coming!!! He asked if we would get him a ticket home for Christmas and I jumped on it. He will be home on Dec. 12th and will stay till the 16th. So we are going to celebrate Christmas a week early. I am also going to put the family through the ordeal of the annual Family Picture. The way the family has spread out, I never know from year to year if we are going to be all together for the holidays, so I am not going to pass out any opportunity that may come.
I am thinking of going to the beach this year. I have been looking at family portrait samples online and have gotten a few ideas. I don't want to do the typical "everyone sits with their hands on their laps and fakes a smile" pose. I want to be more relaxed, natural looking.... Steph is all for it, it's the guys that fight it. So we'll see how it turns out.
The picture will be our Christmas card, so expect it in the mail right before Christmas!
triggered the air bags,
Well, I actually do. God works in strange and wonderful ways (as Johnette put it). He allowed Andy to not even leave the neighborhood that night. See, I know for a fact that the last Monday night he was with his friends, he and another guy raced their cars. I haven't confronted him about it, but I am sure they were planning on doing it again that night. And like I said, it had been raining and the roads were slick. When I mentioned it to Fred, he said, ' it would be stupid to race in wet roads'. Hello!! We are talking about stupid teenagers.... no offense to other teenagers!
Her name is Carol Kent and she wrote a book called "When I lay my Isaac down". It was very inspiring. Without going into great details of her life, she talks about times in your life when you have to 'lay your Isaac down'. When you have to take whatever burden you are carrying: depression, marriage problems, financial stress, wayward children, illnesses.... WHATEVER, and lay them at Jesus' feet. Give it to HIM.
But one of the key things that stayed with me was that you don't just do that once. You start with giving it up for 5 minutes, then maybe next time, you can do it for 15 minutes, then maybe 1 hour... it is a constant thing. And that made me feel better. I have been feeling like I haven't been a 'good' Christian because I have struggled letting go of my problems with Andy, with mom, and with life in general.
But I realized it's ok to struggle, just don't give up.
I checked out her book to read. I have loved it. It is now on my Christmas wish list. There were so many things I wanted to highlight so I would be able to go back to it when needed.
I recommend it to anyone who is going through any kind of struggle in their life. This book gives you hope.
Here are some of the beautiful tables:
I almost didn't go.... you know how it is, there are a million other things you can do on a Saturday morning. Laundry, cleaning, shopping.... but my dear friend Debbie Hofrichter kicked me in the butt and told I WAS GOING. She, too, had a busy schedule but decided she (and I) never do something just for ourselves and it is good to be with other sisters in Christ. And she was right. I am very glad I went.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Well, that got me thinking about what are some of my sweetest days I've had.
*First and foremost, it has to be Dec. 31st, 1981. Our church was having a 'Midnight Watch' for New Years. They showed a film about the rapture, and it brought me to tears because I knew deep in my heart that if I didn't do something, I was going to be left behind. So that is the night I gave my life to Christ. I can still remember the feeling of this giant boulder being lifted from me.
*Another 'sweetest day' is Oct. 21 1981. That is the day that Fred asked me to be his girlfriend and even gave me his class ring to wear. I think how the story really goes is that I wrote him a note asking him if were 'going out' or what.... He decided to make it official that night, on a Wednesday before church. Still remember it like it was yesterday.
*I don't remember the exact date, but I know it was in July of 1984. We had been married just 3 months and I woke up and realized that there was a good chance that I was pregnant. When I told Fred, he said " I knew it!" ( Though I will refrain from saying HOW he knew) So we went to a clinic and had a test to confirm it. I was really nervous, thought it was too early to get pregnant, but I will always remember how excited Fred was about it.
*The birth of my 3 kids. Every one of them was as different as they are. Interesting things happened at each one, though I will spare you. Those were 3 magical days.
*March 1 2003. The first night we spent at our new house. It was such a blessing and only through God's grace, were we able to have such a lovely home. I still walk around the house sometimes and thank God for every corner.
*April 2009, we went to Pigeon Forge to celebrate our 25th wedding Anniversary. The weather was cool and I prayed that God would allow me to see snow for the 1st time. I remember waking up and looking above through the giant glass windows in the cabin and asking Fred 'is it snowing or is it foggy outside?'. But when I looked out front, it was snowing! I jumped into some clothes and just stood outside looking up. God had granted my request and I felt very blessed!
I know that there are many other 'sweetest days' in my life, but these are the ones that quickly came to mind.
I also know that God has many more in store for me. My life has truly been blessed. Not without pain, but even through that, God is with me, so that is sweet!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So, this is not going to be one of those posts, just a list of the coming posts:
1- Sweetest Day
2- When I lay my Isaac Down
3- Freddy, Christmas plans
see ya soon!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
So, I caught the boys today comisserating over their teams. It was a nice view so I decided to take a picture.... Andy usually is not around much (work and school) and when he is, he is sleeping or watching tv in his room. So any chance we can get to spend time with him, we take it.
Sports has always a good avenue for Fred and Andy. My avenue with him used to be that I was his chauffer. We would have the one on one time to talk about whatever was going on with him.... Now that he drives himself, I am going to find something else..... I wonder if he likes pedicures??? lol
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Someone made the announcement that they only needed 30 people to help (there was about 50 folks there) and so some of us could go home if we wanted.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
She did really well. No side effects from the anesthesia. All was great until the numbness wore off. She has been in a lot of pain. On 2 percocets every 4 1/2 hours and 1 codeine in between and the girl STILL couldn't get any sleep. That was crazy. The swelling came on Thursday, she was the prettiest chipmunk you will ever see!!She went home today (against my wishes) . She is still a bit swollen but doing much better. We colored her hair, she took a nice warm shower and felt 'human' again.... she is taking off from work tomorrow but hoping to be back on Tuesday.... the biggest thing is that she is so weak from not eating....
The one bright thing in all of this is that she was thrilled to have lost 5lbs. (not that she didn't already look great!) But you know how girls are about weight....
Prayers are still needed on her behalf. It's going to be tough getting back to her schedule after being down for 5 days.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Knowing God Through Love:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Seeing God Through Love :
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The Consummation of Love:
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Obedience by Faith :
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
These are the passages our pastor has been preaching on the last few Sundays. He actually has been preaching on I John all year....
As you can see, there is a theme going here.... I have no problem with love. I love my children, my husband, my family, friends, folks in need, little orphans in third world countries.
But I have had a problem with verse 20 for a while....
There is a family that I have had some SERIOUS animosity towards. I guess 'hate' is a strong word so I probably wouldn't use it. But it was pretty close. I knew it was not the right thing to do, but I just couldn't let go. This family has had a big influence on Andy the last 9 months. A negative influence. Without taking credit away from Andy for his own actions, this family has truly enabled him. They don't know Fred or me, yet assumed we did something terrible to make Andy turn against us, and have 'helped' him out financially while he lived away from us.
I am sure that they have no idea the feelings I have had towards them, so they aren't loosing any sleep. But I have been. And every time they showed up at church, I automatically felt my blood boil and was unable to worship all morning. (I know, that is my own doing)
I tell you, it's been a real tough time. I felt ill for the way I was behaving. I mean, being angry at someone who enters church? How sick is that?
I have been praying about this for a while. I have asked close friends to pray for me. And Bro. Tommy's sermons were a constant reminder I needed to let go of my 'hate'.
Then something cool happened. Last Sunday, at the very 1st song in worship, I felt something being lifted from me. Immediately, I no longer felt this anger that has been consuming me for months. I looked for the family, but this time, not to stare at them with 'daggers', but to go to them and say 'good morning, how are you?'. It was an amazing experience. I had nothing to do with it. The Holy Spirit finally cut through the wall I had built all these months and 'fixed me'.
They weren't at church again today. The sermon today was about going to the one you have wronged and apologize. My question was: if they never knew how I felt, do I need to go apologize to them? What if that just 'stirs the pot' and makes things bad? So I am praying about what I should do next.
I don't have any plans on becoming 'best friends' with this family. But I do think I have to answer to God for what I have been feeling.
This is a song that we've been singing at church. An old hymn with a new bridge.... powerful
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
He was proud of himself for purchasing his own car, when I took him to get the tag, he grinned from ear to ear when he walked out with it in his hands. I am proud of him.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
They stayed with us from Wed. till the following Mon. My house went from very quiet to 'not so' quiet. But it was nice. We also worked it so my sister came from Ga. on Friday to surprise my mom. Mom is turning 80 on Sept. 8th and we thought it would be cool to have the 3 siblings together and celebrate her birthday, all be it a month early. It added to her surprise! She was shocked when my sister walked in the house. So much so, I got a little worried about her health. But it was all good.
But like I said, Sarathena was the star of the week. We all took turns with her....
I love this picture... This is how I used to put Andy to sleep... it worked just as good for Sarathena!!
Ok, last but not least, I realize I didn't take a single picture of Sara. So I stole this from her facebook. Here she is enjoying the great Puerto Rico sun!
It was wonderful to see the Gonsalves clan again. Sara was hoping to have us to up for Thanksgiving. I would love to, but I don't think I could talk Andy & Steph to go with us, and I am already not having Freddy for Thanksgiving, I don't really want to be away from them too...
God is so good. He is really working in my brother's family. I am excited to see what HE has in store for them!