Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It just feels like we're on vacation.  Well, maybe that's just my opinion.  We left Monday afternoon to get up to STL, so that Tyler could start his job on Tuesday morning.  My gracious cousins are letting us sleep in their house while they are with family this week.  We only packed a suitcase of what we'll need for this week, because Tyler flies out next Monday afternoon to go to OKC.

I will drop him off at the airport and make the treacherous (that's what it's become anyway) drive back to Springfield where I will meet my family.  My brother, Ben, is supposed to fly out of Springfield next Monday morning to go to Nicaragua with a group from CCH, and my family will be seeing him off.  

From there, I will stay with my family and go to my much needed chiropractic appointment before I head off to the unknown in OKC.  We still haven't heard where we will be living or anything of the sorts.  Some days it's frustrating, but others I know that God is in control and He's teaching us to trust Him through all of this.  He's keeping us out of our comfort zone, and I'm okay with that.  Many people would be freaking out at this point, but we're not.  

This was God's plan to begin with, and it's His plan through the entire process.

In the last couple of days, I've started my list of books to read, list of wedding gifts to create for one of my best friends, and a list of more apartments to look at in the STL area.  We had originally picked out a place to live during our last weekend visit to the area, but have decided to keep looking.  We might actually find a place that has light fixtures in every room and ceiling fans.  Then again, we may not.  But we're gonna give it a shot.

Christmas was wonderful.  We had Christmas with Tyler's family on the 18th which was a good weekend.  I had never been to the Plaza in KC before, and we went to eat at the Cheesecake Factory.  It was delish.  The lights were pretty, but it just seemed like a glorified outside mall.  Later, when I told my dad this, he agreed. Ha.  I really am like him.  It was a good experience, though.

We packed up and moved our belongings to Lamar on the 23rd, and stayed with my parents for Christmas weekend.  It was neat to have Christmas on a Sunday morning.  I was young the last time it was on a Sunday and all I remember was thinking, "I can't wait to get home to open presents."  This year it was different.  Us kids are grown up, and it was neat to get to worship our God before opening gifts.  We even had a very nice lunch prepared by my momma.  The ham was sooooo good!

Tyler was officially inducted (or hazed as my brothers said) into our family, as he was the one that got to read the Christmas story this year.  It's a family tradition to read the Christmas story out of the Bible before we open gifts.  It's a great way that my parents could remind us (more when we were younger) that Christmas isn't about presents.  It's about the one Gift who came to save the world. 

That night we had most of the Bunton family over at our house.  It was neat because Tyler and I won't be at Bunton Christmas this year.  I was glad to see everyone one last time before we move to Oklahoma.  Tyler's parents and sister even came down spontaneously (I think the Bunton's are rubbing off on them :]).  

We're very blessed.  Even when we're homeless and don't have a clue about what the future will hold, we are blessed.  God has given us what we need at the time we need it.  For that, we are thankful.

Friday, December 23, 2011

College Grads: A Job but No Place to Live

Today was the day.  The day to pack up and move from what has been my home for the past 3 years.  However, things have changed in the past couple of days that has made us change our plans.

Last week, Tyler and I went to St. Louis and looked at six apartment complexes.  There was a couple of things we noticed:  1.  They don't believe in light fixtures in any room.  2. They don't believe in ceiling fans.  I don't understand it.  I'm not a fan of lamp light for my main lighting in the room.  We didn't have a choice, however.  All of the apartments were that way.  So we ended up picking out a place to live and ended up being happy with the choice. 

A couple of days later, we got the call from Tyler's recruiter that his training date had been moved up.  Oh yeah...I didn't mention that in my last post.  Tyler has to do 3 months of training in Oklahoma City.  We didn't have specifics, and we're still unsure of where we'll be living, but he has to go.  We made the decision that I will go with him.  I do not want to live apart that long.  No couple should ever have to do long distance.  Anyway, he will be flying out of STL on the 2nd of January, and he starts in STL on the 27th of January.  So it's been one quick decision after another.

God has been in this process the entire time.  He has made us trust Him more and really rely on His timing and plan.  So today we packed our little one bedroom apartment up (we have a TON of stuff) and moved it to Lamar.  My parents will be storing it for the months that we're in OKC.  Tyler's job is paying for him to have a rental car and an apartment/hotel/place of living for that amount of time.  We still don't know where we'll be living, but we should find out in the next several days.

My last day of work was on Thursday.  It was bittersweet, being my first job and all.  I said goodbye to the girls on Wednesday as most of them were taking vacation days the rest of the week.  I teared up a tiny bit, thinking about leaving.  It wasn't too bad.

I did cry as we pulled out of the parking lot at Sherwood this afternoon.  I had lived there for 3 years, and it was my first place to live after I moved off campus.  A lot of memories had been made there.  There are a lot of changes about to take place, and all I can rely on is that God will show us His way.

I will miss everyone in Springfield, but I'm excited about where God is leading us.  It's a bittersweet ending to this chapter in our lives.  I thank God for all the people we've met, the church we have in Springfield, and the prayers that have been said for us through this process.

For now, we will enjoy Christmas with my family this weekend before we start our journey in STL and OKC.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Words on a Page

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  God has been so good to us.  Tyler got the job in St. Louis and so we're moving up there in the next couple of weeks.  I was really worried about telling my boss that I was leaving (they really do need me, or at least someone in my position), so I gave them a couple of names.  I think that calmed their fears a little bit.  We got someone to sublease our apartment, and all that's left is to enjoy Christmas with our families and pack up our little 1-bedroom apartment and make the 3 hour trek to St. Louis.  Oh, and we have to find a place to live.  That's a minor detail. :]

We're going up tomorrow after I get off work and going to hunt for a place to live all day on Saturday.  I'm hoping that God will lead us to the place He has for us. I keep seeing His hand in all of this, so I know this is His plan for our lives.  For pete's sake, we got someone to sublease in less than a week...

There are more details to this story than I'm letting on, but we don't actually know all of them yet.  We're praying that God just leads us in this adventure of our lives.  It really is going to be an adventure.

It's bittersweet saying goodbye to Springfield.  Springfield has been my home for the past 5 years.  I've come to love this little city.  Missouri State has been my home as well.  This week, Tyler and I both said goodbye to Missouri State.  It is time to close this chapter of our lives.  I never thought it would be this soon, but I've come to realize that God has plans for us outside of Springfield.  It's sad to leave because this is what we've known the last several years.  

It's scary to move to a place where we know very few people.  It's stressful to pack up our lives as we're trying to celebrate a Life that came to this world to save us, that we might have this opportunity to serve Him in a city we never thought we would.  It's sad to leave our friends here, knowing we could possibly never see some of them again.  However, it's exciting to see that God is working in our lives.  It's exciting to see that God has a plan for us: a hope and a future.  It's exciting to think of the new church we're going to find to serve in, and the new friends that we're going to meet, and the new jobs we're going to start (or find, in my case).  

We have a whole new city that we get to shine Christ's light in.  I pray that He will use us for the length of time we are there, and that we will always follow after Him.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Season of Giving

I am so excited to share this Christmas season with my husband!  Christmas really is the best time of year.  We get to celebrate the birth of our Savior and spend time with loved ones.  This year is special for Tyler and I because we get to establish our own traditions.  We are our own "family" and get to make the decisions for us, much like our parents did when they started their family.

One thing my parents always told my brothers and I was that this is the season of giving.  We are to give our gifts with a happy heart.  I might not have understood this when I was 3 or 4, but the older I get, the more excited I am to give my family their Christmas presents.

Tyler and I want to start our own traditions, and why not start now?  We don't have to wait until we have kids, we can start now.  One thing I'm really excited about is our decision to adopt a child for Christmas.  There are tons of people that are not as fortunate as we are, even being in college.  We both know that we've been blessed, and that as Christians, we need to give back.

We've adopted a little boy, age 2, and he needs a coat.  He also wants some dinosaur toys.  How easy is that?  He doesn't have a long, detailed list like some of us might.  I thought we could definitely handle his wish list, and we could also buy him some extras.

I can definitely see this becoming a tradition in our family.  It's humbling to buy gifts for people you don't know, especially when they don't have a long list.  It makes us realize that we don't need anything.  God has blessed us with everything we need.  It puts our wants into perspective.

I pray that this little boy will grow up to one day know Christ and the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  God has been good to us, and it's our turn to show that love to others.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

God is Able

**This was a post that never got published from November 22.

God must be teaching me a lesson.  I believe that the theme of this semester has been "God is able."  I started the semester with the women's Bible study at Northside.  We did the video series and workbook called "Faithful Abundant True," that was co-written with Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore.  Oh how wonderful!! 

Beth used to be my favorite Bible study series author, but Priscilla has sure given her a run for her money.  She was fantastic in this book. The verses that she focused on in her sections were:

Ephesians 3:30-21
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

God is able.  He is able to do everything we ask for.  He is able to do immeasurably more than what we ask for or even imagine.  How amazing is that?  

He must still be teaching me this lesson because on Sunday night, I got to go to the Hillsong concert with Tyler.  He bought me concert tickets for my birthday, and I was really excited because I've wanted to see them since about 7th grade.  Anyway, the tour name was "God is Able."  Imagine that.  It's really funny sometimes how God ties everything in together to make some sort of sense.  

I know that God is able.  It's my business to know that He can, it's His business to decide if He will.  This semester is all about trusting Him, especially right now.