Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bear with me...

Never got around to writing about our Candidating weekend. In short, it was long, exhausting, and perfectly wonderful. We are truly in love with our new church.

Never got around to relating to you all the funny things I read in the thousands of essays I graded. In summary, high school students range from brilliant to conflicted, and Tupac Shakur beat out Martin Luther King Jr. for most frequently chosen in the prompt: What historical figure could accurately speak an issue of our generation, and what would they say? I am still baffled at that choice. 

Never got around to sharing wonderful things about our kids. In brief, they are blessings, and they continue to quietly bless others. 


We spent a great weekend at Joshua Tree, climbing and camping, catching up and hiking, relaxing and enjoying. 30 people came out, and what a blessing to realize someone was there from each part of our lives. Amazing friends, wonderful friends. 

My friend Carla saved the day when she invited Dan and me to take showers at her house. She and her new husband, Rob, blessed us like crazy with, well, running water, warm clothes, and fresh coffee.

Then we drove back into Joshua Tree, and hiked and climbed to a crazy location. We watched Juli J marry the man she has loved since she was a teenager; and it was the most unique wedding I have ever been to. The wind howled and screeched, nearly blowing the bride and groom off the rock, but they said their "i-do's" and now they are off on new adventures.  


We have a moving day: Saturday, June 5. This weekend has consisted of packing, packing, and more packing. The truck gets loaded (by Daniel and his brother) on Friday, and we pull out Saturday. The church has arranged for helpers to unload and unpack, and they are bringing us lunch. Dan's parents are coming, yay!, and we hope to have things all unpacked in the next few days so we can play until Daniel starts work on the 15th. 

It feels like life has been on hold for 7.5 months, and I am ready to kick start life. I will miss my one of a kind friend, though. She and I can spend all day together, all the time (not that we get to), and just be. She gets me, she shares all she has with me, and she loves me. And it goes both ways. Her kids and my kids love each other too--what more could I ask for? Melissa, love you. 

I will miss my parents, and the little ways they bless my kids on a daily basis. Extra hugs, extra books, extra smiles over a job well done.  What kid doesn't need more of that? They have blessed us incredibly, and though I would not pick to live with my parents at this stage of life, they have made it very easy. 

Emotions are a funny thing.  Sadness, in particular, wreaks havoc on a person. I wish I could say that I feel healed from our last church and how things ended, but I am not. I wish I could tell you that I understand why we were there, and why there is still a good amount of pain and frustration in my heart. I have some answers; it's not a lack of human information that keeps me from understanding, but rather a lack of seeing the need for certain things.  One thing I can say with certainty is that I am so thankful for so many friendships and people. Even ones who I am not close with now, I will never regret knowing. My sadness no longer pervades my soul. I want to look back someday and feel peace and joy, but I don't, not yet. I know it's hard on others that there is tension there; it's not hard to see that things are not easy between the two worlds. But I have to be real. If I have learned anything, it's that I am not capable of being fake. I might be too honest, or too outspoken--I know I am at times--but no one can accuse me of not being deep or real. Thus, I cannot pretend that things are easy or fine, when they aren't. 

Our new senior pastor, Pastor John, said some very healing words to me. You did not fail by leaving that church in less than two years, he said, everything you learned and all the ways you grew and stretched are useful for you, and useful to the church. He does not consider our time there to be anything outside of God's plan or as less than beneficial. He is thankful for it, and chooses to look ahead. I am trying to be more like him.

One of the things I am most excited about, and there are so many, is how much this church sees Daniel. There is an idea present in many modern books and movies that to see a person is to know them, to appreciate who they are, and to understand them. And isn't that what we all want, to be truly seen? They get him, and they want him for exactly who he is. They even nailed his engineering mind, and his ability to accomplish a to-do list. Seriously, they see him.

The vote to bring Daniel on as Associate Pastor was 83 to 1, and the 1 is a funny story. Someone voted "no" on principle--no one is perfect or something like that. I think it's hilarious, and if you know Daniel at all, it fits him. 83 to 1. What an affirmation those numbers are, especially if you knew that this church voted against bringing a previous candidate. 

Three hundred and eleven people heard Daniel preach the weekend we were there. 311. That number has kicked around in my head ever since. 311 potential friends. 311 hearts. 311 faces. 311 names. I cannot wait to learn them all. 

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