Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tying Up the Ends--2012

The fact that I've blogged the least amount in this year is pretty indicative of how--crazy--this year has been! This Christmas as we cuddled up with each other and gazed out foggy windows at billows and blankets of crisp newness, I remembered Christmas last year, 2011. I got a stomach virus for starters, but otherwise, it was a typical Christmas. Presents littered our living room laminate floor--the one Matt and I had labored so tediously on that previous March. We had no idea how soon, nor how drastically, our lives would change for 2012.

The year began with a lay-off and quite honestly, a lot of panicking. What on earth would we do? Matt had started finishing his Bachelor's degree in the fall of 2011, and a random job just anywhere was not the best plan of action for our family, we were sure. But what we weren't sure of was where else a simliar computer technician, help desk job could be found in our area. The ones that existed were taken, and Matt knew he didn't want to be on unemployment. So, with a lot of "Holy cow, what are we talking about?", we started asking God what He wanted for our family--where did He want us? The answer came one cold morning when I went out to walk our new dog, Wendy. Matt stayed inside and looked on his computer at possible job opportunities, and he landed on the Life Church website. (While this never actually landed him employment with Life Church, it was the tool God used to show him the direction He wanted to take our family.) When I returned from walking Wendy, Matt just looked different, calm. He said he felt like God was pointing us toward going back to the city. I am shocked that I said, "Okay." Both of our families were at an arm's reach from us, our church was on the verge of something amazing, and our friends were just around the corner. How could God be asking us to let go?

It wasn't incredible at first--really, for a while, but we knew we had asked God where He wanted us and we knew He had answered in providing Matt employment in his exact field very quickly. So we loaded a U-Haul truck to the ceiling with our lives and migrated to Bethany, just outside the city. Our address was very humble for a few months, but we could tell why we were led to that neighborhood. We began piling our van (and sometimes the truck, too) with neighborhood kids to get them to Life Church so they could be loved on and told about Jesus. It wasn't the easiest thing, but having our home open to them practically constantly and taking them with us to Life Church was probably the biggest reason God had us move to Bethany. I think God puts us in the path of others often just for periods of time, and not always forever. Our period of time was wrapping up, I could tell at the end of the summer. Our house had finally sold one Friday the 13th in July, and so we knew we could start looking for our more permanent home at that point. Somehow we both knew that it would be Moore. Some of our best friends were already there, along with the non profit organization Matt was getting involved in, and a campus of Life Church was close. The first night we looked at houses, we found it. It was the least likely of the listings, yet it felt like home. We made an offer that very night!

The day we closed on the house also started a new, harder schedule for our family. Matt's job took a shift change, and I began doing it alone from 2:00 on each day. No help at bedtime, which was not easy! But God gave me strength I honestly had no clue I could have! We were thankful for employment period, and at least we had a new home where we could stretch our legs more.

It seems that out of nowhere, God set down in Matt's lap an opportunity that didn't seem possible for us! Just a month and a half into the new schedule and our new home, Matt had interviews that went excitingly well and in a matter of just a few days, a brand new job with ridiculous benefits. We were over the moon, to put it lightly! What a blessing it is and continues to be. I love seeing him in this new job, where he just fits like a puzzle piece they were missing.

We've started getting more involved at our campus at church, too. Finding community in the body of Christ makes all the difference. We begin our new small group after the first of the year, too, and we are so looking forward to it.

So, this year end has me thanking God for all He has done, for all He has brought to our family, for all we didn't know was possible. Last Christmas we had no idea what was around the corner for us, nor would we have believed it! The changes He's made in our lives physically are obviously pretty crazy, but the changes internally are no small matter either. We have been learning to depend on each other more since moving, to bond together more as a family, and to know what it means to let friends be our family here. We're blessed that we still are close enough to our families that we can visit often and they visit us as well. I pray that 2013 will be this blessed and that we will grow even more. I look forward to Matt's graduation and our children growing bigger and stronger, and our marriage growing deeper as we individually become more comfortable in our Maker's keeping.

Were we holding cups, even our saucers would be spilling over! :)

Peace of Christ to you,

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