This past week was full of visits from friends! Ginger flew in from Phoenix to spend a few short days with me. I had all these fun Austiny things planned, but it was cold and rainy the whole time and all of my ideas were outside. So we ate at a few fun restaurants and had some good quality talks. I only wish she could have stayed longer and that Phoenix was not so far away.
Then later that week I went to Dallas for a conference. I literally stayed in a hotel next door to my college roomie. It was so good to see her. We found out that our other college roommate was coming to Dallas for the weekend. She called Casey and asked her if they could have dinner together. Staci had no idea I was in town, so Casey agreed and I went with her to surprise Staci. I may have hidden in a trunk to scare her, but the night was great. We spent many hours at a classy restaurant catching up on life. It was so refreshing and good for my soul to talk to my dear friends! I miss them so much!
Staci came into town with some other good friends, Carrie, Kim and Stephanie (and Stephanie's unborn child). It was so good to see them. It was also hard because our time was so short.
When I returned home, my long time Pine Cove roommate came to Austin to recruit for Pine Cove. It was so great to see her and talk with her. I was like on cloud 9 on Sunday. It was so refreshing to run into so many of my dearest friends. These women have all walked with me at some point and it does my soul good to see them. There is something to be said for old friends coming to visit. I am blessed.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Robyn and Adrianne surprised me one day by stopping through Austin on their way to San Antonio. It was so refreshing to see my friends!
These are my KidStuff Co-Workers. We went to the Alamo for a retreat. I love that place! We were promptly asked to leave after taking this picture. I thought, "Man, trouble follows me everywhere." Turns out it was closing time. Did you know the Alamo closes at 5:00pm? History never closes in my mind.
Jon came back from Iraq in September, which was a big surprise because we thought he wasn't going to be back until November. This is a pic of us when he cam to visit my parents in Dallas.
My friend Janelle and dressed as fake aggies for Halloween to make fun of several of our co-workers and aggies in general. Check out Reveille in the pic too.
I went back to Tyler in November to surprise some friends running their half marathon. This pic was taken as I sprinted passed them like a serious runner and then turned around and surprised them. They had no idea I was in town. Look at those faces!!
Here are some of my new Austin friends (well Courtney is an old friend).
I brought Thankmas to Austin and it was a hit! It was an awesome party. I had 30+ people packed into my apartment. I had a photo backdrop this year with a tripod setup. It was so fun!
The Greer twins came and saw me right before Christmas! It was sweet to see them again!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
So I finally gave in and decided to start a blog. I am not sure how often I will update, but we will see. This first post is really long because I want you to know how I got here. Here being
This is has been a big transition year for me, so I will start from the beginning. I was born in 1981, just kidding, I won’t go back that far. Last year (2006), in the fall, I began to feel the Lord preparing me for a change. I can’t explain it, but I just knew. I thought maybe it would just be a change within Pine Cove or something. Well, as time went on, I knew that it was more than that. The Lord was going to take me elsewhere, but I was a little resistant, so I didn’t look for any jobs at first and I did not know what I wanted to do. I had a degree in children’s ministry, but I did not really want to work in a church. So I was checking into some jobs working with campus crusade and working on a college campus, but nothing was really sticking out to me. I was at dinner one night at one of the director’s house at Pine Cove and he asked me how much longer I was going to be here. I was a little shocked and I had not told anyone that I felt like I was supposed to leave yet. God always does stuff like that to me. So I told him all that was going on and that in my mind I had set that I would work at Pine Cove until August and then see what the Lord would do. He said, “Good, because a guy called me today that used to work for me. He now works at a church in
So sure enough, I talked on the phone that week with the church and I went down to
Well, not too long after I got back, I got a call about a Resident Director position that was coming available on a college campus. I was excited, thinking this would be a great job. I was an RA all through college, so I knew a lot of what this job entailed. So I went and interviewed, very excited about the position. I feel like the interviews (yes there were many) went well, and I should have been more excited, but I wasn’t. I left thinking I could do that job and love it, but there was not the excitement about wanting to do the job. So I just kept praying about it and weighing out the options. One was a place I loved with people that would have been awesome to work with and a job that I thought I always wanted, investing in college girls, but it just didn’t sit right. The other was a job at an awesome church and fun city, but I didn’t know anyone and didn’t really have the money to move there. Oh the dilemma…
Well I also got a job offer at Pine Cove, a promotion that was totally surprising. I was totally flattered and very interested. So now I had three options, but the more I prayed about it, I knew the Lord was calling me to leave. But Pine Cove was so comfortable to me and I LOVED the people, but yet I knew that God was calling me beyond the borders of
. So I postponed getting back them on accepting the position. Flint, TX
Well I did not here anything from the church, even though everyday I was hoping for it. As time went on, I began to fear that I would hear back about the RD position before I heard back about the church. You see I wanted the job at the church more than the RD job, but if I got offered the RD job, how could I turn it down for a job that I was not sure I was going to get? That seemed foolish! I was telling a friend of mine this dilemma I was having and he said that odds were I was going to hear back from the university before I heard from the church and that the Lord was going to make me choose (and he thought I should choose the church). I didn’t want to have to choose, but I thought I had better go ahead and make up my mind before I got a call.
I spent lots of time praying and fasting about it. I spent a week with my parents at a lake and talked with them about it. I asked my dad what he thought and if he thought it would be foolish to turn down a job in hopes of getting another one. He said, “No, if you feel God calling you to something else, go for it. It is not foolish.” So I had made my decision. I would turn down the job at the university.
The next day I got in my car to head back to
, a four hour drive ahead of me. I felt confident about my decision and was actually excited about what would lie ahead. I was going to pass through Tyler on my way back and so I called a dear friend from college to see if she wanted to meet me for lunch. We agreed on a favorite location of mine, Panera. We were catching up on each other’s lives. Her and her husband were in the middle of a transition, as she was graduating from grad school and they were hoping to move back to Waco . I decided to share with her all the things the Lord had been doing in my life, including the recent decision to turn down the RD job if offered it. She kept redirecting the conversation and kind of avoided the subject, which is TOTALLY uncharacteristic of her. I kept trying to talk about it, but had no luck. So we ended lunch and I headed back to Oklahoma . Tyler
About an hour outside of
After I hung up, I called my mom to tell her the news and as I was explaining everything I had another call come in. I looked at my phone and it was the church calling me. I freaked out (yet again) and hung up on my mom. I had missed the call at this point so I had to call back. He apologized for taking so long to touch base with me and said that they had been busy hiring a preschool minister. He told me that they were still interested in me and wanted me to come back for a second interview. I, of course, said yes. I told him that the next two weeks were going to be busy since they were our training weeks at camp and then our first week of camp is always crazy but that I would email him on my first day off and we could setup a date. I was so excited!! I could not believe it. God’s timing was perfect. Oh and the call from the church came exactly eight minutes after I had hung up with the university. AMAZING!
Well the next few weeks were crazy, but I was counting down until I could setup my second interview. During week two of camp, I emailed John, the head children’s minister at the church. I checked my email like every hour, waiting for his response. Nothing. Well maybe he was not working or just not able to get to his email. But there was no email the next day or the next. In fact, weeks went by. Two weeks later I got a call from John apologizing, saying that my email had gone to his spam folder. I didn’t care, I was so excited to hear back from him. He wanted to setup an interview in July, but the date he wanted to do it was going to be while I was in
All seemed to be going well, until lunch that day. My current boss approached me and said that I needed to let him know whether or not I was going to be there in the fall. They did not want to pressure me or push me out, but they needed to begin looking at someone else to hire if I was not going to be there. I told him that my second interview was going to be when I got back from Costa Rica and I asked if he could wait that long. He politely said no. So I decided that I would just pray about it. After lunch, I was standing outside on the porch thinking about this. Would it be foolish to officially quit my job when I do not know if I will have one in the fall? I need medical benefits too. I don’t have enough savings to live off of. What if I said no to Pine Cove and then I didn’t get the job at the church? What would happen?
Apparently I looked worried because my friend Shawn came up to me and asked what was bothering me. I told him my dilemma and asked him if it was foolish to say no in hopes that I would get this other job. He said no and asked me what I was so worried about. He said that if I knew the Lord was calling me on, then staying here was not an option. I told him I was scared. He asked me what I was scared of or what was the worst thing I pictured happening. I told him I was worried about not having a job and then having to ask my parents for help, or worse yet, having to move in with my parents again. He then gently looked at me and said, “And is that so bad? If you don’t get the job at the church, you know the Lord is going to provide something.” He was right. I needed to hear that. So the next day, I talked to my boss and told him that as of August 19, I would no longer be working at Pine Cove, in hopes that I would be moving to
to work at a church. Austin
Well a few weeks went by, and as you can imagine, the anticipation only built. After I got back from
So the next day I got up and drove back to Tyler, bummed that I had no answer yet, but dreading even more having to come back and tell everyone that I still did not know anything. As I was driving back, I got a call from the university. They had an RD position open up and wanted to know if I wanted the position. It was mine right then if I wanted it. I was shocked and caught off guard. I told them that I was still interviewing with the church and waiting to hear back from them. She kindly told me that they could not wait because school was starting soon. She said she needed to know that day. Everything within me knew what I was supposed to choose. I told her, “I am sorry, but I just have to keep pursuing this church. I can’t shake it. I think the Lord is leading me here.” So we hung up and I could not believe what had just happened. I didn’t even have to think about, I just knew. It was incredible!
Well, the next week I was standing in the dining hall getting ready for a special guest to come that night when I got a call from the church. I ran outside to take the call and I was offered the job. I was so filled with excitement, that I could not contain it. I ran back inside and sang to everyone “I think I am going to
!! I think I’ll start a new life.” Then spontaneous rejoicing and dancing and hugging resulted. I could not even concentrate the rest of the night. It was amazing!! Austin
The Lord continued to show his faithfulness in the weeks that followed by providing a great place to live and a roommate (a girl that I didn’t even know – a mutual friend set it up). It was an amazing adventure for sure!! The Lord taught me more about trust than I could ever imagine. He showed me that I did not trust Him for much of anything beyond salvation. He is still revealing to me areas in my life that I do not trust Him; it is painful, but sweet.
So now I live in