Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Great Day in Austin

What a day we have had - for that matter just a great weekend!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon to check in to our hotel - and we already had acquired a great rate for the hotel where the job conference was being held, but then they upgraded our room too for free! So that was a treat! We settled in and then headed to the beautiful pool they have here and played for a while there before getting ready to head to supper.

We went to The Salt Lick - a BBQ place that Rachel Ray has featured - and the food was amazing!

Most of Sunday, Robert was tied up with the job conference so the kids and I were on our own to trek out to the Children's Museum - and would you believe it was the one day of the year you can get in free!? I could not believe it! So we were thrilled and the kids had a blast....

Here is a pic of our pool time....
And after swimming we came back to our room, and let the kids play in the tub for a while, and then our dear little girl crashed.... while wrapped in her towel and having a minor fit. It was adorable!!

After that, Robert joined us and we trekked back out to Magnolia's Cafe about a mile away and stopped at a huge Candy store on the way back, and then stopped for some Amy's Ice Cream - wonderful!! After that we headed to the Bat Bridge where the largest urban bat colony in the US resides for the summer. It was fun waiting and listening to them talk to each other, and then finally they all started coming out - there were tons - well more like 1.5 million bats!!
Here is another museum pic...

So we are finishing up here - Robert has 4 interviews today and then we head back to Honey Grove. He interviews with Dr Pepper this Thursday. Anyway we are excited, enthused and just refreshed after a mini-vacation!
I feel like God is so blessing us in the little things (I know some of you may chalk it up to coincidence, but I do not believe in that at all! Nothing happens randomly!). He blessed us with a bigger room, great rate, lots of fun stuff and much of it free! I just feel like we were given a big hug from God this weekend and told - just hold on - this will not last forever!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Driving Time

It continues to amaze me how God will use anything to get our attention.

My drive back to the country this week - yesterday - was a great time for that. The kids slept (most of the trip) and I was able to listen to Christian radio - I even heard one broadcast twice - you think God was trying to speak to me?? It was about Faith - uh yeah - he was talking to me. The speaker - not sure who he was - was talking about us letting Satan rename us, by the trial we are going through. That was powerful - like calling yourself "alone" if you are not married - you have HIM you are never alone. So that was great. I was convicted of my frustration lately.

Then the kids were watching Facing the Giants and I finally turned the sound so I could hear it and WOW - I have seen that movie a number of times but this time - God spoke to me AGAIN!! It was especially the part where Brock has his buddy on his back and he has to Bear crawl (or something) with his buddy on his back and they blindfold him. He goes twice as far as he "hoped" to go - and it is amazing the strength we find when we want to.

Well I felt like God was telling me - I am the blindfolded guy right now, we do not know when this will end. It will end we KNOW that. But now when or how. So here we are - some days it is hard, some days it hurts, but you know what? I do not have to find the strength in myself, I just have to keep going and letting HIM give me the strength I need. It is not about me. I am learning that over and over too - what a great lesson!!

So I can go through this trial defeated - or I can claim the promises God gives us throughout his word - and claim victory no matter what. Like in the movie - I will praise HIM if we get "the" job, and I will praise HIM if we do not. We trust him above all else.

So man, it was convicting, insightful, but most of all a precious time with my God driving back yesterday!!

Again, God is good all the time!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Full Cup

Well after a great day visiting friends, getting books, going to church and staying up late talking, I feel like my cup is full.

Of course it is almost midnight and I cannot sleep so I must not have filled it too full. Or maybe it is from seeing friends and telling and retelling our current story to many people that my mind is racing. It seems like so much is going on, and yet so little at the same time.

First, I need to mention my dear friend, who does not get nearly enough credit, who has really carried me through much of this crazy time. She is the type of friend who shows up when you are packing up your house, have already packed most of your kitchen, and comes to help. She brings supper, she has a few hours, and she offers both to you without expecting reciprocation.

She comes back again and again to help you make sense of your disaster of a house - she tells you what to pack and helps you do it, but most of all she keeps you moving when you want to throw in the towel and quit because you cannot seem to make any progress.

She calls to check on you - sanity check when you are living so far away your phone, your computer and well that is about it - none of those things work. She just checks to make sure you are still forming sentences, nurturing your kids, and enjoying life all the while.

Come to think of it, as I sit here and describe one dear friend in particular, I think about the many friends who I have - who God has so graciously placed in my life - who are carrying me when I cannot walk any further.

Jennifer has saved my sanity too many times to acknowledge - physically packing, mentally organizing, and just being a good friend in a really trying time. Today she saved my sanity with books - a bunch - many that are favorites - you know you have a good friend when she lends you a favorite! So I am about to trek back to the country life with lots of books to get lost in in the days to come.

But Kim is saving my sanity with a house this month. A wonderful house - with so much to keep the kids entertained - it really still feels like heaven to me!

And .... well, I cannot name everyone - so I will just leave it at two today - but let me count the many blessings.... well I am counting many right now. Many people who really love me and my family. While there are valleys during this trek, there are so many people praying for us and encouraging us, and just loving us that the valleys are short and almost okay. Well they are okay. We continue to feel God's love in a very physical way, through those people he is using. From an uncle who continues to check on us, pray for us and offer more options, to a mom who is full of encouragement no matter what, to parents offering to open their home once again to our loud and energetic brood. God is using each of you, and we thank you and feel loved through you words, prayers and actions!

So while I sit here tonight unable to sleep, in a home with wi-fi :) I feel loved and blessed and cared for. In a time in my life that I need to feel that because things as I know them or are used to know them - are no longer. We no longer have any idea when Robert will go to work again, when we will have our own home again, or where any of that will be. So we are trusting God to reveal it all to us in his perfect timing like always.

Standing still

Well, we are waiting again - or well, we are still waiting.

We are hanging out in Honey Grove Texas, enjoying - well tolerating the rain - but enjoying it! We had a great weekend with the Slagle Family at the cabin - lots of 4-wheeling - lots of catching up and just fun for the kids. Kim and Keith brought Thomas out and the kids were thrilled to have someone to play hide and seek with, and to ride a bit "crazier" on the 4 wheelers.

We have a down week this week as we wait to head to Austin for a job conference this weekend - then we head back to Dallas for an interview next week with Dr Pepper! So hopefully next week with be a good week - busy and good news!! I hope!

Meanwhile I get to go to our ladies retreat in Grapevine next weekend! I did not think we would be in Texas or unemployed still so never considered going to the retreat - and yet here we are - and I will get to go hang out with many friends from church not to mention get lots of spiritual food for my soul!! Yeah!

So we are still having ups and downs - as can be expected, but Robert and I are still friends (well really a bit more than that :) - but every has seemed to be worried about us being together 24 hours a day for so long) - and the kids are getting along wonderfully!! We are trying to get school in each day and that helps tremendously to set the tone for the day. We continue to wonder why this is taking so long and what the point of it all is...but overall we are just trusting God is more ways than ever before. We have really and are really learning to let go and just be still and know that he is God - because you know, he is!

So,that has been fun to go through this journey together and to be able to enjoy it on some level.

I will admit I have become frustrated - I want to get mail. I want to make bread again and I miss it so much! I miss my books, and I packed our math books, so my children may grow up to be mathematically illiterate - and for 2 computer science majors - that is not good and does not sit well!!

Do I sound ungrateful? I am not at all - in fact I feel more blessed than ever. We have a wonderful house to stay in, we have food to eat and there are still jobs on the horizon! So really, despite my frustration, life is so good. And more importantly - God is Good - all the time!

So we continue to wait, to rest in the promises of our Savior, and the enjoy all that he has provided for us.

Hope God is working in big ways in your life too .... just hope you do not have to lose a job to see how big!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today is Thursday, we are still in Honey Grove and loving the country life (for a little while anyway).

Today is our second born son's birthday! He turns 7 today! The time flies!! He also lost his first tooth this week when we got here!! See the hole in the bottom of his smile? And the toothfairy even found where we were!

And we ran into town to get a few things for his birthday supper and hoped to check email too. So all is well - we are having a blast!! And are out of touch with the world, but enjoying that too!
We did get to 4-wheel the other day and the boys loved that!!

September 1st:

A couple weeks ago I was at Women of Faith and was so blessed to hear Steven Curtis Chapman sing. It was so much fun to see him and listen to his amazing lyrics accompanied by his 2 sons. One of the songs he sang was a new one he wrote since losing his precious little girl. The lyrics start our “Heaven looks like a little girl with straight brown hair. Heaven looks like a little girl with big brown eyes” and he goes on to describe what he can only imagine to be a little bit of heaven when he gets to hold his little girl again and run to the arms of Jesus.
Well, I am in Honey Grove Texas right now with just my family. We are so blessed to be staying at a dear friend’s cabin in the woods. And I just keep playing Steven Curtis Chapman’s lyrics in my head with different words.
To me heaven looks like fields my boys can run in to their heart’s content.

Heaven looks like dirty children running through trails, laughter as they play hide and seek in the tall grass.
Heaven looks like a beautiful sunrise over the trees , the grass and behind the cows grazing nearby.

You see, to me we are experiencing a little bit of heaven here at the Slagle’s cabin. We are soaking up the time as a family – just us. We are enjoying every moment whether checking out trails, or peeking in the lake, or even rocking on the porch enjoying the breeze.
A neighbor came by this evening to say hi. We met as we drove in yesterday and said hello, but it was quick as we were anxious to open the house and get settled in. So, Jessica trekked over (and not like we are used to trekking to your neighbor’s house – this was a trek) with full hands with her 2 children and trailed by 4 dogs. Yes, 4 – I think when you live on this much land and this far out, the more the merrier. Oh yeah, there was a cat named Cotton too! And Jessica blessed us with some fresh veggies from her garden! How cool is that!? And a warm loaf of zucchini bread we gobbled up – and a small bouquet of fresh basil and marigolds. I mean seriously – we are only going to be here a couple days (maybe) and the neighbors are bringing us bread, veggies and flowers!! How could this not be heaven?
Then another neighbor who leases some land from the Slagle’s to graze his cows came over this evening to mow some of the tall grass so the kids can play without stressing me out too much for fear of snakes. Actually, Ken came by and dropped his dear wife Jan to do the mowing! And she was delightful to talk with too once she was finished and waiting on him to get back to get her.
At supper as we thanked the Lord for once again providing for us, we are feeling so blessed by these people that God has crossed out paths with (even though they may not realize it) and we were thankful for this amazing roof over our heads. God has just been blessing us since this all happened, but right now we are seeing it so clearly because we have nothing to depend on but God and the people he is working through.
So we are still working the job angle – Robert has several that he is waiting to hear from – Boston Scientific, TAMCO, and Dr. Pepper – yes, Dr. Pepper. We will see if one of these is the job God has for Robert. But, meanwhile we are enjoying the heck out of the Slagle’s cabin and our time away from the real world!


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