Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankful for a spiritual oasis...

We are well in to 2012 and I'm still reeling from 2011 (even a bit of 2010!).

The last two years have been about as turbulent as Shari and I can remember. The challenging economic times have certainly made church life more complex, so that’s on my mind. My knee injury and surgery in late 2010 has really altered my activity level, something I am still trying to figure out quite honestly.

Then, it has been a strangely unsettled time for us since the passing of my father in May. I still get pretty sad about it regularly. We are trying to sell my mother’s house and our house in order to buy something for all of us to live together. Mom will need her space and we’ll need ours, so we're trusting God for just the right place. We are excited about the prospective move-not the moving process itself-but being in a more suitable place. Of course, this is a tough time to sell a house.

We are also in the final stages, Lord willing, of adopting our foster baby (who's now an unbelievably cute toddler). She has been such a blessing to our family! I have to chuckle every once and a while about having her. I told Shari after Jordan was born, “We’re done”!  My father was 40 when he had me, I always told myself I wanted to have my children younger, before my thirties if possible. Well, here I am at forty (and a half) with a little baby girl. The Lord does have a sense of humor. After this, we’ll still do foster care, but we’re done with having our own! Did I just say that?

I am also in the final sections of research and writing to complete my Doctor of Arts in Religion. This doctorate has been the most challenging intellectual exercise I have ever undertaken, I underestimated how much time I would have to devote in relation to my ministry responsibilities, but it has been tremendous for my personal study discipline. I would very much like to finish it in 2012.

Add to these things our oldest son is turning thirteen next Monday. He asked me to get him an electric shaver for his developing whiskers. Wow! Did I mention I am 40 (and a half)?

There’s so much going on with us, how about you?

Do you know what is such a joy and comfort in the midst of feeling so unsettled? Our church family. We find Redeemer to be such an oasis for our souls. No matter what is swirling around us, there is a steadiness and regularity about our church life and family that is reassuring and encouraging. Each Monday when I come in to the office, I can’t wait to crack open my bible to the gospel of Mark and get fired up for the next Sunday. All the ministry stuff that happens during the week invigorates me. Sure there are frustrations. Yes I feel stressed at times. I’m sure we all experience these things. At the end of the day, on those occasions when Shari and I can relax after putting the kids to bed, we look at each other with a sense of gratitude for how God has called us and placed our family here.

1 comment:

Woody Woodward said...

I remember when the market first started down. Keith and I had borrowed everything we owned and bought the company from our previous owner. That was Dec of 2005 and the market started its never ending downward spiral that looks like it will never end, in Mar of 2006. I was worried, very worried. But like you Pastor, I have learned that He is in charge and He has total control of every detail of my life. I gave Him this business when we began, so it’s His! I am just responsible for doing the best I can and striving to remain above reproach. Remember that great line from Dicken’s "Tale of Two Cities?" “It was the worst of time, yet the best of times." Run to Him and rest!