Friday, July 17, 2009

change is inevitable

SO, while we're experiencing lots of changes in life, I might as well go for some bangs. Here they are...

All down...

In a ponytail...

Ponytail with headband..You get the point. I'm having fun with them :)

Sam says they're "bangin'" i.e.-totally hip

I'm thankful to have found a great hairdresser already...she's a friend that just so happens to have mad skills in this department!!
Thanks Teryn for the "bangin'" hairdo!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not So Desolate Desert

Sorry for the delay in posting details about our move and new adventures here in New Mexico! Quite honestly I've been overwhelmed. But it's not what you think. Typically moves are overwhelming and stressful. New place, new people, new jobs, new house, no furniture, no friends, no family, no church=anxiety, right? I must say, though, the difference in this move has been clearly supernatural, the very provision and faithfulness of God himself. I'm overwhelmed at the number of things I could write about here, the number of ways in which He has shown up. Every. little. thing. When I recall the ways in which we have been blessed with exactly what we needed at the time I am convinced not even a flashing sign in the sky could have made His prescence more clear. Nor would it have been as sweet. (now that's a big statement...who wouldn't appreciate a flashing sign in the sky pointing them in the right direction? ) I do believe it has given God greater pleasure to surprise us time and time again, in little and big ways, in direct accordance with what we have been praying for. and it sure has increased our faith. I was reminded this morning of some verses I memorized in college. When I think of how much we've cried out to God as the One who knows us and how much we've trusted him with our every desire, and then just how much He's come through...I'm brought to tears.

Matthew 7:7-11
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opend to you.
For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Or which of you, if his son asks him for bread, will instead give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts
to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I wish I could say I'm always aware of and thankful for the blessings in my life. I know in my head that every good and perfect gift comes from above. But my pride often convinces me to take the credit for what God does. And sometimes blessings come in disguise-they don't seem very good and perfect to me! But God sees the whole picture and His work in us is a process. He's working it all out for good, whether or not it feels good to me at any given time. And right now, it does feel good! I can see his hand at work in this new stage in life as clearly as I see my fingers typing in front of me! But I know there will be times I will grow weary, and doubt. Times when life is heavy and painful. Times I've experienced many times before. How awesome is it that God is currently giving me proof of his faithfulness that I can hold on to during those times? Evidence that He does love me and have good things in store? I'm just rocked by the fact that what I deserve is nothing. It's death. But God chooses to bless me because it brings Him great joy. I hope I am able to continue asking and believing that He gives good gifts to those who ask him.

Here are some pics of the blessings we've been given along the way. Some are not tangible and not pictured:) But I'll try to describe them a bit so you can see the depth of joy each of them has brought. I'm sure I'll post more about them individually soon :)

Our trip down here in early April was awesome. Sam and I both felt peace and were unified as we discerned if this was the place we were to live. Three days before we flew out to ABQ I found my school's website on the internet. I thought, "I'll just Google classical, Christian schools."And what to you know? One had just been started a year prior and the school board was in the middle of their teacher-search for 2009-2010. They happened to have an informational meeting the night we were flying in, so me and Sam went and instantly fell in love with their hearts and vision for education. And the board consisted of four young married couple each with 3 to 4 children of their own. We thought, "They're just like us!" (well, minus the kids.But we want a lot of kiddos eventually!) We were able to stay with Dr. Austin and enjoy the peace of the home he rented. He drove us all around town and gave up his bedroom, and we bought groceries and cooked for him :) Perfect trade for a bachelor! We even bought canvases and painted for the first time. On top of that, we visited the practice Sam was interested in joining and loved it. We got to meet with Dr. Mike and his family at their church and go out to lunch. It ended in an invitation to start out with an internship and make sure Sam is a good fit for the practice and vice versa. Two weeks later we made it official. We were moving to NM!

Austin and Sam chilling after grilling
First paintings! We were inspired to create by the beautiful mountains right outside!

Dr. Mike and his oldest :)

Gonstead Family Chiropractic

We were sad to leave the Sandia Mountains and beautiful sunshine!

A week after we found out how much a move to NM would cost (ouch!) we got a letter in the mail. It was from my insurance company in college, Aetna. It basically said they were audited and needed to refund us $700 we had spent on MRI's 3 year prior! What?! The check will come at the end of this month. :)

So many friends came to help us load up and clean! We couldn't have done it without them :)

Totally pumped for the long drive!
After 3 days of driving we arrived at our apartment to with our loaded Penske and decided we weren't going to sign the lease afterall! The location just wasn't right. This could have been a catastrophe but thankfully my boss and his family were already on their way to help us unload the truck. As soon as they got there and heard our dilemma they invited us to come to their house and stay as long as we needed to (we're practically strangers, mind you!). It was Sat. so we hunted that afternoon for apartments and found one! However, we couldn't get through the credit check and get in until Wed. Troy and Ruth were gracious enough to host us for five days.Their oldest, Caleb, even gave up his bedroom "so we wouldn't have to suffer." :) In that time we fell in love with the whole family and quickly recognized their openness and authenticity as exactly what we had prayed for in the friends we would meet down here. Ruth cooked up yummy meals and the boys showed us their huge sand box (half the back yard!) They invited us to their church and introduced us to a their closest friends. By the end of those 5 days we felt we had the kind of friendship that would normally take months or longer to build. Clearly ordained!
We drove the Penske to our new apartment on Wed. We had less than 24 hours before the truck needed to be returned. PerfectPeople we barely knew, friends of the Simons, came to unload the truck. Thankfully it only took an hour and a half b/c that NM sun can get pretty stinkin hot in the middle of the afternoon!
We had no furniture in our LR except a bookshelf. We found this sectional on Craigs List-3 weeks old with the tags still on for cheap! We were able to pick it up that same night which allowed us to use the now-empty-Penske and still return it by 7:00 a.m.!

We wanted to be able to host people and watch movies but had no TV. Again we got an awesome deal on our first TV!Dr. Austin gave us his dining room table to borrow indefinitely!

This was perfect timing. Our friends, Dave and Natalia, were coming to visit from CO and we didn't want to make them eat on the floor!
We are reunited with the Smith's after two years!
It was a great 4th of July weekend:)Here is all my first grade curriculum for Oak Grove. It is an awesome school with a small staff and a big heart. Our recent two-day training was such a blessing. Teachers shared ideas on classroom management, parent communication, and routines/procedures. They trained us thoroughly by explaining and sampling each subject and set of curriculum. I am so excited for this school year!
We have found a great community of believers at Northside, the church Troy pastors.
Ruth and I have lots in common...she is a fellow creativity-lover and, as you can see, a bargain shopper!
Elane, Katie, Leslie, and I. (and baby Ashon). I love these girls already :) Thanks ladies for making us feel so welcome! Laney and I
God knows we love to do things outdoors. This gives Sam and I a hobby we both enjoy-hiking!
We love beauty! The skies are different each night-gorgeous!

Blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name.
Blessed be your name, on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name.
Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name.
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will
choose to say
Lord, blessed be your name!