The blog has gone very silent during the last couple of weeks. Tomorrow morning I start my new job at my old place of employment. I had two weeks between accepting this job and officially starting, so I've been processing through my own personal "bucket list" which included:
- Shampooing all of our carpets.
- Washing, waxing, and detailing our cars.
- Preaching at two different churches, not including Echo.
- Doing some leadership training.
- Wrapping up a final exam and a twenty-five page final paper.
- Grilling out at our church picnic.
- Meeting with four different people about life and career decisions.
- Spending some time with the dudes at our church and talking Jesus.
- Replacing the large blinds in the windows that face our street.
- Running an equipment check for our community movie night.
- Attending a wedding reception.
- Helping three different sets of friends move.
- Spending two days exclusively with my daughter.
- Celebrating our anniversary [didn't even have time for the obligatory, "I love my wife" post].
Yeah, I was kinda busy. And I'm kinda tired now. Will probably be asleep by 10:30 tonight.
Someone at church tonight asked me if I was nervous about starting tomorrow, and I'm not at all; I'm more energized by it than anything else. But since Kelly won't officially wrap up her job until the end of the month, we'll be pressing to make it through the next four weeks. The temporary awkwardness surrounding this transition pales in comparison to the benefits of everything involved with it.
It will be awesome.
But gimme a chance to look in the rearview mirror. As I look back at where we've been during the past four years, I see the fingerprints of God all over it.
When we first moved to Walnut Hills, we didn't know how we were going to make ends meet. I was working at Panera, making very little money and feeling exhausted. When I went "full-time" with Echo in January 2006 we still weren't sure how we would make ends meet, and within weeks, we were in the hospital awaiting Kaelyn's birth much earlier than it should have been. The flexibility of my ministry allowed me the opportunity to spend all my time at the hospital with Kelly, helping us keep each other sane. Then, after Kaelyn was born, I got hepatitis, basically shutting me down for weeks. All in all, it was about two months where I was out of commission. What other job could I have held where I could've been there for my family [and still HAVE a job]? And when we finally settled, Kelly was able to work out of the house and it allowed our family to be together all the time. I cannot imagine a bigger blessing than these past few years for our family.
My family is the main thing. Ask anyone who's started a church and they'll tell you that their family time suffers. Mine actually increased. So even as things are changing, that foundation is there and I know for whom I am working. I love my girls, and this is only going to get better.
Additionally, our church has benefited in having me fully devoted to Echo during the past three-and-a-half years. We haven't experienced huge growth, but we have definitely gained momentum. If I had to go bi-vocational the past few years, I'm not sure we're able to keep this thing going. Again, there is now a solid foundation underfoot, people are emerging as leaders, and we're finding our niche in this community.
So while I never could've imagined how things would've turned out, I couldn't have scripted it any better. Tomorrow we turn another page, but I really like how the story has gone so far so I'm not sweating it.
Hi-ho, Hi-ho . . .