Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Accordions, Jelly Beans, and Sunshine

Spring is finally starting to poke it's head around the corner! We've had temperatures in the 60's and sun all week with today being in the 70's. Let's just say that I am wearing shorts and flip flops and I painted my toenails. It's a good day!


Life is continuing to move along at a fast pace. This past Sunday was Anthony's first leading worship "on stage" (I put that in quotes because the piano is actually not on the stage). It was Palm Sunday as well, so it was quite a debut. If there is any fault with this church it is simply that they are too loving, too kind, and too excited. I'm going to have to work hard to keep Anthony's head deflated because everyone just loves him. On a serious note, it's so encouraging to be so accepted and loved. And it's great to be working with a team of people that are excited to have a leader.

Since I last wrote, Anthony has had a birthday. He's now officially 23. He was blessed enough to have Kathy bring in her accordion to church and play Happy Birthday for him! Definitely an experience he has never had before. We enjoyed going out to eat to celebrate and then had a relaxing Sunday afternoon. We spent the evening at the Skalbeck's with Kathy, Jen, Ben, and Lyn. We had pizza and a jelly bean taste testing contest. Laci, if you read this, it was hard for me to eat the jelly beans because I had all sorts of flashbacks to the every flavor beans! It was a fun evening and we felt very blessed to have such fun friends in our lives already.

I don't really have too much else to say. Nothing else too exciting has been going on. I have my sub classes next week. It seems as though every week I am confronted with another annoying aspect of getting my sub license. This week, for example, I received some info in the mail directing me to the local police station to get fingerprinted. Really? I need to actually get fingerprinted to be a sub. On top of that, in small print in the corner of the paperwork it says that processing could take up to 12 weeks. 12 weeks! I don't know if I actually have to wait for it to be processed before I can sub, but I'm setting myself up for the fact that I might not be able to teach before the end of the school year. But I'm keeping an eye out for other opportunities to either supplement subbing or to do instead. We'll see if anything works out.


Well, I should get going. Anthony comes home in about 15 minutes and he has the afternoon off. We're going to eat at the Market (Greek restaurant) and go for a bike ride!

Much love,
Em

Friday, March 26, 2010

How Do You Do it All?

How do you do it all? This was the question I was asking myself last night. How do we do everything that we want to do in life. How do we travel, get higher education, maintain jobs in ministry, save up for a house, and (eventually) start a family? I suppose most of those questions need to have the 'we' replaced with 'I.' Though Anthony has those questions as well, I feel a little more like my time is running out than he does. Here's where I become vulnerable and honest with you all, so please love and accept me :)

Knowing that I will, at some point, most likely, be a mom, I sometimes feel as though I have to do everything before I have kids. I have this complex where I want everything and yet at the same time I don't know what I want. I'm ambitious. I would like some sort of career. But on the other hand, I want to be a pastor's wife and a mom. How do I combine the two?? I guess the real question is what do I really want. I would love to go for more schooling. But if I don't have a job in mind for after that schooling, is it a waste of money? Part of me would still love to live overseas at some point. But we just moved to this awesome place where I'm sure we will be for a while. And of course, at some point I would love to have an actual house to live in. How does this all fit in? Am I the only woman who thinks about these things?


These questions come to me as I think about what I want to do here in Okoboji. Yes, I am signed up to become a substitute. That's all well and good, but I don't think that's all I want to do with the rest of my life. But then comes the age old question of, "what is?" What do I want to pursue and when do I want to do it? There's more of me that wants out and wants to change the world and wants to do something, but I don't know what that is.

When these thoughts start running through my head, I know I have to be reminded to trust. Trust that there are a lot of years ahead of me (I'm only 24!) and that God is going to do a lot with those years. I also have to remind myself that it's not all over once we start a family. Yes, it will be harder. Yes, things might be put off. But when the time comes, we will just have to make those decisions. I'm trying to focus on the here and now and figure out how I can invest in this community. Where do I fit in right now?

But some nights my mind starts wandering into the future. About all I want to do and about how to make it happen. Sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes it just seems exciting. Right now, however, I need to trust and keep walking forward in faith.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Month #1

It's hard to believe that we've almost been here for a month already! It really doesn't feel as though that much time has passed! Between moving and meeting people and Anthony starting his job the time just flew!


This past Sunday was Anthony's Installation Sunday. Basically, the pastor/the church recognized Anthony's calling and it was like an affirmation and acceptance into the ministry of Good News. The church also prayed over us. After the service, there was a meet and greet reception where we got to meet a lot of the congregation. I'm definitely not used to being at a bigger church and I think it will take me a while to remember names. Usually I'm the one who does better with the whole name thing, but I have to hand it to Anthony... he's been awesome at that! Anyways, it's so awesome to have a body of people so excited to have us here. The support has been so appreciated and so affirming!

Today the sun is shining for the 2nd day in a row! When we first got here, the sun shone every day for at least a week. We got spoiled, I guess because then the area became overcast and filled with this dense fog. So dense that driving was difficult and you couldn't really see in front of your face. The fog lasted for over a week (though it varied from being extremely dense to just misty). It was getting kind of depressing! But yesterday the sun came out again and warmed the place up to a balmy 50 degrees (I don't want to hear it from you Mishawaka people! It's not fair that Indiana gets warm once we leave!). Anthony and I took advantage of the sun and went for a bike ride yesterday. It was nice to get some exercise and just be outside. Definitely makes me excited for summer when we can ride the bike trails and see the lakes.

As for me, I've been keeping myself busy. I officially signed up for a class to get certified to substitute teach! It's 3 days in Sioux City, so that should be interesting. I'm curious what they will have to teach me. I've also been helping Anthony a little bit at the church. He has me sorting through boxes of files of old music and organizing it all. Fun stuff. But I kind of like it. Also, I am ashamed to admit that Anthony (and Brett) convinced me to try out a video game on the x-box. I've started Kotor and it's kept me busy this week as well. Oh dear.

Our nights are filling up more and more as well. We went to a high school jazz concert in which the jazz bands and show choirs performed. The choir directors go to the church and the pastor's daughter was in the show choir and vocal jazz group. They did a great job and the facility that they perform in is gorgeous! Last night was church as usual. Tonight we are going over to Chad and T.J.'s (Chad is the associate pastor), so that should be a lot of fun. He is graciously having us over even though he has a couple of papers due this week AND is preaching this Sunday. Tomorrow we are going out a handful of couples from the church, so that should be a lot of fun as well. It will be good to get to know some people better.

Oh and we got our first wedding invitation of the season! Ben and Jen are getting married April 24th (Ben is the interim worship director and also the pastor's son... we've hung out with them a lot and they are great people), so they will be our first wedding in the Okoboji area!

Well this is getting long, so I should probably go. Indiana friends, keep the weekend of May 8th in the back of your minds... it's the weekend of my brother's graduation and we might be coming back for a visit. We still have to work out the details, but we're trying to make it happen.

Much love,
Em

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Neighbor Downstairs

So I have a slightly embarrassing but humorous story to share about "meeting" one of our neighbors.

Last Monday morning I was woken up by Anthony calling to tell me that a plumber was on the way. We had been having some problems with our water heater (mainly that the water would not stay hot enough for 2 showers. After a couple weeks of cold showers, I thought we should contact our landlord). Anthony contacted our landlord and she told us she would look into a plumber for us. Well, apparently Monday morning was the day!

I jumped out of bed and scrambled to put myself together as much as I could (it wasn't much) before he arrived. I always think it's a bit awkward when someone comes to fix something or work on your house. I made some small talk, but mostly just let him work on the water heater. With the plumber there, there wasn't much I could do so I settled on the couch with a book and waited. Well at some point I heard this knock on the door. It was this older lady (maybe in her 60's??). I had no idea who it was, and I was afraid that it was the condo association upset that the plumber had parked where he wasn't supposed to.

This lady was not the grandmotherly, gentle type. She was obviously upset and kind of gruff (that's the best I can think of to describe her). I opened the door and the first thing she says is, "Do you have a plumber working here?" Still have no idea who she was I responded, "Yes, we've been having some problems with our water heater." To which she says, "Well, I have water leaking in my condo." I quickly realized that she must be a neighbor and let her in.

She immediately walked past me and into the room with the water heater. She conversed with the plumber for a while and walked out.

That was it. She left and I didn't even have the chance to introduce myself!

I felt horrible. I don't even know what ended up happening with the leak. If it was the plumber's fault or her own problem. A few days later I was making some chocolate chip cookies and I decided to be a brave and good neighbor. I put some on a plate and walked down to properly introduce myself. Unfortunately she wasn't home, so I left the plate with a note on it.

I wish the story ended here, but it doesn't. I realized the next day that she still had not noticed the plate of cookies by the door. They were still sitting there in the cold, outside. They stayed there for a couple of days. Finally I noticed they were taken in and I felt relieved, though a little silly. The cookies could hardly taste any good after being outside for so long. But at least she got the sentiment.

Well, yesterday Anthony and I got home from church and we noticed people outside of the condo directly underneath ours. Let's just say that it was NOT the lady who had come in complaining about the leak!!! She must live in the condo on the bottom floor but not directly underneath us. (there are 4 condos in a building)! So now some stranger who we have NOT met yet received cold, hard cookies for something they have no idea about. I still have yet to see the old lady again. Oh dear.

I am now seriously debating if I want to try and meet more neighbors. I think it might be best for all involved if I stay inside and keep to myself ;)

Anyways, a more serious post to come later.

Love,
Em

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Week

Anthony has made it through his first week with flying colors! And so have I, I suppose. It's hard to believe that the week is practically over. It went by so fast! I probably shouldn't be speaking for Anthony, but since I have the time and the desire to blog I will :)


He's been loving the job so far. I could tell when he came home for lunch on Monday (his first day) that he was pumped. The transition has been going smoothly so far, and he's brimming with ideas and all sorts of things he can bring to the ministry. Most of his week has been spent getting acclimated to the office, the church, and the people. He's also started planning for Palm Sunday and Easter which will be his first 2 weeks on stage officially taking over for Ben (the interim worship director who is working alongside Anthony this month). Everyone has been really great so far and I think he will have a fun team of people to work with.

Wednesday was kind of a fun and different day. Since Anthony will be having worship practice on Wednesday nights, he comes home for lunch and stays. He then goes back around 5:00 and is there for the evening. It was fun to have him around for the afternoon, and I went with him to watch the worship practice in the evening. Eventually I will probably start attending a class that's held on Wednesday nights, but I figured I would hold off for another week.

This week for me has been a fine line between enjoying the time to myself and being lonely. For the most part, I've been fine. There's little projects that I can be working on. And there are always books to be read. But I don't do well without, well, something to do. I feel guilty like I should be doing something or doing more. But I know the time is short where I will have nothing to do, so I'm trying to embrace it. I have some numbers to call for information about subbing. hopefully next week I will have some more answers.

As for this weekend, we shall see what it holds. Tomorrow is technically Anthony's day off, so hopefully it will mostly stay that way. We have no plans yet, but I'm wanting to get out of the house a little and do something. Unfortunately, there's no mall to walk around in and it's cold. We also don't have an abundance of money until the pay checks start coming in. So maybe it will end up being a night in instead :)

Alright, I'm outta here for now.

Much love!
Em