Hello

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It’s been awhile and I can’t make any promises.

The blog has been quiet, but life certainly has not been.

I wrote a post on Facebook at the end of September, but never shared it.

Since then, little by little, most people have been updated, but in case you haven’t this happened:

Rocky and I  moved back to Louisville in October of 2017. Rocky has accepted a ministry position at the church we attended while he was a student at Seminary.

Those who know our story may remember that after Seminary, the plan, God willing, was to teach college. Rocky realized last summer that God was saying no to teaching and asking him to stay in ministry.

Six years ago when we moved back to my hometown to be near my parents, we knew that in order for Rocky to have a full time job with benefits, it probably would not be in our small town and would mean possible relocation. We also knew that with Mom’s health and our need to be close to home it would have to be somewhat close.

We kept waiting and all the doors kept closing. We kept saying God has a plan and it’s not the right time. We kept praying for direction and asking God to work out the logistics that were best for everyone. Many of my prayers were a list of what we needed in a job. As if God needed me to tell him.  Then my prayers changed, asking God to send Rocky the job he wanted him to have. Then for awhile I didn’t pray as much, but I kept telling Rocky that God had a plan.

My prayer in recent months had changed and I must confess my attitude as well. I still wanted God to send the job he wanted Rocky to have and I still knew God had a plan.  I trusted Him, but I was growing weary of not knowing and I was still leaning heavy in favor of the college route because I know how hard ministry is and I didn’t feel that I had the stamina for that lifestyle.

However, I began repeating a prayer I had prayed several years earlier while Rocky was still in seminary –  a prayer of submission, a prayer that I was willing to go wherever God sent Rocky. I knew that was a bold thing to do, but I knew I had to be willing even if it meant ministry. I was also praying for Rocky to have clear direction and peace.

I knew we’d be fine where we were if that was the continued answer as it had been for the past five years. I knew God would provide. We loved our students who came for piano, Rocky loved subbing in the local schools and he loved serving as a church pianist.

But, I sensed that God was up to something. I suspected when Rocky started losing more students than he was gaining in the late winter / early spring that there must be a reason. It didn’t feel like we were to recruit more students.  I could feel the winds of change.

At the same time I was praying and waiting, unbeknownst to me, Rocky was having his own struggle with the college vs. ministry route. The day in mid-summer that he told me he knew God wanted him to pursue music ministry I could sense his relief. It was like a burden was lifted.

In just a matter of days a potential job in Louisville appeared on his radar and he emailed our former pastor in Fern Creek to let her know he’d used her as a reference. She responded immediately with, “why not come here?”  We hadn’t considered that we should pursue going there since it wasn’t a full time music position.  But, with that simple, direct question we found ourselves considering and praying.

And so, the journey began: interviewing, figuring out logistics and making plans. It was a whirlwind that happened fast. I almost felt like Dorothy who went to sleep in Kansas and woke up in Oz.

Everything had God’s signature on it and we know that this is his best for us. When we had first moved back home in 2012 we knew there were several things that would have to fall in place if we were to be free to take a job elsewhere.  Things such as benefits, help with Mom so Dad had support, close enough proximity to my parents so we would still be able to support them when needed.  We also needed a teacher for Rocky’s remaining students and we prayed that he’d provide someone to play the music at the church we’d been attending. It seemed like a lot of things had to fall in place, but I knew if anyone could orchestrate what was best for everyone involved, God could. And he did.

God checked all the boxes.  We are only two hours from my parents – I’ve been able to go back and stay with them several times.  Hospice has been great to come in daily to help with Mom and we have recently found someone to help my Dad a couple days a week.  A piano teacher was provided for the students, and they only had to go down the street a few houses. And, he provided a musician for the church where Rocky had been playing on Sunday mornings.

God is faithful and that has never been more evident than in the way we were welcomed back into the family at Fern Creek Baptist Church with open arms.  It was a seamless transition and it felt like we’d never left.  On Sunday mornings when I watch my husband lead worship and direct the choir, I have no doubt that he is fulfilling his calling.  This is the place where God has planted our feet.

The future is in God’s hands and we are trusting him to lead our steps. He has never failed to lead us exactly where we need to be. It is so much easier to follow when you are in complete submission to his sovereign will.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight  — Proverbs 3:5-6

Submitting in Grace,

Teresa

 

 

Rearranging Furniture

chair collage 2

I have come to the conclusion that rearranging furniture  is probably a metaphor for life. We have played musical furniture so many times over the past year and are probably not done yet.  I’m starting to realize that shifting furniture around and making the pieces fit can teach us much about life.  We have to look at our available resources and determine how they can work together to create the space that we need in order to be at our most productive.  This is true of living life to our fullest potential as well as having a home with well-balanced furniture and accessories. Sometimes we have to accept that it might be time for something to go in order to make room.

Liviing Room collage

This has been a year of accepting that God sometimes rearranges our plans.  My husband has been without an official, includes benefits, job for a while now.  Doors have been slamming all over the place.  I finally changed the way I was praying.  I started asking God to send my husband the work he had for him to do rather than asking God to send him the job we thought he needed. I also asked God to give us enough. It’s not the way we thought we’d be living at this point in our lives, but our needs are being met in the space we’ve been given. God is faithful and he does answer prayer.

Music room collage

I have  been looking hard at what I’m supposed to be writing. For a long time I resisted writing about my mom’s Alzheimer’s and how it was rearranging all our lives. I didn’t want that to be my story. But, it is part of my story and it shapes  my voice. To leave it out would not be authentic, so I’ve been rearranging and making space to explore the journey in my writing.

One of the highlights of this past year was when I went to a Writers Barn event and soaked in what Emily Freeman and Christa Wells had to say about our writing voice. Emily said, “Learn to respect the story that’s within you”.  She’s right.  Going forward, that is a lesson I will continue to embrace.

Emily P. Freeman quote

A year is made up of many moments that define our living.  If we can look at those moments and see how the story was written, then we can take the truth from those moments and let them shape the story that is to come.

Rearranging in grace,

Teresa

What lessons have you learned this year?  To read what others have been learning hop on over to Chatting at the Sky.

Constant

If I had to choose one word to describe my dad it would be constant. He is steadfast, faithful, and never wavers. He is the calm in the midst of family storms. As I’ve grown older I have realized just how much his influence has kept me on course. He does not judge, he does not preach, he does not complain, he loves without condition. Simply put he is our families source of strength and one of the Godliest men I know. I love him very much and am so thankful for his influence, acceptance and love. In honor of Father’s Day I have copied a poem I wrote for him in 2007. It was my thoughts about how his strength countered my foibles. I thank God for him and hope I am blessed to have him in my life for many years.

she came into your life a tousled blonde mess;

a little quirky with a mind of her own,

she tried you – often.

life was stormy and irrational.

curious was an understatement.

rebellious goes without saying.

she loved you with complete trust.

you smoothed the tousled mane,

balanced the quirkiness,

calmed her storms,

reasoned with her,

challenged her mind,

tempered the rebelliousness with acceptance

 

she is still all of those things and more

she still loves you with complete trust

your uncompromising love remains a constant in her life

Gracefully,

Sadie