Friday, May 11, 2012

11 more days

Oh. My. Goodness!

It's been forEVER since I've updated this thing.

So much has happened!

On April 8th, we got to move into our finished house! It's been awesome. We had Mission Joplin help us move. They rented a U-Haul, and about 10 kids (okay, 18-20yr olds) showed up and just loaded that sucker up and moved us. It only took one truck load... Just to put into perspective how little we own now.

Anyway, being at home has been... weird. I've said how weird it's been all year. Yeah. It's been good. My view of the neighborhood is bittersweet. I can see for what feels like forever. It's like living in town, but in the middle of nowhere at the same time. There are only 4 houses on my block (not counting the one for sale, or the townhouses at the end of the street) and one of those 4 is being rebuilt. I think there are only 3 of us who were here before the tornado. And construction starts early. For me, anyway. I cant seem to sleep past 9am. Which isnt so bad for most people, except that I work until 3am sometimes. So after winding down and going to bed at 4am, 9am comes pretty fast.

So, we're finally almost finished with everything. Bank stuff is pretty much done, which means I get to shop for a couch soon. And build a deck. Our backyard was fenced in this week, as well as everything being seeded. Now we just have to water, water, water. My poor dog only got to enjoy her backyard for a few hours before we had to start watering the seed... which will make my yard mud for about 2 weeks. Back to walking her across the street to use the potty.

Matt planted a spruce tree that my uncle got us. It's very tiny in my backyard. So much so that it makes me giggle to see it out there all by itself. And I have other plants barely hanging on in pots, just waiting to be planted in flower beds, and my grandmother has ordered me peonies... I think those will go in the corner to hide all the electrical boxes and such. And I want a couple raised beds for gardening in. But that can wait. I wont be able to garden this year at all, most like.

So yeah, the house is great. It's almost the same layout as before. We gained about 100sq feet by adding a room where our deck used to be, and that gave us room for a second bathroom, walk-in closets, and about 2 feet in the kitchen (which we happened to have about 6 people in last week, and no one got in eachother's way!).

Storm season is here(ish) and it's been weird. I believe that we live in the safest area of Joplin... the chances of a tornado touching down in our area are slim to none. That brings a bit of comfort on stormy nights. However, many people are letting their fears rule their lives, and it's heart breaking. So many posts on facebook about being scared, or clutching weather radios, or updating weather minute by minute.... it's really hard to deal with. My daughter is dealing with it okay. She knows mentally that we're very safe, however, her body freaks out on her, and shakes with fear. So many people have become obsessed with the weather. Pray for healing for Joplin.

In 11 more days, it will have been a whole year since the tornado.  What I have experienced this year is beyond explaination. Love, community, trust, control, strength and patience have all been tested. Lessons taught and learned. Fears expressed and overcome. Relationships strengthened and opportunity lies ahead.

Almost one year ago, my heart broke for this city. For friends. For family.

I know this is where I belong. There is no doubt in my mind.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Look! It's a house again!!

I know that I've totally neglected updating for awhile... sorry about that. Alot has been happening!!

We've been very busy with house related stuff.  Picking out colors and floors and tile and brick, and then just watching it all come together.

Much of this has been fun. Picking out floors and paint colors.

Some has been a pain in the rear. Fighting with the water company (they wanted to back-bill us for water that leaked for days after the storm!!) and waiting for the electric company to come dig a line to our house from the backyard (yay for underground lines!) and then hook it up a week later.

It's been really neat to go visit our new home, to see the progress throughout the week. It looks more like a house every time I go there. I can start seeing where furniture will go, what rooms will look like. I even cant wait to go buy a new Shark so that I can clean my beautiful new hardwoods and ceramic tile!

Other than house stuff, we've been reading a book called "You Can Change" by Tim Chester with our community group, which also ties into our sermon series at church "God Is."  God is great! God is glorious! God is good! God is gracious! All of these things I want to etch on my soul. I know how good God is. I've learned a lot about that this year. And one thing that has stood out for me the most is that God uses every single situation to benefit us. To grow us, to change us. So that we might realize how good he is, and that he's got everything under control. Always.

I have a prayer for my house. That it would be just a house. That I wont worship it, and squander it and keep it closed off to everyone except myself and my own pleasure. I want God to use this house for his glory! I want to invite people in! Neighbors, friends, family. I want to feed volunteers dinner! I want to host/lead community groups there! I want to fill it up with love, not just more crap that will deteriorate, collect dust, or be blown away in a storm. Love cant be blown away. Love endures forever.

Someday when everything looks like Joplin did on May 22nd... maybe someone will stand on the spot where my house used to be, and know the love that was there.

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Disney World!

We just got home from a much needed vacation this Friday.
We got to go to Disney World!
Our pastor sat us down one afternoon and told us that the church wanted to send us out of town. "Your church loves you very much and would like to send your family to Disney World." Not the exact words, but close enough. I cried.

So after a nasty week at work, with Black Friday and Kohls opening at midnight, working 17hrs that day, plus another 9 the night afterwards, I was ready for our trip on Monday.

We arrived in Orlando at our resort around 230pm. Got our "key to the world" and went! Went to Epcot first, rode all the space stuff. Most of our dinner reservations were in Epcot, so we spent a lot of time there before and after dinner. Epcot was really fun, and even with as much time as we spent there, we still didnt even see everything! My favorite ride there was Soarin'.

After dinner that night we went and closed down the Magic Kingdom. They were open till 1am. We got Jade to ride Thunder Mountain, and she loved it. And Beth was right, something about seeing Cindarella's Castle all lit up brought tears to my eyes. It truly felt like a dream.

The next day we woke up and went to Hollywood. Lots of simulators in Disney these days. They mess with my stomach, but you have to try everything at least once, right? Hollywood was neat, lots of shows to see. The Rock n' Roller Coaster,  was scary-awesome. I think we all walked off of that one thinking "Holy crap!" If you can ride that one, you can do any coaster in the park.

"The coaster accelerates from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds (making this the second-fastest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, behind only Test Track and the fastest ride at Disneyland Paris). The riders experience 4.5g (44 m/s2) as they enter the first inversion, more than an astronaut does on a space shuttle launch" -wikipedia

Wednesday we went to the Animal Kingdom. Lots of walking, lots of animals. A couple of neat rides and shows. Safari stuff. Rapid rivers ride, where Matt got soaked (and had to walk around in wet pants all day, poor guy). The Everest ride... whoa. I walked off of that thing and thought I was gonna be sick. THe dinosaur ride was awesome!! It made me laugh a lot. Make sure you're in the front row for that one. Haha.

Thursday we spent almost the whole day at the Magic Kingdom. I've been to Disneyland a few times, and Magic Kingdom is exactly the same, but a little bigger. It brought back memories as we sat through the cheesy Tiki Room show, and Country Bear Jamboree. Rode Thunder Mountain a few more times. Loved the old-school Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Carribean.

We had so much fun. And the best part was that it was just us, enjoying each other and the sites around us, without being rushed. Just being. Going where ever, whenever.  I thought in the middle of the week that we would be there forever, and on the last day was sad that it was already over. It was such a great experience, and I'm so glad that we got to go.