Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ok, it's been a while...

Hahaha! I told you that I wasn't very good at this! I haven't been on here since May and boy, have things changed! Chris and I had been feeling for some time that God had bigger and better things in store for us and Chris was really being led to be a Senior Pastor. We spent so much time praying and there were times that I felt like we were on a roller coaster ride, which I must say that I strongly dislike, real or emotional! I remember one day, Chris came home and had changed his mind about what we should do again...and I told him that I couldn't ride this ride with him anymore! He just needed to figure out what we were going to do and then let me know whether to pack or not! Aaaaahhhhh.

Well, we packed and we packed...and we packed. I have now decided that we need to move every couple of years just so that we don't acquire so much junk!!! Ten years and three babies later...we had no idea how stuff we had to pack but we do now! Haha. Here is the story of our journey to Chandler Friends Church in Chandler, Oklahoma. That's right, I said OKLAHOMA! We are Okies now!

Back in April, I think it was, we were in Friendswood, Texas for the Junior High Bible Quiz Finals and Chris was talking to Todd, a member of Chandler Friends Church. They were chatting about how Chris was feeling like it was time to move on from his role at Rose Hill Friends as youth pastor. Chris explained that he wasn't sure whether God was calling him to be a senior pastor or if he was calling us to be youth pastors somewhere else. Chris and I both felt that if we were to go to another youth pastor position, that we would probably look for one that was needing a new program built or one that had experienced a bad situation and was needing some repairs, if you will. Chandler had been without a YP for about a year and a half at the time and none of the YP's had been there very long so Chris and I had been KINDA considering it but not really. Haha. Todd then went back to Chandler and mentioned his and Chris' conversation with the Senior Pastor Homer. I am not sure but I assume that Homer then talked to Sam, the clerk of the church, about us and Sam then sent Chris an email just asking if that email address was a good one. Haha! Chris assumed that they were contacting us about coming to interview for the youth pastor position so we kinda dismissed all of it, at the time we weren't all that interested in the job. God had other plans. The very next day, the MAYM-EFC superintendent, contacted Chris to let him know that Homer had resigned from Chandler Friends Church and to let us know that he was sending our resume to several churches that were looking for a senior pastor, including Chandler. Sam continued to try to call us about coming down to Chandler to interview and Chris has since admitted to avoiding his calls, we just weren't feeling it, I guess. And we had been talking seriously about Haviland, since the Senior Pastor position was open there too. Imagine being so wonderfully close to my parents, Stacy, Jeremie & Jace, Chris' grandma Lucy and Chris' aunt and uncle, not to mention all the wonderful friends that we have there also! It was very enticing for sure!

It was not very long after our resume was sent to Chandler that Chris just didn't feel it was right, so he called Sam back and withdrew our names from the consideration list. Much to the dismay of many people at Chandler, so much so that one individual called Chris and wanted to know why!!! Haha! I think that Chris had just kinda freaked out about it all personally but don't ever tell him that! :D After the conversation with the individual from Chandler and several other wise people, we decided to at least go interview...we had no idea we would leave our hearts in Oklahoma.

We got to Chandler on Saturday, June 14th and Sam and his son, David, met us at the church. We unloaded some of our stuff at the Youth Pastor parsonage, where we would be staying that weekend and were pleasantly surprised by a wonderful basketful of goodies from the same family that had called Chris after he withdrew our names! I had been just telling Chris on the trip down from Kansas that I could really use some chocolate and guess what was included in the basket??? CHOCOLATE! God knows the little desires of our hearts! Sam and David then took us to the Senior Pastor parsonage so that we could have a look around. Homer and Lois were in the process of packing but were gracious enough to let us look around. As we were leaving Homer and Lois pulled us back and then explained that they knew the church was in need of and ready for change and that he also knew that he wasn't the pastor to bring about that change. He told us that he knew the minute Todd came back and told him of his conversation with Chris that his time here at Chandler Friends was done and that Chris and I were the ones. Homer had then turned in his resignation and started praying for us in this process. Amazing how God works!!!

Sam and David then took us on a tour of Chandler and we were pleased to find that it was about the size of Rose Hill and even more surprised to find out that there was a Walmart Supercenter in town! Chris and I both felt very much at home from the very beginning and it was easy to see ourselves living in Chandler. I know that Chris was still a little nervous about the interview that afternoon but it went just as smoothly and they were able to answer all our questions. After the interview, we went to the all church BBQ out at the church pavilion and got to meet even more people from the church. So many names and faces to remember, it was quite overwhelming but fun all at the same time. Chris is a die hard Jayhawk fan and it was quite funny when we were told we could sit in a pair of chairs...they just happened to be OU chairs and Chris was quick to tell them that he would most definitely NOT be sitting in those chairs. Haha! One of the things we were concerned about was how the boys would feel about moving to a new state, new church and new schools but we were so happy to realize that we never saw them the whole night! Isaac was on the sand volleyball court the entire time and Ian was playing with some other kids and neither one even came to eat, that I saw anyway. And if you know my Ian, he is always hungry!

Chris did an awesome job preaching Sunday morning and we were told later how great it was to watch people actually listening to the sermon, not sleeping or texting back and forth. After church, we were invited out to Todd and Debbie's house for lunch with their family and Debbie's parents, David and Mae (a whole other story to be told, for sure!) After lunch, our plan was to go back to the YP house, pack our things and then head home. I guess God had other plans...we only made it 2 miles north of town when I was pushing on the gas pedal and nothing was happening. I pulled over and Chris said there was coolant pouring out from underneath the engine. We decided to turn around and park on the other side of the road in the shade so that Chris could try to find out what was going on. As we pulled over on the other side, Chris phone rang and Todd asked us if we were having car trouble. Ummm, yeah. Todd said he would be there in just a minute to bring me and the kids back to his house while the boys worked on the car. After getting off the phone, Chris came around to my window and asked me if I had called Todd? Nope. How did he know that we were broke down? Then there was the question...did he know where we were at? As it turned out, Debbie had passed us on the side of the road just after we pulled over and had called Todd, letting him know that we were on the side of the road. As we sat there waiting for him, I told Chris that maybe God didn't want us leaving just yet. Isaac piped up from the back seat, "Maybe God wants us to move here!" Out of the mouths of babes. I told Isaac that I hoped God didn't mind if I went home and got my stuff first! It turned out to be a coolant hose that came off and so it was a simple fix. It wasn't hard to decide to just stay another night and go home in the morning. We got to enjoy hearing the kids camp reports that night at church and then went to eat pizza for dinner with Sam and his family. We found out that night that Emma really took to Paul, Sam's other son! Haha! Monday morning, it was just as hard to leave. OK, break time. And I think Emma is awake from her nap. More to come!