I apologize for the group email - I just want to make sure that you all are brought up to date as much as possible...although today is a low key day, I started this last night (and fell asleep writing it!)
The trip out was uneventful and fine, and we arrived in Springdale at the apartment as scheduled on Sunday. Packing the truck in Henderson was such a chore (even with our two son in law's help - which was great!!) that by the time we'd arrived, Mark didn't want to unload it- then to have to load the truck back up and unload it to move into the house. When UHaul only had units for us to use that weren't even close to each other, Mark made the decision to not unload the truck - so all my stuff, even the stuff I'd hoped to use these 2 weeks in the apartment - is still packed up.
The house in Henderson didn't close as scheduled last Friday, but they are scheduled to close sometime within the week. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the new homeowners. :( We are good to go though, so we can close as scheduled on Friday. :) YAY!! Since we closed with the relocation company before we moved, any delays in closing with the buyer won't affect us. If the house ended up going back on the market (which I don't foresee) we don't have anything to do with it! The relocation company is even responsible for the payments now...so we're free from all of it.
Fellowship wise, we have made some positive steps with New Heights Church. We are taking the "Discovery" class to get into a small group - and although the curriculum looks like a new believer booklet, the pastor says it's just meant to make sure that everyone there is on the same page, since some come from other doctrines and denominations. I get that. They also launch their groups (for the most part) from there - because they share intimately where God has brought you from, the groups generally feel more connected - so they stay together as a small group afterwards. Since each ministry leader takes a turn as being a part of each group, it's also a good time for everyone to get to know them (and vice versa). Funny how that "change my heart, change their heart, change the circumstances" prayer works out. It really softened my heart towards this "step" - as I saw it as a way for them to get to know us better too.
Once we are through that, there will be several areas of ministry for us to serve, as God leads. We'll see where He opens doors and fits us in.
Besides the small group pastor (who took us to breakfast before church on Sunday) we haven't really met anyone. We have connected with the young couple we know there, and another college student - the daughter of a long time friend - who *just happens* to go there. Outside of the church I have been able to connect with a few other girls and one woman my age that we've known from living in SW MO - but they all live in AR now.
Here in the apt complex I haven't met anyone (nor has Mark)...there's a young family that lives in the building next door that I was able to engage in conversation with the mom yesterday as I walked Abbey (she likes their cat that acts like a dog). There's a college age girl that lives next door (Mark saw her once), but we only hear each other coming in and out of the apartment, and because of Abbey I can't leave the door open :(
I hope that moving into the new neighborhood, things will open up...but I also realize that it's coming into fall, and folks will merge indoors over the winter months. Still, I will be committed to prayer walking the neighborhood, and hope to have some sort of schedule to do that so women that are home will be able to tell that at *this time every day* I walk by with Abbey. Maybe some brave soul will step outside and I trust God to build friendships there, and I hope ministry opportunities too!!
Mark is still loving his job, the new areas he is getting involved in (different and new things like marketing, and older things in his career, like bagging - which was his background, even before poultry!!) and still able to "dabble" in the operations of making a plant (well, THREE plants) run well. Mark's a team player all the way!! He and Barry (his boss/co-worker) are in Sedalia this week...and next...but they are coming back Thursday night or Friday morning, so Mark will be here in time for closing on Friday (and moving!). They pretty much make everything fit into a normal work day (well, 8-10 hours) and when he travels, he's almost always going to be home on weekends - a huge change after 20 years of working every weekend!! I have to get to know him all over again!! We've even been playing backgammon again! I might have to break out a puzzle! :)
I'm still not sure what God has for me...work wise...writing wise...nothing solid. I continue to blog, and will be sharing a new community online with one of my friends in IN through (in)courage - I'm not how much time that will take, and not sure where that will lead. My heart is burdened with Missionary Care, praying and encouraging - and I hope to get to Joplin soon to connect with a few people and ministries there. I keep feeling a little pull to spend a season in some sort of "regular" job - to help put some roots down here and branch out in friendships too. I just need to quiet myself to hear Him on this, and look for Him to open a door...or not. Maybe it's going to be a season of enriching our marriage, and me going with Mark when he's on the road those few days a month. We'll see!!
Well, I should get going! I need to catch up on some reading, and am having a stay at home day today (reading and old movies, relaxation!) - then tomorrow a media free day - a fast of sorts - and I've got packing and cleaning to do (a general theme these past few months) to prepare for our move out of here, and some blogging to do too!! :) Of course, I have to balance all of this with Abbey around me ankles, walking and playing with her (she's been like a puppy, playful and funny, since we arrived here!!).
In case you didn't see on Facebook - our son Jason got engaged this past weekend!! He and Shannon Harrison will be married in the spring! She's a delightful young woman, loves God and has a heart for missions, and is a nursing student in Springfield, MO (a few hours from here). Pray for them during this crazy season in life! Pray too that they can stand firm in their faith and their relationship while he travels and she is in school, there's a lot to balance and keep God first!
I love you, and miss your company/fellowship, and appreciate your prayers - as God leads you to pray for us!! And send me your prayer requests too!! :)
Grace and peace,
Grace and peace,
(ps- I'm really missing my daughters and grandkids, so extra prayers there please.)