Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Musings


All I can say, looking back at 2008, is, "What a wild ride!"

A year ago, watching a real estate market stopped dead in its tracks, we were waiting a few more weeks to put our house back on the market--for the second time.

We were getting our kids up at 5:45 a.m. every Sunday morning to drive to Wisconsin for church.

Papa Rooster was spending Wednesday evenings with the core team and staying overnight with Our Hero and Mrs. A.

I was washing walls constantly and realizing that yes, we do need to strip the wallpaper in the dining room before we put the house back on the market. Even if it did mean another few days off of homeschooling....

We had so many questions: Would we ever sell our house? Should we step out in faith and buy something in Wisconsin even if our house wasn't sold yet? Should we commit to ten weeks of rehearsals for the next children's theater production? Where will we be in two months? In a year?

And a year later, here we are!

In mid-April, we found an amazing house for a fabulous price, and it seemed clear that we should step forward and make an offer. Three weeks later, the day before we closed on the new house, we accepted an offer on the old one! And four weeks, 9 Oliver performances and one hardwood floor installation later, we moved in.

It was a busy summer of unpacking and checking out our schooling options for the fall. Our two oldest took a summer school class at the local public high school as a trial run, and that experience led us to search for a better option for Blondechick. By God's grace, she ended up at a tiny new charter school that she now loves (despite her initial insistence that we were ruining her life by not sending her to Huge Local High!).

The remainder of the brood were happy to be homeschooled, though hesitant about finding friends in the local homeschool group. But God provided, and through co-op enrichment classes and homeschool gym classes at Carthage College, the Bantams made some good friends which we are so grateful for. And they live nearby!

Our little church plant has grown slowly but solidly, and Papa Rooster and I love the friendships we have with the folks there. Our worship together is a joy, and our small size has so many delights.

Papa Rooster's "day job" has been stressful, with his industry (they provide health care-related data to the government and other businesses) affected by the economy, like all the rest. But we are so grateful for his job and how it provides for our family. And when so many are laying off workers, his company actually hired a man from our church! So now PR has a companion on his 2-hour round-trip commute, and another good friend in his workplace.

A year ago, how could we ever have guessed?

So what does the New Year hold?

Undoubtedly, more than we can ever guess! But at least we know (probably?!) where we'll be living. What a wonderful feeling!

And we know of two big things that seem to be on God's agenda for 2009.

One is a more concerted effort to make our little church known in the community. We are celebrating our 2-year anniversary on Epiphany Sunday, if you can believe it! But we haven't really "launched," as some church planters call it, and in the coming year, we'll be discussing when and how we're going to do that.

The other thing is the starting of a new chapter of our Christian children's theater organization in Kenosha! So far, our family is the connection point for this new venture, and I am helping lay the groundwork. I anticipate that I may be asked to interview for the part-time, work-at-home job of "area coordinator," so I have been praying about whether I should. I am feeling a nudge to go ahead if asked, but I have all kinds of questions for the Lord about how He's going to help me keep all the balls in the air!

But our 2008 experience, like so many other years, has taught me to trust in His answers. They don't always look like the ones I would provide, or in the timing I would pick. But our new house, our new community, the high schools, the homeschool group, and especially our church, are all such wonderful, delightful provisions and places to serve. Better than I could have imagined, and worth the wait!

Now to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,

according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

~Ephesians 3:20


Margaret Cloud said...

Isn't it amazing what a year holds, for you it was a busy one. I am glad you are in your new home, I wish you and your family the best in the coming year. We know God will see us through, we have to believe and trust his word.

Islandsparrow said...

It really was a roller coaster year for you folk - I'm praising God along with you - He has wonderfully provided!

Linds said...

You have had a wonderfully exciting year, Jeanne. God is amazing, when we actually let Him get on with His work! Happy New Year to you all!