My last update, Learning to Live Settled, was posted 6 months ago, but it feels like years ago.
Tony continues to thrive as the Family Pastor at Crosspoint City Church. Most people aspire to and dream about working with a team that compliments your strengths and weaknesses, but Tony is living it. Shout out to Emily Jenkins and Wanda Pursley along with the amazing Crosspoint’s Kids team volunteers. He has had incredible stretching opportunities within his first year at Crosspoint. Recap: Church moved locations; Volunteer numbers needed to double; the church continues to grow and the children’s ministry with it; and this summer’s Kid’s Camp was no exception.
Silas completed his first year at CHS and is now a junior. He went to Guatemala on a mission trip over Spring Break. In April he joined his mother and became a Chick-Fil-A team member. He works Back of House at Chick-Fil-A, scooping up fries, making sandwiches and boxing up nuggets to name a few things. He is playing base 4 drum in CHS marching band and he got his smile back – braces are off!
Sydney is thriving in Sarasota without us. She continues to volunteer at South Shore in the Kids ministry and in the Tech booth. She and Aunt Sue seem to have the perfect roommate scenario. She is now a junior at USF. She has a great intern job along with countless baby sitting and pet sitting jobs. Most importantly, she still desires to see us and visits us as often as her busy schedule allows it. A shout out to our South Shore family who love on her and to those who have adopted her as their own – Smiths, Leighs, Yaxes, Russels, Clippards and Chases to name a few.
Janae – In February, I began a new adventure with a unique job position with the two Chick-Fil-A’s in town as a Leadership Coach. The first three months, I began as a basic team member and completed what I call CFA boot camp. I learned the basics of both front of house and back of house. It was supper taxing physically and I have a whole new appreciation for those in the restaurant business. In June, my focus shifted to full on coaching. While I still serve alongside team members at each store a few times a week, most of my time involves working with both store’s leadership teams. I help them run optimal meetings, meet one on one with each leadership team member helping them to set goals and strengthen their leadership skills. I champion each month’s leadership development focus i.e. July was Stress Management, August is Time Management and September will be Boundaries. I also am working on various projects like developing an intern program. Shout out to the owner, Glenn Jordan, who hired me to help him fulfill his personal mission of unlocking and igniting the potential within people. It has been a whirlwind, but I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and be challenged, while helping individuals lean into who God has created them to be.
Home, a word that has a nice feel to it. Within the past month, we have begun to feel like we can call our house a home. The first week of April while I was in the middle of CFA boot camp and Silas was out of the country, we made our third and final move into our new home. We did not have a kitchen for two months. We continued to live in a temporary situation with boxes everywhere, no kitchen sink or oven, out and around to carport for the fridge, all first world problems, but stressful none the less.
We still have a ton of little things to be completed like a new kitchen window and back splash, front porch, fireplace issues, and new windows along the back of the house – the gigantic ones that take in the beautiful view. Tony and I are in the guest room for now. The master suite addition is put off for a year or so while we recuperate financially from having to take the geometric dome off the house, giving the house a reliable roof and a new A-frame roof line.
After a year, our boxes are finally unpacked and bird feeders are out. I have picked up trail blazing and have completed my first trail behind our house. With each week we decorate a little more and are making our new house a beautiful new home. And bit by bit, we are truly starting to feel settled in.
On a more personal note, I admit to beating myself up and putting pressure on myself to have handled all this uprooted chaos better than I did. I am not for sure why though. Transitions of any kind are difficult. It’s Okay to not feel settled or sad or mad or frustrated. I am learning how our emotions are not bad, but God given signs to tell us something is up. Ignoring our emotions or allowing them to swirl out of control to a point of skewing our perspective is dangerous, but the emotions themselves are messages to be listened to.
I am learning to identify my emotions and feel them and then give them back to God. He helps me see what my emotions are telling me and where I need Him for healing. He helps me reign them back in so they don’t lie to me and I can operate out of what is true over what I feel to be true. The truth over the past year is – we moved three times, each of us began new jobs, a new church, a new school, and a new climate (I miss the FL sun). That was a lot!
“Then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans ….” Jeremiah 29:10, NLT
This is one of the verses that God used to comfort me over this past year. For the life of me, I have NEVER noticed the “bring you home again” part of these familiar set of verses. I clung to this phrase like a baby blanket. Home can have many different connotations.
I know my true home is in the presence of God and in this sense; I am always home. Home also emerges out of years of developing deeper relationships. In this type of home a shelter is replaceable, people are irreplaceable. But there is something to be said for a place one returns to for rest and nourishment, a place to be at ease and be refueled, a place to look forward in returning and are relieved to finally be home; this kind of home is important too.
God has reminded me of His presence is my true home. He is showing me glimmers of new relationships and the beauty of staying connected with former relationships. God has graciously given us a physical place we can retreat too, catch our breath and once again open up to become a place where community happens. God has been faithful in bringing us home again.
From Geometric Dome to A – Frame
Living Room – let the walls come down!
Silas’ Loft – inside the dome to A line
Was Master Bath now Guest Bathroom & Guest Room closet
Throne room to closet