I wanted to check in and let you all know what's been going on. I haven't forgotten about you, but we are going through a season of change and I haven't quite figured out what my blogging schedule will look like in all of that. Here's what's going on:
As you know, it's summer. I've graduated one son (Cal) and have two at home. I'm trying to keep them busy this summer, but with this Texas heat, we spend most of our daylight hours indoors. The perpetual teacher that I am, this involves a lot of reading and some other "school work" to keep them in practice. Every season is a season to learn.
I've also started working. It's a part time job at a Texas grocery store chain, HEB. Any Texan will tell you, it is the PREMIERE grocery store here and so far has been a great company to work for. I am doing product demonstrations and also (when I'm lucky) I get to do some cooking demonstrations. If you know me at all you know I find that incredibly fun and it's something I'm good at as well. I interviewed for so many jobs and thought I had a fancy one at a downtown law firm, but, ultimately, they weren't convinced I'd be willing to do the commute long term. As much as I wanted that job, I am grateful to have not had to give up my entire summer with the kids. My schedule is flexible and I'm off some weekdays. I am working more weekends, but that's OK too and as it's super busy, the time passes really quickly.
As usual, I am always looking for more opportunities to write. Part of why I've been away from here is because I've been writing for a website that actually pays me (www.slumpedover.com)! I can't tell you what that means to someone who hopes to one day earn her living writing. It's been a fun blessing to know that what I hash out on the computer is actually worth money to someone. As most writers, my ultimate goal is to change the world, but, some cash money in the meantime never did hurt.
As I mentioned above, my eldest son, Cal, graduated. It was a sweet time for us to see him close this chapter in his life and move on to more grown up ventures. He's working at a tire shop right now and is in the process of starting to train to work on tug boats in the Galveston Bay. Cal has always been a hard worker and one to give it his all when working with his hands. He's very creative too and not much cut out for traditional education. Of course, this college educated mama wants to see him follow in her footsteps, but, mostly I want to see him pursue whatever gifts God has given him. I trust that he's doing what he thinks is best for him and know that he will excel in whatever field he chooses to pursue. I'm proud of Cal and look forward to watching the journey my incredible God takes him on. It will be the ride of his life no matter what that looks like.
DJ is raising money right now to head off to Tacoma for a week in July. He will be participating in the Immerse program put on by Soma Communities, a church in the Tacoma area. The emphasis of the program is to teach high school and college students how to live out the Gospel in a missional way. Soma is known for the way it has trained it's members to live life seamlessly between their neighborhoods and their church communities resulting in the ability to share the Gospel in a way that makes sense to the people they are living life with. It's a different experience than what we are used to in the Church and I am eager for him to come back and teach us all he has learned. He is also looking to apply his knowledge at his high school so he can enter into relationship with other students and lead them towards a life changing relationship with Christ. (If you are interested in helping him with this trip please let me know.)
Ephram is just himself, being six it all its glory. Some days he doesn't get dressed until the late afternoon and I don't mind at all. When it cools in the evening, we take him to the pool to burn off some energy. During the day, he reads his books, plays his games and enjoys the leisurely pace summer brings. When I asked him the other day what his favorite part of summer was, he said, "Not going to school, of course!"
James is traveling a lot lately. We pray regularly for him to find a job that will not take him away from home. Until then, we endure. Thank goodness for Skype and unlimited evening minutes on the cell phones. It's a struggle to stay connected when he's gone, but we do our best. It will be even more challenging as I will be working most weekends, but we trust the Lord to keep our family connected as we pursue excellence in all we do.
And me. I am turning 39 tomorrow. I've had all kinds of thoughts about what this last year in my thirties will mean. I have visions of where I want myself to be when I turn forty and, Lord willing, I will accomplish some of that this year. I try to remind myself when setting these goals that if it weren't for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I would have accomplished nothing so far. And, because that is so, I am a work in progress. I will step, in faith, into each place He lights on the path in front of me. I hope that means more writing and more sharing His work in my life. I hope that means getting to know my neighbors and sharing Christ with them. I hope that means growing in my relationship with Jesus and in my relationships with my family. I hope it means setting aside the things that weigh me down and keep me from running the race. I pray that means becoming a woman grounded in His Grace for me and generous in His Grace for others. I hope to grow a little and I pray to learn a lot.
I hope you all are well. I will return soon, Lord willing. Keep us in your prayers and know that you are in His hands.
Love to you all,