Here’s what has been going on in our life lately…
Dan was gone last week to Summit, a conference for Christian educators in Dayton, Tennessee (near Chattanooga). Dan said it was interesting being the only youth pastor and one of the only people from a church (the rest were Christian school teachers or homeschool parents). He took in an immense amount of information, while letting go of a LOT of sweat! He said it was 110 degrees there one day! He got back Friday night and at 4:45am he left for the Cadet canoe trip with our church. He was so bummed that he was going to miss it, but he ended up making it all work by driving up with his brother Saturday morning. Dan, the former raft guide, still loves the water and just having fun. He sure was in his element.
While Dan was gone, it gave me the opportunity to work more, get a few things done around the house, and work on some projects I’ve been wanting to get done for awhile now. I was blessed though because I was able to talk to him every night about what he learned that day, so that when he came home, it wasn’t information overload.
This week has been all prep for next week, when we leave on our youth group mission trip to Newark, New Jersey! We went there last year and many of the kids wanted to go back, so we thought, why not? It is nice knowing in advance what to prepare for and what to expect. We always go on a “new” trip, so this is nice at least knowing a little now. We know it is about a 13 hour drive (Google says 11, but with 3 vans and 20 people, it takes longer!). We know it’s going to be HOT. We know we are going to be loving on kids. We know how to navigate (somewhat) New York City. We plan on going there on Sunday after church, which we are really excited about again. Last time one of our leaders Mike, just took the reigns of the transportation issues, and we made it to where we wanted to go everytime. It is absolutely NUTS though, trying to take (then 14 people) a big group around NYC on Subways. For instance, we didn’t realize you could only buy 4 subway passes on one credit card. That made it VERY interesting, since we had 14 people. Now we know how to work around that. We know what is good to see and where to spend the most time.
Some things we are looking forward to next week? Hugging and loving on all the kids we met last year and getting to know the new kids in the summer camp. Being in Newark – with planes flying in water balloon slingshot distance, it is unexplainable. Maybe we will try to videotape it! And I don’t just mean 1 or 2 – I mean one every 5 – 10 minutes at times. We are also looking forward to getting closer as a group. Dan has always said that the mission trip kind of sets the tone for the year as a group, and does it ever! The inside jokes we have coming out of spending 26 hours in vehicles together and being with each other for a whole week, it is truly one bonding experience! And most of all, we are excited to see what God has already planned out for us while being in Newark. He already knows the roadmap and we are excited to just follow it.
That Sunday we get back (so the next day) we report to the congregation about our trip, we is always so exciting – exciting to share what God has done!
Then that week after our trip, I have a heart doctor’s appointment. They wanted me to go every 6 months now, and it has almost been 6 months already! CRAZY to think! I am SO ready for it though – and I am so ready to just have this surgery, in whatever form that may be. Honestly, I hope they don’t say my valve isn’t “bad” enough yet. Who wishes for surgery? ME :). I am getting tired of feeling the way I do. The heat makes me lightheaded and my heart race, which just doesn’t feel the greatest. I get tired more easily and out of breath, which makes me feel like I am some totally lazy person who is incredibly out of shape. Though I know that is not true because I exercise everyday (to the extent my heart lets me), but I know that my heart is holding me back. Beach volleyball has been tough this year. I’ve had to sit out WAY too many times. I am just ready for this to be done. I am in a good place emotionally and mentally I think. I have thought about surgery a lot, only because I know the time is getting close, and in a way that has been good because I feel semi-prepared for it. But, for all I know, the docs are going to want to wait a little longer. But I do know that 6 months ago, I didn’t feel like I do now, so I know it’s getting worse. But this is God’s will. This is God’s plan. And honestly, I am content with it! I am content that I need surgery – strange to say that, but God has been preparing me for 10 years! After my first heart surgery, docs didn’t know if my valve would get better – it didn’t; so since my last one, I knew another surgery might be a possibility. God has been keeping that valve going for 10 years, when the docs said if it could last 5-10 years, that would be great. God is GOOD! God is FAITHFUL!
God has done so much work in my life! I had NOTHING to do it with – it is soley by God’s grace that He has brought me to where I am today. He continually teaches me about faith, patience, priorities, and acceptance of the way life is sometimes. God has been so good to Dan and I! We have grown immensely through all the trials that seem to have occured over the past year, and most of all, we have grown in our relationship with Christ.
So, that is a little bit about what has been going on in our life lately! It’s been wonderful and it’s going to be wonderful – so much to look forward to :)!