Good morning, sweet friends. (And friends is what you are--even if we've never met face to face...yet!)
I've had some thoughts swirling around in my head, had some questions from you, and have some time this morning to get it down on paper (or whatever this internet thing-y is actually made of) and process through some of it.
Today I'm going to finish up my last paper for the semester that's due on Monday. I'm going to do an oral presentation along with it--my chapel from the girls' school. I'm so excited to get to use that again. It was my professor's idea to use it as my creative presentation. So the mustache is coming back--for a few minutes, anyway.
Once that's done, I'll start studying for my Old Testament Prophets final on Friday. And then...the semester will be over. It has flown by.
I submitted a leave of absence to the seminary the other day. So I'm officially giving up seminary for the year we'll be in Phoenix. Yes, I could take on-line classes, but the experience of being in the classroom is one I value so much. I'd rather wait and come back to it in Fall 2010 when we return to Denver. After all, I'm not in hurry.
I have to say that now that I'm over the shock (::ring, ring:: "Hey babe, we're moving to Phoenix for a year. Gotta run to a meeting now. Bye!") of it, I'm really seeing this as a gift.
One year. Set apart. To be intentional. To rethink some things. To dream about what we want to do, how we want life to be.
(And of course, I think about being led to the desert for a year and go all Old Testament, wondering what kind of preparation this year will involve and for what and all that good stuff. One thing I know for sure, there will be manna each day to gather!)
So here's some of what we're thinking:
Unplug. It was Toben's idea (shock, gasp, awe) to think about unplugging the television for a year. Not taking one with us at all. I love it!
Celebrate. Especially if we homeschool (see next item!), but even if we don't, we want to be intentional about celebrating biblical holidays. I have this amazing book and put all the dates for these holidays on my calendar earlier this morning. We love our Passover meal each year and want to experience the joy and learning of some of the others.
Homeschool. We're seriously considering homeschooling the girls. For numerous reasons. For the freedom it would give us. For the one-on-one opportunity to reinforce some difficult math concepts for Audrey, to grow Emma into an incredible reader. To pour into the girls. To build up their identity in Christ. To develop their friendship with each other. (If you homeschool and have some advice for me about what I really need to know, or a great link for me to check out, please leave a comment!)
Dream. This whole year feels like a new beginning, a chance to hit the "reset" button and determine what we want our family to be like. There are certain times of the year (New Year's, back to school) that are a chance to do this every year, and this feels like a chance to think long-term and big picture.
Explore.Because of our school schedule and the amount of homework to be done, our girls don't do extra-curricular activities for the most part. If we homeschool, we're excited for the girls to explore some of their interests. To have the time to pursue and learn something new.
Church. We'll be going to church here. We're not involved at our church here in Denver; we really see the girls' school as our place of ministry, the place where we volunteer and give. For this next year, we're excited to be at church as much as they'll let us. That means Sunday school for Toben and me while the girls go, and then sitting in the service each week as a family.
So naturally we've made a poster to keep track of our thoughts and ideas and so on. Cause that's just what we do around here! (See here and here.)
How can you pray?
For wisdom about school for the girls. We will be visiting a Christian school in a week or so when we're down in Phoenix as a family for some meetings.
For peace and calm in Toben's anxiety (all that change causes some anxiety to surface for him). He's in the process of changing some of his meds and anxiety is troubling him.
For me to live one day at a time. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the big picture. So to do one thing at a time and then move on to the next thing.
For us to really live while we're in Phoenix and pour out our lives and energy, rather than feeling confined by it being temporary. For friendships and relationships to grow and flourish.
We do have place to live. No pool in the backyard, but an amazing community facility--pool, lake, gym, tennis courts, bike trails. But it's unfurnished. Not what we had planned. So wisdom about what to take and all that good stuff.
It looks like some friends will be living in our house here in Denver while we're gone. So wisdom and details surrounding that. It's definitely a God thing!
Okay, this is entirely long enough and Toben and the girls are headed to have a putting context at the driving range (free entertainment!). So I'm going to take advantage of the quiet and get my paper finished up. Enjoy your Saturday--and thank you for listening. I really do love you so much!