Saturday, November 26, 2011

Seasons of Life

Jeremiah 29: 11-13

For I know that plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Hello friends.

I wanted to share this verse today because I am thankful for it.  After reflecting on the Christ's sufficiency, I've come to the conclusion that I am the most thankful for the way he orchestrates each step in life's journey.  We all experience different "seasons" of life and these seasons pose unique trials and joys that are all our own.  We must cherish the trials and joys equally because Christ can use them to fill our hearts with his strength.

When I combine the ideas of "thankfulness" and "Christ sufficiency and plans" I am reminded hourly of my Bella.  I realize I speak of her often when referencing God's will for me....I do this because without this knowledge, I am as strong as a house built on the ocean's sand... shifting and unstable.  It's hard some days to look at her and realize that my hopes and dreams for her may not be in God's plans.  I dream that she is healed from autism and will one day sit down with me over a cup of coffee to discuss her own hopes and dreams.  The reality is, she may not.  I cannot dwell on this realization... it burdens my soul deeply.  Thankfully, I don't have to dwell on anything... I can take my souls burdens and lay them at the foot of the cross.  The place where Christ became Bella's Savior, her King.  So, with the move bringing changes in home-life, school, therapy... my Bella is doing her best to cope.  Thankfully God already put these puzzle pieces I can just trust him that they fit:)

God is my rock, my strong fortress.  Someone to lean on that never stops loving me or my Bella.  With Josh's upcoming deployment this spring, I am going to have to come back to this verse to be reminded of God's ultimate purpose in our lives.  To share Christ.

Oh, I found this today... written by CH Spurgeon.  I've not ever thought of winter in this way...

"Thou hast made summer and winter."—Psalm 74:17.

Y soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.
Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: He casteth forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord's sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!
How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

PS.  We are loving it here in CA!  Family and friends of old are such a blessing to us... we are on the hunt for a new house right now... exciting!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hello California....again!


We "like totally" made it here (summoning my inner California girl).  Ok, maybe that was in the 80's but, we did it.  We drove across the country in four days to our final destination: Temecula, CA.  It was bittersweet leaving our home of over 10 years, Virginia.  We have the majority of our closest friends in VA so it was hard to force our car to drive West.  What made it easier was the fact that we have family in CA.  Oh and Josh's mom flew from CA just to turn around and sit in my car and drive with Bella and I back.  She deserves a special place in heaven for making this car trip with us.  Josh and I haven't lived by family for over a decade and that's a long time to be away from your blood.... so we were excited!

We don't have a home here yet so my brother found some amazing temporary housing for us while we look for a home to purchase.  Yes, we are buying a house, can't believe it!  We are partially moved in right now (kept tons of stuff in boxes for our final move).  We may actually be professional movers at this point.  If that's the case I may starting wearing a back brace.  Luckily this move involved hired movers through the military... I literally didn't lift even one box... my back thanks them.

Since being here we've spent time with family and started getting Bella's schooling and therapies lined up.  It's been a whirlwind thus far and Bella is doing the best she can with all of the change.  The first week we were here she cried/tantrumed pretty much all the time.  It's hard as her mother to know that this change threw her into such a funk, I know however that in the long run it will be the best for her.  So we are praying her through this change knowing that God has a better plan and will settle her spirit.  Every day we have less tantrums and more smiles... praise God.

Here are some photo's from our time here thus far.  We've already hit up Disney, of course:) We have also toured Old Town Temecula, attended a Marine Corps Ball, and hung out with our sweet families and friends.  Yes, all in 1.5 weeks. 

 Leaving VA Beach in the crazy train with Nanny Earls and Bella-boo....
 Some of the gorgeous scenery we saw driving East to West...
 She was a champ on the day four of driving however, she was done:) So was I!
 A much happier me....Old Town, Temecula CA
 My awesome bro found us some temp housing, not a bad view from my back porch ehhh?
 My sissy and sis-in-law (and little Emma girl) getting our nails "did" :) Ahh, family...
 My newest niece, Emma:)
 We quickly became annual pass holders at Disney!

 Chaplain to the Marines:)
 Marine Corps Ball! 

So, there you have it.  That's what we've been up too!  We are excited about this newest journey for our family.  Hope you all have blessed Thanksgiving holidays!  We will be heading north to be with Josh's family.  :)

PS I want you to notice how my skin went from pasty white to orange tan.  Yes people, spray worth it.  Not even scared to admit it:)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Leaving Virginia

I'm sitting down to write this post as three men are methodically going through the house moving one room at a time into a LARGE moving truck that is, I fear, taking up too much space in the street. 

First, it is amazing how fast these guys are.  I will tell you if their "quick moving" is a good thing once we unpack our stuff, hopefully no major damage.  Second, this means reality is upon us; we are leaving Virginia.  Now I know what you are thinking, "Josh you're in the military and moving is part of military life."  I get it! But we are leaving Virginia.  I (Josh) have lived most of my life in three states (lets not count the time in Michigan and Kentucky), Texas, California, and Virginia.  While I will always have a place in my heart for Texas (I am proud of being born in TX... I'm just not a "TX is best" type person), and we are moving back to CA, Virginia has been the place where I have grown into a man.  It is the place where I met my wife, the place Isabella was born, the place we made our dearest friends, and the place that we fell in love with TREES and HISTORY!!! (Even Annie learned to enjoy trips to Williamsburg)

We are very excited about moving to California and being near family and friends, but we will be leaving behind the great moments and experiences we had here in VA as we step into this next exciting chapter in our lives.

So with a thankful heart towards God for all His grace to us in our time here.....we say goodbye Virginia.