Monday, May 27, 2013

Last days.

This is my last week working at my hospital.

I had my last clinic last wednesday, a clinic full of patients I have known for many years now. My favorite married couple patients came to see me. The husband prayed for me at the end of our visit and I cried. Another patient who I have seen through two pregnancies came to me with a brand new pregnancy. I got to show her the tiny little bean flickering away inside her and rejoice. I was touched she wanted to have one more visit with me before I left.

I am feeling wistful as I say goodbye to so many colleagues - the nurses, techs, therapists, cashiers, and technologists I have gotten to know over these last 6 years. I really am going to miss them. I have been incredibly blessed working at such a great hospital. Greenwood is not a big town, but we have a big town kind of hospital.

Lots of people have asked me what I'll do when we move. I do want to work, although I don't have a job yet. I didn't really want to look a lot until we knew where we'd live since LA is such a big place and I don't want a horrible commute. I'm also trying to get my California medical license straightened out ahead of time as well. I am already praying for a job that I'll enjoy and where I can use the gifts I've been given in a way that glorifies God.

It's hard to imagine finding a hospital as great as this one, but I am excited to see what God has in store!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beach!

We took a quick weekend trip to Charleston so we could see my brother and visit that fun city before our big move. We also took a short trip to the beach, something I was hoping we'd be able to fit in. I wanted to see the Atlantic one last time before moving to the West coast. As you can see, we had a great time. Naomi makes a rather adorable beach bum.
 
 
 
 
 
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Monday, May 20, 2013

We're moving where??!? (Part 2)


I wish that I could say that the dark december tear-filled walk magically made me super excited about moving. It didn't, though in that moment God reminded me that his plans are perfect and that if he wants us in California, it would be the best place for us. Starting in high school I had a strong interest in missions and I spent three of my college summers in Peru, working for a mission agency. I had always imagined I would spend my life working abroad in some mission hospital, so I'm not sure why I found it difficult to understand that God would call me to California.

After Naomi was born, we made plans to go out to California for a visit and candidating weekend. I was surprised by how beautiful it was. I had been to San Diego before, but never to LA. I had always imagined LA to be a sort of mass of concrete and traffic. While there definitely was some heavy traffic, the mountains out there are really beautiful. The beach, too, is lovely. I didn't realize how close various national parks are.

And I had never considered all the benefits of living in a big city. They have TWO major league baseball teams. Orchestras. An Opera. A zoo. Presumably a Target. (or two). One of the elders talked about the ice skating lessons one of his daughters takes, and how his son gets to take trombone lessons with this fantastic music teacher at a local music school.

Of course, all the church-related activities were wonderful. I was also nervous I might not fit in with the people. I am, after all, a small-town southern girl at heart. Although I try to look nice, I've never been called stylish. The ladies I met were all friendly and down-to-earth. I'm not sure why I was nervous; I guess I had this idea in my head that people living in LA were all glamorous. It was very clear to me almost right away that this was a great fit for Jeff. You may remember that Jeff got an additional seminary degree while here in Greenwood. It's a more academic degree than the standard M.Div. he already had. Most of the churches he had applied to just ignored that line of his resume. People at our new church seemed really excited about it and even read his entire thesis! They really appreciated his education and nerdiness, and seeing him respected for all his gifts was wonderful.

We kept praying about it after we got home and were very thankful when he was offered the job a few weeks later, and more thankful still when he passed his ordination exams.

I am sad to be leaving this place where I learned to be a doctor, we owned our first house, and then brought two beautiful babies home from the hospital. I am sad to be so far from my wonderful family.

But I love my husband and can't wait to start this next adventure together!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We're moving where?

[As I started writing this I realized that it was getting long so I decided to split it up into two posts. Here is part one. Part 2 to come later.]

Many moons ago, when Jeff first started applying for jobs at churches, he mostly focused on churches in the southeast, with a few in Colorado and a couple near Kansas, all places near family. As the months dragged on, he widened his search and started applying to basically every job he heard about.

His first interview with the church in California was sometime in the fall, and I didn't think much of it at the time - he had numerous phone and skype interviews with lots of places that didn't go anywhere. Then they flew him out for a live visit in October. I started getting nervous. I didn't want to move to California. I prayed we would find something else. We had a few more leads and I prayed that one of those would pan out. If I'd made a list of all the places I didn't want to live at that point, California might have been in the top few. It's far away, expensive, and culturally very different than what I'm used to. A few weeks later, they decided they wanted Jeff to come for an official visit to preach for the congregation and they wanted me to come also. At that point it was too close to our due date to visit so we decided we'd wait until after the baby was born, thankful that we'd have more time to pray about it.

Those few weeks before Naomi were born were a bit stressful for me. I was anxious about how I would deliver, anxious about Jeff finding a job, uncomfortable from being pregnant, and for several months in the fall I was also working more than normal because we were short staffed at work. I took lots of walks with the dog where I'd just pray and plead for a vaginal delivery and that Jeff would find a job soon.

One night in particular I remember just crying on my walk [Jeff tells me he knew I was having a girl because of how emotional I was this pregnancy] because everything felt overwhelming. I thought back to a particular video lesson in a bible study I had recently finished, where the author described how she prayed that her husband would get a particular job that would take them a long way from home, even though she didn't really want to go, because she felt that's what God wanted her to do. I then did just as she did, praying that Jeff would get the California job.

Going through disappointment is always hard, but having to watch Jeff be disappointed repeatedly during this job search was hard on me. He went through it all determined and faithful, while I struggled to understand why we were going through this. That day in December I had finally just had enough of the struggle.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My kids.

I love my kids. My two beautiful kids. How did they get so wonderful? I'm not sure.

 
 
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Family update.

There has been a lot going on lately with our family, and I feel like I can finally spill the beans.

Jeff has accepted a call to a PCA church in Burbank, CA! Early June we'll be moving all the way across the country to Los Angeles to start the next adventure. We are, of course, super excited. And  bit terrified. (At least, I'm terrified.) I've never lived in such a big city. Or so far away from South Carolina. It is going to be a big adjustment, I'm sure, but I am so excited for Jeff to be at this new church.

I wrote a few weeks ago about small things. In some ways, this move feels like something bigger. LA is definitely bigger than rural South Carolina. But the church we are moving to isn't huge - it's about 50 or so people total, a church that has had some rocky times over the last year or so, so in many ways it still feels small. We certainly hope and pray that the church will grow larger, but I most pray that the folks there will come to a deeper understanding of God's love for them, and what Jesus accomplished.

This past weekend, Jeff went before presbytery in California and passed his ordination exams. You may remember a few years ago we went through a rather trying time when the presbytery here in SC failed him on his licensure exam. It was a tough time - one of the hardest I think we've been through since we got married. But on Saturday it feels like all that was redeemed - God granted Jeff an easy ordination that he sailed through, even with his particular exception to the confession. We are relieved and thankful that it went well.

And now we can really get more excited about moving! Lots of things need to happen - we have to settle on a place to live, sell our house, and then drive all the way to California with two kids and a dog in tow.

So please be praying with us for this transition  and praising God for his provision. California, here we come!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Bath fun!

My family spent a fun weekend at a lake house this past weekend. It was dreary, wet, and cold, but we still managed to have a bit of fun. A little bit of soap + a jetted tub = a great time for four busy boys.
 
 
 
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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Nana swinging

I love this shot of my mom with the kids - it just captures really well being with Nana. The swing, bird watching, and getting rocked to sleep. I love it. And her.
 
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