Monday, June 27, 2011

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Par Avion Moving Announcement
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


That has been my heart's cry these past couple of days.  Mmm, so true.  God is the most faithful, compassionate, kind, powerful, holy One who ever has been or ever will be.  I say these things from experiencing their truth afresh this week.

We have been here for 17 days today and still haven't moved into a home, still haven't gotten jobs, and still haven't fully settled here.  Boy, did we have different plans.  We figured we would get here the night of the fifth, start looking at apartments and homes the next day, I would have my Children's interview on the 8th, we would find a place in three days, I would get the job that week, and we would move in by the 13th.  So, today is the 22nd and none of those things have happened!  The house hunt was becoming more and more discouraging with each day, but we remained hopeful and continued to trust in God.  He had promised us that we would live in a home where we could minister the love of Jesus from and where people would be able to experience his presence.  We knew He wanted us to be in a place easily accessible to ASU students.  There weren't many options around campus.  But we kept looking.  We even applied to 3 different places.  Different things came up that made us change our mind or pull out.  We were particularly needing encouragement this past monday.  We had signed a lease on a house that the landlords had promised we could move into "soon".  "Soon" turned into July 1st, and that wasn't possible for us.  (Our pack rat is due back on June 27th or else we have to pay for an extra month & we're staying with friends but can only stay til friday).  So we had to decide what to do.

Andy, John, and I prayed together Sunday night, feeling like we just needed to praise God and give Him the glory.

*Sidenote:  We had been staying at the Phillips' home until Sunday, when Joy and their 3 girls and our friend Kristen (also on the Tempe team) arrived home from being in TX for 4 weeks.  We relocated to a wonderful Antioch family's home in Paradise Valley, about 20 minutes away.  And let me emphasize the paradise part of Paradise Valley.  We are staying in the most beautiful and amazing guest home in their back yard.  We open our windows and look up towards a beautiful landscape of mountains and blue skies.  We have a resort style pool a few steps away.  King sized beds with mattresses like a cloud.  Ahhhhhh-mazing.  We're so thankful for this little retreat!  But still, our hearts are longing to be settling into a place in Tempe and getting ourselves ready for life here. 

So, we worshipped and prayed that night, and I was just feeling good.  I didn't know what would happen, but I knew again that God was in control.  He didn't call us here to leave us in the dust.  He had a plan.  The next morning, Andy felt like God gave him a picture of a piece of half-eaten cake.  God said, "I always save the best bite for last."  The best bite of course being the very back of the piece of cake where you get lots of frosting :)  He didn't know what that really meant in terms of us either looking for a new place or waiting on the current one and hoping we could move in soon.  We decided to apply for a different apartment complex, but we had to wait on some paperwork to prove income from CFI in Boston.

There was one last apartment complex we thought we'd take a look at on Tuesday.  I honestly asked if I could stay back and just have Andy look at it. I wasn't expecting we'd like it, and I just wanted to wait on the house.  To me it was just easier to do that, even if we had to move in late and pay extra for our pack rat.  I wasn't super in love with the house, but I felt like I was sacrificing and was happy to do it.  As long as we could make it homey and inviting, I was fine with whatever.  The kitchen was pretty small and not updated, but I had given up on having a wonderful kitchen the first week of our search.  So anyway, Andy wanted me to come look, so I did.

We three stepped into this apartment and immediately felt the peace of God there.  He was smiling.  We were smiling.  I didn't think we wanted to even be in an apartment complex.  It was all recently updated, and the kitchen.  OMG.  I love it.  I couldn't have dreamed of a better one.  The landlord and all of his family are believers, and he is the nicest guy!  He is excited for us to be here planting a church and even knows what that means!  To top it off, this is the most affordable place we have looked at and the closest to ASU.  GOD IS GOOD!  We didn't even expect this.  He saved the best for last.

That morning, God led me to recount the promises He had made about coming to Tempe and about where we will live.  I feel like these past three weeks have been a true test of faith.  I'm learning to trust God and believe what He says like never before.  I was reminded of Hebrews 11:1 and meditated on that passage for awhile before we left to look at the apartment.   It says,

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." 

He is worth waiting for.  He always comes through on His promise, on His word.  I learned early on in this process that it is Him I was waiting on; not on an outcome or on a circumstance or on a blessing.  He is enough for me.  When we get that perspective shift, life is so much more enjoyable.  He is patient and kind with us as we journey through life, though.  Thank you for your prayers and thoughts throughout this process.  We move in this weekend :)  

Send us mail! 
2525 S. College Ave. #6
Tempe, AZ 85282

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We made it!

Well, we're here in Tempe!  We've been here since June 5th, but I've hesitated to write until I had some more things to say besides "we made it"!  I don't have THAT much to say, but I figured I'd keep you up to date anyway :)

Our last several days in Boston were bittersweet...

*packing up all of our possessions into a smallish pack-rat crate in only 3 hours thanks to a lot of sacrificial, wonderful friends... sweet
*only fitting one half of our dining room table in said crate... bitter
*great friends the Reeds offering to take the other half when they move out... sweet
*"last meal" at Wild Willy's with great friends... sweet
*saying goodbye to friends who will be overseas next time we're back in Boston... bitter
*getting to spend a few hours with one of my closest friends, Amy, before we left... sweet
*not really spending much time with Amy 3 weeks before we moved because she was in Cambodia... bitter
*lots of friends coming up to Marblehead for a going away party my parents had... sweet
*spending a few days just hanging out with my family before we departed... sweet
*not feeling like we had much time to spend with family before we departed... bitter
*going out to dinner and bowling with a bunch of my nursing coworkers... sweet
*not being able to say goodbye to everyone at work... bitter

You get the idea.  Andy and I were so excited and ready to get going, but we also savored every last minute we had in the place we called home for the past 8 years.  Well, 8 for me and 6 for him.  (I have lived in Boston longer than any other city in my life!  Crazy.)

Here are some pictures (I have been bad about taking pictures, sorry!) from the last lunch we had with friends and some with family:
My aunt Sherrie, Victoria, Nanny, mom, and me on the beach at the Marblehead house.

Very cute picture of Amy and Andy.  Why didn't Amy and I get one together?!

Lisa, Luke, and me.

 June, Lily, and me

A few highlights from our roadtrip:
*our air conditioner broke (read: started blowing warm air not cold air) halfway thru New York

Annnd, that's about it.  Ok, just kidding.  But the a/c did break, and the first two legs of our trip, which were both 17 and 16 hours, respectively, were BRUTAL.  We were driving too fast to have the windows down, and although it was blowing warm air, it was better than nothing because it was to stuffy not to have moving air.  Oh man.  Bloomington to Ft. Worth was SO HOT.  I even got a little dizzy... while seated!  The great friends we stayed with in Ft. Worth have a mechanic friend, so we were blessed to have him fix our a/c, add oil, and add anti-freeze at a minimal cost, though.  So our drive into Arizona was much more enjoyable!

Roadtrip itinerary:
June 1st:  Marblehead, MA to Bloomington, IN
June 3rd:  Bloomington, IN to Ft. Worth, TX
June 5th:  Ft. Worth, TX to Tempe, AZ

It was great to spend time with my dad in Bloomington at my parents' cute little house there.  We ate at his favorite restaurant called The Farm, which I loved, and we explored Indiana University campus, which was great.  In Ft. Worth we drove to Lake Mineral Wells to spend some time with our friends Brendon and Sarah Joy, who are pregnant with their first baby.  We stayed at their house while they were on a little babymoon at a friends' ranch.  Thank you, guys!  Then we dove into Tempe Saturday evening, stopping at Sonic one more time for dinner before we pulled into the house :)

Since then we have been looking at a ton of rental homes, praying, eating, swimming, jogging (me), playing basketball (Andy), and hanging out.  We haven't found the right one yet but know it's out there and are hoping to nail something down in the next couple of days.  I also had my interview with Phoenix Children's Hospital and expect to hear back soon, too.  The interview went great, and I am hopeful.  I'll post again when we find our house!