Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

So I'm making this post a few days late, sorry but we are just busy busy during the week!

I'm so thankful we are! :) I've been really busy with work now that the holidays are approaching we are getting ready for our open house and for Thanksgiving orders! I've been working a lot but I am just so glad to have a job!! Even more than that I'm thankful to have a job that I really enjoy!

I'm also thankful that our children have a place to be while we are working. I know that both of them are well taken care of and happy during the days. Anna-Kate loves school more than anything these days! It's so neat to hear all that she is learning too! She has gotten so good with her colors and can usually say her memory verse! She's always singing songs from school too! So sweet!! I feel blessed to have a friend that does such a great job with Thomas too. I  know that he is happy too! I am also thankful to have the help we always seem to need when a child is sick or something else comes up!

Have I mentioned how much Derek has been helping around the house?? When I am busy with work (coming home around 7 or so) he works so hard to get things done around the house so that I can relax when I get home! Most nights dinner is even ready! I am spoiled! I am just so grateful for him! He always surprises me.

I am constantly reminded of the blessings around! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Go Ask Your Mother: Sunday Off

As many of you know, I have been working as a preacher for the Lepanto church of Christ for over 3 1/2 years. I have to say, it has been a blessing in so many ways. I have family connections there that are nice, and the job came along at just the right time for me and my family. I've been there a little longer than I had planned originally but I don't mind for the most part. The members of our congregation are loving, friendly, and hospitable.

I can't deny that there are some difficult things about the job. When I started in June 2007, it was just Nicki and I. We are twice as big a family as we were then and packing up and making the two hour drive every weekend isn't quite as simple as before. There's also the missed opportunity to sit with my family and participate in a worship service together, and quite frankly, I would like to hear someone else preach every now and again.

I began thinking about it over the last few weeks and I don't recall ever taking a Sunday off from preaching except for illness or weather. That doesn't bother me much but I have almost forgotten those days when I could spend Sunday afternoon watching football or working around the house. That came to mind as I made the call to let folks know that I would be absent last week. To be fair, my taking off was spurred by a cracked filling combined with a sore throat that would greatly threaten my pulpit performance potential. (isn't alliteration awesome..oops did it

So I got to go to church with Nicki and the kids at Westside, which is across the street. What a change, 100 miles vs. across the street. It was a wonderful and encouraging morning all around. After lunch, I went home for a half-conscious football watching session. I have really forgotten all of the things that changed when I started preaching. It actually conflicts my mind about the whole thing.

After Sunday's little preview, I can't wait to move on when the time comes. Civilian life looks great right now. But at the same time, it will be difficult adjusting to a new (although old) church home. So much has changed in the last few years. Most of all, I will be saying goodbye to a church, a family, and a town that has been a part of my entire life.

I know I will get used to it just like I got used to Lepanto. I will rediscover everything I love about the church I grew up in here in Searcy. Most of all, I will get to embrace the opportunity sit with my children and help them learn about God's love. It has been the highest honor of my life to serve the church in Lepanto, but it has been the greatest encouragement to have my family's support in that time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Go Ask Your Mother: Election Day Dad

Go Ask Your Mother is my new weekly segment about the joys and challenges of parenthood through the eyes of dad. I am so excited to be blogging again and giving my perspective on many topics that are important to dads.

Many of our readers may know that I have spent the last couple of years becoming increasingly involved in the local political scene. I have always enjoyed politics, at every level. Often, I have found myself working actively on someone's campaign when an election year rolls around and it has blessed me with many good connections in Arkansas. Several of those I have volunteered for in the past began encouraging me awhile back to jump in and try my hand at the political game.

A little background here: I have lived all but 18 months of my life here in Searcy and have recently become concerned about the type of leadership at City Hall. So, once we bought our house here and I knew which Ward (municipal equivalent to a congressional district) we would be living in I decided to run for Alderman (municipal version of a congressman).

Being the candidate is a very different feeling from being a campaign volunteer. There is a vulnerability that comes with asking people to vote for you. This is especially true on election day when you find yourself at te mercy of people walking into the voting booth to make their choice. I happened to be running against perhaps the toughest opponent in the county. Dale English is a well-known, 24 year veteran of the City Council. He has literally been and Alderman since I was born! I knew I drew a tough bull, but I was ready to give it a shot.

Technically the "campaign season" is a few months long, but actually running for office begins almost 18 months before the day of the vote. There are party meetings, get-togethers with the influential local politicians, fish frys, etc. By the time the "season" rolls around, there isn't much energy left for door-knocking or passing out cards. But that is actually my favorite part! I loved meeting people and talking about local issues and concerns.

It would be easy for me to go on here feeling sorry for all the work it is to run for office. But I chose to do it. The fact of the matter is, it is more work for those who didn't chose to run--my family.

Don't misunderstand, I had the full support of Nicki, and by extension, the kids, but there is still the toll of daddy being preoccupied. It became increasingly difficult for me to spend all that time campaigning, with Nicki staying home to juggle obligations and children. you have to remember, I came from a home with what I thought was the most obvious example of selflessness--my father.

But Nicki never seemed to doubt my decision or intentions, though I sometimes second-guessed myself. She pushed me on, even campaigned with me from time to time. She encouraged me to make a better life for our family and for other families by bettering a community that wasn't her native home. I will never forget her help and dedication.

As I said, I second-guessed myself a lot. I wondered if it was selfish of me to dedicate myself to something like this. When the day finally arrived, Nicki continued her steadfast support by standing in the cold rain at our local polling site to hold my sign, pass out my cards, and make one final push for votes.

I came up short, unfortunately, but I was encouraged by the support of my community. I had several ask if I would be running again and many encouraged me to do so. I have reservations about that idea because I hate the toll it takes on my time and family. But just the other night I realized something. I was tucking Anna-Kate in for the night and she gave me a HUGE hug and told me she loved me. I realized that two things; first, losing didn't matter. My kids still think I am a great dad, and my wife is proud of me. Second, even though campaigning can separate me from the family sometimes, it is not really selfish at all. My dad was adamant about giving his kids the best life he could and he worked hard at it. So if I am working to make the city we call home better for my family, what can be wrong with that? At the end of the day, when I look in their eyes, I have to be able to say with honesty and confidence that I have done evereything possible to make this a good place to live. Fighting for a better local government is my way of doing that.

As fathers, we appreciate the support of our family in every endeavor. I know I have appreciated the support of mine, even when I was unsure myself. They believed in me and pushed me forward with encouragement and love. I think I may run again. (why not, I have a ton of yard signs left over) When I run, I have a confidence that is rare among many political hopefuls, the full support and confidence of a beautiful wife, and loving, affectionate children.

Thankful Thursdays

Have you ever noticed how Thanksgiving gets overshadowed by Christmas? I mean, Halloween doesn't even fully wrap up before you start seeing Christmas trees and advertisements for the "hot new toy" of the season. It makes me so sad because I LOVE Thanksgiving!

So I thought I would bust out the Thanksgiving spirit and post what I'm grateful in each Thursday!

What's greater than a day that is dedicated to spending quality time with family, being thankful for what we have and of course eating a lot!

I love the food!

My friend Ashley made a blog post about her favorite Thanksgiving foods and it inspired me!

I am SO thankful for the good food on Thanksgiving. From the turkey all the way down to the pecan pie!

Even more than the food, I'm so thankful for the people who prepare the meals for me! Well not for me but for our family. :)

My sisters and I have always had two thanksgiving dinners and now this year it looks like we are adding another meal! We will do two on Thursday and probably one on Friday. Last year was the first year I really got to cook. I made broccoli cheese casserole and sweet potato casserole, corn pudding and then I made pecan pie, pumpkin pie and Bakerella's Turkey Cake Balls. (In my tiny oven! This year, I'm so grateful for my new oven! haha!) After doing all of that, I was TIRED! I could not believe that for years my grandmother has stood in her kitchen and made those casseroles, plus hashbrown casserole, the turkey and dressing, rolls and pecan and pumpkin pie. Oh and jello and ambrosia salad! Yikes!! Then I have my dad and his sister who prepare an entire meal on their own!

I am thankful for a place to gather and eat our thanksgiving meal! A few years ago, my grandmother's kitchen was being remodeled and we had no place to prepare the food and really no dining room to eat it in, so we all ate at Cracker Barrel. After that, I have been so grateful for the Thanksgivings at their house! It's so much easier to eat around the table where we can relax together after.

Finally, I am so thankful for the family we get to share these wonderful meals with! Every other year we go with Derek and his family and it's so nice! We don't always get to see each other and I just love spending time together! Of course, I am grateful for every year we get to spend with my family too. I know that there might be years where we can't spend the holidays together and it makes me cherish the moments we have even more. I'm so grateful that my children get to experience family on that level.

Of course, most of all I am thankful for Derek who is such a wonderful husband and father and the two beautiful children we have. He is such a hard worker and puts 100% into our family. Anna-Kate and Thomas are such a special gift. They are absolutely amazing!

Each week, I plan on sharing what I'm thankful for! I will try not to be so mushy though! haha! I just feel so richly blessed!

What are you thankful for?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow Me!