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Archive for the ‘job’ Category

NINE Years!

It’s hard to believe, but Chad & I have been married nine years today. Neither one of us would have been able to predict what has happened in the last nine years. Chad was going to be a farmer, & I his farmin’ wife. He had 3 years of University to finish when we got married, we actually moved out onto the farm after a year of living in town, & life was good. We thought we’d wait until he was finished school before we started having kids b/c it was easier that way & I wasn’t allowed to work for the first year & 1/2 b/c of immigration laws.

After he finished his Bachelor’s degree, we felt that God was calling us to something different for awhile, but figured we’d still eventually come back to the farm. Chad’s interests were in Economics & Philosophy, so we kind of put God to the test & applied to the only 2 schools in the world that had combined Master degree programs, figuring Chad wouldn’t make it into them….. He got into both. One at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, & the other at the London School of Economics in London, England. After much deliberation, we decided to go to London & spent the next 14 months in England.

Without having many connections over there, we quickly learned to rely on God. We had no place to live after the first 6 weeks, housing was expensive, & I was only able to get a part-time job b/c of the working culture over there. One night after a church service, Chad happened to speak to a visitor from just outside of the city, who was enamoured w/ Canada & they got to chatting about out housing situation. Without even checking w/ his wife, he invited us to come & live w/ them!

We took them up on the offer b/c we didn’t really have any other viable options at that time & we quickly became part of their family. They made us feel very welcomed & really showed us God’s love during the next year.

At the end of Chad’s Master’s program we had two options for our future:
1. Chad was offered a PhD position in Logic at King’s University College, London, which would basically take 2-3 years & lead to him becoming a professor.
2. We could go back to the farm in Alberta as we had planned.

Neither option really seemed to be what we were supposed to do, so one night, Chad asked God to tell him where we were supposed to go & God laid it on his heart to go into the ministry. Not exactly what we had in mind, but God had really been working in our lives through the family we were living with & made it possible for us to see it as a possibility (but it was still totally out of the blue). At this point we had been married 4 years & Chad had changed his major at least 4 times, so I don’t think I really thought he’d end up as a minister. I still figured it would lead to something else, since that seemed to be the pattern.

Now, here we are, married 9 years, expecting our 2nd child next month & Chad’s taking his first call as a minister! We figured we’d have 3-4 kids by now, live at the farm/feedlot, & we’d be established in life, but instead we are just starting out! Ten years after Chad’s highschool graduation, he’s taking his first job w/ benefits!

It has really taught us that you can’t foresee the future, only God knows where He’s going to take you & you have to trust Him at every turn. That year we spent in England was one of the best we’ve had b/c it taught us to depend on eachother & rely on God. For the first 6 weeks we were there I earned £198/week, & our rent was £200/week. We were using money we had saved from home in Canada for our food, but the exchange rate was C$2.50 = £1.00, so to conserve our resources we were sharing a can of frank&beans for dinner, or Spaghetti-Os, or a package of Raman Noodles…. Times were lean, but we had the best time walking around together exploring the big city in our cowboy boots & God brought us to a great place b/c we trusted Him.

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In September we will be moving out to Prince Edward Island. After much deliberation & prayer we accepted the call to go out there. So after the baby is born at the end of August we’ll be making preparations to make a very loooong road trip from Alberta to PEI. We must have a masochistic side.

So, in the mean time Chad & I are planning on flying out to PEI next week for a week to go house hunting. We’ve been in contact w/ a realtor out there who has sent us property info for over 25 homes & we’ve been trying to narrow that down to about 10 to start looking at when we get there next week. It’s quite a difficult proposition. Some of the hosues really sound great & then you start to look through the pictures only to discover that the house was decorated in the 70’s complete w/ green, brown, & copper carpeting. The walls were papered w/ rust & brown striped wallpaper w/ floral bouquets. The cupboards are an appealing stained plywood……

Other houses are really hard to figure out b/c you have no layout of the house you are left to a few pictures & your imagination to try to figure out if the kitchen is near the living room or not. Some houses only have a few pictures of the outside & a picture of the kitchen. None of the bedrooms or the rest of the house.

I think we’ve got our short list now, I hope we find something we really will like while we are there next week. Of course, my main concern is that “Baby X” will wait at leat until August to make it’s appearance b/c anything earlier than that & we may have a PEI baby instead of an Albertan! Yikes!

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Looking For A Church

As Chad & I start trying to figure out where God wants us to be for the next few years, we are visiting a few different churches. It’s not very easy to discover what a church is like in one Sunday or even a weekend, but one thing that I have discovered in the last few years is that the feeling of family is very important to us…. well, at least to me it is.

Since we have been living so far away from family it has really become apparent, since we’ve had Asher, that having people around who really take an interest in how your life is going, more than just accepting that all is “fine.”

I grew up in a church that had a very strong sense of family. There weren’t very many members & since it was in a Navy town, there weren’t too many that were there for more than a few years at a time. That could have been cause for disconnectedness. People could have thought, “oh, they’ll be moving on in a few years, it’s not worth investing the time to get to know them.”

When Chad & I were moving around for school we had that happen at a few churches. People figured that since we were there as students we wouldn’t be in for the long haul & didn’t really bother trying to get to know us. We made a point of finding our own friends & working on our own relationships.

I have found though, that since Chad is a pastor, he needs to be free to talk to people after church & that leaves me to run after Asher. Because of this I do not have much opportunity to meet people after church, so my friendships are formed more outside of church. Not that I am someone who will meet random people in the supermarket. Perhaps b/c we are still the “newer folks,” we don’t come to mind when people are getting together, so I have had to make a concerted effort to invite others over, or contact them for things.

What I want to find in a church is people who make an effort to get to know us outside of church. When we aren’t standing right in front of them, I would like them to still remember that we exist. I would like for them to realize that we are not close to family (& there are lots of benefits of living by family), & perhaps offer to fill in some of the voids.

I don’t think there are as many issues as there used to be w/ the pastor (& their family) making friends w/in the church. I don’t think the jealously issues are as prevalent as they have been in the past. I know more & more churches are understanding that the pastor’s wife is just a normal person & just b/c her husband has been called into the ministry it doesn’t mean that she knows how to play the organ, or sing on the praise team, or lead a Bible study. I think that churches are also understanding that the pastor’s family needs friends w/in the church just like anyone else & as long as favourites aren’t played, they are ok w/ that. I just think that more churches need to be aware of who is coming to their services. Like I said, the issue of people not making an effort to get to know us happened before we were in the ministry as well, it’s not limited to pastors.

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I found this on a blog I read & thought it looked fun, so here it goes:

What was I doing ten years ago (1998):
*Going to Dordt College
*Studying for Finals
*Worrying about my future
*Getting ready to go home for the summer
*Enjoying hanging out w/ my friends w/o much real responsibility

5 things on my to-do list today:
*laundry
*Get some groceries
*Bake a cake
*Figure something out for dinner
*Take a nap

5 snacks I enjoy:
*Sour Grape Candies
*Hot Tamales
*Ice Cream
*Hostess Suzy-Qs
*Soft Homemade cookies or brownies

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:
*Hire a maid
*Go live in England
*give to my church
*Save for kids’ college
*Invest

5 bad habits:
*staying up too late
*not cleaning the house
*not eating healthy
*not working out
*spending too much money on good deals

5 places I have lived:
*Poulsbo, Washington
*Claresholm, Alberta
*London, England
*Grand Rapids, Michigan
*Strathroy, Onatrio

5 jobs I have had:
*Espresso Barista in drive-thru espresso stand (great for someone who loves Lattes)
*Drive-Thru at McDonald’s (great for someone who loves Grilled Chicken Sandwiches)
*Mail order Manager at Frontier Western Shop (great b/c I didn’t have to deal w/ customers face to face)
*Switchboard Operator at Charles Russell Solicitors (great b/c I could check email all day)
*Medical Assistant at East Paris Internal Medicine (great b/c we had free lunches everyday)

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Living in Boxes

I really feel sometimes like life is still on hold. The whole time Chad’s been in school we felt like we couldn’t have kids, couldn’t really start to plan the future b/c we never really knew where God was leading us….. Guess what, not a whole lot has changed, nor do I think it will…. ever.
Perhaps part of it is due to being a pastor in the CRC, moving every 5-7 years is kinda expected, but we learned a few years back that you can’t live life on hold or you’ll never do anything, and you’ll never really be happy. So on that note, since we’ll be moving in 7 months, do I unpack all the boxes of games that I have, or do I keep them in their boxes, making it easier when we move? Trust me, it’s no easy chore getting them all packed, there’s a ton of them. Do I try to go through the storeage room to find the bibs that I so stupidly packed away, and now really need, or do I just go buy more?

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Yesterday Chad passed his Oral Comp. That’s basically a big test that covers all he’s learned while in Seminary. So he has 5 months left of school, then we’ll be going somewhere to do an internship in a church. I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel now. It’s still kinda faint. Chad’s been in school ever since I met him 8 1/2 years ago. It’s kinda surreal that in 6 months he’s going to have a JOB! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good weird!
Life for me goes on as usual. I stay home and while away the hours with Asher. Some days really seem to drag, especially when he’s tired and won’t sleep. He’s very frustrated with his station in life right now. He would LOVE to be walking, but just doesn’t have the balance yet. He’s only 6 months old, but don’t tell him that! The funny thing is that he can hold himself up on stuff, but if he falls over, he hasn’t yet figured out how to sit up on his own so he’s like a little turtle. He just wants to do so much more than he can.

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