Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Coffee and Cheesecake and Faith, OH MY!

Graci sporting her new swimsuit from Heidi and her family
Isaiah and Mommy hanging out :)

Our little drooling man :)

Heidi and Graci together at the play area at the mall.

Hanging out after bath time.

Hello everyone :)

To quote one of my mom's favorite movies ("Overboard") "It's been a hell of a day at sea, sir!" Well, it's actually been more like a month or so for us. When I last left you we were pretty busy. I've come to realize that was just the tip of the iceberg.


Jon is now a barista at Starbucks!!!!! He was hired about a month ago and is really enjoying it. He's becoming quite the officianado on coffee. One of our friends in Apartment Life works there as well and he recommended Jon for the job. What a blessing! The manager there is a believer and a former DTS student so she understands the busy schedule of a seminary student. She also highly values family and makes sure her employees have time to pour into their families at home. She will be giving Jon Sundays off unless there's an emergency or something. What a huge gift! He'll qualify for health benefits after 90 days, so in the meantime we switched his insurance coverage to a short term plan that's about $100 cheaper per month than we were paying for him. He gets to work the opening shifts Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, so he's home by one o'clock at the latest. The bummer is that he has to wake up to be at work as early as 4:30 sometimes. It's most brutal when he works at 4:30am on Wednesday morning after being in class from 8am-9:30pm the day before. Early to bed, early to rise is our motto as of late. Easier said than done is what we're learning though :)


I am now a server at The Cheesecake Factory here in Dallas. Woohoo!!! After two weeks of training, both "classroom style" and on the floor, as well as a few written exams over the menu (the final was 350 questions!), I am officially on my own and making tips beginning this Monday night. Whew!! It's been a crazy two weeks!. I am really enjoying waiting tables again and my co-workers are very welcoming and supportive. The restaurant location is ideal for great tips: across the street from Northpark Mall (one of the busiest malls in the metroplex) and in a VERY wealthy area of town. I'll be working four nights a week, probably Mon, Wed, Fri and Saturday. The blessing of Jon working at Starbucks is that he gets to work early in the morning and be home by lunch. This gives us the afternoon together before I head off to Cheesecake Factory somewhere between 4:45-6:15. My managers are going to try to give me at least every other Sunday off, if not every Sunday off. I told them of our crazy life these days and they too were very supportive and seeking to make sure we have time together as a family. What an answer to prayer!


It's a daily thing, but in reality it's a constant thing. At least that's what I'm learning. Last week we had the privilege of writing our tithe check. This particular time was exciting because we didn't know how the rest of the monthly bills would be paid even before writing the check, yet it is not our money. It is His and we are just stewards of it. Notice I said it was "exciting" to write the tithe check. A few years ago I would have been absolutely terrified to do something like that and would have tried to convince Jon to wait to tithe. I've learned enough to know that that is definitely not the route that God would have for us. Well, just as God would have it (and after much prayer), we were given a gift from some friends this week that will help cover the bills that are due this week. (To clarify, yes, we both have new jobs, but we entered in the middle of the pay cycle so we won't get our first checks until later this week.) This gift came from friends who didn't know of our financial predicament this month, but were given a gift themselves recently and felt that the Lord wanted them to give the tithe from that gift to us. Needless to say, I cried when Jon showed me the gift.

So just as we breathe a sigh of relief and offer up many thanks to the Lord for unfailing provision...Jon goes to run an errand Friday night and the car won't start. It just clicks once and that's it. I drove it to work earlier that day and had no problems with it and then this. I've learned that my first reaction has changed in these times. I don't go into panic mode but instead, I go to the Lord first and-because I'm human and I don't understand Him many times-I ask Him what is He thinking and why now?! And then I rest in the assurance that He of course knew this would happen and all will work out fine. Jon went with our Korean friend, Kanghoon, to get jumper cables to try and jump it, but to no avail. We had the kick-off conference for the Spiritual Formation groups for DTS all day on Saturday and had no car. I had to be at work at 7am to take my final exam to complete my certification. Kanghoon graciously loaned me his car to go to work and then called another friend to pick up he and Jon for the kick off (Kanghoon is also a DTS student).

I woke up Saturday morning with the overwhelming feeling that God wanted me to email our Sunday School leaders and let them know of our predicament. So often our pride gets in the way of asking for help. This lesson was touched on even at the DTS conference on Saturday, so I was even more convinced that I needed to send the email. We got home and within an hour of notifying our leaders of our situation, one of them had already called us with a mechanic friend that he has that is willing to help us get the car looked at and fixed. By evening time, our Sunday School teacher had called to offer their support and anything we need. They both said they would be in touch with us today to check in on us and see how we're doing. In a way, I kind of think that God allowed this to happen at this particular time because we needed a day of rest. Jon has today off as do I and we are pretty tired as we continue to adjust to our new busy schedule of school, work, apartment life, leading a spiritual formation group each week, and family life. It is for a season and He will sustain us! We are thankful to have a day at home with the kids and no option of going anywhere. A blessing in disguise :)

OH MY!...

We celebrated Graci's fourth birthday on August 24. I can't believe our first little bumpkin is four. To think that she'll be in kindergarten a year from now is crazy! She and Isaiah love to go over to our Korean friend's house to play. Kanghoon and Jihyun have a 4 year old daughter named Heidi that the kids love to play with. It's pretty neat to see that language is no barrier between kids. Heidi doesn't speak hardly any English, yet the kids don't care. I love it!

Isaiah is fully potty trained!!! Woohoo for only having to diaper one tushy!!!!! He is such a hoot and has very little volume control. Okay, let's just be blunt. He's LOUD! I know he gets that from me. I have recently apologized to my parents because I now understand what they meant when they told me I was so loud when I talked. Notice I put this all in the past tense because of course I am such a quiet and mild toned person now (please note the obvious sarcasm).

Ezekiel is growing and learning so much! He has even shown early signs of mobility. Scary!!! He mostly scoots backwards for now, but he does roll everywhere. He definitely does not stay in one place anymore. We were able to pick up a really nice swing from DTS "Luke's Pantry and Closet" a few weeks ago. He really loves it! We started him on rice cereal a few weeks ago. He enjoyed it for the first week and then realized how bland it is, so mommy spoiled him and started adding some mushed banana to it. Now he scarfs it down!

We have officially changed churches to Park Cities Baptist Church. We are really loving the teaching there and the people as well. As I mentioned earlier, the Sunday School class has been so welcoming and supportive to us-and we just joined the class 3 weeks ago. It's amazing to see the body of Christ rally together to help one another. It's so amazing to be part of a community like this again.

I'm sure you're all tired of reading by now. I'm sorry this update is late and thus became so long. Believe it or not I left out a lot of other exciting details (like tornadoes in Dallas and getting caught outside in a thunderstorm with the kids on a walk). Thank you for your constant love and support of us. Thank you for letting me share what God's been teaching us in our time here. I've believed for a long time now that we're not necessarily here for the purpose of Jon getting his THM degree from DTS, but for the journey that God will take us on through the process.

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