Saturday, August 29, 2009

Unexpected and Undeserved

When was the last time you experienced the Lord's provision in a very personal and unexpected way? Have you ever found yourself fretting and spending wasted time wondering how a particular matter is going to work out? Have you ever had all of that worry come to a grinding halt because He intervened suddenly?
I have written much in my journal recently, not here until now, about a particular matter to which I have devoted much unnecessary worry. With graduation just around the corner, I've spent downtime wondering about my current employment, how that will be affected in the coming months, and ultimately wondering if there is something more for me post-seminary in regard to a career field. I have had a couple of possibilities in mind regarding potential career fields, just things to be considering for when we have graduated and know where we are going to be living more long-term. Concerning my immediate situation, though, my fretting has increased with each passing week as I wonder what will happen with this job I have been blessed to have with such a wonderful company these past four years. I honestly have no desire to leave the company at any point in the near future. However, I have been faced with two very real concerns; not only have I been antsy and unsettled with my current role, ready for new challenges from what I have been doing, but this particular role I am in cannot be fulfilled outside of the Louisville office. The nature of the role requires that my team interact with various departments within the office which simply can't be done remotely. Between interviewing for several open positions in other departments and wondering where in the world we will be in just a few short months, my trust has been gradually decreasing as worry has made itself at home in my heart.
Around the close of business this past Monday afternoon, I was faced with yet another rejection. I interviewed for a position a couple of weeks ago, one for which I was most eager, but was once again told "No. You're great and have strong qualities, but..." The words had become a familiar tune, but as I returned to my desk and prepared to leave for the day, I was filled with an unnatural peace. Sure I was disappointed, but I was genuinely fine with being told that I just wasn't the right fit for the job. I went home on Monday evening and told my husband, sharing with him my feelings of contentment and peace. He also reminded me that it was probably good that I was not selected considering that I would potentially have to resign in just a few short months if we move away following graduation. I woke up on Tuesday morning with a renewed sense of peace, eager to arrive at work and do my job well and with gratitude.
Much to my surprise, I was called into another manager's office that Tuesday morning for a rather unanticipated discussion. A certain role at the company has come available, one for which the current woman in that position has put in her resignation. Her husband is a student minister, and she has been wanting for some time to be more involved in his ministry (I knew her briefly while her and her husband were still here in Louisville as he was finishing seminary). Without having posted the job opening, without formally interviewing me or any others for that matter, I was offered the job!! I was in such shock at what I was being offered that I didn't respond for a few seconds. After pulling myself together, I eagerly accepted and began the process of talking with my current managers and signing the official offer letter. Here is where it gets interesting, and why I wanted to laugh at how incredible and unexpected this was - The woman who is resigning from this position has been in the role for two years... from Florida. When her and her husband moved to Florida following graduation, her manager basically created the position for her to be able to perform her job functions from her home office. So, not only have the managers (both current and the ones I will be working under) known and agreed that I was ready for new challenges at work, but they specifically offered me the job knowing that I will likely be moving away in the near future! My closest friend at work and I laughed all day just at the wonderfully unexpected turn of events.
Can I humbly be something to those of you reading this who may be struggling with trust in a very real and personal way? Can I be a living testimony of how the Lord provides even when we neither expect nor deserve such provision? I have not been trusting Him in recent months - I have not laid hold of and practically believed His unbreakable promises. He promises to provide, to sustain, to care, to uphold those who put their hope and trust in Him. We will not always, may not ever, fully see or understand what He is doing in our lives, but we can rest in knowing that He is doing something. He does not leave us to ultimately fend for ourselves when our hope is in Him. He is our only real hope! I have spent much of this week after the news of the job offer repenting and thinking upon the very promises He has given in Scripture. This job offer wasn't merely good news. The offer was an immediate punch in the gut as I came to the sudden realization of how much worry and doubt were taking the place of the very rich promises written on my heart. I needed this wakeup, this prompting of the Spirit to confess where I have not trusted and declare that I am wholly dependent on the Lord. I implore you, as a living testimony of such undeserved provision, to rest in His promise of provision and abundant life. He works in such unexpected and undeserved ways, even when we are so quick to doubt.
"My Shepherd will supply my need, Jehovah is His Name
In pastures fresh He makes me feed, beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back when I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy's sake, in paths of truth and grace."
(Isaac Watts)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
~Isaiah 26:3-4~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Beginning of the End

(Photo courtesy of
The beginning of our last semester at Southern...can it be? Are we really nearing the end of such a significant season? My husband started classes today, and I will start on Thursday. Being the sentimental person I am, I wouldn't be surprised if there is are tears at random moments over the next four months as I take in all of the sights and sounds of this beautiful campus...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Amazing Quote on Husband's Headship

"The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church—read on—and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25).
This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is—in her own mere nature—least lovable. For the church has no beauty but what the bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.

The chrism [anointing, consecration] of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of the bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence.

As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labors to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears."

~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 105-106

(HT: Desiring God Blog)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Hodge-Podge Update

After three weeks of suffering without, my dear laptop is back! Three support techs, more phone calls than we could count, and a trip to and from the Dell service center later, she's back and (seems to be) working fine. I think if we had waited any longer, we would have had to make another one of those dreaded calls to Dell...this being just a week before school starts and all. With the lack of the laptop came a slight lack of blogging, so this one is simply going to be a random rundown of little things that have been going on with us!
First things first - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DAD!!!!!! Yes, my parents' birthdays are only two days apart. My dad is known by many people and by many names: from Mark to Mr. Man to, of course, Dad. Everyone who knows my dad knows that he never ceases to put others first, he is perhaps one of the most compassionate men you will ever meet, and he has been the most supportive father a daughter could ever ask for. I am so thankful for him, and I have been encouraged by his enthusiasm in desiring to be closer to the Lord. He has such a servant's heart, and is someone whom we can all learn something from about both sacrifice and giving. I love you, Dad!!!
The pictures below are from our puppysitting days in July:

That face will melt your heart! We had so much fun with Sammie here, and she reminded us of why we love border collies so much. Although still very much a puppy at just three months old, she caught on to our routine and direction so quickly. We also got quite a kick out of watching her pounce and walk all over Nali.

Our little ice princess, Maia, finally started to melt after the first week of having Sammie in the house. She went from complete avoidance to plopping down on the floor with her or playing a game of chase around the livingroom.
Around the time that the laptop crashed, we went into a cleaning frenzy! I had anticipated this task being put off until November (at the earliest), but we suddenly got in the mood to start pulling things out of the closets and shelves one weekend. It was insane how much we pulled out, and I'm not certain that we're finished just yet!

What do you get when you marry someone with whom you have shared both undergraduate and seminary classes, all totaling about five years of school? We took three FULL boxes of books to a local Christian bookstore that buys used books, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much they gave us in return.
Then, it was on to the closets...oh, dear...

Farewell to my very last pair of plaid pants (I can hear certain friends and family laughing right now). Although they were by far the least loud of the plaid pants I have owned in my lifetime, it was still time for us to part ways. Readers, if you have seen my wardrobe at any point in the last fifteen years, this is significant! I sort of feel like I've actually entered the adult world now that my wardrobe is plaid-free!
Speaking of being an adult, and being on this recent clean-up kick, I decided to get a new haircut as well. I basically told my stylist that I was tired of looking like an adult from the neck down, but feeling like a disheveled girl as far as my hair was concerned:

If you've stuck around for this long, I hope you have enjoyed what has definitely been a random hodge-podge of an update!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Happy "Double Nickel" Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I wish we could be there to celebrate with you, but we'll be thinking about you even still. I hope you have a very relaxing and sweet birthday weekend, reflecting on all of the ways the Lord has so richly blessed you over the years! We have so many reasons to be thankful, there are so many good gifts He has given, and I hope you are mindful of such things on this your "double nickel" birthday!
All our love ~ B & J

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Snapshots of the Storm

(Picture courtesy of Wave 3 News)
Louisville has made the national news three times in less than a year due to the weather! I realized that this morning has I was browsing the countless viewer photos posted on multiple news websites. The picture above was available on one of our local news sites, and depicts almost exactly what I saw from my 4th floor window at work around 8:00am yesterday morning.

I had to leave work early yesterday afternoon, and the two pictures I managed to take show how the sky looked in between the two major systems that came through. It was truly a fascinating sight to behold...

(Picture courtesy of WLKY 32 News)
The aftermath at Churchill Downs

(Picture courtesy of WLKY 32 News)
The biggest headline yesterday was the massive flooding that swept through the University of Louisville campus. The pictures taken of the library and parking lots and other facilities were unbelievable.

The weather is so amazing at times. It often reminds me of how small we are, how we have no control over such events, and brings to mind the vast expanse of God's sovereignty over all things, even the greatest of storms.