Friday, January 18, 2013

:: New Year, New Things ::

Well, here we are over halfway through the first month of 2013.  Never has a year so unbelievably SUCKED like 2012, so I have met this new year with much anticipation and relief.

I have come to the realization that if this year goes down the same toilet as last year, there are things that I can do to make it better for myself.  There are some things under my control and I intend to control them.  My health, the kids' health, setting goals, keeping the house tider, getting rid of excess clutter/mess, exercising, praying, reading more...eating better...investing more in the relationships that have value and that invest right back...anyway, more on goals in a minute.

We still haven't found a new church.  We've been trying out several and had Sundays we haven't gone anywhere.  A couple of churches that we expected to love, we decidedly did NOT like (that's putting it nicely).  A couple, we did like -- a lot.  There is one in particular that we REALLY like, but it's just so BIG.  If we could get over the size issue, it would be a no-brainer.  I know there is no perfect church out there, but as long as we are eliminating options, I feel okay about still looking.  There are times when I feel stressed, sad and grumpy about the whole thing.  There are times I feel happy, joyful and excited.  There are times when I simply don't care.  My emotions have been through the ringer.  I do miss our church dearly.  Dearly, dearly, dearly.  I miss the people, relationships, the music...the size...the warmth and hospitality.  I can tell you one thing -- after going to all of these different churches, I can tell you that friendliness, relationships and hospitality is something The Rock Church did WELL.  Church-shopping (I hate that term) is not what I expected.  Here are some things that have surprised me:


  • Church-searching is HARD.  
  • It is exhausting - especially mentally.  It's easy to over-analyze, over-think and lose your mind.
  • It is NOT fun.  
  • People are weird.
  • People can be clique-y and rude (this was not the case in every church, but I was surprised to experience it where we did.
  • Being new sometimes equates to being invisible, unfortunately.
It hasn't all been negative.  Some people are SUPER nice.  Attending the "mega" type church has been the most eye-opening.  Some of our best and not so best experiences have been at these churches.  It's all over the place and it's all just so interesting to me.  I grew up in church with my dad as my pastor, then up here to WA, again family were my pastors.  I'm used to that. I'm used to church being easy and familiar.  I'm used to warm hellos and hugs and handshakes.  That has been the hardest part for me in attending these new churches -- and the most exciting.  I feel like this is a time for me to grow out of that phase.  It's just all been too easy.  I've never been the "new family at church" before.  I don't like it much, but I welcome it and look forward to getting into a church and growing into our roles - whatever they may be.  I miss leading worship dearly with Ryan.  That has probably been the most painful part of all of this.  I miss singing with him.  We've been blessed to be on the worship schedule at a local church once a month, which has helped with this a huge deal.  They've been gracious to Ryan and I, allowing us to settle in there - even if just for now.  We don't know if we'll settle here permanently, but it sure is great to still have this option and the opportunity to do what we love.  Thanks, Creekside!

Side Note: I wanted to express my thanks to those of you out there who have sat with me (and Ryan), talked with me, hashed things over, over-analyzed, over-thought, and talked things to death with me.  Thanks for listening to our groans, our hurt and anger at times, our sarcasm and our pain.  Thanks for laughing with us, joking with us.  Thanks for letting us bounce ideas off of you, ask you for advice and opinions, and express our raw and honest feelings.  Mostly, thank you for sitting with us, praying with and for us and for being great friends and confidantes.  Thanks for not thinking we're silly and overdramatic...it's truly been a grieving process, letting go of something we helped build all those years ago.  Thank you for being our friends and allies at a time when we really needed it.  We reached out to you and you responded...thank you!  (Especially those of you who let me swear and yell and cry and didn't judge). :)

We're still praying and searching for direction.  No decisions have been made.  Our kids are doing well with all of this -- they miss our church and their friends, but they've been such troopers.  We'll keep going.  I have no doubt...we'll make a decision eventually.  

Meanwhile, I'm thinking about what other changes I want to make this year.  Of course, health and weightloss is numero UNO....I'm tired of feeling tired and crappy all the time.  The kids are getting bigger and faster and I need to be able to catch them.  Besides all that, our family is running Bloomsday this year and I want to be able to not collapse (unlike my father-in-law last year).  I doubt I'll be able to RUN the whole thing, but I'm sure going try.  I also would like to (finally) learn how to play the guitar.  I have other musical dreams, but they're mine for now and I'm not sharing. ;)  I also want to learn/grow more with photography.  I love, love, love photography and wish I had more time to dedicate to it.  I'm going to work on that.  Also, print/frame more of my stuff.  Because it ticks me off that it's all sitting on a hard drive.  Lastly, blog more.  I love to write and I love this blog.  Expect to see more of me.

Anyhow, I am still trying to kick this 2 week bug, so I'm off to take a little nap while the kids are in bed.  People out there are dropping like flies with this flu...I hope you're all staying well.  My poor kids' little hands are so dry and raw from washing them.  I'm paranoid.

Happy 2013, Everyone!

Because I forgot...photos from our first Christmas morning at home as a family!  It was wonderful...