Putting down roots

We've had a lot of changes in our family lately which has been exciting!

First of all, we have number of additions to our hobby farm: Jessie and Pinky are two Ingham Hisex chooks who live in Ben's home-made 'Taj Mah-Chook'. Ben spent about a month making it, all on his own....except for one Saturday when I helped him for a bit. Whilst it was mostly successful, I managed to slam the wire cutters shut on my thumb creating a huge blood blister! I gave up after that. Ben can make a chook cage for a month, but get me near tools for 30 mins and I injure myself! Sheesh!

So, we're very excited to have the chookies and Jessie's started laying already!

I lost my beloved Fendi sunglasses from Saks in New York, a special gift from my husband during our trip to the USA last year. They're probably now in someone else's handbag, been worn on someone else's face.....I know it seems like a stupid thing to be so upset about, but it's like losing a ring or special pair of earrings from your husband. I have no one to blame but myself, after leaving them on a seat by mistake in Grand Central shopping centre last Saturday. Much sadness, but I'm moving on, determined not to be held back by a material item!

We now have a lemon tree and a mandarine tree as well as my Mr Lincoln rose from Barcaldine. It's really lovely, despite my busy life, to go down there and potter about for 5 mins, feeding the chooks and watering plants. I count it as 'me' time! I was very interested to read Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies say that humans are meant to garden! If you think about it, God created humans to live in the Garden (Eden) and whenever He refers to a garden in the Bible, it's considered a peaceful, productive place. I'm very excited to get to our new home and get the garden going! Hopefully all the hard work now will pay off in a few years time when the lemon and mandarine trees are giving us lots of yummy fruit.

Finally, 4 months after moving here, am I getting any sense of actually putting down roots and settling. Apart from when we're at our new house, this entire place feels foreign and strange. It's been hard to get to know people since we're not really settled (ie. between 'homes') and the most significant thing: we haven't found a church that we really liked. Weird - since it's Toowoomba/Oakey and there's stacks of churches!

But our criteria for choosing a church was this:
1. Excellent Bible teaching. We want to be in a church who love God's word and want to talk about it and how it applies to our life.
2. Children's ministry. Obvious. :)
3. Music. We didn't want more disagreements between the 'I want the organ every week' and 'I want Hillsong music' groups. Over it.
4. Active. We're not interested in a church who sits in church listening to the Word without actually putting it into practice. We want to be involved in actively 'Seeking justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with our God' (Micah 6:8)
5. Supportive. We want to join a congregation who are supportive and open to each other through already established programs like small groups, Guess who's coming to dinner?, etc

That's it. The first two were absolute non-negotiable criteria. We have a nice local church at Kingsthorpe, but the children's ministry is for Prep and up and while the Sunday School teacher said that they have a 'meal', all my children talked about when they came out was the marshmallows and lollies....hmmmmm.....I wasn't too impressed. Our bodies are a temple to God and we should look after them in such a way that reflects the care and attention by which God made us.

We went to another great church who was yet to establish their children's ministry. It was sad to have to pass on them, especially since two of Ben's work colleagues go there. I know that I sound fussy and picky. But I believe you have to be today to find good teaching and good education for your children.

We've FINALLY found a church that meets all of our criteria. It's such a relief to begin building relationships again. There's a fair amount of adjusting that will be taking place, since we've been anglicans for over ten years! But we're ready for a change and so excited about the journey God's going to take our family on - the opportunities for ministry are ripe and ready to be picked!

Change is in the air for this little family: new home, new church, new denomination, new plants and animals.....new schooling.....

Yes, we finally heard from the christian school where we'll be sending our children. We have wrestled with the public v private schooling issue for AGES, but in the end decided that christian education was best for our family. We had a pretty strict criteria for choosing a school at the top of which was CHEAP FEES!! Our school has a fee that includes all excursions, stationery and books, which is great. All we need to do is lunches and uniforms! Plus, Neve's school fees will be a nice, rounded figure :).

So, with all this change, how am I feeling about it all?

Strange. Kind of like God's given me a new pair of shoes and I'm still walking funny in them because they just don't feel really comfy yet.

I have my days when I miss Roma. On those days, despite my prayers of 9 1/2 years finally being answered, I feel I could pack up and move straight back! I keep asking God, "Are you sure?". Are you sure I deserve this lovely new home and lifestyle? Are you sure I'm doing the right thing removing my children from public education? Are you sure this is the right church? Are you sure you're sure????

All I can do is keep moving forward, not looking back too much, keeping my eyes on the prize. Keep singing praises and my thank yous to my God who has given me so much. Trusting that my life is like a journey via a compass, as long as I'm heading in the right direction, the actual little steps I take (while still important) aren't to be agonised over - this just slows down my progress. Once my direction is set I need to step out confidently, trusting that God is with me....even without my Fendi sunglasses!

Comments

  1. I would be most upset about the sunnies too! Interesting thought about the gardening- I might have to start getting interested in it...

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  2. Terrific blog Julie. Love the Church criteria! Glad you have found one where you will be at home. Sorry about the sunnies, I HATE it when I do stuff like that. And love that you have found a great Christian school for your children. I think Roma would really benefit from a Christian school. BTW, we miss you too!!!

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