Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update Part II

So we're feeling pretty good down here after just watching MSU pull out a sweet win against Tennessee. It is great to have things even like sports that tie us back to home...especially when they are exciting things.

So what else is keeping us busy, and a little overwhelmed and confused down here? Well, it really is the same story for us since we've come down here. We've mentioned it before, but we have surprisingly found ourselves in the middle of a large group of young kids from the neighborhood who have picked our house as a spot to always want to come and play. In many ways this is great, but at the same time it can quickly become quite overwhelming at times.

The confused part comes in when you add to this that our church, seeing this opportunity, has decided to start Bible Clubs for the kids on Wednesday nights. Awesome, but we are gaining a new appreciation for the difficulty of this as we have been asked to coordinate it (man, give me 20 college students any day over this). How do you take this group of 20 kids and get them to settle down for a Bible lesson? What kind of lessons keep them interested and what do these young kids who are so tough in many ways, but so young in many others, need to hear? Add to that the teachers are students from CIU who are in their first teaching experiences. So, although they are doing well overall, we are helping them learn as well and trying to balance when to step in.

So, some pretty cool stuff...just a little (or a lot) stretching at times.

Speaking of overall (using it above reminded me), Kelly was quite humorous today as we prepared to go out to watch the basketball game. She, quite the little Spartan, wanted to wear her MSU cheerleader outfit, but she faced the dilemma that she also wanted to wear her overalls. No problem for a creative 3 year old. She decided to wear the cheerleader outfit along with the overalls...turned into underalls in this case. It was quite the unique choice and I'm sure caught some stares at the restaurant...but hey...she's three so it's all fun.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Still here

So I know it has been forever since we have posted anything on here and I apologize for that. But, we are still alive and doing well down here, just very busy. There is so much to tell that has happened since December 6th (wow, that is a really long gap since the last post). It's too much for one post, so I'll just share what is on our minds right now and I'll try in some future ones to go back and tell a little bit of the past couple months. That there has been so much is one of the things that has kept me from posting, so busy and so much to tell.

Alright, what is going on right now. I'm not sure what the right word is...overwhelmed, confused, searching...none seem to quite fully describe the situation. There are really two big fronts that this is coming on, but I think one will do for tonight. As many of you know we live in a poorer neighborhood and many of the people have been hit especially hard by the economy. In the midst of that God has seen fit to bless us, but that leaves us trying to figure out how and where to help out. My roommate from college is in a similar situation and we have recently talked about our struggles in learning how to deal with this. There are just so many questions that don't seem to have clear answers. Who do you try to help? How much do you step in and try to give support and how much do they need to work through the problems themselves? People are going through hard times, but sometimes they are making some choices that are making things harder on themselves. It is especially hard in the case of our one friend, a single parent, whose decisions also affect children. What is called for then? Should we simply help, showing mercy because we all make poor choices? Should we be there as an encouraging friend because they truly are struggling and it is such a sad situation? Is this one of those times that calls for some hard truth to be told?

Out of all of this a couple of things seem to be coming clear. I think we are coming to the realization that we will never get this perfect. There are always times that we will make the wrong choice about where to live in balance. Yet, that does not mean that we should stop trying and learning to do it better and better. Also, admitting that we don't have it all together may be one of the biggest keys, I recently read this in a book and it struck me. We like to think that there is a nice easy plan to life (do A, then B, then C and presto...situation solved). Or we like to think that whatever comes we are capable enough to figure out what to do and handle it. Both of these really are us trying to look to ourselves rather than admitting that we need help. We need the help of others and most importantly the help of God. Admitting that we cannot handle it should not drive us to quit or to believe that things won't work out, instead it should drive us to our knees to ask for help and guidance in the situation. To be given wisdom for how to proceed when we have no idea. To look to God for our encouragement that He is in control and that He can work things out when I cannot. It is exciting to see that He answers. The message this morning was exactly along those lines and was the encouragement that we needed. God has provided good friends who can offer us encouragement as well as some sound advice to make sure we are making wise decisions. And most of all we have prayer, both to ask for help and to be renewed.

Sorry if this is overwhelming for a first post in awhile, it just is what is on our hearts for now.

P.S. Maybe it's small, but it was a nice encouragement that MSU pulled out an awesome win today.