A lot of changes have come about this last year and a half…
We moved to Encinitas when my grandfather’s health began failing.
We changed school districts, new grocery stores, new public libraries, new couches, new pets, new daily routine’s…
My grandfather got sick and died. Our routine now adapted to my grandmother’s ability to cope without him.
During that time Eric stayed home for months, MONTHS !!! God opened the door to a new life that we thought would always be just a dream!
Eric applied to various computer programming jobs… jobs that have been a dream that he has passionately worked towards for YEARS…then, he got one.
Our prayer’s were answered and again, our life changed! We went from making large paychecks WEEKLY to not knowing IF another paycheck is coming at all. But we are getting by, we are praising God for the amazing changes in our life and the wonderful opportunity for him to be home, finally HOME.
Because Eric had stepped through the door that opened, allowing him to work from home… he also agreed to coach Kaelob’s Pop Warner Team… a first for both of them. A beautiful, wonderful, exciting first that has been going SO well. I am so thrilled to watch them each week and participate together as a family.
Our Pastor of our church , through a series of God’s ever so subtle directional nudges of life, decided to move his family up north and take on a new job being the amazing pastor that he is at a new church… this change was very uncomfortable and hard for those of us left behind. Our Pastor mentored us in our youth and continued teaching, guiding and encouraging us into our adult life. NOT having him around wasn’t necessarily “bad” but it sure wasn’t a good feeling either. We had promised ourselves we would remain committed to the church and honor his wishes by doing so. We tried to adapt to the changes going on around us.
But then those changes involved the children I had loved and cared for almost every Sunday for the last five years. Decisions were made and plans were formed, I pray, with these children’s best interests at heart. Although the end result was an empty classroom that I had once called my own and confusion regarding what I was to do now (where could I help, was I needed, was I even wanted anymore???) I hoped and prayed that all this was happening for a reason.
We embraced the new. Maybe, we thought, this was the nudge we needed to step out on our own and try a new church…
I don’t think either of us were quite ready for completely new, so we went with the next best thing: a church that I attended as a “Baby Christian” all the way until shortly before meeting Eric and attending the Youth Group in which our ex-Pastor taught.
We attended this new church a few Sunday’s ago. It was SUCH a strange feeling for me to see familiar faces, familiar places and yet everything was SO new and different. I felt sort of lost but somehow also felt like I was right where I should be. We walked our children to their classes;
Peytne saw the ball pit, you know like the one at indoor play areas… she was IN LOVE. Haylee found a magical closet in her classroom FULL of art and craft supplies(not to mention apparently there is a cute boy that comes second service whom she enjoys playing with in the sand box**), Kaelob was welcomed into his class warmly and encouraged to walk himself upstairs and join the big kids in worship, he did. I exhaled deeply when we picked him up and marveled at the TREMENDOUS changes within him specifically over these last few years… I remember the days I could hear him growling and screaming from the children’s classrooms while in service or trying to teach my own class… it was a miracle back then if he could make it through ONE service without having to be pulled from his class…I know A LOT of his success this day has to do with the changes he has worked so hard to make, however part of me believes this church and their children’s ministry played a huge part as well. They came clamoring out of their classrooms waving “bible bucks” ready and eager to spend them. They also shoved a slip of paper in my hand that had their memory verse and mini lessons printed on it for us to use during the week…. I sighed and felt at peace… my children were being fed spiritually, AND they were excited about it!! Not to mention the ministry was equipping me with simple tools to encourage this growth during the week as well! This change, this new church was clearly a blessing to my children.
It was also a blessing to our marriage. The first Sunday we arrived, new, lost and fumbling our way to our seats… partly hoping to go unnoticed… we were confronted by my old Head Master from Santa Fe Christian; a kind familiar face who just so happens to remind me so dearly of my grandfather. He eagerly invited us to their class that was just starting back up during second service….this class was called “Family Life”. It was taught by my old Head Master and his amazing wife. They planned to speak about marriage, parenting and how God’s Word can be an amazing guide and strength through the years. We tip toed our way into the ‘Cafe’ and were immediately introduced and given name tags. We were given a place at a table with some other couples and as we began to talk we learned that one couple lived next door to our daughter’s best friend from Kindergarten and practically already knew her from their in depth conversations with this little girl about her days at school. The other couple happen to also have a son playing for LCC Pop Warner AND the husband is also a coach AND they practice on the same field at the same school we do every week. THIS is what we were waiting for. The chance for my children to meet kids in church that they see in school or other activities… for ME to bond with other moms, other wives, other women who live close by so that I dont have to drive 30 minutes just to spend 5 minutes with a friend. We enjoyed the welcome brunch and learned about the schedule for the class. Their next topic was “strong willed children” if thats not perfect I dont know what is!!
As we were leaving I was confronted with yet another invitation… to MOPS. I had never attended a MOPS group before (Mother’s of Preschooler’s) but thought, what the heck, let’s add one more thing to the mix. Tell you what, I LOVED IT> it was so encouraging to have a panel of mothers up in front of our group discussing mistakes they’ve made or lessons they’ve learned over the years with their (now grown) children. I was also encouraged by all the mom’s there with children the same age as my own and that I could find more than one thing in common with them all.
Being the student and not the teacher, is SO new to me. Being NEW and not the regular attender is SO NEW to me. despite all the “newness” and the uncomfortable feeling i get in my gut, I know that it is all for the best… I feel encouraged that I can hear God’s whisper to me that this is my time to learn. This is my time to step back and just be taught, to just listen and believe and grow. It is scary, but it feels SO rewarding by the end.
SOOOO Anyway, these are just a FEW of the important changes and NEW things that have come to our lives. I hope you will not be upset or offended if I had not told you earlier that we began attending a new church, it honestly was not planned… it was a last minute ‘nudge’ from God that we followed through with. I hope you will continue praying for us during this time of adjustment… whose to say this new church will be our “new home” spiritually, but for right now I truly believe we are meant to stay here. I will miss seeing all your faces (if you attend our old church) BUT hope you can understand this is our time. God has opened doors for us to be together as a family to make this change because honestly its the ONLY way it would have ever happened.
Thank you for your prayers.
2 Replies to “New Changes, New Growth, New Blessings.”
We will sure miss you but this sounds like just the right move for your family! God is good.
:'( tears! I am SO happy for you and I wish I was around to see the amazing changes that I read about (I am so happy that you blog them!).. Yea Kaelob and Yea Ranaldi family! We love you!