There has been a lot of change in my life recently. Most notably, Larry’s job change. While most spousal job changes mean that a spouse leaves and goes to a different location than he used to, our situation has been a little different.
Larry had served in youth ministry for the last 13 years, with the last 4 years at a church here. When he switched jobs to serve in missions full-time with International Commission, changing churches was the courteous thing to do. *** The prior church that Larry served in hired him as the student pastor, because the student pastor had been promoted to senior pastor. Pastor Steve did a great job of referring parents and students to Larry when they came to him. However, it was still a long transition before Larry was the student minister in people’s minds. We didn’t want that for the new guy. Plus, we knew that it would be difficult for our boys to understand the change of roles…No, that’s not Daddy’s office anymore; No, we’re not going to the youth room, etc. You understand. ***
So, Larry changed jobs and we changed churches. During the months prior to Larry’s resignation, we tested the waters at several churches by participating in nearly every Vacation Bible School in town. We fell in love with First Baptist of Conroe almost immediately. They had their VBS at night. That was great because it meant Larry and I could drop the guys off, pick them up and check things out together, rather than me scoping out the place/people on my own. The first night, as we checked the 3 big guys in, a woman approached me and asked if Caleb would like to come as well. I didn’t think that he could since the preschool classes were for workers’ children. However, she assured me there was plenty of room for one more and walked us to the preschool area. He was delighted! In fact, he still calls the church “Mega Sports Camp.” What impressed us most was a call that Larry received on that Thursday morning. Pastor Eric, the children’s minister, called every child’s parents to encourage them to attend on Thursday evening, when they would be presenting the gospel. He called EVERY parent! We were hooked.
So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches and we had to select a Sunday school class. Ugh, we have been teaching Sunday school for the last 12 years, we didn’t know how to pick one…we have always been assigned one or filling in for absent teachers. The most striking part of this process was realizing we were in the late 30s/early 40s age bracket. What?! I can’t go from 11th/12th grade girls to the 30s/40s class. That just didn’t seem right. But, we found that we love it.
So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school habits and Larry moved his office. Now, in the mornings, we get up, get the boys off to school and Larry goes to work…at his desk/study…in the game room. This has been perhaps the most jarring change of all. I ADORE my man. Hang out with me for one hour and you will know it is true. However, we’ve never been together constantly. That’s Constantly, with a capital C.
So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school, Larry moved his office to the game room and I took down Caleb’s crib (again). I took it down once before and mourned the changing of seasons in our lives. Happily, I put it back up just a few weeks later when I began watching a precious little girl three days a week. But, a year later, I’ve taken it down again to give to some friends that just had a baby. Larry loaded it in the back of his Sequoia last night and delivered it to them today. We realize that our Micah will probably be old enough to sleep in a big boy bed. And, we realize that by the time we have Micah home, our friends’ son may be big enough to sleep in a big boy bed himself. (Although, I can’t imagine that their son won’t have some siblings rolling down the pike!) Add to the change of our sons growing up that this crib is going to a couple much younger than us. In fact, this new daddy was a student in one of Larry’s youth groups and not the most recent one at that! Everyone is growing up! Sheesh.
So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school, Larry moved offices, I took down Caleb’s crib (thereby coming to grips with the fact that my children are getting older) and today, The Overalls broke. Caleb is a mini-man and as such, he was bequeathed the OshKosh Overalls that Joseph wore, that Gideon wore and that Jeremiah wore. Caleb has been wearing them frequently for the last 4-6 months. Today, one of the clasps broke. It completely broke and not in a “oh, I can fix this” sort of way. I could have lost it. I stood at the dryer, holding that darling set of overalls and wanted to cry. But, I did not.
There are too many blessings ahead for me to hold on to my yesterdays.
I don’t want to look over my shoulder and long for what is familiar. I want to continue to see my little men grow to be big men, to see my big man continue to grow as a godly man and for my heart to continue to grow and be transformed.
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining ev’ry day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
(Higher Ground - Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr., Music by Charles H. Gabriel)