Friday, January 31, 2014

Last days of Waco

These past few weeks have been so busy and wild and filled with so much work, time with people and tears!  We tried to take advantage of every spare minute to be with friends and family or to be doing something "wacoan" up to our last day in our Texas.  
One last trip to Common Grounds, the local coffee shop I have loved since Baylor where I stocked up on coffee to take with me.  We also hit up HEB to get some favorite goodies, stopped by Homestead Heritage for a dozen pancake and muffin mixes, took a last trip to the zoo, bought even more Baylor paraphernalia, hung out with lots of friends, squeezed in a trip to Brownwood to see Brenner's grandfather and started our final day with kolaches from Kim! 





And our last morning was a perfect send off with kolaches from West, Texas from Kim!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leaving Waco, leaving home.

We have arrived in California!  

There will be lots more pictures for me to post from our last days in Waco and our trip around the country.  But over the last week of driving, between the dozens of book readings to the kids, the hours of kid CDs that we listened to, the 95 recitations of Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus that I sang with the girls and the 500 stickers that ended up all over us and the car, I was able to reflect and give thanks over our years in Waco.  
And when I began to write down all the things that happened in my life over the years there, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  
Overwhelmed with thankfulness.  
And overwhelmed at saying goodbye to this chapter of my life.  

I met Brenner on my first day at Baylor.
We graduated from college.  
We bought our first house on Austin Avenue. 
Brenner started his own business. 
I went to graduate school. 
I got my first real job.  
Brenner found a career.
We had our first baby. 
Brenner went to seminary. 
Brenner joined with Air Force Reserves.
I became a full time mom. 
We had two more babies. 
We said yes when the Air Force called for more. 

But even more than those events, we have been through so much. 

We struggled through the early years of marriage. 
And our marriage grew into an amazing partnership.
I was sick.  
And I was healed.  
We learned the trials of parenthood. 
And we found being parents is the greatest joy in life.
Brenner's business grew. 
And we learned great lessons through hard times when it didn't.
We thought we were going to lose our twins. 
And our faith and trust in the Lord became stronger.  
  We fought God on where He wanted to take us. 
And we have been blessed beyond measure when we obeyed His calls.  
 We searched for a home church. 
We found more than a church, we found family.
We made a lot of mistakes. 
And we learned to give a lot of grace. 
We tried to live up to the standards of the world. 
And we learned that the ONLY thing that matters is whether or not we are reflecting Christ.

Waco and our years there have formed who we are.
I can't imagine more happening in our next decade than what happened in the last!  
We met amazing people who we will have relationships with for a lifetime.  
We are grateful that God placed us in a community as unique as Waco to start our life together and to prepare us for this next phase.  We wouldn't have listened to God and followed His call to the Air Force if we hadn't been through the crazy, hard and wonderful years.   

It was so, so hard for me to leave.  I have lived in two places: Virginia and Texas.  I never imagined myself living anywhere else, and yet, here I am, feeling at complete peace with having our new life in California.  But don't get me wrong, Texas will still be called home ;)
We are excited for this adventure and I can only hope that we will come to love this new place and every other place we may be sent as much as we love dear old Waco.