Tuesday, April 24, 2007
breakfast with a friend (part I)
Many of you have asked so I figure it is time to share how we got to Austin.

It's amazing what a little time away can do. This afternoon, I got to have some "me" time. I have not had time alone in quite a while. Actually, it's been about three weeks and that's entirely too long for a mother of three! Or any mother for that matter! My mind has been full of so many things and my heart has been heavy. I figured there was no better place to spend my two hours away than Starbucks. I arrived at Starbucks, anxious to sit alone and breathe, think and reflect. At that moment I wished for a laptop but pen and paper was all I had. It was then I decided to take advantage of those items and write the old fashion way. Yes, I used my hand writing skills and wrote out our story with pen and paper! And here's what came out at Starbucks.

It seems that I am in shock mode right now. I still can't believe I am here. While waiting on my grande, extra hot coffee, it hit me once again that I'm not in "Kansas" anymore. I mean Dallas! Standing at the counter, I survey the Starbucks. I look around at all the coffee mugs for sale. Every single time I go into a Starbucks, I am tempted to buy a new mug. Today was no different, except this time I refrained. I did not buy a new coffee mug! But I decided to go ahead and "window shop" and look. Suddenly I notice one in particular. It said, "STARBUCKS AUSTIN." Something about seeing that coffee cup made this new journey so real.

Just a few months ago, things were different. This, I did not see coming. You might say I was drinking from another cup. Ha!

We had just filed bankruptcy, chapter seven to be exact. Things seem to be looking up and we were on the road to a fresh start. The time had come where we began to feel that going back to a corporate worship service might be a good idea. Really we felt that we needed to do it for the kids. So we decided to go but not get involved for at least a year and maybe never. It's funny to think back to this chain of events because I can now see what God was doing. One Saturday night, we went to church. After it was over, we got in the car and Jeremy said, "We aren't going there. I mean I guess we can if you really want to but I don't think we are supposed to. I just think that God is going to bring the church to us." And then I begin to freak out! "Babe, what do you mean God is going to bring the church to us? We have got to get back into church! We have to try at least! We can't sit out forever and we need PEOPLE!" And he says, "Okay. We can go there if you want but I don't think we are supposed to be there. God has something for us, I know He does." I remember wanting him SO BADLY to say, "Okay let's go there. That is where God wants us." But, he didn't. I started questioning him and thinking, "Is he really praying about this? How does he know what we are supposed to do?" Clear as day, I heard the spirit of the Lord say to me, "Trust Jeremy."

About three weeks later, Jeremy found out he had a vacation. He knew it was in March but he thought it was the last week in March. Instead it was the first week in March. Prior to me knowing he was on vacation that week, I made plans with a friend of mine who lived out of town. Her and her husband would be in Dallas and she wanted to meet me for breakfast so she could see me and the kids. This was a couple we had served with at our old church. The husband was on staff as the Associate/Executive Pastor. While we were attending the same church, we were not close but one day I got an email from my friend telling me she had been reading my blog and that it had been a blessing to her. First of all, i was shocked to receive the email because I had not talked to anyone from our old church in a long time and second of all, I had no idea she was reading my blog. From that moment on, we began chatting on email and sometimes on Gmail instant messaging, eventually we talked on the phone. I really enjoyed our conversations because they were easy, light and fun. Sometimes we talked about recipes, decorating, our kids and even reality TV. I knew they had moved to Austin to plant a church so she often shared with me the fun stuff they were doing and all the people they were meeting. I will never forget hanging up the phone one day after talking to her and thinking to myself, "I wish we could be a part of what they are doing." But that was it! It was just a thought. And I think I thought how cool it would be to find something like that in our neck of the woods.

Okay so back to the breakfast. Jeremy was supposed to be working, so we thought but found out at the last minute (it was on a Friday) that he would be on vacation the next week. We made plans to do stuff as a family and we took care of everything regarding our bankruptcy. It was a fun week and also a week where I could go get my hair done since Jeremy was home. Without thinking, I accidentally scheduled my appointment for the morning I had planned to meet our friends for breakfast. Two different times I thought about canceling and explaining to my friend that Jeremy was on vacation and that I had to get my hair done. In fact, I emailed her to let her know that our breakfast would have to be fast because of my appointment. I really thought she would say, "Don't worry about it. We will do it another time." Instead, she said they would drive closer to me and meet earlier so we could have more time. And she said it would be nice to see Jeremy too since her husband would be with her. Honestly, I was not looking forward to getting all three kids dressed and ready to meet for breakfast at 8am. That's early in our house!

Well, we all made it to the breakfast and had a great visit. We mainly talked about our kids and the TV show, Heroes and laughed over some good times at our old church. I was having such a good time that I lost track of time and realized I was going to be late for my hair appointment. We wrapped things up and all walked out together. As we were leaving they told us to come visit them and if we wanted to go to Sea World, it would only be an hour and a half from their house. I can't explain it but as we walked away to go our separate ways, I felt kind of sad. I thought how nice it would be if they really were friends that we could spend more time with but I knew that with them living in Austin, that would not be possible. Still to this day I remember driving away and feeling connected to them. I did not understand it but I felt it. Before we could even get out of the parking lot, I looked at Jeremy and said these words. "Wouldn't it be cool if we could move to Austin and help them plant the church?" And the words that came out of my husband's mouth STILL shock me to this day. "Maybe that's what we are supposed to do. I could finally leave UPS and we could be a part of something that we believe in and understand." Then I say. "Our families would FREAK OUT!" And Jeremy said, "Yeah. It would be hard. It would be really hard to not have grandparents to help us with the kids but what if, just what if this is what God wants us to do?"

Shock! Pure shock ran through my body. Anyone that knows Jeremy KNOWS how crazy that conversation is. I could not believe what I was hearing. I knew that God was leading Jeremy to quit his job, I just wondered when in the heck he would do it or how. Instantly, INSTANTLY, I KNEW, I mean I KNEW that God was leading us to move. But I remained skeptical with Jeremy. I wanted it to be his idea, not mine. I did not want to play salesman to him. For the FIRST time EVER in our marriage, I kept my mouth shut so he could figure this out with God. I had played Holy Spirit way too many times in the past and I was not about to do it again.

to be continued...

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  posted at 11:50 PM

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anna said...

I think this might interest you: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20070424/sc_livescience/studyreligionisgoodforkids;_ylt=Auot29js3s0RvINqodLwT5HMWM0F

and your kids are lovely

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Wow! Reading this I had chills at the awesome power of God at work in you rlife. Thanks for sharing your story... it is truly inspirational! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Munchkin Land said...

I, too, had chills as I read this story. I can't wait to read the rest. It is SO obvious how God has lead you to Austin and I pray that my husband and I could hear his direction as clearly as you guys did! Thanks Amanda!


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