Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not on the road, but making progress...

I had expected to be on the road to Montana by now, but life doesn't always go as planned. Last Thursday night I ended up with an abscessed tooth and had to get an antibiotic and pain medicine called in by my dentist.

On Friday, after praying about my plans to haul a trailer and talking with a sister and a friend, I decided against hauling a trailer. Instead I decided to put all but what I absolutely need in the next six months into a storage unit. Saturday, I didn't make it to church or anywhere else as I was sick from the medicine. On Sunday, my friend Denyse came to help me pack up stuff for storage and then on Monday her and her husband, my sister Ruth and her husband, my brother JD and I loaded up my friends van and my Jeep and hauled it all to storage.

Since then, I've been working on packing up the rest of my stuff to take with me to Montana. Yesterday, it became apparent that I still have more to go than what my Jeep will hold, so I'm now looking into car carrier options or as a friend of mine suggested, a "Hitch-Haul" carrier, which sounds like it may work.

Also, my tooth is still quite sensitive and today my dentist recommended that I have it pulled. So tomorrow, I will be visiting an oral surgeon to have the tooth pulled.

What a process! I would have never guessed how hard it would be just to move. I told God yesterday, that if for any reason I misunderstood Him and He really didn't want me to move, then please stop everything now, because it would only get worse from here. But, I haven't had anything that impresses me to stop, but rather to press on...and so, that is what I will on.

The new plan is now to leave Sunday morning, 6/3. This will allow me to see everyone at church before going, since last week I was sick. Also, it will allow me to see my sister Marie and her husband who are up from Tennessee this weekend. Hopefully, I will have Internet access next week and can update everyone more often.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Middle of the week...

Here it is...middle of the week already! Today, my sister Ruth was here to help with packing. With masking tape, we created a 4x4x8 and a 5x5.5x8 space to see how well all my stuff is going to fit in the U-haul trailer. Well, by mid-morning, I knew that a 4x4x8 was NOT going to work and I very likely will need to continue to get rid of stuff to fit all of the dishes, books, and my dresser into a 5x5.5x8 trailer. My clothes (except for what is in the dresser) can fit into the Jeep along with all my files, and hopefully the weight bench and the NordicTrak Skiing machine. Oh, I also have the two TVs, DVD players, VCRs, and my bread machines and a bike, but I don't know that I'll be able to take it. It isn't a great bike anyway and I would like to get a really nice bike, but we'll just have to see. Moving is such a difficult project! There is just so much to do! I'll sure be glad when it's done.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Final countdown

Here it is Monday evening of the final week before I leave. I'm done with the sale, but still have two refrigerators, a freezer, and a stove to get rid of! Someone did come to look at them tonight and I am praying that either him or someone else will be willing to pay at least a little money and move them on out of my house this week.

There is still so much purging and packing to do it is unreal! Thankfully, my sister Ruth offered to take a day off work and will be down to help me on Wednesday. I also have to get the transmission on the Jeep serviced and after towing a trailer tonight, there is a creaking noise in the rear of my Jeep. Doesn't thrill me, but I am hoping my mechanic friend, Charles, will be able to determine what it is and if it is anything to worry about. I tell you, when it comes to dealing with the vehicle, I SURE DO MISS MY PAPA!!! He would have already looked it all over, fixed whatever needed to be fixed, and probably even paid for the parts. This is an area of my life that remains hard to deal with. I'm not used to having to take care of my own vehicle and pay for all of the maintenance and repairs!

With being so busy this week, it's not always easy to remember to stay connected with God throughout my day, remain in His presence, but God is good. He has continued to remind me throughout the day that He is my source and all I have to do is lean on Him. God is really opening up some areas of my life that I both desire and need growth in. In the upcoming months I'll begin writing about some of what God is teaching me, but I want to write about them when I have more time to do so. This week is not that time!

Monday, May 14, 2007

If I had known...

Even though the current situation of selling and packing up my life is different than taking care of and watching my Dad die in 2004, the emotions being brought out through the process are very similar. If I had known how hard it was going to be to take care of my Dad, particularly during the last two weeks of his life and then watch him die, I don't know that I would have ever prayed for and taken on the commitment of taking care of my Dad.

In a similar way, if I had known how hard these last two weeks of selling/packing up my life, letting go of my dog, etc. were going to be, I don't know that I would have ever prayed for and made the commitment to move. Today it has felt like the emotional "floodwaters" were swirling around my neck and I felt like I might even going under for a few brief moments, to come back up coughing and choking, trying to catch my breath.

God has promised in Isaiah 43:2, that "When I pass through the waters, He will be with me, and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm me..." Well, I was counting on that today as I felt like I might go under to never breathe again.

I also realized today that no matter how hard it was to take care of and watch my Dad die, I never regretted my decision and commitment to do so. In fact, I have treasured the fact that God answered my prayer and gave me the opportunity to be there for my Dad, as he had always been there for me. I think I will feel the same way about this move, once I am moved and have gotten past the difficult part, it will be one of those decisions I'll never regret!

Practicing His presence in the midst of chaos...

This morning during my devotional time, I read a short paragraph in one of the books I'm reading, which really struck home with me.

Sometimes, life seems so full of pressure, there's always so much to do, that it seems difficult to "abide in Him," to "live in God's presence." And yet, just as the authors of this book remind me, "Practicing the presence of God isn't something to add to your already busy schedule. It doesn't take more of your time, it takes all of your time. It's what you do while you do whatever you're doing."

The authors go on to say, "But as you dwell in the presence of God, your life will gradually rearrange itself. You'll find that some activities don't seem appropriate anymore, or have simply gotten boring, and that without much effort they'll drop away. Other activities will take over, they will become your longing and your delight."

Lord, I pray that you'll take control of my schedule, my life, that I may do what You need me to do, live as You want me to live, and let go of what I need to let go of. May I find "rest in You alone." (Psalm 62:5)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Heart and soul of a young daughter...

Today, as I again tackled the overwhelming task of going through my stuff to get ready to move, I came across an envelope of my Dad's filled with a few photos and a Father's Day card or letter from each of his children that he had kept over the years.

One of the letters was from me, which I decided I would like to share with all of you that may be reading my blog. The letter was just so me, even at the young age of 17 or 18, so desiring to do right and yet struggling and being honest about the struggle.

The Letter to My Dad
[Note: There wasn't any date on the letter, but since I wasn't at home and the handwriting is very teenager-like, I was probably 17 or 18 when I wrote the letter.]

Dad, Happy Father's Day!!!

I do not have the money to buy a card, a gift, or to come see you, so here's a little note to say hi and let you know how much I love you!

Dad, I know that I make you worry a lot and I am sorry. Sometimes I try so hard - other times I don't - I hope someday that I can be everything you want me to be!

You are a man I admire very much! You are such a Christian - a gentle, quiet, loving father, a father who would give us your last slice of bread, your only shirt, and do your best to keep us from hardships.

I know you have worried over each one of us, loved us, disciplined us, and taught us.

Dad, many times life scares me - I am so scared of what I am or am not going to become. I want so much and I have a lot of weaknesses in my character which hinder me from obtaining. But Dad, I am so glad that you love me no matter what I do or don't do. I need your continuing love. Sometimes I am so scared that I will hurt you, that something will happen to you because of me. Dad, when I worry you and/or hurt you, I don't mean to.

I love you very, very much! I hope I can become "Daddy's Little Girl" that you can be very proud of! Thank you for being my Daddy! Connie

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Abiding in His presence...

I've been thinking and praying, over the past couple of days, about what it means to become a "Woman after God's own heart." This morning when I awoke and before getting up, I was talking to God and the first thought that came to my mind was that I need to abide in Him (Christ), relax and dwell in Him (John 15:4). This is my first step in becoming a "Woman after God's own heart."

By learning to abide and dwell in Him, thinking of and focusing on Him throughout my day, He will be able to "instruct me and lead me in the way which I should go" (Psalms 32:8); He will be able to "keep me from all evil; keep my life" (Psalms 121:7).

Lord, I pray today that I may learn to relax, abide, and dwell in You, in Your presence, Your light. May I seek Your face, Your love, Your thoughts, Your desires, and may they be planted in my heart to "energize and create in me the power and desire--both to will and to work for Your good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." (Philippians 2:13)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Start of a new life and a new blog!

Although I will always treasure growing up as "a farmer's daughter" (the name of my old blog), I decided I wanted a new blog that would better represent the new feelings and new life I am experiencing. So, here's my new blog, "Precious and Honored," which God says I am (Isaiah 43:4).