A New Adventure

A New Adventure

Welp... since it's now on Facebook (meaning it totally wouldn't be official otherwise...*wink*) I finally feel free to spill my guts like I've been wanting to for a good long time. In case you haven't noticed (but you have, right?? You know my insecurities!) I've been a little MIA lately and as I've sort of alluded before, when I can't say everything I'd rather not say anything so... I haven't. Ordinarily I'd be more than content to just share my usual mindless drivel (speaking of, don't worry... I haven't abandoned my Disney playlist series!) but I've been SO busy that even those posts were not really happening.

So, this is the story all about how my life got twisted, turned upside down... oh, wait. I'm not moving to Bel Aire. (But bonus points if you can finish that song!) Anyway. Back to business.

As long as I've known Jonathan, he has talked about wanting to be involved in church planting/home missions in some way. He talked about it in high school, in college, and since we've been married. But clearly the Lord has had other plans for us for the past four years, and we've been content- happy even- to serve where we've been called, both Goldsboro and New Bern- "blooming where we're planted," if you will. But remember my word of the year? (If you've carelessly forgotten, it was delight... but more on that in a second.)

So, over the past few months, Jonathan started feeling more strongly about this home missions thing and wondering how and when it might work out for us to get involved in it. (Also, I was totally in the dark about this for much of the time... he's sneaky that way.) In April, we talked with Heath, our friend who happens to be a home missionary to Houston. And he asked us to pray about coming there. Huh. This was unexpected, but it wasn't really a shock. I mean, Jonathan's praying about an opportunity, and here comes one knocking... I believe that's called luck, no? (Just kidding; obviously it was all God's doing.) 

Clearly this isn't the kind of thing you just decide on a whim, so we were thinking and praying and worrying (well, I was) but it worked out for us to take a trip to Houston at the beginning of June... incognito, of course. 

This is my "Holy cow, what in the world are we doing?!" face. It was mostly attributed to my anxiety about the trip but partially to the fact that we were flying out of New Bern in what was essentially a toy plane. 

When we arrived going there was just a possibility, but when we left it was very clear that God wanted us at Woodforest. Both of us really felt in our hearts that it was right, and our "well, maybe" turned into "okay, how do we make this happen?" And so we continued to pray and figure things out, and while it's still not ALL figured out, right now we know that next week we'll be out of our apartment, living in Goldsboro, and spending the next few months raising support as associate missionaries. Wow! 

It's been a crazy summer... packing up our house, spending several weeks really having no idea what we were going to do, and then finally (after some setbacks) seeing things fall into place. I have a feeling that God's planning on teaching me a LOT over the next few months. I know this process so far has basically taught me that I have absolutely zero control over much of what happens in my life, which, as you can imagine, has made me more than a little crazy. =) But that's the beauty of following God's plan... even if I'm not entirely sure exactly what it looks like, I know that He does. He sees around every corner (and really, I'm kind glad that I can't.) This has been, and will be, an exercise in faith. 

Today... finally relaxing now that the news is out!

Naturally, this kind of news is accompanied by a myriad of emotions... excitement, joy, fear, terror (you know I love my anxieties!) but mostly peace that we are doing what God wants us to do. I mentioned my word delight earlier, and it's been really neat to see the promise of Psalm 37:4 unfold. Honestly, there have been times recently, and specifically the past two months, when delighting was the last thing I've felt like doing. It's not really easy to delight in uncertainty... in fact, it's probably my least favorite thing! But as Jonathan has faithfully sought God's will, faithfully served where we are, and delighted in the Lord, I've been able to watch God give him the desire of his heart... a desire that's been present since he was a teenager on his first missions trip. And, like only God can, He has given me- despite all my fears and insecurities- that same call to share with my husband. 

Things are going to be crazy for the next few months... and honestly, I don't know exactly how everything will go down, so I'm glad I know the One who holds tomorrow! I'll be sharing all of our progress as it arrives, so follow along. It's going to be an adventure! Oh, and please pray for us! I just know you will, because you are awesome that way. =)


When It Rains (Well, You Know...)

When It Rains (Well, You Know...)

So, I was working on a really perky, upbeat post about how awesome camp was (I know! Can you believe it? Me??) but alas, life had other plans. I thought it would be far more entertaining- cathartic, even- to share with you a little glimpse into the last 48 hours in the life of the McNeese family. As I write this, it's after midnight, I'm staring with bleary eyes at this screen and the television, listening/watching The Parent Trap (1998 version... before LiLo went all cray-cray) and trying to ignore the fact that our AC is out. What? Oh, don't worry... that little calamity is only a part of my tale of woe. Enjoy.

So, on Friday night at camp, Jonathan started complaining that he had the chills and felt achy. [Editor's note: this was AFTER I had spent half of Thursday in the bed moaning in pain from a heinous sunburn. Just wanted to throw that in there in case you were tempted to use up all your sympathy on a certain lanky McNeese). Since I can sometimes be a little mean somewhat lacking in sympathy and because it was hardly a convenient time for him to jump ship and abandon me with all the children, I was reluctant to buy his story. But I sent him down to our room anyway and followed when I finished eating (because the chicken was fabulous and I do have my priorities, people.) 

So, I went down to check on Sickie and, to my dismay, he was so hot (and while I think he's adorable, I mean his actual temperature.) He was burning up and his throat hurt and he was just miserable. It was pitiful, actually. So I gave him so medicine, dutifully laid a cold rag on his head (because that's what Laura Ingalls would do) and went back up to the service. And THEN during the service one of our boys, who had had pink eye the day before, came up to me with his eye swollen again so I went and got his medicine, shakily dropped it in his eyes, grabbed Jonathan a Powerade, and went back to check on him. 

He wasn't really any better, but he didn't want to miss the game time and fireworks (also, he was going stir-crazy) so he roused himself out of bed and powered through the next couple of hours. Bless his heart... he did get roped into doing a game/skit and I know people were probably like, "This guy isn't very funny..." (he's not really a skit guy, anyway) but I was really praying that he wouldn't pass out onstage. (That would have given the skit an unexpected turn...) Anyway, he lasted for an admirable length of time, but I sent him down to the room before it was all over. 

Right in the middle of his misery... he wasn't drugged up on anything, I promise... although he probably should have been.

I slept great that night, but unbeknownst to me, Jonathan was waking up, like, every hour. So, he didn't really sleep at all and then while we were loading up the van the next morning he threw up in the bushes. (It was as dreadful as it sounds.) And even though I offered to drive home, he insisted on doing it himself- a lack of confidence in my driving, perhaps?- and seemed a little more pitiful with each passing mile. (Okay, full disclosure: I was asleep for over half the trip and had the Aladdin soundtrack blaring through my headphones the whole time.) By the time we got back to the church, he was completely out of it and as soon as everyone was dumpedwiththeirparents picked up we headed home and promptly slept like the dead for four hours. 

Unfortunately things went from bad to worse (or worser, which is a double comparison but seems necessary to convey the level of despair in the situation) because when we woke up, Jonathan's throat was killing him and (lucky us) our ONE urgent care center was closed (since apparently we live in Mayberry) and so last night was a really fabulous bout of trying not to succumb to the horrible pain and only finding a little relief from some throat spray. Also, his fever was super high again, around 101, and one of his eyes was oozing something really gross... but more on that later. (During this time, I was sleeping like the compassionate nurse that I am.) Also, we kept wondering why it was so warm in the house...but, I am getting ahead of myself. Read on.

This morning, I was relieved to find that his fever had broken... but his throat was still really sore. It was my week to sing, so I left Sickie to go to practice, Sunday school, and church but rushed back home to his side (haha) and as soon as we could, we left to wait for the urgent care to open. Ah, Urgent Care... the great American oxymoron. First you get to wait for over an hour just to go back to the holding cell where they make you THINK you're going to see a doctor and then you get to wait for another hour. It's so much fun!!! It's even more fun for those of us sitting in the waiting room with screaming toddlers. Poor parents. (In the urgent care's defense, everyone there was super nice.) 

SO, the diagnosis was strep throat (obviously) and the nice people called in a prescription at Target and said it should be ready in about half an hour. We went and got some food, ate it in the car, and THEN went to check on the prescription and- shocker- the pharmacy hadn't even received the order yet. So, it was going to be another 20-ish minutes. Obviously, killing time in Target is one of my spiritual gifts but poor Jonathan was seriously about to keel over (since we'd been at the doctor, his fever had shot back up and he was achy again.) Finally, after we stocked up on the essentials (namely, orange juice and pizza rolls because we have the palates of broke college students), the drugs were ready and we were headed home. Home... where the air was set to 73 but the temperature was actually 78. Hmmm.... curious.

There was just enough time to rest a little and then head to church for me to run the kids class alone (well, with Mrs. Jo). Nothing reminds me how much more comfortable I am with teenagers than having to get up in front of little kids. Poor kids... thank goodness for Veggie Tales! (We watched Lord of the Beans and it was quite clever.) Also during this time, I got a text from Jonathan saying that his eye was swelling. (I told you that the eye would come back up.) I rushed home from church, distributed another round of drugs, and then noticed that the Oozing Eye was even more... oozy and was now completely bloodshot. Remember the pink eye?? Yep... that's it! On top of the strep, he's got an oozing, swollen, bloodshot eye. And naturally these symptoms are all compounded by... wait for iiiiiiiit.... 

...Our AC is out. SHUT UP. ("I beg your pardon? Shut up? Your majesty, in America it doesn't always MEAN 'be quiet'; here it could mean 'wow, gee whiz, golly-wolly.'") So, my husband is basically the Walking Dead and on top of that it's a billion degrees in our house. Since it's always too hot upstairs even when the AC works, our only option is sleeping downstairs with the fan cranked up, a move that's sure to give Jonathan a sinus infection by morning. Poor thing... his immune system is like Jacob in the Bible... all wimpy (and, since I never get sick, mine is apparently the hairy, burly Esau. What a lovely comparison for us as a couple!) 

So, The Parent Trap has ended... I forgot how much I love that movie. I laughed AND cried. Jonathan is conked out on the floor... I know he's going to be sore but it's been so hard for him to go to sleep that I hate to move him. (Well, wake him up so he can move. You know I don't have the upper body strength to lift a grown man.) But anyway, pray for us. Well, mostly Jonathan. Not only is he being hit at with illness from all sides, but he also has the world's most disorderly orderly (me) trying to take care of him. But even if you forget both of us during your Quiet Time, please pray for our AC situation. A broken unit in July? No. Just no. It's SO hot. 

And that is the tale of woe that I so pitifully spun for your enjoyment. I'm off to Lysol everything in sight and Google "how to fix an AC unit for dummies." Maybe I'll set the house on fire... not that you'd be able to notice.

EDIT: I finished this post and it was sometime after 3 A.M. So, like the insomniac that I am, I still couldn't sleep and started cleaning instead. I was only intending to "straighten up" the kitchen but I reached under the sink to grab the dishwashing detergent and smelled something... horrifying and mysterious. Turns out, there was a leak coming from somewhere (the sink or the dishwasher... don'tknowdon'tcare) and it had soaked through a bag of potatoes, leaving them a moldy, soggy pile of nastiness that smelled like the bottom of a filthy pond. 

So, picture me, if you will, completely freaking out over the mess (and the smell) and standing on my back porch at 4 in the morning, swinging a bag of rotten potatoes and hurling like a discus thrower into the woods behind our house. And then scurrying back inside with Kronk-like, awkward humming ("He's got his own theme music?") and saying (in my best Kronk voice), "I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me." I'm still freaked out just thinking about it! Oh, and since that apparently gave me an adrenaline rush equal to scoring a goal in the World Cup, I proceeded to clean the rest of my house, take a shower, and organize the guest room. Guess when I went to sleep? Around 8:15. And so ends a crazy night and this crazy story. The only plus to all this is that my house is spotless... stifling, but spotless.