Thursday, April 19, 2012

Something Worth Sharing

I was going to do an update on my "Hopes for 2012" goals, and realized I have some 'splaining to do.

First of all, I had to drop one of my goals; watching every movie we own. 1) We just have too many to do that, 2) Instant Netflix killed that one quickly, and 3) Have you tried watching even 1 movie at home with a young infant? It is not easy. Of all the goals, I think that one is ok to let go. It was mostly for fun anyways :)

For the other goals, here's a quick update:

1) Get back under 200 pounds by my half birthday: September 26th - I am already down to my pre-pregnancy weight, which means I have 5ish months to lose 23 pounds. I think it's do-able :)
2) Read 4 classic books - one for every season. The books are "Little Women", "Sense and Sensibility", "Great Expectations" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin"I'm started "Little Women" because it is my spring book. My mama gave me the book on my 12th birthday and I've started it several times without finishing. Hey, it's 643 pages long! I'm a little over 100 pages in, which is the furthest I've ever gotten. I'm enjoying it, but it does make me miss my mama.
3) Build savings account back to where Phil and I are comfortable - We really can't do this until Phil starts his "big boy job". However, we have a plan and are waiting to implement it!
4) Have a date night with Phil every other month - We went out for Valentine's Day, which means we have 11 days to go out again for the month of April. Whoops! Better find a babysitter and fast!

Now for the "something worth sharing" part. If you recall from my "Hopes for 2012" post, I talked about my word for the year being "obey" for reasons I could not speak of yet. Well, I can speak about it now :) 

You see, when Phil and I found out we were expecting, we started discussing the type of family we want to be. Stay-at-home-mom or working parents? Day-care or babysitter? Old family traditions or create new ones? I'm sure every couple goes through this. 

One thing unique about our conversation is that it involved a very specific church discussion. As I've said before, Phil and I are both active and devout members of our church, but we both had a separate church. We decided before we got married that it would stay that way until we felt it was too hard for us as a family. Whether it was hard on us as a couple, or our children, we made the decision to find a new church together if we needed to. Coming from a family where both parents are pastors at separate churches, I knew it would be ok to have a split church situation. (I understand that it wasn't too hard on my brother and I since both churches were Presbyterian and not two separate denominations.) 

Even though it was still working for us, we really wanted to find a church so we could be together on Sunday morning. It just felt better to be a full family unit. We made the decision in late August that we would start searching together sometime soon. With the type of personalities we have, we both made a list of denominations we felt comfortable visiting and tried to find common ground. We also listed the two MOST important things we personally needed in a worship setting to feel like we have worshipped God in the way He approves. The top two we used when looking at specific congregations were: 1) Serves communion every Sunday morning (Phil), and 2) Allows women to be active parts of the worship service through liturgy, prayers, or music (Courtney). 

Around the time I left work for maternity leave in November, we started finding specific churches we wanted to visit. Each one had something we liked, something we didn't like, etc. Any congregation we really enjoyed, we would go at least one more time to make sure we felt at home there.

I am happy to report that I believe we have found a great church home that we as a family can call our own :) It is a Lutheran church in Edmond and we are just thrilled about it! They serve communion every Sunday, they have a choir I can join, and the congregation is the friendliest one we've encountered. Even the pastor made it a point to meet us before we left the first time we visited, and every time thereafter. There are children fairly close to Jillian's age, (though she is still the youngest), and a few couples we can hopefully connect with as well. They do mission trips, VBS, potlucks, prayer groups, and all kinds of other great outreach opportunities. Best of all, we are both excited to go to church on Sunday morning and hear the message the pastor has for us.

I will admit that this entire process was hard for me. I have never attended a church on a regular basis that I did not have some kind of family connection to. I didn't know what I was supposed to feel to know I liked a church enough to attend more. I also have a specific way I like pastors to preach because that is the style both my parents used, (read: short, simple, and to the point with a 1-2 appropriate stories or jokes). Phil was patient with me and really helped me open up my heart and mind to this process. Without his support, I probably would have just kept doing what I was doing. I'm not a huge fan of change, especially if I think it's going to hurt other people, (specifically from the congregation I was leaving). My church family is incredibly important to me and I really wanted them to not be mad at me for this decision. Regardless, this is a decision that is right for our family. I truly feel like God has lead us in our journey and I want to obey Him.

Church is an important part of our family, and I feel at peace about our decision. It was not an easy journey, but we have made it safely. I love attending church as a family now! Most of all, I'm happy to follow God's plan and obey when I hear Him telling me where to go. He really knows what he is doing, and He reminds me of this over and over again.

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