Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Year!

We have been in Louisville for almost a year! Brian did especially well in his first year at Seminary and has one class left in the fall. He did fairly well on the GRE that is required to apply for the PhD program. William loves living here and has found some friends. He will start kindergarten in August, can you believe it?
Brian and I both work at Chick Fil A; him during the day and me during the evening. We don't see much of each other, but this will change August 10 when William starts school and I switch to day shift. We both enjoy our jobs there. We have put offers on two houses and both of them have not worked out, so I don't know if we will continue to look or chill out for a while.
We found a great church, Highland Park First Baptist Church, where William loves his friends and teachers and I am teaching the first and second grade Sunday School class, sing in the choir and play my violin in the instrumental ensemble that plays every now and then. Brian was involved in their evangelism program last fall and is a Sunday School teacher substitute. It is 17 miles away, so we struggle arriving on time, but I love the church.
So we continue to press on, and have 6 weeks of summer left before our little big boy starts the adventure of a lifetime!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Less Than 30 Days

29. That is how many days we have left. Until we start life all over again in Louisville, Kentucky. We will be moving Tuesday, July 22nd into an apartment complex not far from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where my husband will be a student in the fall. He is getting a second Master's in order to get into the PhD program. If he gets in next year, we will be in Louisville for quite a while! We just found out today that he has a full scholarship for his first year - $4500! That is money we do not have to worry about spending! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Everything is coming together; we have a few things to take care of before we go, but please be praying for us and our families as we leave NC for the first time in my husband's life, and for me, in 16 years. Our son also has never known life outside of NC. Pray for our move, it will be a long process of packing the van, traveling 450 miles, and unpacking the van, and then unpacking the boxes!!! Fun, fun.
Pray for our parents as they will be facing separation from us and their little grandson. Pray for us as Brian starts school again, and I try to get him through it. Pray for William as he will be in yet another home and a brand new place. It will be a little scary for a 3 year, 10 month old kid.
We love you all and hope to hear from you soon.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's A Boy!

Noah Jackson Carter was born on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 8:57am. He is 7 lbs, 2 ozs and 19 3/4 inches long! Eden went into labor around 4pm on Friday and did really well. Mom, Dad and Noah came home Monday afternoon and are settling in.
We went Saturday morning and spent the day with them and at their house getting it ready for them to come home. William is a proud big cousin; he held Noah and did not want to give him back.
This makes me Aunt Jenni and my husband Uncle Brian, and we are excited to have a nephew. Noah is truly a gift from God!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just Checking In

It has been three weeks since I have been on here to say anything, but like everyone, we have been extremely busy! I continue to work full time at my workplace and even made up about 10 hours that I lost in going on vacation to Hilton Head. Brian continues to work full time, and also preached the last two Sundays at a church in Spring Hope, NC, which also helped pay some bills! We stayed last weekend in a beautiful cabin near the church, compliments of one of their members, for one night, and it was so nice and relaxing that I could hardly stand coming home on Sunday afternoon.
William's last week of care where I work is this week, and then he will stay across the street with a neighbor for 4 weeks until Grandma is out of school, and then he will hang with her for the summer until we move. We feel this is a much better arrangement financially, mentally and emotionally for all of us. He likes his teachers, but not the rowdy children around him. And he sees me occasionally during the day, and that stirs his emotions. William has also expressed that he wants to do this too.
There have also been some changes in my NY family; my grandmother moved into a assisted living facility for those with severe dementia about two weeks ago and seems to be enjoying it. She gets more visitors there than when she was at home as well. It was a tough decision for her children, but I truly believe it was the right one for everyone. My thanks to her former boss, Fred Lee, for buying her long term care insurance, which now helps pay her expenses for the remainder of her life, which may be quite long, and she is only 79 next week (I say only; the women in her line live to almost 100).
In the next three weeks, I will be an aunt for the first time! My sister in law is ready to go at anytime, and they will have a son and name him Noah Jackson Carter; a great name. William will have his first cousin (who is a first cousin!) sometime between now and Mother's Day.
The last thing to note today is that God works in mysterious ways - one of the ladies from my playgroup in Rockingham, whom I never really got to know, but really hit it off with, has moved to where we live, and enrolled her daughter in my preschool! She had forgotten we had moved here, and didn't email me and say she was moving, and she just walked into my center and enrolled her daughter! So we have reconnected and plan on getting together throughout the center. I hope to invite her to our church and show her around town!
We continue to be busy; this week will actually be a little less busy (if I don't get a nephew), but continue to pray for us as we continue in this time of transition, getting our ducks in a row for Louisville. We love you all and may God bless you.

Jen, Brian and William

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Year Ago

If you had told me a year ago I would be where I am today, I might have called you crazy. I am sitting at Disney's Hilton Head Resort, thinking about the past year.
A year ago I was recovering from giving birth to our son Matthew, who had died 10 days prior, unknown to us until a checkup, and going through the worst pain of my life. The good news is, over the year, the pain has lessened and we have moved on. It still stings to think that I might have been sitting here with a 7 month old baby and not a computer, but we know Matthew is in a better place.
A year ago life was different; we were in Rockingham, now we are in Willow Spring. I was staying home, now I teach full time. My husband was a pastor, now he works at Food Lion until we move to KY in July.
We are looking forward to the future, and what God has in store, and we hope that includes another child sometime in 2009.
For all of you who have loved and lost lately, remember that you will get through it. I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and have come out on the other side a stronger person for it.
Remember God loves you and wants the best for you. He is there for you.

Love, Jen

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sin & Fruit

This has been a week of really looking at the sinful nature of humankind and the fruit of the Spirit that is manifested in those that love the Lord.
John 15:5 says, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit..." and Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Spirit. It says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self control..."
When you encounter someone who professes Christ, and you see all these fruits in them, you can have a pretty good idea that they are probably telling the truth. But what if someone says they are born again and they don't?
I John 1:6 & 8 say, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" and "If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."
Galatians 5:19-20 says, "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
I have encountered someone this week, who in three separate incidents, was guilty of the above items listed in red. This person professes to be a Christian, but shows no fruit of the Spirit; rather this person's entire existence consists of "impurity, idolatry, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, and envying". Love is withheld, joy does not exist, peace is absent from the heart, mind and household, and patience is left at the door to be picked back up in the morning and taken to work. Kindness is only extended with the expectation of something in return and goodness the same. Gentleness is never around; there is no soft place to fall. And lastly, there is no self control when it comes to emotion, finances and even eating. Every possession is an idol to not be touched or damaged; the house cannot be truly lived in. Outbursts of anger are frequent, which causes enmity, strife, disputes, and dissentions. There is a jealousy and envy for those who seem to have it all, and so the goal is to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak.
The hardest thing of all is that there seems to be no way, but through prayer, to help to change this. Satan has deceived and blinded this person for over 50 years and there seems to be no solution. Proverbs 28:25-26 reads, "An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered." No one is treated with respect, no one has a right to their own opinion, everyone is wrong if they do not think the same way, or they are not allowed to think for themselves, and everyone else is to blame for all mistakes made. This person is the royalty and everyone else the servants. There is no forgiveness for mistakes; grudges are held and old mistakes brought back up.
I say all this not to gripe, but to remind those who read this to examine yourself - do you show the fruits of the Spirit, or do you reflect the deeds of the flesh? Are you arrogant or are you humble? Are you begrudging or forgiving? Do you truly know the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you truly given your heart and life to Him? If you love Him, you will obey Him - you will show the fruits of the Spirit, you will be humble and forgiving. Ask Him now to come into your heart and life and change you. Believe in your heart, not in your head, that He died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins, and that He is alive today, reigning in Heaven. See if He does not change your life. You will not be without challenges, and you will sin over and over, but His forgiveness is farreaching and forever. Christ will be there for you and whatever you do.

In His Love,

Friday, February 29, 2008

What A Week

The week started with us going to Rockingham, NC, where we stayed all day Sunday, visiting family members of our friend, Norma, who died a week ago today. We attended our former church, surprising most with our appearance, and stayed for the calling hours Sunday night. The line was out to the street! If our son hadn't needed the bathroom, we would have been out there forever! But that is a testament to the type of person Norma was. We traveled back down Monday afternoon for her funeral and burial. It was a very emotional time for us. I sang in the choir, and had a hard time getting through the song we sang. But the most incredible thing happened after the funeral when I met up with Brian and William. William, who is 3 1/2, said to me, "I'm sorry Miss Norma died. It's okay. Your tears will go away." Well, needless to say, I was blown away by the wisdom of a 3 year old. I never knew God could speak through a little child, but He did on Monday. It was as if God opened his little mind for a brief time to realize what happened, and God was able to comfort us all through William. What a boy!
Life went back to our new normal Tuesday, and then Wednesday, my father in law was in a wreck, following too closely and rearending someone. The damage to his car has put it in the shop for a month; the utility truck he hit is fine. So we are driving a little more careful these days. Life is short, and anything can happen at anytime. My father in law walked away with out a scratch, so he was spared any physical harm. The rest of the week went as usual, busy with work, with William, and with doing our part to keep the house clean, the laundry done and the food bought. I made playdough - four batches - for the first time in my life with my children at work, and they loved it. I didn't tell the director I had never made it until it was done! I guess I just wanted to plunge into the unknown and see how it came out! Seems like that is the story of our life right now anyway. So tomorrow we go to Marbles, a place in Raleigh where little ones can play and explore, and we will meet my husband's cousin and her daughter there so she and William can play together. I am looking forward to seeing family we haven't seen in a while.
It is amazing all that life holds in just seven days - one week. In the blink of an eye, a friend can be ripped from your life. God can speak through a small child. Joy can be brought to children through playdough, and bring a sense of pride in the accomplishment. Plans to see family can be made - including the 34th annual Ivey Reunion in Benson, NC (my mother in law is an Ivey) on March 15th - visiting family we have never met!
I say all that to say this - treasure the little things, the little joys, so not to waste time, because it is short.