Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Plan

Several people have been asking what our plans are after I graduate in December. After a lot of thinking and praying, we have decided to stay in College Station for a while longer. I guess the best way to explain our decision is to explain what we had originally hoped to do.

Our plan when we got married was to stay in College Station until I finished school and then look for a Baptist church for Kyle to pastor. We started looking for open churches back in the spring, but there weren't any Reformed Baptist churches needing a senior pastor, and most are too small to need an associate or assistant pastor. Southern Baptist churches were kinda out of question because they are "scared" of Kyle because he went to a Presbyterian seminary, and we are both members of a Presbyterian church.

About a month ago, we were having lunch with our friend Chris Peterson from church who knew of a drafting job opening up at an engineering company and encouraged Kyle to apply. Kyle applied for the job, was interviewed and hired, and started his first day this past Monday at Bleyl & Associates in Bryan.

We were kinda disappointing that there were no pastoring jobs, but it seems as though God has closed the door to the pastorate for the time being as there are no open churches. Bleyl offers a better salary and great benefits, so although it wasn't exactly what we were praying for, it is still very exciting, and a great answer to prayer. Our lease is up in December, so our tentative plan is to sign a 9 month lease in January at an apartment/duplex, putting us here until September 2008 (doesn't that seem like a long time off?!)

Another major decision we've made in the last month is to change churches. During our college years Kyle and I both were/are members of Westminster Presbyterian in Bryan, but at the end of our engagement, we decided that maybe we should look for a Baptist church to join since 1) we are Baptist, and 2) Kyle wants to pastor a Baptist church someday. So last summer we looked around at several Baptist churches (and one non-denominational church), but felt like we had too many differences. So we ended up back at Westminster PCA.

We had such a wonderful year at Westminster, and have felt so blessed by the leadership and the people there. It is where we have made some of our very best friends, so it is really hard to leave, but we feel like it is the right thing to do.

It's hard to explain to people why we are leaving because when it comes down to it, we don't really want to leave. But over the past couple months, we have started feeling called to join/minister to a Baptist church. I'm not really one to use the phrase "God's calling me to..." very often- mostly because I'm always worried that it's just something that I've made up on my own and am attaching God's name to it so people will leave me alone about my decision, but that is really the only way I know to describe our decision to change churches.

Last summer, we chose Westminster because we felt it was the strongest, most sound, and most Biblical church in the BCS area. That feeling hasn't changed.

We're not leaving because we've found something wrong with the church, or been offended by something that happened, but rather because we feel called to help encourage healthy growth at another church.

Westminster is already set up with a strong session of deacons, elders, and pastors, who are very dedicated to following God's word and leading the flock, even when times and pressures are very hard. Although no church is ever "too full" of leaders and teachers, we feel that Kyle's teaching gifts might be needed more somewhere else.

Kyle and I briefly threw around the idea of planting a Reformed Baptist church in CS. We were talking to our good friend Jeremy Mollenkopf about that, and he said (very politely), "College Station doesn't need anymore baptist churches. They just need people to help the ones they've already got."

This was several months ago, but I've come back to that statement over and over again. It's really helped me think about the fact that God doesn't draw us to corporate worship only to be ministered to ourselves, but also in order to minister to others. And at this point, Kyle and I feel like our ministry is in a Baptist church in BCS.

We haven't picked a church yet, though between this summer and last summer we've attended about 10 different churches. Please pray for us as it's very hard to go to a church that is not your church family.

As far as my career plans after graduation, I'm not really sure. Honestly, I thought we would be moving to a different city in January, so I wasn't really anticipating having to look for a job until after the move. I like my part time job that I'm at now, but they like to keep it as a student worker position, so I won't be able to stay there. I've gotten interested in teaching (yes, again), but I'm expecting it to be rather difficult to find a teaching job in January, especially since I'm not certified (meaning I can only teach in private schools). So, I'm planning on taking the job hunting slow, and most likely substitute teaching in the spring. This doesn't really excite me, but since when is work exciting?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The New Pink

A couple weeks ago, my good friend Jamison sent me a group email with the subject line "Tomorrow's the big day!" The email announced that she was going to be induced the next day to have precious baby Isaac, and asking everyone to pray that things would go smoothly.

I found myself very distracted at work the rest of the day, wondering what Isaac would look like, and being nervous/excited for Jamison and Andrew. And I started thinking about how only a year ago, I was sending tons of emails to the florist, the pianist, bridesmaids, photographer, etc. with the same type subject line: All about the big day. The big day is coming! Gotta get ready for the big day! And so forth.

But I of course, was referring to my wedding.

That started me thinking about how my wedding day seems to pale in comparison to Isaac being born. Let me just say before everyone thinks I hate my husband that my wedding day is the most cherished day of my life. For years I dreamed of the man I would marry, but I never knew that I would actually find him, let alone that he would be as wonderful as Kyle. Once I met Kyle and started to have feelings for him, I tried to not like him because I was sure that he would never care for someone like me. Our first year of marriage has been the sweetest, strongest, and "funnest" year of my life, and while some cynics would say that those feelings will fade as the years go by, I am so looking forward to even the "boring" times of our marriage.

That being said, my point is that the preparations you do for a wedding don't really have anything to do with the actual marriage. The flowers, the dress, and the programs are very important for the sentimental reasons, but they really don't have anything to do with the actual marriage. I knew this as a bride, but it didn't change the fact that I wanted my wedding to be beautiful. (I actually think brides have to be crazy about their weddings because they need a distraction to help the days go by faster).

Everything stressful about a wedding goes away as soon as you get into the getaway car. A baby, however, continues to be stressful and important, even more so after the big day of birth. The things that you do to prepare for a baby has a permanent solution and a permanent reward.

I was talking to Kyle about this, and he made the point that I'm not weird to think this (whew!). Our entire culture has been more and more focused on babies over the past few years. Between Suri, Apple, and Violet, the tabloids have been covered with pregnant celebrities and their millionaire babies.

Kyle also made the point that people have gotten more interested in babies because they actually last, while their mommy's marriages... don't. Babies can't go away- they are permanent no matter how flat a marriage may go. People are more interested in Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's baby than their relationship because TomKat could end at any moment. Their baby however, will keep getting bigger, cuter, more spoiled, and more interesting as the years go by.

I had a professor a couple semesters ago talk about how sick he was of Hollywood making such a fuss over babies. I think his statement was something like, "Is this the first time people have seen a pregnant woman?!" I think it's true that it is a little disturbing how the media has started treating people's babies as entertainment and trophies, but I am glad that at least people are starting to value children more.

And for those curious cats out there who may associate a post about babies with a certain announcement of my own: there is none. But nice try. =)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saturday Roadtrip

Last Saturday, Kyle and I got bored. This hardly ever happens (probably because we're such exciting people), but summer can sometimes do that to you. When we went to Brenham a few weeks ago, we drove through Independence and passed the Antique Rose Emporium and the Texas Baptist Historical Museum. We made a mental note and decided that we would go back sometime. So, Saturday afternoon we hopped in our car and drove our way to entertainment.

Independence Baptist church is 1 of the 4 oldest Baptist churches in Texas, but it is the only one still active. Sam Houston went to that church and was baptized there, ooooo.

Outside the church- It was started in 1853.

Fire and brimstone (especially appropriate in a Westminster shirt).

The garden was really quiet and peaceful. I thought there would be more people walking around, or at least the owners would, but we were pretty much left to ourselves to walk around.

A little red chapel

Kyle by the manly cactus

A friendly tin man (heart included) on the yellow brick road

There was a beautiful gazebo covered with roses and ivy.

We had such a good time! It's a fun little trip- only about 35 minutes from College Station. We also found a plantation there that gives tours, but they were closed when we were there. Guess we'll just have to go back!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

8 Random Things About My Husband

My sister tagged Kyle and I to list 8 random things about ourselves, but because Newcomers are crafty, we decided to write 8 random things about each other. So here we go; drum roll please:

  1. Kyle absolutely despises toothpaste. He says that it makes him nauseous, but I remind him that it's psychological. Try as I may, I cannot convince Kyle that meticulous dental care is necessary, even if I buy the "good" toothpaste. Don't get me wrong- he does brush his teeth, but let's just say that he's a little wary of going to the dentist. (He hasn't been in about 3 years).
  2. Kyle is rather musical. Everyone knows that he is a connoisseur of music selection, but he can also play the piano, guitar, trumpet, and the trombone. From the ages of 12 to 18, Kyle's mom traumatized him and his siblings when she had him lead worship with his brother and sister, with Kyle as the lead trumpet player. Kyle also has a nice singing voice, even though he would never admit it.
  3. Anyone who has ever met Kyle knows that he LOVES dogs, but what most people don't know is that Kyle once had a cat. (I only found this out last week!) The Newcomer family adopted a stray cat that they named Jasper, but it ran away after only a week or so. It probably sensed that they were really dog people at heart.
  4. Kyle is very domestic. He loves to cook, and I would say he cooks at least half of our meals every week (It's not a set rule or anything; it just usually ends up that way). He likes to create his own version of recipes, and they always turn out really good. He concentrates really hard when he makes something, and as a result, never burns anything and the dish always comes out looking pretty. He also does a good bit of cleaning around our apartment. He doesn't like cleaning near as much as cooking, but he does it because he knows it makes me veryvery happy.
  5. When Kyle was a baby, he had ingrown toenails. I think this may be the most random thing of all. Who knew that babies could get those?! His mom says that he got them from his shoes, so one of her tips to young moms is to let their babies go barefoot.
  6. During our engagement, Kyle was finishing his last year of seminary in Philly and he decided to get a job his last semester. He worked at a chimney sweep place called Chimney Cricket. Need I say more? He was a file clerk, and he actually only worked there a couple weeks because the hours turned out to be too tough with school. So he took a job as a security guard at a mansion, which could be a whole list of random bullet points in itself.
  7. I am happy to be able to say that my husband likes Gilmore Girls. He joyfully watches it on DVD with me, and he used to watch the current episodes even when we were apart during our engagement. (We were one of those cutesy couples that discussed it over the phone). Not only does he like the show, but I've heard him defend it to a group of guys. =)
  8. My favorite story about Kyle (ok, so it's not "random" but it's great, trust me) happened when he was in Kindergarten. He went to a small Christian school in Northwest Houston where his mom also taught. One winter morning his mom made him wear his hand-me-down jacket to school. Kyle hated this jacket and fought and fought with Karen about it, but she of course won. Kyle started the school day pouting and angry. Somehow he was left alone for a minute in the classroom (big mistake). Kyle, still in a fit of anger and frustration, decided to pull the fire alarm just for kicks. The alarm went off and the whole school exited the building. Hmmm, maybe that's why the Newcomers started homeschooling...