Thursday, May 29, 2008

New look

What do you think of the new look? Does the pink hurt your eyes or make you sick? I'm still playing around with what I want to do, so don't think you've dialed the wrong blog if it changes a lot within the next few days. Some of you have really inspired me with your cool, creative blogs, so please bear with me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bethany's first Bethany

Our first Sunday and Wednesday at the new church have come and gone, and things went pretty well. Of course, it doesn't yet feel like "home" or "family," but maybe it will soon. Gunter seems to be getting in the groove, but I think it's going to take a little time for me to find my niche. It seems as though the people at Bethany really step up and use their gifts to serve, so I'll just follow God's lead on where I'm needed (along with, of course, supporting the music and youth minister).

We got to talk with the youth a little more tonight and met some for the first time. The group is older (mostly juniors, seniors or new grads), with just a couple 9th graders. A few 6th graders will move up this summer, so that's sure to be an interesting mix. We'll have to get some more youth coming to fill in those age gaps. I think my main job right now is to pray. I'm at the "Where do we start?" phase. I'm excitedly anticipating what God will do.

We're praying about our living situation, and I'd like some godly counsel, especially from you ministry wives. Right now, we're renting a house (that we like) about 30 minutes away from church and about 15 minutes away from my work. We want to be accessible to the youth, so we're thinking about moving really close to the church, which would put me driving 45 minutes to an hour one way to work every day. It would make Gunter's traveling easier, though, and he usually has to make more trips than I do.

Actually, we've considered living in a trailer the church owns, rent free. I'm not big on trailers, but it would allow us to financially prepare for the future a little, and it's located almost in the church's front yard. We'd like to buy a house in or near Enterprise when the time is right. Whaddya think?

Being the planner I am, my mind has been reeling with decisions and possibilities the past couple of weeks. This would be a good time to "be still and know that [He] is God," so says Psalm 49:10.

By the way, Gunter made the cross in the photo out of a sweet gum tree behind our house. The brand-spankin'-new youth room is pretty bare, like a canvas begging to be painted. We plan to liven it up in time, and hopefully God will use us in people's lives much the same way. I want my every act of obedience to be like a kiss on God's cheek. (John 14:15)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I know what you're thinking... If I were truly exhausted, I would be in bed, not blogging. But as a type A personality, I had to check at least one item off my list today to feel as though my life is under control... And yes, sadly, blogging is actually an item on my to-do list.

I got up at 3:15 this morning to do a press check on our annual report for work. Harold (PowerSouth printer extraordinaire) picked me up in Montgomery at 4:45, and we were done printing around 10 or 10:30. I barely slept a wink last night afraid I'd miss the alarm clock, so I was actually awake when the first alarm sounded at 3:10 a.m. I'm a morning person, so I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the entire print run, but I really started feeling it on the way home around 1:00. Going to the printer at 5 a.m. might not sound like much fun, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Wish I could go more often. The process fascinates me. I can't wait to see the finished product, cut and bound. I'll link to it as soon as we get it on the company Web site.

One thing I did not thoroughly enjoy is the breakfast situation at 4:30 in the morning. A beloved, longtime friend let me down today. I expected a hot Egg McMuffin when I saw the 24-hour McDonald's drive-thru down the street from my hotel, but I was disappointed to learn that "24-hour" drive-thru does not necessarily mean food is available 24 hours a day. Apparently, it takes quite a while for a McDonald's computer system to switch from supper to breakfast, and I came at a bad time. So chocolate milk and peanut butter crackers (or, "squarecakes," as the Bailey side of my family calls them) held me over until about 8:30, when we made a Hardee's biscuit run. The diet coke was the best part, and Hardee's still holds no candle to McDonald's.

Sunday was our last Sunday at Northern Heights. These people are so nice, they make it hard for us to leave. Tomorrow night is our last Wednesday night with the youth. Gunter is packing up his office.

The low country boil was a lot of fun. Gunter did a great job on the food, as was evident in how much we ate.

I'm taking a photography class on Saturday, so hopefully, I'll learn something and maybe even have a photo or two to show off... If nothing else, the instructor has some good-looking stuff. He even took my bridal portraits. Here's his site:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The party's over...but another's on the way

Thanks for all your helpful sleepover advice! The sleepover was on Friday, and I think it went fairly well. We have such a laid-back group, we didn't even get to the facials or pedicures. We mostly just ate, talked and played a Family Feud DVD game. Probably the most exciting event of the night happened when the police stopped two of our chaperones for "drunk driving." The driver was weaving trying to find my road in the dark. You'd just have to know these crazy women.

The lesson went okay. The girls were very attentive, but I think I attempted to pack too much into one lesson, instead of hitting on just a few practical points. Of course, I'm usually my own worst critic.

In the woods somewhere across town, the boys' sleepover was a great success. Gunter had a good crowd of boys and men to show up, and the night was complete with wrestling in the creek, fishing, chasing snakes and flour-bomb capture-the-flag.

So this week, we're planning a youth and parents' party at our house, a low-country boil, no less. Sort of like our last hoo-rah before we leave for Bethany B.C. We want them to know they're always welcome at our house, no matter where we're going to church. I really do want my home to be open and welcoming, but it takes some getting used to.

(Can't believe I'm ending this post on a preposition.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sleepover suggestions

I'm planning a youth girls' sleepover at our house very soon. I definitely want it to be fun, complete with games, junk food, etc., so I need your help. Does anybody have any tips or ideas? Horror stories? At some point during the night, we're going to talk about purity. I welcome any suggestions as far as that goes, too.
For supper, I'm thinking about buying English muffins, sauce, cheese and various toppings so the girls can make their own mini pizzas. I might also get some cookie dough to bake cookies -- you know, something to get them involved instead of just standing around with their arms crossed. Disaster in the making? Maybe.
I have a few ideas for DVDs to rent and games, but I'd be glad to hear your suggestions there, too. Being an old married woman, I just sometimes feel out of touch.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New church

I guess now it's official. Gunter has accepted a full-time music and youth minister position at Bethany Baptist Church in New Brockton. (From this point forward, I will affectionately refer to it as "Brockton," except in proper names, as many of the locals do.) May 25 will be our first Sunday there.

Resigning from Northern Heights last night was one of the hardest things we've ever done. It truly takes a step of faith to leave the most loving church family we've ever known, even though we already love many of the folks at Bethany. This transition is bittersweet. We'll miss seeing the Northern Heights folks every week, but we're so excited about this next step in our ministry and what God has in store. We trust that God will continue to use Northern Heights to reach Opp and that He will use Bethany as a light to Enterprise and New Brockton.

Bethany is located on the edge of a fast-growing area. It is a couple of miles from where the new Enterprise mall and Enterprise High School will be built, and subdivisions are popping up all along the church's much opportunity to reach people who don't know Jesus. It's also conveniently located just a couple of miles from New Brockton High School.

More good news is that it's close enough that I can keep my job and stay where we've been living for now because we like it and because it's only a 12-minute drive for me to work. Eventually, maybe we'll look into moving closer to Enterprise, so we can be more a part of the area.

In an interesting turn of events, the pastor of Bethany Baptist is none other than my favorite preacher, Tony Dye. At first, we wouldn't even consider going to Bethany because we didn't know if it would be a good idea to serve in the same church as Mom and Dad, but as a result of a patient search committee and lots of prayer and tears, we decided this was what God wanted us to do. Learning to serve together will be quite an experience, I'm sure.

So thank you, Northern Heights, for 2 and a half of the best years of our lives! This is not goodbye -- there are no goodbyes among members of the body of Christ. And thank you, Bethany, for your warm welcome. We look forward to great things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

P.S. to the last post

By the way, I've just realized that there's no way I could have my fingers in my ears and my hands covering my face at the same time, as I only have two hands. Just wanted to clarify.

Beach trip and date night

Hello, this is the biggest scaredy-cat in the WORLD speaking. As is tradition, tonight is date night. Why would I be blogging on date night, you may ask? Because, my friend, I am a wimp.

After eating more crab legs than I care to count, Gunter and I rented a couple movies. We decided on "Enchanted" (anything allowable for small children is my kind of movie, unless it has throwing up in it) and "I am Legend." I did not vote for "I am Legend," but I feel sorry for Gunter because he has to watch my kind of movies all the time. It's hard for him to rent a manly movie because most of them include things not suitable for the godly man's eyes and ears. "I am Legend" -- its worst features are some mutated humans and sci-fi violence, so not too bad, right?

He sat through "Enchanted" without complaint, so I attempted to watch "I am Legend" with him. I really did, though most of the 30 minutes I watched were accomplished with fingers in my ears, hands covering my face or both. I just couldn't take the suspense, so I have retreated to our bedroom, away from the zombies or whatever they are. I don't do scary movies.

So instead, I'll take the time to post some photos from our second anniversary beach weekend. It was the first time we've really gotten away since chemo ended. May I just say that it was absolutely wonderful! We had such a great time, and we didn't want to come home.

Saturday was a perfect beach day! It was plenty warm with a cool, gentle breeze blowing. I spent most of the day reading under the beach umbrella, and we had lunch at Thomas Donuts. What could be better?

From the beach, we also saw dolphins, several schools of sting rays and a grand total of one seagull.

This photo was taken on deck of The Lady Anderson. We went on the dinner cruise and met some people from Vermont and Canada.

And now back to normal life, which is pretty fun, too, if you're not watching zombie people attack Will Smith.