Saturday, May 2, 2009

We did survie!

I know...rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated! We did make it home from San Antonio...better late than never! Let me tell you...air travel STINKS! Or, maybe it is just the airline we chose. Or maybe it's trying to fly out of a very small airport....whatever the cause, it was no fun!
After canceling our original flight, we had to fly out a day early. On Monday, we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get things ready to go, showing my parents around town, etc...and we got a phone call that our 5:00 flight was canceled and that we needed to be at the airport in less than 2 hours to catch an earlier flight...and we live an hour away! Talk about STRESS!!! We made it to the first of 4 flights that day. No direct connection here. Not even the one transfer we had booked...yes, we went UP and DOWN 4 times!! Three separate planes! We left 2 hours earlier than planned, and arrived in San Antonio 2 hours later! It was midnight when we arrived and then caught the shuttle to our hotel. We were blessed that we didn't have much on Tuesday until evening, we slept a lot!
The conference itself was AWESOME! At pastor's conferences, the wives sometimes feel like tag-alongs...not terribly important, just added on as a second thought. This was different. The wives (called partners) are an integral part of the program. I felt very important and cared for. I was greated with a hug from one of the leaders of the program...and while hugs make some people uncomfortable, I'm a hugger! Getting together with other wives of pastors is always a wonderful experience. There is just an instant instant connection. We hae a unique roll, experience unique challenges and blessings. We were put together with what is called a "collegial" group...a small group that we will be with for the next 4 years. The men get together 3 times a year (I think) and the women come with the guys for the yearly conference, and have a partners retreat on our own once a year. We get along so well with our entire group! What wonderful people! We have two couples from California, one couple from Texas, one couple from Arizona, and a man from Illinois (I think that's where he was...his wife chose not to come because she was worried about people trying to put her into the pastor's wife cookie cutter...not happening here, so we are trying to get her to come next time!!!) and us!
We learned so much...mainly looking at our gifts, passions, abilities, and where God is already using us. I felt so affirmed in my role not only as a wife and mother...but also as a teacher/director. My ministry is so important and such a gift. We learned a lot about ourselves and our partners. We were able to spend time together just studying and praying. We were to try coming up with a family mission statement, and we did! We took the kids to the lake earlier this week and chatted about it with them. Here it is:
"A joyful family of integrity that shows the love of God through service."
So...what do you think? "Joy" was a word that kept coming up in my week. Joy...the ability to be joyful doesn't mean you are always is being able to remember what is important (Christ's love) even when things aren't going your way.
After a wonderful week of study, learning, pondering, and time with my husband, it was time to go home. We missed our children SO much, and were ready to see them! We arrived at the airport in SA to find out that our flight was already 2 hours delayed! Luckily we had already planned on a 2 1/2 hour layover in Denver, so we would still make our connection...many of the PLI couples on our flight were not so lucky. They had to make other arrangements and some ended up staying in Denver over night and not getting home until a day later. By the time we got to Denver, we were hungry...and we had an hour, but wanted to check into our next flight befcre we ate...good thing! We had forgotten to figure in the time change. We were to board our next flight 5 minutes after we checked in! EEK! McDonald's drive-through at 11:30 pm never tasted so good!
I heard my mom getting ready the next morning..she was even getting the kids up and ready so that we could sleep a bit more. She didn't remind them that we were home. I sat up on the couch just as Abbie was coming down the hall. She stopped dead in her tracks for a moment, then she RAN full force and wrapped her arms around my neck and didn't let go! SO WONDERFUL to hold my babies again! Soon, Andrew heard us and came running down the hall. I think he became airborn about 6 feet from me and landed in my arms. He wrapped his legs around my waist and his arms around my neck and squeezed so hard I couldn't breath! Dad was coming down the hall with his walker, and Bethany was right behind him. He kept going from side to side so she couldn't get around him...such a tease! As soon as she could get around him, she came running, too. She then became my leech, and didn't let go for a long time. It was nice to be able to give each of them their own time, not having to love on them all at once. Oh, how I missed my babies!
I cannot thank my parents enough for taking a week out of their lives to take care of our children. I didn't worry about them at all...I worried more about my parents than my children! Speaking about my dad is having a knee replaced on Monday. Please keep him and my mom in your prayers...His LONG hospitalization from a year ago still weighs heavy on our hearts and we just want him home!! Pray that the surgery is a success...and that he gets the mobility and strength that he needs...and that he recovers QUICKLY! :o) I LOVE you guys!
Besides all the "normal" (is there such a thing?) stuff going on this preschool had enrollment. Right now, we currently have 59 students enrolled for the current year. After only two days of enrollment, we arlready have 65 children enrolled for next year! Our preschool board will meet this week and finalize how many children we are going to have in each class...I think we already have a waiting list!
So, yes...busy week...great conference...wonderful time with my husband...and wonderful to be runited with my children! God is good!!!

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