Friday, November 14, 2014

Where Have I Been?!

Well, I decided tonight to look up the blog and see if it was still floating out there on the world wide web.  And what do you know, it was there.  Last post dated: April 20, 2012.  Oh. My. Word.  I started something and then dropped the ball and have been sitting on it for two and a half years.  Two and a half years that have seen us criss cross the country with a move to Tennessee and then a move to Washington (in one single year I might add).  God has been doing mighty things in our lives.  In these last two years we have learned quite a bit about ourselves and about our heart for ministry.  It hasn't always been roses as we walked this path.  Many times it's been icky as we've been stretched and refined.  In all the times though: Finding the Blessings.

Here's a brief timeline of what's been going on since April, 2012 (I'll elaborate in future blog posts):

Summer, 2012-
Decide last minute to take a vacation to visit our friends in Spring Hill, Tennessee.  Spend two and half weeks on the road.  Loved Tennessee.

Fall-Winter, 2012-
Feel a stirring in our hearts.  An unsettling feeling that we were supposed to 
do something different.  Like Indiana Jones stepping out on the beam of faith, we 
let our employers know that we felt called to try something new.  We would be leaving Visalia and be moving to Spring Hill, Tennessee (much to the chagrin
of our family and friends).

Spring, 2013-  
Everything was falling into place.  We had an apartment to move into and the finances ready to start over and begin this new adventure.

Summer, 2013-  
Goodbye Visalia, CA and Hello Spring Hill, TN.  I was able to get a job at Hunters Bend Elementary in Franklin, TN teaching 4th grade, where I was blessed to work alongside some great people!  Jason hit the ground running learning about the songwriting industry.

Fall, 2013-  
Things are getting rough.  The well is running dry.  Jason attends a song writing
conference where he has an encounter with God.  He feels that call to get back into 
ministry.  I start praying that someone would pursue him and that we wouldn't be fishing
to make it happen.

Winter, 2013-  
It's slim pickens for the Crabtrees.  We are learning to have extreme faith and trust.  
We're going month to month now.  We started doing the Jesus Call family devotional
with the kids at dinner every night.  We start to see God working on their hearts and have awesome family discussions. 

Early, 2014-  
Jason gets a phone call from a friend back in the First Baptist Days.  Kent calls and is
asking questions about Jason's time at Gateway.  Then he asks if Jason might consider
looking into a Worship Pastor position at the church in Moses Lake.  Wow!  That's back
across the country.  But remember, someone had called Jason (it's what I had been praying for).  We start praying.  Jason heads to CA for the NAMM show.  After his return back to TN, another phone call.  This time Jody calls and has a conversation with Jason.  Now allow me to share a glimpse of God's hand in this:  Kent and his wife, Staci, were the college leaders when we were in the college group at First Baptist (GateWay).  Jody was my  youth pastor from jr.  high through high school.  We hadn't talked to either of these guys in well over 10 years.  God, you have our attention.

Spring, 2014-  
After many Skype calls, the Crabtrees take a candidating trip out to Moses Lake, WA
for the position of Worship Pastor at Moses Lake Alliance Church.  We spend 5 days
getting to know the area and the people.  We fly back to TN and continue praying that 
we are falling into God's will and not our own ambitions.  Late March, we accept the 
call to begin ministry at the Alliance Church.  Sidenote:  Family and friends in Visalia
are thrilled that we will be back on the west side again and now only a day's drive away and not three.  A whirlwind begins of prepping for another cross country move.
And as only God would have it, the details all fall into place.

Summer, 2014-  
Jason and I pack up our stuff again, close the semi truck door, jump in the car, and 
drive to California.  A three day drive done in two days.  I couldn't wait to see my 
friends and family.  It had been a year!  After a whirlwind visit in Visalia we head
to Moses Lake.  We hit the ground running.  Our first Saturday in town we were 
blessed to be involved with a church Loving Moses Lake event.  Then I volunteered
to help at VBS.  On the Monday evening of the first day of VBS, I submitted my
application to the school district.  Tuesday morning I had calls for two separate 
interviews for Thursday.  By Thursday afternoon I had a position as a 5th grade 
teacher at Lakeview Elementary, which I am so blessed by.  I love the folks I work
with and my kiddos are fantastic.  We were feeling God's hand on this each and 
every step.  The rest of the summer was spent with Jason jumping head first
into the worship ministry and myself getting another classroom ready.  Oh and the kids you ask, well they were loving the trips to the water park and the adventures of learning a new place.  A visit from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) were a highlight too.

Fall, 2014-  
School is in session.  Kids seem to be really liking it here.  Nana and Papa (Jason's parents) spent several days with us which was nice to have a piece of home and family here.  Janell was one of the 7th grade students of the month.  I love that one thing she was recognized for was for caring.  They both are making friends.  Nathaniel is super excited for his birthday party tomorrow with new friends from school.  The cold weather has blown in and I'm pretty sure the folks here failed to mention just how cold it gets!  I am still trying to find my place in this new adventure.  I feel a stirring in my heart but not quite sure what God is speaking to me.  Not gonna lie, it's hard breaking into a small town.  Everyone knows everyone and I don't.  Friendships, groups, and programs are set.  I am meeting many new people, which comes with the territory.  Please don't quiz me on names!  I am longing to make new connections with people.  Cue my aching heart missing my chicas back home (see previous post titled: Chicas  It feels even harder to do when you're in an introvert like me and always wonder what people think of you. I may seem outgoing, confident, etc. but it really is a façade.  It’s difficult for me to get to know people, especially being a working mom.  Ugh, I'll save that for another post someday.  I do believe it's something many women struggle with.  

Well, that was the last two and a half years in a nutshell. You can read between the lines and see that we have had awesome times and we have had dark times.  Wouldn't it be great to say, "Everything is Awesome!"  Big picture: it is!!  Little picture: God is showing me areas that I need to work on and areas where I need to listen.  I'm excited to share more with you and hope you'll join me on this renewed adventure.  

Finding the blessings,


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