As most of you know we just moved to Tulsa, OK. We've been here almost a month now. We absolutely love it here. Our journey to today has been a long one. It started way back in March.
In March of this year we had just finished up the building process at Faith in Joplin, and we were getting ready to have our Open House and Dedication service.
It was a very high time in our life, in a course of many up and downs. Our piano player's son and his family were there, from Southwest Baptist in Tulsa, for our services. He pulled Brian aside and was asking him if he knew anybody that was looking for an associate pastor position. Brian told him no, he didn't at that time. Brian wasn't even really looking, he had his heart set on pastoring as his next position. Any way, Bro. Avery told Brian to keep his eyes and ears open and if he heard or thought of anybody to let them know. Brian assured him he would and we went on.
Between then and July some phone calls had been exchanged between our pastor and Bro. Lyndel Hix (the pastor at Southwest Baptist in Tulsa) about Brian. Bro. Hix finally called Brian the beginning of July and set up a meeting. They met on July 15; basically just to officially meet. We had met Bro. Hix during the clean up process at the church. He was there at the dedication service at Faith, but we didn't really "know" him or he us. So they talked about what we believe, what they believe, what Brian's goals/plans were. And things of that sort.
Brian and I talked a lot about the prospect of moving away from Faith. Brian was very torn. He had so much vested in the physical, building aspect of the church. He had quit his job in Aug. of 2011 to rebuild the parsonage and the church. The church paid him wages this whole time and in March 2013, the church stopped paying him full time so he had to find another job. He went looking for a job, and the first day he went out, God gave him a job, and he started the very next day. He went to work at a farm making and selling feed. It was not what he wanted to do at all, but that's life. So, the thought of being full time at a church again was very appealing.
BUT, it wasn't as a pastor, which is what he so badly wanted to be doing. But he considered it a stepping stone.
We didn't hear anything from Bro. Hix or anyone from the church until late Aug. We had really began to think they didn't want to consider us for the position. But Bro. Hix called and set up for us to come down Aug. 25, and visit, and meet some of the people. It was a very informal visit, and he made sure we knew we weren't coming in view of a call. Brian got to preach and the family sang. We had a very nice time, and thought the people were very nice and friendly. I loved the church and the people from that Sunday. We knew Bro. Hix and his wife were going to be gone for the next two weeks on vacation so we didn't figure we would hear anything before that. Late Sept. he called and Brian went to meet with the deacons for a question/answer session. After that it was a week or so, I guess, then one night Bro. Hix called and told Brian the position was his if he wanted it. Brian came home and told me. We had already talked quite a bit about it through the whole waiting period, so we were already confident with our decision. Brian called him back the very next morning and accepted the position, and I began packing.
In the process of packing, and Brian working, we would come down on Monday's to look for a house. I was very discouraged our first trip when we found nothing. UGH! Brian felt good about the trip, because he learned a lot about the lay out of the city. We came down again to look around, and still nothing, but we did find a community we would love to live in, so that's where we started looking. Our next trip down, we got to stay for a couple days. We were able to make appointments to see houses. We had an apt to see a house with a property manager and she never showed up. So, I called her and she gave me the key code to get into the house. So, we let ourselves in to look at the house. I almost cried. I just KNEW this is the house God had for us. I had been praying that we would know the house when we found it, the kids would like it, it would be in a nice neighborhood, the bedrooms would be big enough, and everything would just work out perfectly. It did. As it always does.
Now that we had a house, we had to finish packing up our house in Sarcoxie, and get moved. Brian was worried about moving expenses. Truck rental, first months rent and all the deposits. When it was all said and done, the church paid for the truck rental and our house deposit, which was a HUGE blessing.
We moved on Brice's 12th birthday, the 17th of Oct. (I'm sure it will be one he will always remember.) It took us ALL DAY to load the truck. The kids worked harder than they have probably ever worked. We stayed the night at my parents and headed to OK on Friday. We got here about 10:00 or so and the lady wasn't here with the keys to let us in. So, we had to wait till about noon. But after we got the keys we unloaded the truck, which only took about 3 hrs, compared to the 24 it took to load it. And we were settling in. Brian unloaded the whole truck in the garage and we just unpacked one box at a time, which was nice not having to wade through rooms of boxes.
Today, for the most part, we are pretty much settled in. Things are moving like "normal". (nothing is ever normal) We took a week off school, but we are back up and going with school again, and the kids are doing well.
Brian is enjoying his days at the church. He has had a lot of time to read and study, and do things he hasn't been able to do in years. This week he is working on remodeling the kitchen in the gym. He is enjoying that.
I am happier than I have been in quite some time. I am thankful for the blessings God has poured out on us. I'm thankful for him putting us right here, right now. It couldn't be better. We all love living in our little community. We love living so close to everything. We are 1 mile from the biggest Wal-Mart Supercenter in OK. We are about 2-3 miles from Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, which has all your stores like, Target, Ross, Marshalls. It's so nice to have shopping places just minutes away, instead of having to drive half hour to get anywhere.
I will try to write more soon. I want to tell you all about the town we live in and the things we have already done since we've been here, and some of the friends we have made.
Talk to you soon!