Packing Up My Life

April.25.2006


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Originally uploaded by NickWI.

Despite how cute Leah looks in this picture, packing is not fun. The stress of the house not being sold yet and just getting everything ready is really starting to wear on us. I keep telling myself that this is all God’s will and His timing will come as soon as He is ready. I just need to keep this whole trust thing in perspective.

I am still fairly eager to get back to Wisconsin though. I always feel like I am “home” when I am in Wisconsin. I look forward to that feeling. And also to that feeling that what I am doing is more of an impact in the hearts, minds and souls of others. Far more than just working for a printing company is at least.

Sorry this isn’t a longer post, but I am exhausted. I need to go rest or play a videogame or something to get my energy back.

Last Day of Work

April.21.2006

Okay, so maybe that isn’t be punching out on my last day of work, but it is some guy doing it and I’ll be doing the same thing later today. And I will definitely give the thumbs up to anyone with a camera in the area.

It’s really weird being here. It is kind of rewarding though since a lot of people are coming up to me and telling me they will be praying for my success or how much they enjoyed working with me. I’m really trying hard to convey a moment of Christ to everyone I talk to, but it is difficult not to just force it in most cases.

This also marks the last day of daycare for the little peanut Leah. I’m really glad actually. She needs to be home with Jamie. I’m sure she will be a happier baby because of it. I can’t wait to see her multiple times everyday.

I’m in the midst of designing the new website for Pine Lake. I have more or less decided to design it myself. My hope is that it will be a learning experience for me and that I can use that knowledge to start designing websites for other camps or ministries in the future. From the research I have done it looks like a lot of camps have really lousy websites. I’ll be happy to change that as much as I can.

We also had a pretty huge blessing yesterday. My friend Josh called me and told me he had free tickets for Jamie and I to see Switchfoot in Mankato this weekend. I really wanted to go all along, but I figured we could save the money and that we had enough other stuff going on. However, after the past couple of weeks, it will be great to go to a concert and unwind a little. Much thanks to Josh for the gift!

On The Edge

April.20.2006

This photo pretty much sums up how I feel today. I am suddenly getting all these emails from people I work with who are wishing me luck at my new job at camp. As much as I appreciate the well-wishing, it is scaring the crap out of me.

As much as I trust God and know that He has a great plan for us at Pine Lake, I am still pretty nervous about the big life change. I honestly feel like I am on the edge of a cliff, looking down at a beautiful scene that is waiting for me to make the big jump. I know I will land on my feet and be safe, but it is still a long ways down.

Today we have our first showing of our house and hopefully it will sell quickly. At 4:30 PM CST I will be praying pretty hard for a good first impression. We have been working really hard with the help of some friends and family to get this house ready in time and this could be the pay off. I can’t even imagine how much stress will be relieved if the house were to sell quickly. It would honestly be a huge blessing from God.

I am also working on the new website for the camp. I have done pretty extensive research looking at what other camps offer on their websites and what I really feel is helpful and/or important. I have a lot of work ahead of me just on this one project let alone the million other things that are probably lurking in the office when I finally get to camp.

Pine Lake Logo

April.19.2006

In my spare time, I threw together a potential logo for Pine Lake Camp. I plan on making a wide assortment of them and then taking a vote from regular visitors and the camping board. My hope is that this logo could be used on all signage, promotional materials, website, etc.

So…what do you think?

Happy Family

April.18.2006


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Originally uploaded by NickWI.

As happy as we are in this Easter Sunday picture, there is a lot of stress for us right now. We found out yesterday we need to have the house ready for showing on Wednesday…this Wednesday.

Then we are actually moving on next Thursday. It’s hard to believe how fast this whole thing is moving. I mean, I am excited and I know God is going to keep us safe and everything, but it is difficult not to just breakdown constantly.

On the other hand, this is really our time in the wilderness before getting to a promised land. Last night I got so stressed out that I needed a minute to just be by myself and relax and think. Then God lays on me that this work is all for a purpose. Just stay the course and it will be okay. Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be settled in at Pine Lake.

So, in the words of the great Bill Murray in What About Bob, baby-steps to the door…baby-steps to the elevator…baby-steps onto the elevator…AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

Just kidding. We’ll be fine.

The Wonderous Cross

April.17.2006

After reading Kelly’s blog, I felt motivated to write my own thoughts about this past Easter.

Most years, I have been distracted by the good food and family interactions at Easter (which are good things as well), but this year my Easter really was all about Jesus. We went to a Good Friday service at church that was really moving. In fact, worship in general has been really powerful for me lately.

Ever since we decided to take the job at Pine Lake, I feel as though Christ is right there with me during worship. I have occasionally felt this closeness to Him before, but never so consistently. It’s amazing. I really feel as though I finally am going down the path He designated for me and that He is going to be an ever present help through all of this.

At the same time, this has made me even more aware of the ugly sin in my life. I generally live a good life, but I know that Jesus has so much more for me and wants me to live a life of blessing and free of all the stupid troubles that sin causes me. I am really motivated to “take out the trash” so to speak so that when I get back to Wisconsin I can start over not just my career, but my spiritual life as well.

Thank you Lord for giving me and my family such an amazing opportunity to serve you daily. Guide me and lead me in a way that I can always see your path and be drawn to your greatness and grace. Thank you for the cross and thank you for giving me a life of giving and receiving love.

Buy Our House!!

April.13.2006

It is starting to look like the biggest problem with moving is the actual sale of our house. I am still frantically fixing the house up and at the same time trying to get packed and make sure our house is ready to be put on the market.

I have pretty much conceded the fact that we will be making house payments for a few months before this thing sells. Ideally I just want to get out of our mortgage, but if we can get some extra cash for the work we have done on the house, that would be great too.

Last night we actually had two offers on our house. Both were people from church and both were break-even at best offers. One of the offers was actually less than what we paid for the house when we bought it. I am going to talk to our realtor tonight to see what his impression is. I’m hopeful that with the recent changes we made that he can give me a ballpark of what I can expect to sell it for if we put it on the market.

I will be so happy once we are at camp and all this stress is behind us. Our lives are just moving so fast that I don’t even feel like I have time to really connect with Jamie and Leah. I spent an hour with them last night watching Lost, but other than that I didn’t even see them. I can’t wait to spend time with them down by the lake or just walking in the woods. I just need to relax and know that God has a blessing for us in less than a month.

Now that I know I am going back to live in Wisconsin, I am suddenly re-energized to watch Wisconsin sports. I never really lost my love for the Packers, Badgers, Brewers and sometimes the Bucks, but the fire had certainly been stifled due to the lack of TV coverage here in the barren wasteland of Minnesota.

With that said, it is hard to avoid the soap opera that is the Brett Favre retirement tango. The “will he or won’t he” back and forth has become a daily story not just for Wisconsin sports fans, but for fans across the country. The question is, why?

Well, I have to assume that the reason so many people are intrigued by this story is because it is about a player that people respect and enjoy watching play. Even the typically biased Minnesota sports radio heads have given Favre his due respect as of late. If this same drama were unfolding for someone like Vinny Testaverde or Rich Gannon, few people would bat an eye. Instead, we have one of the few true living legends of the NFL on the brink of ending an amazing career.

For people in Wisconsin it is an even bigger deal. Before Favre and Reggie White showed up, Green Bay was literally a joke. We were the team that other coaches threatened to send their under productive players to. We were the team that when people saw it on their schedule instantly assumed it would be a win. We were the team that year after year found a way to lose.

Favre changed that. He made winning not only a possibility but fun too. The way that we have won some of these games in the last ten years have been absolutely unbelievable. I almost became eager for there to be 2 minutes left and being down by a touchdown.

But now it is time for a decision Brett. For the sake of my sanity, you need to decide. I know you want there to be some improvements to the team, we all do. There is nothing I would want more than to have LaVaar Arrington and Charles Woodson on the defense, but if we don’t do you really think we will be 4-12 again? Honestly, I’m pretty sure we can avoid the injury bug and have at least a 10-6 season. I just wish that was enough to bring back the most entertaining football player I have ever watched.

Back to the Motherland

April.11.2006

I figured I should probably start posting again. I apologize for the relative silence, but life has been a whirlwind lately. Let me explain.

About a month ago my wife and I came to the realization that we could no longer afford for her to stay home with our daughter. We both dreaded the idea of putting her in daycare, but it seemed like the only option. After much prayer and crying, we prayed for God to give us a way out of this situation. Literally a half hour later, I received an email. An email that now looks like it will change our lives for quite a while.

The email was from the person in charge of the United Methodist Camping system in Wisconsin. My wife and I have long said our dream was to run a camp in Wisconsin and preferably Pine Lake Camp. It was at that camp that Jamie and I both really embraced our faith and it is also the place where we met.

To make a long story short, after much debate and inner turmoil, I applied for and got the job of our dreams. I couldn’t and still can’t believe it. I am so eager to be there now, but there is still a lot of work to do here in Minnesota.

So as of May 1, I will be in a new job, in a new house and with a new start on life. I will certainly miss many aspects of my life here in Minnesota though. We have made great friends and I honestly have a great job here as well. But this is clearly God’s hand moving in our life.

When I was at Pine Lake for the interview, I was walking around the camp praying. I remember standing on the edge of the lake looking out at the waves and just feeling this sense from God that I was meant to be here. It is amazing to know in my heart that God has this distinct plan for my life. It is something I have always known, but never experience like this.