There’s gain AND there’s pain!

I’m a pretty positive person by nature. I like to see the glass as half full rather than mostly empty and I tend to lose patience with whiners. But sometimes I can feel a bit whiney myself. Sometimes this bizspouse stuff is just tough going. Someone reminded me recently that I don’t always have to post as the chipper, happy adventurer but with some truthful disclosure about the down side of living in a transitional state.

So if I haven’t lost you after THAT intro here is the rest of the story…..

The most challenging part of this journey is the uncertainty, the inability to plan ahead, thinking, “where will I be”? There is a scripture in Proverbs that says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. I think of that applicable Bible verse when I wonder about next month when my niece’s first baby is due. (the baby that the doctors said would never be) I think about it when I wonder where we will be for Christmas and if I will be living in snow another winter. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort to continue to build  relationships with women that I may never see again. Why would I want to add one more “goodbye” to my list of too many now? I tend to bond quickly and love hard and loss hurts and goodbyes are sad. Is it worth the effort?

The dilemma also often remains with the housing situation. Hotel vs. Apartment. There is a saying that goes like this, “if I had known that I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself”. That same thinking applies to this quandary. If I had known that I was going to be in this city for 9 months or a year, I would have gotten an apartment with a six month lease and had more space and better amenities. Since I did not know that, it remains a question of whether or not to move NOW into a more permanent living situation. We would have had more space, a patio to relax on at the end of the day and a garage to protect us and our vehicle from the ice and snow.

Sometimes the room is too small and the family is too far and the obstacles appear to outweigh the benefits. It isn’t always rosy. I am thankful, however, for a spouse who will roll with the punches. He is always willing to think outside the box and consider my perspective. He is a good bizspouse too.

How much longer will it be?????

Then I turn the page on the view at hand, make an intentional decision to be thankful and look for the encounter that the Lord has in store for me today. I once again CHOOSE to see this adventure as a pretty full bread basket in this heartland of America.

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A town, a lake, another state….

When we talk to the locals about places we don’t want to miss while visiting the Midwest, the one destination that continually comes up in conversation is Lake Geneva.  The town within walking distance bears the same name. The first time we heard about it was in relation to snow mobile races. We didn’t make it for that but thankfully the call to return to our home in Florida was delayed long enough for us to enjoy some of the summer offerings that the region has to offer.

We were not prepared however, for the beauty and ambiance of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Oh my, the sights, the unique culture and the clear water of the lake were a treat like none other that we had experienced here. Being from central Florida, we are accustomed to springs and clean rivers. We are happy to say that we found a whole lake that looked fresh and unpolluted in Wisconsin.

Our favorite aspect of Lake Geneva was being able to walk around the shoreline of the lake, literally walking on the private lawns and lake fronts of residents who not only PERMIT it but actually encourage the public usage in order to enjoy the beauty the lake shore provides. There are walkways and decorative fences and fountains and stepping stones….a virtual smorgasbord of tempting sights for the eyes. Thank you Lake Geneva residents for allowing us the privilege of seeing your beautiful estates from the back and your breathtaking scenery from the lake shore. May we tourists never abuse the privilege by vandalizing or littering your property that you so graciously offer. We can’t wait to go back!

What a heart, our Heartland Has

I had never seen so many working ladders in one room!

How many people does it take to transform two public schools in just a couple weeks time? 100s I can tell you. It takes a lot of time, talent, planning and most of all MONEY to make the most positive impact on a public school imaginable.

From the playground to the driveway from the gym to the classrooms the painting and dry walling, all transforming a dingy old tired school into a haven of brightness and shine! You would have to see it for yourself to believe that it could happen so remarkably. I’m proud to have been even the tiniest part of such an undertaking. I will not soon forget the experience of seeing a church come together to help out a public school. One that likely few members of the church even attend. But that is not important, however. What IS important is the impact that those upgrades can make on the youngest, most vulnerable members of the Rockford community. Heartland Church of Rockford, Illinois spends two weeks each summer changing lives in the public sector. The elementary children that can be easily forgotten in a town that has been stricken with some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. A school that sits fairly closely to the crime capital of the town but a school now that those children can be proud to attend in the fall. It’s a place that they can look forward to carrying their backpacks into. They may not know who Heartland church is but they will know that somewhere a lot of regular folks came in and made their school a really nice place to learn.

They may never know that folks came from as far away as Oregon to help with the project or that some people were injured or that some took time off from their real jobs to be a part of their success story but the children will know deep down that someone somewhere cares about them. When they look at new books in their new library or swing on a freshly painted swing, it will make them smile inside.

Heartland Church, YOU Rock!