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Infant Baptism Allows Us to Act Like Jesus to Our Children
By Rev. David Kromminga

Infant-Baptism

A friend of mine from a church that baptizes only adults was talking to me about his teenage son. “Well, the jury is still out on him.” He said. I knew his son had not been arrested—at least not literally. My friend meant that his son had not yet made his “decision for Christ,” so the boy’s eternal destiny was still very much in question.

My friend and I have a lot in common, but all of a sudden I realized that we had a major difference in Christian perspective. At the heart of our difference was baptism.

Though I have no doubt about my friend’s love as a parent, I felt sorry for his son. I’m glad that I can’t imagine my parents ever having said something like that about me—not because I was such a saintly kid, but because they brought me up as God’s child. They treated me as someone for whom Christ died and was raised to life. I grew up believing it. I’m convinced that their attitude toward me was a powerful result of my baptism as an infant.

Baptism Makes a Big Difference

My friend and I share the same faith, and we even have much in common in regard to baptism. We agree that baptism is a sacrament that the Lord entrusted to the church. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” commanded Jesus (Matt. 28:19). The church must baptize.

We also agree that baptism itself does not save a person—neither infant nor adult, no matter how or when or by whom it’s done, no matter how much water is used. We agree that baptism doesn’t save anyone, but we also agree that what it points to—union with Christ—does. While we remain divided on who should be baptized, we are one in Christ. As important as baptism is, it is not a matter of life-or-death importance.

Finally, we fully agree that faith must play a role in baptism. We disagree about who expresses that faith when, but we both believe that faith is crucial.

These significant beliefs about baptism are common to most Christians. Yet we can easily forget what we have in common if we get embroiled in our differences on this issue. We must not forget that there is more that unites us than divides us—even in regard to baptism.

Christians do have differences over baptism, though, and those differences are significant. They are so significant that if I were to become a member of my friend’s church, I would have to be re-baptized. His church regards my baptism as an infant as wrong. Not all churches who baptize only adults see things this way, but my friend’s church certainly does. And while I don’t appreciate my baptism being called into question, this difference does remind me that attitudes toward baptism reflect more than some little tiff among theologians. The differences are real, and they matter.

Children Do Belong in the Church

My friend’s attitude toward his son comes close to the heart of the difference. And the difference oils down to this: how do we regard children in the community of faith? Should they be treated as sons and daughters of God and followers of Jesus Christ? Or should they be treated as those for whom the balances of heaven have not yet graciously tipped because they haven’t made their decision for Christ? Are they in Christ’s church or not?

My answer, as a Reformed Christian, is that children are indeed part of the community of faith. Membership in the faith community is more a result of what God does for us than of what we do for ourselves. Infant baptism reminds us of that and promises God’s faithfulness to us.

Yet my friend’s perspective needs to challenge us as well. We must be careful about baptism. Baptism can be subject to abuse. We in the Christian Reformed community abuse it when we blithely assume it guarantees faith. And our culture abuses baptism when people view it superstitiously, using baptism in a vague attempt to help their children out. We end up living in a tension between having to work to cultivate the promise in baptism and yielding in awe to the grace of a God who can cultivate faith in barren soil.

Jesus Put Children in the Church
One of the most powerful reasons to include children in the community of faith is that Jesus did. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,@ Jesus says in Mark 10:14. What makes children naturals for the kingdom is not their alleged innocence or their you’ve-just-got-to-love-them cuteness or even their childlike faith. The quality that makes the kingdom theirs is their ability simply to take. Kids are marvellous little takers. Adults aren’t. Jesus holds up a child as a model for all who want in: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (1:15).

I imagine that had Jesus only said those words, the adults in his audience would have nudged each other, winked, and said, “He said ‘like a little child.’ Jesus doesn’t really mean the kingdom is for little children!” But Jesus took the lesson one step further: “He took the children in his arms, put his hand on them and blessed them” (v.16). Jesus not only said they belonged; he acted like it. I think the church should do so too. Infant baptism is acting like Jesus toward children.

Its All About Grace
Water on the head of a baby who cannot say a blessed thing is a picture of grace. It’s the picture of a sovereign, covenant God who claims people as his own before they are even able to claim God as their own, a God who out of nothing forms a people for himself. This has everything to do with God’s covenant. Reformed Christians see baptism mainly in the light of that covenant. Baptist and other Christians don’t. It’s a big difference.

Reformed Christians believe that baptism identifies a person with God’s own people and with God’s saving work on their behalf. We see a link between circumcision in the Old Testament and baptism in the New. We believe that both acts identify people as belonging to the community that belongs to God. Circumcision and baptism signify and seal the covenant between God and his people. In Colossians 2:9-15, Paul links the two together explicitly: “In [Christ] also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (NRSV). Although this passage by no means proves the necessity of infant baptism, it at least suggests that baptism is the New Covenant counterpart of circumcision.

Children were included in the Old Covenant and received the sign of being included (at least the boys did!). How much more, then, should children be included in the New Covenant, with its superior expression of grace in Christ. And how much more should they receive the sign of being included (both boys and girls!). If the Old Covenant included children as full covenant partners, how could it be that the New doesn’t?

If it doesn’t, perhaps that’s because children, especially infants, lack faith. And as even the Heidelberg Catechism acknowledges, faith is what grafts us into Christ (Q&A 20-23). But if they don’t have faith, how can children have a chance of being connected?

Let’s first remember what faith is. Faith is not a work. Faith is not achieving; faith is in Jesus’ words, “receiving the kingdom of God like a little child.” Who better to receive it than one who actually is a little child? So perhaps children maybe even infants, have more faith than we adults think—perhaps even more than we do!

Faith Is A Group Thing

The New Testament gives us other reasons to believe that faith isn’t something we accomplish. One person’s faith can, for example, stand in for the faith of other people. In Acts, Paul tells the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (16:31, NRSV). The word for household might even include the children of the jailer’s slaves. Somehow his faith counts for all in his house.

Paul, like Jesus, doesn’t just say so; he also acts like it: “Then [the jailer] and his entire family were baptized without delay” (16:33) I don’t believe that every single member of the jailer’s household could give a mature profession of faith in Jesus Christ before being baptized. After all, these earth-shaking events happen in a single night! Rather, I think that the jailer’s household became a believing household because of the jailer’s commitment. His faith stood in for that of his household.

The people of the Bible thought communally about such things. They thought in terms of the many. We modern people don’t. We think individually, in terms of the isolated one. Covenant thinking came naturally to people of the Bible. It doesn’t to us. That’s one reason infant baptism is often such a tough sell in the modern world. It demands a different way of thinking—a more biblical way of thinking.

How Baptism Relates to Faith

What do Reformed Christians say about the relationship of faith and baptism? Three things:

  • In the baptism of children, the faith of the parents stands in for the faith of the child. Though the child may be unable to give a mature testimony to his or her faith, the parents promise to surround that child with all the promises of God that his or her baptism signifies.
  • Baptizing children demands faith-nurture in the covenant community. God’s claiming of an infant or a young child through baptism looks forward to another day when that child publicly owns God as his or her own. On that day, the person will affirm the promises made to him or her by God in his or her baptism. Baptizing children commits us to providing everything we can to make that day and that profession a reality in the life of that child.
  • Personal faith matters. So do personal repentance and personal discipleship and a personal testimony of one’s faith.  Reformed Christians just believe that these are not prerequisites for baptizing the children of believers.  In their case, baptism looks forward to personal commitment and faith not backward.

It’s important to recognize, thought, that neglecting personal faith is a real danger in churches that stress God’s covenant. The false security of Old Covenant Israel is our characteristic temptation as well. Time and time again, the prophets warned Israel that mere membership in the covenant community was no substitute for being faithful to the God of covenant and no security against God’s judgement.

The apostle Paul issues the same kind of warning to the baptized members of the church in Corinth (1Cor. 10:1-13). We would do well to take such warnings seriously too. The Christian Reformed Church watch out. Smugness does appear to be our particular brand of sin.

That’s why evangelistic preaching, calls to conversion, prayer for renewal in the church, and public opportunities for committing or recommitting one’s life to Christ provide, healthy, divine medicine for our covenantal complacency. These trends are not necessarily signs of denominational slippage. Our goal, after all, is not the covenant. Our goal is a living relationship of faith and trust in God.

It’s interesting that as the young people fo the Christian Reformed Church are asked to make commitments to Christ during the Life Challenge at Youth Unlimited conventions, infants in Baptist churches are being dedicated to the Lord. Reformed Christians are rediscovering personal faith and individual commitment just as Baptist Christians are beginning to emphasize the covenant. Is there some Spirit-led convergence here? Let’s hope so.

The Danger of Superstition

About four times a year I get baptism phone calls. The caller will say, “I want to get my baby baptized.” This person has no connection to a Christian community, and most often absolutely no desire for one. I know that, because when I explain the commitments involved in infant baptism and offer to meet with the person to discuss them, I detect a dramatic loss of interest. The parent simply wants to “get the kid done.” I’m convinced that no Christian Reformed church would baptize that child.

Here’s the problem: some church will. This parent will call every church in the phone book until she finds one that will baptize her child. You can count on it: the child will be baptized—for the worst and most superstitious reasons.

Now imagine that 20 years later, after absolutely no Christian upbringing, having never truly heard the gospel, that same child is converted to Christ through her believing roommate who tells her the good news. She who was dead but is now alive in Christ begins attending your church and wants to join. In fact, she wants to be baptized.

But she has already been baptized. “That wasn’t a baptism,” she claims. “That was a superstitious mother who happened to find an irresponsible minister when she wanted to get her kid ‘done.’” This new believer has no problem with infant baptism—except her own. An elder encourages her to see the grace of a sovereign God claiming her as his own, bending even the wrong decisions of a mother, a church, and a minister to his gracious purposes. But she just can’t see it. Even though I agree with the elder and wish this new believer would see things that way, I can’t blame her for her feelings about the matter. It is hard to see God in her baptism. What’s a church to do?

The older form for baptism used in the CRC includes a striking statement about baptizing “for the purpose God intended and not out of custom or superstition” (Psalter Hymnal, p.958). But what if baptism is done out of custom or superstition? Does acceptance of such indiscriminate baptism cheapen our own use of the sacrament?

It may—especially if we do not acknowledge that we’re accepting an indiscriminate baptism. If we did acknowledge it, though, we would open ourselves to appreciating the sovereign nature of God’s grace. We’d see that God can work his wonders despite a parent’s superstition, despite a minister’s spinelessness, and despite a church’s unfaithfulness. Parent, minister, and church may have been unfaithful, but God, who is still forming a people for himself out of nothing, was not. All human powers failed that child, but God still came through.

Of course, such divine faithfulness must never become an excuse for human unfaithfulness. To paraphrase Paul, we must not baptize indiscriminately so that grace may abound (cf. Rom. 6). But neither can we underestimate the power of that grace or refuse to recognize it when it comes through.

In such an atmosphere, we need to maintain our resolve about infant baptism. The ropes binding us to the practice have loosened some what. Some of this loosening could be the result of bad tethering on our part—making covenant the one main theme in Scripture, for example, or claiming that certain passages that imply infant baptism teach it explicitly.

It’s also difficult to know in which direction we’re most in danger of drifting. I’ve heard people who defend infant baptism sound as if mere membership in the covenant community ensures salvation. Claiming too much for baptism (“it saves”) could be as much as a danger as claiming too little (“It’s just a symbol”).

Maybe people like the young woman in my fictional example would be less interested in rebaptism, if the church made profession of faith a more meaningful event. As it is, profession of faith is a wordy business. The form for it is obviously tailored to people whose faith was nurtured in the covenant community. By itself, it is ill-suited for the conversions of those whom God brings from complete unbelief to devotion to Jesus Christ. Let’s dress them in white robes, lay hands on them, shout along with the heavenly hosts, kill the fatted calf—anything that fits the homecoming of a lost son or daughter.

Such notions are still new to us in the Christian Reformed Church. We don’t quite know what to do with the heavenly Father’s lost sons and daughters who come home. We’re better at handling our elder brothers and sisters who, like most of us, stayed home with Dad on the farm. Lost children who come home challenge us and our practices—practices like baptism. They force us to rethink why we do the things we do and what those things say about the God who owns all of us as his children. But it’s a healthy challenge, if we’re faithful. And if we refuse to embrace it, we’re likely to miss the celebration.

“The Banner,” April 8, 1996.

My Crossfit Journey

I share this story not to brag, though I will admit that I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment, but I share it in hopes of encouraging others.

When I met and married my husband, he was what I considered a huge “crossfitter.”  I remember going to a class with him and leaving completely overwhelmed and thinking, “I will never be able to do what they do.”  And I didn’t want to.  I had no desire to get involved.  But Kaelan kept “encouraging” me to try it (I’ll let the reader define “encouraging”).  I did try it, but not very faithfully or happily.  It was half-hearted effort where I would go a day here and a day there, but not regularly.  And when I did go my attitude was all wrong because I resented the fact I was being “encouraged” to go.  That was the fall of 2011.

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After we came back from our much delayed honeymoon in January 2013, I decided I was ready to do something.  I had discovered a new Crossfit gym in our area (Source Crossfit – Oceanside, CA) and they were offering bootcamp classes for beginners.  That was something I felt like I could do and get involved in, and enjoy.  It was a great way to start Crossfit for a beginner like myself.  That was a year ago.  At that time I was at almost 24% body fat.”

After several weeks of bootcamp classes, my confidence and strength started to grow and I actually began attending the group WODs.  I slowly began learning the movements and becoming more and more confident in myself.  On top of that, I was meeting a lot of people who I really enjoyed being around…our coaches and other members.  I was really starting to enjoy myself and looked forward to going each day.

Now grant it, there were weeks where I did really well; I would go faithfully and try hard.  Other weeks, not so much.  There were weeks where my eating was good, and others when I had a little too much Yogurtland.  Nevertheless, I was making substantial changes.  Around the same time I started Crossfit, I also started to take Paleo eating/cooking (nuts, fruits, seeds, meats, vegetables) more seriously.  No more cereal for three meals a day.  I actually started having a more well-balanced diet.  Again, it didn’t mean I was perfect, because I still splurged…alot more than I should have actually…but real changes were being made.

During the last year of Crossfit, I didn’t really think my body was changing much.  Sure, I knew I was gaining some muscles somewhere, but the number on the scale hadn’t changed and I wasn’t losing any inches.   But I was having fun and feeling more confident about myself and becoming more athletic so I didn’t really care.

In the middle of our move to the UK, we took about four months off from Crossfit.  We started back about two months ago…and it was painful.  I felt like I had lost so much strength and muscle and was a beginner all over again.  Recently our gym started a “Live Clean 25 Day Challenge,” which essentially means no processed foods for 25 days.  To kick it off, we all had to take pictures of ourselves, take our weight and get our body fat measured.  This is where I was floored.

I had assumed my body fat percentage had not changed.  I honestly thought it probably went up slightly.  Yes, I noticed some small changes in the pictures, but again, the scale had actually gone up a few pounds the last few months and our diet wasn’t the best during our transition.  We tried to stay physically active, but we failed more days than succeeded during those four months.  Needless to say, the effort and commitment that I have put forth the last year (as imperfect as it was) has still brought about some amazing changes.

As of today, a year after starting Crossfit and adopting a more paleo lifestyle, I am down from 24% to 16.8% body fat.

For someone who did not grow-up playing sports or being “athletic,” to seeing what I can now do and the changes that my body has experienced is something I am quite proud of and I hope it encourages someone else to try.  This last year has been an absolute blast.  And not because I was so consumed about changing my body, but more because I’ve just enjoyed the process and the friends and relationships made along the way.  I still consider myself a beginner or rookie at Crossfit.  I don’t lift really heavy weights and probably never will.  And that’s okay.  Each person has to do what’s best for them and what they feel comfortable with.  I still have some significant changes I want to see made, but this was the push I needed to continue on.

So all in all, I guess I owe my husband a huge “Thank you.”  Thanks babe for introducing me to Crossfit and encouraging me to get involved.  Yes, I resented you for it many times, but in the end, I am so very thankful!  And a special thanks to Source Crossfit for running an absolutely amazing program that made me want to come back day after day, and for having such awesome coaches and members!

Remember, you can’t always go by a number on a scale.

 

Weekend Adventures

This weekend, hubby and I took the ferry across to Mt. Edgecombe in Cornwall.  It is a beautiful, historic property which was fun to explore and had amazing views of Plymouth.  For a moment, I felt like I was living a Downton Abby episode.  More information regarding Edgecombe here:  http://www.mountedgcumbe.gov.uk

 

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The ferry is most convenient. Right outside of our apartment.

 

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Walking up to Mt. Edgecombe House. It was destroyed in WWII so the current home is actually a much smaller rebuild from the 70s.

 

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Mt. Edgecombe House

 

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Beautiful Gardens.

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The view back down the hill.

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Ruins from the war. Beautiful views of Plymouth from here.

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Hello Plymouth! And Drakes Island.

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And for those wondering…yes, Kaelan can do a handstand.

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Headed back home.

Clay Family Updates

Life has been a whirlwind for our family these last few months.  Days spent trying to accomplish an endless list of things to do as we adjust to a new life, a new home, a new country; filled with a ridiculous amount of calls and emails all in an effort to get settled, services set-up, monies reimbursed, insurance claims filed, yada yada ya.  But it seems that the infamous to-do list is getting smaller and smaller and we are finally settling into a routine and starting to actually enjoy this adventure.  

Here are a few updates to highlight:  

  • I finished my first class of my Master’s program.  These are intensive classes, so I take a new class every eight weeks.  Came out of my first class with an A.  Go me!  If all goes according to plan, I should be done by the time we move back to the states (December 2016).    
  • Thank you for all the prayers and help in finding Shooter a foster family.  I got an email this morning from the family that is currently watching him.  Before they committed, they wanted to have him for a week to see how he would do with them and their dogs.  The outcome?  They absolutely LOVE him!  The email from the “mom” made my morning.  It reads:  “Hi Ashley, just giving you an update on Shooter.  He fits in with the other dogs very well. He is an absolute love bug. He is a fast learner and wants to please. I want to assure you and your husband that he will be fine here and I don’t want you to worry about him.”  Her only complaint?  The pads on his paws have been rubbed raw from him playing so much!  That’s our Shooter.  The life of the party and never knowing when to stop.  They have tons of land and pools and other animals so he is having an absolute blast!  
  • We are starting to venture out and explore new places.  Last weekend we rode the motorcycle an hour north to the city of Exeter.  Beautiful city with TONS of shopping and an absolutely beautiful cathedral.  We didn’t have much time so we hope to go back soon.  We have also found some beautiful places to explore here in Plymouth.  Rolling hills and cliffs overlooking the water and hidden beaches.  It’s absolutely beautiful!  The sun has been shinning non-stop for about a week.  I feel like Mother Earth is playing a horrible trick on me.  But I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  

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Our visit to Exeter. Love the cobblestone streets.

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Love the green grass and rolling hills.

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Exploring the cliffs and hidden beaches here in Plymouth.

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Enjoying a Sunday morning walk down by the Hoe.

  • It appears that I am going back to work!  On Monday to be exact.  I honestly wasn’t planning to work while here; school was going to be my focus.  But when I heard about this opportunity, I felt that God was leading me to pursue it.  So for the next 9 months I will be serving as the Administrator at our church here in Plymouth while the current Administrator takes maternity leave.  Maternity leave here in the UK can last up to a year.  The US could learn something from the Brits regarding this 😉  Needless to say, I’m excited to serve this church that has been such a God-send for Kaelan and I, and to get to do what I love…administrate! 🙂  St. Andrews is right in the heart of the city and I truly admire their staff and their vision.      

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St. Andrews Church

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St. Andrews was severely damaged during WWII.  The whole roof was destroyed.  But, during the reconstruction and clean-up phase, they still continued to hold services there.  

  • We are looking forward (hopefully) to a weekend trip to London and Normandy in the coming months.  Kaelan has to travel a good bit without me in June, as well as the fall, so we hope to plan a big vacation for us in August.  It’s quite overwhelming though.   There are SO many places we want to see that we have no idea where to begin.  It seems that the options are endless.  Do we take a cruise?  If so, to where?  Or, do we do a trip by car and travel to various places?  

So there are a few highlights.  Here’s to hoping I can now get back to blogging as life becomes more simple and routine yet again.  

He Was Right

Life in the motherland has been rather busy with moving into our new place, mixed with some fun travels for Kaelan’s job.  Slowly we are getting settled in.  I have come to a realization that with any military move, it takes a good six months to get settled.  Two months down…four to go.

 

One slight frustration is our lack of Internet.  I was told to book our Internet installation early.  So I did…1.5 weeks before we moved in.  I thought surely that would be enough time.  We moved in on Friday (Jan. 17th) and I asked the Internet people to install on Monday (Jan 20th).  He said I would get a letter in the mail confirming the date and time.  On Saturday (Jan. 18th), the letter arrived informing me that our Internet would be installed…FEBRUARY 20th!

 

Kaelan and I both had a slight freak-out moment.  Me more so than him since I am doing online schooling.  I called the company immediately and with my arrogant, American persona I kindly let them know that that date was completely unacceptable.  Needless to say, they won.  Internet installation here is done through a 3rd party and not through the company you pay monthly for services.  And they are apparently known for taking forever to install.  I have heard horror stories of three month’s wait, so I’ll gladly shut-up and deal with having to go to the internet café every stinking day until the 20th.

 

A few weeks ago, Kaelan warned me about something.  And honestly, I kind of ignored it at the moment…until now.  He warned me that when we eventually got moved in and life slowed down, that I needed to be aware that emotionally I would probably hit a slump.  Get a little homesick.  Start feeling disappointment.  So this is my confession…My husband was right.  I’ve really been battling the whole homesick/depression/emotional rollercoaster as of late.  I really miss home.  The good ‘ol US of A.  Particularly California.  The beautiful year-round sun and amazing mild weather and beaches.  We honestly lived outside during our time there.  Playing with Shooter, riding the motorcycle, working out.  And I miss it all!  I miss our sweet doggie, I miss my job and somewhat sense of purpose, our families, and our friends.

 

Don’t get me wrong, we are truly blessed with such an amazing opportunity, but changes and adjustments like these do not come without growing pains.  And I am right in the midst of experiencing those.   Kaelan reminded me this morning that we must keep in mind that God has us here for a purpose…on a mission.  The problem is that hubby’s mission is a little more clearly defined for him by the US military.  I have a little more searching to do and waiting on God to show me mine.

 

So please pray for us as we get settled into the “norm.”  That God will show us both our place and purpose and that we would find fulfillment and joy in this season.  I know our time here will fly by, and I truly do want to enjoy every minute and find the sunshine in the rain, literally 🙂

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Long-Time No Write

Sorry guys for lack of updates and communication, but our current vacation rental was without internet for about a week or so.  It was brutal! 🙂  Oh how dependent on technology I have become.

Anyways, here is an update on our lives…

1.  We spent Christmas in Cambridge.  It was absolutely beautiful there!  What you expect of England…tiny, cobblestone streets with  all these shops, beautiful cathedrals and schools, etc. We actually went to the world-renowned Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service at Kings College on Christmas Eve.  It was amazing!  Here is a link to a sample of the service.  Every year, this service is broadcasted all over the UK, on radio and tv.  So it was kind of a big deal to get to go to one.  Grant it, we had to be there by 9 am and wait in line for 6 hours out in the cold, and then another 1 1/2 hours inside the church.  Oh the things I do to make hubby happy.  But in all sincerity, I’m so glad that we went.  It was well worth it and we met some great people while standing in the “que” (line) for so long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S3JQv5mb8o 

The boy’s choir…Oh.  My.  Word.  You will never hear anything like it.

I also learned something.  When I heard “Cambridge University” or “Oxford,” I thought it was a college..one.  Like UNC Chapel Hill.  But actually it refers to several colleges that make-up Cambridge University.  Kings College is one of those.

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2.  Christmas Day was much less exciting.  We spent the day holed up in an Air Force Lodge near Cambridge being depressed about our not-so-normal Christmas.  Lunch was served in the cafeteria on base.  The rest of the day was spent wallowing in self-pity and shopping at the 24 hour gas station.  I told my mom that from now on, we WILL have family or friends come and visit us at Christmas.  Moving on from that depressing topic…

3.  On New Years Eve Kaelan and I went restaurant hopping in our new housing area.  A entree at one restaurant, a dessert at another, cheese at another.  It was a lot of fun and gave us a chance to just enjoy one another’s company and talk.  In all actuality, our lives here are so much simpler, and I love that.  Not having a car really does simplify your life.  Plus, we ride the bus or walk everywhere, so Kaelan and I have a lot of time to just talk. Some of our most enjoyable and intimate conversations have been on the City Bus or during our walks into town.

4.  Our move-in date into our new home was pushed back due to a heating and water issue.  PRAYING that we will finally get to move in this Friday.  I am so ready to be settled.

5.  Our household goods were suppose to be in England on December 23rd.  We then received notification that due to the holidays, our items would not arrive until January 8th, and then would have to go through Customs, which could take up to two weeks!  Well then we got another notification that due to the horrible weather in England, the ship carrying our goods was diverted to another country and that our items would be transferred here by January 15th.  So please pray that they do arrive by the 15th and it clears customs quickly without any problems.  I soooo want my bed and my sheets.

6.  Tomorrow begins a new journey for me.  I officially start my Masters program.  I am going through Liberty University and pursuing my Masters of Science in Accounting.  I love working in the administrative field and see this as an opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills set.  Plus, Kaelan and I would like to own a business one day and this degree/training will be extremely helpful.  And, it will help us to manage our rental properties better, possibly offer financial workshops for military families, and hopefully I can do some CPA work as well.  It’s been awhile since school…7 1/2 years to be exact.  Here’s to hoping that once I get back on this horse, I remember quickly how to ride.

Much Love!

Ashley

That is what I have come to name this current period in our lives…

The Move That Doesn’t End.

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Because that is exactly what it feels like.  Allow me to rewind and share with you the past two months of our lives.

End of October:  All of our household goods were packed up and began their journey to the UK.  Kaelan and I, and our 11 pieces of luggage, moved into a hotel.

November 6th:  We, and all of our belongings, boarded a plane to NC, where we spent the next two weeks with my family.

November 15th:  We packed up all of our stuff AGAIN, and flew to Ohio for two weeks to spend time with Kaelan’s family.

November 30th:  We had to fly BACK to California to spend the night in a hotel to catch our flight to London the next day.

December 2nd:  We arrived to London and our hosts graciously opened their home to us for the next week.

December 10th:  We moved into a holiday rental.  During this time, we finally decided on permanent housing, but was disappointed to find out that it would not be ready until January 10th.  On top of that, our current holiday rental was not available past December 21st.

December 21st:  Today, we moved yet AGAIN into holiday rental #2.  Remember…11 pieces of luggage PLUS anything we have acquired since our arrival.

Needless to say, I haven’t been in the happiest of moods today.  Between hormones, this moving situation, dad being in the hospital and a slight sinus infection, I think I’ve just been out of sorts.  And I’m sure, in the mix of all that, having a less than normal Christmas this year weighs on me.

But the end is in sight, right?  20 more days.  20 more days.

So thankful for friends and family who have been so supportive during this time.

I promise, pity party over.

XOXO,

Ashley