Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bath Buds

"Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a [Sunday] night
A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright"

Kaeta (left) and Abigail (right) took a bath together when the Kurths came to visit over Labor Day weekend. Too Cute! We had a great visit, and are really looking forward to seeing them, and hopefully you other Austinites, too, when we come to town on October 15th. We plan to attend Kaeta's first birthday party.

 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Karen's Korner: Life in Cow Town

Here's a picture of us before our "Keep Austin Weird" going away party. Good times.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is, well, me! Some of you out there are wondering how I am doing in Cow Town (Fort Worth), and since my last post was all about Abigail, I'll make this post more personal.

Let's see... I feel at home in my townhouse; it's cozy and comfortable and convenient. We have less space now, but all our furniture still fits, and it's made life simpler. Time is a precious commodity for us right now, so we really like that there is less to clean and maintain. I also think it's better arranged than our old house. And the yard is the best part! There's grassy areas and sidewalks where kids leave out toys that everyone shares. Abigail LOVES it. All our neighbors are seminary students, of course, and most have kids. The only drawback is the train that's 20 ft away, but we got used to that pretty quick.

I'm getting to know the area pretty well. We are right across the street from the Southwestern campus, which is beautiful. I go to the recreation center a lot for exercise, and for free food on Tuesdays. The rest of the Fort Worth landscape is, well... I'll just say it ain't Austin. I'm bummed that there are no HEB's here. I go to Kroger a lot, which always reminds me of the Kroger I worked at in Myrtle Beach, SC (LT '99 and 2000).

In some ways I feel like I'm at another LT. (For those of you who don't know, LT stands for Leadership Training and is a summer Christian program run by Great Commission Ministries.) We are learning and growing a lot, but it's intensive and difficult. Only thing is, LT was only ten weeks long. It was a sprint. We're at the beginning of what feels like a 100 mile race. You probably thought I was going to say marathon, but that wouldn't do. I'm thinking more along the lines of the kind of races Dalton Pulsipher would run. We started out thinking this would last 3 years, but it might take longer; who knows how much longer. Classes are very demanding, so Barry may not be able to take a full load and work at the same time. This semester he has 13 hours and is maxed out.

So, the bad news is we'll be here for a while. But, the good news is that we'll be here for a while. That's right. God has been showing me that being in seminary is not such a bad place to be. I want to just jump on ahead into the next phase of our life (full-time ministry), but God is saying "Wait, you're not ready. Let me prepare you. Let me teach you how to persevere." And I say, "But God, what if we have another child, or two! And what if our budget gets too tight, and what if we run through all our savings, and what if I'm too tired, and what if Barry is overloaded ... what if?" And He says, "Trust in me with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." (Prov. 3:5) I have to keep reminding myself that God has called us here, and though I am weak, He is strong.

And I know he has blessings in store for us along the way. The townhouse is a big blessing. Both of us being able to work from home is wonderful, too. I'm working 15 hours a week now, and Barry's doing 25. I try to do 3 hours per day 5 days a week. That's tough sometimes. I don't get as much sleep as I'd like. The last sermon I heard Mark Hagen preach has stuck with me -- the one about Jacob working so hard that his body hurt. Indeed, my whole back is hurting.

God has also provided friends and kind neighbors for us. I've seen God's hand in bringing certain people in my path over and over again; it's really kind of weird, and cool. The only hard part is that there is not much time for hanging out and really getting to know people. Also, we haven't joined a church yet. Please pray that God will make it clear which one we belong.

I think the hardest thing of all about being here is having almost no free time. I mean, I'm writing this at midnight on Saturday. I miss watching a movie once in a while, and reading a good book. I read so many books last year while I was nursing. Abigail is weaned now, and the only reading I'm doing is during my quiet time with the Lord, and I confess, I've been falling asleep lately before I finish.

To sum it up, I'm anxious, exhausted, maxed out, frazzled; and yet, happy we're here following this dream, and becoming more and more passionate about serving God and spreading the Good News.

So enough about me. What do you think about me? Just kidding. Barry loves that joke. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Calling all Christians...

...And non-Christians as well. You must go to the website for This ministry practices and stresses effective evangelism that is modeled after the style Jesus used and will show you how to do it too. If you are a Christian, the videos there will change the way you present the gospel. If you are NOT a Christian, then you can find out very easily on the website what happens after you die, and if you are good enough to go to heaven. Simply click on the link above, then watch or skip the intro and then click on #3 "Hell's Best Kept Secret" if you are a Christian and #1 if not.

I found out about this ministry from Kirk Cameron of all people. That's right, the actor that played Mike Seever on the tv show "Growing Pains." He was the guest speaker during our chapel service at Southwestern Baptist seminary today and believe it or not, he is a genuine, committed Christian.

I must warn you, if you watch the videos on the website it may change your life and mind (for the better of course.)

I don't have much time to elaborate how Karen, Abigail, and I are doing. I've got a test and homework due tomorrow so I will have to be brief.

Karen has joined MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) here in Ft. Worth. She is meeting some great women through that program as well as some others that live in our neighborhood.

Abigail is obsessed with babies. She plays with baby dolls, points at pictures of babies, and says "baby" only slightly fewer times than she says, "da-da" or "juice".

As far as how I am doing, my mind is changing rapidly. This seminary is a mental boot camp. The course load is heavy. However, it is really good for me and I am happy to be here. I can't imagine what the future holds since I have already learned so much in the short time I have been here at seminary. I will try to keep you updated as often as I can. Now, go check out this link!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Snack Time or Nap Time?

Here's a picture of our sweet girl, Abigail, asleep in her high chair! She was so tired at lunch, and her eating got slower and slower until she just gave up and let sleep overtake her. I gently lifted her out of the chair and carried her up to her crib so she could continue her nap in a more comfy position. This is actually not the first time this has happened -- it's maybe the 4th or 5th.

Well, this is my (Karen's) first post to Barry's blog. I'm sure all my posts will start with "Abigail did the cutest thing!" It's only natural. Let me go ahead and share some of the other cute things she's been doing before I burst with maternal pride: she hugs baby dolls and can say "ba-by"; she points to the train out the window and says "chu chu"; she tries to put on her own shoes and can say "shu"; she wakes up sometimes asking for "juice"; she likes to point to balloons and balls in books; she picks out her own books off the shelf and brings them to us to read; she moos like a cow; she is obsessed with belly buttons; she prances and runs, especially outside which is her favorite place to be. What an amazing little toddler! We love her to pieces, and can't thank God enough for putting her in our lives.

--Karen Posted by Picasa