The Jog'r Egg Nog'r

I did it!!! I am a 5K runner! I ran the whole way (no walking at all!)...all 3.1 miles! I ran with my friend Abby Wood and a little bit with Kara Krouse. We had a blast and I am already looking forward to the next race, as well as beginning training for a 10K.
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Festivities Have Begun

Hello friends, family, supporters and curious Wiley-onlookers! In case you don't know this, Christmas festivities have begun in the Wiley home!!! This will be our first Christmas in the Metroplex and, more importantly, Laura Kate's first Christmas ever! We are so excited about how great this Christmas season already has been and will be as we get closer and closer to the 24th and 25th (and then the 27th and 28th for when we're in Lubbock). Our advent calendars have been printed off (thanks Providence!), our Tannenbaum is twinkling and set and our fireplace has begun to be used at least a couple of times per week.

With having our own family, there are several traditions that we are looking forward to beginning with our daughter. It's during this time of year, as well, that I remember so many great traditions within my own family from when I was younger. Carrie and I talked about these just a few nights ago, here are a few from my family that I hope might one day come back around:

1. Yule Log / Christmas Eve fire - although it was never actually called the "Yule Log," we almost always had a fire in the fireplace at my grandparents' house in Lubbock. Regardless what the outside temperature was, there was usually a fire going, the lights were dim, and there was tobacco smoke in the air. It was the comfortableness of the atmosphere that really sticks in my mind. Being together with family like that, occasionally singing Christmas carols or just being together, makes me really miss those nights. We will definitely have a fire in the fireplace this Christmas Eve.

2. Christmas Eve service - the traditional Christmas Eve service was huge for our family. We would all carpool to FBC in Lubbock and enjoy the traditional celebration of carols, candlelight, and communion. We would then conclude it by going to look at Christmas lights in several Lubbock neighborhoods. Providence, as well as our brother-in-law, Curtis's church in Rowlett, have Christmas Eve services.

3. Texas Bingo - we used to play numerous games at my grandparents' house... Yahtzee, SkipBo, Uno, a plethora of other card games, Balderdash and dominoes. But, the main game that we always, ALWAYS played, was a game called Texas Bingo. If you're not familiar with the game, it involved typical bingo cards with historical Texas figures on them. From Spindletop to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the Astrodome to "Yay University!" (my grandfather was a Texas A&M Fightin' Aggie, through and through), I can remember my grandfather drawling out the words in an exciting buildup to the first "BINGO!" of the night. There was always a prize for the winner, and always at least six or seven games. I think it is also due in part to this game that I have a love of history, as there was always a historical note on the back of the card. I am excited for the games we'll play this season.

4. Biscuits and Gravy - Although my dad doesn't do just a whole lot of cooking, one thing that he makes, quite possibly better than anyone I know, is biscuits and sausage gravy. The tradition at his house is waking up on the morning of Christmas Eve and celebrating with a breakfast feast, with biscuits and gravy as the coup de gras. Usually, this feast consists of: two types of juice, milk, hot chocolate, coffee, sausages, bacon, eggs, pancakes or waffles, fruit, syrups, jam, butter, and then the all-important biscuits and gravy. I'm hoping to begin making it for my family, this year (if Carrie doesn't!).

5. Simple family time - The festivities at my grandparents' house would usually begin between 3:00 and 4:00pm and last until the hour between midnight and 1:00am at the earliest (from what I can remember). The whole first few hours was spent simply relaxing together, building the fire, sipping hot chocolate, wassail, or a Coke, and playing games. After the trek to church service and to look at lights, we would come back for the Christmas Eve feast of ham and a host of other foods, followed by presents, carols, more games and talking, and a last relaxing sit by the fire. I loved the simpleness of this time. Nothing was incredibly rushed, even trying to get 20 or so people out the door and to church. I pray that my children might grow up in this kind of atmosphere.

6. Christmas Light Gazing - Up and down the streets of Ransom Canyon and Lakeridge we would go, usually in a caravan of five or so cars, in order to look at the traditional lights and the new ones that anyone else might have put up. I always opted to ride with my grandparents in their Cadillac: the whispers of my grandmother's cigarette smoke reaching back to me despite the cracked window, the oldies AM radio station playing one big-band Christmas tune after another, the comforting ways in which my grandfather spoke, drove, and pointed out different people's houses he knew (whether with business associates in the energy market, people in the medical field, or just good ol' boys from the golf course, my grandfather knew many people and had many friends)... they all were a part of the crescendo of joy awaiting us at their house. Being new to the Metroplex, I'm hoping that we might be able to find several different places to go look at Christmas lights that aren't too terribly far from our home in Little Elm.

There are plenty of other things that I hope to do as "traditions" with my family during this time of the year, but, these are the ones that I look back on with the most nostalgia; the ones that make my heart hurt a little in missing them and wondering why I haven't done a better job of continuing them.

I'm looking forward to an incredible Christmas-time, even though, for whatever reason, I'm missing some of my family (most notable my mother and grandfather). Merry Christmas!
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Thankful (Part Deux)

In keeping with this great holiday (and my wife's posting abilities), here is my list of things I am thankful for. These are pretty much the top ten things as they come to me, so if you are somehow not on the list, there's still plenty of love for you, these were just the things that were in my head (and pretty much stay there):

1. Jesus Christ - my Saviour and Redeemer, without Him, I'm a dead man, literally
2. The Bible
3. My beautiful wife and daughter - how can the Lord think it fit that I should lead my soulmate and that He should give us such a sweet blessing to lead and teach? Praise the Lord for His blessings and how He brings glory to Himself through them!
4. family
5. friends and supporters - the ones who believe in us and our work, especially with NEXT, help us get through the rough points of doing mission work
6. iTunes - cheaper albums that are all electronic, the abilities to find new bands... so great
7. Providence Church - we were "home" from the time we walked through the doors
8. moleskine notebooks - helping ADD intellects keep their thoughts since last century
9. good authors
10. good cigars

Again, those were top 10 as they came to me. There's so much more that I'm thankful for, sorry if it got left off!
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10 Things I am Thankful for:

1. My amazing husband. Kyle is passionate about protecting me and taking care of me. He seeks daily to lead me spiritually. I am so thankful.
2. My sweet baby. Laura Kate amazes me every day as she discovers the world around her. What a blessing it has been to be a mom. Nothing compares. I am so thankful.
3. My job. I LOVE NEXT WORLDWIDE!!!! We are immensely blessed that the Lord has put us in the place that we are with missions and our jobs. What a joy! We are unbelievably blessed with incredible ministry partners who support us in every way. I am so thankful.
4. My church. What an honor it is to worship at Providence with an incredibly gifted pastor, meaningful worship, wonderful home group, and amazing children's ministry (and really fun friends!!!). I am so thankful.
5. My ability to run. I have really enjoyed training for the Jog'r. It is a blessing to have the ability to run and to get healthy and in shape. I am so thankful.
6. The Twilight and Harry Potter series'. Thank you J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for writing books I have thoroughly enjoyed these past few months. I am so thankful.
7. My beautiful Home. We prayed and prayed that the Lord would provide a house for us to live in when we moved to Little Elm and He did. I am so thankful.
8. My family. I am so blessed to have a family that loves through thick and thin. I am so thankful.
9. My really great friends. The Lord continues to pour out His love for me through my friends, both old and new. I am so thankful.
10. Most importantly, for the ways the Lord redeems me with His unfailing love, day after day after day. How do you say thank you for that?Words don't do justice. But for lack of something better, I am SO thankful.
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Back From Romania and Germany

Talk about an encouraging trip! After numerous hours of airtime on Lufthansa airlines (wow... so great!), we hit the ground running in Timisoara, which if you can remember, was the birthplace of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. I can briefly remember snippets of this happening in my life, then as a six year old in front of a TV showing images of masses of people and lights, guns firing, and mean-looking men giving speeches in a language I didn't know. But, to actually be in the place where many people, children especially, were killed, was pretty heavy. We spent the night at the Hotel Perla in downtown Timisoara and then proceeded to the conference center in Surduc the next day.

We kicked off the conference on Saturday morning with a group of near 30 pastors and support staffers. I use the term "support staff" fairly loosely, because many of them were not payed, they were just there to learn how to promote the Church and spread the Gospel more within their villages. We had a great and very attentive group who were incredibly excited to take and put into practice the church-planting and leadership elements that we were teaching them over the span of the day. They posited many great questions on our views of church planting and different ways in which they might make more of an impact, as well.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to attend church at one of our main contact's, Ovidiu's, churches. Ovidiu is a young pastor in the village of Susani, just below the mountains of western-central Romania. Filled with some of the sweetest people I've been blessed to get to meet, we had an incredibly great time of worshipping Jesus with the Romanians. I even led worship for the group, at one point; not much was understood, though, since I was leading in English and they were thinking in Romanian!

Afterwards, and over the next couple of days, we would be discussing and planning out our two operations there, next summer, from a logistical standpoint. Setting up hotels, places to eat, safety and security issues, transportation, and the like. We also met with both Ovidiu and our other main contact, Catalin, to hash out the future work we have to continue in Romania over the next few years.

On Tuesday, we flew to Munich for a brief bit of R&R in the Bavarian capitol. Tuesday night found us on the main plaza, beneath the Rathaus government building, mingling with mobs of tourists and Germans alike. The booths were already set up all over the square in preparation of the Christkindlmarkt, which begins in two shorts weeks. After schnitzel, roasted cinnamon-sugar almonds, and a Turkish shave for yours truly, we took the S8 train back to Rosenheimer Platz to bed down and get ready for the grueling plane-ride back to Chicago and onward, home to DFW.

Thank you all, so so very much, for the great prayers over the course of the past month. This LDC went so incredibly smooth and was so very relevant to the pastors we got to serve! We, as an organization, are so incredibly blessed to be able to work alongside men such as Ovidiu and Catalin. We (Carrie and I), as a couple, are so incredibly blessed to be supported and loved by so many of you!
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Smooth(ish) Travel

Well, I am happy to report on behalf of my husband, that his trip to Romania has been so smooth and so good! The travel there was as perfect as you can expect, the teaching went great, and I think they've really enjoyed themselves. I'm sure Kyle will report more details soon!

As for LK and I, we are back in the land of wind. Our trip was not quite as smooth as Kyle's. I found out that Laura Kate and airplanes do not mix well. She loved the airport, but did NOT love the plane. She cried the whole last half of the flight!!

Please continue to pray for: Kyle's travel home to the states, and then his driving to Lubbock on Thursday.

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Headed to Romania

Romania is in the sights. Wes, Jason and I, along with the youth pastor at FBC Euless, TX, Kent Wells, are gearing up and are just about ready to go. Over the course of this weekend and early next week, please be in prayer about these things:

1. Catalyst teaching - this is the curriculum that we will be primarily focusing on teaching the Romanian pastors. Catalyst essentially focuses on Christian leadership and how to most effectively implement it into the Church. So, please pray for very clear understanding of the material in order for us to be able to teach (long flights and changes in time zones tend to mess with your thinking!), clear presentation of the teaching, and an urgency to bring the material to the people.
2. First Steps teaching - though the majority of our time will be spent teaching Catalyst, there will be a little time devoted to what is called First Steps, and is focused entirely on church-planting and discipleship; pray for these areas, too!
3. preaching - when we go on LDCs and Mission Trips, we often end up preaching in one of the host churches on Sunday morning or evening; we're not sure if this will be the case, but please lift all four of us up to clearly present the Gospel if we are called on to do so
4. Travel - please be in prayer for our travel; DFW to Chicago to Munich to Timisoara can get tiresome
5. Family - all four of us going on this LDC to Romania are husbands and daddies, so please pray for our wives and little ones who are going to be staying home

Thank you all for praying for us, both for this LDC and for Carrie and I as we continue our work with NEXT. We are so excited about seeing many of you in just a few short weeks!

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Jog'r Part 2

So you may have read in Kyle's post on Monday that we began training for our 5K race this week. Let's just say you don't really know how out of shape you are until you start "training". Wow. Even though it hurts now, I am so excited about getting in shape and healthy. I want to be a healthy mom and wife in all areas and I'm looking forward to what the Lord teaches me through this experience (as well as losing some more baby weight!)

Here's some of my NEXT girls (with me) getting geared up for the race:

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Jog'r Egg Nog'r

If you've got a Facebook profile and Carrie is one of your friends, you might have noticed that her profile picture has changed in the last week to a photo of a group of young women in running stances, seemingly taking a lap around some office. Well, that would be she and three of the other fairer folks in our office posing for an idea that they had. It all started with Kara Krouse, henceforth referred to as "KK."

A while back, KK got really interested in fitness and eventually became interested in taking on the challenge of a "sprint" triathlon. If you're not familiar, a sprint triathlon is quite a bit shorter than a real triathlon but just as taxing; a 300 yard swim followed by a 13-mile bike ride, wrapped up with a 5K run. KK entered the Blacklands Sprint Triathlon that took place just a couple of weeks ago in Plano, and had a blast. So overcome with excitement was she about the triathlon that her exuberance soon overtook the women-folk in the offices and inspired them all to enter the Jog'r Egg Nog'r 5K Race in December. Yes, combining running with egg nog...

So, in order to do something that we normally wouldn't do (but maybe will after this thing!), Carrie and I will be entering the Jog'r Egg Nog'r 5K Race in December in Dallas (around White Rock Lake, which is a beautiful place to do anything outdoors!). It's going to be cold, but the race doesn't start until 9:00am (so it's not one of those crazy things where you have to be there at like 4:30am like some great football game). I know that a 5K is not just really far (only 3.3 miles), but the running that I have been doing for the past few years, when I've actually done it, has all been sprint stuff and bleachers. This is on top of the lifting that I do four days a week (I am NOT bragging, just stating a fact). My main objective is to have a ton of fun and get a cool t-shirt, plus sip egg nog once the run is over. Overall, I'm pretty sure that both Carrie and I are planning on the primary objective just being to have a blast and to build even more comraderie within the NEXT offices (the ladies are hoping that everyone on staff will get involved!).

So, that being said, we are beginning to "train," so please pray that we don't pull any muscles or anything (seriously). We hope that all of you are doing well and are planning on having a great week, because Monday is here and has dawned bright, crisp, and beautiful here in the Metroplex. We are praying for all of you and look forward to seeing our Lubbock and West Texas family and friends in just a few short weeks!
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Oil in the Water, Oil in the Empanadas

After taking a day to rest, I (Kyle) am back in the NEXT offices! What a trip!!! Let me quickly list some things that happened:

1. CRAZY flight stuff - smoothest landings and takeoffs I've experiences in years, but the logistical side was a total nightmare! We were already on the plane at DFW ready to take off for Miami when our pilot came over the PA and said that they were getting "something that could be potentially hazardous" checked... a puddle forming underneath the left engine. Although I knew there could only really be three things it could be (oil, fuel, or water), he said it as nonchalantly as though our plane had begun leaking chocolate milk (which would still have been bad!). 30 minutes later, we were back inside the terminal, staring at a screen telling us that our flight had been postponed until 1:30pm; busted fuel pump. This meant that we would arrive in Miami already too late to make our flight to Maracaibo. Therefore, we took the chance of going to Caracas (the capital) and making a flight to Maracaibo the next morning.

2. American-started riots - well, not actual riots, but near enough. There was drama at the ticket booth in Caracas and the luggage counter in Maracaibo. Some people were mad that we had arrived an hour and a half earlier than them at Caracas International and had been put on standby quicker than they had. There is no real logic in what they were yelling about. No one came to physical blows, but many verbal ones were dished out, of which I had no clue, because Spanish isn't one of the languages I speak. Also, Maracaibo's American Airline's service desk kept claiming they didn't have our luggage until our partner, Ernesto, had American on the phone and they suddenly appeared with a black suitcase and big yellow and black North Face duffel.

3. More oil-production than I've ever seen (including West Texas) - as we stared across one of the world's largest lakes (Lake Maracaibo... more than 100 miles across at some points) I understood how the claim that there was nothing alive in the lake could be true... just within my line of sight, I was told there were some 7,000 drilling and pumping platforms, and it certainly looked to be true. The exact same sight that you would see staring across the flat West Texas landscape on a typical night was amplified greatly in the myriad lights on the waters of Lake Maracaibo, as 10 million barrels of oil were pumped that one day.

4. Oil in the water? - That's right, there is so much oil in the water of Lake Maracaibo that nothing lives in it. There was oil flowing out of the river banks in the towns around the lake. There was oil floating on the water in numerous puddles (Venezuelan "lakes") in the towns. There was even a nice sheen of oil as I looked at the water in the toilet. Showers here made it seem as though you were worse-off than when you got in.

5. Oil in the empanadas - Oil, seemingly mineral oil, in the breakfast empanadas; Clint and I are still recovering

6. Numerous people taught / preached to some 50 people - the cool thing is that I felt I was supposed to speak on the courage that we have in Christ and the pastor came up afterward and told me that it was as though someone called me and told me what their congregation was going through, as they had just tragically lost a girl in their congregation and I spoke directly on courage to face death and hardships

Anyway, I'll stop there. Thank you all for your support and prayers while Clint and I were hanging out down south. To go ahead and answer the question: No, I did not fulfill my goal of playing ultimate frisbee with Hugo Chavez, but I did bring back one of his political party's shirts that I got from one of his supporters, HA!
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Lost Luggage

Well, the good news is that Kyle and Clint finally made it to Maracaibo this morning (after a shuffle at the airport) around 9:15, and then drove an hour and a half to the city where they are staying (I forgot the name of it!). The bad news is they still don't have their luggage. They are supposed to be getting it tomorrow. The had a fairly successful teaching time even though they weren't able to get through all of the material they wanted because they were so late getting there. Please pray for Kyle in the morning as he preaches at a local church there and pray that their luggage arrives.
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Kyle in Venezuela

Kyle embarked on his journey for Venezuela today! Please be praying for safe and smooth travel. Kyle and Clint have already faced some obstacles. Their first flight was canceled due to a problem with the plane. This caused them to miss their connection from Miami to Maracaibo, the only flight of the day. The new plan is to fly from Miami to the capital, Caraccas, spend the night and take an early flight in the morning to Maracaibo.

Please pray for the boys to get plenty of rest tonight so that they will be able to jump right into to teaching tomorrow. Pray that the Lord speaks through them to the church leaders they will be teaching. And, pray for me and LK back home!
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My sweet girl (in blue!)

She was too cute not to take pictures this past Sunday!

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Sports Nursery

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to paint the nursery for a friend of mine. Holden is one year old and he has a sports theme in his nursery. Jenny, Holden's mom, loves browns and she loves silhouettes, so I decided to combine those elements in this nursery as well as a 3D element-both the soccer ball and baseball are real balls attached to the wall Here is the result:

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Control of the Seasons

Let's just say that I hope this doesn't come off as being druidic or anything like that, but Carrie and I absolutely love the changing of the seasons! Autumn is pretty much here, and I know that's funny to say, since "the smell" hasn't officially hit yet and we're still having plenty of above 80-degree weather, but sometimes it's more of a mindset and a joyful expectation. We decided that one tradition our family is going to have is "welcoming in" the new season. No, this is not saying that we're "worshiping" the season or anything like that, but rather, we're taking time to reflect on where the Lord has led and yet another season that He has brought us to. It also means that we have adopted a new "fragrance of the season" (our choice being "Autumn Leaves" from White Barn Candle Co.), are planning a fun night for being festive and decorating, and looking at ways that we can celebrate God's reign over every season of our lives. All of the changes of autumn, bleakness of winter, blooming of spring and vivaciousness of summer belong to His glory alone.

"Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." (Acts 14v.17)

How we Wileys pray that, whatever season of the soul you may be in, you find time and joy in worshiping the God who has ordained it. I know that it's a whole lot easier to praise Him when we're in the fullness of summer joys, but we must praise Him even more in the bleakest and hardest of winters.

"But what's good and bad, flows from the hands of the God with the perfect plan. Filling us with joy, all of this will glorify. Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise Him all creatures here below; praise Him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost." (Five Iron Frenzy, "Flowery Song" w/ The Doxology)
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Forgetfulness (Deuteronomy 4:9)

So I have a confession... not that this will surprise many of you. I struggle with forgetting things. It seems that I've always got at least 217 projects thundering around in my head, and, if I don't write them down, I'll forget the majority of them. Some people call it adult ADD; I call it being spontaneously forgetful. Regardless, I was reading through Deuteronomy 4 this morning and saw the spiritual ramifications of forgetfulness, and how they even apply to this blog!

Beginning way back when, the Jewish nation developed a very strong culture of recounting the awesome works of the Lord, throughout their history. I mean, when you hear about the Exodus, the plagues, conquering other peoples, and the other things that happened in Israel's past, you can't help but think, "Wow!" The continual re-telling of these events only gave their children a stronger sense of the things that God had done. This was in order that the people may never forget.

We've sort of lost sight of the need to recount the awesome things that the Lord has done, though, in our day and age. It seems that many parents want to let their eleven and twelve year olds make "the choice" to be involved or not with things of the church. It's hard for me not to want to beat these people over the heads for thinking that their pre-pubescent CHILD is capable of making the best choice for their lives. It's like telling a child to choose their occupation at a very early age (not too many of us actually grow up to be astronauts or Indian chiefs).

Even in my own life, how often do I forget the things of God and think, "Why in the world did you guide me to this particular situation? How are you going to provide?!!" Then I'm slapped in the face and know that I have a lack of faith and strength and that nothing gets done on my own power so how dare I be so conceited and small? Same goes for this blog... perfect way of communicating, yet, I forget.

Before I digress into uncharted waters, we love you all, are thankful for those of you we got to talk to over our brief time in Lubbock, and look forward to hearing from all of you soon! Enjoy the September edition of "Holding the Line!"

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Figuring Things Out (Pt. 2)

Alright, I realize that last week's post was pretty pessimistic... how about some optimistic things about moving?

1. I enjoy the Dallas Morning News. I honestly don't know if there's a better newspaper in the country. Jean-Jacques Jones is the man when it comes to Sports reporting.

2. Kolaches - this place actually knows what kolaches are! Kolache is not Czech for "pig-in-a-blanket." Kolache is Czech for delicious breakfast pastry.

3. Our house is so cozy! It's sort of like a "big" bungalow. Carrie's done an amazing job of getting everything set up and looking great!

4. There is a Starbucks on LITERALLY every corner. Even with SBucks closing down a few of its stores, there's still like 327 in the Metroplex to choose from!

5. Stonebriar Mall / Legacy Town Centre (notice the British spelling of the word... that automatically means it's swanky) - two great places to just come and hang out a little bit with the wife and little one. The two-storied Barnes and Noble has already become one of our favorite places to go.

6. Rooster's - a barbershop in McKinney where you can get a great haircut, face shave, shoulder massage, sports updates, and beverage for $24. Having only paid $10 for a haircut for the past five years, it seemed steep... then I started hearing about the prices at other places for all of that which I just mentioned... yikes.

7. Providence - we already feel at home with our new church here! Our small group is great (although it'll be hard to stack up with VELOCITY), the worship has been so refreshing, and the overall church has welcomed us immensely.

So, there are good things about moving! To those of you who might have thought that I was just wanting to harp and complain, there ya go! Totally kidding, by the way. Hope you enjoy!!!
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Figuring Things Out

So the Wileys have been here, in the Metroplex, for two and a half weeks, now. We are discovering that pretty much everything is thirty minutes away, that TollTags were well worth the cost, that finding a gym could be a little difficult (but we're praying it's not), and that it gets really hot here! We're also learning about how our yard guys do their thing, dishwashers, and attempting to get along with people we really don't want to, not to mention the dynamics of a brand new church and small group (hard to compete with Velocity!). One other thing we discovered... Dickey's doesn't seem to be as popular down here as in Lubbock. In terms of with people and in terms of with my tummy.

Evidently, when you move, you figure out all sorts of stuff, and not just in being in a new place and finding the rhythms of being there. You find the ins and outs of yourself, too.

I don't like how everyone is in such a hurry, even in our little suburb of Little Elm. Over-caffeinated, over-energized, over-rushed people.

I don't like the fact that none of our neighbors are EVER outside.

I don't like the fact that the cost of living goes up as you go to bigger cities.

I don't like people not using their turn-signals, but what's new with that?

However, we do love being here, and knowing that this is where God has us, for a reason to better us, strengthen us, bless us, and most importantly, glorify His Name.
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Settling In

Driving home from Carrie's birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, we both looked out across the sweeping hills of our new area and breathed deep of knowing God is good and His promises can be fully trusted and held onto. We have both struggled to trust, yet tonight, it was all so evident how worth it it's been, thus far, and will continue to be.

So, that being said, we're almost completely moved in to our new home at 1072 Ponderosa Ridge in Little Elm, TX. There are still a few boxes being put away but, for the most part, we're moved in. Still waiting on bringing the neighbors over, but still.

Thank you all so so so much for the prayers and constant support. We'd love to hear from you soon!

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We're Outta Here!

Well, everyone, the time has come for us to say goodbye to our hometown and follow where the Lord has led. Our last few days here, in Lubbock, have come and gone quite quickly... mostly spent packing up our apartments and offices and preparing to load them onto the moving van, which will begin shortly (as I'm writing this, I'm finishing up my last Market Street burrito for a while and sipping Peet's coffee at United). We're praying for plenty of people to come help us move our stuff, especially after yesterday with moving numerous boxes up and down, up and down, up and down our apartment's staircase.

As Carrie, Laura Kate and I leave Lubbock, we know that we are leaving behind so many great friends, memories, and yes, our families. In a way, we're doing like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade as he steps out into the void and crosses the chasm to a great treasure. We know that God has led us to this place, and, as we, too, prepare to cross a void, we know that there is a great treasure waiting for us as we follow where the Lord has led and go on staff with NEXT Worldwide. I don't know if we can really describe the excitement that we have, the passion we have for our new roles with NEXT, and yet, the skepticism that sometimes unexpectedly creeps in and attempts to steal away joy from this time in our lives.

We have a very short time left, here in Lubbock. If we have not gotten to say goodbye to you, personally, know that we would love for you to stop by the apartment to bid us farewell. If not that, then know that we love you and will be praying for you as we leave. If you are reading this blog, then the chances are that we consider you family. If you are living in the Metroplex, know that we are excited to be hanging out with you more! We cannot wait to be there.

Monday, we're outta here!

Soli Deo Gloria. All things that we do and go through, in life, are for our gracious Lord and Saviour's glory. Live like it!

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The Last Sunday

June 29th... our last Sunday at Turning Point. Things have gone through with our new home in Little Elm (1072 Ponderosa Ridge) and support continues to come in (right at 75%, now... please keep praying for more supporters!!!). We're oh-so-close!!!

On Saturday July 5th and Sunday July 6th, we'll begin loading up a moving truck for the trek down 114/380 to our new home. That next weekend, we'll be looking to celebrate a couple of birthdays (YAY for Carrie and Cassie's 24th) and maybe even hanging out at the park with Providence Church. We're so so so excited!

We've only got a short time left in Lubbock. Please stop by and see us, give us a ring, or meet us for some coffee at either Starbucks or the one-and-only Sugar Brown's. We'd love to hang with you!

Love you guys.

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Keep on Keepin On!

Please continue to pray for everything to go through on the house we found in Little Elm. Hopefully we will hear something in the next couple days.

Also continue to pray for our Support. We still have a little more than 25% to raise!

Thank you so much for your prayers! We couldn't do this without you!
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Pulling Hair, Biting Nails, and Finding a House

Ah... the Metroplex. What is to be our home for the next 7-10 years (at least!). Arriving on Sunday night, we are still here, still inhaling different allergens, and still trying to accommodate a 5 week old baby. Still, the weather has been mercifully good to us and traffic has not been near as bad as predicted. There's a Starbucks that serves great Venti Cinnamon Dolce lattes a mile from Cassie and Curtis' beautiful new town-home in Euless, my Google Maps has worked like a charm on my Blackjack, and the VW has handled as though it was born in Dallas.

Pulling Hair (Finding Internet) -

It's as though this area has never heard of that thing that we've been blessed with in Lubbock (and evidently don't really think about much) - FREE wi-fi usage at our local coffee shops. I did not know all of the hoops that you have to jump through just to use the internet at Starbucks establishments! Supposedly, SBucks is moving to an all-free wi-fi format, but, until then, it's like filing taxes! Yes, I finally did get it up and running this morning, but that's after an arduous hour of effort yesterday morning. Of course, that gave me a little more time to befriend the Rwandan-born barista and also to people-watch, something I hope will become a regular thing here in the Metroplex.

Biting Nails (Changing in the Dark) -

Part of the fun with hanging out with a girl as cool as Laura Kate (not to mention serving a wife as beautiful and loving as Carrie) is the daily changing of the diapers. LK has not been a "bad" baby in this area, for sure, but there are times when I wonder, "How in the world did you already mess that thing up? Big Bird has only been on for like 10 minutes!" (Big Bird, the Sesame Street character, is one of the constants on here diapers... good ol' Pampers Swaddlers). Compound that with changing her in the dark (there's very little light from the window in the room we're staying) and you get quite an experience.

Let's just say that I am very glad that I gave up the habit of biting my nails a couple of months ago.

Finding a House (To Little Elm, or Not to Little Elm?) -

It is looking like we have possibly found our house!!! We will know for sure by Friday, but we're praying for results TODAY! If everything works out, we will be living off of Ponderosa Ridge, in Little Elm. Right across the street from Chavez Elementary, the Little Elm High School football stadium (think Ratliff, here), and just a couple of minutes from the church we will potentially be attending. By the way, the next time you move, do some research before you go of potential churches and then stop in and talk to them for a while. Evidently, when you stop in and tell them that you haven't moved yet but were just wanting to check them out, pastors tend to get really excited!

Thank you for praying! Keep praying that everything with the house and the move goes through smoothly!
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Prayer Needs

We cannot tell you how much your support means to us. Thank you so much for praying for us and teaming with us in this adventure. Please be praying for our current ministry needs:

1. Monthly Support – We are just over 50 % in our support raising. Please pray for the Lord to speak to people to support us and pray for peace and affirmation for us as we continue to wait on the Lord.
2. House Hunting – We will be house hunting in DFW area June 22nd – 25th . Please pray that we quickly find a house to rent and for a smooth process of renting.
3. Laptop – Carrie is in need of a laptop computer before beginning work at NEXT. Please pray for the Lord’s provision to make this happen.
4. Deposits – Please be praying for provision for housing deposits.
5. Wedding – Carrie’s sister Cassie is getting married on June 21st. Please pray for all of the details to go smoothly and for peace and no stress for the Woods and Wileys!
6. Moving – Please pray for a smooth move the first week in July!
7. Our Successors at TPCC – A lot of prayer, meetings, time, and energy has and is going into the process of finding the next Children’s and Youth Pastors at Turning Point. Please be in prayer with our staff and elders for these two positions as well as for smooth transitions for all of the kids and their families who are involved in these ministries.
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Welcome to our Blog Site! We will use this site to keep you posted on the new things going on in our lives. Stop by often and leave us comments to let us know that you were here!
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