Thursday, November 14, 2013

No Haircuts November :)

It's been awhile since my last post, but its because we have been studying…studying..studying..I feel like sometimes we are both trying to keep our heads above water with the amount of schoolwork we have.  BUT the great things is we both LOVE what we are studying! Here is Chad's update for those of you that don't get the email and sorry to those that do: (But I think its great (even for me) to hear it in his words how he is doing! :) )
Friends and Loved Ones,

The fall season is in full swing here in New England. The leaves are dressed in bright shades of red, yellow, and orange, the mornings are crisp and chilly, and the Red Sox are in the World Series. It really is a beautiful and exciting time of year to be in this part of the country. I’m constantly reminded of God’s beauty and creativity through my surroundings as I walk up and down the hill to and from class each day. I often think of many of you during those walks with a prayerful and grateful heart because our reality would not be a possibility without your prayers and generous giving. Thank each of you so much for your encouragement and support of Allison and I in this season of our life.

The longer we’re here the more confident I am that this is exactly where God wants us. School has been incredibly challenging, but amazingly enriching. My classes are like trying to sip water from a fire hose. I constantly feel overwhelmed by God, our Creator and Redeemer, in a good and humbling way. I can honestly say my view of God and therefore my worship of God have grown in these first two months of class. I’m only half way through my first semester, but I already feel better equipped and trained to love and serve God’s people and Kingdom.

One book that I recently read for my systematic theology class that has been particularly enriching and encouraging is called The Drama of Scripturecoauthored by Bartholomew and Goheen. It is about the historical narrative of God’s redemption of his people through out all of scripture. In other words, it shows you how the bible is one grand story of God as the Bridegroom pursuing and redeeming his bride from creation to consummation of the world. It makes sense of the parts, the individual books of the bible, in light of the whole, the entire canon of scripture. It also brings clarity to the mission and purpose of our individual stories today within the context of the larger story were apart of. If you struggle with connecting the Old Testament to the New Testament or with your role as a Christian in your current job I encouraged you to read this book. I think it will encourage you greatly and renew your love for God’s word.

Please continue to remember us in your prayers. Please pray that our many relationships in our new community would grow into fruitful friendships, that God would continue to provide and stabilize us financially, that I would be able to find a flexible part-time job to fit my class schedule, and that we could continue to get plug into our new church community. Please let us know how we can be praying for you as well.

Thank all of you again for your faithful partnership and prayers. Blessings, Chad and Allison

So, we are so so grateful for all of your prayers! We have felt God's hand and blessing on us in ways like never before.  We have seen God continually provide, even when we fear and doubt, and pray that he continues to! Chad has gotten a regular yard work job for some ladies that live around Hamilton, which has been a huge blessing!! (AND ANSWERED PRAYER-from chad's letter) as well as to be a part of the snow shoveling team at Gordon Conwell! We are in for a shock I think with this weather change-its already too cold for me! :/ eek!  We also got to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday because of sweet gifts :
From my sweet godmother, Maizie :)
& A trip to Vermont as a birthday gift groupon from my parents! So special and it snowed!! :)
We are so thankful for the blessing that you are in our lives through prayer and support.

We have also been blessed in relationships so thank you for praying for that! We have rich community at seminary and pray for those relationships to continue to grow and deepen.  We also have been blessed with relationships with non-believers and have found that people are really drawn to us as Southerners.  It feels so different to be the outsider, but are thankful to be received well (overall that is :) and have an opportunity to share our lives and speak the gospel in this mission field of New England!
These are our friends Nick and Katie from CA, we have loved getting to know them and really enjoy our time with them! We carved pumpkins, watched football and roasted the seeds ! (ranch and salted caramel)

Fondue party with some of Bell Hall friends! Its so neat to see God bring community together from all over! And to have people living the same way we are and be creative with fun things to do while living in a dorm and being in school post college :)
 Lydia (CO), Emily (TX), Stephanie (GA) and Katie (CA)

I have also been so blessed by my PA school friends, Brittany (from NJ) and Dena (from here/VT). They have been such great friends to me, and makes studying so much better!
This is us getting to watch the Red Sox win the World Series at a restaurant connected to Fenway, Game On! It was crazy! so fun to be here when that happened!

They also made my birthday super special and took me on a surprise Duck Tour of the city and to lunch at Cheers. I am so thankful for them!

Overall, I would just say we are feeling so THANKFUL and BLESSED. Amazed at the God we serve and how big and even incomprehensible (is that a word?) He is.  Chad is getting to marvel at that as he studies and deepens his knowledge and it is so encouraging for me to see him love and thrive studying God's word so much.  God has blessed me through being outside my comfort zone and having to depend on Him, and through this study of St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises and learning how to really sit in God's presence and savor His graces and spend time in repetition and prayer and focus. So humbled by our financial circumstances, and to see God continually provide, even when I feel lack of faith or fear or worry, and deepen my TRUST in Him as Provider-Jehovah-jireh! Please continue to pray for this, and especially these relationships with non-believers.  I feel like we have such an opportunity here , and I am constantly reminded that its a work that HE must do, and we must pray! Thank you all for the blessing you are to us. We miss you!

OH YEAH-MARGARET AND JAKE COME IN TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are pumped, can you tell :)