Saturday, May 28, 2011

Road trip from GA to AL to TN to MO!!

The sunshine of so many lives-- Shauna Heck! <3
 Stopped to see friends along the way-- most of the Rives!
 One of the most talented and cool ladies in the whole world, Rebecca! 
And Jay Bear! Had heaps of fun with him!
 Momma Bea and Carrie Anne! Great to visit and play with them!
 Beautiful flag and view while in AL.
 Meeting Cadence Hardy! What a treat!!
 My beautiful friend Leah, and her sweet little girl, Aspen!
 Friends in Memphis!
My beautiful Memphis Mom!
 Friday night sunset. AWESOME!
 This made me happy!
 The flowers that I kept smiling at while driving. I am thrilled it made it!
Thinking of my sweeties from preschool!
 My little Pooky asleep this morning at Granna and Gramp's!
 Monkey Boy in a fallen tree
 This looked so awesome spinning. I like it being still, too.

This trip has been amazing... and its only just begun. Stay tuned.
=D Me

Q and A about Missouri! (FB note from May 2011)

Answering some often-asked questions… plus throwing in some random thoughts. : )

When are you moving? ~ May 26th. It’s the day my last kids get out of school. When I said I could take the “job” in Missouri, I asked for the rest of the school year here in GA. Darren was wonderful and let me do this. It’s given me a great chance to get everything organized, tell everyone I work for what’s going on, have many more beautiful days with my precious kids, and hang out with my friends and family a lot.

How old are the kids and how many are there? ~ McKenna is 4 and Carter is 2. They are both summer babies, so it won’t be long until they are 3 and 5. They are cute and funny. It will be a great learning time for me, I know. All of my kids teach me sooooo much!

Are they all Christians? ~Yes! A very big YES! to this question. I appreciate the number of times that I have been asked this. It shows that my friends want what it best for me, and it shows that they know that I will have support and love from Christian friends like I can have from no other. All of the Heck brothers and their families go to one congregation and are such a close-knit family. It is really remarkable to watch them all and see the fun, love, and care they give to one another.

Are you going to live with them? ~ No, I’m going to live with David and Debbie Heck and their kids. Mr. David is one of Darren’s brothers. They live about 20 minutes away. I have known them for as long as I can remember. They are one of the families on the board at Roundhouse. I love and trust them completely. They are one of my sets of parents, and all the kids are like my brothers and sisters already. We knew that I couldn’t live with Darren and the kids, because it would look bad. We want to do everything in a way that does not lead to rumor or make people think that we are doing anything that does not follow God’s will.

Will you have your own room and bathroom? ~ I will have my own room, but I’ll be sharing a bathroom. The Hecks have an amazing house and fill it with people often. Doesn’t take too long to do, since there are so many of them already!  =)  I love having lots of people around and many times to fellowship, so I know that I will enjoy this greatly.

What days will you work? ~ Monday-Thursday is a bit more “normal” it sounds… early morning to early evening. Then a ½ day on Friday and a ½ day on Saturday. There is a lot of family in the area who have been taking care of the kids for a couple years now. There will probably be random days when someone else takes care of the kids and lots of time when we’ll be out places with friends and family.

Are you able to come to Roundhouse? ~ Yes!!  =D That was talked about before I took the “job.” I am excited about Roundhouse and the week of MSOP lectures. Those are the weeks I know right now that I’ll be off during a normal year. There will be days off other times when Darren’s off. And there will be some days around big holidays. For a week in July I’ll be going on a trip with my parents, sisters, and Gran and Grandad. In short, there will be some “me” time.

How long will you be there? ~ I don’t know. It could be a year, could be many years. We have left that open. It’s kinda left at “until something big changes in one or the other of our lives.” Darren is great to talk to. We will work out anything and when we do go different ways in the future, we will stay in touch and be friends always. God will lead us just where we need to follow.

Are you excited? ~ This one isn’t as cut and dry as the other answers. I am ready to be there. Ready to see these dear friends who have been through so very much for a long time. Ready to be with McKenna and Carter. Ready to play and learn and dance and sing and laugh around the house with them. Ready to try new things and challenge myself to be better. So, yes, in short, I am excited.

Are you scared? ~ No. I’m not scared at all. I don’t say this to sound brave. But I know these people and what is expected of me. I trust that this is what I’m supposed to do and where I’m supposed to be for a time. I have my friends and family all around the world who will help me through everything, my parents, my Missouri family, and my faith in God. Everything will be just right.

~ It is terribly hard to think of leaving here. This morning as I drove away from preschool after getting big smiles from Mandi and Becky, I teared up. I know that there will be many tears over the next few days. It’s just 14 days until this is no longer home. All the roads, cars, buildings, and places that I’m used to going to and using and seeing will be changed. I won’t know my way around. I’ll have so much to learn to just go through “normal life.” Right now I can go anywhere and do anything… and one day I’ll feel the same way about Missouri. There will be so many times that something is going on in this area and I’ll want to be here for it. But I’ll come back and see everyone. And you all come see me in Missouri!! I’ll feel at home in MO soon and know where everything is and what McKenna and Carter like to do best. I’ll miss my little shadow here, my early morning sweeties, my afternoon sweethearts, my adorable preschoolers, my Thursday night darlings… I’ll really miss being a staff member at Truth for the World. Seeing in person the work that we’re doing for the Lord. But there will be work to do at my new congregation and so many new activities to attend.

~Thank you for the HUGE amount of love and prayers and support you all have given me—and that I know you will continue to give. Please keep the Hecks in your prayers.

~I love you all very much! <3

Starting Out on a Journey (FB note from April 2011)

I am moving to Missouri.
So many emotions go along with that statement:
“How can I leave my kids??”
“Awesome! I’ve wanted to be there for almost 2 years now!”
“What am I doing!? I can’t leave my home—my family—my Duluth!”
“I’ll get to learn so much from my strong Christian friends out there!”
“Will I be able to live up to everything that they expect of me?”
“This training will be so helpful for when I have my own family one day, Lord willing.”
“Why did we have to lose Aunt Shauna-- why couldn’t it have been me so her kids could have her!?”
 Yes. The reason I am moving to Missouri is all about our sweet, happy, spunky Shauna Heck.

Darren, her husband, asked if I would be willing to become the kids’ full-time nanny.

Again, too many emotions to fully express:
Totally honored.
What will I say?!
And again, “How can I leave my kids?”

Can you tell it’s all about my KIDS?! They have been my world.

They have taught me a lot about responsibility.
Having fun no matter what we’re doing.
Sticking to what I say.
Being the best example I can be, with God’s help.
The little things are precious.
To look for good in everything.
They have taught me more about love than I ever expected.

My precious children have each touched and changed me. I will miss them more than all the words in the world can say. I am so thankful for their place in my life.

Jon David and Amelia
Kellen and Aislinn.
Maddie and Brett
Cade and Emma
Max and Will
Addy and Cason
My preschoolers
My Bible class
… <3 <3 <3

But there are now two new little darlings who will become my world.
They are sweet, funny, lively, and cute.
We’ll share sunny days running outside and laughing.
We’ll share rainy days reading and making forts.
We’ll sing, snuggle, and spin.
We’ll cook. Visit friends. Go to the zoo.
We will talk about the things their mommy loved. About how she was loved. About how we want to go to Heaven to be with her again.
We will learn about God every day. Without God, nothing in life has any meaning. Shauna knew that. Her children will know that, too.
Their daddy will make sure of that. He is working hard for them. He takes good care of them. He will give them the very best life possible.

My Christian friends, please pray for “our” family.
I feel as though I am becoming a part of the incredible Heck Clan.
I might be leaving family. But I am certainly moving to family as well.
My new church family is incredible. If I need to leave Duluth, Concordia certainly is what I would pick.
Let me tell you, be careful what you pray for! You just might get it—though it might not be as you had thought.
But that’s ok. Because God is in control. And He knows so much better than you or I.
And something else? Pray for your friends. That is such an encouragement.
Miss Debbie has been praying for me for over a year in relation to this move.
I had no idea. But I am so touched. Prayer is powerful.

My heart will always be close to my kids. The ones I have now, the ones I will have soon… and one day my own, Lord willing.

<3 <3 <3

The Why...

Moving to Missouri has been a dream of mine for 2 years. Now. It has happened. Let me tell you about it… 

I fell in love with Missouri because of the people. I loved it before I ever visited because I knew so many AMAZING people who lived there. I knew those amazing people because of Roundhouse. It’s a camp for members of the church of Christ who homeschool. I’ve been attending for 17 years and totally love it. One year I got to know Stacy Leonard and thought she was the coolest lady ever (which I still do). She has a daughter named Abby. We quickly hit it off as friends as well and started writing e-mails and letters. On my first trip to MO, I surprised Abby for her 12th birthday. That was so much fun. I'll never forget that trip. 

The Hecks are Board Members at RH, and I adore them. Lucky for me, when I come to MO to see the Leonards, the Hecks are just a few more miles down the road and I get to visit with them as well. Nathan and Ashley Cozort and their little sweeties live here, too… and so many others who I have met since the first trip…

Speaking of that first trip, since then, I’ve been back often. I really love it here. Once I came for a gospel meeting. Once for a family trip. Once to meet the Beck twins and see Aunt Shauna. And once for my beautiful Aunt Shauna's funeral. (And before someone asks: Shauna Heck was not my aunt. That's just what I call her and the type role she plays in my life.) 

Aunt Shauna had cancer. She fought it hard, and she fought it with a smile. She was an incredible example to so many of being happy and praising God even in the hard, hard times. She was a beautiful woman, she smile was adorable, and her laugh contagious! The very best thing about her, though, was the fact that she was a faithful Christian. The cancer might have beaten her physical body, but nothing can rob Aunt Shauna of her Heavenly Home.

Now I’m back in Missouri again. But this time, I'm here in my car—which is heaps longer to come in than a plane! And I'm not leaving. I'll be moving in with the David and Debbie Hecks (and Josh, Candice, Bob, and Dustin). I've been blessed with a special job: To be the full-time nanny to McKenna and Carter... Darren and Shauna's precious kids. I was floored to be asked for this “job,” and I am still completely honored and touched. I am praying for wisdom to be the best Christian that I can be—so that I can be the best help to this family as I can. Please keep us all in your prayers. This is a time of such change, some excitement on my part, but also such pain for all these dear people I love.  

It was super hard to leave “my kids” back at in GA, the life I’ve been used to, perfectly happy with, and busy at for many years. But after a lot of prayer time, talking to my family and a few special friends, this does seem to be the right step. I loved driving out here. It was fun to sing, pray, visit friends. To add two new states to my “visited states” list. And then there were the 3 turtles, the 4 deer, the gorgeous sunsets, the clouds and rain, the bright sunshine and birds flying. There was the plane taking off “on top” of me. The many, many cars. The changing interstates. The getting gas 4 times… And then there was the pulling up at the Leonards’ house and being “home.” =)

I’m gonna post the two notes I’ve put on Facebook in the past few weeks about this move. They tell a little more about the emotions and goals and just general info. Thank you all so much for your awesome encouragement! Love you all! KK