Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

God is good, all the time

There is a man at church who likes to stump me with difficult questions. Well, they're not always difficult; sometimes it's just that the answers are lengthy. For example, during John's interview with the church board back when he was applying for his current position, this man asked me, "What are your top three Spiritual gifts and what are your bottom three?" I want to know how many wives out there had to answer a question like that when your spouse was being interviewed for a job? Oh, you didn't have to be a part of your spouse's job interview? My point exactly. But that's a topic for another day. Last night, this same man asked me, "So, do you regret coming to Mechanicsburg?" Regret? No. Sometimes sad? Yes. The answers were actually easy but he got me thinking. Maybe it's because this week marks the 7th anniversary of our move to Mechanicsburg.

I explained to him that the move was melancholic because of the things I miss. I miss my family. But two hours isn't all that far, right? And I miss my house. I was living in my dream house; a 200 year old farmhouse, in town, with a long driveway, large yard, and a rental property. I miss my best friend who still lives in the apartment we created out of a former office space attached to our two-story garage. But I don't miss the neighbor who lived at the end of the driveway and at times made life miserable. I miss my school since it wasn't just my alma mater, it was also where I taught, where my children attended and where I continued to substitute and volunteer even after resigning to stay home with my children. In many ways it was my identity; it was what I did and who I was. I miss my home tutoring business. I suppose I could have continued that after the move but without the natural connections, it would take too much effort to get the word out and get referrals. I miss the beach which used to be just a day trip away. Now the 3 hour trip means it's always a vacation, rarely a get-away.

So melancholic, yes but regrettable, no. Our family learned so many life lessons and gained so much in moving here. I like to try to take a God's eye perspective on why He brought us here. I know that His reasons are far more vast than I can even imagine, but even seeing a small part of the picture reminds me that it's a good thing I'm not the one in control.

We learned that even though it may be tough, when God says, "Go," you go. You don't need to plan out your journey because He's already taken care of it. Looking back, He was gently nudging us to take a leap of faith long before we came to that conclusion. In fact, it took some pretty big kicks to the backside to bring us to that point. So you can call us slow learners but when we finally got it, the ball started rolling. Of course things went downhill for some time before they got better. I'll admit that in the thick of things I was having some trouble trusting that there was a bigger plan already set down for us. The short story of a very long and complicated one is that John's last day was fast approaching and we were deciding between two churches, one in Ohio and one in New Jersey. After much prayer we declined the offer in Ohio. Within a week, though, the church in New Jersey decided that since they couldn't decide if they wanted to hire a children's pastor or a family pastor or a youth pastor, then they were going to decide not to decide by not hiring. In desperation John got creative and went to churchstaffing.com. The rest, as they say, is history.

On the way home from my first visit and our first joint interview with a young adult team from McBIC, I commented to John, "This place could be good for our souls." I was so right. The emphases on worship and prayer have taught us so much. The healthy atmosphere brought healing to us as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. The challenge of serving our community has brought us out of our comfort zone and into the lives of some of the most wonderful people.

Since it was our instrumental teachers who encouraged various aspects of The King's Strings, that probably would not have happened if we had not moved here. Mariana would not have had some wonderful venues to pursue her interests in theater. We would not have homeschooled. We also would not have sent our children to public school and therefore would not have seen their joy in bringing unchurched friends to youth group. I wouldn't be dressed up like Cyndi Lauper on Sunday mornings, transforming myself into a naive, treehugging tween named Sam. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if that's truly a benefit. Oh well, it's fun.

And one other benefit. Remember that neighbor I mentioned earlier? The one who put a string across his property line and told us in no uncertain terms that if we ever crossed his line he would break our legs? The one who would stand at that line on mowing day to make sure we didn't miss any of our grass, mow any of his, or break his string? The one who would just stare at me and the boys as we waited for the bus? The one who we think killed our rabbit during the night? I can't tell you how many times we prayed that God would give him a good reason to move. Or that God would miraculously change his heart. After calling the police three times, though, he was no different. Well, in the end God moved us instead. Now we have wonderful neighbors. Someone else is calling the police on Rob.

I love the analogy of the tapestry. God is weaving a beautiful design and can see the whole picture from the top. We can see only the back and sometimes it looks messy. I'm learning that messy is okay. Someday I'll see the whole, beautiful picture. Until then I'm willing to trust Him to lead me. Well, I'm learning to be willing to trust Him. But that's what this life is all about.
God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.


  1. Hey ... I hope you know that Sam "Treehugga" is a HUGE benefit to out church!

  2. I am so glad you guys came to Mechanicsburg. As one from NEW JERSEY, I can tell you it's a difference of night and day for me. But I'm glad God kicked my wide behind right here where I needed to be. I'm glad you obeyed and came too. :)