Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Moving? Moving.

So, it looks like we're moving. Martin's job is transferring us way up north. Up north to North Jersey. That's right, Newark, NJ. Two hours from our sweet little home here in South Jersey. For those of you who don't know, New Jersey has two very different states. South Jersey is quieter, prettier, more rural and awesome. North Jersey is loud, crowded, more expensive and awesome. Did you catch that? I think they're both awesome. I really do. I have come to love this state and it's stinky "Armpit of America" nickname.

When Martin took this job, we knew we would have to transfer if he wanted to move up in the company. We simply didn't realize our first transfer would be only 2 hours away. We have both gone through MANY emotions during this decision. We have prayed and sought much wisdom. I sure wish our choices were black and white, but they rarely are. If he doesn't take the job then he doesn't have a job. If he takes the job then we have to move. We went from deciding to sell our house and losing a TON of money on it to deciding to rent it out and rent up there. We are completely open to other options, whatever they may be, but as of now we have decided that we need to move forward in the way it seems God is moving us.

I have been clinging to several verses. I literally say them over and over in my mind and verbally every day. The first is Proverbs 16:9, "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." The second verse is James 1:5-6 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting , for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." I don't want to doubt that God is giving us wisdom when we ask him. But it is SO hard when you are getting opinions from everyone around you. I am thankful for those opinions but I have to remember that they are just that, opinions.

I wrote a few weeks ago (months? not sure) about missional living. I truly believe that is what God desires of us and in a way, I see how moving out of our comfortable life will force us to live this way. Now, I'd personally like for him to force us to live missionally by allowing us to stay where we are but I don't always get what I want (gasp). Our pastor preached on Sunday a very disturbing message. I did not like it at all. I mean, AT ALL. It was so stinkin' convicting I could hardly stand up. He was talking about how we in America support and pray for our overseas missionaries and we don't even make relationships and share life and the Gospel with our neighbors. THIS is what God has been working with me and Martin on for years. But Tedd went further (meanie) to say, "WHAT A SHAM!" What a sham that we pray for OTHERS to tell people about our God but we don't do it ourselves. That is what kicked me in the gut.

We're hoping to move into a furnished apartment overlooking NYC. We figured we'd might as well go big or go home. I will look for a job close to the apartment or in NYC. Martin will commute to Newark. If we do this, we'll go down to one car (talk about simplifying our lives). We will need to rent out our house. We're praying (PLEASE pray with us) that God would direct the renters he wants, to us.

So you might be wondering, What about adoption? Because I'm wondering the same thing. Honestly, we don't know. Our homestudy is pretty much finished. (Thank you LORD!) But Ethiopia has slowed down dramatically. So much so, that Martin and I had planned to go through all the countries again and take them before God and see if he leads us to another country. I've explained before that we didn't pick Ethiopia for huge spiritual reasons. We simply knew we wanted to adopt overseas. We knew there was a great need in the country. We only wanted to do paperwork once so we chose to do a sibling group. And honestly the country was a bit cheaper and faster than other countries (which isn't the case at this point).

We ask that you pray with us in this process. We want to first glorify God in all we do. With all that is put before us we want to pray and take out much of the emotions. We know that if we are pursuing God through praying, his Word and seeking wisdom we are doing his will. The rest is simply details. And who knows, something could change and we could stay here. And I'm going to be completely okay with that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wedding Weekend!

The wedding weekend is over! Friday we headed down to Martin's parents house for a brunch with the Fern side of the family that was in from North Carolina and Ohio. It was nice to catch up with them. We then headed out to Ocean City. The rehearsal was pretty uneventful. Thankfully, everyone was on time and it only took about an hour to go over everything. I was a bit nervous at first because it looked like this for about 15 minutes:

Afterwards we headed to the boardwalk in Ocean City and had dinner at Brown's Restaurant. All of the out of town family was there and we were able to relax and enjoy everyone. We had a great ocean view at our hotel (right?)

After the rehearsal Martin and I had some fun taking pictures on the deck.

(I sure do love him)

Saturday morning we got up and walked the boards (that's shore talk right there folks). We stopped at our favorite coffee shop (okay, the only coffee shop on the boardwalk).

We slowly got ready in our room for the wedding. Before the wedding I ran some errands and Martin headed over to the best man's house to get ready for pictures. Missy and Tim decided to see each other before the wedding ceremony. Martin and I did the same thing. They had a fun "reveal" so that it would still be special and got most of the pictures out of the way. I personally love this approach. It's totally nontraditional but there is more time to enjoy each other during the crazy day. Yes, you miss the reveal as the bride is walking down the isle but there are special parts to both.

The wedding ceremony was simple and perfect. The dinner was yummy and relaxing. The night was just about perfect.

Here is Tim watching Missy walk down the isle. I love this picture because Maureen, Missy's twin sister is the one crying. One is gaining and one is losing. Makes me cry every time I look at it.

The happy couple after being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Fern.

Tim and Martin. Love this.

Oh, who's that good looking couple? Why us of course!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter in New Jersey 2012, Baby!

Martin's brother is getting married this weekend. I feel like they've been planning this wedding for 210 years. They've only known each other less than 2 years so I know that's not possible but it has seemed like forever. I'm thankful the Fern's are getting another Fern woman. We are now equal, 3 Fern men, 3 Fern women. The family is complete. Well, until we add kids and they add kids then we think it's finally complete and then one of us get a surprise and have one more. I'm totally predicting my future right now. I really have no idea.

That's really not what I wanted to write about. Easter is why I started this blog post. Martin and I alternate Easter and Christmas in Tennessee. We had Christmas in Tennessee so that meant Easter in New Jersey. My mother-in-law had no desire to bake a ham so we went to the boardwalk in Ocean City instead. (Isn't that what you do when you're m-in-l doesn't wanna cook?) We went to church in the morning then on to the OC for the afternoon. We had cheesesteaks and fries on the boardwalk and then Martin's parents walked his brother and fiancee back to their car and Martin and I spent some time on the beach. It was awesome as you can see in the pictures.

I spy with my little eye.

Easter 2012

Kitchen Redo :: Finished (sorta)

We finished the kitchen cabinets a couple of weeks ago but I was away for business two weeks ago then away at a ladies retreat that weekend so I finally got some pictures of our cabinets this weekend. I need to do a good scrubbing on the floors. We seem to have smudged some paint on the tiles. Thankfully a little scum remover will get that off. I just have to get on my hands and knees and that seems as fun as cleaning toilets so I'm avoiding it.

Just to recap here are some before, during and after photos.




I'm thankful for my husband and a friend who wired and installed our new microwave above the stove!




I brought some of my cookbooks out to the kitchen. I have them in our console table in our foyer and although I don't cook much with recipes, I do like the occasional glance at the ol' reliable Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. (That's where I learned to cook an egg.) (And where I learned to properly set a table.) (And where parts of a pig and cow are located) (By the way, it's not because my mother didn't try to teach me these things, I just thought I'd have a maid and or a cook to do all this stuff for me when I was older.) (I'm not joking, I really thought that.) I thought the books would bring some pops of color to the kitchen.

I didn't get a good shot of our fridge area before the reno but we had this charging station for our phones on the counter. I loved the idea of a charging station. I bought it on sale at Pottery Barn a few years ago. But these days we charge our phones by our beds and years ago we had phones and iPods but now we only have iPhones so it became obsolete for our family and the thing became a junk magnet. We decided to put our Keurig machine in it's place. This made the best sense because our coffee mugs and teas are in the cabinet above. It's been over five years but I'm finally getting the hang of practicality in the kitchen!



Basically we're finished with the kitchen. Basically. But we would like to put up backsplash. I'm not sure if we will ever get around to it. There are changes happening with Martin's job that I'll share soon. But we did buy a box of tiles and put them up to see if we like it. I do. But I think I'll give my poor husband a little rest first. I'm cool like that. Here's a preview of what's to come (maybe).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Open Apology to Marriage

Dear Marriage,

I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Sarah. I'm a Christian. I'm a wife. I live in America. I joined your institution back in 2002. I met a cute boy that I really liked (and still do). We both thought we could serve God together better than apart so we went before God, our family and friends and made a vow to stick together through good times and bad and we would not break our vow unless one of us died. I was 25 years old when I said these words to my husband and I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I mean, your institution is hard work!

I need to say something. I need to ask your apology for how I've treated you, how we Christians have treated you. You see, We've have fallen into the trap of thinking you belong to the government. That you weren't something that God made up for his people, for him to show the world the relationship between him and his church.

To be frank, we Christians have whored you out. We've allowed people who weren't serious and had no business getting involved with you take advantage of you. We have made you the solution to our heart problems instead of directing people to our Savior first. We've said, "Oh, y'all are living together? Well, you need to get married. That'll make it right." Or, "What? You're pregnant? Then go get married." We Christians are not the poster children for you. We look for our own selfish gain and when we don't find it in our spouse, we break our contract and leave. It's nothing like God taught us in the Bible.

So now, we Christians act surprised that people are demanding that all people of any sexual orientation should get married. This is a hot button in America right now. (I'm not sure how much you are up on current events. I'm not even sure you have eyes or ears or internet for that matter.) As you probably know, the reason we are upset is because part of the foundation of Christianity is God creating man and woman in his image. It's not that we think (or we shouldn't at least) that people with a different sexual orientation are less than us. We just know what marriage is designed for and when we see it being political and not spiritual, we get our panties in a wad.

It's a contradiction, I know. We Christians like to use you when we want and many of us then get upset when someone else tries to use you. Again, I'm sorry we've whored you out.

So, I wanted tell you, as a young Christian who loves what you do and what you represent, I will fight for you. I won't go to Washington D.C. to fight for you. I will fight for you in my life with my husband. I will fight for you as I disciple young woman. I will fight for you as I meet with woman who want to rip up your contract with their husbands because they aren't being fulfilled.

Side Note :: And for those who want equal rights with marriage, we're sorry we allowed marriage to become a government regulated thing. It's a spiritual thing to us and that's why we get so passionate about it. And don't get me wrong, I know there are some out there that use this as another way to spew hate at you. Please know that's not what God EVER intended from his people. We love Jesus. We want all people to get to know him. You can. Just read about him in the Bible. He's the solution. He's not the fix (cause you're problems don't magically go away). He's simply the solution.

Yours Truly,