Friday, May 16, 2014

We'd like to thank....

We're living day-to-day here.... with some big things happening in the all-too-near future, but really the only way for us to survive at this point is to focus day-to-day. I just posted my last sale for my sweat shop this week, and it made me tear up, made me think about how darn hard we've worked to get to this point - the end of seminary. It seemed like time to capitalize on my emotions and the fact that Tom has given me "time off" today {mothers day} to do whatever I wanted. So, of course, I'd spend that time working.....and now I'm going to use this space to write one of the posts I've been thinking about writing for over a year - a thank you speech.

We'd like to thank:

Covenant Seminary: for preparing Tom to become a pastor, for equipping him with both the knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, the Bible, and most importantly a deeper understanding of our need for Christ and how to point others to Him. I have no doubt that the Lord is calling us to do campus ministry with RUF - and part of that can be attributed to the seminary who has helped Tom think about what the type of person he is and how the Lord has gifted him to do ministry.

One-Time Financial gifts from:
Plains Presbyterian Church in Auburn
Jon and Polly McDonald
A RANDOM scholarship from people we don't even know

The Wood Family: for allowing me to 'babysit/mother/practice my mothering skills' on their children. For sharing their lake house with us, for giving us the most adorable hand-me-downs for Simon, for loving and supporting us well. Without this 'job' - we would have been in major debt. More thankful for the friendship I have with Melanie. It's funny, I've never met people who think/are more like me than here in St. Louis {Melanie, Bethany}.

Kathryn and Tyler McCrary: On our last night in Auburn, we stayed with some of the only couple friends we'd made in Auburn. Completely un-asked, Tyler and Kathryn said that they wanted to help financially support us throughout seminary! Tom and I were overwhelmed with gratitude and speechless that friends {younger than us} wanted to play a role in 'taking care of us' while we were in seminary. We have not only continued to be thankful for their support, but have reaped the benefits of their faithfulness in serving the Lord by supporting those who have been called to full-time ministry. Their support played a huge role in helping us not be in debt.

Our friend Ben Whitaker: who has loved us well and faithfully mailed us a check at the beginning of each month. He too just called Tom one day 3 years ago, and said that he wasn't making much money, but he'd like to help us monthly. Month after month we received financial gifts from him and every time we were thankful for his support.

My tutoring jobs: I have tutored some kiddos who I really enjoyed and some who I didn't enjoy so much. All that to say - this helped support us!

The Government: Thank y'all for paying your taxes and helping support people like us, who for a season, need to be on Medicaid and receive WIC checks. This has been such a HUGE financial help to us.

Me not finding a teaching job: If you know me, you know that I LOOOOOOOOVE to teach. It's ingrained in my being - it's how the Lord has gifted me most. When/before we moved here, I applied to over 80 jobs, with 3 years teaching experience in 7 grades, in 2 subjects, and a masters degree. I was SO SO SO discouraged when I couldn't find a job. Cried about it several times. Well, they say hind-sight is 20/20 - and I see now that really the Lord was providing for us in a much bigger way by me not getting a job. By the time we would have paid for insurance, taxes, day-care, we would financially been worse-off than what we ended up being. Sometimes it's good when the Lord doesn't answer our prayers in the way WE want him to.

Tom's job as a waiter: A hard season of life for sure since this kept us from having time together - but hey, it paid the bills.

Our STL friends {In no particular order}: Melanie and Michael, Amber and Sean, Hace and Sally, Liz, Chris and Simon's friend Corban, Virginia, Kelly and Robbie, Rachel and Kyle, Corey and Jeff, Jason and Abby, Tim and Annie, Caroline and John Mark, Andrew and Jessica, Haley and Gilbert, Cam and Kaela, Soren and Emma, Bethany and Dan, Michael, Kristal, other Michael,  ----- To all of you: Thank you for walking with us during this season of life. Thank you for encouraging us in different ways that we needed, thank you for watching Simon and Ragan {and Agnes} so we could get away, thank you for nourishing us when we were really down-cast and needed help from our Christian community. Thank you for loving us SO well and for being our family while we were away from ours.

What the Hart Likes: - aka, my one woman sweat shop. When I opened the shop as a creative outlet while teaching in Auburn, I never imagined that it would turn into the business it became. It only became a business because it had to, we had a financial need and this seemed like an obvious way to make money - especially after Simon was born. Hardest I've ever worked in my life, nannying sometimes 50+ hours a week for 3 different families, tutoring, taking care of an infant, and tutoring. It nearly killed me, but thank goodness it didn't. Thank you to everyone who has every bought anything from me - your purchase directly helped us pay for school.

Our parents and siblings: For not only helping us hugely in financial and material gifts, but for coming to visit us countless times. For providing us with lots of clothes/toys/necessities/diapers/cash money/car repairs/Agnes's veterinarian needs/vacations/meals for ourselves and kiddos. For trying to understand that the Lord has called us to full-time ministry - which means that we miss important events in each-others lives. We're thankful that they've loved us through this hard time.

The Lord: who promises to watch over us and take care of us, and He has proven to be faithful because of all the things listed above. Y'all may or may not have seen when I posted something about this on Facebook. But right before Ragan was born, we decided that maybe we'd want a 2nd crib after-all, since Simon and Ragan would only be about 20 months apart. We talked about how we really couldn't afford one, and how we just needed to wait. We talked about how the seminary gets free things all the time and maybe, just maybe one would be given to the seminary or even if someone wanted to sell one for cheap. Well - that night we prayed for a crib. The very next morning, an email was sent out saying that a crib had been donated to the seminary and would anyone want it.

I wanted to write down our thank yous so that we will remember that we did not make it through seminary alone. It has not been without the moral and financial support of our friends, family, and church community. This has been a really difficult season, as some seasons are. Tom has worked really hard to finish seminary {with honors} in 3 years - which is quite a task while working and being a parent and husband. I am proud of him - and we feel like we have survived something great.

Graduation is tonight - and although I wish it was the time to sit down with a drink and sigh a deep breath - this busy season is still not over. We have a graduation party, Simon's birthday, Ragan's baptism, drs appointments, 4 more ordination exams for Tom and 2 papers for the ordination process all to be done by June 2ndish, moving in a week and a half - planning/packing for 3 weeks of "homelessness"{visiting family, friends and RUF orientation} before finally settling in North Carolina on June 16th.

1 comment:

  1. this made me tear up!! i so know how you feel-overwhelmed with gratitude and the huge job ahead of moving a family to a new community-all with a new baby!! we are praying for y'all and love you so much!!


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