Friday, November 29, 2013

Moving the Boys

When we moved to Houston, the big boys were 2 and 4. So they really had no clue what was happening. They went to visit grandparents and came back to a new house. It really wasn't a big deal. But this time is different. They have friends and teams and schools that they are leaving. People keep asking me if they are excited. I'm not sure that is the word, but they are ready.

The two older boys have known about the possibility for months so I think they were relieved to know for sure and get going with the process. They seem to be mature enough to understand that this is a fact of life and that they will make friends soon, they just have to be patient. They are antsy to get there and get on a sports team so they can get moving and get to know people. Cooper will have the biggest adjustment leaving the WAVE program and I think having one more semester back in elementary school. But I'm thankful he'll make friends in a smaller setting.

Now the younger one is a different story. We didn't tell Campbell anything until it was more official, mainly because he has a big mouth and has never met a stranger. So we called him in one night to tell him. We actually thought he would be excited. He has over the years, without any info from us, made comments about moving to a new house or church. Little did we know what was brewing in his head.
"Campbell, we have some exciting news!"
"What?"
"We are moving!"
"Where?"
"Mississippi!"
And I wish we had videoed it, but he fell on the floor WAILING! That's the only word I can use to describe his reaction. It was the saddest thing. And it was a scared cry, not really a sad cry. So I grabbed him and held him while he cried while J tried to get him to talk about what was wrong. Finally after the longest two minutes of his life, he finally got the words out, "WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF ME IF YOU MOVE?".
That sweet baby thought we were leaving him!
"No, baby, you have to go with us!"
"Oh. Do I get to take my toys?"
"Yes!"
"Oh, ok. Do we get to take the tv... the couch... the stairs?" and on and on with things all over the house as he began to comprehend the whole process. And then he skipped away excited. Ug, talk about breaking a momma's heart. What would make him think we would leave him? Can you imagine the heart ache his little five year old heart was feeling thinking he was being abandoned?

We went to MS this weekend so the boys could see the church and town and now I think they may almost be excited. We are all just ready to get passed this transition time and get settled. I'm excited to see how they grow and change during this time. So proud of them!



Thursday, November 28, 2013

So much to be thankful for!

So many things to be thankful for this day. In the midst of such big changes in our lives, we can daily see God blessing us in small and huge ways. And for me, its a matter of making sure that I realize those blessings are from Him and giving him the gratitude He is worthy of.

I thought I would take this Thanksgiving to show thanks for all of the things we have been grateful for the last seven years in Houston. As our time here is ending, I am remembering all of the amazing people, places and gifts we have been privileged to experience.

1. I have loved my job at UBC weekday ministries. I have loved the women I have worked with and each child that has crossed my path. I love sharing Jesus with little ones, leading them in songs, praying with teachers, and giving parents opportunities to share Jesus with their children at home. I have loved rocking babies, even the crying ones. And I have made sweet friends who love doing all those things with me.

2. We have raised three boys here, one of which was born at the local hospital. And we have made great friends as they have grown up playing sports in this community. We have loved spending hours upon hours (upon hours) at NASA Area Little League, Falcon football games, a few years of soccer, Upward and CLBB basketball. There were some down times where things weren't the most fun (losing is never fun) but the friends we grew with made up for those times. My boys have learned so much about working together, how to win and lose graciously, how to listen to their coaches (even their daddy coach), how to encourage their teammates and how to work hard. And we made some great memories with our All Star teams at the end of each season. So much fun!

3. On that same note, we are especially thankful for the JETS select baseball teams our older two have played on the past few years. We are thankful for so many supportive parents and coaches who have helped us on Sunday mornings getting the boys where they needed to be when we were at church and cheering for the boys when we couldn't be there. We made some great friends spending so much time together! And we have some amazing memories of some awesome wins! Lots of trophies on my boys' shelves to carry with us. We are praying we can find some teams for them in MS that might somehow measure up to the JETS.

4. I have loved and will terribly miss VBS every June. I will probably go into withdrawals starting in Feb. when its time to start planning preschool VBS and I'm not there. I have loved leading such a great team of people who want to give up time and lots of energy to serve and love on preschoolers for a week and build a foundation of love for Christ. And I will miss working with such a great team of ladies, laughing, digging stuff out of closets, hanging decorations, eating way too many sweets the week of. I will make some brownies next June the week of VBS and eat them while I pray for those sweet preschoolers and volunteers.

5. I have loved my house. We have a contract on it now, and I am so thankful for that. But its sad to leave it. I told Jason its more than it just being a house. We have made it a home and I know we will make another home somewhere else. But I so wish we could pick up our house and move it to MS. Plenty of room for growing boys!

6. We have been so grateful for great schools for our boys. We are in our 7th year at Ward Elementary and we have made so many friends over the years there. And I am so thankful that all three boys have had the same wonderful, patient, amazing teacher for kindergarten. She has had that special moment of teaching them all to read. And that is a gift I can not say thank you enough for. Lots of other teachers have had a great impact on our boys and they have learned and grown so much, mentally, emotionally, academically and physically while there. So many teachers have told me the last few weeks how sad they are we are leaving because they love our boys so much. And that means the world to a momma. I am so thankful that Cooper has gotten at least one semester in the WAVE program at Westbrook. He has learned a lot of skills that will help him in the future and I am grateful for that.

7. I am thankful that astronauts are not celebrities to me anymore. I am honored to call some friends and know they are men of God who want to explore His creation. They have caused me to see God's world in a different light and recognize even more how small I am and how big our God is. And I am in awe of how many people it takes to get a man into space. So glad I got to see a launch in person! So cool!

8. I am thankful for great friends who will meet me for coffee or watch my kids or give me a hug and pray for us. Grateful for friends who won't say no when I ask them to volunteer for something and will open up their homes to host a TOH party for me. I am going to miss sweet babies being born this spring, but can't wait to see them in pictures. And I am thankful for email, facebook and phones so I will be able to keep up. And love that people are excited to see God moving in our lives.

While I am so amazingly grateful for all of these things, I am even more in awe of all of the things that God will do for us in the future. I know that He is going to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us and to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Our new journey...

I am finally able to share on Facebook and the blogosphere that the Gadmans are beginning a new journey in ministry! After 7 years as Pastor of Family Ministries at University Baptist Church in Houston, we are actually leaving the great state of Texas and heading to Mississippi! And we could not be more excited! This has been such a long process for us and God has taught us so much that there is no way to tell the whole story in one blog post. But I will give you the summary of God’s goodness.

Jason is going to be the Student Pastor at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS.  Pinelake is a very large church with multi campuses and we began to talk to them in March about a different position. Jason met with two of the senior staff at the Hobby airport and came home and said that he felt a strong connection with them, and it felt natural and good and we were excited to see where it would go. They called soon after to say they were going with someone else for the position they had talked to him about, but they felt a strong connection with him and wanted to know if he would be interested in talking about a different position. We had decided long ago in our marriage and ministry to never close a door on a possibility but let God do the door closing. So we began to talk about student ministry as a possibility.

After many phone interviews, Jason and I went to visit July 4th weekend, and walked around the whole weekend with our mouths open in awe that God would allow us to serve in such an amazing place. When we left, we knew that was where God wanted us. We even kind of seriously joked with each other about quitting our jobs and moving there even if he didn’t get the job. We loved the community, we have always wanted to raise our boys in a smaller area where they would have the opportunity to be involved in more things, but yet have a more laid back atmosphere. And we loved the church. There are so many things about it that we have always dreamed of in a church. When we came back, we felt like we had left a part of ourselves in Mississippi.

They called that week to say that they really loved us and thought we would be a great fit. But that they needed to wait a little bit because they needed to do some staff reorganization first. And they didn’t know how long it would take and they didn’t expect us to wait on them if God opened another door somewhere else. It was kind of a devastating call to get. We were ready to move. But over the next two months, God taught us so much about His sovereignty, trusting Him and about prayer. We learned to pray in faith for miracles and that He is the God of the impossible, but we also learned to pray for his will to be done and his kingdom work to be accomplished. And we finally got to a point of giving it back to him and acknowledging that if it didn’t happen, it would be ok. We trusted him. It was a hard waiting period, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

After two months, we thought about calling them to check in on Monday, Sept. 23rd. But over the weekend, Jason really felt convicted that we wanted God to do this, not us. So we prayed that day, that they would contact us before 6:00 if God still had that door open. And would you believe, they emailed him at 5:30?! Chills. And they were ready to pick up the conversations again if we were. They were going to call us on the 10th to arrange the next step of the process and instead called on Oct. 2 to say they wanted us there on Oct. 21st to meet the personnel team. So we went, and when the plane landed, I said, “We’re home”.

We have been praying for a long time that when God was ready to move us that it would be as clear to us as it was for the Israelites to follow the pillar of cloud and fire. And it has been that clear. We are so thankful and grateful for all that He as blessed us with in this process. Jason starts his new ministry role on Dec. 1 and the boys and I will follow at Christmas to let them finish the semester. They are doing well with moving. I’ll do another post with more details on that. You can check out our new church at www.pinelake.org. We will be at the Reservoir campus. He will be leading the student team, middle school through college. God has called Jason to be a coach of a team, and he is so excited to lead this team to change the lives of students in Mississippi! Once we get settled, we would love to have visitors and show off God’s goodness!