I changed some stuff about this blog. Do you Like it? I started and finished my Twilight Zone paper yesterday.
Warning! This blog is due to self destruct in a few short days! Please proceed quickly and safely to 2thecrossroads
For obvious reasons I am moving my blog from critzpastor and it will close soon. I have transferred all of the old content to my new blog which is www.2thecrossroads.wordpress.com. Please feel free to keep up with the goings on in my crazy mind and lovely family.
Nope, we don’t have a house yet, although we may be getting close. Nope we don’t have new jobs yet either.
Out of all the “Big” prayer request I have recently…nothing!
Of course, this morning all of those priorities rearranged themselves. This morning Kristen confessed that her back (which she strained moving boxes Thursday), kept her up all night. She set down on the couch for about 1 second before she was pacing, then crying, then laying on the floor crying…
Apparently, sitting and the sciatica nerve don’t get along very well.
So I drove her to a Chiropractor or at least I attempted to as she thrashed and cried in the seat next to me. After the Chiropractor we headed to the ER. As we were walking/staggering into the ER I prayed, “Lord, please let them get her in quick and get her medicine quick!”
Of all the prayers to answer, of all the prayers we have prayed recently, the one answered first was that one.
Don’t misunderstand. I am grateful, extremely grateful.
However, I realize that there is a time and a season for everything. That His thoughts are not my thoughts, He and I prioritize differently, understand differently, we aren’t even subject to the same space, time restrictions.
I wouldn’t begin to assume that I know the mind of God, but today I am comfortable with the idea that God gives me what I need, if not always what I ask for.
And I am certainly glad he did/does/will.
So we had our first official interview at an unnamed children’s facility in the Smokey Mts. We were excited, probably too excited because we could have saved ourselves a lot of time, money and energy by asking a few obvious questions on the phone before heading down. I think (heck, I know) we wanted it to be an easy answer. Meeting on Tuesday, send application Friday morning, call for an interview Friday afternoon, Resign on Sunday (with no appointment), of course it would have been perfect to interview on Monday and be offered a position!
Like I said, we wanted it too bad. Don’t get me wrong we enjoyed a few hours in Dolly’s neighborhood. I even got to buy my first size 36 waist jeans in probably two decades! (Yes, that was shameless self adulation!) So we have learned a very valuable and found focus. We will do our homework first next time, and for now we focus on Roanoke. We need income and housing, so no road trips.
Ok, true confessions, I haven’t run since Saturday. AND, AND,
I have been blowing my eating at night. I have got to get a grip of this stress eating or it will sink my ship! The good news is I’m not scared. In the past I would have compound falling off the wagon by telling myself it was only a matter of time before I failed and the weight loss was too good to be true, etc. This time I realize why I am eating and that I haven’t had anytime to run. I also know with a firm confidence that the changes I have made this year are not perfect, but they will be permanent.
Anyway, the adventure rolls on! At least we won’t be bored anytime soon!
Well here we are again in the middle of a time of Transition, Yippee!
Please pardon the sarcasm. I truly am grateful for the Lord’s direction and leading in our family, although I admit I could use a little less drama for a while.
If you haven’t heard I announced to our church family here at Critz Church of God this morning that we would be leaving and that next Sunday would be our last Sunday. This decision was reached in coordination with the State’s Administrative Bishop Mitchell Corder last Tuesday morning.
Honestly, the change isn’t a surprise for anyone who has been attending the church. We have struggled financially for a while, even though we have been blessed by two Administrative Bishops who have assisted us over the last year and a half, however, simply put it can not continue unchanged. According to a study done by Dr. Baker the church has been in a constant downward spiral with attendance and finances for over 6 years. I know there have been good seasons and tithe records at times, but the trend has been steadily downward. That is until this last year. In the last year we have begun to see signs of growth in our attendance, however the financial burden is still too much to bear, while the church is supporting a pastor and his family.
The good news is that brother Corder has a plan that will nurture this growth and will help Critz COG to begin to flourish! Unfortunately, only part of the plan can be put into action at the moment and that part involves change and uncertainty for the Hays family. Even though a change needs to take place at Critz we do not have an appointment from the State Office. So the Hays’ will be relocating within the next few weeks somewhere.
The exciting thing is that nothing is certain, so everything is possible!
We do not know if the Lord will open a door of full time ministry, if we will continue as we have for the last seven years to work and pastor as “tent makers” or if we will work “secular” jobs and volunteer in church work for a while. We are assuming that we will move temporarily to Roanoke to be closer to my family, but as I said nothing is certain. We began to look for work and housing in Roanoke, but it is hard to find a place to stay if you don’t have a job. We are confident that soon the first puzzle piece will fall into place and then we will see the plan come together!
Please keep us in your prayers as we enter into this awesome journey!
You can join us in the journey at this blog, which I am sure will become more active from now on.
If you want to talk about one of the over riding lessons I have learned this year it must be that it is NEVER TOO LATE!
This afternoon we have a play date set at the park, which isn’t too unusual because we go there a lot to run, ride scooters and swing! Today however, we will be meeting Jaime’s birth family. If we haven’t been in touch lately then you may not realize that on May 22, 2009 our baby girl made her grand appearance! You may have also missed the fact that she is adopted.
You can read my former post to hear the story, but in short we started a process that should have been a year and a half process, but life didn’t work out that way!
But after four years? Really? Did it have to take that long? Well, Yeah! The situations and circumstances that brought Jaime into this world could not have happened any sooner than they did. And since Jaime was suppose to be and always will be our daughter we had to wait on her! It wasn’t fun waiting. We actually gave up to some degree. We were desperate, tired and almost out of hope, but God wasn’t keeping her from us. She just wasn’t ready yet. Ecclesiastes suggest that there is a time and season to and for everything. We thought the answer to our prayers was too late, but she was right on time! By the way, even though it took months longer then “we thought” it should, on July 22, 2010 the final adoption papers were signed!
Let me give you one more example to prove that it is never too late. I’ll try the short story again!
Since January I have lost over 50 pounds (51.3 to be exact)! Have I tried to loose weight over the years? Yes, I’ve tried just about every diet and I would loose. I’ve had exercise goals and I lost. For years I lost modest amounts of weight. As a matter of fact for the last 15 years I would bounce up and down within the same 30 pound range…mostly up. Then a few years ago I turned 40 and I honestly had trouble dropping even a few pounds. So what changed? Did I try a new diet? Did I have a new revelation? Did I have surgery?
No, no and no!
I wish I could tell you what happened. I did have a few epiphanies. I realized that I was killing myself, but in the process creating my own early demise, I also realized that I would be stealing my kids future and hope from them. I grew up without a father and I knew I didn’t want that life for my kids. I also knew that if things did not change my kids would grow up without a mother also. Kristen was pre-diabetic and dealing with high cholesterol due to having PCOS. She had been in treatment with medicine, but her number one need was too loose weight and exercise. She was told that she could literally come off all her “meds” if she could do those two things. But we had known that for a few years too.
All I know is that something finally clicked.
We heard that a friend on facebook was starting the Couch to 5K, a program that gets you off the couch and running 30 minutes straight within 8 weeks. Kristen actually began to show interest and I wasn’t going to be out done. We started a similar MP3 program called 5K 101 in December. Due to weather we had to restart at the end of February. During that time I started logging my food to see what I was eating. The only thing I really counted was the amount of calories. In March we found Nutrimirror, which is a free website that allows you to track everything; food, exercise, weight and more. The rest, as they say, is history! No diets, no magic pills (or injections) and no surgeries.
Exercise and eat right! Who would have thought that would actually work? Well…
We ran our first 5K in May. I ran a 10K (and survived) in July. We ran our 2nd 5K together last week, both of us set new PR’s (personal records) and shaved minutes off our previous finish time. Currently we are both training for longer races. Kristen wants to run a 10K before Christmas and I want to run a half marathon. We love to run! It has been both physically, emotionally and spiritually the best thing ever in our lives! Kristen has lost close to 20 pounds and as of this week is off half her medicine! I am at the lowest weight I can remember. I am within 15 pounds of my goal weight, but now I realize that it won’t be my final goal. I use to think that it was almost an impossible goal, but I realize now that the goal isn’t weight as much as health. So I will allow my body to decide what the best weight is.
I have thrown away all 2x shirts and 40+ pants. I am on the verge of getting rid of the next size down as well! All within less than a year and the journey isn’t over.
It’s not too late!
Please don’t hear me preaching or tooting my own horn. I realize that not everyone has the same story, but I also realize that too many of us think it is too late. I want to encourage anyone and everyone to realize that you can find a healthier life style. Through prayer and simple changes you can see a new you in the days, weeks and months to come! It won’t be easy, nothing worth while ever is! It is a lot of work and learning to fall without failing, but it is possible!
It’s never too late!
For those who don’t know the count down above is tracking my “new life”. I started counting after I made a commitment to exercise and eat right. So far I have lost 45 pounds as of this week! I have ran (albeit slowly) in my first 5K and 10K, and I have begun training for my first half marathon. I have about 21 pounds to go to my goal weight, but after that point it won’t be so much about weight. That goal is mainly something to shoot for, but the truth is I don’t care how “skinny” I get, it is more about getting to what every size is healthy for me. Any who…
This last month has been extremely busy. I worked two Virginia church youth camps earlier, one of which Jackson attended and of course had a blast. We also stayed busy with church and working with my parents at Childers Insurance, trying to make ends meet. I don’t know about you, but making ends meet is getting more and more difficult these days!
We have also been blessed to be able to take a few day trips with the kids to Emerald Point down in Greensboro, NC and to Fairy Stone State Park. They love the water park and we bought season tickets, since we were only an hour and fifteen minutes away. Fairy Stone is a new discovery for us this year. It is a top notch State Park in Virginia that is only about 30 minutes from the house that boast excellent facilities and an absolutely beautiful lake to swim, canoe, water cycle, etc.
Of course the highlight of this year’s summer will be our vacation that will be coming up soon. We will be joining together with Kristen’s two sister’s and their families for our first family vacation. We always have a great time together and it is going to be a blast and very relaxing to boot! Jackson is especially stoked about spending time with his cousins!
Probably the most exciting news and update for this past month just arrived on Wednesday of this week. We finally received the paper work and notice that Jaime’s adoption was finalized on July 22nd exactly 1 yr. and 2 months from her birthdate! I have to tell you that we have always had a confident assurance that this adoption was ordained by the Lord from start to finish. I know so many people have difficult times with their adoptions and spend so much time, money and energy to give children a loving home. I can honestly say that we didn’t deserve such an easy and inexpensive process, at least not more than anyone else. I all can do is recognize that it was and give God the glory for it. Our family is now complete and for that we are truly thankful!
We also owe a debt of gratitude to those who have supported us with their prayers and finances. We began this process over four years ago and so many of you helped with fundraisers or even financial gifts simply from the goodness of your hearts. Thank you! July 22nd will always be “Gotcha Day!” for the Hays family. It will be a day we celebrate and tell a beautiful story of love that began with a young mother struggling to make a terrifyingly heroic and selfless decision to do what was best for her unborn daughter and culminated only after so many of our friends and family prayed for and supported us in an endeavor to complete a family that knew it was suppose to be more.
Thank you, thank you one and all and to our Lord most of all!
Two days ago we were traveling somewhere without Jackson. We had left him and his Pop & Grandma’s to play with his cousins who are in visiting from Texas. We were listening to K Love on the radio when Kristen tells me about a segment she and Jackson had heard on the radio. He had been in the backseat with Jaime, which can be a full time job for him, since his little sister tends to demand his attention! On the radio they were giving a list of things that Dad’s should/could do to be an “All Pro Dad”. Kristen didn’t think Jackson was really listening, but when the interview was over he said, “Dad does all of those things”. She was surprised that he was listening, but they reviewed the list from memory and went over examples.
Of course, I had to find the list to read it for myself. I’ve included it below for your reading pleasure.
I’m not at all sure I would consider myself and “All Pro Dad”. As a matter of fact, I tend to be pretty tough when it comes to evaluating myself. However, I will say the fact that Jackson believes that I have lived up to all of these examples and that I qualify is one of the Greatest compliment I could ever receive!
Mark Merrill, founder of Family First and All Pro Dad – a ministry geared to help men be better fathers, joined us this morning. Mark shared these tips …
10 Ways to know you are being a good father:
1. When your calendar is full of things to do with your children
2. When you admit when you are wrong and ask your children to forgive you
3. When you take an interest in their friends and know their names
4. When you eat together with your children
5. When you take an interest in what they enjoy doing
6. When you show affection to your wife in front of them
7. When you advocate that they speak to you and each other respectfully
8. When your son or daughter comes running to you when they get hurt
9. When you calmly and gently discipline your children without yelling or screaming
10. When you tuck your children into bed at night and tell them “I love you”
As far as a 2nd Chance update, we successfully climbed Dragon’s Tooth together as a family! Since then we have climbed “The Peaks of Otter” as well! I have lost almost 40 pounds, although the weight loss has kind of slowed this week with visiting family (pound cake, homemade ice cream, BBQ prepared by my Texan brother etc.)
This post would probably be more appropriate in two days, but this is close enough! This week I mark an awesome landmark on my journey to a healthy life. As of this morning, I have officially lost 31.1 pounds! It has been at least 9 years since I have seen this weight. The great thing is I know this is in passing, but not in the sense that it use to be.
I use to see these types of landmarks twice, once passing them going down and then passing them going up again. I know that this will be my last time seeing this and for that matter all of these last 31.1 landmarks. How do I know? Honestly, it is hard to explain, except that I know that I know. I know that I am not on a diet or just on an exercise “kick”. I am eating relatively normal compared to how I plan to eat the rest of my life. As for the exercise, running is new, but is so awesome that I don’t want to imagine a life where running is not a part. My cycling has been an on again off again passion for 15 years. What is exciting is realizing that I don’t have to park my bike except for weather ever again!
So I have seen a significant weight goal pass this week, although my “half way” point is really in 6 more pounds. I say it that way because I really have no clue what a healthy weight will be for me, but I am shooting for 200 pounds, since it is a number I haven’t seen since…i have no stinking clue! Another landmark that I have finally passes is the XXL landmark. My wife has informed me that the XXL’s have to go. By that I mean really go, out the door to Goodwill or into the trash. Like I said, I’m never going to see these days again!
So where do I go from here with my 100 day anniversary looming? Physically I will be training for both a Mountain Century bike ride in the Fall and a 1/2 marathon run by Christmas. The Mountain Century (100 miles through the mountains) has been a long time goal that has always seemed out of reach due to my habit of not riding my bike in extreme heat. The 1/2 Marathon is obviously a new goal and is working be toward a full Marathon by next year. I figure that if my 65 year old uncle can run in the Nashville Marathon then I should be able to also! I still plan on hitting the trail with Jackson to do some backpacking, but we are limited financially right now and there is about $400 worth of equipment that I need to buy or upgrade before we can go. We will have to settle for a few day hikes as soon as I can afford to buy a new pair of trail shoes/boots.
I know that those goals may sound pretty ambitious, but compared to the lethargy they are replacing…
Seriously, I have had years of watching life pass me by. I think I will choose to live the rest of it on my terms. Anyone can quit! I choose to win!
Yes, I’m still counting even if I have been forgetting to post!
We began the month with our first 5K run, which we completed by not being last! YES! About a week later I actually ran 10K for the first time in a long time. I haven’t ran 6 miles since my college days! Man did it feel good to be able to do that again. Until I tried to get out of my truck afterwards! (Note to self: it is critical to cool down and stretch longer after a longer run or old muscles will refuse to stretch!)
Then we had a birthday party for our baby girl who turned the big ONE! We can’t wait until the adoption is finalized in June/July! This child has been such a blessing to our family. She is a big girl too! She weighed in at 28 lbs and 32 inches long at 1 year! She has never been sick and except for a few teeth coming in at the same time she usually in a great mood! Her vocabulary is growing everyday too. She says, “Yack-un” who is her favorite big brother, mum, da, doggie, thank you and of course NO!
Last week, we finished the month off with a landscaping job … yes, contrary to popular belief, I do know how to do manual labor! Honestly, Kristen, Jackson and I spread 2 cubic yards of mulch by hand. I’ve been told that 2 cubic yards is about 1/4 of a semi trailer load! We also dug a new flower bed, planted almost a dozen shrubs, weeded, pruned, mowed, trimmed, edged ……… Seriously, this was a blessing! We made enough money to help get somethings we’ve been needing like a jogging stroller and to pay for our season passes to Wet and Wild this season! Jackson finished 5th grade with straight A’s again. We are so proud of him. This year has been a challenge for him learning to be a big brother and share his parents attention, but he has excelled at every turn! He is still doing great in Tae Kwon Do and will test for his first strip on his green belt at the end of June.
I am doing great on my journey! The weight is coming off slow, but steady and my body is responding to exercise. I actually crave exercise now and even get grumpy when I have a sedentary day. Kristen and I are training for an official 10K race together. Also a friend and I are going to register to do my first Mountain Century. We want to ride the Bridge to Bridge ride in September. I have always wanted to train for and complete one of these 100 mile rides through the mountains. They say the goal is not to win, but just to finish!
Spiritually we are blessed as well! The Lord has placed us in a church that if loving and supportive. As a congregation we have our challenges, especially with finances, but we are experiencing a spiritual renewal that goes beyond emotion. The Lord is stirring us by his Spirit in service and ministry to the hurting and lost. I have personally been wrestling with the understanding that being in God’s will can still leave you with struggles/challenges and even lean times. Obvious, I know, with even a cursory reading of scripture, but culturally we have embraced an Americanized gospel that highlights success/blessing and provision. So it’s not always easy to remember that God places us in situations where we are forces to remember that, “In our weakness, He is made strong”!
Sorry, it has taken so long to update…see ya soon!