the Reider Rollercoaster that is...ah... aaaah. AAHHHHH..... WEEEEEEE!...
Boy, it's been a while since our little fingers have typed away at a new message on here. Of course, that could be related to the title of this post. Or the fact that we realized the other day we haven't had 2 normal weekends at home in a row since before Thanksgiving. For being what we would consider rather tame individuals, we can say with gusto life has been a little W-I-L-D. So though meta-narrative of our overwhelming life in Blog-form feels a little cooky, our life is brilliant! and blessed! and should be updated!... here we go....
I suppose we could talk about our marvelous yuletide in quiet little Lyons Indiana (which wasn't very quiet or peaceful at all.. but was wonderful nonetheless), or my birthday/New Years Eve with my family here in Chicago (where we all got to meet my brother's most adorable and spunky girlfriend, Erin...), or our weekend roadtrip down to Indianapolis, or the best belated birthday surprise of my life (my best friend Kristin from California smiling at me in the Milwaukee airport), or the feet of snow the winter sky dumped on us and then insured would stay for over a month with single digit temperatures, or Daniel's 26th birthday (along with our celebratory downtown excursion and mad bowling party) or our sweet sweet friends Anna and Karisa coming to visit us this past weekend..... BUT suffice it to say that the revolving door at the Reider house is very blessed and we have had a couple months filled with warm memories, great conversation, and ministry from many faces we treasure.
We have certainly needed the ministry of those we love. As the six month mark of our move here arrives, we often feel the firm protesting of things inside of us that we expected to feel a little more settled by now... but aren't. Daniel has been a little bummed by what seems to be a repeat of less-than-thrilling classes from last semester, but he is loving his counseling class and concentration on developing more skills for something he already cares a lot about... loving people and listening well. And though his people-loving tendencies have caused him to put a lot of work on the back burner while we've had so many people in town, he's still the Trinity Titan.... doing great in school of course:) We continue to have many conversations attempting to discern whether it is three more years of seminary and a full-time job in ministry that awaits us. We can't be sure. But as Daniel was right to remind us this week, it's not our shabby attempts at grasping for meaning that make our lives significant, but the all-sufficient meaning we get from identifying ourselves with Christ each day (no matter what we are doing) that is truly satisfying.
Life with the kiddos at the clinic is new and different every day. After a discouraging month, I enjoyed the reprieve of a very successful and encouraging week. I'm enjoying more and more the sweetness and laughter that the kids and my coworkers provide, as I feel more comfortable in my own skin (and skill-set:-). I think God has been gracious, never giving more than what I can truly handle, and revealing new challenges in one area just as I'm feeling more confident in another. Overall, I pray God uses me to point others to Him as I maintain a joyful balance in a working environment is not always so balanced.
Oh yeah!.. and we're in a small group.. I mean leading an existing small group at church. Yep, not what we expected, but we are thankful for the opportunity and leaning on God to guide it. And we attended the membership class at church today. We also are slowly growing in our friendships here. And though they feel like the tortoise sometimes, edging painfully toward the finish line marked "easy, comfortable, and familiar" we're still getting there. Sometimes we forget however the obstacles marked "time", "energy", and "work". But we know that every other Trinity couple is dealing with the same things. I am proud to say I'm looking forward to my VERY FIRST COFFEE DATE with girls this Tuesday night. It's been a long time coming and I think I'm looking forward to it like Christmas morning.
Daniel and I recently celebrated a year and a half of marriage and it makes me realize just how thankful I am to be on the journey with my dearest friend. God is growing us through the roller coaster. I should know... I HATE roller coasters. I'm a comfort-loving Scaredy Cat. And goodness knows, inertia would get the better of my hesitation every time if I hadn't been given someone so cute to hold my hand.