Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frustration with the Future

Thursday, February 23, 2012  at 3:50 PM
I think that most people, if you've met Jennifer and me or just read about us on this blog, would say that we are optimists.  We tend to look on the bright side.  We seem to let most of the bad slip by as we focus on the good in life...the crazy amount of blessings that we have been given.  We generally LOVE life.  But, every once in awhile, it is hard not to get hung up on the overwhelming toughness that sometimes surrounds us.  Herein lies our frustration with the future.  This is the reason for the lack of training reports that are tracking progress towards a goal.  This is the reason for the sweet little tab at the top that says "Race Schedule," but it is only filled with possibilities and NOTHING nailed down for sure.  This is the frustration that makes life a bit of a bummer right now.  So here's the basic problem with our future...


The thing is, we know a lot about our future, but we're missing the most important piece - - -
But...we are missing the most important piece, and that is WHERE we will be moving.
The Georgia-Cumberland Conference is all of Georgia, the eastern half of Tennessee, and just a touch of North Carolina.  There are churches everywhere, and we could literally be placed in any one of them!  Here's a map of the conference with the dots marking all the Adventist churches and schools in the conference.  Where do YOU think we'll be placed?  Your guess is as good as mine...
And this causes a problem for the Smith household for several reasons.
  1. Jenn and I are EXTREMELY goal oriented.  We thrive with setting goals out in front of us to GO GET.  And this transition facing us in just a few weeks comes with many goals like buying our first house, starting a family, and serving God in the way that we feel we can best be used, but they are tough to visualize without a concrete location to grasp.
  2. Scheduling races and events is REALLY hard when you have no idea where you'll be living.  I can't really plan for "day" races (i.e. races you can get to by driving to on the morning of) without knowing where we'll be.  This gives me ZERO motivation to train when there really isn't anything on the schedule.  
  3. Planning on going IRON doesn't seem possible without knowing what the job will be like.  I feel as though I can't sign up for Ironman Louisville for 2012 without knowing that I can get all the training in as well as be a faithful, hard-working brand new pastor in a church.  Although this may be an excuse, it is holding me back for sure!  Would it be any different if I knew where we were going???  Would I still hesitate on signing up???
So this is the struggle that we are facing.  In talking with the VP of the conference, he did give me hope that they would know something in a few weeks, but time can't go any slower right now...  The waiting game sucks!  I guess it strengthens our faith by knowing that, "'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord.  'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" -- Jeremiah 29:11.

Thanks for reading!  Thanks for letting me vent!  I'll let you know as soon as we know something. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Colorado Fun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012  at 10:27 AM
I know...  I know...  This is supposed to be a blog about training and triathlon, right?  Recently all my posts have been about life in general with little focus on athletic accomplishments.  Here's the deal, my next post will be a bit about why there has been little activity reports on here and more fun facts about the Smith's.  But for now, here's another insight into what's been crackin' in my life.

A couple weekends ago, Jenn and I went to Colorado to visit our friends Nick and Taryn Clark.  If you've been a follower of this blog for awhile, you'll remember that they were training with Jenn and me for the Holy Half Marathon last April.  Well, they ended up moving to Colorado to be the Religion Teaching/Chaplain of Campion Academy in Loveland, CO.  Nick was getting is Masters in Divinity, like me, until they got a call to work in Colorado.  Well, they are some of our best friends, and Jenn and I decided to surprise them with a visit.  While surprises are good, flying in for a weekend is NOT a good surprise.  So, we coordinated with Nick and left the surprise for Taryn.

Jenn and I drove to Chicago and caught the super early flight for Denver.  Somehow, we screwed up the timing and got to the airport and EXTRA hour early!  Oh least we didn't miss our flight!  :)
It's always great to have a hottie sitting next to you on the plane!
Before we got to see Nick and Taryn, we stopped to see Jenn's step-sister, Jennifer, and her kids, Raleigh and Daisy.  It was AWESOME!  Those kids are so much fun!  It was my first time to meet Daisy, but I think we hit it off just great.
Raleigh, me, and Daisy
My Jenn, Jennifer, and me
 After an incredible breakfast at The Delectable Egg, we went back and played with all the girls.  All too soon, it was time to go surprise Nick and Taryn, but we couldn't leave without a last picture.
The "meetup" was a little sketchy because it was being arranged by secretive text messages with Nick.  He finally texted me the address to REI in Denver and a time.  Jenn and I showed up early and staked out a great spot that was on the second floor overlooking the front entrance.  Here's a picture of where we were waiting on the left hand side "cat-walk."
Soon enough, we saw them come through the door!  We waited till they were right beneath us, and Jenn said, "Hey Taryn!"  She looked up and was really confused!  We raced down to meet them and share in the excitement.  It took Taryn awhile to figure out that we came to see THEM and were not just passing through.  It was pretty fun to surprise her.
On Saturday, we did a little sight seeing, but really, we just chilled and enjoyed spending time with our friends.  We read and talked and drove around and took pictures and had fun!  They are so much like us, and we will be friends forever!  

Sunday, we ate at a super rad restaurant in Fort Collins where I ordered a sweet-roll-french toast plate.  It was INCREDIBLE!
 From there, we headed to Boulder to go to the Celestial Seasonings factory.  If you're in to tea, which I am NOT, you probably have had this brand.  Jennifer is addicted to it, so it was a lot of fun taking the tour and seeing how it is made.  This next pic is horrible, but I couldn't pass on showing you our sexy hair nets that they forced us to wear.  I even had to put one on my face.  :(
Because of all the incredible pictures that get posted on these two blogs from Jill @ Run with Jill and Julie @ You Just Have to Tri! from their lives in Colorado, I wanted to see some of the cool stuff like, The Flatirons!  We actually couldn't see them too well because of how they blended in with the sky/landscape.

All too soon, it was time to go back home, and Jenn and I caught our plane back to Michigan.  What an awesome weekend it was, and we can't wait for the next time we get to see our good friends.  Simply stated:

"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine

Tuesday, February 14, 2012  at 12:00 PM
Although you've met her on my blog and read about how I feel about her, I decided that today is a special day that deserves a blog about my best friend, my greatest blessing, my incredible life partner and wife, Jennifer!  For those of you that aren't into "lovey dovey" stuff, you can just skip this and scroll to the bottom to tell me what you did for your special someone...  For the rest of you, enjoy the photographic journey in this Valentine's Day tribute to Jennifer!  It's kind of a V-day card for her that you guys get to snoop in on.  Good thing she reads my blog!
I am so blessed to have you as my amazing wife!  You're the best thing that has happened in my life, and you have helped make me who I am today.  I could not ask for someone better than you to share my journey.  You are such an incredible person with a good heart that is sweet, caring and loving.  You make every day a joy!  It is not always that someone gets to spend their time with their best friend, but it's that way for me.  I can't tell you how much I love you, but here are just a couple reasons why I feel so blessed to be married to you...

I love your smile...
It only takes a quick flash of those pearly whites to make my day!  It's one of many signs of                       what is really in your heart.  When you smile, it is impossible for me to frown !!  :)

I love that you love to have fun...
It seems that no matter what we do, and no matter where we go, it is a blast!  You make even the worst things fun and enjoyable.

I love that you put up with me...
Whether I'm embarrassing you by talking to strangers or telling ridiculous stories in my sermons, you are willing to put up with my antics and shenanigans.  

I love that you are athletic...
Not too many guys can say that their wife can go out and swim, ride and run with them, but I can say that you actually are the one that got me into Triathlon.  But it doesn't stop there, because you are just all around athletic and are good at so many things!  You're awesome!

I love that we have been together for so long...
It seems like just yesterday when we were having a picnic at Cloudland Canyon, and I asked you to marry me.  I remember your teary-eyed, "Are you sure?" which really meant "YES!!!"  Dating you for four and a half years was amazing, but it doesn't even compare to being married to you for that long too.  It's been great!

I love you for loving me!
You always care about what is important to me, whether it is ministry or stay involved in my hobbies and things that I love.  That makes me feel special!

Jenn,I love you!!!!
Happy Valentine's Day!