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. 


it's all about pace

Smitty my man..... those lessons in patience are so hard...

selfishly I'd like to see y'all in the deeper south so we could hang out... but...

Chattanooga is heaven for endurance junkies like us...

lots of cool looking dots on that map.


WOW - that must be very frustrating not knowing where you are going to end up. Hope you have some resolution on this problem before your 10 weeks of school is over! Alas, the Lord always has a plan for us.

Please know - if you guys end up 1+ hours away from Chattanooga, anytime you want to do an event guys are more than welcome to stay at our house :)

Jason, Mindy, and Brynlie

So glad we talked tonight, Buddy! I'm shooting up constant prayers for you and Jenn-Jenn and love you both so much! Here's something to make you laugh:

Ironman By Thirty

Optimists?? I would have never pegged you as optimists! haha j/k

This situation totally sucks! I can imagine your frustration.

You didn't really ask for it, but I am going to give you my opinion. :) Hold off on IM until 2013. Even if you find out tomorrow where you are going to be, I bet that this first year is going to be crazy with moving and settling into a new area and church. You want Ironman to be fun and as stress free as possible. Colleen has said it best that the race is just a party to pick up your medal and shirt after the training. The training is hard but it is a blast - just as fun as the race IMO. Ironman will be there in 2013. It isn't going anywhere.

I think there should be a contest for whoever can pick out the correct church ;)

We'll keep you and Jenn in our prayers that you get news soon!


A) Get the job first. There will be always races!

B) Savannah!!!! Actually no. Fun place to visit. Living there? Eh...

C) You guys will find your place!

D) There will always be races!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman

As you well know, it will all work out in the end. However, in the mean time, I don't blame you for being a little antsy at getting the final word on where you're headed so you can jump on the last portion of the planning.

Hopefully they surprise you with an early decision! Any place in the mapped out area you'd prefer to be? I might go for NC myself.


Oh no... Matt, I so know what you are going through! We're STILL struggling with the moving process... although we know where we need to be, we just can't find a house to get us there!

I agree that it will all work out, but I just hope and pray that it happens sooner than later. And that it's close to Atlanta. :)

kessia reyne

I so very much resonate with your feelings, Matt. Joshua and I have spent the last 18 months not quite settled-- and I still don't know which school I'll be at in the fall or where we'll be living or where he'll be working... But do you know what I see when I look at all those dots on the map?

A whole lot of beautiful possibilities!

And until you know which beautiful possibilities is yours, take this as a lesson in enjoying the beautiful reality which is now. I know that the Bennetts are glad to have you for 10 more weeks :D


As a habitual planner, I could imagine how frustrating it is to not know where you're heading. But it appears at least in 3 weeks you'll have a better idea and then you can whip out that credit card and start signing up for races galore! All those pin points are in gorgeous areas, very excited to see where you guys land!

Big Daddy Diesel

Me personally, I do better when I work on the present, because your right, you cant predict or know what the future will bring, I try to focus on whats in front of me.

Matty O

Crap man, you are leaving us Midwesterners!!! Jealous haha.

So you will be a M.D. as in doctor :) haha.

Congrats on getting things wrapped up man, 10 weeks will FLY by. Frustration is probably the nicest way to put your feelings, it is very hard to plan your life right now.

You guys are just going to have to practice taking each day for what it is :) It's a GREAT way to live haha, my preference.

Louisville would be awesome, we have 12 friends going down there this year!


As a fellow goal-oriented planner, I can well imagine how frustrating this must be for you and Jenn. I hope that you guys receive concrete news about your future location soon. We'll also definitely be praying for an extra dose of patience to be sent your way.

I hope we get to see you both before the big move! Though, let me just say that we'd be more than happy to visit you both down south, too-- that's some beautiful country with all those little dots all over it. ;)


Ugh - first, congrats on your upcoming graduation. And the fact you have a job coming. But I can totally see where the lack of knowing would be killer to the training and setting out the race schedule. Yikes - any fun things you can do where you're at now in the next ten weeks to at least get you focused for the short term?


aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh what I wouldnt give right now....for some good old Unknown with a touch of Uncertainty!! you should for sure sign up for LOU - why not!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride

Why do you not have a "flag" closer to Greenville, SC?? ;)

The unknown is the worst....but you must still plan and keep moving forward if the balance in your marriage allows. completely doable from any of those locations. Who needs sleep anyway???

Pray and keep an open heart. It will be a beautiful future ahead for the two of you!


Hope you have some answers soon. I'm not so good with the uncertainty.


not that you asked but 1. I love your optimism, I draw from it every time I read here. 2. Just because you are venting doesn't make you less of an optimist. 3. I'd hold off on IM until you are sorted, you don't need that stress but that doesn't mean you can't train for a race (like a run) and then choose once you know where you are.
You guys are awesome!!

Caratunk Girl

OK. I just wrote a long comment and it was eaten by blogger. Dang it.

Sooo I can totally understand how stressful it is to not know where you are going to be!! It is totally OK to not have a schedule yet, you can do that after you figure out where you are moving.

Keep up the positive thoughts and energy, it always jumps off the page at me when I read your blog.


Seriously I am soooooo sorry that I missed this post - I feel terrible!

I can completely relate to what you are going through right now with my life being in limbo for the past 6 months. It stinks a lot. You are one of the strongest people I know though and I know you will get through this and be an incredible success no matter where you land.

And I am the dumb one who signed up for Ironman knowing that this was happening - you are smart to wait and get settled and then really go all out for training for 2013! And then I can come watch you!

Please call me anytime - we can commiserate about life and just chat :)

alice asd

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