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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye bye 2009! Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

Break out the games and enjoy the party - It's New Year's Eve! Soon it will be the start of a new decade with the ringing in of 2010. Are you happy to see 2009 go bye bye, or would you like it to stick around a bit?

For us, 2009 brought disappointments, health concerns and falling deeper into debt despite working our tails off.

2009 can best be described as a year of rejections and stabs at our hopes and dreams. How we will fare is yet to be seen. I hope we end up putting a smile on God's face.

In the beginning of the year, my husband was attempting to be brought on board as worship leader for a small church near us in north county. The pastor loved him and wanted him to jump right in. The young worship leader he was to replace, however, was not so excited. Unbeknownst to us, we jumped in the middle of what could have turned into a family dispute. Instead, my husband's hopes to become worship leader at this church came to an end. He quickly pursued another option where the pastor was very excited and told him he was very welcome. They even had a welcoming overhead sign for us upon our arrival to lead worship one Sunday morning. As days went on, however, the promise of how much we would be paid kept changing. Then, it came to our attention that one of the young girls in the congregation who expressed no desire to lead suddenly wanted to give it a shot. Not wanting to be in the middle of another family pursuing the spot light for their child, my husband bowed out.

Around this time, we had purchased a brand new van with brand new car payments thinking we would have the salary coming in from the first church. It was not a frivolous purchase as the van replaced a 1994 Ford Escort hatchback with 200,000 miles and happily stuffing 3 children in the back seat.

Time went on, and my husband went back to a church he was playing guitar for occasionally. He enjoyed playing very much under the leadership of the worship leader. But, it was volunteer and no pay. This is fine, but he wants to provide for his family. After awhile back playing at this church, he found out that the worship leader was leaving to start a new church. So, he approached the pastor about the possibility of him leading worship. After a few conversations, the pastor never returned my husband's calls. This was not a stranger. This pastor had held hands with my husband during pre-service prayer circles. He was always cordial and complimented my husband often on his playing ability. This left my husband very hurt. But, a friend told him of a local church that was looking for a worship leader.

It seemed perfect. He met with the pastor, and they hit it off. He led worship and it went great. He was continuously asked to lead Sunday after Sunday and met with the pastor with happy moments. But, the pastor kept saying that he was praying to make sure he hired the right worship leader. One Sunday, we were told a young man (all of the ripe age of 22 or 23 at best) was going to try out for the position. He did. We heard nothing. My husband played at Christmas Eve service bringing his extended family and filling up two rows. The pastor said nothing until the following Monday. He called my husband while my husabnd was at work teaching guitar to tell him that he was giving the job to this young man - Not my husband. What? This kid has only led for 6 months after graduating college. The day he led worship was nothing more than what my husband was offering. Ouch!

A song he wrote:

We are now facing a New Year with the need for more finances, and a husband who is hurt and angry. This man is so talented. He played music on the road touring with a band in the Midwest. He came back home to play music in bars & was successful. He laid his guitar down when he came back to the Lord with his full heart & didn't pick it up again until this teaching job opportunity opened up out of the blue in 2002. He decided to teach only if he could choose to not teach the songs that are "garbage." He loves teaching praise and worship music. He has a humble heart and seeks to do what is right at all costs. So why do the doors keep slamming in his face?

Today, he even humbled himself and walked into a Salvation Army shelter to see if he qualified for help. They gave us a cart-full of food.

Also 2009 brought about health challenges for my dad. Many hospital visits indicated that a heart valve surgery was necessary. Thankfully, they were able to repair two heart valves, but the recovery is long and rough.

Yes, welcome 2010 and come quickly - But, not with the financial hardships and not with the poor health news. Come 2010 with pennies from heaven that don't fall into our pockets with holes.

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