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Well, this last week has been very full.  Full of highs and lows-although the lows are a different kind of low. They aren’t with me crashing and burning in the fetal position or anything like that.  I think they were lows because they were emotion-filled, decision-making times and sometimes I just wasn’t sure what to do or what decision to make.  In short, I was scared.  I love change usually.  Before this last year, I craved it believe it or not.  But this last year has been filled with change after change after change so maybe I’ve just had enough of it.  I’m not really sure.  What I do know is that more change is happening for the Simmon family.  I’m not sure what that change looks like exactly, but I do know it’s coming.  I can feel it coming.  Something has happened over the past week though.  Instead of dreading the change and becoming exasperated with the change, I am starting to embrace the idea of another change.  I can feel the knots in my body starting to relax as I think about some of the upcoming changes and decisions that have to be made and so I know that I am in the right place.  Probably for the first time in a while.

I already told you Elise came to town on a surprise visit.  That was a serious high for me. Taking her to Dallas and sticking her on a jet plane so that she could head back to her own place of residence was definitely a low though.  While here, she surprised our family with a webcam.  Yes, we are very behind the times!  The boys are so excited about it and have already Skyped with her once since she’s been gone.  She’s only been gone 2 days!!  I have a feeling the webcam is going to get a lot of use.  Already they are begging to see if we can Skype with a million of our Element friends back in Phoenix.  Seriously, if you Skype and want to catch up, call the Simmon Fam.  We’d love to see you! 

I think another big high for Michael and I both was lunch on Sunday after church.  We headed out to one of our fave restaurants, Newk’s, to have lunch with Elise and some new friends of our’s.  You never know how things are going to go the first time you get two families together.  It’s kinda like a first date in that sense.  Will you click? Will there be awkward silences?  Will they think I’m completely awkward and a huge nerd??  After my last post about friendships and relationships, I knew that I wanted to continue in the trend of being completely honest and transparent.  Take me or leave me, this is who I am, kind of thing.  Jon and Laura were such a cool couple who love the Lord with all their heart and their children are amazing.  Our boys took to their kids in a crazy and phenomenal way.  It normally takes Drew a little while to warm up to someone, even when they are his own age, but Drew and Luke looked like they had known each other forever!  Truth be told, Michael and I felt the same way as we sat there with our new friends.  They made us feel so comfortable and at home.  There are just some people who you meet and instantly click with-this is what we felt like we experienced on Sunday.  We left saying, “Don’t you feel like we were with Kenna and Tyler and the girls?”  THAT is super high praise for us.  There are only a few couples we have ever felt like that with-Kenna and Tyler being 1 of them obviously.  A handful really, if that much.  Such a nice beautiful day.  A very happy day.  Thank you Jon and Laura for having such welcoming and gracious hearts.  We look forward to a great many more memories as our friendship grows.  Personally, for me, it was like a breath of fresh air on dry land after having been down underwater in a submarine for a while.  Anyway, a definite high.

Michael and I have been in a time of searching as to where God is calling us and leading us to go to church.  Where does He want us to park our family here in Tyler, TX.  Where does He want us to serve?  What community will be our community for the years we are here?  This has been something we have been wrestling with for months now.  We have not made any set decisions yet, and I will definitely keep you posted.  We have been visiting Grace Community Church (www.gcc.org) and are enjoying it.  But as much as we want to enjoy the church we are at, more than that we want to be in God’s will and serving the community there.  One of the things we learned in Phoenix at Highlands Church (www.highlandschurch.org) was that you can go and sit in a church seat anywhere.  I remember clearly the pastor, Les Huey, saying at the membership information meeting, If you just want to come and sit on Sundays, then you are welcome to do that.  If you want to become a member of Highlands, then be ready to serve.  Be ready to use your gifts and talents for the family.  This was huge for Michael and I.  I don’t know that we had really thought of it like that before.  We had always gone to church because we were told to and to fellowship with other believers.  Now we go to church to do that and to serve.  To be a working part of the body of Christ.  The other thing we learned from Highlands was the importance of community.  We had seen it when it wasn’t done well before, but when we got to Highlands, and specifically when we began working with Element, we saw it being done really well.  We crave that again of course.  I don’t know that you can have that, taste it, and not want it again.  Not want more of that.  So, as we search and wrestle with this decision-making process, it’s a bit of a low.  But I can feel that low changing.  And that is a high.  Yes, a bit of a roller coaster emotionally, I know.  But it is what it is really.

The week has been full of some anxiety as I waited for some test results for my mom.  Thank the Lord, it turns out that the mass she had found is just a cyst.  But the waiting for the MRI results has been extremely hard on me.  There were some dark moments and thoughts there during the waiting process and I felt pretty alone through it to be honest.  Although, I didn’t really tell that many people either so I can take full responsibility for feeling alone.  So, while the waiting for results was a low-the finding out it is a cyst and not a tumor is a definite high.  She is going to have to have surgery on the 28th, so prayers would be much appreciated.  I will be going to her place that week and helping post-op.  The boys will be here with Michael for the 1st part of the week and then will be joining me at my Mom’s.  It’s going to be a busy week!

Last night, I got to do one of my greatest joys.  Sit and watch some absolutely outstanding musicians work.  Seriously, they were rehearsing and working-and enjoying every minute of it.  I love just watching musicians do what they love to do and do best, and that is what I was able to do last night.  It took me back to my days at Highlands on the worship team there and my days in the Chamber Singers at Dallas Baptist University all rolled up into one.  I’ve never had that kind of experience before.  I wish you could have seen the piano player last night.  His hands were flying over the keys and at the same time it looked like he was painting, creating a masterpiece.  It is rare to find someone who can play with authority and such finesse at the same time.  It reminded me that I actually do like playing the piano a little, and I have already been back to practicing today!  😉  It was a joy to watch, as were all of the musicians.  They seemed to truly enjoy working with each other.  There didn’t seem to be any competition between them (which we know as musicians is extremely rare!), but rather just a mutual love and respect for each other and what they do, their gifts.  They welcomed me into the “family” for the evening and were so gracious and kind.  My musician’s heart and my soul were fed just listening and watching.  It was a reminder to me of why I do what I do, and how much I love and have missed it.  I am anxiously awaiting God to place me wherever He has paved the way for me to go.  At the same time, I have learned and continue to be learning a ton during this time.  This blog post is already way too long or I would go into that as well.  But as I am still processing those lessons, I will wait for another day.

Lastly, a major high for our family is that our sweet Jason has gotten engaged to Nicole!!  Jason was in Michael’s small group of men when we worked with Element.  He became so much more than just one of Michael’s small group members though.  He became part of our family, the brother I never knew was possible to have (along with Kyle and Phillip), and an example of what a godly young man should look like to our boys.  While Michael was already in Texas ahead of us moving here, Jason was one of the guys who helped me fix the pool, take my boys swimming, play the Wii with them, wrestle and make them tired, and get rid of giant green caterpillars that had invaded our tomato plants and back yard!  From the beginning, I have had the privilege of watching him meet, date, and fall in love with Nicole.  I instantly took to her.  Nicole’s infectious smile and easy-going laugh was easy to get caught up with.  I am thrilled to get to officially welcome her even more into our family.  Seeing my brother find the love of his life and know that she is what God has for him is a definite high.  The low comes that I am not there to welcome them home to Phoenix from Argentina (where they were on a mission trip with Element and got engaged) and hug their necks in person right now.  But the high is SO much bigger than the low when it comes to this.  My heart is bursting with joy for them both! We love you Jason and Nicole.  Congratulations!!  And may the Lord bless you and keep you, grow you closer together as you walk into marriage and this covenant together.  We are always here for you.  You are always one of the Simmon family.

So, as I finally wrap up this post, which kind of feels like some rambling took place I know, I wonder if you are able to differentiate your highs and lows.  We definitely all have them.  What is your biggest high from the week?  While I’ve had a week full of highs and lows, my biggest high is still that my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins and set me free.  Nothing is higher than that.  Everything pales in comparison.  Everything I do, every action I take-I want it all to point to that, I want all the glory to go to my Father, my God.  I hope and pray that is your biggest high too. 

Staring up,