Thursday, July 23, 2009

The New Journey

My life has drastically changed in the last few weeks. I am no longer working at the place I had worked for 10 years. My schedule is completely different than it used to be, but I am adjusting. I have already felt more creative in the last week that I had in the last year! It's a good feeling to know that your life is lived in total trust and obedience to the Lord. I guess it has been all along, but I just realize it more now than before. I am excited about this "new journey" as I am calling it. I feel like I am doing what I should have been doing all along, I have finally just put myself in a place to do it. I won't lie, it is quite a stretch. Living on a budget in lots of new areas! Finances, time, routine.

The part about this change that I knew would come, and I wasn't looking forward to, was the loss. There is a little loss of identity. There is a loss of feeling important and needed. There is a loss of comfortability. All of these things are ok though. I think it's what makes me lean on God all the more. I realize that my identity is more than a "worship leader." I want to learn in this time to be a better mom, a better friend, and a better songwriter. I realize I am still important and needed in different ways. I may not get the weekly recognition and praise of being a "great singer" but my girls certainly think it's great when I change their diapers, or play hopscotch with them, or when we eat dinner at home every night instead of on the run four nights a week!

I don't know what all God has for us in the future, but I know that I can hear His voice and He is trustworthy. I am learning to worship Him in a whole new way. And I am learning that my worship means just as much to Him whether I'm on a stage in front of hundreds of people or in my kitchen dancing and singing with my girls. It's my heart He's after, and I have freely given it to Him.

This is a stretch for me, but I'm going to share a little bit of a song Alan and I have been working on. It is just a reflection of our hearts and our prayers lately.

Lord, won't You take me
To the place You've designed
Fashioned for freedom
From this broken life

Lost in Your presence
Is where I long to be
It's where I find purpose
Where I find my peace

Blessings to you all!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Apparently I'm the worst picture taker...ever, so the vacation blog will not be as exciting as I had anticipated, but I will put a few of the (lame) pictures that I did remember to snap to capture these precious, once in a lifetime memories of the Rich Family Vacation 09!!

We (our cute little family of five) headed to Dallas last Monday. Of course we were right on Rich time with a 2 hour departure delay! Honestly, it was my fault this time. I'm usually the one freaking out because Alan waits until the last minute to do everything which cuts into my relaxation, vacation time. This time however, I was the procrastinator. I failed to get the car ready for the trip, so I woke up early Monday morning and headed out for a fill up, an oil change, a car wash, a vacuum, and an inspection. Yea, nothing like the last minute! I got the gas, drove through the car wash and was vacuuming when somehow, I'm still not really sure how, but I locked my keys in the car. There they were, sitting in the front seat next to my phone at 8:15 am. The friendly car wash worker was kind enough to take a break from the employee water fight that was going on and let me use their phone. After trying to call everyone I could think of, no one answered and I had to interrupt the water fight a 2nd time to ask for a phone book. About 30 minutes later the locksmith showed up and it was on to the oil change! I decided that my vacation had already begun and I wasn't going to get stressed about the getting there part. So we loaded up and headed to Dallas!! 5 1/2 hours to Dallas is about all our kids can handle in the car right now. Anything over six hours is just asking for melt downs and outbursts. I had surprised the girls with new "fun bags" for the ride so they had lots to do and enjoy on the way. Unfortunately our DVD player wasn't working, but it turned out ok, because we actually had some nice conversation with the girls! (imagine that!)

We arrived at the Great Wolf Lodge and hit the water park! It's a really fun place for kids of all ages. It was also super nice to have a hotel room just steps away that we could go back to for nap time!

Tuesday night we met Sarah for dinner! Sarah was my roommate for a long time before I got married and she is a dear friend. She loves my kids and they love her, and it is always exciting to get together and catch up. All I had was the camera on my phone, so the picture's not great.

We went to the Grapevine Mills Mall one morning and surprisingly I only bought one shirt! I decided I will have to go without my husband and kids to do some more serious shopping. Anyone up for a road trip??? The girls enjoyed the carousel and then we had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. It was so fun! The kids loved it. Well, not so much Molly Kate. All the noise and lights scared her at first. But she got used to it after a bit.

Wednesday night we met up with Alan's dad, his brother Chris, his wife Khristine, and their SIX kids. Yes they have six! She's Superwoman in my book! We had a great dinner with Brendenn, Braedenn, Brenna, Braylon, Braxton, and new baby Brooklynn! Trying saying that five times fast! I forgot to get a group picture of all the kids together though. :(

On Thursday, after a few more hours of water park fun, we packed up and headed to McKinney to visit Alan's mom. We had a great time with her at the beach club pool. We also had dinner with Alan's other brother Steven, and got to meet his girlfriend JulieAnne.

Saturday night was date night! I surprised Alan with tickets to Keith Urban and my mother-in-law kept the kids. It was loud, but really fun.

We also got to visit a few churches while we were there. On Saturday before the concert, Alan and I went to Gateway in Southlake. We had visited before and really like it there. Robert Morris is great! Then on Sunday morning, we took the whole family to Fellowship Church. Totally different, but I liked it. The creativity in that place is unbelievable. Ava didn't want to leave the Kids Church area because she thought she was at a theme park! They were doing a series called "At the Movies" and we were handed a box of popcorn at the door. Everything was super over the top with excellence. I was impressed. It's probably bad that I go to these churches and slip into judging, evaluation mode. I guess that's been part of my life for so long that I can't help it. Both churches were great. A+ Gateway and Fellowship! I'm sure they are so glad to have my seal of approval!

I realize that there are almost NO pictures of myself, so I am putting the only somewhat decent one of me here. Keep in mind we were in water park mode, so this is not my finest look. I am well aware!

All in all, it was a great vacation! Sometimes I come back from vacation and I am completely exhausted. Traveling with kids is a lot of work, and even though we didn't have a whole lot of total relaxation time, it was a great trip! So worth it to pack for two days and have two days of laundry when I get home!