Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018
God has made so many promises to us and has proven himself faithful time after time. In a year defined by upheaval, uncertainty, adjustments and grief, those promises are bedrock. The world changes, but he never does!

We moved to Maine in April where Russell is now pastor at the Goodwins Mills Advent Christian Church. Incidentally, Noelle’s grandfather pastored here in the 40s. Our first Sunday here, Noelle’s beloved brother Neal, passed away from esophageal cancer. Thankfully we were able to see him two days before, and we know he is with Jesus now. But this loss has been difficult. Other family illnesses and struggles have occurred that made us thankful to be close to Noelle’s parents and siblings.

Our church family has been kind and gracious as we’ve settled in. Our new home is in a lovely spot and we’re delighting in an abundance of water, woods and (sort of) winter! (Our blood got so thin in Oklahoma…we’re really feeling the cold!)

Russell is enjoying ministry in southern Maine, and apart from his work at the church, he serves on the Ministerial Board for the state conference. He still lifts weights, enjoys video games, and plays Scrabble and Words with Friends and chess with his favorite gamers! We were thankful to be able to visit his mom in Florida recently for her 90th birthday! We adopted two middle-aged cats in November – 7-year-old siblings named Gooseberry and Moose. After their own adjustment, they have enhanced our lives by sleeping and eating!

Noelle finished book number four this year and is actively working towards finding an agent for this one. She cares for Owen and the whole family, and enjoys reading, writing and other crafts in her spare time. It’s a blessing to be so close to family and to see many of her siblings quite routinely. We had twenty-five here for Thanksgiving!

Emily was in the middle of classes for radiography when we moved, and she wasn’t able to get into a similar course until next fall, or later. So now she is pursuing a slightly different course beginning in January. She is going to be certified in massage therapy and be finished by the end of July. For now, she’s working part time at Target and is caring for Owen.

Speaking of Owen, he started preschool in October and has transitioned to a new routine fairly smoothly. He keeps us all busy and laughing and frustrated and enamored every day! At four, he is articulate, loving, funny and has a great imagination. We are also reaping the benefits of helping with Owen: according to several studies, caring for grandchildren staves off Alzheimer’s and dementia!

Peter has one semester until he finishes his next degree in Cyber Security. He is looking at working while doing his masters and is pursuing several options. He has integrated into our new church at Goodwins Mills and is beloved by many!

Our Texas kids are busy and growing: this year they got a new dog, several chickens, a lizard and a hedgehog, in addition to their two dogs and two cats, and three kids. Gracen is fifteen and has her driver’s permit now. Zoe, at fourteen, is active in cross fit training and dead lifted 185 pounds!  Naomi will be twelve in March and she loves all the animals and cares for them and her family. Ryan and Crystal minister at Open Door Church apart from full time work and homeschooling. 

We’re grateful for our home, our family and friends, and we pray that you can see the blessings around you, and know the depth of God’s love, especially now in this Christmas season.  Love from all of us Carles and Storeys                                                                                             

Friday, November 2, 2018

Slow Fall

Go now.  You
  say there's nothing for you here -
  but look - the black vault of sky,
  the still earth preparing, to hold
  breath, for a time.

Go now.
  see - it's only a slow fall,
  revealing and baring
  their stark and lovely forms, to
  stand for a season,  

Go now.
  miss the iron rising,
  still and frosted over -
  stars spilled to earth, 
  alike for these days,
  in moonlight

Go now.
  are buttoned up, protected,
  and in wonder, 
  sparing little thought 
  for the day we must -  
  no doubt,
  go too.

Friday, July 6, 2018

For Neal

Here is the book you never wrote.
Here are the secrets you couldn't suppress.
Here is the heart of what we needed to know.
Here is the song you never composed,
the poem in its infancy, tiny bones just unbending.

It's the joy a man has, you said - with joy! -  
even in a broken world.
The joy in coaxing music and grace from a thing once dead...
The joy in a simple life lived with purpose...
The joy in loving one so well and so long that love returned
staggers you.

Joy in faith.

Joy in the unknown.

Joy in beauty and truth and hope...
Even in sorrow and pain and doubt.

You, with your crooked smile - laughing at yourself, shrugging - said, 
I want to write about joy,
but I don't know how.

Oh my brother, your heart...

Your heart,
Your laugh,
Your song.

Your love, your mind, your faith, your great soul...

Oh my brother, your heart...

You are the book you never wrote.

System Restore

Restore Point 1 Samuel 12:20   “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart....