Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More about us: From Ben

At the risk of sounding too over-spiritual from the last post, I figured I should lighten things up a bit and post a little bit about us, that way you all remember who the blockheads are that are posting all this stuff. So here are some things you should know about me (Ben):

I find it incredibly hard not to speak ironically in normal conversation. I think sarcasm is hilarious, so I often say things that are opposite of what I really mean or how I really feel. I worry that this puts a lot of people off, so we'll see, I may have to learn to do this differently. I will never stop thinking that things like this are funny, though.

I often write with smilies. I know that bothers a lot of grammarians and I know it's not grammatically correct to randomly throw down a colon and an end parenthesis, but at the end of the day I just don't feel like there's a better way to convey facial expression (and thus spoken intent) in casually written language.

I'm SUPER-dee-duper right brained. It's possible that you've never met a less logical person than me. I can't really seem to grasp math beyond a middle school level. I have tried computer programming (which goes great, until I have to do something more advanced than displaying "hello world," then keyboards are flying out the window (If you don't speak computer and you don't know what in the heck I just said, type hello world into Google). I often worry that my personality being this way must get on the last nerve of anyone with even a slight aptitude for logical thinking.

I'm pretty self-conscious. Have you noticed? I think faster than I talk, so most of the time I worry that when I speak (even in normal conversation) I'm not making sense. I've been told that I'm really hard on myself. I have a hard time feeling like I should be trusted. I have a really hard time trusting God sometimes.

Hmm let's get to some good stuff, shall we? Both my wife and I love photography, and someday I'm going to make enough money to buy her a rig so that she can join my endeavors with We love to take pictures of our awesome kids, Atalie & Carly.

As a bit of a hobby, I'm currently attempting to develop an i-phone game based on a story that I've been rolling around in my head for a few years. Who knows if it will ever get finished, but it definitely fun working on a video game - that's always been a dream of mine :) Here is a tiny sample of the graphics I've been working on:

I hope this helps anyone reading get to know me a little bit. Sorry about my awful personality, I truly feel sorry for you now that you know me a bit better. ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What are we thinking?

[Warning: Somewhat rambling post ahead. I really hope you make it to the end.]

Hi everyone, it's Ben. This post goes out to all my friends and family, just to get everyone on the same page with what's going on with us. As some of you know or may have heard, we are going to be moving to Wisconsin early in August. We've had a chance to explain to some of you but I know for a fact that I am not that great at communicating, so for anyone who's wondering, here's the 'why:'

1. We feel that God is not letting us be satisfied to stay where we are, with the idea of starting a career, and living a day to day life.
2. We have a desire to teach the Bible, or to serve the church body somehow, and model a Christ-following family to those who have no examples of Christ in their lives. We are excited that we may have a once in a lifetime chance to 'have a job' doing just that.

Let me explain this statement quick, because I want to avoid a mis-communication. We don't have any problem whatsoever with the idea of having a career in the United States. We've spent a lot of time trying to make a life where we are...I've lost count of  how many times we've tried to buy a house, move up the ladder in our jobs, considered career-oriented school/training, etcetera. The best way to describe the statement above, is that God isn't *letting* us settle in. He has taken away those options from us on every occasion that they've risen.

Where is this coming from? You can probably scroll all the way back to the first post on this blog to get this history about us, but I'm sure most of you are already about to close this window out and go back to looking at Facebook, so I'll save you having to do that. :) Basically, Gina & I met at New Tribes Bible Institute (NTBI) in Waukesha, Wisconsin back in '04. We were both going to school to study the Bible but neither of us were really sure what to do with our lives at that point. We fell in love and got married in '05, but dropped out of school to settle down and try to get some direction.

Since then, we've lived in 3 states, worked in a cafe', a machine shop, from home over the internet, run our own photography business, interned at a church, of course worked at Dixie Stampede, and raised 2 beautiful little girls from scratch. Through all this, we've done a lot of growing up and changing, and have begun to develop our own convictions about life and the way we want to live and raise our kids.

A lot of people reading this probably know me from Dixie, where I've sort of developed an outspoken aspect of my personality. Some might have met me at church, and I'm sure by now have been horrified by how weird I am. Some of you might not know me at all because you're Gina's friend and have never met me. My intention with this blog is to be as real as possible, and to avoid seeming like we've "got it all together." This is a pretty big, unknown step for us, that has at times left us feeling hopeless.

We are going to go finish our Bible education, and beyond that we are looking in to the possibility of becoming full time missionaries with New Tribes Mission. We haven't had a sudden epiphany, we don't (at the moment) feel like missionaries at all. We have no idea where we would want to go, or what we would even do as missionaries. This is a lot of unknown and to some of you probably seems like a pretty reckless thing to do with 2 little kids. Believe me, we feel the same way sometimes - and the kids aren't a consideration we're ignoring. We have always focused on a family environment where the girls are a priority. Gina has stayed home for years even though it has stretched us financially. We don't like to busy ourselves to the point where we don't see our kids much. We will also hold this conviction in the future, they are definitely a priority.

Really through all these fears and doubts we always come back to the statement at the beginning. We are seeing God put the pieces together. We are genuinely excited to take this step, regardless of not knowing all the answers. We don't feel the hopelessness anymore, because this is a real chance to make a difference with our lives. There is still the fear that this plan won't work out either -- but it's a fear that we can't let control us.

Ok, you made it all the way to the end of this post, congratulations! More to come in the future about our goals, things we've been learning, rants, general silliness and hopefully a lot more pictures. Our Bible school experience so far has given us a small taste of the need that we all have for the gospel. We still have a lot to learn, and are hoping that God teaches us in the areas we know we're lacking. Our attitude isn't perfect and I'm nervous whether or not we're going to 'fit in' to a largely Christian culture, but I'm sure we could write a lot about whether or not we even want to. Thanks for reading!