The mountains are often lovely this time of year in Florida. However, this mountain is fake, and our only access to it is because we have Disney passes and it’s a ride in Animal Kingdom. Not this past weekend, but the weekend before that we celebrated our 8 year anniversary by a little getaway down to Disney. We essentially re-allocate our date night budget to maintain passes and take budget getaways in the off-season.
I’ve neglected blogging the past few months for a variety of reasons. Ever since Ali quit Panera back in February, we’ve been transitioning into some new phase almost every month. At this point though, I think we’re adjusted and starting to build some momentum. To give you an idea, here’s the lay of the land right now:
I’m still teaching like I have for the past 6 years. This year I just have Bible classes and a lone once a week elective called Sports Journalism which is kind of a way to trick boys into taking a writing class, but also an excuse to talk sports for an hour each week for credit. I’m also the team leader and editor for an extended research project for Docent Research Group, and I still teach private piano lessons every Wednesday.
On top of that, we’ve stepped into leading an on-campus ministry at the University of Central Florida called SHIFT. Because of hurricane and other logistical setbacks, we got a late start, but we’ve been meeting regularly on-campus for the past month. December will be a time of planning and preparing for the next semester and as things come together I’ll tell you more.
Ali has been working at our local World of Beer, which in addition to being a place for me to read and decompress on the weekends, has been a place for missional engagement. We’re focusing on connecting with her co-workers and building relationships in order to love on people better. Ali has also been working twice a week at our herbalist, who is the mom of one of Ali’s high school friends. She’s who we go to when we have routine sickness and stress. Ali is getting over being sick at the moment, and I was sick at the beginning of September, but we both recovered quite nicely via natural remedies rather than antibiotics.
While it would be ideal for Ali to not work, what she’s been doing has paled in comparison to Panera, both in time and stress levels. And, like I said, it’s provided a good opportunity to get to know some people in our area that aren’t in the Christian bubble. As we continue to raise support (you can sign up to support us monthly here), we may plan to keep this in the mix.
In addition, Ali and I are in the membership process at a new church called NewCity Orlando. After our last experience, it has been an almost 180. I haven’t fully told the story of that, but I’ll probably start soon. But for now, after checking out a few places, we felt at home at NewCity primarily because of the solid worship and preaching. It has also helped that the pastor has told me that they want to be a church known for hospitality and spiritual formation, two things that are passions of ours, but mostly absent in our previous experience.
As far as blogging has gone, I’ve been allocating time elsewhere. I’m horribly behind on reviews, but am planning to start the catch up process soon (as in now). Part of the delay has been deciding how to divide reviews between here and potentially blogging through our on-campus ministry website. I finally realized I just need to keep them on here for now, but also add more non-review type posts. I’m hoping to ramp up consistency going into the new year.
We’ll continue to focus on more ministry initiatives related to SHIFT and pray that support comes in. But, I’d like to consider what I do on here as part of our ministry and plan accordingly. We’ll see how that goes in the next few months!