Blowing The Dust Off

It has been a long time since I last used my blog. Over a year and a half if you were wondering. I even changed the web address from thesnuffy.com to iamtoddporter.com since I have “rebranded” myself on social media that way as well.

The last year and a half have been a busy one filled with lots of change for Kim and myself. At the beginning of 2018 my son began the process of joining the Navy. When he graduated in 2017 he had said he was thinking of joining but wanted to wait until 2018 to start the process, so he went to work full-time for Donatos Pizza. When January rolled around we went to the local recruiter’s office and he started the enlistment process. His ship date was scheduled for late July of 2018.

In March of 2018 me, my wife, my daughter, and her boyfriend all went on a mission trip to Haiti with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. It was mine and Kim’s 5th trip and Nick & Hannah’s 2nd trip. What Hannah did not know is that her boyfriend was going to be proposing to her while we were there. She said yes and we were thrilled to be gaining a son-in-law.

A couple of days later while we were still in Haiti my son texted me (thank you, T-Mobile for coverage in Haiti) and said he wanted to talk with us. That night we video chatted with him while we were at the mission base and had wifi. He informed us that the Navy was wanting him to ship out earlier than July. Like the end of March early. So when we got back from Haiti we had two weeks with him before he shipped off to boot camp. Let me tell you that we had no idea what was in store for us emotionally during those two months that he was at boot camp. That alone could be a whole blog post but I am so grateful for our new Navy family and a Facebook group that connected us with them. It helped us out so much!

If you want to watch a video of what the boot camp experience is like you can see a video series of it on YouTube. Ironically enough it was videoed while my son was there and his division is one of the two divisions that was videoed. He only made obscure background scenes. Here is the YouTube link to the hour-long documentary called Making A Sailor.

Seeing Caleb graduate from the Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL was such an emotional experience for our family. I had no idea how powerful and emotion that pride was until that day on May 25, 2018. Knowing all that my son went through and how he persevered to accomplish that was awesome. Plus, seeing him in his dress whites was really cool. My boy looks good in a uniform.

Then in August of 2018, my wife resigned from her position as the Music Director at our church and took a job as an Activities Assistant at Ohio Living Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village. There are various reasons why she made the jump but ultimately she felt that it was her time to move on. She loves her job and gets to work with long-term care residents. She gives them things to do throughout the week and loves being able to bring value to them in their end stages of life. I have been able to volunteer a few times and I love seeing her do what she does best.

On September 9, 2018, I walked my daughter down the aisle and gave her in marriage to an amazing man that I am proud to call my newest son. Yes, he is a son-in-law but I think of him more like a son. We are so happy for the two of them and Nick is truly the kind of man that I prayed for since Hannah was a little girl. I am so thankful for him and how he takes care of her.

That all meant that Kim and I went from starting 2018 with both kids still in the house to being empty nesters in a period of less than 6 months. There was a lot of change and transition that took place for us! We had no idea going into 2018 all that would happen. I was hoping that 2019 would be a more relaxing year, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case for us.

In August of 2019 I resigned from my position at The River as Connections Pastor. I did not have another job to go to and as of the timing of this blog post I still do not. It wasn’t something that I fully expected but sometimes God just gives me a shove to move me and this was definitely the case. I have sent out a couple of resumes but I have also taken some time to do things around the house that I have been meaning to do but with a very busy schedule juggling multiple things that I was doing for The River I never had time to get them done.

I have also taken this time as a little bit of a Sabbath rest period. I was at The River for 10 years. Ironically enough, on the day it was announced that I had resigned it was the exact day that I first walked into The River’s building as the youth pastor 10 years prior. I always wondered why and how pastor’s could take a Sabbath after about 10 years and now I know why and how. I was pretty fried for various reasons and I needed the rest. It just wasn’t necessarily how I had hoped to take it, but I know God has plans for me. I just need to figure out what those plans are.

Well, that is the Reader’s Digest version of the last year and half of my life. I know that better things are in store for me and I love seeing the great things that are happening in my wife’s life and with my kids. Plus, we are absolutely loving our new church, SouthBrook. It is the breath of fresh air that we have needed for while.

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