Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CHRISTmas 2007


Well, it's that time of year where I sit down to write the "Greenwood Family Christmas Letter." Chris and I have had some major events happen in the year of 2007, and we continue to praise God for all of our blessings.

Chris finished his schooling at Campbell University just a few weeks ago. The Divinity School has one graduation a year, so he is waiting until May to get his diploma. He will still be able to apply for a position at a church and will receive his transcripts, but won't get his diploma to hang on the wall until May. He hopes to have his written exams with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) taken by the middle of January. After the written exams, he will have to take his oral exams, but will need to be called to a church before that can happen. We have our moments of being antsy and wanting to start our full time ministry, but we continue to try to wait patiently for God's timing. God has shown Himself faithful to us time and time again, and we know this won't be any different. During this time of waiting, Chris will continue to work at Eddie Bauer.

I am still working at Eastern Wayne Elementary School. I'm no longer and Initially Licensed Teacher (ILT), which means I completed a three year provisionary period. I exited out of the program in May and found out in June that the ILT program could no longer protect me from added responsibilities at the school. This year I was chosen to be the grade chair for the Kindergarten grade level. At first I wasn't overly happy with being chosen, but God worked on me and changed my heart on the situation. Again this year, I became a combination class. This time with Transition 1st students and 1st grade students. The Lord continues to give me the strength to deal with each child and situation in the classroom. I don't think I could do it without Him.

Chris and I have recently moved out of our little townhouse to move in with his dad and step-mom. They have been so gracious to open their home so we can save money for our big move in the coming months. We don't know where it will be, but we know that God has a place in mind that will be perfect for the Greenwoods. It will be hard to leave, but we knew when we moved to Goldsboro in July of 2004 that this was just a stop on our journey together as a couple. We have enjoyed living near some of Chris' family and building relationships with them.

As many of you have already heard, Chris and I found out in October that Baby Greenwood will be joining our family in June 2008. Chris and I went to a marriage conference in October called "A Weekend to Remember"--and it will be a weekend to remember for the rest of our lives. While we were there, I took a pregnancy test and found out that we were pregnant! Chris and I are looking forward to being parents and consider it a great blessing to be called into this special ministry. I will be in my 13th week by the time Christmas gets here, so I will be close to finishing the first trimester. We hope that Baby G will co-operate at my January appointment, so we can find out the sex.

Well, I can't believe that I've already written 2 pages. We hope that everyone has a Merry CHRISTmas and will take the time to remember why we celebrate this holiday--the coming of a baby many years ago that changed the world. What a wonderful SAVIOR!

Love,

Chris and Sara Greenwood

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Graduated


Well, Chris has officially finished his schooling at Campbell University! He won't graduate until May because the Divinity School is small that they only do one graduation ceremony in the spring. He will still be able to apply for a position at a church because the school will send transcripts saying he has completed his course work. He just won't get his degree to hang on the wall until the graduation ceremony. The next few weeks he will be working at Eddie Bauer and studying to take his written ordination exams. He hopes to have them taken by the middle of January, but knows this is a busy time of year for churches. We will just wait patiently for the Lord's timing and will continue to faithful pray for His will in our lives.

Baby Greenwood has done a little graduating himself. He is no longer in the embryo stage, but is now in the fetal stage. I don't really understand the difference, but that is what all the books/websites are saying. I've still got morning sickness, but had about four good days last week where I could eat real meals and didn't have to eat something before I got out of bed. This morning was not one of those days and I spent some time just hanging out in the bathroom. It looks like it will be soup and crackers for me today. I hope to do a little graduating myself in the next few weeks--graduating from morning sicknes. In the mean time, I will continue to give thanks for the life God has given us.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Late Night


Hello all,

Well, I will be done with school in about 5 days! It seems like a dream that my time at Campbell is almost up. We are in the final stages of moving, and we are looking forward to spending some extra time with some of the grandparents to be. We are so belssed to read your little notes and e-mails! Thank you for your prayers and for your encouragment. I wish we all lived closer together, but alas we don't (Just wanted to use the word alas in a sentence!). Please know that each of you are a precious treasure to our hearts, and we look forward to the day when we will all be together again. Just as my days as a single guy came to an end, so too are my days of being just a husband. Soon, I will be a father. Is there any greater calling than to be entrusted with the gift of a new life? Sara and I are excited to enter the world of parenthood, and we look forward to seeing each of you as often and as soon as possible. This is sent with our love and our prayers.

Chris & Sara

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, November 19, 2007

Butterbean


We had our first doctor appointment today and all is well. We found out that I'm eight weeks along, so my due date has been changed to June 27th. I'm glad that I'm further along than we thought because it means I'm that much closer to possibly being done with morning sickness. I've had a rough few days, but I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in the end.

Chris and I were able to see Baby Greenwood for the first time yesterday. He is the size of a butter bean right now. As you can see from the picture, you can't see very much of him, but I still think he is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! I teared up when we heard his heart beat. It just blows my mind that something as small as a butter bean can have a heart beat so strong. I have to stand in awe of our Creator--how He is knitting Baby Greenwood together in my womb.

We hope that you have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember all the things you have to be thankful for. Chris and I have one more to add to list this year--Baby Greenwood.

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well."

(Ps 139:14)

Monday, November 12, 2007

On the move


Well, it's been a few days since we've written in here. The Greenwood Family has been pretty busy--some busier than others! We have been working at Eddie Bauer which has been crazy as people shop for Christmas presents. We also have been packing for our upcoming move at the end of the month. Baby Greenwood went to his first wedding this weekend. Plus keeping up with our normal daily routines of work and school.

I must admit, Chris has gone above and beyond with the whole pregnancy thing. I'm pretty much wiped out by the time I get home from work each day. I've got an interesting class this year with students who require a lot of attention. Because of this, he has been keeping up with the housework and cooking. On top of all that he will be graduating in Decemeber, so he is working hard on getting all of his papers turned in. I am truly blessed to have Chris be so supportive and understanding during this time.

Like I shared earlier, we are in the process of moving out of our rental place to move in with Chris' dad and Linda. We were moving in to save money for our big move whenever Chris gets a position at a church, and then we found out a few weeks later that Baby Greenwood would be joining us. It's amazing how God works everything out. We are definitely excited to be moving in with the other Greenwoods and sharing this experience with them.

The baby book that we are reading says Baby Greenwood is about an inch long right now and looks more like a baby than in the first month. I can't believe that his organs and systems are present, but not fully developed yet. It is so amazing that by the end of the second month Baby Greenwood will have arms, feet, toes, fingers, eyes, ears, tongue and a nose tip. The book says that Baby Greenwood is on the move, but can't be felt yet. There are some things that I've been feeling over the last five weeks though. A few are morning sickness, tiredness, going to the bathroom A LOT, and weepiness. This morning I was watching the news and a group was sending packages over to the desert for the soldiers. The lady talking said they put in Ramen noodles because the soldiers really like eating those. I started bawling because it broke my heart that something that costs only ten cents means so much to those soldiers. I called my mom and apologized for all the teasing I used to do to her growing up when she would cry at watching commercials or TV shows.

All in all we are doing well. We just ask for continued prayers that the move will go smoothly, that I will continue to have strength to deal with my class, Chris will finish school strong, Chris will find a position at a church, and that Baby Greenwood will continue to grow stronger each day.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." -Psalm 139:13

Friday, November 2, 2007

I am going to be a cousin!


Well, we shared with Tayler that she is going to have a cousin last night. She started screaming in my ear. Yes, they were screams of joy. She told me that she had to get off the phone so she called call her mom and dad. Then I heard, "I love you!" and a click in my ear! She spent the night with Mimi and Bup-Bup last night, and they told me that she said a special prayer for Baby Greenwood. It made my heart melt to hear that she is already praying for the Little One and is excited about having a new cousin.

She called my mom after school today to tell her that she had a good day. Tayler was sharing with her how she had a big smile on her face when she walked into class this morning. Her teacher asked her why she had such a big smile on her face. Tayler yelled, "I'm going to be a cousin!!" Her teacher told her that was a good reason to have such a big smile.

I guess the secret is no longer a secret. Chris was right in saying that I couldn't keep it quiet. It's just so hard when you want to share with those that you love. We are still faithfully praying that everything will be alright, and we know that many of you are doing the same. We appreciate all the prayers that are being lifted up on the behalf of Baby Greenwood.

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Late Night Thought


It's Halloween night and I'm working on my final paper for my senior class. Sara and the little one are asleep, and I thought I'd reflect for a moment. I never thought it would be so hard knowing I am going to be a father and not be able to tell anyone. It is all I can do every day not to let it come bursting out of my mouth. I want you all to know how blessed I feel to have a family that loves Sara and me. Neither of our families are perfect, but we are all loved by a God who is.

As I learn what it is to become a father, I am grateful for those who have gone before me. I am so overwhelmingly blessed to have positive male role models in my life. In today's American culture, many boys grow up without even knowing their father or having one they can learn from. Thank you dad, Gary, and Tim for being in my life. Thank you also for grandfathers who have shown me honorable and hard working lives. Each of you men have touched me and influenced what I have come to call manhood.

Moms, life begins in you. Literally. :-) I am also thankful for the strong and loving influence of the moms in my life. The will to not give up when the road is tough. The desire to care for and bring out the best in a young boy. The openness to accepting a stranger into your family and learning to love him like one of your own. I can not buy the lessons I have learned from each of you mom, Linda, and Mary. You are a blessing and an inspiration in so many ways. Grandmothers I can not even begin to describe what your influence has meant on my life. Please just know I am the man I am today because of your nurture, guidance, love, and even firm hand when needed.

My heart is full when I think of all those I call family. Know that you are loved, that you are a part of our lives, and that you are tons more influential then you will ever comprehend.

"A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is grief to his mother."

Proverbs 10:1

If I am wise it is because of all of you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Those that tease, don't believe


Well, this past weekend we told all of our parents the news of Baby Greenwood. We started with my (Sara's) parents. Their reaction wasn't a bit of a surprise to me. They didn't believe that we are pregnant! They thought we were playing a prank on them. Now, if you know my family--especially my mom--you know that we like good prank. I told her to go check out this webpage and her response was, "You sure went through a lot of hard work to play a joke on us!" She didn't believe us until she saw the picture of the pregnancy test. After it sunk in that the news was true, they were very excited about the arrival of Baby Greenwood.

Chris then called his mom and stepdad. They were sitting in the drive through of KFC. Chris said, "I don't know if this is a good time to share this with you, but I think it will be memorable." His mom responded with, "When?" So as they were waiting for their food, they found out that Baby Greenwood is coming in July. It is probably one time that the drive thru line didn't seem very long.

We had Thurston over for dinner and told him. He was excited about the news and can't wait to tell the rest of the Tennessee family at Thanksgiving that the first grandchild and great-grandchild will be arriving. Linda was at church meetings, so she found out when she got home. We got a phone call that night, and she is excited that three of us will be moving in with them at the end of November.

I know it is going to be hard for our parents to hold this secret in for the next few weeks, but we just want to make sure that everything is all right before we tell the rest of our family and friends.

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. " -Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hand in the cookie jar


Well, today I went to visit Dr. Bob for a follow-up for my back. I figured while I was there I would see if I could take take a pregnancy test. Dr. Bob came in with the news--it's official, we will be expecting Baby Greenwood in July. While I was there, my mother-in-law (Linda) stopped by to pick up something for church. She didn't know I was in there. When I heard her in the hallway talking, I felt like I was a little kid caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Dr. Bob and I had a nice chat while we waited for Linda to leave. We eventually got around to discussing my back, which is doing well.

As I sit here typing this entry, I feel truly blessed to have a new life within me. I have been praying for this little one for a long time. I remember when Chris and I went on our first date, and I told him my calling was to be a mom and a wife. I am so thankful that I have such a godly guy who has made me both!

" 'I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.' " -1 Samuel 1:27

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Weekend to Remember


We've made it official and many of you are reading these entries for the first time. We want you to know how excited we are to share this journey with you all. We hope this journal helps you feel like a part of this time in our life as we wait for the arrival of Baby Greenwood. These entries are written at the beginning so you will learn as we learn.

Well, we just got back from a marriage conference called Weekend to Remember in Raleigh. This conference was a tremendous blessing and it helped us reaffirm our commitment and love as God's perfect gift to each other. We left early Friday morning and headed to the NC State Fair. It was our first State Fair, and we were excited to see what it would be like. We walked around enjoying the sites and the FOOD! :) Chris even agreed to ride on a Ferris Wheel for the first time! He had some trouble at first, but he made it through. We left after a few hours and couldn't quite beat the rain back to our car. Have you ever seen the rain coming and not been able to do anything about it? After getting soaking wet, we headed to the hotel. When we got to our hotel room, we decided to go ahead a take a pregnancy test we had picked up earlier that day. Within 3 minutes, we saw 2 lines saying that I am pregnant!! This helped explain why I was too queasy to go on any other rides at the fair. I will be making a doctor's appointment to confirm the test before we tell any of our family members and friends. We plan on telling people around Thanksgiving. It was so hard this weekend not to tell anyone our good news--especially, Jared and Amanda! : ) Amanda's cross-examinations almost got the best of us, but we stood firm! Not only has this weekend been a weekend to remember because we got to spend time as a married couple, but it will be a weekend to remember because it is when we found out we are going to be parents. We'll write more after the doctor has confirmed the news. Until next time!

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."

*Psalm 127:1