Okay...so we've had a lot of people wondering where Matthew and I are at in the relationship. If you're one of those slightly curious people or one of those REALLY curious people, then this post is for you!
Many of you have been sending encouraging comments, saying that you are enjoying keeping up with the blog. I'm glad that you have enjoyed reading our story thus far. Trust me. I'm enjoying it too! Immensely!
I recently had a reader ask me what "type" of person both Matthew and I are, so I thought I'd address it in this post. It'll give you all a better glimpse into who we are. *smile*
(For those of you that have never read Debi Pearl's book Created to Be a Help Meet, she divides men into three groups: the Command Men, the Steady Men, and the Visionary Men. She also divides women into three groups: The Go-To-Gals, The Servants, and the Dreamers.)
As for me, I guess I'd say I'm pretty much a servant with enough go-to-gal to be able to take the lead and get things done when I need to. My sisters have sort of always looked to me as the "bold one" shall I say. Before meeting Matthew, I would've said that I didn't have much dreamer in me, but he's brought out a lot more of that lately. *wink* He encourages me to dream of the future, and make plans (because "you'll never go anywhere if you don't make a plan on where you want to go") and try new things.
Matthew is definitely a visionary. But just as Ms. Debi Pearl says that every man has a little bit of all three, his command man comes out occasionally when no one else will take charge. He can organize everyone and get things running smoothly. And, he is steady enough to work at his brother's landscape business for the past 9 years. *smile*
This post will give you a glimpse into his visionary side.
While Matthew was in Florida, he did a lot of thinking and praying about his future and what the Lord would have him do with his life.
As most of you all know, he currently lives in Dayton, Ohio. He works as foreman for his brother's lawn and landscape business. He is also the 2012 National Hammered Dulcimer champion. So he enjoys playing his dulcimer and selling Cd's on the side at events and gigs that he gets. His real passion would be to further his music career, and after much prayer he feels like the Lord is leading in that direction and blessing his endeavors. During his stay with us, he played several times at the Farmer's Markets we attend on Saturday in Columbia. Not only did he make money on tips, but he was able to sell some Cd's and a lot of people stopped to listen and ask questions about the dulcimer. He ended up landing a few gigs while he was here as well!
The Lord has blessed him immensely with his ability to play well, and not only on the dulcimer. He is also very good on the penny whistle, guitar, and violin, and has picked up a few other instruments as well! All in all, the Lord has given him the gift of music, and it would be a shame to let it go to waste instead of using it for His glory. He just had to figure out how and where to do that.
While in Florida, he also did some research as to which cities in the East are the best for musicians (Dayton, Ohio is not known for promoting music). Greenville, SC really piqued his interest, for many different reasons: it is close to Asheville, NC (good musician town), it has easy access to the mountains (Greenville is in the foothills), it's a beautiful city with a good homeschooling influence, it's a good place to get gigs, and the best part about it....it's close to Aiken!!!
We sat down together while he was here and discussed our future, the possibility of him moving, mulled over the possible cities, went over budgets and how much he would have to be making with his music to be able to make a go of it, what other ways he could supplement his income while the music business was building, etc. Since he is already trained in the landscape business, if he could get some lawn jobs that would help him have a steady income right off the bat. He would also like to start giving music lessons.
After doing a lot of talking and figuring, he decided that the best way to find out which cities would be the best for musicians would be to talk to the people of the town. We talked to people in Augusta, GA one afternoon, hitting music shops and asking about venues to play in, and just generally finding out what the music culture was like in each city. We also traveled around Aiken and asked the same type of questions, as well as Columbia. We also decided that if Greenville was a possibility that we should probably take a trip up there to see what it had to offer.
The next sunny day that we had available, we took Ethan as our chaperone and made a day trip up to check out Greenville, SC, about a 2 hour drive from Aiken. We left right after milking and my family took up the slack for us and let us take off milking in the evening so that we didn't have to rush back. We spent the whole day touring Greenville and the surrounding area, asking our list of questions to various music shops and locals, as well as talking with landscape supply stores.
In a local Greenville park.
Both of us really like the mountains and what they have to offer...rivers, hiking, kayaking, skiing, cooler summers with less humidity. So it was really nice driving around Greenville being right in the foothills with the mountains in view!
After grabbing a bite to eat in downtown Greenville at a nice little Italian restaurant, we headed over to a local bike shop and rented three bikes for the afternoon. There is a very nice bike trail, called Swamp Rabbit Trail, that runs straight through downtown Greenville and stretches for almost 20 miles.
We stopped to take a few photos on a very picturesque bridge!
Ethan...holding up the bridge!
Matthew and I, with our chaperone! Ethan really enjoyed the day as well, especially the bike ride!
We ended up all the way to Furman University.
We biked around the campus for a little while, stopping and taking pictures here and there...
The old bell tower...
In front of the pond...
ready to head back to Greenville....
We ended up biking about 13 miles that day, and had a lot of fun doing so! We are looking forward to being able to do it again sometime.
We have some dear friends who live right outside of Greenville, and they kindly invited us for dinner, so we headed down to their house and spent a few hours visiting with them, asking them some questions about Greenville and the churches in the area. We had a wonderful time with them, and then hit the road so that we could be back home by 10:00.
It was a wonderful day, filled with lots of good memories and we are both very glad that we made the trip up there!
All in all, after talking with several people and visiting the four cities close by, Greenville definitely sounds like it is the place for musicians. It was everything he had heard about it and then some!
After both of us spending some time praying about it and finding the Lord's will in this decision, Matthew feels lead to move to Greenville, SC in June!!!! He is back up in Ohio now, trying to find someone to train in his position as foreman before he leaves, and getting his stuff in order to make the move. We have been looking online for a place for him to rent when he gets down there, as well as steadily trying to get his name out there and find places for him to play at. So far, the Lord has been opening doors, which was what we were praying for. The Lord can open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open, so if He's in it, then the doors will keep opening to Matthew! Please keep him in your prayers over the next year as he says goodbye to his family, makes the move to Greenville, starts a new job, kick starts his career in music, starts giving lessons, finds a church, and locates a place to live. A lot of changes in a short amount of time, but he's excited and I'm excited and we can't wait to see what the Lord will do through this time!
(And to add the icing to the top...once he moves to Greenville, he will be able to come down to visit even more often!)
*very, very happy*