Monthly Archives: June 2013

SOLD.

It all just got real.

It was only a week ago that we were going back and forth about whether to rent or sell. Sell or rent. We hoped to keep this house we poured blood, sweat and tears into.
DSC_0496But we knew it could be difficult to rent a house from a continent away. And so, last Tuesday Andy listed our house on Craigslist. I had no idea how we were going to add house showings (and cleanings!) to everything else. But we prayed the Lord would make it very clear. And decided that if a buyer offered that price, we would accept. The next day, someone came to look at the house. [I thought to rent it.] But they liked it so much, they offered us that price. And we accepted.

In God’s providence, we were having a garage sale the next day. We had been waiting until the end for the big purge. But when our house sold the night before our garage sale, we realized this is near the end.
And it all became very real.
Suddenly, there is no plan B… We are moving!
Andy started emptying our house onto our lawn.
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Now..
It’s one thing to make a New Year’s resolution to have “open hands.” It’s another thing to let people carry away belongings we never would sell if we were staying.
It’s one thing to say you’re gonna go. It’s another thing to know your husband’s job here ends in November.
It’s one thing to want to walk by faith not by sight. It’s another thing to blindly take the next step. And the next…
But there is One who continues to give the peace and courage to keep walking.

We are at Pre-Field Orientation at the New Tribes Mission headquarters in Florida.
14 years ago I sat in this very same room in tears, watching the Taliabo Story. I wanted my life to be about this. Reaching the unreached. Extending His fame.
And here we are today.
Sitting here with a lanyard around my neck and the words “East Brazil” below my name.
I sorta can’t believe it. This is happening!!
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You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. Psalm 65.5

We have endless “awesome deeds” to praise our God for. Here are just a few…
..Others’ prayers. This means the world to us. We want to encourage you in the ways we have seen God at work. He hears!
..Our house sold. Not only that, but we asked for clarity. And He made it so very clear!
..Our garage sale. Not just successful downsizing, but the amazing attitudes our kids had through it all. They willingly let go of their things. Not one complaint. [That’s not normal for a 4 year old!] It was truly God’s grace in them!
Plus, they were distracted running their 3 Amigos Lemonade Stand.
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..A “transition” house. We already have a place to stay between moving out of our house and moving to Brazil!
..Our unity and excitement for this journey He has us on.
..Our dear family and friends. We feel so very blessed to be loved enough for this to be hard. For all the ways these dear people continue to care, despite the tears and pain and all that comes with letting us go.

We continue to pray for…
..All of the paperwork to come through correctly and efficiently.
..God’s sustaining grace through the fury of the next few months of traveling and packing and moving.
..The monthly financial support needed for us to move in November.
..Open hands.

Can a God who sold our house without us putting it on the market take care of all this?
We believe He can. We pray He will.

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For Dad

It’s not easy being a dad.
The older our kids get, the more I realize this. It’s not an easy task. Provide. Protect. Lead the home. And manage all the everyday stresses that come along in a way that doesn’t exasperate your children.
We had no idea what laid on the shoulders of our dads until we entered parenthood and started carrying the same burdens. The delicate balance of giving our boys the freedom to fly and preserving their lives.

It’s not easy being my dad.
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The further I get from home, the more I realize this. 13 years ago, they gave their blessing to their baby girl marrying some boy out of the jungles of Brazil. Knowing it could mean their grandbabies could move to the jungles of Brazil someday. My parents still live in the same red-brick house they brought me home from the hospital. And yet, they gave me wings to explore the world. Sending their high schooler off to a Navajo Mission in New Mexico. Then on a summer mission trip in California. Their college girl to be a camp counselor at an Inner-City Camp in LA. Then to Berlin, Germany. Papua New Guinea for the summer.

I never realized what sacrifice and courage that required.
For my dad to let go of his baby girl. But I do now.
And I just have to say thank you.
Thank you for loving me enough to learn that delicate balance of protecting and leaving in the hands of our Protector.
Thank you for always welcoming me back into that red-brick house with hugs and home-made apple pie.
Thank you for your example of trusting our Almighty Father, casting your cares to Him because He cares for all of us.
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It’s Father’s Day, and I am thankful for my dad. I am amazed by my husband who just got back from taking our boys camping, for all the ways he loves and serves and loves and serves. And I am blown away by our heavenly Father who has given all He has for His kids.
He gives good gifts.
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My cup overflows.
And the tears fall.
Knowing this not the story for everyone. I weap for the fatherless. For those who cringe at the idea of a day to honor fathers. “Dad” means abandonment, betrayal, disappointment, abuse.
I pray the deep layers of pain this day may provoke brings you to an understanding of One who never leaves, never lets go, never gives up, never loves less. God, our Father! Our generous, lavish-loving, gracious, dependable Father. He knows. He sees. He hears. He cares. And you know what? He is near.

I look up to the mountains–does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall; the One who watches over you will not sleep…
The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalm 121
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Sublime Nine

Has it really only been 9 years since I met this little man?
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Can hardly remember the world without our Jackson Paul. His zeal for life and adventure is so fun! He will always choose to run an errand instead of stay at home or be outside rather than watch TV. He loves fishing and soccer and all that goes with those–fish, worms, mud, water, lures, canoeing; running, World Cup, Brasil, Neymar…you name it. So you can imagine how he wanted to spend his special day.
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Between being the middle child and being all-boy, I can tell if it’s been awhile since we’ve had time just him and I. We have had to work to find our “thing.” He’s not really one to let me read him a book or play Legos with me. But ask him to go for a bike ride, and it’s not a minute before his shoes are on and his bike is on the sidewalk. That’s our special time. I let him lead. I follow. I used to think he needed that time. But soon realized I do too. Sometimes he just needs to get me out on the trail and tell me what’s really bugging him. Sometimes we come back without having said a word. But everything has changed.

Lively, funny, messy, impulsive, caring, passionate, encouraging…scoots right up to the top of a climbing wall on the first try like he’s a pro (he’s on the left).
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He’s just a great kid. And when times get rough, it’s time for us to take a bike ride.
Just the 2 of us.
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