Sunday, July 31, 2011


We have two kinds of support to raise.... outgoing support to help with one time expenses and on-going monthly support.  We are doing the happy dance because today we passed 100% in our outgoing support account!

We now need about $2000 in monthly partnerships.   We are praying for 100% of this category by the end of August.  That is a God size prayer, but we serve a mighty God!  Wanna know how you can help?  Send me an email at and I will tell you how!

New Season = New Background

Surprise!  The blog has a new look!

With everything on my plate why in the world would I take time to give the blog a face lift?  Mostly because I feel like we are entering a new season of the journey - the final stretch of partnership development, stepping down from my job, sell of home, focusing on departure logistics, ...

... and the blog needed to reflect the transition as well.

When I found the blog background that looked like a window I immediately knew that reflected the season we have entered.  We are beginning to peek through the window into the next season of the journey.  There is still so much unknown, but that is OK - as God draws back the curtain on the window we will see more and more what is next.

But until then, I'll just keep peeking and moving.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Catch Up

Reliable Internet access has been sketchy, at best, this week so there has been very little blogging.   It is one thing to update a facebook status on my kindle or Scott's cell phone, but a whole blog post just wasn't working.  I hope I remember a lot of what I wanted to share, but for today, we'll just play catch up.

Family Conference was fabulous.  We heard stories after stories of how God was working and moving throughout the world.  The stories were not without heartaches and hard work, but yet the praise and glory being given to God outweighed it all.  We were repeatedly challenged to examine our own lives... were we focused on circumstances or the creator of the world?  More on all that in another post.

When Family Conference was over the four of us escaped to the "thumb" of Michigan.  We are in a podunk town right on Lake Huron with absolutely no plans.  For those of you who know me well, you know that is a miracle all in itself.  We have just played together.  Yesterday we rented kayaks on a river that feeds into Lake Huron.  We took a leisurely 3 mile float then banked the boats on the beaches of the great lake.  We played in the sand, caught minnows in a Ziploc bag, walked along the beach, taught Hannah to skip rocks, and just laughed together. Eventually hunger called us back to town and after a wonderful pizza lunch we went to the Huron County Fair.

This was definitely the storybook version of a county fair - 4H Cow auctions, animals, funnel cake, a Frisbee dog catching show, and all those country smells.  Scott and Alex rode one ride and Scott decided it is definitely possible to become too old for certain rides.  A drive back to town ended with naps, ice cream for dinner, shuffle board and thank you card writing, and laughter back in the room.

Today Hannah insists we go to the farmer's market.  She wants to buy fresh fruit.  Not sure what she thinks we will do with it since we are flying home tonight, but keeping with the theme of just "winging it" we will go.  After that the kids and I will fly home tonight, but Scott has another week in Michigan for SYIS (Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills). 

Coming home will be a little strange and a little difficult (again, another blog post to come on that) as we are officially homeless - the house closed yesterday.  Praising God that He was in control and giving Him all the credit for a simple, eventless closing.

Well, time to pack suitcases and transition back into reality.  Check back in the next couple of days and I'll try to catch you up on the lessons learned and the thoughts processed over the past week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We are in Michigan at SEND International's Family Conference.  Sunday night we sat in the sanctuary of a "borrowed" church worshiping with 200+ other family units that serve in missions.   It was one of the most powerful worship experiences I have had in a while and the question resonated within me as "why?" 

Later that night the speaker quoted John Piper by saying a quote familiar to me... "missions exist because worship does not."  It hit me that the reason the worship was so powerful was that many of the people in that room serve in places where corporate worship does not exist.  For many this was a "treat" to stand together and worship in their heart language with other believers. 

For most, corporate worship was not a routine or something that just happens every Sunday, it was a special occassion and they were pouring their hearts and lives out to Christ that night.  Made me wonder a couple of things... how often do I take the privilege of worship for granted?  How often do I wander into the sanctuary of my home church, sing a few songs, listen to a sermon, and walk away unchanged.  I get to do it every week so what is the big deal?  What about you?

The other thing I realized is that I don't pray for those serving in foreign fields as much as I should.  There is something powerful, encouraging, uplifting, life changing, and more in corporate worship.  A life serving in a foreign field is often without corporate worship and they must find different ways to worship and fellowship.  I began to process the power of corporate worship and life without it.  I began to consider the need for alternatives to corporate worship - a strong personal worship lifestyle.  Am I preparing myself for this?

I must say, the next time I walk into the sanctuary with hundreds of other believers I will consider that experience with a whole new perspective.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Michigan Bound

Saturday morning as we were trying to decide what to do with our "free day" we decided to head to Charlotte for cheesecake and then to my parent's house.  (we were going there Sunday morning for them to take to the airport anyhow).  We realized that because of my working in a church we had never gone to church with them.  The kids have gone several times, but not us adults.  It took longer than we expected to put our temporary house in order, but after a late start we had an uneventful journey - a stop at Outback for dinner, a stop of Cheesecake Factory for cheesecake to go, and finally arriving at my parents for catching up.

This morning we are going to church with my parents (and learned last night that we will be introduced and have a second or two to say something) and then we head to the airport.

This is our final required "training" before we can leave.  It isn't really training as much as it is a time for catching a vision for all that SEND is doing throughout the world and spiritual renewal.  A time to be reminded of WHO we are serving and that it really isn't about anything we do.  We will also reconnect with some friends who are serving in a variety of places throughout the world.  Hannah and Alex can't wait to get to spend time with their friends from last summer as well as some Spain friends. 

The best part of the whole week - no moving boxes!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We are Out!

The house is empty, the floors are swept, the bathrooms are cleaned, and the utilities are turned off!  All that is left is for our realtor to sign the paperwork next week!

I have been asked repeatedly today how does it feel... well, I am thankful for the heat.  The heat made it miserable to move so all we wanted to do was finish the task.  The heat kept you focused on being done and not on what it meant to be done.  The heat was miserable, but it was a blessing.  Ask me how it feels in a week or two.  As for today, we are just counting our blessings to have an air conditioned temporary home.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I am not an emotional person, most of the time, but this journey has definitely brought that side out of me.  At the drop of a hat the tears begin.  I never see them coming or am able to predict what will trigger them.  

Today I cried when I realized that we are almost totally finished with the move from the house (should be shouting for joy).  I cried when I realized that I only have two more office days with one of my co-workers.  I cried when a friend told me her daughter and she had discussed at brunch today her plans for seeing us in Spain.  I cried when a friend stopped by to pick up some games for her mom and stayed and helped clean.  

Maybe I am just tired.   Maybe I just need to find a corner and have a good cry.  Maybe this is what the next couple months will be like.  Maybe God has something to teach me in this phase of the journey.  

The tears made me think of the verse in John 11 that says "Jesus wept."  I've heard all kinds of explanations why the scholars thing Jesus was crying at that moment, but what caught me today when I read the verse was the next verse - verse 36 says "Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  That's it.  

I know we are heading where God has called, yet the journey is filled with lots of emotions.  It was cool for God's word to put the words behind the tears - "see how I have loved you."  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Days to Go and 21 Years Ago

It's Wednesday and we must be totally out by the end of Saturday.  Sitting here this morning (in our new temporary home) it is hard to believe it is really happening, but in a few hours when I show up at the Kernersville house there will be no doubt.  The upstairs is completely packed and cleaned out except for the hanging clothes in the master bedroom closet.  Downstairs there is only the pile of unsold books, food in the pantry, the coat closet (no coats in it - just the things I have been stashing so they wouldn't be sold), and the laundry room.  The leftover junk in the garage still needs to be boxed up and the pool toys need to find their way out of the shed.  That's it!

I have two guys coming tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning to move all the boxes to either the garage for the Vietnam Veterans pick up or to the garage of our temporary home so I can repack and sort for their final destination - either Spain or my parent's attic.  It will all be over in a matter of days.

Makes reality a little closer, and once again, learning a few more lessons about faith.  We are about $2000 short of being at 100% support.  We are planning and believing we will reach 100% in the next six weeks so that we can depart for Spain in September.  Every now and then, however, I hear this little voice in the back of my head that says "you can't do that.  That's too big of a goal.  What about the economy?  What if you fail?"  And yet, as I continue to pray for God's direction He gives a peace that is louder than that voice.  He has called and He is able to do more than man can ever fathom.

Today is another milestone - our firstborn son becomes 21 today!  I do not think I am old enough to have a 21 year old.  It is hard to believe he is that old.  I will not get to see him today and not sure I'll talk to him, but I pray that he knows I love him and miss him.  There is nothing quite like the love of a mom for her first born - just a special spot in her heart.  May God overwhelm him with His presence today and may he know that he is loved.

Monday, July 18, 2011

5 Days to Go

After more than 21 months on the market, it is hard to believe that we have to be out of the house at the end of the week.  I am definitely ready to be totally done with the house!

After a 2nd yard sale I do not care if I ever do another yard sale for the rest of my life.  Although we met a variety of people and got to share the reason we were moving with many, I am glad to see there is very little "junk" left.  All the big things are gone except for the kitchen table and art work.   Check them out here.  We need a home for it all by the end of the week.

The garage and shed are filled with left-overs that just need to be boxed up and gotten ready for Vietnam Veterans to pick up on Friday.  There are closets of stuff that needs to find its way to our "new temporary home."  The pantry and kitchen has "left overs" that need to be moved or thrown away (or even perhaps we should cook it).  And there is the room that has become known as the "Spain room."  This room is filled with boxes of stuff we are taking to Spain, going to my parent's attic, or needs to be sorted through before we leave.  That pile of boxes is heading to the temporary home's garage.

Somewhere in the midst of this week I am looking for down time.  Last week was VBS and non-stop days.  I am ready for some family time, some regular hours, and laundry.  Maybe even a chance to process all the realities that are changing by the day.    I am looking forward to sharing with some friends this week about Spain and our calling there.  Perhaps I should just say - I am ready to face this week - another week of changes, challenges, and opportunities.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Last of the Big Things

We have 10 days to be out of the house.  Last week's yard sale was extremely successful but there is still "stuff" left.  We are going to do another sale this Saturday morning (calling it a clearance sale) and then hopefully will be done with most things after that.  We do have several big things left... check them out at Hunter Yard Sale.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The First of Tears

Lots of changes have occurred over the past few days and reality has stared me straight in the face.  Emotions are high and the tears have begun to flow.  Oh my!  Of course, when talking about this the other day, Hannah proclaims "you just started crying... I've been crying over the four legged animals for a couple weeks and don't want to even think about people."  Thank goodness God is gracious in how he made each of us and we are all processing reality in different ways and at different paces. 

My official resignation from work was announced Sunday.  My last day is August 11.  That sounded so far away until yesterday I realized that I have 11 days left in the office due to the move and a week of vacation I am taking (last training in Michigan). 

We are in day 3 of VBS (my largest project each year) and I have been asked all week - how does it feel to be in the middle of your last big event? 

We have sold almost all of our household goods.  We will have our last garage sale Saturday morning.  Then after that I have to find homes for or trash all that is left.  

We are going to a wedding this weekend (my cousin's son) and know that this is the last time I will probably see many of these family members for many years.  These are all my aunts and uncles and cousins from my mom's side.  I am accustomed to getting together with the whole clan at least once a year.

I have a dear friend who I keep telling "we are not focusing on the leaving, just the arriving."  We are excited about the "arriving" stage of this season.  It's been easy to focus on the arriving since the leaving seemed so far away, but now... much of the leaving is hitting us in the face.  And so the tears have started.  

Ugh... So if you say something to me and I start crying, just know you are in good company.  There is no rhyme or reason to what makes me laugh and what makes me cry.  One more season of the journey.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Peanut Butter Friends

Last year near the beginning of VBS I was blessed to stand in the hallway and talk with a couple who would soon leave a permanent mark on my life.  We discussed peanut butter and Reese cups and the difficulty in finding those items in Spain.  We laughed about my belief that chocolate is a major food group and that when there is no chocolate, a spoonful of peanut butter serves as an acceptable substitute. They both wholeheartedly agreed.

One year later I know that I am blessed by a friendship, the kind of friendship that only comes along on a rare occasion.  Today I want you to meet my dear friends.... Bill and Gloria.

Bill and Gloria are not your ordinary retired couple.  They have not lived the ordinary life for the past 20 years.  You see, when Bill was a father of  young children life took an unexpected turn.  Bill had a series of strokes and left him permanently in a wheelchair.  His speech is often difficult to understand and he depends on Gloria for much assistance. 

Over the past year I have enjoyed getting to know them beyond the wheelchair and they have challenged me to be a better woman.  Not once have I heard Bill complain or have a frown on his face.  Each time I look at Gloria I see a beautiful example of a Godly wife.  Her love for Bill shines through every time I see her.  She has stuck by in "sickness and in health."  I am sure they both have had their days where life just seems totally unfair, but the couple I have met shows a picture of marriage and Christian faith that challenges me - if I were in either of their shoes, what would someone say about me.

But what does this have to do with peanut butter?  Well, in that original conversation I had with them I learned that Bill keeps dog treats in his wheelchair bag for the dogs he passes when he goes for a "walk."  I wanted to know why he didn't have treats in his bag for me.  Well, over the past year he has consistently put an extra treat in the bag for me... always Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - sometimes one, sometimes a whole bag full.

Last week my stress level was off the chart and I wrote the post On a Scale of 1 to 10 and then headed to work for VBS workday.  Early in the morning I found Bill and Gloria waiting in the hallway (by the way, Bill helps with all the data entry for VBS and Gloria is teaching crafts this year).  I made a little joke about hiding from the chaos and was told no, they were waiting on me.  Then out of his bag came a Reese's Peanut Butter Bar (oh - if you have not tried those yet... they are even better than the cups).  They figured I needed a little stress relief.

I am so very blessed to know Bill and Gloria and wherever they go they leave a sweet scent of God's love.  Bill and Gloria - I know you will want to wring my neck for this - but I want the world to know that I have been blessed by your friendship and your example.  I pray that as curves of life unexpectedly enter the path of my life I can live with half the grace you represent.  Thank you for your friendship and for the peanut butter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rain, Rain... Go Away

Yes, today begins the yard sale and yes it is raining outside....ugh!

But have no fear, the yard sale will go on regardless of the weather... it will just be an inside sale instead.

Come on over and go shopping...
  • Friday from 3:00 - 8:00
  • Saturday from 7:00 - 3:00
218 Day Break Drive, Kernersville

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On a Scale of 1 to 10....

  • My overall Stress Level from having 15 more days to be out of the house.... 8 and drawing quickly toward a 10
  • The pain in the wrist.... 5 in the morning and as the night draws closer the number goes up and up
  • My heartbreak level for having to put a limit on children attending VBS...  15 (Friday is the deadline, so if you have not registered yet do so today)
  • Stress from having to have house in showing order tomorrow morning (yes, in the midst of the garage sale craziness) for the buyers to come through...  off the chart
  • Chaos level in my house as we prepare for the garage sale to begin tomorrow afternoon... 10 - I think I am craving the days of it all being clean and neat again
  • Tired of eating out because I can't find dishes or pans to cook dinner.... 8
  • Length of list of "to do's" at work to prepare for the 350+ children who will be at VBS come Monday....10

  • Blessings that overflowed as I walked through our new home yesterday... 10
  • Joy of having a new partner join our team last night.... 10
  • Peace that comes from time alone with Christ this morning...a number too high to list
  • Praising that even if I have to put it in showing order for tomorrow I have a buyer...10
  • Excitement that the only thing left in the storage building are empty boxes....10
  • Gratefulness for friends who are coming tonight and tomorrow to help....10

So all in all... God is in charge regardless of the situations around me and I'll be more than happy to settle for that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

16 Days

I cannot believe after 21 months on the market we are about 16 days away from having to be out of our house.  In one way it seems very surreal, but then you walk through the house and you just pray there are not many days left before we have to be out.  I have not cooked a meal in my house in a week (that would require dishes and cookware) and laundry is a questionable topic (and the dryer is leaving tomorrow so it gets even more questionable).

I decided last night the best thing about the chaos is that it keeps me focused on today and the future doesn't seem so close.  We are praying for 100% support by the end of August, a God size goal.  If we reach that goal we are only about 2 months from departing.  We know we are doing what we have been called to do, but sometimes reality seems a little too big. 

It's Wednesday so no work tonight on the house.  Still got lots to do before Friday.  But today I will take a tour of our new home, focus on the nearly 350 children we have enrolled in VBS (which begins on Monday) and will be grateful for the blessing of the chaos.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yard Sale

Please feel free to share the Virtual Yard Sale Website with your friends and family and co-workers. 

If you would like to shop early, let me know - we will be working Tuesday and Thursday Evening as well as Friday morning.

Actual yard sale is 
Friday, July 8 from 3 - 8 PM
Saturday, July 9 from 7 AM - 3 PM

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Last Times

My house looks like a thrift store instead of a home.  There are boxes everywhere and almost everything not in a box has a price tag on it.  It is crazy!  It is a little chaotic, yet there is still a peace.  I pray that peace stays all week - still lots to do before the big yard sale on Saturday.

But in the middle of it all we are going to spend time this weekend fellowshiping with good friends.  The reality of "last times" has begun to register.  We have spent the 4th of July with the same friends for years.  I can't even remember how long ago the tradition began.  Never anything fancy, just food and fellowship.  It started with two families has grown to many, many families.  Families bring guests with them as well.  We just assume it will happen each year, yet...

... yesterday we realized it won't for us.  This will be our last one together for quite some time.  Maybe forever.  We will miss these days. 

I have a co-worker whom I keep telling we are not going to focus on the leaving, just the arriving - but moments like this the leaving hits your straight on.  I pray that in the midst of all that must be done to move out of the house we are able to savor every moment of fellowship this weekend.  May we leave a sweet spirit where we go this weekend and may we take beautiful memories of friends and festivities.

Friday, July 1, 2011

22 Days

Progress Update:
  • The storage building is nearly empty - it is all back in the garage.
  • I have packed the things in my kitchen that I want to take to Spain and this morning everything else will be either packed for storage or labeled for garage sale.  Good thing we have several parties coming over the weekend as it may be very difficult to cook or eat in the kitchen after today.
  • Dining room is empty except for the table, chairs, and mirror on the wall - all for sale
  • Den is ready to be attacked for sale - Scott's recliner is leaving tomorrow so will definitely feel a little more like we are moving after that.
  • Coat closet is ready to be labeled for sale - everything we are keeping or taking is already out.
  • Book shelves in the living room are ready to be labeled for sale as well as the furniture.
  • Zach's room is the "not available for sale room" and everything else has been moved out, packed, or trashed.
  • The bonus room/office is a disaster!
  • Kid's rooms are ready for a garage sale - just needs to be priced - Hannah has even already taken her bed to my parent's attic.
  • My room - well, suffice it to say I made a path to bed last night.
Can we really accomplish all that is left in 22 days? Add to those days some partnership development (we need 39 more partners - half at $50 and half at $100 per month before the end of August) and VBS it all feels a little overwhelming.  Pray hard as I am determined to let my testimony shine through - regardless of how stressed or tired I am.  And of course, feel free to come by any day or evening to see if there is something you need or to lend a hand.