37 / 52 – Home
Sep
18

37 / 52 – Home

Twenty-one.

That’s how many days we have before we leave the country.

Silas and I are in California right now.  As I type, I’m watching him sleep next to me in my sister’s guest bedroom.  He’s had quite the last couple of days.  We both have.  This is our last trip to California, seeing family we don’t always get to see.  Saying goodbyes.

It’s funny; we say things like, “You’ll have to come visit us.”  And, “When you come…”  And we absolutely mean it.  But I think it’s a coping mechanism too.  Like, “This isn’t really goodbye.  We’ll be seeing you soon.”  And I hope that it’s true.  But the fact is, there’s very little that I actually know.

We’re leaving.  And my heart is full of at least a half a dozen emotions.  I’m excited and nervous and overwhelmed at the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness.  I’m stressed and feel like there’s so much still to get done before we get on that airplane.  There’s also this incredible momentum right now, like this huge adventure awaits us.  But there’s also this genuine sadness, and sometimes I can’t really talk about leaving yet.  We’ll be carving out a new home, following the Lord, but leaving so many of the things that define the word “home” behind.  It’s one thing to count the cost.  It’s quite another to stand and pay it.

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And my sweet children.  I’m praying that as they pay a price they didn’t have much of a vote in, that their hearts stay soft in the Father’s hands.  There’s so much to look at, so much to do right now.  The process really is overwhelming some days.  I know that for them, these goodbyes, this countdown, is a heavy weight.  And yet, they’re doing it.  We’re doing it together, encouraging each other, that we’ve seen the Lord’s faithfulness in incredible ways so far, and that we can and will cling to His promise to not forsake us.

When you have only His Word, recounting it, reminding Him of it, choosing to believe it, staking your life on it, it becomes precious, like a gem that you’ve polished with your tears and time and faith.  I love Isaiah 50 that says:

“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame… Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God.”

And so the countdown continues.  We are gearing up, looking forward, and walking with the Lord into the unknown.  He speaks and we follow because there is safety in the sound of His voice.  Our great Shepherd will only lead us where He intends to take us Himself.  His presence is our refuge, our security, our home.

36 / 52 – This boy
Sep
14

36 / 52 – This boy

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This boy. The one who made me a mom. My not so little anymore, independent, strong willed, funny, people loving kid. He feels deeply, loves with his whole heart, and is learning what it means to see and trust the Lord in the everyday adventure Jesus calls us to. Nine years old today and about to become a missionary! I’m confident that Jesus has incredible things in store for him in the year to come! Happy birthday Silas  We’re so thankful for you today and every day!

35 / 52 – This time last year…
Sep
03

35 / 52 – This time last year…

This time last year we were getting ready to move into my parents’ house.  The Lord had already told me we were going to be missionaries, but He still hadn’t spoken that to Branden yet.  He was working two jobs, sometimes 80-90 hours a week, and we didn’t see him very much.  I remember packing boxes day after day by myself and thinking, “If God doesn’t do what He’s told me He will, if He doesn’t change Branden’s heart and show him we’re supposed to be missionaries, I have no idea what we’re doing.”  We weren’t really “making it.”  We couldn’t afford a place of our own.  We were moving an hour out of town into a very unfinished basement and had very little other direction in life except that we knew the Lord was calling us to children’s ministry.  Branden was completely disheartened.  I was lonely.  This was it.

On the day we moved out, the Lord gave me these verses:

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’  From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”    – Isaiah 46:9-11

God is God.  He can do what He wants.  And whatever He says He’ll do, He will do.

Well, we moved into my parents’ basement.  Those first few weeks were really hard, especially on Branden.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  My parents were awesome, but the idea of reaching this place in our lives seemed really anticlimactic and kind of like failure.  But the Lord would continue to encourage me, to be present and tell me impossible things that He would do.  He provided for us to take our scouting trip that October, and then did those impossible things!  He changed Branden’s heart and finally told him we were supposed to serve full time overseas in Ireland!

Today we are getting ready to move again :)  So much has happened in the last year and even I can’t believe it sometimes!  The other day we looked at a listing for a house online – in Ireland!  The pastor’s wife in Cork (where we’ll be going to serve in just a few short weeks!) called the listing agent and set up an appointment to see it.  She took me on a tour via phone pictures and Voxer (do you guys use Voxer?  It’s an awesome walkie talkie app that you all should download so we can talk after our family moves!)  She brought home a renter’s application and we filled it out together (again over Voxer, because it’s awesome!)  And she mailed it in :)

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Yesterday as I got ready for my time with the Lord, He led me to Isaiah 26 again:

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“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me… What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”

I didn’t even realize it was exactly one year and a day since He’d given me this verse the first time until I was sharing it with a friend later that night.  He’s done so much already, things that He’d told me He would do.  Crazy things that I had no idea how He would fulfill, and He delighted in showing me!  And now, we stand at the brink of something new.  There are promises still that He has yet to fulfill.  I find myself still wrestling with doubt some days, which is crazy when I look back and remember everything He’s already done.  But He’s patient with me and is still happy to blow my mind in telling me impossible things and then actually doing them!  Things were really painful a year ago.  I wouldn’t trade those dark days for anything though, because it was in those times when the Lord showed me He was God.  I’m excited for what’s up ahead and to go with a God who walks with us in the steps of faith He calls us to!

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