Y’all, do you know one of the things that is just so awesome about God? With him, nothing is impossible. He loves to flip the script and shake up all our paradigms and small in-the-box expectations. His specialty is the unlikely.
That is such a picture of my life. (and of course I know it’s a picture of many others…most others in fact… But of course my own life is just my personal frame of reference.)
I know who I was. I know where I came from. I know what I’ve done. LEAST LIKELY TO SUCCEED in every area.
He still sees me as His precious child, made in His image to praise Him and bring Him glory.
I know what I can do… and it’s not much to speak of. I know what I can’t do, and the list is a mile long.
He sees Jesus, what Jesus can do, and what Jesus CAN’T do (NOTHING!)
God specializes in hand-picking the most unlikely, the most shocking, the most broken individuals.
Moses, the murderous hothead
Rahab, the prostitute
Sarah, the barren doubter
David, the murderer, adulterer
Paul, persecutor of the Church
Do you see yourself in that category? Do you think you are beyond reach? Unlovable? Unsalvageable? Too hard, too lost, too far gone? Perfect. You are right where He wants you. (and if you don’t identify with that category, you might want to look a little closer)
Humbly thankful for a God who never gives up and for a Savior who gave all.
Thank You Lord, for inviting us to a place at Your table.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”” (Mark 2:16-17)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” (Matthew 19:26)
Thank you for all the kindness after last week’s post. The best part about last week was when it was OVER! But God. He is always good, and His peace can reign regardless of our circumstances, if we will invite Him in.
This week has been better!
~ thankful for a great start to it, which just happened to be my birthday! I was blessed and encouraged by many well-wishers, and was treated to the most lovely luncheon at one of the most charming spots in Carthage!
~ treated to my very favorite coconut meringue pie!
~ blessed by gorgeous flowers from one of my sweet boys,
~ and a wonderful grownups only dinner with my Love.
~ also extremely grateful my Facebook hack incident was quickly cleared up and all accounts restored. Social media is such a mixed blessing, but is still the most effective means of running a small business and promoting a nonprofit, so it was pretty stressful having it all shut down.
~ for a marathon of happy Gotcha Days! 9 pups have gone home to their forever families! Just one lonely little boy left looking for his home!
~ for an entertaining evening watching Samantha’s 7th/8th grade drama presentation of “You Can’t Take it With You.” Sam was on the tech crew running lights and did a great job.
~ for a quick sign order! Giddyup & Whoa is semi-retired from reclaimed wood signs because of our transition of rent house to the farm, but I still do some handlettering when I get the chance. I was glad I had an unpainted sign on hand for someone who needed a gift!
~ for the beauty of spring springing all around East Texas. I was tickled to find these bright yellow daffodils that popped up at the farm. I love spring!
~ for an epic ending to Sawyer’s basketball season. His team played so well! They came away with a victory, and Sawyer scored twice (his first baskets of the season!). To say the boys were thrilled is a great understatement. It’s been so fun to watch the progress. At the beginning of the season, none of the kids new any of the rules, and Game 1 was more of a hands on lesson taught by the ref. But they had a fabulous (volunteer aka a dad who got volun-TOLD) who was patient and kind. And while they still lost most of their games, they never seemed discouraged or frustrated…because win or lose, they were actually HAVING FUN! It was a wonderful first basketball experience for Sawyer, and the big victory was icing on the cake!
As we turn another calendar page this week, I’m acutely aware of how quickly the days are flying by. Spring is coming, the world is waking up from its winter sleep, and new life is cropping up everywhere. This spring will see lots of change for our family as we prepare for another move and get the next Rucker ready to graduate high school. My heart is stirring with all the fresh change we are marching toward.
I’m not ready.
Thankfully God is. He has gone before. He has prepared a place. He is preparing all our hearts. And He will go with us.
And His grace will meet us there.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”” (Exodus 33:14)
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalms 139:7-10)
~ for a wonderful Christmas break, celebrating Jesus and enjoying our family traditions.
~ for a first-time-ever Christmas trip! We surprised the kids with a trip to a cabin in Branson, Missouri right after Christmas. We had never been before, so it was brand new for all of us. Sadly, our two oldest were not able to join us (growing up is tough!). And even though it was a 9 hour-one-way drive, we made incredible memories all along the way!
~ and to safely make it back home BEFORE Birdie has her pups (yep! Expecting ANY DAY NOW!)
We also made it back JUST IN TIME to host a dozen or so teenagers for New Year’s Eve out at the farm.
It’s been a good year.
A year of radical change.
A year of listening to the Lord and trusting where He is leading our family. A year of letting go of the expected and waiting expectantly for a new chapter to unfold.
A year of literally building a new life.
And now we stand upon a path laid out before us, and we say “YES!”
Yes, Lord, we will go. Yes, Lord, we trust You. Yes, Lord, we will lay down our plans, desires, dreams, and expectations and submit ourselves to YOUR PLAN ALONE.
This is not “our year.”
May we love like Him; forgive like Him; serve like Him. May we look more like Him at the close of 2023 than we do today.
Happy New Year, friends.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)
~ for so many kind words, messages, and prayers after last week’s blog post. I know I’m not alone in dealing with anxiety, especially during the holidays. The range of emotions and the breakneck pace are a volatile combination. But God is so good.
~ for grace during the Christmas CRUNCH! Last minute shopping, searching frantically for the gifts I KNOW I BOUGHT but somehow can’t find (because I tucked them somewhere SO SAFE), the returns of the duplicates I bought to replace the gifts I couldn’t find (but then found🤪)…traffic that makes me need extra Jesus, and 10,364,292 Christmas activities/events/parties that are all scheduled back to back to back.
~ for a fun road trip to celebrate Grandmommy’s birthday! Which also is the annual kickoff day for a favorite tradition: the 12 Days of Christmas! Grandmommy is so thoughtful and creative to come up with 12 gifts for our family, and we all have a blast singing the song each night and opening a new surprise! So grateful for such a special tradition.
~ for the incredible opportunity to make a special trip to Dallas representing Gold Network of East Texas for a long-awaited, IN PERSON check presentation. Each year we donate toward ongoing pediatric cancer research projects at Children’s Health/UTSouthwestern. The past two years we have helped fund research being conducted by one of Sawyer’s most beloved oncologists, Dr. Sam John, but hospital pandemic precaution protocols prevented us from donating in person. A virtual check presentation just isn’t the same. So it was priceless to actually make the trip to Dallas and reunite Sawyer the Warrior with Dr. John, look him in the eyes, and thank him for the important work he is doing.
And we always love the Hero’s Welcome Sawyer receives when he walks his old halls. These doctors and nurses are so very dear to us.
~ for a great trip for Josh and Cooper to watch the Carthage Bulldogs claim their 9th State Football Championship. The kids and I watched and cheered from home. Way to go, Bulldogs!
~ for lots of good progress and backbreaking hard work going on in and around the casita. Septic went in this week! Looking forward to a REAL POTTY soon!
~ for beautiful encouragement from our Father. It’s so easy to let “the season” sweep us away from the Truth. To get off track, lose heart, lose faith in people (and yourself), and see the ever-darkening darkness creeping in around us.
He was and is and always will be the Light of the World. He’s STILL HERE. There’s always HOPE. We will always have questions, but HE IS THE ANSWER. And not just in heaven, when this broken world has been made new. He is the answer RIGHT NOW. As long as we are breathing, we have work to do here: repentance to own, people to encourage, the gospel to share. He has peace and FULLNESS OF JOY for us on this earth, when we take His Hand and offer Him His rightful, Righteous place. Emmanuel, God with us.
May we seek Him.
May we find Him.
May we share Him.
I’m so grateful for you, friends.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” (Matthew 1:21-23)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.” (Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Out of nowhere. NOWHERE. For no reason at all, relentless waves of anxiety violently attacked. I felt fiery stabs through my heart and hundreds of pounds of weight pressing on my chest forcing the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. Silent tears began to well as the radio began to mock, “it’s the most won-der-ful tiiiiime of the yeeeeear…” And I knew even in that moment that I’m not alone in this. So many people are hurting and struggling right now. The sensory overload. Family drama. Money stress. Social anxiety. Loneliness. Loss. Anxiety sucks. PERIOD.
He truly is Emmanuel, God With Us.
EL ROI, the God Who Sees
Yahweh-Jireh, LORD will provide.
He is faithful in the good. He is faithful in the hard. He is faithful in that agonizing divide between the good and the hard.
Whether your week has been great or the best part of your week is knowing that it’s almost over, HE IS FAITHFUL.
Count your blessings.
Be somebody’s blessing.
And keep on trucking.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”” (Genesis 16:13)
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” (Psalms 119:114)
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)
~ for a glorious week of lazy mornings, endless cups of coffee, stirring and mixing and baking. We even enjoyed an outdoor movie night with friends complete with campfire and hot cocoa!
But ok, let’s be real – it wasn’t all glorious. Teenagers were teenagers, kids got on each other’s nerves, on my nerves, and the kitchen looked like a war zone. But it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
~ for a wonderful, memorable Thanksgiving. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the company was rowdy and loud and jolly. We paused to reflect on Thanksgivings past, and shared hilarious and heartfelt stories from years gone by. We chicken danced in our chicken hats. It wasn’t all refined and Norman Rockwell-esque. It rained all day, we had to drastically modify Pumpkin Olympics, some folks were late, and some couldn’t come at all. Someone locked the kids out of the playhouse, and there were no sweet potatoes. But it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
~ for an awesome post-Thanksgiving huddle at our house to stuff our faces a second time with leftovers while cheering on the Carthage Bulldogs to a playoff victory. We ate and munched on delicious fried turkey and succulent glazed ham, and even sweet potatoes made it to the party. Family and old and new friends filled our little home, and we all had a ball. Not quite everyone was able to make it, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
We started the swap from fall decor to Christmas today. Everything is different from years’ past, and we are figuring it out as we go along. We don’t have the space we used to have, or the ability to DIY or modify anything. I get kind of grumpy and overwhelmed when faced with the seemingly monumental tasks before me (but remain too much of a control freak to delegate). PTSD and anxiety love to creep in (or clobber) unexpectedly, and rob the joy from the simple pleasures like watching the kids overflow with excitement as familiar decorations emerge from their boxes.
But I’m thankful for the reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. We miss our loved ones who are gone while we hold tight the ones who are here another year. We wipe up the spilled cocoa and add a few more marshmallows to the cup. We eat the burned cookies and ignore the clumpy icing. We run endless errands in violent traffic and spend more money than we should even when we promised we’d stick to the budget this year. We’ll get the wrong size sweater or forget to make a vegan side dish for Aunt Fran and forget the White Elephant gift for the party.
But Jesus still came.
He left His perfect home with His perfect Father to come down to this broken world.
He came to a terrified teenager in a filthy barn, to a people who didn’t recognize or appreciate Him.
Yet He came.
He came and He stayed and He taught and He healed and He LOVED.
And then He willingly sacrificed Himself for our sins, the sins of then and the sins of now and all the sins yet to be.
Perfectly beautiful Savior.
Lord, give us eyes and hearts to see YOU in the midst of the mayhem we create.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
~ for a week of good eats: delicious homemade burritos with fresh white-corn-jalapeño salsa,
breakfast date with Josh and Tatum K,
ooey-gooey, cheesy, decadent quesadillas from Ruby’s,
and for the rare joy of finding my ultimate favorite (but NEVER IN STOCK) chips! Haven’t found them in months. I downed TWO BAGS bags this week!
~ for our sweet dogs. Bear and Birdie are smart and funny, and add so much love to our family.
~ for a great time at the Vintage & Co “Christmas in the Country” Sale. Giddyup & Whoa was a featured vendor with stacks of handpainted woodburned wood slice ornaments and one massive reclaimed wood statement piece. I love painting for Christmas, and this is a favorite sale. Still have a few ornaments left if you need to snap some up for teacher gifts or for your own tree.
~ for the cutest cheerleaders you ever did see.
~ for a fun school event for Zoe who dressed as Queen Elizabeth I for the 5th Grade Historical Living Wax Museum. Especially thankful for a friend who came in clutch with a dress when I realized the night before that I couldn’t find our box of queen costumes!
~ for a proud moment as Sawyer received a chapel award for the Character Quality of RESPECT. So thankful for his loving servant’s heart. (He was NOT IMPRESSED when his mama burst into R-E-S-P-E-C-T. But how could I not????)
~ for Tatum K’s very first Thanksgiving Feast at school. Her smile sparkled and those blue eyes just shined with joy.
~ for Sawyer and his best buds having a ball encouraging classmates to participate in Operation Christmas Child.
~ for lots of progress on the farm. The fence is growing,
the sheet metal continues to go up,
and we’ve got the propane heater and the TV running so we can battle the cold and celebrate the most special moments together – like double decker Cowboys + Chiefs victories today! Let’s Go!!
Days are flying by. How can it be Thanksgiving week already? I find myself rushing things along one minute, and then dragging my feet the next. The ever-present delicate tension of giddyup and whoa. I resist change, but everything’s always changing. I want to savor time with my babies, but they’re not babies anymore.
We have to hold on for the ride.
He is faithful and good. Sometimes I’m excited about what He’s doing, and sometimes I don’t understand at all. I don’t get His timing, I wonder about His methods. And sometimes I think He missed it completely, even though I know He knows. But then come those rare moments…those moments when He cracks open a window to let a glimpse of His glory out…and the doubts melt away. I stand in awe. This loving and mighty and merciful and beautiful and terrifying Father is perfectly writing this story, and allowing us to enter into the process with Him. What a gift.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”(Psalms 33:3-8)
“By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas; Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power; You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples. They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs; You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.” (Psalms 65:5-8)
~ for sweet smiles from this sweet girl. She did this puzzle all by herself!
~ for a deliciously ooey-gooey grilled fried-green-tomato-pimento-cheese sandwich on buttery sourdough.
~ for an exciting surprise in the mail for Sawyer. He received an official championship ring from Derek Holland and his friends from the Celebrity Softball Classic that we attended back in June. Watching his gleeful amazement was priceless!
~ for a new baby calf next door.
~ for a fun Homecoming week for Cooper. He had the honor of being asked to emcee the Homecoming Pep Rally, and did a FANTASTIC JOB. He is so in his element on a microphone in front of an audience! And then he had a great time in the pouring down rain cheering Cougars to a Friday night victory and then a great night with his friends at the Homecoming Dance on Saturday. How is this his Senior Year???
~ for the most delicious homemade tamales with fresh salsa.
~ for new growth. Last weekend we spread grass seed and wildflower seed: Texas bluebonnets, red poppies, black-eyed Susan’s, crimson clover, and other assorted native wildflowers. 7 days later, we have sprouts!
~ for a fun night hosting our church youth at the farm. Two-touch football + volleyball + a bonfire + hot dog and marshmallow roasting made for a lively evening with a terrific group of kids. So special to be able to share our Happy Place. I can only imagine how many gatherings we’ll get to host. Thank You Jesus for this ever-unfolding-dream-coming-true.
I’m thankful for the discipline of Sunday Gratitude, and the accountability to meet here each week to count my blessings. Y’all, sometimes it’s not easy. The world weighs. Irritations mount. Another fire flares up as soon as I put one out.
This week felt more yucky than good.
I was having a long talk with one of my kiddos who was having a hard time. I shared about starting Sunday Gratitude 8 years ago, when I realized I needed to look past the insurmountable trials that were all around me and focus instead on whatever blessings I could thank Jesus for, however small or insignificant they might seem. To transform my self-focused lowly attitude (however justified it might have been) to one of humble gratitude in the midst. I told my child, I could write about (insert current trial) and (insert current irritation) and (insert current disappointment). I could write about sickness and building delays and gas prices and politics. AND ALL THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE.
Because all the blessings are true too.
So where should I focus my gaze, focus my energy?
If we become what we consume, do I want to fill myself with grumbling and self-pity; or rather with praise and thanksgiving?
My faith is small, but my God is BIG.
I am weary, but He is FAITHFUL.
Whatever you are facing, friend, hold fast. You do not walk alone, and better days are coming. See the good. It’s there, if you only look.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (I Chronicles 16:34)
This week one of our brave and beautiful HEROES finished her battle and leapt with joy into the arms of Jesus.
Bristell, aka Bristell Brave, fought cancer not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. Her parents and her doctors did everything they could, but her cancer was aggressive and devastating.
Today her family celebrated her short but inspiring, joy-filled life and laid her earthly body to rest. Family, friends, and her fiercely loyal Tribe of supporters wore orange (the ribbon color for leukemia) to honor the memory of the vivacious little princess that we had all fallen in love with.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate cancer?
I look at my boy, with inextricably intertwined gratitude and guilt for his healing. I think of how many friends he has lost. Micah, Anna Luisa, Sophie, Ceely, Lucas, Noah, Harold, Brock, Luke…
But oh, how I love Jesus.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The ONLY door to life everlasting, where there are no more tears, no more sorrow, no more cancer.
Please pray for Bristell’s family. They know she’s whole and healed and dancing with Jesus. But there will always be a gaping Bristell-sized hole in their hearts until they are reunited one day.
Love your people well. This life is short. Too short to waste. Trust Jesus as your Savior before it’s too late.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalms 119:49-50)
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”” (Revelation 21:1-4)
So I know I dropped a bomb last week. But first things first…
Sawyer asked Jesus into his heart to be his Lord and Savior! We are REJOICING! He asked us lots of questions, and we asked him lots of questions, and it is abundantly clear that he knows exactly what he is doing and why. What rejoicing there is in heaven!
Now, on to our other news. It’s been a long and complicated road with lots of twists and turns, but it finally looks like it’s actually going to happen. We are moving!
I know what you’re thinking, and trust me, we’ve been thinking the same thing ourselves. WHY!? We love our house and our neighborhood so much. We have worked so hard on it to get it just exactly the way we wanted, and it’s just so perfect for us. Almost 6 years ago we asked the Lord for this, and He delivered BIG TIME.
But we are entering into a new season with lots of fear and lots of trembling, but also lots of excitement. And He has shown us that the time to leap is now.
We are building a house in the country!
We found a breathtaking 10 acre tract of land, and the kids are all-a-flutter, choosing names for pet chickens, thinking about pygmy goats, and barn cats, ATV riding, and even a horse!
But as of now…there is no house.
That means a pit stop in a QUAINT (aka TEENSY WEENSY, as in less than HALF the size of our current home) rent house for the next year while the farmhouse is built. All I can say is, in the beginning, Josh tried to convince me that ALL 10 of us could live for a year IN AN RV. So I’m BEYOND THANKFUL for a 4 bed, 2 bath rent house! It’s an ADVENTURE!
On every level, this change is bittersweet. We have had moments of unbridled excitement and we’ve had lots and lots of tears. It’s getting really really real. Rooms are emptying daily as we take loads to the rent house, we had a massive yard sale yesterday, clearing out 87,000 pounds of JUNK. Seriously, how could we POSSIBLY have so much STUFF!?
I have personally gone through the gamut of emotions. Fear. I hate change. Sadness. I love this house and never wanted to move. Fear again. What if our building plans fall through? What if something terrible happens? What if we regret this decision? Sadness again. The kids are going to miss their neighbor friends so much, as are Josh and I. Discouragement. The rent house is so tiny, we are going to be on top of each other and drive each other nuts. This is going to be the loooongest year ever. Sadness again. My painstakingly scraped beams. The brick floors. THE POOL! But somehow, I know it’s right. And I am CONVINCED that God has a purpose for us in our new little house in our new little neighborhood, even if it’s temporary. He’s planting us there to be a light and a blessing. And MY ATTITUDE will set the tone for the attitudes of my children. If I’m sour and negative, they will be too. I want to BUILD (our family, our kids, our literal physical house) not tear down!
So buck up buttercup!
In the midst of our reservations about the unknown, we are clinging to what God has shown us along the way. The exhortation in His Word that spoke so loudly and so clearly to both of us. Be strong and courageous and do the work. So that’s where we’re at right now.
We are grateful for your prayers, particularly this week. God’s timing often makes us simultaneously laugh and cry. Within the next 5 days we will close on selling our house, close on buying our land, spend our last night in this house, first night in the rent house, and the kids will have their last day of 11th grade, 7th grade, 6th grade, 5th grade, 4th grade, and 2nd grade, along with all the end-of-school activities that go along with that.
One last thing on the topic of BUILDING – Sawyer is participating in a childhood cancer Lego Building Challenge this week. Starting tonight, you can visit https://www.buildingsmiles.org and vote for his Lego creation. One vote per day. Sawyer’s entry is #16 in the under 10 age division. So fun!
Thank you for walking along with our family on this crazy journey. We are so grateful for all of your love and support and prayers. Looking forward to sharing this wild ride with you over the next year, and filled with expectant hope to see all that God will unfold along the way. We are not just building a house. He is building something in us, and with us. It’s not going to be easy, but IT IS going to be GOOD! Let’s GO!
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”(Proverbs 14:1)
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
““Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”” (1 Peter 2:5-6)
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” (1Chronicles 28:20)