Surrender the Farmhouse Sink

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(This is the THIRD post by my wife here on the Wading Pool.  So thankful for her willingness to take up the challenge of writing.  I think she’s doing an incredible job!)

This past Tuesday night, along with millions of other people around the country, I tuned into the season four premiere of Fixer Upper.  Matt & I have been fans of the HGTV show for quite a while now and our kids even look forward to our Fixer Upper nights!  Together we all gather around the big black box waiting to see what beautiful design Jo will dream up or what kind of crazy stunt Chip will pull.

I guess it’s only natural for me to love a show like this because I’ve had an affinity for design and decorating for as long as I can remember.  At ten years old, I would pour over the pages of my mom’s Southern Living magazines, tearing out all the house plans I could find to file away in my “dream house” folder.  Then as a teenager, I opted to take an architectural drafting class over chorus, even though I knew I’d be the only girl in a class full of boys – yikes!  And again as a newlywed, decorating our first home with its French Country kitchen and Big Bird yellow spare room.  Just ask Matt about that one – Bahahahaha!!!  Whatever the stage of life I’ve always been drawn to design, crafting and creativity.

In fact, the Big Bird room would later become the sweetest little nursery for our firstborn, with a fresh coat of paint, of course!  But from then on, I knew I wanted to create a comfy little nest for my family that we could all enjoy.  It’s something I love and find so much joy in, and even more so, if it’s done on a dime.

Through the years, I’ve tackled many DIY projects, scoured thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist for a bargain (that, I credit to my mom – the bargain-shopping queen).  I’ve sewn, recovered, or painted to revamp an item into something “new”.  But in May of 2015, I was ready for a bigger challenge….a kitchen remodel.  It would be a big project but I knew with my ideas, Matt & my Dad’s handyman skills, and the unexpected blessing of others’ generosity, we could make this dream a reality!  My design would open and brighten everything up, add a long center island, new countertops and a farmhouse sink…Sigh!  It would be beautiful…Pinterest worthy!

It was a perfect plan, but the only thing going against us was time.  A year and four months after that first #DemoDay we were finally ready to have the cabinets painted.  Yes, you read that correctly:  A YEAR & FOUR MONTHS later!  And that landed us right in the middle of our 2016 changes and stirrings!

Painting that many cabinets wasn’t something I wanted to DIY, so we hired it out and planned a last minute beach trip to get out of dodge.  We also knew this would be a great time to really quiet our souls before The Lord and seek Him.  We desperately wanted details since all we knew up to that point was that we were moving!  Wouldn’t you know it, it was the most dreary and depressing weather that week.  Instead of having lots of quiet, serene moments alone with the Lord, we were wrangling three stir crazy kids the majority of the time.  Ha!

As the week went by, we didn’t have any more clarity than when we first left home.  Since God wasn’t revealing His plan for us fast enough for my liking I was giving lots of suggestions and dreaming up plans of my own.  Plans to buy a fixer upper!  Yes!!!  I began to conjure up all the different locations we could move to, all of which were among familiar places in my comfort zone.  I stayed up searching online, into the wee hours of morning, hunting for old homes all across NC, scheming about the possibility of buying one to fix up.

But one morning after my searching, I was hit square in the face with a devotion about a woman wanting to build her dream home but needing to surrender her dreams to Him!!!  What?!!  I knew right then He was asking me to relinquish ALL of my hopes, dreams and fears not just some of them.  Here I was thinking, I was enjoying the ride, but boy, was I fooled!  I was still fighting for control but He was calling me to let go of everything from the farmhouse sink, the fixer upper house, to the state we lived.  He was inviting me out to unchartered waters.  He was reminding me to trust Him completely.

I, in my little faith, promptly told God, “Ok, but You’re going to have to give me one of those verses about doing something new … confirm it like You’ve done before”.  And of course, the very next day I opened my One Year Bible and this was the verse in my daily reading that glared back at me:

“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.”  Isaiah 42:16 NLT

What in the world?!  Wow!!!  Cue the waterworks…

And then the following day (more waterworks):

“For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”   Isaiah 43:19 NLT

It’s been two months since that beach trip. We still don’t know specifics of what He’s doing, but I do know I have to surrender, totally and completely.  I have to be willing to lay down those dreams and fears and trust that it will be ok even if I never have a kitchen with a farmhouse sink or a fixer upper in NC.  Whatever the case, I have to remember His plan is so much better than my own.  I have to turn it ALL over to Him, to seek Him first, and to trust Him with the unknowns.

When we walked into our freshly painted, finally finished kitchen back in September I squealed like a little girl and then immediately the tears began to fall.  I knew this beautifully remodeled kitchen wasn’t meant for me and that’s ok….my God is big enough to handle a farmhouse sink!

Waiting

I tweeted that yesterday. It is where my heart is right now. I was thinking about my family’s current state of limbo as we wait for the Lord to reveal to us where we are to move, and while we wait for our house to sell. Super-spiritual, right?  I failed to realize it was posted on the first Sunday in Advent. This morning, the irony slapped me in the face.

Advent is a season for waiting. It is meant to instill in us the feeling the Israelites had in waiting for the Messiah to come, to fan into flame the anticipation of all things being made right. It is intended to remind us not only of the first coming of Christ, but to get us to look up in anticipation as we wait for His second coming.

For my kids, it’s the official countdown to Christmas, and a severe test of waiting. Just this morning, my boy wanted to go to Target to get a new Lego set. When I told him he’d have to wait until Christmas, 4 whole weeks from now, he replied “But that takes sooooo loooooong!”

My sentiments exactly, son. I feel like I’ve had the same conversation with the Lord lately.

“Lord, where are we to go?”

Wait, and I will show you.

“Lord, please send a buyer for this house!”

Wait, and I will send them.

“Lord do we go right or left?”

Wait, and you’ll find out.

That’s just a snippet of the running conversation I’m having with God. To be honest, I’m struggling, y’all. If you’ve followed us so far on this journey, it’s involved a lot of waiting, but nothing like right now. It’s required obedience in stepping out from our comfort zone, taking a leap of faith. But honestly, all that was nothing like the obedience required to continue to wait. I’m a guy, we like action, getting up and doing is the easy part. Waiting is not.

Waiting is a part of what we do. And we are usually terrible at it. Like my son waiting for the opening of presents on Christmas Day, we protest at the slightest of perceived delays: the slow guy in front of us on the way to work, the long line at the checkout counter. Or less trivial, the test results to come in, the call back on the interview, the son or daughter to come home at 3 am.

Scripture is filled with waiting. Abraham waited until all hope in human means of having a son was extinguished. Joseph waited in Pharoah’s dungeon for a couple servants to remember him. The disciples waited in the upper room for the promise of the Spirit to come.

The Psalms repeatedly speak of waiting:

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!”  Psalm 27:14

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Psalm 37:7

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.” Psalm 130:5

And who can forget the most familiar verse on waiting in the Bible, Isaiah 40:31:

“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.”

And throughout the Old Testament runs the scarlet thread of waiting for the One who would crush the serpent’s head and redeem His people from the power of sin, death and the grave.

As a Christian, I’m continually faced with the hypocrisy in my heart over what I say and sing about God’s sovereignty and my inability to trust Him, to hope in Him, as I wait. Is He sovereign? Then the timing of our house selling and the revealing of our next home is up to Him, and I can wait on Him in peace knowing that.  Is He faithful?  Then I can trust that the things He is calling us to will come to pass.

I hope not in circumstances, though that’s easy to do.  I hope not in man, and I certainly hope not in myself.  “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”  

Enjoy the Ride

img_0112(Note:  This is the second post EVER by my wife here on the Wading Pool!!)

I’ve always thought I had an adventurous streak in me.   No, I’m not wild and crazy in my adventures but never-the-less a flicker of adventure has always been tucked down deep inside.  I guess I have my Dad to thank for that because it was him who gave me my first thrill seeking taste of…. roller coasters!

As a young girl, the highlight of every summer was our church’s annual amusement park trip.  Early in the morning we’d load the buses to maximum capacity, everyone already drenched with sweat from the North Carolina heat and humidity, and make our trek to one of our areas closest parks.  I couldn’t have been much older than five when my Dad first introduced me to the beginner coaster called “Scooby-Doo”.  Once the ride stopped, all I wanted to know is if I could ride again and again and again.  I was hooked!  Year after year we’d return and each year I’d be anxious to see if I’d be tall enough to graduate on to the next coaster.

Over time I did move on from the kiddie coaster to the classic, wooden coasters like the “Rebel Yell” and the “Grizzly” and eventually I conquered the “Anaconda” with it’s drops, loops, and corkscrews.  There was something exhilarating about those coasters…total abandon, hands raised, squealing to the top of my lungs took me back to that five year old little girl wanting to ride again and again.

Now that I have kids of my own I’ve tried my best to pass on this love of roller coasters to them, and I do believe I have succeeded in my mission.  In recent years, my little mini-me thrill seekers have followed in my foot steps anxiously awaiting their chance to conquer the “big daddy” coasters, but somewhere along the way I find that I’m not as free spirited as my five year old self!  Ha!

Standing in line with my girls, waiting to board our roller coaster of choice I have a moment when I start to question our decision to ride.  “What in the world are we doing?!!  This may not be the safest idea.  How high is this thing and when was it last inspected?”.  Maybe it’s all the warning signs the theme parks post everywhere.  You know the ones: if you have blood pressure or heart problems, back or neck complications, if you’re pregnant, so on and so forth… don’t ride!  Or maybe it’s the freakish horror stories that pop up in our social media feeds or on the news about theme park accidents?  Or maybe it’s the fact that I am 40 years old now and I should at least act like an adult and be responsible for the little people beside me!  Whatever the reason behind my questions, that hesitancy, dread, and FEAR sneak up on me out of no where.

It wasn’t until this past June and the possibility of change that I realized how much of that same type FEAR nagged at me from the inside.  I hadn’t realized how much fear was controlling me…. fear of the unknown, fear of the “what ifs”, fear of failure.  But yet again, God was faithful to speak to me through His Word, to confirm and comfort when I needed it most.

You see, just a few days after my 2 Kings 8 readinga dear, sweet friend added me to one of those daily scripture writing groups on Facebook.  She sent me a text message saying, “oh hey, I saw this and thought it might be something you’d enjoy”.  I’m so thankful God brought me to her attention that morning because over the next 31 days, the ENTIRE month of July, God used those scriptures in such a powerful and mighty way!  It was His voice speaking to me thru His Word, reminding me to lay those fears down at His feet and keep my eyes fixed on Him….

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”‭‭  John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭

“…. Arise, let us go from here.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭14:31

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

II Timothy‬ ‭1:7

“Only be strong and very courageou….” Joshua 1:7

“… The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”‭‭. Psalms‬ ‭118:5-6

“… You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them….” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:7-8‬ ‭

“…. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭

And friends, this is just the surface!!!  It was like God just dropped buckets and buckets on my soul.  Thank You, Lord!!!  There were also numerous times someone would send a verse of scripture to me and it’d be the very verse I had read earlier in the day, something would be said at church that tied in hand and hand, a song would come on the radio about something I was praying about earlier in my quiet time, or I’d see a devotion or article pop up in my Facebook feed that pertained exactly to what I was struggling with!  I’m telling you, ONLY GOD!!!!

I wish I could say that after the Confession & Confirmation on July 11th the fear magically disappeared, but if anything it ramped up.  My mind seemed to work overtime trying to figure out every possible “what if” scenario.  Just the uncertainty of EVERYTHING had me so fearful and anxious, but God was so gracious!  He continued to beckon me to come to Him, to take those thoughts and fears captive, to release them to Him, to stop trying to figure it all out and just rest in His arms …. to even ENJOY the ride!  To enjoy HIM!!!

You know, in complete opposition, the enemy wants to suck every ounce of life we have left in us.  And isn’t that it?  The choice we have…. Death or Life?  He knows if he can debilitate us with fear, guilt, depression (fill in the blank) it in turn, limits our effectiveness we have for Christ.  By doing so, we play right into his hands….But greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4) and He (God) blesses those who fear HIM!  (Psalm 115:11-13).  Father, may we be a people who keeps our eyes and hearts focused on You!!!  Lord, help ME to be that five year old little girl again….total abandon, arms raised, squealing to the top of my lungs….trusting in You & enjoying the ride!  Keep digging deep, friends!

* (Pic Above) 1981 – That’s me, the little one, front & center in the yellow shirt with the bowl cut hairdo and my handsome Dad on the far left with the white shirt and crossed arms.

Coffee, Confession, and a Confirmation

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If you’ve been tracking along with us on our little journey, you know that my wife shared last week how the Lord revealed to her that we are, in fact, moving.  She didn’t tell you that she decided to keep that little nugget a secret from me for THREE WEEKS, but it’s ok…I’m over it now.  Seriously.

In the space of those THREE WEEKS, the Lord was doing some work on me, as well.  I had been asked to teach at our church over 4th of July weekend, and as I prayed about where to speak from, the Lord led me to Acts 16:6-10, Paul’s Macedonian call.   As I began to study, it became clear why.

Paul, on his second missionary journey, had just come through the region of Phyrgia, which means “dry and barren.”  Considering my wife’s description of her devotional life prior to 2 Kings 8:1 (which, recall, I still did not know about!), it is very ironic now.

Paul desired to go to Asia to preach the Gospel, but God said no.  Sometimes, y’all, God says no to things that seem like great things.  God would, in fact, send Paul to Asia later (Ephesus, anyone?), but at the time, His answer was “no.” Coming out of a dry and barren place, Paul wanted to go and do something (something good, by the way), but God said “no.” I imagine that had to be a bit deflating.

Then we’re told Paul wanted to go to Bithynia, which means (you ready for this) “a violent rushing.”  Now I don’t know about you, but I have never been disappointed and then tried to rush into anything.  Nope.  Not me.

The remarkable thing to me is what’s NOT said in these passages:  Paul never seems to be discouraged.  He doesn’t turn back.  He continues on.  You know why?   I think Paul knew that, if the Lord was leading, he didn’t have to worry about the destination. God would shut the doors that needed closing, and open the right ones.  He just had to keep on following the Lord; God would take care of the rest.

It was a GREAT encouragement to me as I studied.  Here we were, in the midst of “the stirring”, and I had no clue what was going to happen.  I DID know that God was in control and that if He hadn’t shown me the path to take as of yet, I just needed to keep on trusting Him and doing what I had been doing.  As my pastor says, “when you don’t know what to do, do what you know.”

I also knew that God is not the author of confusion, and that if He hadn’t shown me the next step yet, then I didn’t need to go about trying to get into my own Bithynia, rushing into something that wasn’t of Him.  As has been so often the case in our marriage, the word from the Lord again seemed to be “wait.”

Then July 11th came.

July 11th was a Monday, which was my day off.  That morning, Amanda and I were sitting  in our kitchen, chatting about things over our morning cups of coffee.  I could tell she was still a little shook up about the possibility of us having to move (again, she had NOT told me about 2 Kings 8:1), so I, like all good fixer-upper husband-types said, in great confidence, “Babe, you don’t know that we’re moving!”

And she looked at me sideways and said, “Oh, we’re moving all right!” And finally, after THREE WEEKS, she shares with me what God has shown her in 2 Kings 8:1.

“Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.” 

So again, in utmost confidence, I said, “Well…ok…ummmm…still….it…uhhhhhh.”  Or something profound like that.  We chatted a bit more, and we said we’d continue to pray about it.  She left to run some errands, and I sat down and picked up my Bible to do my reading for the day.  I opened the app on my phone that I use for my reading plan, and my jaw hit the floor as I read the first lines:

“Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.”

You’re kidding, right Lord?   On the DAY Amanda tells me, THREE WEEKS (if I haven’t mentioned it before) after she first read it, in my daily devotions, I begin in the SAME PLACE?  C’mon!  But y’all, I couldn’t make this up if I tried!  I was completely taken aback. I texted her and told her, and it became very clear to us at that point:  we were moving.  Where?  We didn’t know, but the Lord had brought some clarity to “the stirrings” we were feeling.

When all of this began to start, back at the beginning of the year, I had no clue what was coming: maybe a shift in ministry at church, maybe we sell our house and buy a fixer upper locally. But as time went on, and the possibility of a BIG move started coming up, I knew it would have to be God. I prayed and asked the Lord that, if we were going to have to move, would He please show it to Amanda.  I couldn’t do that on my own.  If it happened, it would have to be God.

And here we were, middle of July, and He had done it.

In His way…

In His time.

He does all things well, y’all.  Even the tiny details in something like this.  So if you’re going through a Phyrgia of your own right now, a time of dryness, keep going.  Stay in prayer and in the Word.  Stay in fellowship with other believers.  Most of all, keep your eyes on the Lord.  He has promised never to leave you or forsake you, and He is so very sure to keep that promise.  For our part, like Paul, we just gotta keep following after Him.

Take Your Family and Move

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What in the world have I agreed to?!! Y’all! I’m the girl who agonizes over sending out one paragraph emails and now I’ve signed up to write blog posts….Ugh! But The Lord has continually reminded me lately that it’s time to “speak”. After holding in all the stirrings and wonders of The Lord for SO LONG it’s now time to proclaim!!!

“Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭105:1-2‬ NLT ‭

My “stirrings” started earlier this year … but they were birthed out of a very dry and barren season in my life. It was one of those times when you question over & over, “Lord, You’re still there, right?”. Each time I sat down to read The Word or to pray my brain was just mush! All of it, absolutely mush! I’d look at the words on the page of my Bible and nothing made sense; it was like I was trying to read a foreign language! Yet as time went on my questions of “where are You, Lord?” morphed into “what are You doing, Lord?” And that terrified me!!!

So before I knew it June had rolled around and we were off to visit family in Oklahoma. I think it was there that Matt & I realized we were both on the same page; some kind of change was on the horizon. We didn’t know what that meant but we knew God was working in our hearts and prepping us for something. So, we continued to pray and seek His Word, asking The Lord to show us something! Anything!!!

And boy, did He ever!!! It was the morning of June 25, 2016, we were back in NC, when I sat down with my One Year Bible. With the busy month of June and traveling I was WAY behind in my daily reading plan. Instead of picking up where I had left off and feeling completely defeated from the get go I decided to skip ahead to the current day. So fast forward I did, to 2 Kings 8, that day’s reading…

Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and MOVE to some other place, for the LORD has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.”” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭8:1 NLT‬ ‭

Holy Moly!!!! I immediately closed my Bible, jumped up from my seat, with tears in my eyes I told The Lord He’d have to confirm it over and over and over. Right then and there, I decided I’d keep this tidbit of information just be between me & Him… at least for the time being. In my mind, confessing it out loud to someone else, even Matt, just made it too real and if God was for real about this, I needed a little bit more convincing. I needed to make sure I had heard Him correctly but desperately hoping I had misunderstood!

So over the last four months, He’s made it perfectly clear that I had in fact heard Him correctly. He’s been calling me/us out … to what? We don’t exactly know yet but we’re excited to see what He has in store!

You know, each of us must walk our own unique journey. My journey may not look like yours and He may not be telling you to “take your family and move” but what is He calling you to? Have you drifted away from God and His Word? Are you in a dry and barren season where everything is just mush? Or are you just in a place of uncertainty?

Sweet friends, I want to encourage you to keep seeking Him and the truth of His Word! Keep digging deep. His love never fails, His Word never returns void and He wants you to know Him like never before!!! Whatever the journey, He wants all of us to love Him more deeply & trust Him more fully.

The Stirring

Version 2It began earlier this year, around the same time winter began to give way to spring.  It started small, creeping up on me in the middle of those night I couldn’t sleep.  It began showing up on the drive in to the office, or on a walk in the afternoon, or in a random thought in the middle of a conversation.

The stirring.

I had felt it before, over a decade ago, this unsettling feeling that something was changing, that something was coming.  That first time, it was the beginning of my move from the only job I thought I’d ever have, a sales rep in the furniture industry, into the uncharted waters of teaching middle school history and Bible.  With a toddler, and just having found out we had another baby on the way, it was a big move for my wife and I.   However, God’s hand was so clearly on the details, we knew it was what He was calling us to do.

I felt it again just two years later, a stirring in my heart that told me my time in the classroom was coming to a close.  I had no idea what I was going to do, but the one thing that was clear was that the door was shutting on my time in the classroom.  As we prayed for guidance, and as the weeks passed, one Sunday morning my pastor approached me  and asked me to pray about coming on staff at our church.  After getting my head to stop spinning, and after a few months of prayer, we knew the Lord was calling us to take that step.

As a result of that step, for the past 6 1/2 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving our church family as an assistant pastor and worship leader.  I had no intentions of doing anything else.  Through good times and bad, through trial and blessing, through successes and failures, when you know that you know that you know God has called you, you continue.  You go on.  You persevere.  Not because of your strength, but because of His.  Serving the Lord and my church these past few years have given me a much better understanding of God’s words of reassurance to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

Amen.  I remember telling my pastor when I accepted the position at church that I didn’t feel remotely qualified for it.  His response?  “Good!  God doesn’t call the qualified!  He qualifies the called!”  Anything good that has happened through me since that day is 100% proof!

But then, this year, the stirring began again.  I didn’t know what God was doing, but I knew (from past experience) that He was doing something.  And those close to me knew it, too, even if I was unable to share it with them.  They saw something in me (I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions), sensed something different.  Many would ask what was wrong.  My pat answer was all I really knew to say: “I’m good…just pray…God is doing something.”

And that was the truth. It may have left them thinking I was being evasive, but I didn’t know what was happening, what was coming…at least not for a long while.  What may seem like a really quick change for those watching us from afar was, in actuality, a year-long journey, and it was a journey that Amanda and I had to make alone.  In fact, one of the most amazing things about this path we’re on is how the Lord began stirring in each of us separately…slowly…methodically.  He was bringing us both to the same place, and He was doing it in His way, in His time.

Sometimes you don’t see the next step, and so you wait.  Sometimes, you know something is happening, but God tells you to stand still, to be patient.  That was pretty much the first half of 2016 for us.

Wait on the LORD;  Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!”  (Psalm 27:14)

But finally, near the end of June, He began to speak quite clearly and loudly, as to what He was doing.  Finally, the waiting was turning to a “go.”  And boy was it ever a go!

But I’ll let my wife fill you in on that next step on the  journey.

 

 

 

 

Changes

Change is never easy.  Most of us have at least some kind of problem with change.  But me?  I’m the kind of guy that likes things to stay the same, as much as possible.  I eat the same breakfast pretty much every day, I eat at the same couple of places for lunch every day,  I like routine and I like familiarity, and I’m a homebody.  So let’s just say that when God started to show my wife and I that the times, they are a-changin’, well…it came as quite a shock.

Lord, You’re calling us to what?!!  Leave our home?  Our church family?  My job? Our friends?  Our family?  Just up and go…somewhere?

You can understand how that would lend itself to a lot of sleepless nights, I’m sure.  And it did.  But over the course of the past year, through His Word, through prayer, through conversations, the Lord has revealed that He is, in fact, calling us out of our comfort zone and into the unknown.  He has revealed it so clearly that for us not to follow through is most definitely disobedience.  And as much as I like familiarity, I’ve been down the road of disobedience too many times to want to go there again.

My amazing wife has (finally, I might add) agreed to guest-post here at the Wading Pool about this journey.  She and I will be sharing how God has brought us to this point, and we’ll keep you updated with the goings-on of the story as it continues to unfold.  I’m so thankful to have Amanda by my side as we begin this next phase of our lives.

We were talking last night about how there is quite literally a blank slate before us!  That’s a pretty incredible (and scary) thought!  And while we don’t yet know where God is calling us physically, we know that the goal is the same:  to know Him more, to be drawn closer to Jesus, to be made like Him.  “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

Over the last year, the Word of God has come alive to us in such a powerful way.  I liken it to drinking out of a fire hydrant…you just hold on and try to take it all in!  Even as I write, it’s hard for me to express just how amazing this time has been for us as the Lord has drawn us closer to Him in the midst of it all.  No matter where He leads us, the blessing of this time has been immeasurable.

A couple weeks ago, we took our kids to the State Fair (a yearly must for our crew).  At one point, I found myself holding my son while we watched the girls, all 3 of them, ride the BIG swings.  As the ride wound up, sped up, and raised up, I saw their faces go from exhilarated to terrified, then back and forth as the ride went on.

That’s a pretty good example of how I feel right now…exhilarated and terrified.  But I know the One Who has called us…and I know He’s good.  That old quote from C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” comes to mind:  “Safe?  Who said anything about safe?  But he is good, and he’s the king.”

So here we go!  We appreciate your prayers as we continue to seek God’s leading for us.  The house is going up for sale next week, and from there…only the Lord knows!

And this guy, how is so averse to change…well, he’s kinda excited about it all!