Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Quick Weekend and We're Off...

This weekend we drove to Waco Friday night for Doug's 20th high school reunion. We could only make the football game festivities because we had to leave for McKinney (north of Dallas) on Saturday morning.

In McKinney, we stayed with Doug's brother, Doak, his wife, Pam, and their 5 children. We had a great visit and it was very relaxing. Doak is the pastor of Lifepoint Fellowship Church in McKinney, and this morning, Doug had the opportunity to share a little about our journey in missions. Doak also delivered a word from God this morning reminding us how we are to embrace the sovereign plan of God. Taken out of II Samuel 10:12, the author says, "Let the Lord do what pleases Him (or what is good in His sight)."

I may make this journey to Africa sound semi-easy on my blog, but it has really been a process, and I still struggle some days with all the changes going on. I'm not NOT wanting challenges; I'm just taking each one as it comes and praying through it. It's definitely growing me, but it's good to hear that by embracing God's sovereign plan, it makes it that much easier. And who wouldn't want to not only embrace His plan but live in His embrace as He takes me through it?

Doug and I are headed to Rush, Colorado, tomorrow for 5 days to learn how to "live off the land." I don't know what all that means, but I'll let you know when we return. We were told to bring gloves and work clothes. A man who lives there is going to show us the "ins and outs" of solar power and I'm guessing, a whole lot more.

If you happen to look up Rush, Colorado, on a map, you will see that it may not be possible for me to use my computer all week, so I will post again when I can.

Thanks again for the prayers you are already offering up. They rise like sweet-smelling incense to the Lord, and He hears every one!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One down, everyone else to go

Well, I had my first official "Goodbye" yesterday. My sister and her three boys have been visiting here from Costa Rica for a couple of months, and we have been spending a lot of time in Yoakum together so the cousins could play together and the sisters could visit.

It was a lot of fun.

We went to NASA.

We did the splash pad "thing."

We even did the grandchildren picture for my parents. It was sad for my mom and for me that this is the last picture with all nine grandchildren for three more years.

Of course, they don't always go as planned.

Besides the fact that God blessed us tremendously at the garage sale, the only other thing I'm thankful for was that it made me so tired and ready to be home, that I didn't cry when leaving my sister...until I was 7 miles away. Kylie didn't see me tear up, but she started crying a few miles later over her cousins. This is hard. I'm not going to pretend it's not, but I feel confident knowing we are right where we are supposed to be with the Lord.

Even though I am in God's fold of sheep, there are yet others out in the pasture still in danger of being attacked by wolves or getting tangled in thorns and vines. I'm thankful that followers of Jesus get to be a part of gathering the lost sheep into His fold, where they can find love, security, and hope.

Both sets of sheep endure the elements and harsh conditions, but only one group can call on the Shepherd and know He is right beside them. Believe me. I'm calling on Him daily! We've got a few sheep of our own to shepherd.

Our junk on display

Well, I followed Doug back from Yoakum with some more of our stuff. I'm amazed at how closely this photo resembles the stock photo from my last post.

We had a late start and ended up working in our friend's garage until 1:30 in the morning (pretty normal for crazy people who embark on such adventures).

Our friends Cole and Erin(who hosted our African dinner) offered to let us use their garage because there is better traffic in their neighborhood and half of my garage is filled with empty boxes that have to be filled in the next couple of weeks to head back to Yoakum.

At 5am, our sweet, sacrificing friends, went to put out signs, while we pulled everything out of the garage and made sense of the madness we had created the night before. Erin made coffee and had purchased cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and various snacks for the day. I LOVE friendship! Friendship in Christ is even twice as nice!

God blessed our sale, and we only had one small truckload to bring home. I guess I should have done like our other missionary friends and had a multiple-day sale, but I'm not sure my body could have handled it. At the end of the day, I wanted to scream, "Back your truck up and take it all, please."

Even from the beginning, I knew I wasn't the person to be pricing all our stuff, because I would just give it away. I'm the person who never takes a receipt even when I donate to Goodwill. I just don't care. I want it GONE. "5 cents? Sure. No problem. That's probably a good price for my golf clubs." "25 cents? That ought to be fine. James Avery is really good stuff."

We were left with a twin mattress, box springs, and my golf clubs that I might can sell on craigslist. One of my friends says she wants our shelves. My brother wants the office chair. I'm hoping a church library would love a generous contribution of Doug's ministry books, and maybe my hometown library would like some more VHS tapes for their "checkout" section. The rest of the kids' toys and lagniappe can just go to Goodwill. THEN, I can check "Sell Stuff" officially off our list.