Grounded

Loved this message from God-Sized Dreamers!

Loved this message from God-Sized Dreamers!

Several months ago, knowing this whole jump to College Station would be hard and that there were endless details that needed to fall into place (expecting that all of them would before the move), I honestly looked at my Chris and sincerely asked, “Can you just knock me out and wake me when it’s over?”

And on this side of the jump, with details still not all tied up with a bow, some days I wish he had!

I feel electrified–like all the hairs are standing on end–and sensitive to any stimuli (good and bad).

I am unsettled in many ways…and I am edgy.

Upon telling my Chris this, he sweetly did not feign shock, but gently said, “You know what you do, when you feel this way?  You get grounded.”

And I know the answer.  I know that getting grounded is staying close to Jesus in prayer and song and in His Word.  But sometimes, I just feel the “feels” of this time.  And they are not all controlled and expected….they are various and come unexpectedly.

If you ever pray for God to increase your faith, as I have, you need to to be aware: This is a very dangerous prayer.

The only way for that to happen is to not be knocked out, while many months of surgery work to rewire your way of living, thinking, and existing.  Really it is more than existing…it is jumping without knowing if your landing will be safe or how long the fall will actually last.  It is deciding that normalcy and comfort will never again be achieved. Feet dangling in the air, wanting to find a landing spot.

Everything will begin to be a training of walking day-by-day, moment-by-moment, holding Jesus’ hand and asking for His direction for every step.

There is no business meeting to discuss the next month’s or even next week’s or day’s agenda.  It is an ongoing meeting for the current day, about the current things going on.

Just do the next best/good thing has become my motto.

(Thanks, Julie and Beth–took both of your words to me and put them together!)

And then there are days, where I want to hide under my covers…and ask Him to increase my faith without me actually having to go anywhere or do anything. That’s really not going to achieve the goal.  But then again, I am learning that faith is really more about receiving than achieving anyway.  My job is to step into the next place he calls me to go with hands wide-open — ready to receive His gifts of grace along the way.

For today that meant meet the internet guy here at the rental home, while Chris took Tabor to the hospital to have his wrist x-rayed.  He was tackled and fell at football practice yesterday.  And it turns out, it is broken in two places.  The wonderful and godly coach is keeping him with his group, so he can play when the injury heals.  I’m so thankful that it didn’t close the door on the dream that had just begun.  Also today, it meant that I spent a goodly amount of time in the Word and in prayer.  It meant that I would use my GPS to go meet a friend for lunch, who feels like a friend and a sister to me.  It meant that I would walk outside from the A/C into the most oppressive heat.  And it meant that I would come home and do some chores, before the rest of the kids came home.  Tabor stayed home to rest and has been laughing at funniest home videos on Netflix (thank you, internet man!).

Sometimes the steps are small and the wait is long.  The phone doesn’t ring from the job interviewer.  Time marches forward and details are still not tied up.  But we are fine and cared for…just have to stay away from futuristic thinking.  It only serves to frustrate my heart and make it anxious anyway!

So for now, I am staying grounded….and doing the next best/good thing.

Maybe this resounds with some of you on your own journeys.  I’d sure love to hear about them–and would be so encouraged, too–to hear them to spur me along in my own faith.

 

Thanks, friends!

Holly

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Oh You Should Never, Never Doubt What Nobody is Sure About

My Chris and our kids quote movie lines, like I can recite nursery rhymes.  They are quick to the draw about it, too.  Me?  Well, not so much.  But some movie lines are brilliant, like today’s title from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  I have interspersed a few more applicable lines from that movie in today’s post.  They are relevant to our current journey, reflecting the deep places into which we are delving.

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So, you moved here for your husband’s job?

…A question we have been asked a lot, since we have arrived.  It is an awkward question to me, because they are asking a question they are sure about–and we have to make it unsure, as we say  what they don’t expect. “No.”  Oh, so you have family here?  Again, it makes sense! Again, “no.” Then there is the silence, as I decide how much to share…and as they wonder why we’d leave beautiful Colorado.

It’s like going into that hallway in Willy Wonka, where the door is very tiny or Wonka is very big.  But which is it?  And how it is possible? Is it worth the trip?

For some reason, and we trust it is a GOOD one, we are walking this journey in a backwards and upside-down way.  And yet, it was made possible.  No job. Rental home. Provision through the middle of October…and even medical coverage!  God has done it all.

We are unsure of every single part, but we are sure and certain that this is where God wants us to be!

And in His time, He will make a way.

“Little surprises are around every corner, but nothing dangerous.  So don’t be alarmed.”  Willy Wonka

So here’s a update of where we are…I share the details, because God is in the details…and I don’t want you to miss Him!

I left off with the lay off at Chris’ job, where he was not laid off.  Then he talked with his boss and took the lay off.  One guy, whose job was affected, chose to take the lay off.  Another guy, Chris’ good friend, got Chris’ position.  For that we were so very glad and thankful!  We pray for the company to recover and rebuild–such a great place and such good people there.

AFTER the lay off, Chris worked two more weeks.  We will be provided for through mid-October with medical coverage, too.  SUCH A BLESSING!!

Then there’s our house in Colorado…

We got an offer on August 5th in the evening.  It was a very low offer, which was super discouraging to our hearts.  But thankfully, our realtor (and my cousin by marriage!) was there to help us through and talk us through how to respond.  It’s a game–one we do not play very well.  God was good to send someone near and dear to us to help us navigate through and discern what all the language meant.

So we countered.

Before we received their acceptance, we made an offer on a house here in College Station. FIVE MINUTES LATER, the buyers for our house accepted our terms.  It was several days more before we would receive a NO from the sellers of the house we want. However, they added, when we get a job here, they would gladly take over our rental (if the landlords agree) and then we may purchase their house. So I have prayed for God to hold the house, if that is the one He wants us in.  So far, He has.  I believe that is a miracle in and of itself, because the house should have sold by now.  They have even dropped the price by $5,000!  So we are saving some!  Again, we do not “play the game” well.  We either pay what they ask, if we think it’s worth it or we don’t make an offer.  Thankfully, we have a wise agent here, who is helping us navigate this side of it, as well. (We go look at it in person for the first time today!)

So, at this point, it is Monday the 10th and we are leaving Saturday the 15th…and we have no place to land in College Station.

There was a rental right next door to the house we wanted, but they wouldn’t allow us to move in until August 31st.  That would leave us in a extended stay hotel and our animals boarded somewhere for ten days. So we chose a smaller rental, about 1540 square feet for our family of six.  3 bedrooms, 2 baths…but we are together AND we could move in on the 18th, which was perfect. This detail did not fall into place securely and completely until the 17th–the evening before we traveled down here.  Shew-ee, that was close! Thanks be to God and our awesome realtor here.

So now we are here in College Station with our most needed supplies.  We still have much to tackle…

“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”  Willy Wonka

We had a week to pack our “staged” home and do the final arrangements (unenrolling kids from school, getting a u-haul, holding mail to forward when we finally had a rental house address to give them and saying goodbye to all the loved ones we could) to make the jump here.

The drive from Colorado with our load was 19 hours to Chris’ parents–to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary and his dad’s 88th birthday on Sunday.  We were beat!  And the drive itself was quite a challenge, as we drove three vehicles…and two of us were getting sleepy behind the wheel.  The LORD kept us from danger.  We stayed a couple of days, enjoying family and friends.

We arrived here with our basic load on Tuesday, and I immediately had to begin the enrollment for all the kids.  We basically have bounced from school to school, then home for some unpacking and calling to set up utilities, then driving around to see old haunts and finally, taking the kids to some of our favorite places to eat, while we had no gas to cook with in our stove.

It has been quite busy, and yet, we are beginning to relax and rest a bit. We feel like we are in a hotel…not quite home.  But we are SO VERY THANKFUL.  For God has provided for us in abundant ways.  He has been faithful.  And He will continue to be!

Our next three big pieces are these: a job for Chris (he has a second interview/lunch being scheduled soon at the job he wants), closing on our house back in Colorado and moving the rest of our stuff here at the end of September and then hopefully buying the house we are about to go see.

We covet your prayers for us.

Jesus is making an impossible way, possible–HIS SPECIALTY!

Hitting publish today with a prayer for you all…friends, family and even strangers,who have been walking this journey with us.

Love,

Holly

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The Story

All His Promises are Yes and AmenIf you are one, who likes to read the end of the story, this is not it.  But I guarantee you, it ends well.  I have said it for months to my kids: This ends well.

I have had several people ask me, did we choose to move, because of the climate of Chris’ current work.  No.  Flat out, no.  He would work there until its last day.  He loves where he is and he especially cares about the people there.

We are going, because this vision of three pictures started something new within us. Like a match being struck in our hearts, we began to passionately feel that we are to go to College Station.  Despite our love for this wonderful place, Colorado, and her wonderful people, we know in our very marrow that there is a call to go to College Station and we said Yes.

Now let me be really clear: we are not so ding-dang important that God calls us to do something and not everybody else.  Fact is He truly is writing an IMPORTANT story over each of our lives.  HE is INDEED inviting us to join Him in that story. But often, we either are too busy or our lives are too noisy that we miss it.  Yet, He still invites…we only need to be still to hear the invitation.  And the second part is sometimes, we say No, while clinging to the comfortable things in our hand.

It’s easy to do.  And truly, I have within this very week said forget it.  Let’s just stop going.

My own kids began to pray over me that night and tell me to keep believing.  I tell you, that is something else.  And it is honest.  We can doubt.  And those doubts can be looming and large.  And we can choose.

The next day I awoke with an apology on my lips to everyone and to God.  I reminded the Lord of the parable of the one He called to do something and they said no, but did it anyway.  And another said yes, but did not do it.  I reminded God that my no to Him will always turn around to a yes.  Always.  Because I love Him, I know Him and I trust Him.  Sometimes I falter, though.

Back to the story.  We wrestle with whose story it is with God often.  Is it His or is it mine?  And the answer is that it is both.  But His story is greater than mine.  It is written over an infinite timeline.  And I get to choose to be a part of His story or to not. It is fully my choice.  No one chooses it for me.  No circumstance prevents His story from unfolding as it will.  He is greater.  And what He opens cannot be shut.  He will rescue.  He will delight.

The enemy is also writing a story for us.  And it is packed with lies and hatred–and run by fear.  We can get caught up in the rapids of it and be tossed to and fro by the waves and wind.  We can then excuse our current story, saying we cannot help it.  The winds and waves are too strong.  We are stuck.  But we have bought a lie here.  When we look around us and think we are molded by the circumstances, we BECOME molded by them–for we have given them the power to have sway. But when we look up to the Living Lord Jesus Christ and cry out for Help, He will come running to us and most certainly help.  I dare you to try it.

So facts of where we are right now in the story…

Tuesday, we knew that a BIG announcement was happening at Chris’ work on Wednesday.  We assumed lay offs were happening.  And they did.  40% of the company were laid off.  Chris was not.  Now we could cling to the safety of that–stay there ’til the next job came through and house was sold.  And I truly wanted to self-protect here.  But there were two men and two jobs fully impacted by it.  And Chris wanted to tell his boss what we are doing, so that those two could stay and have the opportunity to continue working.  So he told his boss our story.

That left us feeling very exposed.

His boss came back and asked him to stay until August 14th.  And Chris was given the same severance package everyone else got.  What favor from God.  What a gift! We were hoping, but really not entitled to such a grace.

Right now, we are preparing to head to College Station for the kids to begin school there.  Our home has not yet sold.  The next job interview has not yet happened.

But we feel God leading us in this way–to trust Him fully.  And we are.

I have had some moments of complete terror.  But mostly I feel at peace that all the myriad of details left are fully in God’s hands.  We are prayerful.  We are listening.  And we are not surging ahead on our own.

I keep reminding myself of the LORD’s heart for us–it is FOR our good and not harm. He loves us without any selfish need to control or mar us.  He loves us purely.  He invites us to walk with Him in the cool of the day still.

Right now, our plans are mostly pencil.  We are hoping to see some pieces fall into place this next week. But we do not know how or when they will…eventually they will.  And as I have been telling my kids, I am now telling myself: This ends well, Holly.

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That Place of In-Between

This from Instapray shared by Pam Farrel really encourages me today.

This from Instapray shared by Pam Farrel really encourages me today.

I met a friend last week for coffee and thanked her for inviting me, as I told her there is a weird phenomenon that comes with moving.

It’s like this…we say we are moving, we know God is leading us to do so, we don’t know when, but feel like it is this summer.  And it sort of leaves people at a loss.

They ask questions.  Are you moving, yet?  Has your house sold?  Do you have a job there? When do you think you’ll be moving?

And we are totally at a loss to answer any of those questions.  So it is awkward.

But here is what I told my friend….I feel like we are in a boat, facing in the direction of College Station.  The water is still.  The boat is not moving.  And we have been here FOR DAYS ON END. We cannot go back to shore.  We cannot move forward. We are still and waiting.  It is all in God’s hands.

So if someone wants to come and “meet” with us, they have to row out to where we are.  And that is what is happening now and again.  But on most days, it can be a lonely place.  It is just hard for people to understand and to walk very long in this uncertain place–a place of waiting.  Not many like to wait alongside….but for those who do and who are, I am ever so grateful.

One thing I did not tell my friend at coffee is something Chris remarked about this past weekend.  This environment has served to bring our family closer together.  It just has.  And it is a good thing! We will reap rewards, because of it!

I think the potential problem in relationships with friends is this:  we like to build together.  And to do that it takes time and effort.  But when you find out a friend is moving away, you tend to step back and watch, rather than jump into the story.  So a distance can happen.  And building stops. (For the record, the same thing can happen in leaving a church, which we have also experienced over the past year.  My advice is this: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM!  Don’t let the change of a church affect a good friendship! It doesn’t have to be that way.)

Some do not understand why we are moving.  And the fact is….we have been here before ( a few times actually).  We have experienced this before.  Some relationships were distanced for a time and then grew closer again.  Some were completely lost to our sorrow and regret. And some maintained the course and are growing stronger with the years.  It is a part of life.

God is so faithful to bring those far off friends across our path again.  It is His way of weaving.  He ties it all in and uses every interaction we have for good…whether now good or later good.

But the most important factor is this: we are (as best as we know how) listening to and following God’s leading.  When He says go, we go.  And in coming here to Colorado, we can all list thousands of reasons we were blessed and grew in following the LORD.  In going there to College Station, we know that we will experience the same kinds of things–all of us.  For both decisions, we are not picking a location based on our own preferences.  Though we have LOVED living here in Colorado and would love to do so much longer!  We also know that we will love being nearer to Chris’ family and that we will love being back at Texas A&M area and our old church for as long as God wants us there.

I share all this in case some of you are in this place or headed this way.  It is hard to be in the place of in-between.  I want to encourage you to press further into Jesus during these times.  For even on the hardest of days, He is closer than your breath.  He, too, has experienced the same feelings.  Press into reading your Bible–read it aloud even.  Listen to music that stirs your soul. And pour out your heart in those places.  Not an ounce of it is wasted.  It all matters…and is meaningful–especially in the still times of waiting.

God bless you all!

Holly

 

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And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

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I’m taking a break today from all our moving updates to share these pictures from our Father’s Day….it was a gift from God!

And we saw not only one,0621151757

but TWO moose!0621151818b

0621151258dYesterday, we ran away from home.  In fact we ran away, counting on God to keep all showings at bay.

0621151628aAnd HE DID!

0621151712We drove up to Estes Park, around 0621151346e

Rocky Mountain National Park (our yearly pass runs out on June 30th), and then we ended up at Hernando’s Pizza in Winter Park on our way home.

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We have a squeaky tight budget right now (thanks to all the upgrades we have added to our home for sale),

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so we planned to have breakfast at home, a picnic lunch, a couple of treats in Estes Park

0621151558a(ice cream and candy!) and then Hernando’s is really the best pizza for the cost.  We even tried a shrimp scampi pizza, and it was amazingly good!

Sometimes when I feel hemmed in by circumstances, a trip away gives me a fresh perspective that I am NOT (we are NOT) hemmed in by those circumstances, but lovingly hemmed in by God Himself.

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0621151425So today, while we face a lot of stillness and some seeming rejections, we rest in God’s care.

For He cares for us!

Amen?

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