Our Journey through the Desert and Back Again

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on our journey across America. In fact, it’s been a full ten months since I wrote the last blog post. (You can find that here.) I know many of you have been wondering, “What about Hawaii?”, “When will they get to Hawaii?” And to be honest? We were wondering the same thing for almost half a year. This is one of the reasons I’ve taken so long to give an update–any update–on where/how/when we were going. It’s hard to tell others what the plan is, when you don’t even know yourself, right? Right.

To sum up the past few years (for those that my have missed it or just plain forgot!) our adventure west began shortly after Tim’s mother, Irene, passed away in 2011. Over a matter of months both Tim and I felt led by God to begin selling our stuff and pairing down what we owned. We also sold our house and moved into a rental so we could be ready to “go where God led” when the time was right. Fast forward to January 2015, and we finally felt like we got a clear answer on exactly where to go: Hawaii. It took a year and a half and countless confirmations to finally get us out the door and headed in that direction. We landed in Phoenix, AZ simply because the logistics of moving a family of five (and the possessions we still had) across the pond to an island was much easier said than done. We decided to move in faith and let God handle the details, as He had been doing thus far. 

But what do you do when God has given you a direction and then things don’t turn out the way you had planned? What is a family supposed to think when God has laid it on their hearts to adopt a child, yet at every turn the paperwork is denied and the process seems to move backwards and not forwards? Or what about that person who feels led to begin a ministry, yet each time they seek to begin the work, something stands in the way and brings things to a halt? For years I’ve known countless Christians that have faced these very situations, even though God has clearly given them the desire and motivation to do what they were called to do. What do we do with that?

Where has God gone when He falls silent? Continue reading

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Coffee Shop Chat: Interactive Reflection

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What’s a Coffee Shop Chat? 

There are a ton of writers out there in Blog-Land, and sometimes it’s just hard to connect. We are so focused on writing our next blogpost/ working/ schooling/ dealing with family stuff – we forget how much fun it can be to just sit and talk! 

Coffee Shop Chats are one way you can connected with other writers, readers, bloggers, whoever! It’s a time to just share, laugh and drink a cup of coffee (or two.) You can share exciting events from the week, the latest book that’s inspired you, a great movie you’d like to recommend, or even share prayer requests. All the things you would share if we were sitting in a coffee shop together, spending an hour away from the cares of the world. 

You can post whatever, whenever you like! Don’t forget to add your ‘link-up’ to the bottom of the original post on my friend Tessa’s blog (listed above). That way we can all find one another and can respond to one another’s blog posts. Click here to go directly to her blog and scroll down to see the Guidelines section and the How to Post section, once you’re ready to participate! Don’t forget to comment on other bloggers posts first (mine counts!) and to answer and include CONVO STARTERS!

Ready? Ok, let’s get together! Continue reading

Just be brave.

Just be brave. These three little words seem to have become my mantra, of late.

For those that have been following our Big Fat Adventure to Hawaii, we have finally made it through the first leg of our journey there. We’ve landed in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ and will be here for an unknown amount of time, until God opens the door for us to move on to our final destination. (Woo Hoo!) Until that time, we are living in a Hyatt hotel room with no job and no permanent place to live. Scary. Tell me about it. 

Just to pick up our family and move everything we own across the country took a massive amount of bravery. And it was only possible because of the promises God has made to us over and over again, in His Word.

Last night I was invited to a Writers Workshop meeting and discovered I would need to hop on the highway that wraps around Phoenix – a feat easier said than done. There are waaaay more lanes than I was accustomed to in Lancaster – some entrances onto the highway even accompanied by a stoplight!! My husband offered to drive me but I told him, “No”. I needed to be brave.

Once again, while at the meeting, the teacher asked multiple times for us writers to be brave and share our work out loud so we could encourage and critique one another.

Be brave, be brave, be brave. 

This seems to be all my life consists of right now. But I’m ok with that. There are worse things I could be learning at the the age of forty-one. ‘Cause each time I’ve been brave and have stepped out in faith or confidence or whatever you want to call it, I’ve always (always) had a sense of peace. Accomplishment. Like just being brave in the first place was all I needed, regardless if I actually failed or succeeded in my task.

Being brave in and of itself is a reward. 

So I encourage each of you to be brave today. Do something you might not consider doing. I challenge you to step out of that comfort zone and do something big. You can do it!

Happy reading, friends!

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Doors.

Three weeks.

That is how long we have left to live in our little town of Lititz. If you’ve been following my previous posts about this bigger than big plan that God has laid on our hearts (which you can find here, here and here) you will know that in less than a month, my family of five will depart our home on an adventure! And my, how God has opened doors we never imagined would be opened, when this all began… 

First there was the calling… Just over a year ago, my husband and I felt that God had answered years of prayers with one little word: Hawaii. Neither of us had ever lived there, or even visited for that matter, and we certainly didn’t have any family there. But that location was repeatedly laid on our hearts and we were confident we’d received (numerous) confirmation that we should head there.

The only problem was, when? There had never been a specific timeframe given in which we should go, so we did what any crazy-excited family of five would do when called to a tropical exotic location that people only dream of living: We set our own date. Our family and friends were informed that we’d likely be gone by end of 2015, and we even began to sell off our furniture. Except that God hadn’t actually given us a date to leave. So, when the end of the year rolled around and we had no urgency to leave we were… confused.

Then we finally had peace in our hearts for a date to leave… Spring. This was confirmed through various other sources (although the exact date in spring changed from early April to late May). But there was one single door God had ‘forgotten’ to open – a job in Hawaii. So, after much prayer, we decided to ‘think outside the box’. How might God get us there? Maybe a move in the right direction would be a good first step? Tim started applying for short term positions on the west coast and immediately had his ‘dance card’ full of interviews. Yes! Confirmation that we’d done something right! 

And then came that moment when I needed to stop controlling the situation… Tim had accidentally applied for a long-term position and they were very interested in him. ‘Oh no! What if he was hired!’ It would be so hard for us to turn down a job (when he’d been applying for 9 months solid!) just because it would hold us in our temporary place for too long. We were supposed to go to HI, right? Right. But God is good, even to those of us who are a bit slow at times. He spoke to me through a good friend of mine: Don’t limit God’s plans. If He gets you to HI a little later than you thought, it doesn’t mean it’s not His will. 

Whoa, hold up. Had I been limiting God with my assumptions? Continue reading

the same faith

Today is April 2. That means May is less than a month away. Our departure date to move across the country is supposed to be sometime in May. And we still don’t have a job, or a place to live, or even a destination.

Talk about scary. 

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Let’s go back to the beginning… Five years ago, my husband and I began to feel an urging to downsize, an idea that was planted in our minds that we were meant to move somewhere, but with a lot less stuff. So we started the arduous task of sifting through all the junk in our garage. A year later, we felt like the Lord opened the door for us to sell our house and we eventually moved into a rental. Again, there was some serious downsizing, as our family of five moved to 1000 sq. ft. of space. Fast forward to February 2015 and we finally got a clear call to where we were to move our family: Hawaii

You may have seen other posts on this topic, and to answer your question, no, we’ve never visited there and have no family in that area of the world. So, when I say this is a leap of faith, it’s some serious stuff. After talking about it for a few months, we truly felt that God told us to quit a perfectly good job and leave the only place we’ve ever lived. (Well, in our 16 years of marriage, anyway!) To do this would require that we sell almost all of the rest of what we own, and move to a brand new place empty handed. But we were definitely on board. This was a big fat adventure led by God, right?

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What about Hawaii?

A while ago (a very, very long while ago) I posted about a bigger than big decision our family had come to: our move to Hawaii! Since that time, many of you have asked how plans are going, and more importantly, WHEN it will happen?! Here’s an update on the process and what God is doing in our lives.

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It was exactly one year ago that Tim and I felt a peace from God that we were to pack up and move our family to Hawaii. Why Hawaii? Well, we had no idea. Neither of us had ever visited and it definitely wasn’t on our radar to move there. But, in obedience, we chose to continue to pray about it and allow God to lead us where He chose. Fast forward a few months and we made the official announcement to family and friends.  Continue reading