Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Providence of God

Back at the end of March, when I stopped working, I thought it was because we wanted to restore order and sanity to our lives.  Little did I know that God had a whole different plan in the works. 

I thought I would be clearing out the clutter, going through closets and cupboards and getting rid of things and reorganizing.  Indeed that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since April…but suddenly it turned out to be for a bigger purpose. 

At the beginning of April, Chris and I were able to slip away for a little trip over to Arizona.  It was an enjoyable time away.  When we returned, Chris had a meeting at work where they announced transfer opportunities to the Dallas, Texas area for employees who were interested.  Surprisingly enough when Chris mentioned it I was game.

This would be a HUGE move for us in many ways.  So we decided to pray and think about it and make a decision before the deadline.  I could see the benefits both for moving to Texas and staying here in southern California.  As we got closer to the deadline, we decided it would be prudent for us to make a trip to Dallas and see if we liked it.  Whether we said yes or no, we needed to make an informed decision. 

In June…we flew to Texas.  To make the trip even better my sister-in-law Carol and her husband Ron drove over from Louisiana and were able to meet us for a couple of days.  That turned out to be one of the best things about the trip.  Not only where we able to spend time with them, but in their graciousness, they drove around and that allowed us the opportunity to look at houses and neighborhoods and get the lay of the land. 

Through our real estate agent, Jim Sallinger, in southern California we were able to make contact to agents Andre and Kelli Kocher in Texas.  We asked if they would be able to show us some homes, even though we didn’t know if we would be moving.  Seeing homes proved to be valuable in helping us make a decision. 

We looked at new homes and some existing housing.  Coming from California we were amazed at how much house you can get for your money in Texas compared to California.  Several of the cities we liked were Flower Mound, Lewisville and North Carrollton.

The pressure to make a decision weighed even heavier when we returned home.  We knew the deadline was coming and we kept going back and forth on what we should do.  Do you ever wrestle with God?  Well I sure was wrestling.  But in some respects I felt comfortable with whatever decision we made.  But I also felt the Holy Spirit was challenging me to not cling to things and people and even our church.  As good and precious as our family, friends and church home are, we need to be willing follow God when He says go. 

Finally, the day came when we made the decision to move.  It was a relief to finally make a decision and not waver back and forth between two good options.  It seemed like in retrospect God’s leading and direction to move was clear after we made that decision.  I think if we decided to stay, to some degree, that decision would have been based on fear and not trusting God. 

Since that decision was made, we’ve been getting the proverbial ball rolling.  We contacted our real estate agent and have been getting some general repairs and maintenance taken care of before we put our home on the market.  Now all that’s left is to spiffy up the yard a bit with the help of a landscaper.  Once that’s done…we will be a go for having our home up for sale.  It’s looking like it will be within the next few days. 

Golly…I’m sure glad that I didn’t know all the work that was involved in getting ready to put our house on the market.  It isn’t until you are faced with moving that you realize just how much stuff you have.  Oh my goodness…it has been positively daunting some days.  We’ve been filling up our trash cans to the brim each week.  I’ve made numerous runs to drop off clothing, books and home goods to a local charity.  Add to that the runs to Fed Ex to bring bags of papers to shred.  Just this week, I finally redeemed my change I’ve been saving for the last five years.  I had to do it on two different days because it was so heavy.  I’ll tell you…you don’t realize how much money you can save painlessly just by tossing change in to a jar.

Today our realtor was here taking pictures of the interior of our home.  Within the next couple of days, the yard work should be completed.  Before long we will have an open house.  I think it’s going to be a challenge for me to keep our home “show ready” every day.  Thank goodness I don’t have to work outside the home.  Because I’m at home…I can take the time to vacuum and make sure things are shipshape.  We’ve de-cluttered and have a minimal amount of things out.  The benefit is that it’s a whole lot easier to clean now.

I’m praying that our home sell quickly so that we can move on to this new chapter in our lives.  At the same time, I want to trust God with His perfect timing and plan. 

We are already praying for the people that will purchase our home.  I would love for a Christian family to purchase our home to be a bright and shining light for the Lord in this neighborhood.  I’m praying that God is going before them and helping them to sell their home and have the finances that they need.  That the Lord will give them wisdom and that they will have peace and be in unity on the decision.  We’ve enjoyed our home.  It’s an older home from 1962 and thankfully we’ve been able to invest and improve our home.  I hope that whoever buys it is able to make it their own and enjoy this quiet neighborhood.

We are very excited at the prospects of moving to a whole new area of the country.  We are praying that the Lord will lead us, not only to find a new home, but a new church home.  We are already starting to look at some churches. 

We will greatly miss our precious family and friends, but hope that they may be able to come visit us in Texas. 

A couple pieces of counsel we received have stuck with me.  “Just because you move, doesn’t mean you lose friends.  You make new ones and keep in touch with your old friends.” – Ron Jackson.  “Moving to Texas will be good for Chris and Susan.  It won’t be Chris’ stuff or Susan’s stuff but it will be theirs together as a couple.” – Molly Connor. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Battle Lines

Today the battle is on
The fighting is fierce
My enemy is cunning and strategic

Help me to not fight alone
Or rely on my own strength, wisdom, power and might
May I have the victory in Christ alone

Before the battle begins let me prepare my mind
Thoughts taken captive in obedience to Christ
The victory will begin with praise and thanksgiving

Through this battle
May You be glorified, honored and praised
When the evening falls may I stand victorious in Christ

by Susan Wachtel
July 25, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

God vs. Giants

I think I’ve gotten my eyes off the Lord and have been focused on the giants in the land.  I see myself in comparison to them and see how weak and inadequate I am for the challenges ahead.  Lord…help me to lift my eyes unto You and keep my focus on You alone.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity – Interesting & Insightful

It’s been my privilege to read Paul McCusker’s book C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity.  I didn’t want to rush through this book because I was learning about C. S. Lewis, the events that help shape him and the formidable works he produced that would impact Christianity and the common everyday Christian, even up to this present day. 

In the book, as the subtitle states, I was learning about “The Crisis That Created a Classic.”  I must confess I am woefully ignorant about much of World War II history.  It was very sobering reading about the long and great suffering that the people of Great Britain enduring during World War II.  I learned a lot and gained a new appreciation for the people, what they suffered, and the strength and character of the WWII generation.  How different our world would have been if they had not persevered and triumphed over evil.

One of the things I appreciated about this book is that the author interspersed sidebars with detailed information about people, places, and events that were part of C. S. Lewis’ life.  The reader will benefit and learn from the detailed research that went into this book.

I feel like I gained peek into the life of C. S. Lewis and I think that will help me as I read his work.  It was very interesting learning how some of his most well-known works came to be. 

If you are an admirer of C. S. Lewis, apologetics or have an interest in World War II, I would highly recommend this book.  Paul McCusker did an excellent job of painting a picture of C. S. Lewis and Great Britain during this transformational time in recent history.

I would like to thank Tyndale House for providing me with a copy of C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity to read in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Scripture Art

At church this summer the Women’s Ministry is offering a class on Scripture Meditation and Art Journaling. 

Last week we had our first class and it was great fun.  It was a time to slow down and read through a passage of Scripture and ask questions and dig deeper. 

After the studying the scripture we had time to learn how to do scripture art. 

I’m not an artist by any means.  I love photography and I love to write…but that’s where my creative juices stop.  Nonetheless, I would love to learn how to do scripture art and journaling.  So I’m giving it a try.

This is my first attempt at scripture art based on a Scripture verse from our Sunday morning Bible study.  I hope to improve overtime.  One great thing about this technique you are writing out the Scripture verse several times so it will help with memorizing a verse.

I’m learning that just because I’m not great at something, especially when I first try it, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t continue to work on it.  Hopefully, with time I’ll improve but more importantly that I will let the scripture work in me and change me as I focus on the Word of God.

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard – Too Many Twists and Turns, Not Believable

Deadly Target is Elizabeth Goddard’s second book in the Rocky Mountain Courage series .   I looked forward to reading it because I’ve enjo...