Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why we do what we do

Today I was convicted in church...

Many of you have been following us from the beginning. You know that what motivated this typical American family to leave everything they know with no game plan was our faith. And to a certain extent you "know" what faith that is. It is no secret that we are Christians. But in todays society of relativism and personal definition what exactly does that mean?

Today, our pastor pointed out in a passage a comparison of events. In one section we are called to keep our mouths shut and we don't and in another we are called to speak and we don't. The latter caught my attention. With all of details of our life that we do share, have I fallen trap to not boldly proclaiming to you all the truth of what this family believes? Have I been keeping my mouth shut? I know! Me! Keep my mouth shut? Well, although you have all decided already that we are radical fanatics today I am going to open my mouth (something I have never really had a problem with) and explain WHY we are radically fanatic.

Everyone believes in something. The thing that sets Christianity apart from all other "religions" is what we believe in. We believe in the unfathomable power of God and we believe in the horrific substitutionary death and resurrection of His son, Jesus. We believe in the restoring power of Jesus at the hand of God. To many people Jesus is a historical figure and documented to exist in the bible and in other non-biblical publications. It is not enough to recognize that Jesus was a man who walked this earth. Other religions believe that and even many atheists (people who deny God) believe that. The power is in admitting that God is all powerful, and understanding who Jesus really is and why Jesus had to die.

There are many ways that I could clearly communicate this but I keep coming back to the way we described it to Andon and the way we will describe it to our girls when they are ready. I choose this description because of the affirmation I received in church today. Our pastor presented in a very similar way to the way we teach our kids so I guess it won't come across as to remedial.

God is perfect, pure, clean, good and just.

People are imperfect, dirty, unclean, ugly and really only care about what is best for them.

In the beginning God hung out with his humans everyday. Then Adam sinned. Adam sinned first but we are all capable of the same thing and would have done exactly what Eve and Adam did if it had been anyone of us there instead of them. Adam sinned first but the fact that we all would have done the same thing makes us just as guilty. Adam sinned first but what he really did was uncover the true selfish nature of the human.

God has high standards. By uncovering our true selfish nature we became separated from God. He could no longer hang out with humans. Not because he wasn't powerful enough to over ride the whole mess but because He is perfect and the way he saw humans was no longer perfect.

We may not have disobeyed in the Garden of Eden but we continue to make terrible choices, disobey and ignore God and every time that we do it shows up like disgusting black spots on our heart. Just like a gross disease would put black spots on our skin. A nasty disease that has no cure. Nasty, rotting flesh that stinks. Despite all of our efforts to cover it up, it is still there. And as long as we ignore our disease it will eventually get us. And when it does what would you expect to do with this nasty, rotting grossness? I don't know about you but I do not keep trash on my fireplace mantel next to my treasures. The fastest way to get rid of the stinky, rotten trash is to burn it. In our human nature we are trash whether we like it or not. In our human nature we belong in the incinerator to be burned up.

Through God's eyes all he can see is our trash and there is nothing we can do to change that.

Here it is. This is why we are crazy...GRACE

The key is not in changing ourselves from trash into what WE THINK is what God treasures but in changing the way God sees us. There is not a thing we can do to find favor with God and make up for our ill-will. Not a SINGLE thing! There is only one thing that can keep God from seeing our ugly, nasty black spots. Jesus' blood. Being covered in Jesus' blood. Jesus' blood is so thick and so pure that God cannot see our black spots through it. Jesus' blood is so clean that it starts to heal our black spots and it is then that we become restored treasures. We cannot change ourselves but we can be changed by Jesus' blood. This is God's offer of GRACE. Giving us something we don't deserve. Giving us something we didn't earn. Giving us something we can't earn. So why JESUS' blood? Jesus is the son of God, who was sent by God to be born as a person, he lived a completely pure and undefiled life because of the power in him that is God. God requires an exchange of the best of the best for all of the worst. Humans would equate this to a cancellation of debt. Jesus, in all of his perfection, died to cancel our sinful debt.

If Jesus had not died for our black spots we would not have the option of anything other then hell.

If you don't believe that Jesus died for your black spots then there is only one place you can go...hell.

If you don't understand how Jesus could die for your black spots but want to then CRY OUT to God. CRY OUT that he would teach you to understand.

Here it is in the condensed second grade version.

We are covered in black spots (sin).

Because of our sin we were destined for hell...FOREVER!

God can't hang out with us as long as we are covered in black spots.

When Jesus died his blood poured out covering our black spots.

It is so thick and pure that God cannot see our black spots anymore.

It is so clean that it heals our black spots.

Now God can hang out with us...FOREVER!

If God is hanging out with us, then we can't go to hell because God doesn't live in Hell.

I am not perfect. I cannot be perfect. I will never be perfect. I was going to HELL! But God loved me so much that he couldn't stand not being with me so he sent something to change it all in a way that allowed his perfect self to hang out with my not perfect self. Jesus.

Jesus saved us from ourselves and Jesus saved us from Hell.

That's it. That is why we are radically crazy. Because Jesus saved us from burning in hell, but today, in this moment he saved us from ourselves. And anything that can save me, Dawn Jennings, from herself must be supernatural. It must be all-powerful. It must be merciful and it must be gracious because Dawn Jennings' black spots were disgusting. If you all only knew...

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Wow! This little family has had some big changes in a very condensed window. Rolling into the new year has Jeramie and I looking back in thanks to the blessings of 2011. We aren't new years resolution type of people but we always look back to reminisce of God's hand in our lives.

Last we talked Andon had enrolled in school and I had been convicted of my shortcomings as a mom. Since then there has been some spiritual house cleaning going down. Andon is back home and I am back on track with my motherly duties (for right now, today. Tomorrow might be a different story).

There are two things in this world that I will fight for. My relationship with Jesus and maintaining the integrity of my family as a unit. Everything else any one of you can have. I am so motivated by those two things that there is no room for compromise. I have always known that but this last fall God gave me the chance to face it head on and clarify what that means to me.

It feels to me like there is so much noise in the world to perform as a stay-at-home mom from society and even some family and peers. The unspoken expectation is that my house should be spotless at all times, that my kids should always be neat and tidy, and that no one in my family should ever have a melt down. Why is that? I know from speaking to other women and mothers that the feeling is not held by myself alone. So why is it that I allow myself to carry that external expectation?

My first revelation was that it is not an external expectation. It is internal. Inside myself. I may have gotten the idea from society somewhere along the way but there is nothing in the bible that says I have to adopt that thought process. Yes, there are many passages in the bible that give women a model of what a godly woman looks like, namely the Proverbs 31 woman. And as much of a guide as that woman is I still couldn't get away from the story of Martha and Mary. They were sisters living in the same household along with their brother Lazarus. Jesus and Lazarus were very close, much like brothers themselves. When Jesus came to town he often stayed with them. The girls being the domestic keepers of the house embraced their honorable position as hostesses, but they had very different visions as to what that looked like. Martha felt they should be devoted to waiting on everyone who came to listen to Jesus talk, all Mary wanted to do was wash Jesus' feet, serve him and be around him. Not like a little sister with a crush on her older brothers friend but as a servant, 100% devoted to Jesus. Our human nature has us craving black and white, right and wrong, this or that. We have a very hard time with both/and. It is not that women are to be either a Martha or a Mary but rather a balance between both. In the bible Martha pitched a fit that Mary wasn't doing her fair share. Jesus got after her for missing the point of his presence. He basically told her that all of her catering to the needs around her didn't amount to much if she forgot why she was doing any of it at all. My problem was that I crave the times in my day, week, life that I am allowed to be Mary but there is so much demand for me to be a Martha that I started to drown by not knowing how to be both. My problem was that the two things I will not compromise are actually often antagonistic to each other. How do I devote my self to Jesus and my family? How do I be a mom in our American culture and a christian? How do I continue to manage and maintain my responsibilities and not lose sight of why I do any of what I do as it is?

My first answer was to pack it up and move to a different culture where life is less demanding but the fact of the matter is, is that God has not lined that up for us and where we are is exactly right where he wants us... Aberdeen, South Dakota. Since I couldn't change that, Jeramie and I re-evaluated what demands were important and truly God-honoring, what we thought God wanted us to focus on and not what society says we should focus on. Eliminate the chatter of busyness and simplify.

It had to start with accepting the fact that it is ok. It is ok that my kids clothes do not always match. It is ok that I forgot to put on make-up before I left the house. It is ok that we eat off of paper plates. It is also ok that we don't live in a 3000sq ft house and it is ok that people look at us like we are weirdos because we are ok with not living in a 3000 sq ft house. It is ok that we are not from South Dakota and if my kids and I do not want to bundle up and go outside to play in -10 degree weather that we do not go outside to play in -10 degree weather even if everyone else is outside playing in -10 degree weather. It is ok that I disagree with certain aspects of the school system and choose to keep them home for that. It is ok that I value the integrity of the unit of my family so much that I am not willing to let some external activities consume us. My kids are best friends. They love each other so much that they dislike the idea of experiencing certain things in life without each other. Do they bicker, fight and get irritated with each other, sure they do, that is par for the course when you share space with other people, hey that happens even in marriage and guess what, that is all ok too!

The end result to accepting the fact that it is all ok shows up in the evidence of letting go. Knowing it and doing it are so very different. I was reminded of the old hymn "Trust and Obey". So the first thing I did was buy paper plates. Then we pulled Andon out of school and brought him home again. We bought Jeramie a few more necessary clothing items to ensure he would never be out of clean clothes (and there still is no guarantee but the odds are better). We re-focused our desire to buy a house based on the amount of money we had, not based on the amount of money we could pay back and we re-dedicated our kids to our Lord. We didn't re-dedicate them in a public appearance, in fact, we have never dedicated them in our church in a public appearance, but we re-defined for ourselves what it looks like to do that as they grow and change.

All I can say is God is faithful. He honors those who desire to honor him. I have seen it over and over again in those that I know who love Jesus and this time, we get to see it a bit in our own lives. We were blessed with the opportunity to purchase a little house, debt free, no mortgage with the amount of money we have put away in our house fund. This little house came to our attention before it came on the market. We knew the price was going to come in within a certain range, we knew what we were willing to spend on it and we knew what we had saved away. When it finally became available for offers the listing price was less than what we were willing to spend and but more importantly, exactly to the penny what we had saved away. Three weeks later, we own a house in Aberdeen.

After re-defining what it means to surrender everything to God and that includes our kids, we have a seven year old boy who is quickly maturing into a godly young man. Andon came to us, on his own. He started asking questions. He had seen part of the movie "Left behind" with me one night while his dad was working. While we do not entirely agree with the story that movie tells I am not about to get in the way of God using it as a tool to communicate himself to someone. This time he spoke to Andon. The biggest thing that caught his attention was that the pastor of a church was left behind. The movie showed us a good man who said he loved Jesus who didn't get to be part of the rapture of the christians. I explained to Andon that knowing Jesus is real in your head is different then Jesus knowing you. Its kind of like us knowing the President of the United States by name but the President doesn't know who we are. We can't just go knock on the door of the White House and be let in. The President has to know us in order for us to get inside. He needed to see in the bible how that worked. We read John 6:44-47 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'and they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life." He wanted to know how to be chosen by God to know Jesus. I explained that God gave us his bible to teach us. That God talks to us every time we read our bible and if every time we read our bible he teaches us, then we are chosen. That some people will read the bible and ignore what it says and they will not get to be known by Jesus. We talked about repenting and being baptized. He wanted to be baptized. Oddly enough, we looked back and realized he has never seen anyone baptized. Did he really know what that meant? Did he really understand what that looks like? Where was this coming from? He explained to us that he didn't want to go to hell. That unless Jesus knew him he couldn't go to heaven. He decided long ago to let Jesus to be in charge of him. That Jesus said if you love him you will obey him and Jesus said to repent and be baptized. That if letting Jesus be in charge of you was repenting then the next thing to do was be baptized. Well, what do you say to that? No, no, sorry, you aren't old enough to truly know what you are saying come back in 5 years? I don't think so. I mean we tell our kids to trust and obey, we tell them "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" and when they do proclaim this faith we tell them that isn't how it works. We do not take baptism lightly. Baptism is a very serious declaration of a very serious commitment. Maybe a workbook would be appropriate? Just to verify his understanding. He completed the workbook and all it did was fortify his position. Maybe a visual to go with his heart knowledge? We allowed him to watch "The Passion of the Christ". With his dad by his side, just the two of them, they watched and talked and cried about the disturbing truth of what Jesus had to do just so we could be allowed into God's presence.

The kid gets it. The kid gets it like us adults are suppose to get it but we have to complicate things by allowing the baggage of this world cloud our ability to understand simple truths. Andon knows every single one of us are destined for hell. Andon knows every single one of us are spiritually dead and Andon knows that dead people have no power. Andon knows Jesus died a terrible death. Andon knows that God sent Jesus to die that terrible death so that we could be with God. Andon knows that Jesus rose again killing the curse of hell for anyone who cries out to him. Andon knows that God reveals himself to us. Andon knows that ignoring God comes with consequences. Andon is not willing to endure the consequences. Not only is he not willing to endure the consequences but he wants to make God happy with his choices. That is the evidence of a saved kid. He not only knows what is right but he is empowered to do what is right.

He was baptized in our new home church, in front of 400 people. The shy and quiet little man stood up proud in front of a congregation and with no hesitation proclaimed his love, adoration and promise to his Lord. I bawled like a baby. He was the first person in the church to be baptized in the baptismal. Many people wait until better weather to be baptized in the lake close by here to Aberdeen. The pastors were excited to finally use the baptismal and excited to see what stirred in the hearts of other believers. Deep down they hoped Andon would be an encouragement to others to not wait, to own their faith now. Again, God is faithful. The second baptism within the church baptismal is scheduled for next week and there are a handful of people in line.

Directly after Andon was baptized he shared with Jeramie and I that he could feel it. "I can feel it mom. Its, like... I'm brand new or something. I can feel Him all over me. How did you feel after you were baptized?" He was glowing. He was different and he knew it. "The same buddy. Exactly the same." Although Jeramie and I do not believe it is baptism that saves you "for it is by grace you are saved through faith", we will not deny the power of the promise that God gives of a clear conscience to those who honor him through this simple act of obedience. It is a tangible experience of transformation and when the change is authentic it is addictive. He recently came to me in tears. He woke up today and couldn't feel Jesus on the outside like he can on the inside. To see my son broken, begging to feel the holy spirit all over his body, to crave his presence inside and outside that he has fallen forward sobbing makes me own tears hard to control. "I still love Jesus on the inside but I don't feel him on the outside, I want to go back and feel him on the outside like when I was baptized". My heart breaks for him but its over flowing with joy at the same time. It is a testimony that his salvation is authentic. My son is addicted to Jesus. His parents are addicted to Jesus. And like any other substance a person can be addicted to, unless you have tasted it, you can't know what its all about and like any other substance a person can be addicted to you crave it so much you are constantly chasing it down. I count it as a huge blessing that our son has started chasing after Jesus at a time where we can still very much be a part of his sanctification journey.

It finally dawned on me that I knew exactly how to be a mom in America bombarded by our culture and popular opinion AND a follower of Christ. It is no different then any other person in any less chaotic place in this world. It is no different then what we have been doing for the past 2 years. Trust and Obey. Like Andon, everyday I get up and let Jesus be in charge of me. I owe him that. Everyday I get up and never know exactly what that is going to mean or what that will look like on that particular day. But everyday I do it in a way that puts Jesus first my mind and constant gratitude and humility in my heart. We have enacted the K.I.S.S. principle in our house. Keep It Simple Stupid. For the Jennings, today, that is what it looks like to trust and obey. To keep it simple, clear out the noise of the world and eat off paper plates.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giving God my seconds

I did it. I submitted to the pressure. I have done it kicking and screaming. But I couldn't take it any longer. This is not your regular social pressure one gets to feel in passing from someone who disapproves. The kind that gets you a little ticked and makes you replay conversations in your mind all day long. In fact, this pressure was very light and gentle. However, one thing is for sure, it doesn't take much pressure for God to get my attention anymore.

I learned a long time ago that when God marks the spot and says "here, I want you here" I am suppose to just show up. Regardless of what my agenda is or what I have on my calendar. Show up. I may not like it but that is it and that is all. Just show up.

There is a small, green sign on one of the main streets in Aberdeen. "Aberdeen Christian School" with an arrow. It is not the sign for the building. It is a street sign offering direction for turning toward the destination. It is of the size that once you become a local it can easily become a fixture that one can no longer see. That has not been the case for me. Every time I pass it it jumps out like a large flashing alarm indicator. I couldn't ignore it any longer...

Our family loves our homeschooling life. Our kids do very well with our lifestyle and are successful in their academics. Really, there is no reason to change things. I mean if its not broken, why fix it? Because it doesn't have to be broken for God to require change. We checked out the school, knew it was right, and enrolled. I kept looking for reasons to back out. I had plenty but they didn't compare to the peace I felt when I prayed for confirmation. I still didn't know why we were directed to do this, we were just obediently showing up.

I have been taking part in a book study through the church we are attending. I have already read the book once but have never dissected it in a group setting. We recently dug into what it means to give God our seconds. We discussed tithing and donations but I separated myself from material things long ago. I will give everything I own in a heart beat if that is what God asks me to do. But my kids. Don't mess with my kids. These are my kids and to be honest, there are not many people that I trust with my kids. Long story short, God convicted me to understanding that by not trusting others with my kids, I was in fact not trusting God to protect and take care of my kids. And in my focus of preserving my kids, my vision became clouded to areas that weren't getting the correct portion of my attention. By giving my kids what looked like everything I have I was actually giving God my seconds. I was trusting God with my kids when my kids were in my supervision. I was not trusting God when my kids were not in my supervision. I was willing to give my worldly possessions to God or his people, I was not willing to give him what really kids. By offering everything I have that belongs to this world and not surrendering what already belongs to him, I was giving him my seconds.

The first day Andon was gone, I watched the clock. The first day Andon was gone, I had less to focus on. The first day Andon was gone I realized that I was so focused on providing him with such a stellar education that I was dropping the ball in elements of Addi's discipline. She was getting my seconds. I was jipping God twice. I wasn't trusting him with the most important things and I wasn't doing a very good job of raising a disciplined and lovely daughter. In my defense she is our most strong willed child. I know I can hang on to that all I want but it doesn't change the point that I was missing it.

The day ended and it came time to pick him up. I had my lesson and learned it well. I thought. He enjoyed it and proved to me he was ready to expand his world and experience some independence. And I soon remembered the words of my sweet friend Rachel whom I left back in Montana "you can either insulate or isolate". The context of this statement is to never forget that we are to raise Godly young people to send out into the world to be used by God. My job as a parent is to keep sensitive to the maturity of each child and discernment of right timing.

As of today, for Andon, the time is right. That doesn't mean he gets to go home with just anyone and that doesn't mean that there won't be a time to homeschool again.

As of today, for me, the time is right. It is time for me to stop giving God my left overs and not only surrender my stuff but surrender my family. I will probably always deal with this but by the grace of God maybe today a small bit has been chipped away.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crazy Love

I have been participating in a book study through the church we have been attending since getting settled in Aberdeen.

We are going over "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. This book is special to Jeramie and I, not so much because it was life changing like it has been for so many, but because it was life affirming. We had been convicted by God to examine what Jesus really taught in the gospels but along with other tools, Crazy Love came along and confirmed our understanding.

For some reason I feel like I should open another window into the soul of our family and this seemed like a good method to do that. I have decided to share some of the study questions along with our response to them. We will continue to post updates of our journey but right now this is the journey we are on.

If you haven't already read this book, I invite you to start reading it and come along with me as you read my posts. Maybe we can grow together and your comments are greatly encouraged!

Click the link to my personal journal on this page "The sanctification of a christian woman" for a view of how God is changing me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Dacotah Territory. Aberdeen, South Dakota to be specific. We have left sleepy eastern Montana and headed for colder weather. Aberdeen's heritage is very much Norwegian, Scottish, and Irish descendents. Once I learned that the accent made total sense. It is an Americanized version of that Northern region. It is about 25,000 people and hosts 2 university's as well as a technical school. It has a Wal-mart, Target, Shopko AND K-mart, two huge hospital systems and a conservative overtone that is very much spawned from the heavy Catholic tradition that was established back when the town was. L. Frank Baum was from Aberdeen. Oh come on! Everyone knows who L. Frank Baum is. Right? Um, no. Sorry, who is L. Frank Baum? Try this, "The Wizard of Oz". Oh, whoa! Thats kind of cool. The town has a great park that honors him with a life size land with all of the details so you can make the journey with the characters from the book. Way fun for the kids. Why are we in South Dakota you might ask? And how long are you going to be there? The easy answer? Following the yellow brick road. As for a timeline, we learned many things on this journey, one of which is we cannot plan anything. As for today, we are in Aberdeen and as far as I can see, we will be here tomorrow.

We are just following the yellow brick road. Like Dorothy, we never know who we are going to meet, what section of life we are entering (forest or corn field) and I know for sure that we are chasing after a paradise that we have heard about but can only imagine what it actually looks like and I am determined to get there because the great ruler who dwells there is the only one who can save me. I decided it was a good visual to describe what it is like to live by faith. Oh yeah, and God did use a "tornado" to get us on the path. It looked more like a failed business and a conviction of lifestyle but it was still a "tornado". And we had no idea where we were going to land. The traveling joke was "wonder which state will be old Myra's last (our old dog)"...she landed in Arizona. We landed in South Dakota? Yep, Aberdeen, South Dakota.

When we first learned that South Dakota was a potential landing zone I had to think that one out for a bit. Is South Dakota actually a real state? I learned about it in, like, the 4th grade or something and never gave it another thought. It was not on our list of must stop places during our travels. There is a north and a south, right? As my sister-in-law asked "which one is that, the good one or the bad one"? I have no idea. I have never been there, it has never been on my radar. My biggest educational resource was "Little house on the prairie" sprinkled with a little bit of the movie "Fargo".

All summer, while still in Montana, there had been rumors on the rail about Jeramie's class being forced to transfer to other depots. One of which was Aberdeen. Jeramie had drawn a high seniority number which meant that we were probably not going to have to leave. They would pull from the bottom of the seniority list and work up. Besides, there were rumors about many things so filtering out which ones might gain some traction and which ones wouldn't wasted unnecessary energy. Knowing that if we were to be transferred was actually beyond our knowing, we made decisions for where we were at "today" in that moment.

We rented a house, started buying furniture and getting settled. The rental market was limited and moved fast. We had people praying for a house to come along. We ended up with a big house. We learned very fast after living in a small space that what looked ideal was in fact not. It was too much house. Space that went unused. Space that still needed cleaned and space that looked sad because it was empty with out furnishings. But it was the house we were suppose to be in because if we hadn't we wouldn't have met Katie. I was suppose to know Katie. I will not share stories about Katie on the world wide web but I know that God had that house planned out for us long before we got there. Just know that Katie has a special spot in my heart.

It didn't take me long to find a church to get involved in. I started praying for that long before we left for Montana. "Lord, I ask that we will know intuitively where we are suppose to be, where you would have us" was my prayer. We tried a couple churches. We walked into a third one and I knew, I knew the minute we walked in that I was suppose to be there. I didn't know why, and I didn't know if it was suppose to be our home church but I knew I was suppose to know someone there. I met lots of "someone's" there. I got to really know these "someone's" and I miss them terribly. They were the one reason I struggled with boldly moving forward toward Aberdeen. I would have to leave them behind.

But since I am following the yellow brick road I knew better then to let that hold me back because what I really was saying was "I don't want to God, I am really starting to dig Montana and Aberdeen doesn't make any sense". Then I remembered, when Jeramie had been offered a chance to test for his job we were given the choice of Forsyth or Aberdeen and we chose Montana because it was closer to the family. I couldn't help but toss around the idea that maybe it had been Aberdeen the whole time and God allowed us Montana as a stepping stone.

Then it happened. I got a text. "Minot or Aberdeen?" Wow! This wasn't just a rumor after all. His class was all gathered together for a final week of studying when their instructor told them "decide amongst yourselves or we will decide for you". It turned out that the guys at the top of the seniority list were all from out of state. The guys at the bottom were mostly all from Montana. The guys at the bottom were the ones who would be forced to leave. Instead, the guys at the top, including Jeramie, decided to transfer out. I don't know the details of reasoning for anyone else other then ourselves but we didn't have any ties there. It was hard to know that someone who did have roots there would have to leave when they didn't want to. A week later we were loaded up in the RV once again and excited for what waited for us in Aberdeen. This time we had a new challenge. BNSF was putting us up in a hotel for 60 days allowing us time to find housing. Wintering out in the RV wasn't an option. Like I said, I read Laura Ingells Wilder's book "The Long Winter" and I knew good and well this wasn't our beloved Arizona. Jeramie wanted to embrace the free housing for as long as possible. Its official, we have lived in big houses, little houses, an RV, in Walmarts parking lot, in a rest stop, in a truck stop, in RV parks, in my parents drive-way and now a hotel room. Since we have found housing, we can add someones basement to the list as well.

Someone asked me last night why we were in Aberdeen. "God" I said. That is the only thing I know. Jeramie's job was the tool that got us here but it was God who moved us. It has been a blessed move. Aberdeen is a bit bigger than Miles City, seems a little more family friendly with a more vibrant and youthful atmosphere. It offers an abundance of children's activities that were not available in our area of Montana so our schedule is busier buts thats OK because it is filled with things that are helping my kids learn about themselves. However, all that aside, we are still waiting for God to reveal his use for us in Aberdeen. Like I said before, we are just following the yellow brick road. The thing we have learned is that it is when we are following the yellow brick road that we are most empowered to experience Gods plan. And there is nothing more amazing or exciting then experiencing God's plan.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Send us a post card

Today is bittersweet. Not alot of story telling this time around. Don't really have it in me today...

Last night we said "So Long" to our beloved traveling home on wheels. It has officially found a new home.

We knew it had to go. This new job isn't going to allow for much time off to spend traveling the road at our leisure. We knew it couldn't just sit indefinitly. All that didn't make it any easier. We aren't attached to it in a possessive glorious toy kind of way, it is more a loss of a season in life. The closure of a journey that our family cherishes so deeply.

Every moment in that RV was absolutely a blessing. Not one day of disappointment, sadness or regret. In our focus to set out to serve others we learned to serve each other, grew tighter as a family unit and have been taken to a level in our relationship with God and Jesus that we crave each and every day. I know that none of that is ending, that it is just changing.

I find it fascinating that the sound of that particular motor invokes the sense of adventure. It has found its place on the list of memorable sounds, you know alot like a special song. Jeramie started it up while we were getting it ready for its newest journey and we were all ready to go with it. The kids and I didn't go with him to deliver it and I am glad, I probably would have cried.

From the outside it appears to be a very large recreational vehicle that really serves no purpose other than to bring someone extra comfort and enjoyment. From our perspective it appears as a tool of God's to be moved around building the kingdom of God. We have been praying for the right owners to come along. We have been praying that the new owners would be just as blessed by our RV as we have been. We have been praying that the transaction would be mutually beneficial to all involved. God has been faithful.

We had many empty bites, a few more serious interests and the one we knew was the deal. We waited patiently and quietly never getting anxious. We peacefully knew that when things were lined up right it would happen. We had been talking with these particular perspective buyers for about a month. We got a fair deal, they love the rig and are headed first for Florida. When Jeramie got home I did have a handful of tears (exactly five). "Its sad" he said, "yep. yep it is" I confirmed.

So today we say "so long little home on wheels, we know you aren't just a luxury toy, we know that you belong to God to be used by God, like everything else in this world. We are just grateful that God provided you for us to be used for the length of time that He did. Send us a postcard when you get there..."