Friday, June 29, 2012

Scrambled Thoughts

Sorry if these seems scattered. I think my mind feels numb.
I  apologize for not typing more blogs lately, but things have changed so much everyday that I was waiting until I actually had something of substance to report. I wish I still had something of substance to report.

Glenn and I are in Louisiana. We have gone on a tour of the southeast this past week. We went to Alabama to see friends, then on to one of my best friends weddings in Florida, visited family in Mississippi, and we're wrapping up with some time with friends and family in Louisiana. I'll do another post with pictures and stories. I'm definitely feeling like I need a vacation after vacation.

This has been an odd trip home for me. I haven't been (home) to Louisiana in 1.5 years. This is the longest stretch between visits. In fact, the last time I was at many of these places, I was at a very different point in my life. Going back to some places brought with it much joy in seeing people I love, but also dredged up some painful memories. Some relationships picked up right where they left off, and others were very strained. I think I've laughed and cried equally on this trip. And I'm having to face the harsh reality that at some point...Things change. People change. I change.

I am however thankful to experience these places through a new set of eyes through my husband. Glenn had not been to any of these places with me prior to this trip and we started the process of creating new memories. It was definitely fun to experience some of my favorite things and places with him as "firsts." And never did he question me or harp on me in one of my emotional moments or awkward situations. He was just...there. His presence was calming. I know I say it a lot, but I can't tell you how thankful I am to have this man in my life. He is a constant source of comfort and encouragement for me.

So as we leave here tomorrow we are setting out on the next leg of our adventure. While in Louisiana we received a call that we needed to be moved out of our current house by the end of Tuesday of next week. That pretty much gives us Sunday afternoon, Monday, and Tuesday to get the new house ready, the old house packed up, moved, and cleaned. And we already have meetings scheduled in Savannah next week starting on Wednesday as we start a new adventure together as full time urban missionaries, start a non profit, and go back into the world of raising support and become fully immersed in the inner city neighborhood we are moving into.  I've been struggling with trying to accept the fact that not everyone will understand or even support this decision and as a person who was a "people-pleaser" most of my life, this is a tough pill to swallow.  My life path has been anything but "ordinary" and as a result sometimes lonely, but I know that this is the path God has called us on. He has made that very evident as the necessary doors have open and closed to guide us here.

If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not. It's just a place of processing a lot about myself and the reality of our situation. I'm actually excited about everything that is ahead for us. But I feel like I'm entering a new chapter in my life in so many ways and it sometimes feels very overwhelming when it seems like "Everything" changes at once. 

One thing is for sure...God has provided each step of the way in completely unexpected ways...even on this trip.  He continues to confirm this next step of our journey in so many ways. I leave you with a picture of our new "home sweet home" to be. We greatly appreciate your prayers in the coming days. I'll have more finalized announcements when we get everything sorted out.

Thanks to the people who have been prayer supporters, financial supports, and just overall good friends and encouragement through this season. Trust me when I say I thank God for you ALL the time.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Time Read 3:47am

So I mentioned on my Facebook status the other day that I kept waking up the past few nights at 3:47. I wouldn't have thought much about waking up in the middle of the night because I've had trouble sleeping, but why did I always seem to look at my phone at 3:47 exactly?

So...I tried to look up verses in the bible that were 3:47...there's only two and I knew neither one of them pertained to my situation. That is when a friend of mine suggested I look at 34:7......and Psalms to be exact.

Here is what Psalms 34:7 says: " The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them."

I was dumbfounded....could it be that God kept waking me up at that exact time so I would have an inkling to search his Word for this truth? I believe so. I believe God can use anything He wants to lead us to His truth.

It has been a tough week as much unknown is ahead the coming days. I am a planner and for me...this is stretching me in a serious way to not know what will happen in a few short weeks. What we will be doing, where we will be living, etc. And in the middle of the night when my mind was racing around these things, I believe God was trying to say...... through a stinking clock..."I've got this."

I imagine the Angel of the Lord pitching tents around my life......and because I fear the Lord....I will be rescued - let out of the woods on the right path.

That is comforting.

Our God is creative....and He can and will use ANYTHING to get our attention..
Even a simple clock.

For His Renown,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In The Meantime...

Do you ever find yourself in those moments where you just kind of have to put ...........?
I'm calling it the "in the meantime" season. That place where you know where you are and the needs of what lies ahead but you don't know how or when you'll get there. It could be needing money to pay the bills, waiting for a job, waiting to get a call from an adoption agency, waiting to take that pregnancy test, waiting for the college acceptance letter, waiting for that phone call after a date, waiting for the diagnosis or waiting to see if they accept your offer on a house. There are a lot of things it could be, but it all involves a lot of waiting and a lot of question marks. So what do you do "in the meantime?"

Glenn and I are in that season. I'm going to be really candid and share with you because it's not a secret, not anyone's fault, and we could use the prayer support. When we came on staff with our current ministry 7 months ago, we raised enough money to support ourselves for the first few months. After that, there was supposed to be another source of income coming into the ministry that would cover our salaries. To make a long story short that income has been delayed by about 6 months and completely out of our control. The ministry  has covered our rent and bills the past few months, however they have said they can not guarantee that they will be able to cover July's bills or anything after due to lack of finances. we are.............................................................................................................................................................
Did you catch the number of dots?  No one is to blame.  It doesn't mean God is not faithful. It just is what it is.

However with rent and bills due in another few weeks and no income coming in we're left with a big fat question mark. We feel like God brought us here, but was it for different reasons than we once thought? What it a vehicle to a different path? It's hard to walk out a calling that requires you to depend on others for support. Sometimes it is a lonely road and I wonder if people think, "will she ever get a REAL job?" But in those moments, I don't feel the need to defend's just the nature of what we do. We have no choice but to keep our options open in the meantime, but what does that look like?  I asked some friends what they do in these moments and one of them said, "I try to focus on a goal that can be accomplished in the midst of the wait...something that calls out to be done, can be done right now, and that will prepare you for wherever HE ends up leading you." So what does it look like to "actively" wait?

Well...I've been reading one of the greatest books I've ever read "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson. It's subtitle is "Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears." God has put some really big dreams in my heart the past few months and I've decided to be proactive in praying around those dreams. I have decided to make The Dream Campaign its own 501c3 which will take some time, but it will allow me to make a difference in the lives of inner city youth no matter what happens or where God takes us. I think it was a God idea and He has provided the support and affirmation through numerous individuals.  We will continue to walk out our ministry where He has placed us, all the while sending emails and just asking God to open and shut the necessary doors for us to be right where He wants us to be, be it here in Atlanta or elsewhere. God has placed some people in my life this week that I think will be influential in my life for a very long time. I'm reminded that God can and will use anything for His glory.

I've spent a lot of time on my back porch the past few days enjoying the sunshine, listening to the birds, reading, and honestly just spending some sweet time with the Lord. What I can say is that with all of the question marks and soul is at peace. I went out yesterday and got a sketch book that is my dream book. I created my own visual of prayer circles and will spend a good portion of this next month praying circles around these dreams and fears. 

God woke me up this morning with the word "Ebeneezer" on my mind. It means " thus far the Lord has helped us." I believe it was a kiss from the Holy Spirit as I opened my eyes. 

I promised when I first created this blog that I would share the good, bad and the ugly of our journey and this is  some of the "Days in the Paddock's Life.". I'm continually reminded that God has hemmed us in, behind and before. He is faithful. He has set our feet on solid ground. He is with us and He will not abandon us. 

I guess this is just part of the adventure :) I am expectantly waiting and praying to see what God is going to do. It's in His hands so I can rest knowing we are safe there.

Thanks for your prayers.

For His Renown,