Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guess What We Just Did??

Today.  Today is a very big day.  

Today we sat down at the computer and bought 6 one-way tickets to Ukraine.    

After we finished our transaction Jed and I just stood there looking at each other with really stupid grins on our faces.  HA!  

"We just did that!"  

I've traveled a lot, but I've never, ever bought a one-way ticket...or SIX one-way tickets!  

God is so faithful to us.  We had budgeted $7,000 for airfare based on the rates we had seen and paid before.  The tickets we bought this morning totaled a whoppin' $3,600.  WHAT???  That's right!  Praise God!  

So, November 12th (11/12/13...yes!) we'll be leavin' on a jet plane, bound for our new life in Ukraine.  

Giddy doesn't even begin to describe it.  Scared out of our brains doesn't even begin to describe it either.  Happy as clams and sad as can be at the same time.  82 days and we'll be off!  YEEHAW! 

Do you have questions for us?  I'm preparing to do a big detail-filled post for your reading pleasure :) We try to fill you all in on the details, but it's easy to forget what we've told people and what we just think we've told people.  Ask away and we'll be more than happy to give you an answer!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tangled Up Knots of Goodness

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."
-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

We've been reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud for the past few weeks.  First we read The Magicians Nephew, and we just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe today.  Wow.  So timely.  

This thing is really happening.  How did it get to be almost the end of August? This is really happening- and it's happening soon.  I wish I could put into words the way I feel, the wild knot of emotions that run through my heart and mind all day these days.  

As we're cleaning out our two rooms here in our temporary home in preparation for our final garage sale, I find myself almost unable to wrap my brain around the fact of what needs to go.  This is it.  We aren't storing anything but keepsakes.  There's no back-up-plan storage unit filled with our stuff "just in case".  It all has to go.  All In.  

A Bible study for moms is starting up at church in September, and I'll only be around for a couple of the sessions...then they'll continue to meet and I'll be gone.

Our Home School co-op will continue, plans being made for the year and we won't be there.

At church camp this past weekend I was chatting with a missions friend about the massive intimidation of the Russian language and he said "Don't worry.  Take your time.  Think long-term; you've got years to learn it!"  OMG.  I guess I hadn't thought about it that way!  :)  This isn't a crash course in Russian, this is life.  

I'm so excited for what God has.  I've never felt more alive or more filled with faith than I do right now.  I've never known, like I know now that we are exactly, precisely in the palm of God's hand.  

In some moments I don't worry at all.  In some moments I feel giddy about what this new life will bring, fairly bursting with optimism, peace, hope, and joy in the journey.  In other moments I feel afraid, overwhelmed, and a little like I know we have absolutely no idea what we are getting ourselves into.   

So, you probably get the idea that the knot of emotions and thoughts is pretty impossible to untangle right now.  But that's okay!  It's messy, but it's okay.  All God is asking of us is to say yes to Him, and to trust in His goodness.  

Is this a safe move?  Well, God didn't call us to safety.  He called us to yes.  I have no doubt that safe or not, it will be good.  Very good. 

Tonight, whatever you are facing, whatever 'yes' God is calling you to- trust in His goodness.  All He is asking for is your yes.  It might not feel safe.  It might feel really uncomfortable.  It might feel scary.  You might not be able to predict the outcome.  You might not be able to wrap your brain around the sacrifice, but I guarantee you also can't wrap your brain around the joy.  I know I can't, but I'm already getting amazing glimpses! It is our joy, it is your joy to say yes to Him.  Think about that day when all has been said and done and we stand before our King, our Love, our Friend.  Will it matter if we were safe and comfy?  Or will we take a deep breath after a life completely spent for Him and think "Whew!  Now that was a wild ride!"  

Say Yes.  Give it all.  Step out.  He is good.  He is worth it.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Saying YES is SO FUN.

We are alive!  We really are!

I have been a bit of a blog slacker lately, it's true.  It's not because I have nothing to say...we all know that would never be the case!  ;) It's just that we've been go, go, going like crazy and I simply haven't had the time to tell you all about it.

Delicious stop along the way

I'm a broken record, but I really can't believe how good God is.  Every time we have a worry He covers it.  A couple weeks ago we were worried about how we would be able to get the word out further than just the people we know right now.  We didn't have speaking engagements lined up, though we'd put the word out to many, many pastors.  We just weren't getting a response.  Oh dear, how we love to just hop in and take matters into our own hands.  All the while God just watches us with a little smirk on His face like "Oh this'll rich.  I can't wait to see what they do."  And all the while He KNOWS exactly what HE wants to do, and if we'll be still enough to give Him the right of way things turn out so much better.  Whew.  Still learning that one...obviously.

Tongue of concentration

We were worried about getting the chance to share and then when we had nothing left to do but sit and wait God had His way.  BAM.  We've been busier than ever sharing the word about Wide Awake and it couldn't be more awesome.

A couple weeks ago we got to share about Wide Awake with a church on the coast.  The people were so welcoming, so warm, almost giddy with excitement to hear what God is doing.  Awesome.


Then this past weekend we got the extreme honor to share Wide Awake and our story of "Yes" with the Vineyard youth of the NW at "Anthem", the NW regional youth conference.  Oh man, so stinkin' fun.

We stood in awe as many young men and women said yes to Jesus.  We got to pray over them, encourage them, cheer them on in following Jesus one step at a time.  We cried tears of joy as one girl said yes to Jesus for the very first time.  The Vineyard youth of the NW are AWESOME.  We made many new friends and hopefully we'll see many of them in Ukraine some day sayin' yes to Jesus.  :)

A big bonus of the trip was that several pastors who were there with their youth got to hear about Wide Awake and we've been invited to share at 4 more churches!  Praise God for that big answer to prayer!  The visions and dreams God has given us are too big for our church to support on its own.  Many, many hearts must get behind this thing.  We are thankful for the opportunity to share with whoever will listen!


What's up next
-The Wide Awake website should be up and running THIS WEEK!  Be on the lookout!  That webpage will be a great place to direct your friends who need to hear about Wide Awake.  It will also have easy ways to give financial support online.

-This blog will soon be moved to a Wordpress site.  I'll let you know when that happens, but just be forewarned...changes are a'comin!

-We'll be traveling almost every weekend between now and October, sharing Wide Awake at churches, saying goodbye to faraway family, and spending precious time with dear friends.

-This is Jed's last week of full-time work as he transitions out of his job.  His last day of work at his current job is September 12th.  (just typing that gives me goosebumps on my arms and butterflies in my stomach simultaneously)

If things go as planned we'll be making our big move in approximately 14 weeks.  Good gravy.


PS: Although we have a lot of speaking dates lined up we are not too busy to share with you and your friends!  We would love to come to your home or your small group to share about Wide Awake.  We have all the time in the world to answer questions and meet with those who want to hear.  Bring it!