In case you didn't know, we moved two months ago!(okay, yeah, I'm a little behind) Much as we loved living in Eatonville with its small town atmosphere, great schools and teachers, and amazing view of Mt. Rainier, God told us it was time to move on. And like anywhere He has done a work in your life, leaving was hard. We even tried to figure out how to only move halfway...to fulfill our next calling while keeping the kids in school there....but it was not to be. He knows best and we are thankful.
So now we are officially in Tacoma. Our church plant, Veritas Christian Fellowship, is here and it became clear that if we were to continue to grow in the work He has for us as part of this body of believers, we needed to be closer to it, not an hour away. And when God moves you, He always provides. He has given us:
- a great rental house in a nice neighborhood in North Tacoma, 10-15 min from the church
- more ministry opportunities than we can handle and blessings and strength to serve in them!
- being just far enough away from the kids school that they can ride the bus since we don't yet have a second car!
- opportunities for our kids they didn't have before like theater...stay tuned for pictures of their performance this weekend in Cinderella!
- grocery stores, library, and post office still within walking distance
- closer relationships with our church family at Veritas
I think it is safe to say this has been the least stressful of our moves (and we've had a lot of moves!), probably because we knew this time it was the Lord moving us and we were (mostly!) at peace with that. He was so gracious to provide friends to help unpack our kitchen, lend us a truck, move furniture, and just encourage us along the way. The house has come together relatively quickly..it is a lovely 1930s home with hardwood floors, ONE bathroom :), an attic which the younger kids' room is in and fun space to play in, plus a garage with a heated/carpeted bonus room (man room) that has been great for Gabe to unwind and watch movies, play xbox, play guitar in etc. No furniture in the bonus room yet, but air mattresses and folding chairs are okay for now :-)
We are seeing so many parallels to our life now and the eventual foreign mission field that I think it's safe to say Tacoma is our "promised land" for now and we are living like "strangers in a foreign country" here. I recently asked a friend who is serving in Mexico starting an orphanage with her husband how the language is coming and if it feels like home yet. She replied "No...and it never will. But that's ok. Our home is Heaven, and we're just sojourners here with Jesus. It makes me want to be with Him more to not be comfortable here." See what you get hanging out with missionaries? :-) By the way, if you want to follow their adventures, check out their blog. You will find yourself encouraged!
Some of the parallels I've noticed are little things like not having a microwave until last week and having to heat things up on the stove, or the day we had to turn the hot water off until we could get the leaking pipe fixed, or having to get around by walking or biking or borrowed car (I haven't braved the bus yet!) until God provides us with the right second vehicle. Other parallels are bigger...wanting to be poured out for God into the work He has for us here...but then finding ourselves drained without enough time to refill before the next ministry we need to serve in. Loneliness, missing friends and comfort at our old church. Joy at the unity and seeing God work through a few faithful people who love Him here. Exhaustion and discouragement at things just being harder than we thought. Sleep deprivation for Gabe as he has to get up an hour earlier to get to school now and have quiet time with the Lord before he goes. Peace after seeing so many fervent prayers answered directly and quickly. Worry as our living expenses go up while our income has not. Seeing our kids struggle to make the transition to a new school and new city. Smiling at their victories, tears of frustration with them in defeat. Struggling ourselves, looking for comfort and "home"...when that is only to be found with Him. Encouragement when old friends come to visit and new ones grow closer.
I think we are starting to realize....this is just how it's going to be. Profound statement, eh? :) If we are truly followers of Jesus and sharing His love is our passion, then we give it all up and get so much more in return. We are guaranteed difficulty and struggle, more the closer we get to Him. We are also guaranteed that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory! And He will, and He is.
If you would join with us in prayer, we ask for:
- wisdom in knowing what ministries we are called to and where to step back and wait on the the Lord
- energy and strength and anointing for the ministries we are called to
- better family time, growing together as a family and loving and serving together
- unity in Veritas Christian fellowship between all of us as we grow together in His work there
- strength for our marriage...we are good but want to be better!
- wisdom and encouragement for Gabe as he shares with his classmates daily
- wisdom and compassion for Bonnie as she is hosting an Excellent Wife Bible study in our home and serving a lot in Childrens ministry
- a second vehicle...preferably a minivan...in our price range and reliable