Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gotta Reach for Something...

...or you'll fall for anything.

Joe and I have been going through a tremendous amount of decisions lately. Funny how that happens when you are in your 40s, are unemployed and have six children. We have been devoted to prayer and earnest in seeking godly council. And we feel that God has been answering our prayers by clearly opening doors and clearly shutting others.

We never once thought that we would be changing our trajectory. We had settled into life in the middle of Wisconsin, embracing long, cold winters and tolerating beer brats, cheese heads, and bars on every corner. We had accepted our slimmed down life-style, learning to say no more than we say yes, growing to love my worn out, used furniture simply because we HAVE furniture. We even acquired a taste for Aldi food, appreciated the joy of a soda once and while, and loved when the veggies in the garden became ripe so we could snack on them.

In the meantime, our family grew so close...I mean, really close. We are always together. Some of our favorite times lately have included biking to McDonnald's for .79 dipped cones and to sit in the air conditioned play area while some of the kids played. We have made priority choices and decided instead of a vacation, we would go to a Christian music festival and worship the Lord for an entire day as a family. I still have pictures scrolling through my memory bank of my kids dancing to Mercy Me as the sun went down.

We have taken chances here - we put the kids back into public school. For most, the decision was a good one. For some, that choice has been met with challenges. We also decided to dive head first into Safe Families. The people I have met through this ministry have forever changed my life. Not only have I met amazing people crying out for help, I have also met real-deal Christians who say "yes" to teen moms, 4 children at a time, messy-long haired ADD children and new babies who cry a lot. My phone rings weekly with requests for help....and I take chances because I believe Jesus would have done the same thing. a result of my last year, I detest political parties and agendas! I am so angry at MY party for not listening to those who need help - OR those who are willing to offer the help simply because it doesn't line up with their political agenda at the moment. We have had a veil lifted from our eyes...and I am either going to run for office some day or...I don't know? I am still certain I could have beaten the current Watertown mayor :)

So it seems God, the almighty one, the sovereign Lord of all has decided to change our trajectory. Why? We have been asking God that for the last month or two? Why God? Haven't we been faithful here? Why did the business fail? Why were we not able to get the law passed? We were busy asking all these questions when God said, "Just say yes to ME."

Certain words of wisdom ring through our heads as we talk out our decisions. Things my father said. Things our pastors have said. And words from our heavenly Father.

We fight being scared. We daily fight against planning waaaaayyy into the future! When we start worrying about school schedules, houses to rent, salaries, braces, ballet lessons...we have to STOP! We have to discipline ourselves to put our hope and our trust in the Lord.

We believe God has a plan for our lives in a new state. We lived near this state 15 years ago - and I struggled! Maybe God is giving me a second chance? Maybe God has a plan for us now - 15 years later -because we are TOTALLY NEW CREATIONS now! Joe is in the final stages of a job search right now...this minute...flying to his destination to meet with the CEO of a major corporation. We have asked God so many times if we are really OK to go back to the corporate world? And again and again, God is saying "YES."

God DID tell Joe this...."Yes, you can go...but be prepared when I call you out of that life again." Maybe THIS is the way to to our dream of serving in missions overseas? We know that wherever we end up, there will be a mission field on our door step and down the street and in the schools and in the urban community. No doubt in our minds that wherever God is moving us, He wants us to find His hurting children and "feed them". So...that is where we will start.

A dear friend from high school sent me this video yesterday and as I watched it I realized this is where Joe and I are right now in our lives. We have decided to live purposeful, meaningful lives. We are scared of what comes with the corporate salary and are so afraid of slipping back into caring about furniture and cars and THINGS. I pray that we never forget about LOVE..and PEOPLE...about being Christ's hands and feet.

We've determined to reach for something to keep us from falling for anything..


Diamond said...

A few weeks ago I was reading a newsletter about holding patterns from an author (Rebecca Brown) that your story reminds me of.

“You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” 1 Peter 1:7

"God entrusts us with the gospel, and then tests our hearts to see if
we will be faithful to share the gospel with others. The holding patterns which have a purpose, a plan and a process tests our faith, not for God’s sake, but to demonstrate to us exactly what is in our hearts. God considers our faith to be
extremely valuable." Traci, I think you are coming out of a holding pattern.

You and Joe can lead the series we've been studying at church!

I am very happy for the journey in which you follow God... and I must say, I may cry if- when you leave WI; but God's will is always best. I am so glad we got to meet you guys in our early days at church.

BTW, Anna's hair is SOO CUTE. I can't view the pics at work, so I looked at it last night! I knew Anna would love that bonding time while YOU do her hair!

Thank you for sharing here with us.

Brian & Amy said...

just love you guys!!! (maybe b/c you are living so much like us: no job, a bunch of kids and God only saying "follow, child!") praying for God to make this next step so clear and for you to go rejcoicin!!

p.s. I'd vote for you if you run!! ;)

Bear Creek Mama said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. You got me again. As my Man heads towards the possibility of big change in career and lifestyle we are facing many of the same determination in focus that you are. We must hold on to something to keep from grabbing on to anything. I promise to hold fast to Him.

Meliski said...

This is beautiful. Thank you. You are a treasured and cherished daughter of the Lord. I can tell that He delights in you. :)

Kerry said...

traci, despite the fact that we've never officially met, and i've only "known" you through facebook and your blog (and our mutual friend amy), i have added you to the list of people i want to be like when i grow up. :-)