Wednesday, March 3, 2010

He gives and takes away...

How many times have I sang that? This month, the true meeting set in.

This month God has taken away a lot of what he so graciously gave us 20 years ago. Three weeks ago, He took back our 23 year old dog, Rascal. This past week, He took back our 20 year old dog, Crickett. Today he took back our 10 year old parakeet, Baby Bird.

These were wonderful family members that He gave us to cherish, love, and look after. We enjoyed a full 19+ years with both of our dogs. Before we were married, before we had our children, we had our two dogs. We taught them much, and they loved us more. We did our best to look after them and treat them like kings/queens. We hope that God was happy with the life they had here, and we hope that they are waiting at the pearly gates for us to "come home".

10 years ago, God gave us a horse farm to start building our dreams on. We taught many students, and they became our extended family (we even had the privilege of watching one family give their lives to Christ). We birthed three foals on these grounds, and buried many of our pets. We've laughed, we've cried, we've almost given up, we've started anew...and now we prepare to give it all back to God.

It's so nice to receive, but sometimes it's so hard to give it all back. But, as soon as God takes away, He gives us back so much more.

Today, after such a hard month of losses, we received word that our sender has approved us for our next phase in our journey. The committee has approved our application, and we now move to LAUNCH training! This is such a relief and a joy...mingled with our sadness.

We are now ready for the sale of "our gifts", and giving up of all of our possessions. We are taking only some clothing, our chihuahua (Chiquita), and our cat (Holly) with us when we leave. Everything else will be re-housed or sold (with the exception of a couple of family heirlooms-which will go into a storage facility).

My heart will choose to say "Blessed be Your Name"!

Prayer Requests:
Brooke to finish her schooling (on track for Spring 11)
Tom to finish his schooling (same)
Clara as she transitions from public to homeschooling this fall
Strength and wisdom in preparing our house for the market
Quick sale and good price on our farm
Good/loving neighbors in Italy
Housing in Italy
Finding good/faithful partners in our journey both in finances and spiritual
Getting through the grief over loss of our beloved pets
Starting the next phase with our sender
A great FIRST mission's presentation
Tom's Kairos training