Watched Mike mow the yard for the last time. It was raining a little while he mowed and his shoulders were getting wet.

Last night, I watched Jackson play his last baseball game. He walked up to one of the younger guys and encouraged him before he left! I noticed tears in his eyes...then I noticed tears in my eyes...

The boys are spending one of their last days today with Preston and Caleb. They spent the night on a SCHOOL NIGHT. Don't tell anyone, but they are skipping school all day today. Their mom figured priorities are priorites, you know?!? Thank you God for these precious friendships you've blessed my boys with!

Not much time and lots to do, so I better get back to work....
I'll try to be more diligent about posting after this week is over! Just TOO much going on!


Packing and Sorting

What does a yard sale "house pile" look like?
Maybe something like this madness...

BUT...still a lot more work to do!!!


Today has been a whirlwind!

We had such a great time at church this morning and then we were blessed to be able to spend lunch with wonderful friends! I think we spent 3 hours at Chili's with Peter, Susan, Joy, Robert and Sherri!!! I know Mike and I didn't want to leave because we are counting down each second we have left with these dear people! Time feels like it is just flying by and I am realizing each day just how much I will miss all these friends God has blessed us with.
Our pastor's wife came and gave me a hug during the service today and I had a "mini meltdown!" I am going to call it mini because it was the first of MANY to follow I am certain! I apologized afterwards for falling apart on her and told her I wasn't sure where all of the emotion was coming from. We have just 2 more Sundays with our church family and I feel like I am in a bit of a fog when I am there! I know God gives us coping mechanisms to get through the hardest of situations and I look forward to watching how HE gets me through all of this! ;)
We got LOTS of information this afternoon from some WONDERFUL people in the field. I am reading it over and over again! God is providing us with just enough information to go to the next step. He is just requiring our obedience and as long as we continue to step out in faith, He continues to show up and give us the next piece of the puzzle!
Oh....and thank you Robyn and Jeff for the luggage information today. Sorry Mike keeps harassing you with BUG RECIPES! He misses you all so much! Every time he has the opportunity to talk to Jeff, he is beaming! Sure do wish we were gonna be at training with you all....BUT...God's timing is perfect and I'll keep reminding myself of that!


Never Forget

Today we remember why we have eternal security!

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

1 John 4:9


A Lighter Load

The last two days have been EXTREMELY BUSY!!!

Tuesday afternoon Michael called me from work and did the whole "good news/bad news" scenario over the phone. His good news was that we had ANOTHER person wanting to look at the house. (That would make 6 for this week.) The bad new was that they'd be at the house within the hour.
After thanking Mike for his charming delivery, I began the "quick clean" as I like to call it. You know the one! The cleaning that involves Windexing everything in sight and throwing all the clutter into places you pray they won't look. I ran the vacuum (thank the Lord our hardwood floors were still looking good from the last showing) and lit some candles. I finished in a miraculous 30 minutes.

After taking a breath, I asked God if there was anything I was missing. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace (not usual for me with buyers about to arrive) and decided to walk through the house and pray.
Our house has been for sale A VERY LONG TIME and we've shown the house more times than I ever care to recall but for some reason instead of just asking Him to SELL IT, this time I felt led to open every closet and go into every room. As I began to open closet doors, I told God the closet and the space it provided was HIS.
I then went on to the laundry room. I don't presume to think that in Brazil my laundry accommodations will look as they do here in my suburban house but I decided to give HIM my laundry room and the conveniences it had provided. (I REALLY HATE LAUNDRY....please hear me on this point.) I hope God was hearing my heart! :)
This continued on as I gave HIM my bathtub (sigh) and our double vanity. (probably won't have one of those:)

Things didn't get sad or even too intense for me until I stepped upstairs into the kids bathroom and I began to think of potty training the boys. (WHAT?!?) Crazy, huh? I gave HIM the memories of the times spent in the bathroom giving baths and teaching little fellas to brush their teeth. Memories of countless hours playing in their rooms, the walls with scuffs from all their light saber battles, the nights of reading stories in the floor, the tents and forts set up for days. The tears were rolling now! I literally had to GIVE HIM each and every ounce of the house. I wasn't sure why, but I really felt led to do this.

Anyway...realtor comes with buyer. They stay at the house 10 minutes top!

Hmm... OH well! At least the house is clean, right?!?

Next morning, I get another call from Michael. This time he goes straight to the point and lets me know that the same realtor will be back again with the same buyer that evening because he really liked the house. Mike and I decide to call lots of close friends and family and ask them to begin to pray!

That evening, (last night) on our way home from the ballpark, we get a call from our realtor and he asks how quickly we can be at the house because the other realtor wants to present a contract.

As the realtor began her little presentation "thingy" it became very clear to me why God had asked to me to give HIM the house. The buyer is a newly divorced man that will need to refurbish almost the whole house and the contract included about half our furniture and all the decorations/stuff on the walls and counters. HUH????? Is this guy serious? He wants my house AND MY mantle decorations?

Oh wait, they aren't mine anymore! I had given them to God.

Why did God need this from me? I had thought for so long it was enough just to say, "It's all Yours God!" But my heart must not have been echoing my words. I hadn't completely surrendered everything to HIM like I thought I had. He needs our absolute surrender, not partial, not the things that are easy for us to give up in order to follow HIM...but EVERYTHING!

Luke 9:23-27

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

So...this is where we are today. The realtor on their side has to cross a few more T's and dot a few more I's in order for us to sign but hopefully by the end of the day our house will be under contract. The house he is selling closes the end of this month so things could possibly move swiftly.
Please keep praying for HIS will in all of this and that (as my friend Susan put it) my hands would hold loosely to anything HE DOES want us to take and release all the THINGS/STUFF that we hold on to for our OWN SAKE!


Fun Night with the Fletchers

Last night we headed over to some of our best friends' house for dinner and Rook! We love to hang out with Dana and Gary because we go home with our ribs hurting from all the laughing!!! Last night was no exception.

I took my Dirt Cake for dessert.
(Pudding with cream cheese and Oreos)


Here's how it looked before we all dug in!

Dana and I posed for a picture and the guys had to POSE the exact same way! Aren't they CUTE? I don't think they realized it would turn out to be a REALLY good picture! Ha! Serves them right!

Here are a few more of the guys lauging it up while playing cards! It is going to be heartbreaking to have to leave these amazing friends. They make us VERY happy and we love to laugh with them. (WELL...with Dana but maybe at Gary!)

Proud Mamma

First off...
I have to shamelessly brag on JohnMark. I was sitting in church today and one of the people on the welcome committee came up to my row and sat a really sweet couple down right beside me. They were visiting for the first time and I had never met them before yet I heard her whisper to the lady, "This is JohnMark's mom."

Obviously, those words can put terror into a mom. Especially at times when you are not with your children and aren't sure what they are currently doing. My mind began to race and I thought about how I might need to apologize to this poor woman for whatever my dear JohnMark had done! She seemed to be smiling though so maybe he hadn't: damaged her car with our car door, ran into her children in the hallway accidentally knocking them down, or any of the horrible things going through my mind!

She must have picked up on my fears because she quickly leaned over and whispered to me that JohnMark had invited them to church yesterday. (Michael, Jayden, and JohnMark had all gone to put door hangers out for our church's Easter service yesterday morning. Jackson and I had stayed home because he had been getting over a fever.) Anyway...she went on to tell me how when JohnMark had arrived at their house, she and her husband were outside and JohnMark just walked right up to them and started a conversation with her husband. He told him all about our church and why he was there. Apparently, they talked for quite awhile and since the family had seen our church's billboard they were already somewhat interested in our church.

I was extremely proud of JohnMark. He is always so bold in his walk with Christ and in many areas of his life he is wise beyond his years.
Okay...I'll stop with that! ;) But just know that I am super proud!

Thank you to all of you who are praying diligently for our house to sell. I truly feel each of you lifting us up! We showed the house yesterday to a couple and today we are having an Open House. Next Saturday we have it scheduled to show to a family that lives out of town. Needless to say, we are staying busy with house cleaning. We have become MASTERS at cleaning the house. Michael is great about helping....no I shouldn't say helping. He actually partners with me and takes on as much as I do. I love that he helps me carry that burden! He is a good man!

All of you IMBer's (that's a cool way to say it, huh?!?) out there packing up and getting things ready to go...I am praying for you as well! I get excited just reading your blogs and seeing your pictures of suitcases, crates and empty houses! God is at work here and abroad! It is overwhelming to think about how God will use each of these families to reach lost people all over the globe.