Tuesday, May 28, 2013

..IT GOES ON and ON:

As we are approaching the end of a two VERY busy months of preparation, with at times juggling multiple schedules, each with varied intensities.  We are tired, weary and just a bit fried both mentally, emotionally, physically and somewhat spiritually.  So, much has gone on, with most of the time, feeling like we are running a marathon over and over.

So, far in the last month and half we have had a whirlwind of fundraisers going on and personal family functions.

April:  Benefit concert fundraiser    (profit $3110)
           Personal Family Rummage Sale #1 (profit $1050)
May: Banquet/Auction fundraiser  (profit $12,389)
          McKenna’s graduation from High School
          Graduation party #1
          McKenna’s Senior Recognition night at Youth Group
          Graduation Party #2   
          Rummage Sale #2  (profit $4200)

Interestingly enough, the last five events all took place within one weeks time....

The remainder of this week we finish packing up and cleaning out our house, in preparation for packing a shipping container that will arrive at our house on Monday the 3rd.  We will have several hours to fill it with the items we are shipping to Kenya to help furnish our home and start our new life.   

June 3rd   pack up our belongings into a shipping container to Kenya.
June 5th   Move out of our home.  Begin our travel schedule.
June 5th-10th   Bethany, Mpls MN.  Meet with our Organization’s leadership, finalize            
                    last minute requirements and details.
June 10th - 11th    North Dakota, visit with some friends
June 12th-18th    Montana,  spending time with Tim’s sister Shannon and family
June 19th - 25th       Colorado, spending time with Tim’s sister, Sue and husband Brad,
saying goodbye to our beloved puppy Patch as he joins Sue and Brad’s
June 26th - July 1    New Mexico, spending time with Tim’s sister, Sara and her family
July 2nd - 13th   Back home to Green Bay, WI.    Spend time with family and friends.   
McKenna attends Camp for one week, Tommy spending time with
friends for the week as well.
July 14th - 15th        Canada, stopping and visiting with classmates and friends from
July 15th- 18th         Massachusetts, spending time with Chrissy’s brother, Michael and
family, as well as meeting with new friends
July 18th- 27th        Pennsylvania, spending time with Chrissy’s parents;  brothers:Kirby,
Eric, and Joel and their families
July 27th- Aug 5th Return to Green Bay, WI.   Spending time with Tim’s mom; friends

August 6th Moving day!!

We are EXTREMELY thankful and grateful for the sacrifices of many who have helped us in so many ways:  through serving with a servants heart in the various fundraiser events, financial gifts, faithful prayer warriors standing in the gap for us, encouragers who come at the right time to speak life into us, cheer us on as we run this race, God’s promises and word spoken to us daily, dear friends who step in time and time again to offer a helping hand and serve us with joy and love.  To all of you who fit into these categories....We can never say THANK YOU enough!!  We love you and appreciate you so very much!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Serve Him with GLADNESS!!

A HUGE thank you to all who came, supported, participated, served and worked and enjoyed a GREAT Banquet and auction, Saturday night!  The food was amazing, the spirit of the evening was uplifting, entertaining and a great encouragement to our family!!  It was a lot of fun!  

We are greatly encouraged by the body of Christ, who comes alongside and shows love, serves and gives in such a real and practical way. A comment heard from a guest was: “I’ve never seen a church put on this kind of fundraising banquet and have so much fun serving and working, all at the same time."   

Which got me thinking. Serving the Lord should be fun! A lot of times, myself included, have served with not so joyful of a spirit.  I was reminded of that, throughout this past week, that God delights and wants me to be a cheerful giver and to serve Him with joy and gladness!  Whether it is as a stay at home mom, wife, missionary, construction worker, student, teacher, co-laborer, with finances, servitude to Him, or more importantly in the day to day mundane things of life.  I am to serve the Lord with gladness!!  Its easy to grumble, to complain, to find fault with everything, everyone or to feel sorry about life's circumstances.  Its harder to serve with gladness because it requires us to take our eyes off ourselves and to focus on those we serve and putting others before ourselves.  

I was reminded of this by three little girls who stayed with us this past week. Our house was quite full - with 4 adults and 8 children (of varying ages from 1 - 17). However, throughout the week, what impressed me most, was to watch them live life with joy, even without them seemingly trying to. These girls were full of giggles, screams, laughter, tears, questions, and just a "little" bit of drama at times :). But at any given moment, one or more of them would break out into singing or humming as they played, ran, and interacted with each other....made up songs about Jesus in their hearts, how they loved Him, as well as many renditions of “Baby, Baby, oh Baby” and “So call me Maybe” too.

They, as a family serve the Lord in a place, most people would fear to go and visit, much less live!!  To see them model joy, even in the midst of hardships, pain, difficulty, sacrifice....truly inspires me, motivates me, challenges me and encourages me (us) as our family is about to embark on a major life changing experience.  Will I choose to serve with gladness?  Will I rise each morning with a song in my heart and an eagerness to serve Him in all I do and say?  I pray that will become my hearts desire.