Monday, November 21, 2011

The Right Stuff?

Could you imagine, selling or giving away all of your stuff? What about saying good-bye to your family and friends? How about resigning from a promising career? Could you fit your 20+ years of marriage and family memories into a few pieces of luggage? Could you move to a world where Walmarts and Costcos don't exist, McDonalds has no golden arches and the Whopper is unheard of? Could you give up all of this for years on end?

We've had some people marvel at us and hold us up in high esteem because of our "sacrifices". They could never imagine doing something like we do.

I respond by telling them that when you position yourself in the center of God's plan for your life, there is an incredible grace or empowerment that enables you to do what it is God has for you. 

Could I imagine working the graveyard shift at 7-11, because that's where God wants me in order to reach people that no one else could reach? Nope- I don't have the grace for that! Could I work as a car-salesman because there is a group of people that others can never touch? No way- no grace for that. Could I be the office manager of an insurance firm? I don't have the empowerment for those positions.  The fulfillment isn't there because that's not what He's called me to do.

God has really cool plans for each one of us and with those plans comes his empowerment- his grace, to accomplish it with fulfillment. He gives us job descriptions so unique, that no one else could fulfill them.

Isn't God cool? He gives us all, the "Right Stuff". I guess the real question should be, "Are we positioning ourselves to be in the center of his plan for us?"

Food for thought.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Moving Process

We've been asked, "How do you do it? How do you go about moving to a different country? Do you just store your stuff, or do you just pack everything you own in your suitcases?"

Great questions!

It's been quite a process for us, as we've been preparing it seems for years to move to the mission field.

Mostly, it started with going to Guatemala. We decided that we weren't going to keep our furniture, so we got rid of most of it, except for a few pieces that our son used while he stayed with grandma & grandpa while graduating from high school.

Then, we went through our stuff and started giving away a bunch of it.

It has always amazed me how much a "stuff" society we are, and we are no exception!

Then it got to the harder part, as we we started getting down to the "sentimental stuff".

So, for Guatemala, we decided to rent a storage unit, for pictures and papers that we needed to keep. That grew to a 10 x 15 foot storage unit, and it got jam packed with stuff!

When we came back in June, we were sorta glad that we had kept some bedding and clothes and kitchen stuff, etc.

When we figured out we were staying until January, we pulled it all out, got rid of the storage unit, and have been slowly going through things.

Now, its getting to the really hard sentimental items, such as "I remember building some many projects with my dad and that handsaw; how could I get rid of it?" For Marjorie, it's been our pots and pans that came from both sets of her grandparents.

Some items have incredible sentimental value, but are only stored in boxes, and have zero practical use.

We have just a few precious suitcases each to bring what we will need for several years, and the travel comes at a premium cost, so we are being careful and strategic (we hope) in what we're bringing with us to Uganda.

We have reduced our 21+ years of life together and 5 children's worth of memories to a few (well,maybe not enough "few") plastic bins. We still need to whittle our way down a bit, but we're getting closer.

When we leave, we'll have kept the absolute basics of "stuff" and gotten rid of 98% of what we had accumalated.

That's how it's worked for us. No house. No car. No motor boat. Not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it's as primitive as can be.