Content to Go, Content to Stay

It really has been a long time since I blogged! Usually Monday evenings are my only chance to write (and do many other things!) since my mom and dad take my girls for the night. Yay! I absolutely love having them home, but it is definitely nice to have 24 hours to do other things. Like clean the basement where 1/4 of it was gutted due to mold, prepare for leading songs at Open House on Saturday, get stuff in piles for Goodwill, go for a walk…You get the picture.

So, of all the things rolling around in my mind, what do I actually want to write about?
I will tell you that last week we prayed about moving to Cincinnati. Jack really wants to be back in youth or college-age ministry, and we have always talked about being open to moving. Now when it got down to it, when we truly were considering the move, it was so overwhelming. How do you do it? Oh my gosh! I had visions of myself grabbing onto the front step and not letting go. I thought, “What about that playground we just built outside one year ago? Okay. That settles it. We cannot leave it there all alone!!” But of course the realistic sacrifice, the hardest thing to let go of, are our family and friends. Grandad in the nursing home, Jack’s mom rarely in good health, my mom and dad, their closeness to our girls, friends who are family. Not that any of the family needs us; we are not in that kind of position or relationship where anyone depends on us, but just being around, mainly for them to get hugs from grandkids, is what makes my heart hurt when I really think about moving. And Cincinnati was just a couple hours up the road!
Jack said no to the position…Just was not the right thing at the right time. But at the same time we were discussing that possible move, we had sent off our resume and application to a nondenominational Christian boarding school/academy in Texas. With all the pulling on my heart strings aside, I absolutely love the idea of moving to live at this place! It really would be a fun adventure for our family, all of our needs met, including school for the girls if we decided to let them go instead of homeschool some day. The job is resident parents, and we would live with 8 other kids/teens. Today we got an email saying they would like to have a “phone visit”.
I don’t begin to think I know what will come of this. There’s a part of me that says, “Are ya crazy? Why would you leave when you are so loved here?” but then there’s another part of me that says, “But Jack isn’t getting to do what he loves here, OR be with his family much for that matter, and it is awesome to know that we are free to go…and come back, too, if we want to.” I can honestly say I am happy here, and have a very full life. But certain ideas would get me out of here in an instant, such as the idea of starting a home or care point for street kids in Ethiopia, or something where as a family we are getting to be ourselves, use our gifts, and share Jesus with people who need Him. I don’t know if the Texas thing fits that or not. I know that my love of discipleship, parenting, teaching, and singing would all come in handy, plus my desire to keep learning Spanish. I love the idea of my family getting out the crudilicious Ohio Valley and be free from many allergies. My family would get to live on a farm and have lots of cool opportunities. This is a part of me that I can’t escape: I love love love the idea of living with the people I am called to. When I was a missionary, that was basically my only request. I needed my own space to call my own, just a room and a door because I know I’m an introvert and have to hide away sometimes, but I did not want to drive across town to be with my people. I wanted to do what they did, live, speak, eat, suffer, celebrate, just like them. I didn’t need to be taught that in mission school; God gave me that instinct and I still have it. I think it’s important in making a decision to see if what you’re considering goes along with some core parts of who you are.
Of course, being married that can be quite tricky! I require sunshine, I really do–Jack hates hot climates. I am drawn to international places, poor, dirty–Jack? Not so much. But he balances me out, and I absolutely trust that God brought us together as a check and balance. If we are both walking with God, He will lead the way. I really am content to go, content to stay. My great adventure is Jesus Himself, not where He leads or what He does through me.

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