Thursday, October 30, 2008


I woke up this morning with the intention of deleting last nights' post but Brooke had already commented (thank you!) so I hated to do that.

It was a downer. I admit it. I regret having written it. The last thing I want this blog to be is a stop on your web surfing full of heaviness and despair. No one wants to read or hear woe is me stories. But, with that said, I don't want it to be an unrealistic view of our lives right now as we get ready to go to Brazil either. You are not looking at two spiritual giants here and sometimes we're finding this a struggle. I want you to know that. There are exciting days and there are, quite frankly, hard days.

I am excited for the future. I am scared, too. Most of the time, at the same time, I'm both.

So forgive me for maybe sharing too much of my feelings. I got a little carried away.

The truth is

I want to know Him more

and I think I'm willing to do what it takes to do that. It's just not always easy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Monsters

Before Jake was 2 years old he spoke in complete sentences that made total sense. It was so entertaining to listen to him (still is!). I was thinking tonight about how he would find so many things scary. He would say "it's scaaaarrrrry" in a lower than normal voice as he tried to make you understand exactly what he was getting at. He would raise his hands beside his face and move his fingers as he contorted his mouth to make us understand he was not fooling around, he was very serious. Of course, as adults, the things that he found scary we were totally at ease about - silly little things really. We were much bigger than his petty little fears. We tried to comfort him but they were big in his eyes - much bigger fears than he was big.

I was reminded of that because tonight I'm finding life scary. I'm feeling small and tiny with the monsters looming larger than me. I don't even know what all the monsters are but they're big I'm telling you....and my imagination is about ready to get the better of me. I'm not brave and I'm not strong. And I'm scared. I wish I could hide away for a time.

And as I typed that last line I realized I can. Ps 17:8 says "Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings" and Ps. 91:4 says "and under His wings you may seek refuge".

It's really my choice.

And He's much bigger than my petty, little fears.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Football and Church

Scene: West Albany stadium for a football game against South Albany.

Music begins to play. The band is doing their stuff. It's 3rd quarter.

Aidan Arthur to Warren rather hopefully: "is it about over?"

Warren: "no, I don't think so."

Aidan with a convincing tone: "when the music starts at church that means it's about over. Does your church start the music when it's about over?"

Warren: "well, yes, I guess they do"

A resigned Aidan: " I thought maybe when the music started here it means it's about over too."

I could get carried away with application on this one! I'll let you find your own.

You're way cute, Aidan! Warren sure enjoyed his time with the Arthur boys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nitty, Gritty - One Foot in Front of the Other

The "nitty gritty" is much harder than the surprise moments.

Last post I got to share a grand surprise of God and this post I share from being in the middle of everyday, just put one foot in front of the other, kind of days. We have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of work to do in the next few months. It isn't what you would call fun stuff. I cling to every little nugget God gives me to show us that we are on the right path. And sometimes I'm just tired of trying to figure out how it will all work.

I was sharing some of my feelings with Warren this morning and it reminded him of a story:

The Sunday School teacher asks her students what they want to be when they grow up and one little boy answers, "a returning missionary"!

Isn't it so true that we want the testimony without the work. If we could just skip the hard parts - the physical work, the raw emotions, the uncertain future - and go right to the exciting, 'let me share with you the joy in what God has done' parts.

It never works that way.

We are part of a society that proclaims instant satisfaction as the way to go. Anyway that life can be made easy and fun is the most used path. We don't like hard work and we don't like to be told what to do. We want choices and we want to choose what is best for me, me me! It shouts from every billboard and every advertising ad that "I" am the most important person and that is who I need to look out for. Prov. 9:13-18

Look around. It has gotten us into a heap of trouble.

God has never offered that kind of life. And no, life is not always easy following Him. I have found that God has used the hard, steady as you go, things in my life much more often than the sweet surprises to bring about change in my behavior and in my faith. Prov. 9:1-6

Its a good time to remind myself of that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It Didn't Even Make the List

"Don't be found guilty of asking too little of God."

Our pastor, Rob, says that to our congregation often. I've even found myself repeating it to others because I know it's true. God wants to do more in our lives than what we can even imagine. He's able to do more than what we can imagine.

Still I was caught by surprise.

On Thursday we had an offer made on our business and on Friday we accepted.


Warren had told me on the phone that an offer was made and as I drove home from the grocery store I found myself knowing that no matter how I looked at it, the whole thing could be nothing less than God Himself. Even with the human fears and questions still unanswered about other things in our lives I could find no room in this to doubt it was God. I told Warren I believed it would be a sin to not accept the offer. You see, we had been asking too little of God. The sale of our business had not even made the list. We had thought we would just sale the equipment and, frankly, right now that wasn't even looking too good!

It's really not that I don't believe that God can do bigger things than what I can think of, it's just that I'm not always sure that He wants to. I get caught up in a vicious circle of knowing that God can do things beyond what I can imagine and at the same time knowing that He doesn't always choose to do it the easy way. He does, sometimes, take us through the hardest of times. And yet, in this case, He has chosen a smooth path.

We are excited about the man that God has chosen to use in our lives to take over the business. A man of integrity that Warren feels good about recommending to our current customers. We're thankful and faithful that what God is doing for the good in our life will not be to a detriment in his life. We've prayed all along that whatever God did it would work for the good in the lives of every one that are involved. I believe God can do that.

And, while I rejoice in the wonder of it all, I must admit the reality of moving to Brazil is becoming more and more real. Exciting, heartbreaking, anticipating, mourning. Just a few of my emotions over the weekend.

We do have other things to take care of yet and the general consensus is that it's not the right time to be selling a house. But than we don't want to be found guilty, again, of

asking too little.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Questions in My Life

I wondered about it. Would it ever happen? Would I be there to see it happen?...

Well, it did and I was. Yesterday.

Those of you who have been to our house know that if you go to Corvallis in any direction you have to cross the railroad tracks. If you're going the quickest route you are barely on your way and you're crossing one set of them. Well, now that I am going to school 2 days a week and have to be there by 8:00 A.M. it puts me right in the middle of rush hour and it gets quite backed up on the main road right off of our street. (our street is a dead end so I MUST take this very backed up road.) The reason the line gets so long is because it crosses the railroad tracks, has room for one car and then hits a light that lets you enter Hwy 99W. Most of the time people are very nice and let me enter the busy, backed up road in front of them but it still makes for a wait at the light. Sometimes numerous times.

Yesterday I ended up behind a man stopped at the tracks, or rather ON the tracks. I see this often and have never thought it a good idea but because I had seen this before and because I knew I was there for a little while I let my mind wonder to school and everything that my day entailed.

I shouldn't have done that.

By the time I looked up from my books the man (in a very large pickup. Remember I'm in a Mini) in front of me had his window down and was waving frantically at me to back up. It was then that I noticed the crossing gate had come down (across his hood as best it could. It was a really BIG pickup). I looked behind me and backed as far as I could (remember there is a huge long line behind me) That indicated to the car behind me to move (and so forth down the line) which allowed me to back further. It took about 3 backings until the guy was back far enough to be out of the trains way...

Just in time for the train to pass.

I don't know. It wasn't a very long train, maybe the damage would have been minimal.... who am I kidding? It was a train!!!

The guy was not happy with me. He left his window down and turned his side mirror so I could see him swearing at me. So maybe I should have been paying more attention but really

Who's the guy who parked on the tracks?!!!

After he had his say with me by way of hand motions and lip contortion and before he rolled his window back up, I gave him the look that replied to his tongue lashing. You know the look...

"I wondered if anyone was ever dumb enough to park on the tracks when a train was coming" look.

He probably had to get some damage repaired on his truck from the arm coming down on it and than the slide of it across the hood as he backed up. First, though, he probably had to go home and change his clothes... I know I would have peed my pants...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

God in Heaven

It's a mystery how God works. I really can't figure out His mind (thankfully!) but I must admit sometimes I find myself trying to. Go figure...

We really do feel that God has told us to go to Brazil. It's been confirmed over and over. We have tried to hear and follow God closely on this one. And then (I know it's not true but it seemed like) out of nowhere the economy takes a turn. Now we have already been questioned about our sanity that at this point in our lives we would sell a business, home and possessions and move to another country to do, well, we're not even sure what exactly :) ! And now it's time to put our [lives] on the market and look at what has happened... doesn't look good, does it?

Of course, Warren and I have discussed this many times and I have had sleepless nights over it. Some very long, sleepless nights.

Warren came home on Friday with some insight for me. He told me he had been thinking about the whole US financial situation and how it relates to us right now and then He had a picture of God, sitting up in heaven, considering the whole thing. This is his illustration:

God: Oooh boy, I didn't see this coming. Maybe we should just sit this out for awhile and see what happens. This is a bad time to be selling anything. I was really counting on your resources to take care of you... Maybe I should take another look at the whole situation and figure out if it would be wise to even take you there right now. Good idea, it would be wisdom to put it off indefinitely until we see things are getting better. I mean, who knows if the US can pull itself out of this. Ya, let's just wait and see what happens...I will get back to you later on the whole thing...

Of course, that's ridiculous. God has known all along what he is calling us to, the obstacles that would get in our way, and the exact date that He wants us there. God IS NOT in heaven wringing his hand together, trying to figure out how to make it work.

We don't know God's timing nor how He's going to work everything out. It may not happen like we expect it to (good chance of that!), nor as we hope but we do know this:

God has not changed His plan. We just don't see the whole picture yet.

Please pray with us as we seek Him.

(and get alittle laugh out of the absurdness of the above picture of God!!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008


Max to grandma: ven ish Ellie oming to ur ouse?

Grandma: I hope at Christmas time. When do you want her to come?

Max: oomorroo

Jake: That's just what I was thinking!

This is a shortened version to the conversation but just know that you are missed by all of us, Kellie. I wish you were coming tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hands In Your Lap

"I have something we should pray about."

"No! We don't need another thing to pray about!"

That was the (short) conversation that Warren and I had the other day. I'm ashamed to say that I was the no person. Quite frankly I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things there is to pray about these days. I was a little overwhelmed with me, me, me! I didn't want another thing to pray about that would affect me.

You should all know my grandson, Max, by now. He's a character. An amazing little bundle of love and orneriness! He's so fun! Anyway, when we were keeping Max and Jake this summer we had a very amusing incident.

From the backseat of the car Jake informs Kellie and I that Max won't listen to what he's saying. I suggest to Max to " please listen to Jake as he talks to you. It's not nice to ignore Jake." Quickly following my reprimand Jake says in total frustration, "he's blocking my words!" Kellie and I turn around to see Max sitting across the seat from Jake looking out his own window with his arm stretched out taunt toward Jake. His hand is facing Jake with palms out and fingers to the sky. Of course he could still hear Jake but his body language was such that told Jake he was not listening, that he didn't intend to listen, nor was he interested in what Jake had to say! Needless to say, Kellie and I could hardly contain our laughter while we disciplined the little sweetheart!!!

God reminded me of this incident soon after Warren and my conversation. I was the one with my hand up in the air blocking communication. You'd think that as an adult I would have put away childish ways. I Corinthians 13:11 I still have a lot of growing up to do.

Thankfully, God lovingly says to me what I said to Max,

"Sheri, put your hand down."