Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! (trumpets blow, the whistles toot)

Isn't it a wonderful time to celebrate God's goodness and love?  Wow!

What has God done in your life this past year?  What have you done with God's blessings in your life this past year?  Have you followed His plan and call on your life or have you waited until it was just right to finally allow God to have His way?

Did you do what He called you to do without quibbling? 

Where did He take you this past year?  Did He take you out of your comfort zone to a place of the unknown or did you decide that it was too uncomfortable and stayed put? 

Lots of things have happened in our past year! 

January- we knew God had called us out of the church we worked in.  It was a good thing he birthed a new vision in us in that few months prior, I was really struggling with what God had been planning for us.  Not with God, but with leaving the many children and families we were working with and that the growth of the ministries were amazing.  God was doing and growing so many parents.  I watched as adults who grew up in the church gave their lives over to Christ.  I watched lives change and grow because of what God was doing through us.  It was a wonder working power, it was the most powerful thing I had seen yet!  I have seen a lot!

In Feb. - we received a job offer from OKC for a campground job working with KOA (Kampgrounds of America).  Each park is independently owned and operated with over 450 parks in the US and Canada.  This job offer, we prayed about it, the owners and manager were Christians as were most of whom we would work with. 

We knew we would have to give notice at the church and we knew that God had called us out the past Sept., we just (I) with saying goodbye.  We were trying to set things up in advance so it wasn't a terrible shock to anyone. 
We also traded our travel trailer in for another one. 

 We had this for a little over a year and 1/2.  We spent 2 seasons in it.  It gave us a real taste for full-time living in our rig. 
But it didn't have heated tanks and pipes would freeze in the colder weather. 
We lived in it after a return from Estes Park CO (8/2008), we just couldn't bare going back to our apt. So we lived in the State parks for 2 mo.
During the summer of 2009, we lived in it out at a land lease

We traded it in for this in Feb. It is about as long but the floor plan allows for comfort and we put a w/d in it so we could quit paying for the laundry mat.  But it has heated tanks and it has a lot more storage. 

March- we gave up our apt. and had moved in full time in our new rig.  It was 14' outside and over 3ft of snow on the ground in Omaha NE!  We had a heated hose and we were set. 
This gave plenty of time to clean out the rented garage!  Oh my!  It was full of so much!  Stuff got sent to kids and given away.  We had a dear friend come by, she worked at a furniture consignment shop and she said she could sell most of it.  We took stuff to the pond shop also.  We sold my car first, I missed her- that car as much as I didn't want her at the beginning of a new journey, she never gave us much trouble! 
April- we gave our notice, had a few going away parties and sold Steve's car.  That was a great car too!  31 mpg every time, consistently! 

 I had never been so proud of a group of children as these and I have never been so blessed with some really incredibly gifted, loving leaders as the ones we had. 
This was our T&T (Truth and Training) 3-6th grade group.

This was our 4th year and in this group we had over 50 children and 10 leaders.

This group was our 9:30 Children's Service.  We had at most times over 80 children attending.  We sang praises to the Lord, learned to pray, learned a lot!  Lots of dedicated teachers who never needed to be asked, they just did! Both groups, Sunday and Wed. knew how to use and dig in their Bibles and read them! 

 This is our youngest, Steve's son.  He is Scott and is 21 now! 

This is our Sanne Family good bye. 

Group Hugs!  These children and I grew together for 5 years!

I am so losing it!  Saying goodbye to so many was so hard!
 At the end of April we said goodbye to family, our Church family, Awana, and the town. 
I look at this picture now and it still tears me up!  I was telling them, this is most likely the last time I wear my Awana Commander Shirt, because I don't know what God has planned in the future.

After that night, we arose in the morning and we headed south to OKC.
The wind was blowing at least 50-60 mph and it was a rough trip, over 9 hours and with the wind- we were both white knuckled and exhausted from it.
So, our new jobs took us down memory lane at least for me.  I grew up working in my gramma's restaurant and learned a lot but never did I think I would ever use that teaching!  I did it!  We had great days! 
We worked from May-Sept. here. 
Steve learned how to wait on people and take their orders, then took their payments. 

Some mornings we served just a few and other mornings we were so busy we didn't realize the time had gone so fast!  On Friday and Sat. nights, Steve BBQ and I cooked all the sides.  We usually had a good group of people on these nights. 
We met some really wonderful people and saw some great things happen here.
In May, we experienced our first huge tornado!  It was an F4 and it hit just a 1/2 mile away from the camp!  It took out so many houses and a few businesses.  We lost power for 3 days, and w/o power we didn't have well water.  So, the owners Terry and Tina hooked up the generators long enough for everyone to fill their water tanks.  Thank God our water tank is 84 gals. and we had plenty of propane!  

We worked about 34 hours a week.  Found lots to do in town.  We even went to Guthrie OK.  We took the trolley tour and found ourselves in a little shop and a Cowboy Pastor in front of us.  Oh Man, that man could pray!  He prayed a blessing on us that was so Holy Spirit filled it was like we were floating when we left. 
  This man had worked as a mule skinner in Montana and then came to Guthrie later and makes custom made boots, some even with great details.

During our stay in OKC, we were able to go to Waco to see Steve's daughter, our oldest, Jessica and her family.  It was a simple 5 hour drive.  The grandboys finally got to know us better!

In Sept. we flew to Montana from OKC to see my son, the oldest boy and my family.  We stayed for about 5 days and headed home to OKC.  During our visit we met my little sister, she is 8 and saw our granddaughter who is 8.  Both live with my parents.  We also made time to go discover the mountains a little, so much more to discover there!

So, at the end of Sept. we made our way through Texas and stayed there about 2 weeks and headed into Florida.  I had contacted a Vineyard Church in August and told them we were coming there and the first weekend we showed up at church! 

God had a plan for us.  It was a plan that I am sure God knew forever.  He wanted my dad's heart for His Kingdom.  My dad gave his life totally over to Jesus in Oct. and by the end of Nov, decided he needed to be baptised in the river.  So, in Dec. he and the Pastor made their way to Blackwater River and in went the old dad and out came a new man in Christ!  Then to top it off, his friend decided his time had come too, and he was baptised!  It was a celebration day! 

In November- we applied for a job in Michigan at Higgins Lake KOA and received it.  We will be working close to 40 hours each, 8 hrs ea. for site.  We are excited as we will be working closer with families coming into camp and taking part of the activities as well. 

In December- Christmas we were able to celebrate Christmas with our daughter for the first time in 6 years!  It was wonderful to see the granbabies early on Christmas morning!  It was one of the tops of the year!

We are hoping to take next winter off so we can help with ministries in a church plant somewhere in TX. 
But until then, we are here in Florida until March.  We met our church family here in Milton and it has been fun! 

God has done some incredible things in our lives and we are always obedient to his ways and not walking our own way.  It takes dedication to live a life in relationship with Jesus.  

Over the river...

Can it be, really?  Over a year since I posted.  Wow!  Does not seem like the time flew.  It seemed like we were just in Alabama not long ag...