25 April 2014

Je pense que oui!

I've been hesitating to make this post ... but it seems that it is to be true! Je pense que oui! Two days ago we sent in our deposit for a 1-year lease on a 17th century farmhouse in northern France. (Can you hear me whooping in the background?) We have visa appointments left to come, the final mandatory puzzle piece, but we feel encouraged and that God is in control. In order to apply for the visas we have to have proof of paid lease and plane tickets purchased. It's a full-commitment process!

In the meantime we are madly completing and assembling paperwork, and preparing to sell our home and cars, pack up our stuff for storage, and attend to all the miscellaneous details that will allow us to move this August. I have never moved more than a 100 miles away before, much less to a foreign country with a foreign language. My head is swimming.

But the house. It's like the icing on everything. We had wanted a place a bit rural for the children. A place where we could turn them loose and they could explore and be free, given that everything else will be so new. A place where we could retreat from the inevitable exhaustion of learning to function in a new culture and in a new language. In the midst of all that scares me silly ... even though my emotions fluctuate between thrills and sheer terror ... I am filled with joyful awe and deep gratitude in God's extravagant provision. 

16 April 2014

Dreams and Possibilities

It's been almost 2 years since I took these photos of Pops in Aix-en-Provence. A point in which my own dreams expanded and he hopped aboard.

In the passing time we've been praying and plotting. France. Could it be? Would the Lord have this for us? How might He use this for our family and His glory? The Lord has been gracious in opening doors and He has been using Pops as the vehicle by which we pass through. I am humbled that my husband is willing to reroute his professional track for a time so as to open our family up to some wild, unpredictable adventures.

There is much, much uncertain right now. But the kids are game, my health is improving, we have a job lined up, a rental home that's on the cusp of being available, and a consulate appointment that will decide, officially, if France is on board with our plans too.

I want so badly to worry these details to death, but I know that God is able and these details are but a yawn and a stretch for Him to accomplish. So for now, I am thankful that these dreams are even a possibility.

Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us 
is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of
—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 
Ephesians 3:20-21 

09 April 2014

Days of Remembrance

This is one of those photos that encapsulates a memory fully. I remember going to this parking-lot carnival with Grandpa Vanderburg. I remember the cotton candy and the corduroy jacket and the woven raffia headband that dug into the soft spot behind my ears ... but that I loved anyway. And I remember being here with Grandpa and feeling special.

The tanned farmer who raised six kids and took great pride in the grands. A man always good for a raspy chuckle and an eye-roll inducing joke. A man who proudly loved his wife and could grow a pumpkin so large you could sit inside of it and eat your caramel apple. A man who both unabashedly and quietly loved the Lord and those He placed in his care.

These end-of-life days are a brutal business. As believers in Christ, there is a hope and a future that brings very real comfort. But we cling to life and to those we love. Even as we desire to set free, we hold dear. These are the days of remembrance and yet also, anticipation.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 
Hebrews 10:23