Posted in Moving Moments, Personal Observations

Abundant Sunshine

Abundant Sunshine

That was the forecast when I woke up this morning. When I stumbled into the bathroom, I looked outside at the very thick fog soup. Dreary weather was not needed today. Or any day for that matter. In the kitchen a few minutes later, I made coffee and fixed Mom’s the way she likes it, 60% coffee 40% cream. “It looks awful outside. All that fog and cold,” she said. I told her the forecast was for abundant sunshine. Looking at me skeptically she commented, “Well, it better get a move on!”

In nine days, it will be Easter. If there ever was a day of abundant sunshine it was that day when Jesus rose from the grave, having defeated sin and death. Before that happened, the world was locked in an endless, dank fog, unable to find their way out of it. Unbeknownst to them, the resurrection was coming that would change the course of history and make a permanent sun-bright pathway to eternal life, should they choose that road.

As I sit at the desk writing this, the fog of the morning has burnt off revealing the most warm and wonderful sunshine, just as was forecast. If you are experiencing gloom today, my friend, let me reassure you that it will not last forever. Your feelings may say otherwise but they are mistaken. Deliverance is coming, as sure as the sun will rise and destroy the darkness. Hold on.

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Posted in Moving Moments

A Moving Experience

Evan and I arrived in our new city of Fresno Monday night, exhausted from plane delays and running through airports. Gilbert and Ann picked us up and whisked us away to Mimi’s for a yummy dinner. We have spent the last couple of days recuperating from all the work of moving and the emotions of leaving our beloved friends in Missouri.

Life Church threw an amazing going away party last Wednesday night. I told people it was like going to your own funeral and listening to the eulogies. We were beyond blessed to see friends who drove over an hour to say their good-byes. We laughed at stories that were told about us and cried when the stories were about challenges we faced with our friends.

Sunday, however, was painful. Our friend Jeremy, one of the elders at Life Church, gave a wonderful and humbling message about following God wherever he takes you. Then was the time for prayers over us and the actual personal farewells to our church family. There is no way to get past that without tons of tears. Over and over I was reminded what a blessing it has been to serve with all these people. It is a great comfort to know that we will be together in eternity.

There is much to be written about the weeks preceding the move. I plan to elaborate over the next few weeks but for now I need to get ready for a 4th of July party where we will meet new friends for this next season of our life. Hug and appreciate those who you live life with every day.

Posted in Moving Moments, The Move

The One Where Lori Tries to Cry

My family & I are freshly back for 8 days in Fresno. It was quite the trip. We arrived Friday evening and were whisked away to an amazing, authentic Mexican restaurant where we made up for the lack of airline food. We had left at 7am (CST) so by 7pm (PST) we were faint with hunger. Well, okay, a mild exaggeration.

On Saturday there was a church picnic at a beautiful park. We had a chance to meet some new people, refresh some friendships, and eat fist sized strawberries. Well, okay, a very slight exaggeration. There were games planned by the lovely Alejandra who had devised games that kids and adults could play together. Pure genius, huh?

Most of the week was spent meeting with church people, looking at houses & one amazing apartment, and enjoying the California weather. Harold had interviews with 2 different property management companies. He is awaiting  a follow-up phone interview with the company who, coincidentally, owns the amazing apartment complex where we want to live. Well, okay, not coincidentally.

We got back to the ‘ville on Saturday evening and have been recovering ever since. Right before we left on our trip, a realtor in town had a couple who he wanted to show our house. That happened the day we left. Today we signed papers selling our house! It’s stunning how everything is falling into place so quickly. We will be out of our house on July 1st. Which is coming round the bend at a ridiculous rate of speed!

In the last several days I have felt at turns overwhelmed, overjoyed, exhausted and full of energy. Mostly I feel like a good cry would really help! (It’s a woman thing.) I’m sure I’ll get there soon.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers. We have felt them and needed them!

Posted in Moving Moments

Creating Our Reality

We are currently in Fresno doing some footwork in preparation for our move in July. The weather is wonderful, we’re having a blast visiting our new family at Bread of Life, and everything feels like it fits perfectly.

Yesterday morning as Ann was driving us to church I thought suddenly “This is where I live now!” Hopefully my current Life Church family understands what I mean. We have about 10 weeks until we officially move but our hearts are already here. I feel a renewed sense of purpose which is so refreshing.

At Life Church I am busy handing all the multitude of things I do over to other people, which is sad, as endings can be sometime.

The house is finished and in the process of being sold and may well be by the time we get back. We have a solid offer that we might take. Everything is winding down and packing up. Our 21 year season is mostly done and the new one begun.

I feel the most awkward sense of excitement and sadness. Thankfully God meets me every step of the journey. Looking back I see his grace and blessing and looking forward I see the same. He is the one constant in every phase of my life and words will never express my deep gratitude to him!

For today off we go to explore the new land of milk and honey He has given us, with songs of praise in our hearts.

Posted in Moving Moments

The Calm in the Storm

Our house is, as I mentioned yesterday on Facebook, ridiculously clean. It has stayed that way this week because of a Herculean effort on our part. I have always kept a casual house, not too messy, not too clean. Because we are getting ready to put it on the market, we now have to live like obsessively clean people.

Since last weekend there have been lots of discussions on staging, packing, painting, etc. The owner of the largest realty office in town came by yesterday to see the house. A friend of ours, Jeremy, had told him we were getting ready to put it on the market. Mr. Realtor was very impressed with what he saw. He is bringing a young couple to see our home today.

We were a young couple when we bought this house 21 years ago. It was the first house we bought which means this is the first house we have sold. It is more emotional than I expected. All the cleaning, rearranging, trying to figure out what a buyer would see, gets to me sometimes. Everything seems to be moving too fast almost. I mean our house isn’t even on the market and people want to look at it.

In the midst of this we are going to go to Fresno to scope out the land, looking at neighborhoods, jobs, etc. I have been thinking more about Peter, walking on the wet, sloshing waves, his eyes on Jesus keeping him calm and full of faith. Oh, and the part where he looks away and ker-splashes into the ocean as if someone had dumped Peter into a dunk tank. Of course Jesus rescues him.

So today I am avoiding the dunk tank, focusing on the only one who can keep me safe and dry, Jesus Christ, my calm in the storm