Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Grace in Letting Go

2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you.

We're about a month and a 1/2 away from moving to Brazil. As we come closer and closer to the departure date, God continues to grant me grace beyond measure.

When we 1st felt called to move, my 1st question was, "So are we going to ship ALL of our stuff?", hoping that I could just relocate EVERYTHING in our home. Well, we looked into that, got the quotes, and knew immediately it would be impossible. In the process of selling our home to a friend of ours, we decided mutually that we would sell it with the furniture. Great! Now we don't have to ship the furniture. Well, I knew I still needed to go through the whole house and have a MAJOR garage sale and get rid of everything we didn't need. So I did just that. It was hard selling our treasures. Most everything was brand new, and, or, wedding gifts. So it was a little difficult, but I really felt God's grace upon me to let it all go. (even some great things I didn't even use yet!) Friends of mine kept telling me that what I was doing was so great and honorable, and that they could never do it. I never felt honorable, I just felt like I was following the will of God.

So we sold the house and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment. We had to downsize, but I still had lots of boxes packed to ship directly to Brazil. Even though it was WAY too expensive to ship the whole house, we sold the big furniture and downsized so we thought we'd still ship all of our boxes of household things and Camden's baby furniture and baby gear. SO, we got a quote on our downsized shipment. We were blown away! Even though we cut our shipment down to a 1/3 of what it was, it was still VERY expensive, and didn't cut the price that much.

Well, that means we have to downsize some more. OK. No problem. We just won't take Camden's furniture and a few other larger items. Let's get another quote on about 1,500 lbs. (which is nothing compared to what we started with.) As you can guess. Still too much.

So this past Monday, we've decided to pretty much get rid of EVERYTHING and just move with suitcases. We'll buy everything new when we get there. And the amazing part of all of this, is that I'm not even freaking out about it. I've felt that God's Grace has been on me more and more with each downsize. Even the things I thought I could never leave behind and that I NEEDED when we 1st started this process, don't even mean much to me anymore.

I've always loved the illustration of not holding anything too tightly in the palm of your hand, except Jesus. Always be willing to let go and let God. This has been very difficult for me. I've held plenty of things so tightly my world revolves around them instead of God. It's seems God is teaching me about letting go through this whole process. The grace I've felt through this has been amazing. A year ago, if you'd have told me I'd sell all of my possessions and move to another country with just a few suitcases, I would have never have believed it. Now here I am. Wow! I've never felt so much peace and grace working in my life.

Have you ever learned this lesson of letting go and letting God? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Cards, Christmas Cards, and more Christmas Cards

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I'm sort of sad because this year we won't be able to decorate for Christmas. We'll only be in our apartment for about 3 more weeks, then we'll be in ND for 2 weeks, then back in C/S staying with friends until our departure date, Jan. 17th.

But, that doesn't mean I can't send christmas cards! Since we are raising our support for Brazil, we decided that our last letter would be sent in our x-mas card with a family photo. So that means that I have just a few cards to means I have over 200 cards to send!!!! And of course, I can't just send a card with our names signed, no way! I need to write in each one, because Words of Encouragement is my primary love language. (Read 5 Love Languages if you don't know what I'm talking about.) So..........I have been writing out over 200 christmas cards the past few days. YES, my hand is a little sore. :)

This got me to thinking..........are Christmas cards going out of style? Now there are so many ways to send greetings, E-cards, Emails, Family Letters, Photo cards, etc. The past few years, we've sent photo cards. And I personally love getting photos from friends and family. My fridge is covered and I love it! Anyway, what is your preferred greeting of choice? What are you sending out this year? Do you even bother to keep in touch? What do you like to receive the best? How do you display your cards/photos?

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Steps

Well, our little guy has decided that it's time for him to start walking. Let me just remind you that he is only 8 mo. old (almost 9 mo.). So needless to say, we're a little surprised. He's been "cruising" around the furniture for about 2 mo. now, so we knew it would only be a matter of time till he ventured on his own. He's only been able to take 2 steps at the most before falling, but hey, it still counts!! I'm a little scared because he's been into EVERYTHING for 2 months now, so I can't imagine how much more crazy it'll be. I was also hoping that he'd wait until we got to Brazil to walk, just because we're on an airplane for 10 hours or so. It's just a lot easier to contain a baby when they are not walking yet. So it could be an interesting trip. :) Anyway, check out Camden's website and some new pictures.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

International Driving License

It's now official. I can drive anywhere I want to, thanks to AAA and their very cheap and convenient international/inter-american driving licenses. And actually, since Brazil is in the "America's" we had to get "Inter-American" licenses, not quite international ones. But still, I can drive anywhere in the America's that I want. :)

Even though I'm quite excited about this, there is part of me that is very scared. Scared because I know what the driving is like in Brazil. (Although I must say, it's much better then India. India is absolutely ridiculous.) Brazil is just full of very "over-excited" drivers. And speed bumps every 100 yards or so. (I'll probably take pictures and post some of all the ridiculous speed bumps when we get to Brazil. It's just something you have to get used to.) AND much to my chagrin, 99% of the vehicles have manual transmissions...........that means they are "stick-shift" vehicles. And that right there is enough to not make me want to drive.


I admit, it is very embarrassing for a girl who grew up on a farm in ND to not know how to drive a stick. It's not so much I don't know how, I do. BUT I've never become proficient at this skill. I successfully have talked my dad into buying only automatics since I learned how to drive. I know............shameful. I've never driven a vehicle more then a few hours at a time, once every 4 years or so that is stick. SO, this means I need to learn. (Since my husband has absolutely NO intention of letting me off the hook and buying an automatic.) Maybe learning to become proficient at driving a stick will fall into the same category as learning how to speak Portuguese. I'LL LEARN WHEN I GET THERE. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Go Air Force!!

The best way to spend a sunny fall afternoon is at an Air Force Football game. We are lucky here in the Springs, to have the Air Force Academy in our back yard, so that means lots of excitement in many different sports. My personal favorite is football. Just because there is no other college football game that you go to with F-16 fly-overs and people parachuting out of airplanes to land on the 50 yard line. It is just all around great entertainment. Renato had never been to an air force football game before and that is something everyone in the Springs should experience, especially since we're leaving the country and maybe won't have another chance to see one while we're living here.
When I first moved here, I guess you could say I was a little obsessed with Air Force Football. To a young single girl (who was a big football fan) from North Dakota, there was just nothing better then going to football game that had lots of men in uniform all around you. :) Just ask my friend Beth. We had lots of good times at those games. :) Anyway, now that I'm married, the football game, fly-overs, and parachuters were more then enough entertainment. And I was glad to share it with my husband. We had a great time, and the Air Force went on to beat Army 30-10. GO AIR FORCE!!!!