Thursday, May 27, 2010

House Closing

Photo from 1961

We closed on our house today in Grand Rapids, with mixed feelings. We are grateful to be able to sell the home, located in one of the top 10 worst housing markets in the nation. But, thanks to its great curb appeal, attractive back yard, and generous friend and Realtor,we were able to sell it in just two months. As much as we know that this transition was in God's hands, it has been hard to let go of the place we made so many memories as a new family.

A thoughtful friend and Elder from our former church gave me two articles she ran across for me to read. The first, "Moving Day," about leaving a home full of memories, and the second, "After the Move," written by a pastor's spouse who refers to herself as the "queen of the forwarding address," after moving ten times in fifteen years of ministry. I don't think we plan on moving that often, but her advice on how to flourish in "unfamiliar soil" relates to anyone who feels like a newcomer in and old-timer's neighborhood.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Week

Reading a book with Grandma Barb.

Playing together in the garden.

Ezra is starting to enjoy coloring more and is able to sit still long enough to "make notes."

PJs before bedtime.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Following God and Farming

"...what’s your field, and are you plowing it? Are you plowing too little? Are you plowing too much? What’s your sweet spot, and in ten years, will you have a small orchard that can feed your family and some of your friends? What’s your land to toil?"
When Brian and I were making decisions late last winter about transitioning in ministry, a co-worker sent me a blog entry by Donald Miller, "Following God and Farming." I saved it in the "to read again" file on my email, and re-read it again this morning. D. Miller reflects on how our choices to follow God are a lot like farming. Here are his main points, and my reflection.

1. If you have a family, that's your field to plow. If your life is a field, then your work might be a few rows, but your family is the rest of it. "Your job isn’t to feed millions, it’s to tend the land God has given you, no more, no less... I know it will feel like you are giving up something, and the truth is you are, but how do we really know what God may do with our faithfulness."

2. Plow the field God gave you. God gives us a heart, a desire for what he calls us to. You may have an opportunity to work for the kingdom, but no desire for it, then you have to ask yourself if that is what God is really calling you to.

3. Work with consistency and faithfulness. It's like a farmer driving a tractor back and forth in a field. One thing that I take with me from my time a the FOTF Institute, is something that one of our teachers, Del Tacket, said the last day, "You've got to hoe, hoe, hoe." He meant this in the form of encouragement, for our class to remind ourselves when it seems as if we are getting nowhere in whatever work we may be in. "If we buy into the instant-results mindset of our culture (that is depressed and confused itself) we will become very frustrated with God."

4. Stop measuring your crops. This is harder to remember when things are going well and we experience a lot of success. Or, when we experience the harvest after years of watering an plowing. "Keep your head down and plow your field."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring! Rainbow and Klompen Classic

After a spring rain last Sunday night, we had a beautiful rainbow.

A group of us who walked the 5K Pella Klompen Classic!