Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taking a break from the countdown...

With only 11 days left in our home the last thing I should be doing is cleaning. I should be filling boxes and emptying cupboards.

The packing is well under way with our upstairs, where our bedrooms and main bath are, being completely packed with the exception of our beds, clothes, and a few pair of shoes. But, our downstairs is still a nightmare. We've gotten a storage unit and have begun to move a few things out.

I started in my kitchen this morning but instead of filling boxes I've been cleaning like I've never cleaned before in the four years we've lived here. It's more of the same that I've done to the other rooms I've already "completed." Down to scrubbing walls, patching holes, and even vacuuming the crumbs from the cracks of the hardwood floor! I'd love to say it's the Girl Scout in me "always leave a place better than how you found it." Or that I'm preparing the home for the family that will occupy it next. The truth is, I'm certain it's my feeble attempt to wash away my mistakes. I had to pause for a second and catch my breath because that is a painful thing to admit. I've made big mistakes that have affected my entire family and our entire future. But, I know my God is faithful and he will restore it all.

It does feel good though, knowing the house will be in the best possible shape for whomever moves in. There is also a lot self-gratification involved in cleaning, for me anyway (an illness I know).

On the flip-side to all of it, there are a few doors that have begun to crack open. My husband works for General Motors and we live smack dab in the middle of "Motor City." My husband started at GM as a contract employee and when he came home and told me he'd been offered a salary position, the sky parted, angels sang, and I saw Jesus himself. So I was more than disappointed and outraged when three months later my husband began to plot his plan to leave GM! Who does that! People don't leave GM! "As soon as I'm finished with my degree," he'd say. Well it's been close to 10 years and he's down to his final few classes and planned to start looking for open positions with other companies soon.

Open door #1: My husband has been offered a buy-out from GM. If he doesn't take it, he won't be penalized or laid off. He has 45 days to decide and if he does take it and begin a new position right away with another company we're looking dead in the face of the miracle we have prayed for! It's right there, I can almost touch it.

We've also chatted for a number of years about leaving the state so we are looking into a few different states. As painful as this process with our home has been, it has been our prayer that God be in control and his will be done in our lives. That Jesus open the necessary doors and provide the necessary funds for us to carry out his will. I don't find it a coincidence that my husband is offered a buy-out months shy of completing his degree at the same time that we are no longer tied to a home. We aren't all the way there yet. We still have many prayers ahead of us and a few more doors that have not yet been opened.

A few months ago an elder at church told my husband and I that he felt we had a calling on our lives for a "mission." I have kept this in the back of my mind since then and while watching Extreme Home Makeover on Sunday it hit my like a ton of bricks. I have felt a tug to New Orleans since the hurricanes and while browsing the job bank of the company my husband is looking to relocate to I noticed Louisiana on the list. I wasn't sure at the time but I specifically checked to see if jobs were available in Louisiana. That TV show on Sunday was like confirmation for me. I don't know what God has in mind for us or how he wants to use us but I do feel led to pray about relocating to Louisiana to help re-build. I can't think of a better place to start over with so many people who have been forced to do the same; to re-build what they lost. I can't think of a better place for my children to learn and grow and earn a sense of community but from a "mission" like this one. I can't say for sure but I at least know that is how I feel led to pray.

I braced myself when I told my husband; I thought for sure he'd scream, yell, and insist I was out of my mind. But, he agreed to pray with me about it. We are both in a position more so than ever before where we are surrendered. We will follow where the Lord leads us. I know our lives are a living testimony and God wants to use us in a big way and I can't help but feel like this place we are in now is the beginning. Not the beginning of our story, but the beginning of when he can finally trust us and use us. Joy exudes from every poor, so much that I cannot contain. I am eager to know where he has called us and even more eager to go. I surrender.

3 drops of sunshine:

Leslie said...

this will be a fun ride to watch and see how God uses it during so much change in your life.

Love Seeing your flexibility and willingness to go wherever your called.

Praying for you guys... and jobs, and houses, and direction and guidance!

Wendi said...

Kari, this is so awesome! Offering our lives for God's use...whatever that may be, is such a beautiful thing! I think you truly bring a grin to the face of your Saviour!
Praying for you as you continue through this intense process of cleaning, packing, seeking God, and moving on.

just1reason said...

Wow, Kari, here's some thoughts that have been wandering around my own heart lately....our lease is up June 9th, Eric's job at the school is done June 7th, for the summer. This is the most "uprooted" we have ever been, with nothing tying us down at all! We could go wherever God leads us to for the entire summer! And God has recently put it on my heart to move INTO this little town called Elberta up here that people only move OUT of. It's kind of the "projects" up here...much poverty, teen pregnancy, drug use, etc. And my hubby is praying about it, which is a miracle! You and I have certainly crossed paths for a reason! Our lives just seem to move right in step with one another. Praying for you during all of your transition...please pray for me as well.