Out of Time Out

Just over two years ago I hopped on a plane to east Texas.

My hubby and I felt desperate for a change, pressed in on many sides. The next school year was our daughter’s last before college, and the school she had been at for years was feeling increasingly like an enemy and not a friend. Our parents were aging with all of the challenges that come with it. And California, like it or not, makes it hard to be a small business owner.

We had reached the fulcrum of change where the prospect of doing nothing was far more terrifying than the thought of doing something. Do you know that feeling?

Our family moved that summer. We have been here for a year and a half, and what an adventure it has been. It was NOWHERE NEAR as smooth and orderly as we would have hoped.

Our house in California did not sell. (It is currently in escrow. FINALLY!) My mom’s health was already declining but has gotten progressively worse. She can no longer talk and is on a liquid diet. Time has been filled with specialists and diagnoses, and the road is hard. My mother in law (who moved to a memory care facility here in East Texas) passed away after a 20 year battle with dementia.

We moved our teenager across the country for her senior year in high school. Enough said.

I knew before we arrived here that the Lord was putting me in a ministry “time out.” My service would be at my daughter’s school. My family was my ministry. That was all, no outside commitments. I didn’t know exactly what that would look like, but I knew in my heart that was His will. He was right!

There’s a shocker.

But the season of time out is coming to an end. The house in California is in escrow, so there is hope we will no longer be bearing the burden of two monthly household payments.

My mom has a diagnosis. (A Typical Progressive Supranuclear Palsy…of course it has to be A Typical. Welcome to my life.) We are doing stem cells, therapies, and a wild and crazy concoction of vitamins and supplements. When dozens of doctors in several states disagree on what is wrong but agree that nothing can be done, you become an expert at everything traditional medicine puts in the “nothing” category. We have traveled many (MANY) miles and laughed on the journey.

My beautiful daughter is off to college. The road is always hard in that season, but she has far more shining moments than I ever hoped and is on the Dean’s list. She is growing in her resilience and planning incredible adventures. She took the train into New York City with friends, traveled to Montreal for the weekend, and applied for a ten-day study abroad trip to Jordan. Next fall she will be riding camels across the desert.

I am a bit jealous.

My precious little peanut is not so little anymore and finds that being an only child has some real advantages. My grown son is my favorite young man on the entire planet and has done everything anyone can ask to support every generation of his family.

We love where we live. We have no regrets and see the hard times as God smelting our lives so the unnecessary parts can bubble to the top and be scraped away, while providing beauty in a new setting for us to enjoy.

All that to say…the itch to serve is coming back.

When I left California, I was wide open to whatever God had in store for Brighten A Corner. If He wanted me to start one here, I would. If it were to continue there without me, fine. But, I find that I am increasingly missing the people I served with on the Central Coast; and East Texas for multiple, good reasons, doesn’t need its own Brighten A Corner right now.

So we are praying about firing up the ministry on the Central Coast again. WE ARE ONLY IN THE PRAYING STAGE.

I am not certain what it would look like or the technical aspects of how it would function aside from flying back for projects. But I miss you and the leadership team enormously, and the calls still occasionally come in for projects. WILL YOU PRAY FOR US?

Pray for discernment, wisdom and stewardship.

When God deems the timing is right, He will make the next step known. In the meantime, here is a very wordy update on my life. I will let you know when we know, but start filling jars with coins. If we come back, we’ll need financial help and volunteers!