Sunday, January 17, 2010

Part 2 of the Washington Story

Of course, the Lord was faithful!

The day we were moving out of our one rental to our free home my dad found out that he lost his job. At first, we were very stunned and confused but more than ever we were thrilled to see what the Lord had planned for us. Our journey was becoming more and more clearer as to His plan for us.

The time that my dad has been off work has been a true blessing! He has been able to spend a lot more quality time with us. The greatest blessing has been the time that He has been able to spend with the Lord, reading His Word and growing closer to Him!

Knowing that we would love to be a part of HOFCC (Household of Faith Community Church), my dad came to the realization that though we could go anywhere (because my dad had lost his job), we would love to move to Oregon for the church. The Lord was obviously changing my dad's heart and giving him the desire to move, if that was the Lord's will.

While we were still considering moving to Oregon, a recruiter in the same industry my dad had been in, called my dad letting him know that there were possible jobs in Washington, not Oregon. First of all, my dad thought that Washington would be impossible because we wanted to move to Oregon for the church, not exclusively for a job. Then, my dad checked HOFCC's website and saw that they had many branches of the original church in Washington.

So, we were now looking at Washington as our possible destination. We continued to pray about it, knowing that if God was calling us to Washington, He would provide a job for my dad.

In the meantime, my dad was putting out his resume to various companies out West. Since he knew a guy out West, my dad asked him if he knew anyone that was hiring. His friend promised that he would put out my dad's resume to people he knew.

A little while later, my dad's friend's boss (confusing, I know) called my dad, letting him know that he had someone who was planning to retire at the end of the year. So, they were searching for a new recruiter.

At the same time though, another company called and let my dad know that they were also looking for someone.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, my dad and mom decided to go to Washington before they went to Hong Kong to pick up Charity. They were able to visit the church as well as have lunch with both of the companies and tour Washington.

After they arrived back home, both of the companies called him back to let him know their decision. The first company (that my dad really liked) said that the guy who was going to retire decided not to, so they really didn't need an extra employee. The second company said that they really liked my dad, but were also interviewing other guys for the job.

Even though my dad had really wanted the first job, he knew that the Lord had a plan for us and He would show us what to do.

After a couple weeks, the possibility of the second job was looking rather bleak.

Then on January 22, my dad received a phone call from the first company (the one that said they didn't need him). They told him that they were going to start a new line in the company and would need someone to work for them.And they wanted him! Even though they aren't going to start the new line until next year, they want him to move to Washington around March or April, so he can get accustomed to the company and start working sooner than later.

The Lord is so faithful! I still cannot believe that we are going to be moving so soon. In one aspect, it is exciting, but at the same time it is sad, knowing we will be leaving family and friends. We think we will be moving in the middle of March. We are still unsure where we will live, so who knows exactly when we will be moving.

But the Lord continues to show us what to do...

The verse that sums up our journey would probably be Psalm 62:5-8.

"My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Washington...our new home...possibly Part 1

Where to begin?

Well, it all started about a year ago when I read the book "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris.

The book was so life-changing that my mom wanted to know where they went to church. She found that Gregg Harris, their dad is the pastor of Household of Faith Community Church in Gresham, Oregon. As my mom watched the videos online that explain what the church is about, she sat there with tears streaming in awestruck silence, knowing that this is the church we had been looking for! At the same time though, she was disappointed, knowing that the church was all the way across the country. Yet, she knew that if God wanted us in Oregon, He could and would change the hearts of the rest of the family. So, she entrusted it to God, continuing to pray for His will to be done.

The Lord had already been moving our family quite a bit.

Back in the spring of 2009, the Lord had been prompting my dad for a few months to sell our house. However, we had no idea why. We loved it and also knew the housing market was awful. Yet, my dad wanted to stop fighting the Lord in this area and start being obedient. We put a little "for sale by owner" sign out in the front yard, but nothing in front of our development. No one knew our house was for sale, unless they came into our neighborhood. We believed that if this was God's will for our family to move, He would bring the buyer.

We were amazed when He brought the buyer within 10 days of putting the sign up. At this point, we knew we were on an adventure of faith. We knew that we wanted to live solely on His leading, so we prayed as we were wondering where He would want us to live. With a week left
before we had to be out of our house and with many friends and family members stressed out for us, the Lord provided our neighbor's house, which was vacant. After we asked him, our neighbor allowed us to rent it from him.

As we were in this house, my family along with some of my "do hard things" buddies went to the Do Hard Things Conference. Not only did Alex and Brett Harris speak, but their dad, Mr. Gregg Harris did as well.
The whole thing was amazing!

After going there, my dad wanted to know more about the Gregg Harris family. He then was ready to watch the videos about the Household of Faith Church. He was awestruck about everything that this church believed and stood for. It was what our family had been talking about for years, a New Testament church. My dad told us that he would love to be a member of that church, but moving across the country was out of the question...besides he had a job, and we were in the middle of an adoption which was started before we moved.

Part 2 coming soon...

Update on Charity

So, I thought I should post an update on Charity since I haven't done that already.

I guess I'll start from when she came home...

My parents brought her home on December 22, just in time for Christmas! They were all completely exhausted due to the 16 or so hour flight.

For the first week or so, Charity wasn't herself...or so my parents told us. "She was so much happier in Hong Kong," they said. Obviously she wasn't completely adjusted.

As of today, she has been home 19 days and she is becoming more and more adjusted every day! It's truly remarkable how quickly a child can adjust to a new surrounding, new people, and a completely different time zone in a couple weeks! We are truly blessed to have adopted a child that has adjusted this quickly!

I love Charity so much! She is so fun, not very fussy, and extremely smart! That is one thing that has shocked us the smart she is! Since she doesn't speak English, we have been teaching her please, drink, more, etc. in sign language. She is such a quick learner!

One thing that we have been working with her on is her motor skills. Since she is Down's Syndrome, this is one thing she is behind on. We have been trying to teach her how to use a spoon to feed herself.

Charity is such a joy to our family! Praise the Lord for His goodness!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions?

So many times, with a new year comes New Year's Resolutions.

Yet, what can I do to change myself this year? Nothing.

What amazing strength, what new-found goodness in myself can control the bad habits, attitudes, and thoughts I struggled with the previous year? None.

There is nothing I can do and nothing I can change in my own strength, power, or persevering goodness, except committing every attitude, thought, action, and word to Almighty God. He is the only one who can change me, the only one who can make a wretched sinner like myself any godlier this year.

So then, let us commit ourselves to the Lord this year, surrendering everything to the Potter's gentle hands. Let us be like clay, allowing ourselves to be molded and shaped, slowly yet surely, into the perfect likeness of our loving Heavenly Father. When we do this, we will be amazed at the results.

With David may we say,

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence or do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51: 11-12)

Discussion Questions:
* What areas of your life need shaping and molding this year?
* Have you been trying to change yourself recently, without the help of God?

Growth Activity:
* Ask the Lord to reveal what areas of your life need to be surrendered to God this year. Prayerfully examine your life and write a list of emotions, attitudes, words, thoughts, and actions in your life that are not pleasing to the Lord. Commit these things to the Lord, asking that the Lord would mold and shape you to be more Christlike this year. Keep a journal of how God is changing you throughout the year, as you continue to commit yourself to the Lord.