Timely Devotion and answering some questions.

From my Daily Guideposts devotion today…how appropriate for us as we begin a new journey in our lives.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…”  —Ecclesiastes 3:1–2 (KJV)
It was picture day at my daughter’s preschool, but Jada wasn’t as excited about it as I was. She hated the skirt I’d picked out because she wouldn’t be able to do cartwheels in it. She didn’t like the wavy pigtails I gave her either, worried that her friends would laugh at her hairstyle; she wanted braids instead.
Why is my daughter concerned about her hair at age four? I worried. What will age fourteen bring? We finally compromised on the outfit, adding leggings beneath Jada’s skirt. I won out on the hairstyle, insisting that her classmates would love her pigtails.
I drove Jada to school, feeling frazzled and frustrated. “Have fun today,” I said, bending down to kiss her cheek. As she walked away, my eyes suddenly welled with tears. My baby girl was growing up so quickly. It felt like just yesterday I’d held her in my arms and caressed her nearly bald head. Where had that mass of red hair come from? And when did she develop an opinion on everything?
Jada was growing up, letting go. It’s time for me to let go too, I thought, wiping away my tears.
Change is hard. But I was learning that instead of lamenting no longer being home full-time with my daughter, it was time to be grateful for the opportunity—and the freedom—to use my gifts elsewhere.
Digging Deeper: Psalm 139:13–16, Daniel 2:20–21
We have had many questions about our decision to move to Oregon…why would we leave an area we love being in?  why would we leave when we just got planted in a new church family?  we thought you loved GUMI and that was your dream job?  Thought you wanted to live fulltime in your motor home?  The list goes on….
Let me say that there were lots of things that contributed to our decision to move back to Oregon but foremost through everything that we have dealt with in our lives our faith and trust in the Lord has become stronger each and every day.  We truly believe that the Lord opens and closes doors for us and that He will continue to do so.
So let me answer your questions ~ why would we leave an area we love being in?  This is easy to answer…with all the traveling and moving around we have done in almost 40 years of marriage we have never been in a place/location we didn’t like.  We love being by the ocean, in the mountains, in the desert and even rainy areas like Seattle & Portland.  We believe there is beauty wherever we happen to be living.
why would we leave when we just got planted in a new church family?  We have been so blessed being a part of Open Door Community Church and truly believe the Lord had us there for a season, our faith has grown, during our 3.5 years in Branson we never found a church home, we attended many different churches and worship services but we never felt AT HOME.  From the first day we walked into ODCC we knew we were home.  And to be honest, leaving Cedarcreek & ODCC was probably the hardest thing in this new adventure.  We felt loved and cared about, felt a part of a congregation, was fed in the Lord’s word by Pastor Isaac’s sermons.  We never quite got used to the fact that our pastor was young enough to be our son, but hey, we got to be Grammy and Grandpa to three of the most precious babies we have ever met.  I was able to do the bulletins for a season, something I had missed for a long time…we were blessed way more than we gave to ODCC and will never forget our church family from there!!  And now, they all have a reason to come to Oregon ~ to see us!!!
we thought you loved GUMI and that was your dream job?  We loved being out at GUMI Camp USA, we totally believe in and support the vision, mission and goals of GUMI and we will miss not being in the day-to-day activities of GUMI but felt that the Lord was opening doors for us elsewhere.  We will always be a part of GUMI, we are still on the Advisory Board and Ali is still doing the bookkeeping.  We stay in close contact with Angela and Tim and look forward to visiting often at GUMI Camp USA and the Branson/Cedarcreek area.
Thought you wanted to live fulltime in your motor home?  The list goes on….we loved our little home on wheels.  We lived and traveled for almost 9 full years in her.  She was old when we got her and now she is almost 30 years old and we all know that when you get older, problems and issues begin to appear 🙂  We have donated the motor home to GUMI Camp USA…it is fully set up and functional is now available for volunteers to use…and when we walked out the door for the last time we felt blessed to have had her in our life and know she is in good hands and will now be a blessing to many who come to GUMI Camp USA.
As we traveled from Cedarcreek out to Oregon we talked a lot about our travels in our home on wheels and realized we loved having a mobile home to get from one place to another.  And we definitely do not want to give up our camping life…so we have already started talking about getting a Class C motor home to go for weekend camping trips and of course we have 5 Grands to share our love of camping with.  And Ali really missed having her own bathroom traveling with her…I think we stopped every 90 minutes or so for one of the many necessary potty stops.
So a new season has begun for us.  Sunday, September 27th we fly to Dallas, TX for two weeks of training.  We have heard that the Texas State Fair is going on and we have friends who we made while we worked and traveled with the carnival who go to Dallas every year for the fair, so we are hoping to connect with them while we are in town.  Then on October 10th we fly to Spokane, WA for a week of hands on/mentoring training and then on October 16th we fly back to Portland and then prepare to move to our new home in Newberg, OR!!
We are looking forward to exploring Newberg, as they have lots of recreational opportunities which you can check out here or learn about Newberg here, along with some great wine country that just screams beautiful drives andbeing only an hour from our son, Brandon & his family and six hours from our son, Jamie & his family!!!  And getting connected to a church and new church family and making new friends in the community we will be living in as well as around the area.
Yes, we feel a bit
about leaving our friends in the Branson/Cedarcreek area and being a part of so many fun activities and we will never forget our friends there (and we hope to go back for some fun visits and reconnections quite often) but we are also excited to spend time with family and friends here in the Pacific Northwest! And we hope our Missouri friends can come out this way for a visit or two.
Hope this helps to explain a few things!!

From Joplin, MO to Pueblo, CO

We have had two great days of traveling.
We left Joplin about 9:15 AM and landed in Lamar, CO about 7:30 PM.
We traveled across the state of Kansas and into Colorado.
Traveling by car is so different than with the motorhome.
No more making lunch or a snack while Ron is driving, potty stops 
are truly potty stops.  That’s okay though as it gets us out to walk around a bit.
One of the places we stopped was at a historical marker
marking the Sante Fe Trail.

And we saw some beautiful homes

We topped off the evening with a date night.

We enjoyed a fun evening with Joey Thurmond  & Moody Molavi

After the show we went out for a late night dinner
where the laughs continued.

So thankful for how the Lord has allowed us to meet some wonderful people,
make new friends, see beautiful country and most of all enjoying each
other’s company!!

Hope you have a great day!!!


Life is Just Full of Surprises

Greetings from the road

Yes it’s true…we are back on the road,
well for a few weeks anyway!
God has sure been busy in our lives.
A lot of things have been going on behind the scenes with us!
We began the process of looking for work closer to our children 
and grandchildren in July.  This Grammy has sure been missing all five of our grands
M, O, C, T
and A!!!
and of course our kids, Jamie & Suzanne and Brandon & Danalyn too!!
We applied for a job as Community Co-Managers with Holiday Retirement in the Oregon/Washington area.  After a series of emails, phone calls, and Skype calls
we were offered a position in the Portland, OR area…we will be about an hour
from Brandon and his family and seven hours from Jamie and his family!!!
This Grammy is so excited and Grandpa is too, if the truth were told.
Then planning the move.
First we had to share with Tim & Angela.  
It was with mixed emotions as our heart is with GUMI Camp USA 
and we totally support it and believe it is very much needed to serve 
our US Veterans YET we felt the Lord leading us back 
to the Pacific Northwest.
And then we had to figure out how to get the motor home and all our belongings to Oregon.
As you know we have lived in our motor home since November 2006!
We have traveled and worked in WA, TX and MO
and traveled through many different states to and fro.
The motorhome is almost 30 years old and with the last move to Cedarcreek, MO
something happened to the reverse/transmission. It would no longer go backwards.
So we prayed and felt like the Lord was leading us to
Donate the motor home to GUMI Camp USA
It is all set up and ready for occupancy and it will be available for volunteers and workers as needed.
And that is what we did. 
Many prayers were said, lots of emails back and forth, telephone & Skype interviews and more prayers were said.  Once we were offered the position things moved very quickly.
Earlier this week MoveBuilders dropped off a trailer for us to put all our belongings in.
Below are all of our belongings except for three suitcases,
a computer bag, and two other carry-on bags!!
 Here is Ron with the first of many loads!
Everything is in the trailer, almost ready to be closed up.
 All packed in and sealed up!
Hard to believe all our belongings fit in a space 3’x8’x9′
Trailer loaded and locked waiting for pickup
The Explorer towing the Jeep!  
We are ready to hit the road!!!

Thursday, September 17 we headed out, 
with our first stop being in Branson.
One last doctor’s appointment, one last chiropractor appointment,
stop by Golden Corral to say some good-byes, stopped at F5 Diner
for a couple more good-byes, dropped off some stuff at another friends
and at 2:30 PM we got on 65 headed towards Joplin…our first stop for the night!
Today, Friday, our second day of travel
took us 500 miles to Lamar, CO.
Tomorrow we will be in Pueblo, CO
to see 
Sunday will find us in Canon City, CO
visiting family.
Monday, September 21 we will be heading 
towards Gresham, OR to see 
Brandon and his family before we head off to 
Dallas, TX for two weeks of training
and then another week in Spokane, WA
before returning to the Portland, OR area and our new home and work.
Stay tuned and travel along with us
on our new adventure!!!

Happy Birthday Joanie

Happy Birthday Joanie!!
Even though you have chosen not to speak to me since September 2008
I want you to know that I think of you often, wondering how you are doing.
Like I have said to many, 
I don’t know what I did to you
that makes you hate me so
but I want you to know
I love you!
I wish you would speak to me
and tell me what is wrong.
Matthew 18:18 tell us
and so I don’t understand how you can claim to love Jesus
and be a Christian YET refuse to even speak to me.
Jesus tells us to love one another
and yet you despise me.
I just don’t get how you can say and do things
that conflict radically from each other.
I asked our niece to see if you would allow her to give me your address
so I could send you a birthday card
Your reply – NO!
What gives?
What do you think Mom, Dad or Kathy
think about how you refuse to speak to me.
You have nephews who have grown into some of the
best young men around and yet you choose to act like they don’t exist.
Your stubborness is causing you to miss out on so much.
Do you even care that you have a great niece or four great nephews?
I thought long and hard before writing this post.
But I have heard through the grapevine that 
you read my blog so I am putting this out there.
Happy Birthday Dear Sister!
I am saddened to think that you have no siblings in your life, 
no nephews.  I am thankful that at times you speak with our niece.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a family get together
and encourage one another?
I think so.
Your niece thinks so.
Your nephews would love for you to meet their families.
I can only do so much.
So once again, 
I am reaching out to you.
Wondering if you will accept the offer
to connect once again.
I love you.
Ron loves you.
Happy Birthday Joanie!!!