Thursday, July 30, 2009

What a difference 6 weeks makes

So we have gone from planning to pick up and move to being virtually stable. Since our last entry, Kara has found a job @ Lifeway, a private school in Centerton. This is such a blessing; she is in a great Christian environment, the kids can attend with her including Shelby, and her job provides a way for us to build up some savings. With the way the economy is we decided it might be a great time to look for a house to buy. So we did and found a great 4 bedroom home close to where Kara will be teaching. We hope to move in before the end of August. I continue to enjoy working @ Fellowship which is such an incredible place to work.
With all this going on we are asking ourselves why are we being blessed with so much. We truly felt like we had found a church to belong to in Columbia, and a place we could see ourselves living. But we were also not seeing any open doors. Someone told me that sometimes the blessings come as a result of being willing to do whatever God asks us to do. It sure feels like that is the case with us.
So for now we are here, open and ready for how God will use us here. There is nothing wrong with staying here, it is an incredible place to live. Thank you for all of your encouragement, we were blessed by all of it. It's also interesting to hear how many were praying that we wouldn't leave.
Sorry for not updating the blog recently, staying put has been busier than I could have imagined.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're stil here...

What if this journey over the past year was just to see if we were willing to obey God? Only time will tell. The latest is.....that we will not be moving to Columbia this summer. We kept hoping for windows of opportunity to open and while they might have been there we didn't see them.
If we has unplugged ourselves completely with the limited resources we had we would be in need very quickly. Not to say that God wouldn't have provided or that He won't in the future. We just felt a lot of peace about staying here for awhile longer.
I know a lot of people have been praying over us, some even praying that we won't decide to go.
We have felt your prayers and deeply appreciate them. Although we won't be going to Columbia, we will most likely be moving to a new house. Without saying too much, we don't think the current owner will continue to be its owner for very much longer. The house needs some pretty extensive work and we don't know if that will happen. Probably a good time to move on.
Kara still has a desire to go back to teaching and has a great opportunity that would work out great for all the kids.
I have updated our prayer list to reflect the new ones we have. Please continue to lift us up.
We desire to share what God is teaching us through all of this and what staying here provides. We love this area, our church, and our friends so staying here is a blessing.
Thanks again for joining us on our journey, for now the journey doesn't involve a cross country move.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


We are back in Arkansas after our extremely busy trip to Columbia. We had a great time getting to meet new friends and visiting with potential churches to get plugged in to. Before our visit, I felt like Columbia was somewhere we could move, now I feel like it was somewhere we should move. I totally saw us living there. It is a beautiful area, with lots of place to hang out. All the neighborhoods where we looked at houses had tree lined streets. Very few places in Rogers, or NWA have much of this. Not that the growth of trees in an area determines where we might move, it just added to the beauty of the place.
Kara had the chance to drop off several resumes with principals and I had the chance to meet with a few cabinet shops. We didn't come back with jobs in place but felt like we had some possibilities. We also checked out apartments and some houses to rent. We didn't rent anything yet, I guess not having jobs might play into this.
We've been real enough to have the conversation of what if we don't find jobs just yet. So as of today we still sit in limbo. We felt deeply called to be a part of a new church that is planting right in the heart of Columbia. I could see myself jumping in and helping get the building ready, if God provides a way to get there I will.
It was a great visit to an area we felt like we could call home without any hesitation. We ask you to pray along with us that God will make it abundantly clear as to the direction we need to go. Do we wait another year and save up more money, or do we go out there totally dependant on God to provide? Our prayer is that we will know something in the next few days to weeks.
Thanks for following along with us!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mixed emotions

"Get ready". That was what I heard after our trip to South Carolina last year. I wish it had been a loud booming voice that gave me all the details of why and what we might be headed there for. Like I said, it was a peaceful "get ready". Kara will is much better at being in tune with the Spirit that I am (this might be gender related). So her intuition has been a great blessing for me.

It is amazing how fast this year has gone by. We leave Friday for Columbia to spend some time exploring the area. It is very exciting to say the least. We have made some contacts and will be looking for how God is providing for us. I am so excited to make this trip.

I have one huge thing to pray for if you could take the chance to do so today. My boss who was to shoulder some of my responsibilities is not in a place where he can really do it. He has just discovered that he has a weak heart. The stress, heavy work loads, and the pressure of managing our crew, is probably too much to handle. It makes this decision to move on so much crazier for me. Please pray that God would reveal His plan in all of this very soon. He is incredible at providing and I have no doubt that He will.

Thanks for taking this journey with us. In all of it, our hope is that God will receive all of the glory.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blessing of Prayer

At our church we have a team of people that pray over needs of our staff. This month our team was asked to give them specific requests that they could be praying for us. I submitted requests for someone to replace my position when I leave, and also for clear direction for where and what God is planning for us.

I must say that was an incredible experience. They definitely are in tune with how to pray, and I felt a huge sense of the Holy Spirit in that time of prayer. This past week my boss has had some health issues that have created a lot of questions as to if this is the right time to leave. I remember having similar feelings when discussing when should we start trying to have kids. Sometimes it will never be the right time, but it happens and you find out that God will provide.
My assurance in moving comes from knowing that God is bigger than I can ever make Him out to be. Who am I to doubt that He knows completely what is going on and knows what the future holds? I have an overwhelming trust that God knows what He is doing, He will provide.

Lord, thank you for the people you put into my path today! Their love for you and desire to serve you has blessed me immensely. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

We visit in 2 weeks

Two weeks from today we will be in Columbia, SC to accomplish a whole lot of tasks. Kara has a teacher's expo on June 1st. We are praying she can get a job on the spot! If we can determine where Kara might teach then we can make a decision on where to look for a place to live. Our plan is to find a place to rent until we are more grounded in the area. Please pray that we can find an incredible home for minimal rent. We will be staying a few nights with one of our contacts in Columbia. Our prayer is that we can gain a lot of knowledge of the culture through them, what a blessing they are to open their home up to virtual strangers. I will try to make some contacts with cabinet shops to try and find employment as well. Please pray that an opportunity is available for me (regardless of the economy). We are so excited about jumping out of our comfort zone and trying to be obedient to God. This will be the biggest test of our faith to date, but we wouldn't want to put our faith in anyone other than our incredible Savior. We don't have enough money to move and not have work right away, but God will provide. We don't know a lot of people in the area (3 or 4), God will provide. We never imagined this will be easy, when is it easy to get out of your comfort zone? Still, we both have been bathed with an overwhelming sense of peace. Praise God!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Okay so can I be honest and say that today I was on polar opposites of this leap of faith we have started to take? It started out this morning with the overwhelming thoughts that said "what the heck are you thinking?" In my head I was listing the tons of reasons that we should just stay here and not pursue this burden we feel to move to Columbia. I won't recount all of them because I don't want to start that over again right now. Needless to say I was feeling overwhelmed and full of fear. Not that anyone would have been able to tell, I wasn't pacing around wearing a hole in the floor or sweating profusely in the grips of panic. It was just a mental marathon, something like I was stuck in the middle of a dodge ball fight, and everyone hit me.
Fortunately, God in incredible ways brought about another wave of peace to my restlessness. I love how He can use anything at anytime in anyway to bring about His plan. Today it was in Him reminding me of His promises that He will take care of me. That He has a plan for all the things I am worrying about, so I need to just let go. I am so used to trying to be the answer to all my problems or the problems around me. I can hear it right now, that still small voice saying, "let go, it's not for you to worry about". So I did.
To finish out the opposite polar, shortly after my time of surrender, I was blessed with the excitement of maybe what lies ahead for us. I called someone from Columbia that I have been e-mailing, (trying to establish another contact in the area). Wow did God deliver! I was thrilled to the point of tears at what God is doing in this guy's life. To get a glimpse of what we might soon be a part of. So now I can't wait to get there at the end of this month on our "scouting" journey.
Today I started out unsure of why I am making this crazy move and I end the day pretty excited despite the fact we are making this crazy move. It's in being obedient that I find peace.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Lovely Bride

Can I just take a few moments of your time and tell you how much I love my wife?
Beyond the fact that I think she is a very attractive person. That I feel she has a very pleasant and caring personality. Beyond the fact, the she loves me despite my shortcomings. I think Kara is an incredible gift from God for me.

Her ability to manage our finances and get us on track to freedom from the bondage of debt is awesome. I am blessed to watch the way she loves our children. She nurtures them, corrects them, teaches them, and is there for them. She is there for me. Kara is my compliment and my completion.

She has a heart that is considerate, compassionate, and full of joy. When I think of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, she has been blessed with about all of them and they are evident in her life. She truly is a faithful servant to our Lord.

From the first moment I laid eyes on her, I knew that Jesus had taken up residence in her life. She strongly desires to serve Him daily and in any way He directs her. Her faith is well beyond mind knowledge of our Savior.

I can’t imagine why God chose to give her to me; I am so undeserving of such a woman. However, I am extremely glad He did.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The latest.

Have you ever felt like you had to do something even though you're not sure you want to? That seems to be my first response when people ask me why we are moving to Columbia. Above all else it is a feeling that if we don't go we will be in direct disobedience to God. I don't want to be in that place. As it is I spend too much time trying to control anything and everything.

I am resigned to the fact that we won't know what God has in store for us until we move. God's timing is also at play. If we had tried to move last year at this time we would be carrying a bunch of debt along with us. Today we no longer have credit card debt, we own our cars, and what's left is manageable. How freeing is that.

We are planning to visit Columbia at the end of May. We will try to find a place to live, visit a few churches, and scope out the city. We are planning on having Kara's parents keep the kids so we don't have to entertain them while we are there. My hope is that during this visit before we move out there we will get a glimpse of what lays ahead of us. Please keep us in your prayers. We hope to establish some contacts and get a little more grounded about where we are moving to.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sweet time!

Today I had the sweet opportunity to pray with Kara away from all the distractions that surround us. Kensley was in school, Samuel at his pre-school, and Shelby was at mother's day out. So we snuck away to just sit and pray. We try to pray together at night before bed, unfortunately its probably no more than 2 or 3 times a week. With all the decisions and planning and hoping for jobs, I just wanted to get a break with Kara.
We went out by Beaver lake and sat at a picnic table and just opened our hearts to God. We didn't have an agenda other than to spend time with our Creator. Some tears were shed as we laid our concerns at His feet but overall it was very peaceful. We have so much to be thankful for and I am sure we could have spent days just praising God for everything that we have been blessed with.
My intention was to surrender my will to what He is orchestrating for us. Too often I want to drive where He is leading me, to rush ahead of Him. I wonder how many times I have messed up what He has in store for me in my lack of patience.
We walked away from this knowing we need to take more time to do this together. It was great to connect with Kara in prayer like this. We feel like we are on the same page with what God is teaching us and how He is moving in us. This was just another step in growing closer to Him together.
As we drove away we got to see 3 young deer crossing the road in front of us. I felt like it was a blessing from our awesome God!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here's the latest

Kara had a phone interview with a school district around Columbia on Saturday. This is another step forward in getting a job there. She is still waiting for second set of fingerprints to be run and approved. Apparently the first set was "smudged" so she had to get another set done and sent off. No one said getting to Columbia was going to be easy. I am so proud of how she is pursuing this, she is really excited at the prospect of teaching again. Our big prayer is that she will be able to secure a job before we go and find a place to live at the end of May.
I still have no definite prospects but I am confident the God already has something in store for me. It is weird having a profound sense of peace and being scared to death at the same time. My prayers are clear direction as to which career path to follow. Thanks for following us in our journey. We are so thankful to have friends that are behind us in our adventure!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I am going thru a mentoring study with a friend of mine at work and the lesson for this week really hit home for me. The topic was about assurance of our salvation. That as believers in who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us we have peace about our future. I don't have to waste time worrying about where I will end up. How great is that?
The lesson brought to memory when I first accepted Christ. Dramatic is mild way to describe my experience. I was at a Methodist church camp at the age of 15. Long story short, I was growing throughout the week in my understanding of who this Jesus guy is, and what He did for me. On the final night of teaching and worship we were all led to this small island on the lake at this camp. We circled up on this island, each with our own candle. The night was fairly mild but for some reason there was fog on the surface of the water, maybe 2 or 3 feet high. As we sang worship songs on the island you felt a hush come in a wave over everyone as we noticed something coming to us in the water.
As it got closer, or actually as he got closer, it was obvious who he was. Then he started talking to us. I stood with tears streaming down my face. The person was dressed in a long white robe and looked like what I would imagine Jesus to look like. He had to be in a boat, but with the fog is looked as if he had walked up to us on the water. I can't tell you a word of what he said, but I had a profound understanding of what God did for us in His Son that night. There was no doubt that I needed to surrender myself to Him. I am so glad I did!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving bid

So how money does it cost to pick your family up, move them across country and re-establish some sort of order. My first rough guess is somewhere between $18,459.23 to $210,365.05. If anyone has that laying around and isn't using it or for that matter want it back we would gladly take it off your hands. Okay so maybe that might be exaggerating a little.
Regardless we are in the stockpiling phase of moving. We had a garage sale last weekend and have a great start on our relocation fund. It is interesting to find what things you are willing to get rid of them so you don't have to move them. For instance, we have a beautiful entertainment center that I built a few years ago. If I can sell it, then I don't have to move it. It weighs a bunch, and who knows who will be on the other end of the trip to unload it. Anyone need a really nice entertainment center? When we went thru the kitchen for garage sale items we found 3 or 4 dip bowls. I can't remember ever using them so why keep them. I saw a trick where you turn you hangers around on clothes in your closet and only hand them the right way when you wear it. Thus indicating if it deserves to be in your closet. So far I have turned 6 things around. Needless to say we have so much that we just don't need.
After the garage sale I have been thinking of what we can do to use this stuff to bless others. I welcome any suggestions. I know there are so many in need and that even the smallest stuff could bless someone else. Who will I run across that just needs a few clothes for their kids, or who will I meet that doesn't have kitchen stuff because of a fire? Besides making the money from the sale and knowing it will go a long way in getting us to South Carolina, it was just nice to get some of the extra stuff out. It begs the question what stuff do I really need.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Could you give me a tissue please?

I have known for quite some time that it doesn't take much for a sense of who God is to move me to tears. It can be listening to a christian song on the radio, deep thought during a quiet time or more often during a worship service. Today was no exception.
Our church service was very powerful and had me in tears about the whole time. We were asked to come in quietly and the lights were very dim setting the stage for a very reflective service of Jesus Christ and all He did for us. It is hard to describe what exactly goes on in my heart when the tears start rolling but I want to try and explain. Now I wished I had asked the guy sitting next to me for a Kleenex, he seemed to be in the same place that I am. Then I could ask him what is going on in his heart too. Anyway back to my description.
It starts with a profound realization that what I am hearing or seeing is the work of God. Not like something good that one can do for another, beyond that. Like looking at someone and just knowing that Jesus is at the core of who they are. That regardless of their circumstances they are going to turn it into praise to their creator. After I sense that God is at work my heart starts to expand, today to the point that it hurt. I was so in awe of what Jesus was willing to do for me that my heart felt like it would explode if I didn't just start crying.
This tearing up thing has been going on in me for quite a while. So I am my own expert as to what is going on inside me. Once I can get past the embarrassment that I am crying again, I get to a point of peace. Peace that says you were worth what God was willing to sacrifice kind of peace. Unfortunately, sometimes I squash the moment because of my selfish pride. Missing out on what God was showing me seems to be punishment enough for my lack of obedience.
Beyond the peace of the experience is understanding. What it is, I am not sure of all the time, it's just knowing beyond any shadow of a doubt that God is all around me. Other times when I am in tune its getting more of a knowledge of who God is. Or who Jesus is, or what the Holy Spirit is doing. And if I can get past myself and just sit in Their presence...oh my what a place to be.
I am not an outwardly emotional person, and not very charismatic in my response to worship. Today, even though I remained seated, I was standing in my chair arms wide open praising Jesus at the top of my lungs. But I sense that day is coming!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Random thoughts

What is it that we will be doing in Columbia, SC? I wish I knew. Kara has had the burden put on her heart to go back into teaching. That is definitely the work of the Holy Spirit, she had no desire of ever going back to teaching. If she gets a job that will relieve a lot of stress for me finding a great paying job. Not that I don't want one, but it helps to not be the only bread winner. She has applied with several districts around Columbia and is jumping thru all the hurdles to get her license in SC. Its neat to see her pursue this, she really is being very obedient in doing what she feels led to do. I have made some great contacts, not any that will provide a job but who knows. Its hard to know what type of employment to go for. I have had such a variety of jobs over the years. My resume is interesting to say the least. I have complete confidence that God has something great already in place for me. I wish I knew what I will be doing right now but I don't so I will continue to look and apply for jobs that I could possibly do. Besides employment we both wonder what kind of ministry we will be involved with. We feel like God is moving us to Columbia for a ministry of some sort. Again we don't know what that is, but we are open to whatever He wants us to do.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

If only the weather would have been nice...

If you were to have a garage sale what is the one key ingredient that will get people to come and look at what you are selling? Sure having a sign in the yard is helpful. An ad in the paper goes a long way as well. Case in point; we had people at our house at 6:15 a.m. waiting, I didn't even know where our garage sale signs were. Again those are both great things to have but what I am really pointing to is the need for decent weather. It doesn't have to be 75 degrees and sunny, it can be 50 and overcast and people will come in droves. We worked really hard to get everything ready for our sale, this has become an art form for us over the years. All the clothes were laid out beautifully, everything was priced to sell, and then it happened. The weather threw us a curve. Like I said cold weather won't stop people. It will if it goes from drizzling rain to periods of heavier rain to sleet to snow to sleet to snow to rain then back to snow off and on for hours. Sorry if that last sentence ran on, but that's what the weather did. I was so happy that no one purchased our propane space heater because it gave the few crazy people a little warmth in the midst of the mess. We did actually sell a lot of stuff to those who braved the elements so we are grateful. All the money for this sell and the one we will probably have next week is going into our "moving fund". I am glad to say we now have enough money to pay for the gas to get out there to Columbia. Please pray that the weather is much more suitable to having a sale next weekend.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Like a lead balloon?

This past weekend we went to visit my parents and my sister and her husband. I have been hesitant to share about our move until I was a little more sure of it myself. I also wanted to do it face to face. On the trip up, I asked Kara if she thought we should warn the kids not to say anything about moving. She said that she didn't think they would mention it. You guessed it! In unison Samuel and Kensley said "hi, did you know we were moving"? Not quite how I had hoped to break the news but very effective at getting everyone's attention. They were very shocked that we will be moving so far away but I think they got a sense of how God is working in us.

Kara is in Little Rock right now with the kids during spring break. Our house is so quiet, almost too quiet. Last night I had to turn the fan on to make some sort of noise so I could fall to sleep. While they are gone I am trying to finish up some cabinet projects and get ready for our garage sale this weekend. We both have really taken a hard look at all of our stuff. We have so much stuff that we don't even know what it is. The idea of moving anything more that we have to is helping us to decide which stuff to sell. Ever notice how many of one thing you can accumulate over the years? I've found enough paint to cover our house 15 times too bad its covered in brick and aluminum siding.

Sorry for the rambling, it must be the quietness here. If you have a chance say a prayer for us as we attempt to have this garage sale. It will take a lot of effort to get everything put out. I do like having garage sales though. If for nothing else to get a glimpse into how God has wired some of the people that will come our way. I pray that in some way we can see them the way God sees them and meet a need that they weren't expecting.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What in the world is God thinking?

Okay so what is our main reason for wanting to start a blog? It boils down to this, if what God is doing in our lives can be put out here for anyone to see, maybe it will prove to bring glory to Him. We will not in anyway propose that we are living so right that what is going on in our lives will bring you closer to God. We just feel the need to share this new and exciting journey that he has us on.

So what is this journey he has us on? For a little over a year we have felt a gentle nudge that where we are living and what we are doing is just a little too comfortable. I have a great job and make a reasonable salary for what I do, so it doesn't make sense to just move on. On the other hand the nudge hasn't gone away. We live in a great town with good schools, our church is a place to get fed weekly, and despite the economic issues, we are doing well. It looks like we are crazy to entertain what we are about to do, but our faith in what God is doing in us and will do through us, stirs us to move. So we will.

Sometime this summer we will relocate our family to Columbia, South Carolina. We don't have family there. We don't have close personal ties to the area. We don't have jobs. We don't have a huge bank account to live on for years. It's in looking at what we do have that makes all this possible. We have faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We have faith that this stirring in our hearts is from God, and that he will provide for us. I am sure our friends, families, and my co-workers think we are nuts. Oh well, what do you do? Maybe this journey will increase their faith in our incredible Creator.

This is a really scary reality for us, but at the same time it is so exciting to pursue what we feel God has placed before us. We have been blessed with great kids, a strong bond of marriage, and an ever growing love for our God. We have great friends and a place that feels like home. This all might make no sense to you, and that's okay. We just choose to follow where we feel He is leading us. We hope that by what we share you can be blessed, laugh along with us, and see Christ working in us.

Jeff & Kara

Friday, March 6, 2009

It has started.

Okay so we are totally new to blogs, blogging, blog designs, you name it. On the other hand we have really enjoyed watching and reading other people's blogs. It seems to be a great way to communicate what is going on and easy for others to jump in on. So this is ours. We are just learning what to do here so forgive us in advance for goofy looking stuff. I imagine as we start to get things figured out this will be an incredible tool for our family and friends to enjoy what God has in store for our family. Jeff