Sunday, July 31, 2011

In the middle

We are somewhere in the middle tonight.

*We are in the middle of the country (in texas)

*we are in the middle of our budget raising (we are in the low 40% now due to a budget increase)

*we are in the middle of transition (someone asked where we lived today and Emma said "the car")

We packed up our house and our last day there was Wed. Maggi had her honor star crowning, and for that I hope to post some pictures and make a big deal about it.

I had friends come over for some heavy lifting, and some helped vacuum, others prayed for us, it was an emotional day. We were able to fit all of what we were taking with us in an u-haul trailer, with a few things strapped to the top. That was an amazing accomplishment. Some of the things in the trailer will not be going with us, like pictures, I hope to find time to be able to scan them in, so that I will have the electronic copy at my fingertips, wherever we are. The girls will outgrow some of the toys they are bringing with them, but we shaved off alot.

So our final destination flag, according to our gps, will be California. We will most likely live with family while we are there. We have a few stops along the way, one of which will be general council in Phoenix, Arizona. We are planning on taking the girls to the alamo, the grand canyon, and brice national park.

We could use some prayer during this time in the "middle". We are all experiencing different emotions in relation to the "middle". I tried not to cry when I was saying good bye to my friends and family, and then not infront of my girls, but today, I couldn't hold back any longer. Emma had a break down with each goodbye, but has moved on to planning her birthday party which happens to be when we come back to SC in the winter. Maggi has been edgy, not her sweet natured self. Dave is just tired physically, and tries to have tissues ready for whichever of his girls need them. So we could use the prayers.

At this point, if someone were to ask me what the hardest part of the process is. . . it is not the budgeting raising, or giving up things, they are hard, but the hardest part is listening to Maggi and Emma cry themselves to sleep, over saying good by to family,friends, and a dog.

So I don't ask this alot, but if you could remember us in prayer, we would really appreciate it. We still have a long drive, and tonight our car started making a strange sound. . . so we need traveling mercies. . .and with the trailer on the truck, our gas mileage is awful. . . we need winds to speed our journey :) (and lower gas prices

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead(kinda sounds like the middle to me) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3 13(b)-14


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Before and After Pictures

What a crazy life we are living.
Time seems to evaporate.

We have been on a wild ride.
I wish I would have taken the time, to write on here in a more consistent way, but found little time to actually log on and hash out my thoughts here.

Instead, alot was written in my prayer journal.
Thoughts, that I wasn't ready to share.

Since we last wrote, we have been busy. The girls finished school,which was a milestone for the girls. Maggi and Emma love their school, Larne, and were very sad about loosing that part of their lives. Especially Maggi, she was going to be a 5th grader, which is the big kid on campus.

Dave and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. We were in the beautiful foothills of the western North Carolina Mountains for training that week, on Community Health Evangelism. We were staying in cabins that only had electricity two hours a day. Talk about living the high life! (Dave did surprise me with an overnight stay in one of my favorite places)

We left there on a Friday afternoon, picked up the girls, packed the car, and headed toward Springfield, Missouri for our Missionary Training. This is about a three week period of training. We learn things in regards to our budget, the girls school, cultural adaptations, etc. The girls had medical testing and dental appointments, and training on life the MK (missionary kid) way. We learned a ton, but also met some incredible people. Our last night in Springfield was our commissioning service. This is like our sending out service. We are prayed over, given a Bible in the language we will be using, and actually commissioned as new Assembly of God missionaries.

It was an amazing time. My dad, and Step mom were able to come and be apart. It was a very special time for us.

We finished our time in Springfield, with two amazing services in South Carolina, and felt so energized and embraced by the churches we visited.

Since being home, we have continued to itinerate really hard, meaning packing in as many services as we can. But we have also started a new transition in our lives.

Transition. ugh. Some people thrive on it. . .
I am not one of those people.

We made the decision, months ago, to make the transition from South Carolina to California during this month. We wanted to be settled in Cali before school started. So here we are now. The time on the calender is here for us to make the transition.

So, I have begun to slowly disassemble my home. One closet, one drawer, one item at a time. Everything in our home falls into one of three categories, Take to Cali/Costa Rica, Long term Storage, Toss.

Earlier this week, I started taking pictures off the wall. I had no idea the events that would follow. It was soooo hard. I held back tears as I did. I am not much of a decorator, but I love pictures, they make my house a home. And taking the picture off the wall, meant that my house was just a house. The blank wall was very painful.

I thought, Oh No, I should have taken a picture of what it looked like before, so I can remember.

And then. . .

The Lord whispered. . . But wait till you put the pictures in your new home in Costa Rica. (maybe not in those exact words, but you get the "picture")

and my perspective changed.

Now, I am going to take the before pictures of my blank walls and the after pictures of my walls in Costa Rica (or wherever the Lord leads).

The name of the crazy blog, is the Cartwright House.

The crazy thing is, right now, we are in our house for 6 more nights, and then I don't know what our address will be. We aren't sure if we will be staying with family or mission housing in California.

But our house isn't about the address, or the pictures on the wall, or how many bathrooms we have but if we are living and "moving" where He wants us to. Unless He builds we labor in vain anyway right?

We are almost all packed up, and the boxes have surprised me. I thought we would have an overwhelming number of boxes, but not really. I have more boxes of pictures, than clothes (true story). I never knew that :)

And I am happy. Truly happy.

(except the leaving family and friends part)

This crazy, amazing, journey is teaching me so much. And it is so worth it. I don't want to miss one single thing God has for me, hard lessons and all.

From the devotional Jesus Calling, for yesterday.

Bring me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn't have. Fear and anxiety still plague you... Blazing missiles of fear fly at you day and night; these attacks from the evil one come at you relentlessly. Use your shield of faith to extinguish those familing arrows. Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. If you persist, your feelings will evtually fall in line with your faith (THANK YOU JESUS).

Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn't there. Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth you fear of fear; a monstrous stepchild. Bring your anxieties out into the Light of my presence, where we can deal with them together. Concentrate on trusting me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you.

I am so thankful for my shield of faith tonight.
(and my empty walls).