I know there have been a lot of you anxiously waiting for an update on our move with pictures of the new house. It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks. Even now, as I sit at my desk in MY OWN HOME OFFICE, knowing that there are boxes still stacked in various places throughout the house, I am amazed at all that we have been able to accomplish in the past month. Certainly the Lord has blessed the work of our hands and we are grateful! In addition, there were several people who helped us move and we know that many continue to lift us up in prayer as we transition into a new season of ministry and family life. Thank you to all of you!
On March 18, we drove away from this trailer that has been our home for 3 years. It was bittersweet for sure, but we are so grateful for the new home we moved into! :) God was generous in providing a buyer for the trailer who paid what we asked without any negotiating! The sale of our trailer will allow us to get a second car to make travel more fuel efficient for ministry within driving distance and enable the boys and I to have transportation when Josh is away.
On Tuesday March 21st we got the keys to our new home! We filled the pickup with our first load of boxes, moved them into the house, and then hung curtains in all of the rooms.
On Wednesday, we brought another truckload of boxes, made a couple runs to Home Depot for misc. stuff, and my appliances were delivered! We had our first dinner in our new home that evening!
Thursday was our official move in day. I managed to not get any pictures of furniture being loaded or unloaded, so I guess you'll just have to trust me when I say it's all here at our new house now! :) Thing 1 and Thing 2 worked so hard. They cleaned, packed, and carried boxes. Then they helped unload and unpack. I was so proud of them! My "little" boys definitely worked like men! Josh and I have moved eleven times in our thirteen years of marriage, and every other time I've hurt my back at some point in the process. But not this time! My three boys and some friends did all of the heavy lifting and that kept my back healthy! Praise God! :)
It's funny how organization and chaos seem to alternate when you're unpacking and getting settled. We unpack a few boxes, spread stuff all over, find homes for those things and then unpack and distribute again. It's a process for sure, but slowly but surely we're working our way through the boxes and "setting up home."
I spared you the pictures of the garage, storage room, and Josh's studio because they are piled high with boxes and not nearly as interesting! ;) (Besides, this way I can pretend that my house is neat and organized and live a few minutes in denial of the massive amount of boxes I still have to unpack)
Our house has a partially finished basement. There are two "bedrooms" - one which we'll use for storage for now and the other is Josh's studio. There is also a laundry room and wood shop (We feel so spoiled!) Then there is one great big "entertainment" room...A.K.A. Giant LEGO Explosion/Fort/Noisy Boy Room! (as seen above)
So there you have our "Home Sweet Home"! I'll continue to post pictures as we get unpacked and situated!
In the meantime, Josh is in California this weekend, doing 5 ministry events in two days! I talked to him this afternoon and he was really excited about the work that God has been doing through these events. I miss him, but I'm so thankful for some peace and stability and honored to be married to a man who continues to follow wherever the Master leads!
Please pray for our family as we begin to get to know the people in our neighborhood and strive to shine and share Jesus with them as well!
Here are just a few updates on our family & ministry! :)
- We are currently in northern California on a two week ministry tour. We had four church services last weekend and have three this upcoming weekend. It was a gift to connect with two new churches and we look forward to future ministry opportunities with them. On Saturday evening, there were several people who attended from the rescue mission. It is always exciting when Josh has the opportunity to share his testimony and the Gospel in settings such as that! We also were able to minister at two churches we've been to in the past. The familiarity and welcome as family is always refreshing!
- Sunday night, on our way back to the trailer, our truck began to have transmission problems. We took it into a shop in town Monday morning and were grateful to have it back by yesterday afternoon. The repair was more expensive than we would have hoped, but we were thankful to not have to replace the transmission! :) It could have been much worse. God is a faithful provider and we are rejoicing that the repair did not require a long wait for parts!
- Tuesday afternoon, a mobile notary met us here at our RV park so that we could sign the papers to close on our house!!! This is the fruit of months and months of prayers and waiting! We are beyond grateful for God's provision of a home of our own! Thank you to all who have joined us in praying for this!
- Monday we posted a listing to sell our trailer on Craigslist. In response to the transitions in our ministry (you can read more about those here and here), we've decided it is best to sell the trailer and then purchase a small fuel efficient commuter car. We would love to sell it while we're down here in California simply to make the drive home easier, but if it doesn't sell this week then we'll just take it back to Washington with us and sell it there.
- Between the travel and the stress of the move, we've managed to catch a nasty cold. The boys aren't too bad, but it's hit Josh and I pretty hard! We'd appreciate your prayers for a speedy healing, especially before this upcoming weekend.
- Today we are celebrating Thing 1's 11th birthday! Oh my goodness, how did that happen?!?! T-1 is an awesome young man who loves the Lord and loves his family! We are so grateful for the gift that he is to everyone he meets!
- After this weekend of ministry, we will head back north. Our hope is to be back in Washington by Tuesday afternoon. We will then go pick up the keys to our new home (YAY!!!) and begin setting up house! :) We will officially move in next Friday with the help of several new friends in the area! We praise God for His continual hand of protection and provision on our family! Thank you for all of your prayers!
If you've been following my blog for long, then you know that last summer we began preparing for a big ministry transition. We knew God was calling us to less travel as a family, but we were also watching as He continued to use our ministry to touch lives and open doors to new church partnerships. We earnestly prayed for wisdom as we considered how we could both travel less AND continue ministering. Then, as a result of much prayer and discussion, last fall Josh began working to book some ministry events by himself. The hope was that once or twice a month, Josh would fly to a new (to our ministry) area by himself and do ministry events/guitar concerts. This was a big step of faith in more ways than one.
First, Josh is a self-proclaimed "non singer"! ;) He is a man of many talents, but singing just hasn't been one of them. The big question was - Would churches still be interested in having Josh come share his ministry if he was not able/willing to lead worship vocally and I wasn't with him to fill the role that I usually fill?
Second, if Josh travels further (by plane) in order to expand the geographical reach of the ministry of One Hope One Truth, will he make enough money to cover those travel costs and provide for our needs? We are committed as a ministry to go where God opens the door, with no financial requirements of the church. Our income comes completely from love offerings, CD sales, church volunteered honorariums, and a few monthly supporters. We live by faith, and God is a faithful provider! The reality though is that we have rent, gas, insurance, food, and a few other bills that have to be paid and this change in the ministry is untested. We knew God would continue to provide for us, but without any experience ministering this way, we did not know what to expect financially.
Third, how will churches respond to the boys and I not being there? Will they understand and respect our decision? Will we lose credibility as a mission minded family if the boys and I have a more "typical" lifestyle?
Despite these questions, we knew what God was calling us to and our heart's desire is to follow our Master, wherever He leads! So we began planning and preparing for this big change!
Of course, things rarely go as we initially plan and the biggest surprise for us involved what Josh's "solo ministry" was going to look like. Remember how I told you that Josh doesn't sing? In fact, if you've seen us at a church, you've probably heard Josh say himself that He can't sing. But late last year, God began to move in Josh's heart, whispering that God had plans for his voice. In obedience, he began to study vocal performance online and practice diligently.
Our Mighty God is full of surprises!
Who would have thought that God would do two miraculous voice healings in one married couple?! But that's exactly what He's done. In 2014, God healed my vocal chords from a injury that was supposed to permanently prevent me from singing.
Then in 2016, God gave my non singing husband a singing voice.
At the beginning of this year, Josh and I traveled to Arizona. While we were there he led worship at three different churches. The worship times were powerful, authentic, and such a blessing! By giving Josh a voice, God has made a way for One Hope One Truth to continue it's mission of spreading the Gospel and encouraging believers across the U.S., while at the same time the boys and I have the freedom to rest and settle in our new home! Praise the Lord!
Since that first weekend, Josh has continued to lead worship, play instrumental guitar, and share the Gospel each weekend! We are excited about this new adventure and commit to continuing to seek God for the direction of our ministry and our family.
Still learning to follow,
A couple weeks ago, Josh and I were blessed with a weekend away, just the two of us! Josh and I very, very rarely get a date night, let alone a weekend alone (I don't remember our last weekend alone?!), since we spend almost all of our time in places where we don't have anyone to leave the boys with. :)
However, the second weekend of January, my sweet Mama took some time off of work and flew over the snowy mountains to spoil and love on my boys! Meanwhile, Josh and I flew to Phoenix together to enjoy 2 days of vacation and a weekend of ministry!
We arrived Thursday evening, enjoyed dinner and a movie and then we spent Friday marveling at God's handiwork at Grand Canyon National Park. Saturday we enjoyed a relaxing morning and afternoon together and then Saturday evening and Sunday were full of the gift of ministering at new churches in a completely new (to our ministry) part of the country!
We had not anticipated, nor dressed for, the extremely cold temperatures at the Grand Canyon that weekend. We were soooo cold!!!
Thing 1 is our future botanist! He loves plants and is particularly fascinated by cacti, so we made sure to get lots of pictures for him.
As always, thanks for your prayers!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Ezekiel & 1 Peter
(the Bible in a year)
The Gospel of Luke
(Women's Bible Study at Church)
The Seventeenth Swap
by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
(family read aloud)
by Jamie C. Martin
Mother and Son:
The Respect Effect
by Emerson Eggerichs