So it is 3am Vegas time and I cannot sleep! I have tossed and turned up until this point and finally decided to just give in and sit up for a little while! I decided that there is no better time than early on a sleepless morning to blog!
So this week is going to be a little crazy! Tomorrow, Zeke and a few of the guys from Hope are going to pack our trailer (I guess that is actually later on today!). The only furniture that has been in our apartment for the last 2wks is our bed, a desk, and a hope chest! It is so weird to look around and see everything packed up - no matter how many times you move it doesn't ever seem any less strange looking at everything you own in boxes!
As we packed this time we tried to get rid of as much as possible (5x8 trailer going cross country, we just can't take all that we want to!), and hold on to only those things that we absolutely need or are significant enough that we simply cannot part with. Through this process we ended up finding many amazing treasures! I think the best of which were photographs!
If you have been around me for 2 seconds you know that I take pictures of pretty much everything! every event (major or just the daily stuff) and I keep them for forever! (This is the reason that my computer runs so slow most of the time because I have so many photos on it! A nice digital camera is probably the gift my parents most regret giving me for Christmas!) So as we were packing Zeke and I came across so many old photos! Photos taken mainly over the last 8yrs here in Vegas. It is amazing to look back and see all that has happened, simply on a physical spectrum in these last 8 years! Kids that I once babysat every weekend when they were 1-2yrs old are now going into second grade! When I met them, they could not even speak, and now I am sure that some of their parents long for those days again! :) Others who I hung out with all the time have now, like me, grown older and hopefully wiser. Some of the people in these photos are no longer with us, but sitting in the glorious presence of God! And all of this is just the tip of the physical changes that have occurred in the last 8 years!
The spiritual changes are far too vast to even begin to describe! There is a song that says "Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on Earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love, of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky." I love that song! GOd has laid it on my heart our entire time here in Vegas! That is what I have experienced! What we all have seen on a day in and day out basis! The great thing is I don't have to leave that behind because I am leaving Vegas! That is what each day in the life of a christian should be! When we are following His unique call on our lives and finding our satisfation in Him, The only one who gives true satisfaction, we will experience this every day!
I have to take this opportunity to absolutely commend my parents! There is no way I would understand this concept without their obedience to follow the call God placed on our life as a family! I was reading in a Bible Study the other day the story of a girl and her parents who were missionaries. The main point of the story was that because of her parents' obedience to God, her faith started out on a different level. She had seen God use her family in incredible ways and because of that her realtionship with God was able to be lived out on a competely different level. This is definitely the case with my family! When we told our family and friends that we were moving to Las Vegas to help start Hope Baptist Church they all thought we were crazy! And yeah, we definitely had to sacrifice being in town for the normal family events we had always been a part of, which was hard! I love my family, but we would have missed out on God moving in some incredible ways if we had stayed behind, and would have been so miserable!
I think back on those times so much! When the definition of family changed in my heart! It was no longer just the people I was related to and spent the first 14 years of my life with. It became the church! The people that I was daily serving and serving alongside of! The people that were in the same situations I was - new community, new schools, new lifestyles, not being able to fly back for every holiday so spending a few together here in Vegas. God knit our hearts together in such a ways that it will never be undone! Only He can do that, and it can only happen when we follow Him in obedience!
Over the last 8 years, there have abslutely been tough times! Times when I remember thinking about how different things would have been if we had not moved, if we had just stayed where we were. But everytime God quickly reminded me how much I would have missed out on! The services in a million different locations, the kids I was allowed to invest in, the friends, the camps, the trips, the long conversations, the holidays, the milstones, the jokes, the cards, the views, the heat, the houses, the dinners, the Bible studies, the classes, the church.
It has been an incredible 8 years, and believe me that is putting it lightly! I am so blessed to have these exeriences with my family in Las Vegas, and I am certain it is not over! It is hard to leave, but that is part of following God where He invites us to be involved! So, Vegas friends this is in no way the last we will see of each other! Never think that! :) We are always just a phone call, text, email, or Facebook message away! We love you all and thank you so much for your part in our lives so far! We look forward expectantly to seeing all that God does in your lives and ours!