Granted .

When I think about how to explain the events of the last several months, all I can think up to tell you is an illustration of a pebble being thrown into a lake with ripple after ripple stretching out across the water. One night in January, as Steve and I whispered back and forth before drifting off to sleep, we threw out this pebble prayer: God, would you encourage our hearts, if even in a very small way, this week? And from that pebble prayer, that we prayed night after night, God began to show us, in ever-widening waves, more and more of his faithfulness.

There are literally tens upon tens of God's ripple answers that I could share with you here today, not the least of which are answers like, a ladies' Bible study that became a lifeline for me, friends near and far sending texts and emails and phone calls of encouragement, a local Bible college inviting my husband to teach for a week-- and through that opportunity, physical and mental rest was given and financial needs met, God's living words speaking to us and calling us to lean more and more on Jesus, a sunday school teacher pouring out love for our Graeme-bear, or waking up on a Saturday with nothing on our to-do list.  Some of these things probably sound so silly to you, but to us, all of these ripple answers felt like God himself reaching down and pouring grace upon grace over our lives. 

Last October, I wrote about how I believe that God, when he is making his will for our lives known day by day and week by week, builds our desires that are grounded in himself. I went on to say-- I've watched that very process in my husband over the last couple of years. It is a beautiful yet painful process. It's beautiful because you are so thankful for God's leading and it's painful because you struggle and wrestle in the 'already not yet'. You long to be free from the purple and orange company-- the one with the really cool hidden arrow in their logo-- because you want to spend all of your time doing what God has given you the desire to do. But, you realize that God hasn't opened up a new door of opportunity yet and so you wait. And pray. And fight for joy.

I want to tell you today, with so much happiness, that God has granted a desire of our hearts! God has allowed our season of FedEx to come to a close and a new chapter of ministry, with a body of believers in southern Oregon to begin. There's so much to say (and so much to do before July 1!) and I hardly know where to begin except to say that we have seen God's hand in all of this and it has caused us, with very thankful hearts, to bless his name-- to want to be found singing even when the evening comes. 

So, what does all of this mean exactly? It means that we'll be moving two hours south of where we live now. It means that my husband will be pastor to a body of believers in Pleasant Hill, Oregon. It means that I might possibly become a tad country-ish and that I like that. But, don't you worry, there's a Starbucks 8 minutes away. (smile) It means that we already see the end of ourselves, of our human knowledge and strength, and are crying out to Jesus for wisdom and guidance. It means that we are beside ourselves with anticipation.

Last night, as my husband and I again quietly talked during the late hours, we smiled as we thought about how God shows his power and glory even through wobbly pebble prayers. For all your goodness I will keep on singing // Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find // Bless the Lord, O my soul 

37 comments:

  1. Sarah! I just saw Stephen's instagram this morning and sat here with Tim, rejoicing with and for you guys! Answered prayers! I am so excited for you and so expectant about what the next few months and years will bring. Hallelujah!!

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    1. Shanna!
      I feel like a loser. I meant to text you yesterday myself to tell you the news instead of you reading about it here! But, yes!, so many answered prayers in this, as you already well know. Thank you for partnering with us through prayer and for being one of the front-runners of encouragement for us during this time. And, thank you for sharing in our excitement! Bring on the sheep! : )

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  2. PS are those sheep in the picture!? Sheep farming nearby!? JEALOUS.

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    1. Yes! In fact, one of the elders raises them and is all excited to show Graeme and Job the baby lambs! : )

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  3. Crying tears of joy for you this morning!!! So thrilled for you that our God has so graciously provided for your family. I love that song, too. It has been a comfort to me over the last weeks, as I continue to "fight for joy."

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    1. Amy, thank you so very much. I know you know exactly where we are. I've thought of you all so many times. I will say this: the last several months have been a complete haven for us. I pray that this 'inbetween' time is that for you all as well and then I will look forward to hearing how God leads you all, too. Keep fighting!

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  4. Praising God with you for a new chapter in your life! May Gog be glorified in this new chapter and may you and your family adjust quickly to its new responsibilities.

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    1. Danita,
      Thank you so much! And, I would love to see you while we are in Greenville! Maybe you could message me your number via facebook? Would love to catch up!

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  5. Lacie Wright8:57 AM

    So very happy & excited for you. God is so very sweet! :-)

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    1. Lacie! Yes! And, thank you so much! We can't wait to share more about this little place that God is taking us to!

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  6. Tears. So very thrilled for you and for how God will use your family! Love you much, sweet friend!!

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    1. Laura,
      I could have written an entire post on just your sweet acts of encouragement. Like, you driving your entire lunch hour to deliver gifts before we headed to the beach or the time you 'made too many cinnamon rolls' and 'had' to give some away : ) Or when you brought us dinner when I was pregnant and we were in the middle of a move or the time you brought me a bundle of beautiful flowers after a long week. I could go on and on. You are a beautiful example of the hands and feet of Christ. And I am so incredibly thankful for you and blessed to call you friend! Love to you!

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  7. It's so amazing to see God answering long-prayed-for-and-awaited requests, isn't it? Excited for you all.

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    1. Loraena,
      Yes! Absolutely! Thank you so much for your happiness for us-- that means a lot!

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  8. We are so happy for you all!!!!

    You need to frame the sheep picture-- gorgeous!

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    1. Sara! Come visit and see those sheep in person! : ) Oh how we would love to have you all out here!
      Thank you for joining us in this happiness! And, can't wait to see you in just a couple of days!

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  9. Praising the Lord with you and your family right now! We have been praying about it ever since you we left that lovely dessert and coffee night at your house! So good to see the Lord leading!

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    1. Julie! Do you know how many times I have thought about that evening with you all? What a burst of happiness that evening was for us. It was so incredibly good to hear how God had lead in your own lives and it was just amazing to laugh with you all and catch up. Wish we could do that more often-- but so thankful for the time we had with you all! Love to you today!

      p.s. Thank you for your prayers!!!!

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  10. This is beautiful and such an encouraging testimony for those of us still waiting to hear, being softly led. My heart swells for you!

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    1. Bethany,
      I really, really wish we lived closer. It does help that we are both on the west coast. The next time I am up your way, I'm totally knocking on your door for a coffee/tea get together! Thank you for your sweet words here today!

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  11. I am rejoicing with you and your family! Praising our gracious, good God for how He works in our lives -- His beloved ones. This is so exciting to hear and to follow along with you on your blog. Praying for you!

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    1. Rachel, thank you, thank you! Looking forward so much to chatting with you in just a few days!

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  12. I am so happy for your family! I know you two must be thrilled beyond words. I will be praying for you as you begin your journey as a pastor's wife and the responsibility that comes along with it! I know your mom-in-love must be so excited to see how God is using her family to serve God. We have a wonderful God!

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    1. Thrilled beyond words-- you hit the nail on the head! : ) Thank you so much for your joy for us and for your prayers. We need them! I think Nana is beside herself with excitement for us-- and that means so much to us too! She's the best! : )

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  13. That's so exciting for you and your family! Congratulations :)

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    1. Katie,
      Yes! Thank you so very much! I'd love to catch a coffee with you before we move and hear about the latest news in your life. Steve will be teaching at Ecola again in November-- would love it if you and Brandon were there the same week!

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  14. so, so thrilled to know God is fulfilling a desire in your hearts! Congratulations!

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  15. Beautifully written, Sarah! So thankful for God's blessing on your lives.

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    1. Thank you, Mom. Thank you so much for encouraging us through these difficult times and rejoicing with us at this wonderful news : ) I love you.

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  16. So lovely and exciting! Praise the LORD for His clear and gentle hand. We will be praying for and with you. <3

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    1. Sarah! Thank you! I'm sad that we still haven't gotten together and now I am moving farther away from you. You'll just have to come visit! (Or, I'll let you know the next time we are up in your neck of the woods!) Thank you for your prayers!

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  17. This was so good to read as we are heading into a huge scary season of unknowns. I appreciate that you weren't too vague and recounted specific blessings of Gods grace through your waiting. Thanks for taking the time.

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  18. Just now catching up on news! That's so exciting for you and your family, Sarah. And even more exciting to hear how God's grace and work has been so evident in your lives. He's working even when we can't see it and for that I am grateful! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Amen to every word-so happy to see God's goodness towards you! David walked in the door a few weeks ago and said "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this now" with a big grin on his face.;) Enjoy!

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  20. praying for you as you sett off on this new adventure and new season in your lives!! so exciting!

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