Wednesday, April 30, 2008

News to Report

I guess I'd rather not have to say this, but our potential buyer called today to tell us the deal was off, out of reach for them at this time. So for all you curious folks, I guess we'll just have to let it rest.

Disappointment? Yes, a little, but not surprising. We had begun to sense that this would be too big a stretch for them.

When I first took the call, he asked to speak with Ken. Then when the call was brief and I heard why it was brief, I was just thankful that Ken had been the one to field that call and take the brunt for me, I'm thankful he is my protector.

So, tomorrow we've been listed two weeks and no one has come by to see the place.

Ken told me that just yesterday he'd heard of some folks northwest of here just a few miles had sold within a week for considerably more that they thought they would list for, but their realtor suggested the higher listing price. That's encouraging to hear of such a quick sale & their sale price affirming our listing price is assuring as well.

Above & beyond all those details is the assurance I've/we've felt all along that God is leading us in this venture. The peace beyond all understanding. The circumstances that have not happened by chance, but by God's design. It is good to have Ken's folks here affirming verbally to us that all these little (& big) details could not "just happen". God's peace fills my heart when I'm tempted to doubt. Yet, with only 2 weeks remaining until the deadline, the doubts do come ... regularly...

The final and most poignant encouragement for me today came through God's Word during our daily evening devotions as we read from Isaiah 26. Verse 3 says "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."

I know that verse in song, do you?

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, O Lord!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee,
Because he trusteth in Thee, O Lord, because he trusteth in Thee.
Thou will keep him in perfect peace because he trusteth in Thee.

I sang it for the family when it came my turn to suggest a special verse from the passage we read together.

Please pray for us that we will continue to put our trust in God. Each day is a further stretch of our faith. We want to be found faithful.

An email from the MB seller today made us realize that our stretching faith is also impacting him ...

Encouragement on April 29

Ken's folks arrived today to spend some time with us. We always enjoy having them. They make it easy for themselves & us by bringing their fifth wheel camper to park on the yard. This time we have much to talk about that is new and exciting - our pending move to MB...

As Ken & I spent time talking this evening, I asked him what the encouragement was for today ... both of us had to think a bit, then he brightened and said, "Oh, I know what is very encouraging - Mom telling us about the sandy soil at the MB place. That it would be very good for gardening, allowing at least a two week earlier planting than even where they live at Morden."

You see, Ken grew up just a little east of the place we've offered to buy, where the soil is similar. His Mother knows all about gardening in sandy soil and she's a great gardener. Yes, it was encouraging to hear such rave reviews about the possibilities in gardening should we make that move.

In general, it is encouraging to have positive support from both our parents.

Of course Ken's folks like the idea about our move bringing us closer to the Klassen family, but they also endorse the ideas we've shared & affirm the benefits of the location we've chosen.

My parents, on the other hand, are losing us to the geographical distance, yet very graciously, even joyfully, they do not wish to stand in our way if God should indeed lead us to "greener pastures" in Manitoba. I can not even put into words the blessing that is to me/us. Can you imagine it with me?

We cherish the close relationship we have with my parents and our boys with their grandparents. The spontaneous visits and quick trips to see them, the days & weekends spent fishing with them at their "cottage" will be sorely missed. Yet even in this, if God is in it, we trust He will sustain & provide everything we need ... and everything they need as they enter their twilight years.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daily Encouragement

On Sunday I mentioned that I've asked the Lord for encouragement for each day regarding our Journey to the Future. It has been interesting to watch how God is leading even in that. It causes us be alert for His action.

Sometimes the encouragement comes through the Word. Sometimes through friends - have you noticed? Sometimes through direct action as it pertains to the actual purchase & sale.

ALL cause us to be alert, watching for when, where, & how God may be working this scenario out for His glory.

Yesterday was the day we sent off the "larger" downpayment that is due April 30th. It was a blessing to see that the funds were in place when we needed it - in time to send it and get there by the 30th. And it wasn't a stretch to get those funds in place with enough left over to carry on our day to day necessities - we can see how God had it all planned long ago.

Honestly, to me, yesterday felt like there was nothing to report. Those funds had been in place for a while retrospect, however, that was a major step in the process. I was a little disappointed though as I looked for further encouragement.

As each day creeps by into yesterday, we watch and wait and we're tempted to wonder how or if God's will is for this place to sell by the deadline we've been given. Yet, in my heart I believe this is God's leading and I anticipate how He will exalt Himself by making possible that which seems impossible. We've discussed as a family that God may be testing our faith. How strong is our faith? Do we believe that God can work even to the last day? He can! Will we trust Him?

As a side note, we did get a phone call yesterday from someone interested in buying only our chickens as they had heard that we were selling ... ah-h-h, no we're not selling just the chickens - it's either the whole farm/business as a package, the farm and business separately OR we stay and continue on with the business as is.

If this is where God wants us to be and He so directs, then we want to be exactly right here with contentment - "Godliness with contentment is great gain" I Timothy 6:6

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 27th Encouragement

I am asking God for encouragement each day. Today, April 27th, I was encouraged by the verses on faith from the previous post.

... and then this evening we went to a benefit concert by "The Blue Collar Harmony Boys". We suspected it would be beautiful music because of the word "harmony" in their name.

We weren't disappointed.

For the most part, these young men sang accapella with a few instruments for accompaniment in some of their songs. Acoustic & bass guitars along with a mandolin sweetly accentuated a few of the songs.

We were so blessed, so glad we had gone.

How does this apply & encourage me regarding our potential move? These guys are from MacGregor, MB. just 20 minutes from the farm we have offered to buy. A music group of that quality from that area? We consider that a blessing.

Not only are these young men from the same area we are contemplating ... we discovered that they are also my relatives. Three of them are sons of two of my second cousins on my Dad's side of the family. Ken & I attended Millar College of the Bible with their parents wa-a-a-y back.

And - the church they attend may be a possibilty for us out there also??!!??

Finding a Church, to fellowship with, is of utmost importance to us. We did a little scouting when we were out there, but found few local churches.

BUT if God wants us there He will have a fellowship for us there also - He deems it more important than we do. He will provide, of that we are certain.

What would we do without our Omnipotent, Omniscient God? Christians are so-o-o-o blessed!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Trust will bring Triumph"

I like quotes. I like this quote!

And God's Words are the best words of all:

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

"...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23

Friday, April 25, 2008

Journey to the Future - Selling?!

We're selling this place as a package - the acreage with a viable farm operation including the 80 acres that is a mere mile from the new development of the soon to be city of Warman. Part of the reason for our move is to build up a farm that will carry our family into the future. A farm here is not a long term vision. Within 15-20 years it will likely be town lots...and farming next to a town is fraught with frustrations.

As we consider our family, with the ages of our sons ... If we're going to move the farm, now is the best time to pull up roots and venture elsewhere before they put down roots here permanently.

It is not a decision made lightly. Much prayer and seeking the Lord has gone into this already - and we continue to seek God's will. He can yet and may well close this door of opportunity, but we have to try this door.

God has made such amazing indications already that we find ourselves looking with expectation for His next direction.

And yes, we do vaccilate emotionally between excitement and dismay.

Excitement because:
- it's something new - new adventures are often exciting for those in on the action.
- it is a long anticipated move
- seeing God lead & excerising faith in Him
- going through this faith building exercise with our sons
- that place in MB has so much potential
- ministry opportunities that we could carry out based on the ranch in MB.
- the opportunity to live debt-free

Dismay because:
- moving away from my family
- moving away from dear friends
- moving away from family fellowship
- finding a righteous Church with which to fellowship
- leaving behind a great business that we started from grass roots - which is also our established income and going into a new life where we will need to re-establish an income/market
- leaving business clients that have become faithful friends, we wouldn't want them to be hurt in the process of the changes in our lives.
- leaving the home we've built, made comfortable for our family's needs.
- not to mention finding new contacts like Doctors, Dentists ... etc.

It's a big move, but all will fit into place if God is in it. We know that beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Another Added Blessing

... came through a faithful friend who helped me to finally sew up some new curtains that I had started wa-a-ay back for my bedroom. And she even quickly stitched up some toss cushions to match for on my bed.

All in less than a day!!!!!

Simply amazing to this fumbling seamstress ... or is it my stubborn machine? Either way it wasn't getting done by me.

I count it a blessing!

Here's a peek:

Added Blessing

One added blessing on the "Journey to the Future" is finally getting a few things finished on the house that have needed doing for a long while ... granted now there was also money in the budget for these tasks to be done.

A slightly major renovation took place in our basement when my dh and sons finished out my laundry room properly with almost 12 feet of counter space and sink, cabinets and flooring. It looks wonderful and makes doing the laundry easier and more pleasant in the bright room.

Thank you guys!

Now, I just may want to stay here to put it to good use ... but only if God directs us to stay here. (pst - the other place has a nice laundry area also, smile).

II Chronicles 20 = Encouragement

3 ... And Jehoshaphat feared,and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast ...

4 ... And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: ... to seek the LORD ...

12 ... neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

13 ... And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives and their children ...

15 ... Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason ... for the battle is not yours, but God's ...

17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, ... : fear not, nor be dismayed; ... for the LORD will be with you.

18 ... and the inhabitants ... fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD ...

20 And they rose early in the morning and went forth ...Believe on the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

21 ... Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

The Word of the Lord is alive, applying to every time and place. It was encouraging to me when I read this portion with our "Journey to the Future" on my mind and in my heart before the Lord.

This is the portion noted to me by a friend. It had spoken to her heart in her/their situation as well as to ours.

II Chronicles 20 spoke to my heart as well ... Encouragement from the Lord through a friend.

Just one of the blessings of a Christian's life.

Thank you, GOD!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Journey - More Encouragment

Today Ken got another phone call from our potential buyer, the husband. These people see the opportunity for what it really is - a viable farming operation that pays it's way. An opportunity for them to achieve a long held dream to get back onto a farm.

They want to carry on with the business we've established. They're asking LOTS of questions and they're very willing to learn.

Every dream of theirs is a fit for this place ... like today when she called me, she mentioned that they'd like to have some sheep sometime. Well, guess what, we've had sheep here too - it's all set up for sheep...and right now sheep are low ...

She saw that right away for what it was - another opportunity to diversify into another income stream.

They are believers also - they are praying about this opportunity for them - talking to the same God that we are.

Oh, we serve an awesome God. No matter where this goes, we've seen the Lord and that is worth more than all the rest of this whole experience.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Journey - Encouragment

Encouragement came through a friend yesterday. She shared a scripture with me and I'll share it with you, II Chronicles 18-20, but especially chapter 20. Go ahead, read it - it seems to fit exactly with where we're at ... resting in the Lord and believing He is at work and waiting for His time. Just like the Israelites rested & believed that the Lord was working things out on their behalf.

Have I mentioned yet that we have until May 15th to sell this place unconditionally? That is what the seller requested and we feel it is fair so that he can re-list if necessary. Possession is set for August 1 - not our ideal time, we would have prefered September 1 and he preferred July 1, so we met in the middle on that.

We have not always patiently waited on the Lord in all things, but to His glory with this situation we can honestly say we and the boys are all waiting patiently on the Lord. It is a frequent sound to hear any one of us encouraging one another and ourselves out loud that God can & will do this transaction if He wants us there.

After taking my eggs to market yesterday I had time to stop and do banking before they closed (usually I get home after supper).

One more encouragment: It was good to see that the money is already in our account that is needed for the bigger downpayment required by April 30th.

Journey to the Future - Selling our Home, Business, Farm

When we listed with the realtor, we had two leads to follow up - potential buyers for this place. Both had until Saturday, April 19th, on exclusion from realty. Both fell through.

BUT, Saturday I spoke with an acquaintance at the SPOTTO sale (Saskatoon twins & triplets garage sale)about our farm being for sale. She was interested. She called her husband. He came and spoke with me a little.

Yesterday, she called. Twice. Talked with me once and with Ken once - gleaning information wherewith to make their decisions.

Today, her husband called. More information shared.

That's the same way we learned what we needed to know about the place in MB - information given us by the owner. It's a great way to get more of the whole story. This place and the business could not sell well without our input. Especially for the business to carry through a change of ownership seemlessly, we need to be involved.

Notice, the realtor is thus far not involved in this interaction? He'll be there to smooth the paperwork...if these folks become our buyers.

At this point, we are expecting God to work a miracle. Make the impossible happen - "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37

Journey to the Future continued...

For those of you just stopping by now for the first time in a while read this post first - that's where our "journey" begins.

I wish I had pictures to show you of the place in MB, but I don't. It is not even listed on the internet. We were so enthralled by everything we saw and heard from the seller that we completely forgot to take pictures with our camera.

Last post, I forgot to tell you that after a lengthy tour of his place Ken asked the seller what he was asking for his place - we all expected a hefty sum - thus we were pleasantly surprised when he stated the price. Then practically in the same breath, he offered to deduct 10% if he didn't need to remove the fences as per his intention this spring yet. Of course, we assured him that we would prefer to leave the fences intact as paddocks for the cattle we'd hope to raise on that land.

How amazing is that? The seller offering to reduce the price by 10%? One example of God's leading ... "more than we could ask or think!"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Journey to the Future

God is leading us as we journey to the future. It is comforting to know that Someone is going before us directing our way: Proverbs 16:33, "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD."

It is amazing to watch His Hand of guidance. We take action (like listing with real estate), but God works His plan.

It is for God's glory that we will share our journey with you - so that you can marvel too at how great a God we serve - and we ask that you would pray with us that He will be glorified in and through this journey.

Though Ken & I felt led to move to our present farm just outside of Warman we have never really felt that our roots were very deep here. We've always had an inner sense that we would move someday. We've carried on as usual - raising our family and building a business ... and we've prayed and waited for God to lead ...

Last spring, when Ken took the buy-out package from MapleLeaf we decided that this was the time to step out of the labor force and go into full-time farming. That step has been good, the first of many leading us into the future.

We sensed then already that moving the family and farm to a new location was imminent. With the prosperity happening in Saskatchewan, the town is moving closer - not an ideal location for a farming operation that will carry our family into the vision of our future.

After months, perhaps years of praying and seeking the ideal property we came across a property in the neighboring province (Ken's former home province) of Manitoba. We had enough information from the wesbite etc. to know that this place could not serve our family's needs, but Ken had an unrelenting sense to "go check it out". The boys also had great ambitions for that place putting everything onto paper in a variety of lists that proved beneficial in clarifying goals, purposes, ministries and
last but not least - benefits and disadvantages of a move.

So two weeks ago, I agreed to go "check out the place". For me it was extremely difficult. Ken made the contacts and set the date. That week was fraught with spiritual warfare. There was discord between Ken & I - something I can honestly say is rare between us in these 22.5 years we've been married (to God be the glory!!! I am so thankful for a loving husband!). My consent came slowly, but out of a desire to do the right thing - honor my Lord and submit to my husband, trusting that God was leading Him in some way unknown to me yet. I found it hard to pray until finally I just uttered silently to my Lord "Lord, please just give us direction and let it be better than we could ask or think."

It is so good to serve & be loved by a God who knows the beginning from the end - and has a purpose for each of us to fulfill. We just want to be in His Will, doing His work.

It was only last weekend that Ken & I and our oldest two sons journyed to Manitoba to "check out that property" while the youngest four stayed with Gramdma & Grandpa and kept the farm going.

After we'd toured the place, all four of us knew that the Four Seasons Ranch we had come to see was not the one for us - it just was not a good fit for our needs. Disappointment was mild because it was not a surprise, but we were all wondering ... what then?

We were blessed to be able to spend that Friday evening and night staying at Ken's oldest brother, Brad's home where he and his wife, Louella, graciously hosted us. While we were visitng, Brad got a phone call from their "other brother, Darryl" who suggested another farm for us to look at very close in the same vicinity of the place we'd come to see.
It is noteworthy here to add that Brad was not supposed to tell Darryl we were there looking at a property, but he decided to tell him anyway because it wasn't really a big secret (we had just not wanted everyone to get their hopes up ...). In hindsight now, we believe that it was by God's design that Brad did tell Darryl - it was Darryl that knew that this other property was for sale.

The next morning, after breakfast with Brad & Louella, we headed off to do some more research in the area. First we checked into what kind of churches were in the area. (the day before we spent some profitable time in Brandon checking into Manitoba regulations/market possibilities etc. that all served to reassure us that we would be able to carry on our present farming operations in that location as well - though we would be re-establishing a market out there).

One last thing was on Ken's agenda before we headed back home - he suggested that we check out the farm that Darryl had mentioned in his phone call to Brad. It was a mere 15 minutes out of our way ... when we got there, the real estate sign had a "By Appointment Only" sign on it. We stopped at the end of the drive contemplating whether to drive on anyway - after a bit of discussion we decided it couldn't hurt as for us this was "either now, or not at all". We drove on.

The owner was out working on the yard. One of the first things he said when he realized that we were here to ask about his property was to tell us that he had just gotten home the evening before. It turned out that the reason for the "By Appointment Only" was because they are rarely at home due to work/family calling them away from that locale - thus, their reason for selling also.

The owner was glad to show us around, stating that he knew more about the property & operations than did his brother, the realtor. We felt that we were getting an education as he guided us around the property giving us much information.

By the end of his tour, he seemed pleased to know that we would actually be perpetuating his dream for the place and in turn, we were blessed to hear of all the benefits that this place had for our family.

That place is more land, more trees (bigger trees too),more house (1500/2 ft. house, with walk-out basement), more farm buildings, more infastructure that would support our mission vision for the place ... and to top-it-all off - pavement right to the driveway (double highway from Saskatoon to Austin plus 15 mintues south on highway #34).

At the owner's suggestion we had from Saturday till Wednesday to make an offer to purchase. We did that and it was accepted upon conditional sale of our property here in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday we listed our place with Re-Max on MLS.

This week has been busy with finishing a renovation project in the laundry room - aside from a few little finishing touches that room is beautiful now, so different from what I had before. Why is it that we've left some of these things until we're thinking of selling the place? Ah, well, so it goes sometimes. It will be a pleasure to leave it well done for someone else.

We do have difficult emotions when we think of leaving my family and our friends, not to mention the business and all the life connections we've made - like Doctors & Dentists etc., but God is leading even with that ... already we have a connection to a good accountant (we have really appreciated the accountant we have here).

Finding the connection to a good accountant was a little affirmation encouragement that we received on Friday along with the knowledge that we qualified for a full income tax refund which will fill the need for the rest of the downpayment which is required by April 30th. God just seems to be going before us and meeting every need - as we rest in Him, watch and pray, we are just waiting to see His hand working things out.

Another affirmation happened yesterday at our local Twins & Triplets Garage Sale (a record 64 sellers selling - baby stuff): I priced a lot of our baby stuff and much of the twins toys and things including their toddler beds right out from under them - all with a potential move in mind. It was almost hard to believe that I actually got rid of all my big stuff (except the beds, but I have a name & number of a lady in Warman who wants them, but doesn't need them yet as her twins are only 9 months - so our boys can use them till we leave. Then we sell the beds to her and buy new "big beds" once we get to MB) - only two boxes of clothes left to sell.

We are also all content to just stay put, if God decides to close this door.

It is an exercise in faith. It is great to be experiencing this together with our children so that they too can see God's hand and experience His peace in leading us on this journey to the future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Thaw = Brain Freeze

It is so good to have the temperatures warming up. The boys have been riding bikes and trikes, getting wet in the puddles and playing in the muddles.

Today they got out the sand toys and got all dirty, BUT they remembered to ask for a pail of water to wash their feet and hands before tracking it all into the house - wasn't that nice of them? Wow, I was blessed!

With the spring thaw though, as you've likely noticed by now - I have gotten brain freeze. I just can't think of things to write about - quickly in-between cleaning and reno jobs besides all the regular tasks that fill my day.

I hope your days are proving to be profitable ...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Deep Cleaning

When you clean you closets,

Do you clean them all at once?

Do you clean them very slowly?

Or clean them one by one?

(to the tune of "when you eat your Smarties do you eat the red ones last?" - an advertising jingle that Smarties had a number of years back...)

Deep cleaning is on my mind and filling my days (thus the few postings, sorry, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do ...).

Ah-h-h, but it is good to de-clutter & re-organize, discard & re-work!

I think it adds a bit of godliness back into the farthest reaches of our home:
"Let all things be done decently and in order." I Corinthians 14:40