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.


Vicki said...

I read this post with mixed emotions. It is exciting to hear how God is leading in your lives, but if you move you will be missed! I will keep your family in prayer during this time.
Vicki R

Darlene said...

Thanks for your prayers, Vicki.

It is with mixed emotions that we are considering this move, but we cannot deny that God is in this. That alone makes this venture exciting - ONLY He can meet the conditions we've been given by the sellers in MB.

We'll miss you too, but you will come and visit right? As will we!