We recently hosted our best friends for almost a week here at Mexico Beach. A number of weeks ago one of them visited for a few days and we were able to share our life now with her. It’s not perfect but it’s the season of life we’re currently experiencing and enjoying! Most of our evenings are filled with scenes like this:
Living in a beach town that has year round residents of about 1,000 has it’s benefits! Of course the population swells beginning in March and will last until September but that’s ok.
For the past 27 months we’ve traveled every weekend or at least a portion of it to Tallahassee, Florida. First we commuted from Inverness until September 2012. Then for 7 months we made the commute from Mexico Beach. That season of our life was spiritually encouraging and fulfilling. But I’ve got to admit it was physically draining and not to mention the miles in the car and the time in the car. We calculated at one point that we spent literally a month (yes, one month) of our lives just commuting!
Cyndi and I both feel we were doing exactly what God wanted us to do during that season. We experienced lots of cool things, met some unbelievable people, led some great discussions, had some life changing conversations and like to think we were used by God in other’s lives as well.
That season has faded away and now we are taking a break. A time to refresh physically, emotionally and spiritually. This may be the first time in a very long time we are embracing a season in life like this. Without going into all the minute details, we know God has blessed us and placed us exactly where He wants us to be once again. We know He’s going to use us again in some incredible ways! We’ve learned that it’s not about being a Christian but instead it’s really about being a follower of Christ and that impacts the way we approach life!
In this season, there’s going to be lots of opportunities to see things like this:
And who knows? Maybe our venture into All Tide Up will continue to take off and will open other opportunities for us. In the meantime, there will continue to be days like this:
Although we were in Mexico Beach the past weekend, no photographs were taken! That may be a first for this family! Mostly rain during the day but there were some interesting lightning shows at night that would have been great to capture!
Espresso – our current morning drink because we don’t have a regular coffee maker right now. We first drank espresso in Key West 30 years ago. Most mornings we’d wake up and walk to the corner laundry which also included a small bodega and get some espresso and warm, buttered cuban bread – breakfast of champions!
City Church celebrates a five-year anniversary this week! I really didn’t know how young it really was when we became friends with Dean Inserra. Thankful that our daughter Meghan introduced us to this ministry! Who would have known that we would devote more than a year and a half to sharing the gospel in Tallahassee with these friends?
Love that we have met some really good friends while spending time in Tallahassee. Josh and Brandi Hignight are two of those! Couldn’t have completed Ethan’s move into a different house over the course of eight days without them! But more than that help, they genuinely understand us and are friends.
All Tide Up is up and running. Still needs some additions and fine tuning but proud of my kids for making it happen! Check out there site as you get a chance!
Proud of our friend Ryan Hachenberger also. His writings at Florida Fowler are good. Check out what he has to say about some life goals and life!
My wife, Cyndi, is unbelievable! She has almost packed up our entire house in just a few weeks. We will have been married 30 years the end of August. We’ve lived in Inverness for almost 20 years and in this house for 15 years. You can accumulate a lot of memories and a lot of things over 30 years. Reducing it to moving boxes can be difficult but she has accomplished that! Trying to determine where to move it is difficult also. Sometimes the decisions you make can’t just be made with your heart.
While I do believe God is sovereign and He has a plan, there are times when we just don’t know what to do next! Curious to see how the next season of our life goes and excited to see where it will be!
About a week ago we signed a sales contract for our house. We have intended to sell our home and move for about 20 months. Our home has been our safe haven during the current season of our life. When I quit my job and we began the 200 mile commute to Tallahassee each week, our home was a refuge for us – a place of our very own that served as a spot that protected us from everything and anything negative in our lives.
While we said we wanted to sell our home, we did little to make that happen. While we said we trusted God to provide for us, we held on to stuff that we thought we had control over. Even when we listed our home almost a year ago, I’m not sure we fully surrendered the process to God. When our listing expired about six weeks ago, we decided to list it ourselves and see what would happen. What happened was God brought a family to us that was looking for just this house! God’s timing is usually never our timing but it is perfect!
As Cyndi has begun the process of packing our stuff, we’ve realized how much we have accumulated over time. We’ve been married almost 30 years and in this house for 15. You can keep a lot of stuff in 30 years! We have begun selling some of our furniture and belongings that we just don’t want to move. And for the most part we are ok with letting go of our possessions! There are a lot of memories attached to things and that makes it harder and longer to pack or let go!
I’m thankful for what God has provided for us in our lives together. He has and continues to be our strength – as corny as that may sound. Without our faith, I would have given up a long time ago! I’m thankful for the unknown blessings He is going to provide for us – unknown because we really don’t know what the next step is!
Kind of crazy to sell your home without knowing where you are going to live isn’t it? We don’t think so. We think this is our physical demonstration of our faith. He has never let us down and we don’t expect this to be the season where that happens! I’ve referred to this scripture before and it’s very relevant today:
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I’ve got to believe!
Cyndi and I are headed to Mexico Beach, Florida tomorrow afternoon. This view is what we’re hoping our evenings will be like for a few days!
Some random thoughts:
1. We’ve been walking for 12 straight days! Three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening! Great time to spend with my wife!
2. I calculated this week that we have spent about 25 days (24 hour days) commuting from Inverness to Tallahassee the past 18 months. Knowing that this was what God intended for us in this season of life has helped with the fatigue and stress that creeps in. Knowing He has a plan for our future keeps us going! Waiting for Him to reveal that plan!
3. Leadership is/can be hard. If it was easy, everyone would be a leader. Leaders who won’t do the hard things really aren’t leaders.
4. Laughter is good! We celebrated our end of semester community group this week with a “cook out”. Great food and so much laughter with some of our best friends. I can’t remember when I have laughed so hard or so loud!
5. Good friends are valuable. If you have a good friendship, work to keep it. If you don’t have a good friend, work to find one.