Friday, February 22, 2008

The Road to Bear Paw, part 1

9 months ago we decided to follow up on what seemed like a pie in the sky opportunity. We discovered a privately owned, Christian camp for sale in NE Washington, not too far from where my husband grew up. It looked like it needed a little TLC but was obviously well cared for over the years and had a good client base. Still, we had to overcome very large obstacles in order to actually purchase the camp and move our family with three young kids up there. But, none of that seemed to phase us. We've just kept putting one foot in front of the other and waiting for God to move and direct us. On one hand, it's been a very long process but in the scheme of life, it's really been very quick. One year we're running an embroidery and screen printing business, manufacturing letterman jackets, and growing like crazy! The next we're planning to be running Bear Paw Camp and serving the Lord through full time ministry! On the radar screen the move has been "sometime next year", then "next spring", then "sometime in March" and now we're closing in on a specific final move date which makes us all very excited. It is finally starting to feel real and like all our prep work (selling our house, selling our business, refinancing a building, preparing the kids, packing, etc. etc.) will be worth it. With all the joy we're experiencing as we prepare to move, there is also the sadness of all the wonderful people we're leaving behind. Family and friends that are gold to us, they know us and love us, and will be desperately missed. I believe, as our relationships change and, instead of seeing each other often for shorter times we will spend extended times together less often, we'll be blessed by a new depth. Not to mention we live in the age of technology!! Praise the Lord.

So how does life look right now? We've been working on finishing up some of our remodel projects on our 100 year old house, so we're still surrounded by tools and supplies for that. We're 2 1/2 years into what we planned as a 4 year project. The house if really starting to look nice. I love old houses but, boy has it been a challenging adventure! In addition to the construction clutter, we've added the boxes that I've been filling with less essential things that I won't need in the next 6-8 weeks. Not to mention we've got three kids so there's plenty of kid clutter around, too. Needless to say, showing the house in order to sell it has been more than humbling.

I'm trying to keep our schedules as normal as possible so the transition for the kids goes as smoothly as it can but I feel like the quintessential duck, semi-graceful on the surface but paddling like mad under the surface. Oh who am I kidding, I'm no where near graceful, but the paddling like mad part is dead on. As much as I want to buckle down and just do what we need to do to move, I realize these are our last moments here in Salem and I want to make the most of them and take advantage of every opportunity. So, the importance of balance reaches a new level for me.

We're still waiting for the final OK but we plan to head up to the camp the weekend of March 8th to help get it ready for the season. I think this will be wonderful for the kids to have what they're looking forward to fresh in their minds and yet still have time left to say goodbye. Hopefully we'll be allowed to bring a load of our stuff up so we can get a head start on the actual move.

"Lord Jesus, I'm peacefully waiting for your timing in this. I await your unfolding plan. I know it is perfect. Help me to fulfill my part in it. In Jesus name, AMEN!"

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff