Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry, Merry....

Merry Merry Christmas!  
This year our picture was MUCH less planned!  We decided efficiency was more important than perfection, so we took pictures around the house.  I received a large Nutcracker a few years ago and we keep it in the entrance hall at Christmas.  It's one of my favorite decorations.  In fact, nutcrackers can be found ALL over our house - with over 50 of them (and counting).  We agreed on the picture above for our annual card, but Chad really preferred the one below. 
This picture was taken in our "Game" room.  The original game was pool - but we've added a different type of game recently to the decor.  The large deer in the middle was a 400+ lb red stag and it was Chad's first trophy - now decorated for Christmas, with a wreath around its neck.  Charles shot the Axis (250lbs+) and also the White Tail (in velvet).   We have been well supplied with venison this year!  If anyone had told me years ago that we'll have mounts on our wall, I would never have believed it!!  Of course, I wouldn't have believed that our media room would have a COW HIDE and iron Texas stars on the wall either!!  Never say never.... 

Chad also puts the topper on the Christmas tree every year.  And...every year, he says its the LAST time to use it.  He made the Christmas Angel out of a paper plate when he was THREE, but I've just not been able to replace it.   After 20 years, it's probably time to move on!   
We enjoyed time together - just the four of us - before our trek to see family in Tennessee over the holidays.  The boys exchanged gifts and we enjoyed having the evening just to ourselves.  It is truly a great gift just to have the boys at home.  I miss our lazy casual times "all - agether"! 

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!  Merry on!  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Africa.....really? Africa!

Some things are just out of my comfort zone - and this is a big one!  Charles has accepted a job in Lagos, Nigeria.   It's been a tough decision, but we are anxious and peaceful at the same time.  However, I continue to be amazed at the way that God works.....

We've really been praying for the last few months asking God to open doors for jobs OR to close them tightly.   So far, the doors for this job have been opened all the way.   Charles did not go looking for this specific job - but it came to him.  

On Wednesday, Charles was ready to accept, but I just wasn't there yet.   I kept asking (begging, pleading) God for clear, clear direction and to give me encouragement to go forward.  I received a phone call on Wed night that changed my perspective.....

I'm a small group leader for a worldwide Bible Study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).   There are about 25 group leaders and each of us has a small group of women (15 or so) where we simply facilitate the discussion with the questions that we are given, then we go to a lecture from the teaching leader afterwards.  We are studying Isaiah and it's a great study!  My first BSF leader (from 5 years ago) moved in 2007 to Angola and returned this year to Texas.  I contacted her  just to ask about her experiences living in Africa.   When she returned my call on Wednesday night, she confirmed where we were moving........then said very quietly, that THEY were ALSO moving to Lagos, Nigeria in January - and it was to be announced on Friday!!  In addition, she has been talking with the international office of BSF and they have a prayer group in Lagos - exactly where we will be living.  I was just overwhelmed with the goodness of God to give me a friend in the new location and a place to serve Him, before I even arrived.  God does indeed walk before us and I am grateful.   

On Thursday afternoon, Charles and I walked on the trails just to talk and he mentioned that there were two doors still 'open'.    I wondered if he should call them to get an update.  Before we even arrived home, he received a call from BOTH of them within 15 minutes - basically telling him that he was overqualified.   I think that God wants us in Nigeria!  

Charles is excited about the job and is very impressed with the company.  If this were a local job, he would have jumped through hoops to get to work with them.  The job is interesting and has potential for the future - and the home office is in TEXAS.   We will keep our house here and not move furniture - so we can come back easily.  In the meantime, we will see this as God's next adventure for us.  Both boys are very supportive and encouraging.  At 21 and 23 years old,
(and both attending Baylor University) they feel like they will be fine without us close!  :)  However, MOM will have a MUCH harder time!

This will stretch us beyond our own capabilities and we know that the road ahead will be challenging.  We don't have all the details yet and we are still working on dates and timing.  However, as Chad says, "God has never led us wrong when we trust him.  He certainly won't change now".     And one more thing......Charles' new boss is a Baylor graduate! :)   He called us today from the Yacht Club - so life can't be all that bad!

I guess I'll work on a new blog of our AFRICAN adventures! :)   Wow!  Really.....Africa?!

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Janet