Monday, June 29, 2015

A look inside our "Home"

I wanted to give you a glimpse inside our temporary home. Right now we are all living under the roof of a 23 ft camper. We manage well, but fine ourselves getting on each others nerves sometimes. I thought of the verse in Colossians 3:13
"Bear with each other and forgive what ever grievance you may have against one another "
It is so easy to hold on to an issue that has caused us to be angry, hurt or annoyed. But when we do this we rob ourselves of the joy we may have in sharing life with one another.  My daughter and I got into a disagreement today. She was hurt for various reasons and I was annoyed.  I started to think about it and in actuality this has become a common thing between her and I.  So today I sat with her and explained that sometimes we need to do more than just say we are sorry and repent. Sometimes we need to get to the root of what's causing the irration regardless of how painful it is in order to heal and
"bear with one another"
I don't want our relationship to be damaged based on harbored up feelings that can lead to bitterness, resentment or anger. I have dealt with these  exact issues! In order to do the forgiving that the scriptures talk about we need to KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE FORGIVING..

Sometimes pride can get in the way of forgiveness. I have a wonderful example of this. 

So a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to be a part of serving to the homeless friends for the group 'Go and Love'. I volunteered to make the food for this particular  week.. so I made spaghetti. Wow, trying to cook for 40 people in a small camper proved to be a bit challenging. At any rate I was able to and left the mess to my kids!! Thank you so much for cleaning that up!!! :)

I was able to talk with some of our homeless friends.. and a few of them brought up some personal issues. I could hear in their voice and in their stories where there had been a lack of forgiveness. It was truly sad, bit an eye opener for me as well. No one knows exactly the burden one carries. We allow this to take grip of our lives weighing us down. We do not know the true rampifactions of this until we set it free; Allowing it to no longer rob us of the freedom we can have. Sometimes forgiveness means laying down the right to be right as well!!  Jesus, himself, gave up his right and laid down his life for us

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"

Sometimes the hardest person we have to forgive is OURSELVES... I struggle with making the same mistake over and over. I see that I take things out on my family when I notice such things. The challenge is believing that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Life is full of lessons if we take the time to realize them. This goes full circle to our camper home right now. The lesson I am trying to learn is to get along well with my family as we are all in tight quarters.

The key is learning to be organized which is not my strong quality!!  When things are out of place, or disorganized I feel a level of chaos or a level of discontent. When I feel like this I can act out in a way where I need my families forgiveness. I know I'm growing because I'm recognizing my triggers. That in and of itself is something to be thankful for!! :) 

At any rate, just like many of you, lots of things go on behind closed doors... 

~It could be trying to get along with one another

~It could be trying to forgive one another

 ~But it also could be fun and happy times such as cooking for others

 ~Playing games with your families

~Having friends over

~Reading or Watching T.V. 

~Doing school

~Having a campfire with smores

 ~Or even praying and trusting God during a season of both, preparation and waiting.

No matter what It takes hands to build a house but hearts to build a home ~Author Unknown


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How we are doing??

We have been at Whispering River Resort now for a week. It has felt like a vacation, which is what our family really needed. So here is some highlights from the week.

We took the kids to the Ripleys aquarium and musuems in Gatlinburg. It was a lot of fun.. I couldn't make it back to the car at our lunch break so I found a table to sit at and relax. I am so thankful I pushed myself to experience this memory with the family~

We drove to the Smokies Mountain National  Park through Cades Cove. We actually saw a bear!! This was a beautiful scenic family day~

We have shared our hearts and vision with a few people this week who also want to be a part of it on some level. It has been amazing to hear their heart as well~

We have had two families over to our "home" for swimming/BBQ/fire... no gathering can be complete without smores as well~

We have drove around looking for "A diamond in the rough" Mike would love to find a place he can fix up if the opportunity comes. But we are not burning any bridges either so we also have been looking for a modular and land. Eventually we will need land to start the community however we need to do things in order~

How God is moving:
Speaking of order we pray daily that the Lord will lead and guide our steps. We pray for open and closed doors with every step we take. The first day we were here I quietly whispered a prayer "okay Lord, Now what?" I felt He spoke to my heart and said:

RELAX
BE STILL

This is so hard for our family because we are so used to working, serving, doing etc. Etc.

"There is a time for everything
and a season for every activity
under the heavens:

   a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot
   a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  a time to search and a time to give up,
  a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

If there is a time for everything; then why do we struggle so much with a time to relax, a time to be still???

We worked hard at relaxing this last week. We wanted to enjoy our family, Enjoy the campground and spend time learning the area. 
~ We played games
~ We went to the pool everyday
~ We cook over the open fire & still do!!
As we were having some down time, Mike inquired about a job. He went for an interview yesterday, got the job, and started today :)

A few days ago I was feeling sad about missing my Nebraska Friends. I missed the familiarity and the comfort of the known.  We went to the post office and we finally got a piece of mail and it happend to be a card of encouragement!!

Tomorrow is my first time going with the "Go and Love" group to Knoxville to hand out items and food to the homeless friends. Please  pray for me and this group~










Moving Part 111

Oh boy!! I meant to do this right away but it has been crazy to say the least!! Haha.. I will make this one short.. and then continue a different blog on
How we have been doing?

So we got turned around and arrived at the camp. The camps name was
"Lazy Acres" The host was very accommodating and gracious. By the time we did paper work and got set up it was well into the evening. We hadn't eaten yet and needed a few things so we decided to go back into town to explore. A new friend we had met (who actually was our conncenction here in TN when we first started to entertain the idea of moving) texted and invited us over for a fire & coffee.. We got to their house at 10:00 p.m. but was so nice to be in the company of someone who lived here in TN!! We stayed for an hour and headed back to the campground.

The next day we had to unload the uhaul. We put out a request for those living in TN to see if anyone would be available to help us? We had 4 adults show up and 6 kids!! We were amazed by the goodness of perfect strangers hearts to lend us a hand! We got the uhaul truck unloaded in 2 HOURS!!!

Because I could be of no help and we needed a new place to stay since Lazy Acres only had the spot we were on for the two nights  (we also had learned that check out was at 11:00 a.m.)  Lyv and I went on search for a new place to stay.
We called 4 different places they either were full or priced ridiculously high. The fifth place I called happened to have one spot available for the week. So I made the reservations!!

After the uhaul was unloaded and we thanked everyone for helping.. it was finally time to rid that truck from our hands. We had many problems with the uhaul company and we're ready to be done with it!! We arrived at the place where we needed to drop it off and no one was there.. we called the number on the door and the lady said she would be there in 10 minutes. While we were waiting another customer drove up. Mike and him started talking about uhaul which is why he bought a trailer but didn't know what he would do with it after he was done so he thought about selling it. Mike told him he would buy it since we will need one to help with the ministry!! We gave him our name and when he said he was done he would call us!!! I guess it was a good thing we had to wait!!

The next stop was the post office to get us a mailing address. If anyone wants our address inbox me via Facebook or email me at solmenkoo3@yahoo.com
We would love to hear from you!!

By the time we got back to the camp we had laundry to do. They had a beautiful facility!! Exhausted we got back to the camper around 8:00 p.m. We were finally able to relax for a moment..

Thursday morning came which meant we had to tear down, pack up, hook up and off to the new campground. We arrived at the new campground called Whispering River Resort around noon. I went in to take care of the arrangements and happened to ask one more time if they had a longer term spot available? Once again, God moved and sure enough a spot opened  up that morning! So we actually made the reservation for the month....

Friday, June 5, 2015

Moving Part 11

It has been a LONG COUPLE OF DAYS....

Once we arrived in Missouri at our  friends house. We were exhausted! These friends have always been very hospitable.
We stayed with them for 2 nights. Not only did they let us stay with them but they also went out of their way to make us feel at home; down to the little details of having mints on our pillows upon our arrival!! 

These friends show true love by serving others when in need. By the time Monday came I knew my back was not able to handle the second part of the drive. My oldest son was so unsure of pulling such a heavy trialer. Without hesitation the decision was made for them to drive us to Tennesse!! He then would turn around and drive back home.  Arriving home, after doing a round trip,  at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, we were so glad he made it home safely!!

The second part of the trip had us arriving in Clarksville. We wanted to make it to Nashville however the hotel prices were outrageous.. we were originally  going to find a campground, but due to the camper being so full it would have been a lot of work to pull everything out, set up, and tear down all for a few hours.
Another blessing we experienced during our travel was that the hotel gave us a discount.

After getting much rest we began our third part of the travel to Tennessee. This part of the travel would prove to be the most challenging and difficult part of the journey. Our suburban, aka Shelly, decided she had enough of travel and through a fit. She overheated and "threw up" along side of the busy highway. So in other terms.. Our suburban over heated.. so we pulled over and after sitting along side of the highway for a good 20 minutes;  despite the warning of releasing the valve Mike did so, and smoke went every where as did the coolant.. it leaked out like crazy (see.. Shelly threw up) We put what coolant we had along with water and prayed it to the nearest exit to the closest gas station.

Another blessing we experienced during our travel was that we made it to a gas station, filled the suburban up with coolant and oil.. put out a prayer request; not only was she running great but the "check engine light" no longer was on!!

We were an hour out from where we thought we were going to find a campground and my leg went completely numb as it does most of the day. The pain was excruciating. I needed to rest. I called the campground but was misinformed and realized we werent able to stay there. The office was closed,  the sites they have are more or less used for the workers. The sites they have do not have full hook up and if anything we could call back the next day and possibly have a site for a night. So we pulled over to locate another campground. After calling several  places we found one that only had availability for Monday and Tuesday night. We reserved it, got the directions and headed that way. Again, another challenge arose when we got lost! We ended up on one lane side roads. Remember we had the Uhaul pulling a car and the suburban pulling the trailer. I began to cry.. I was not sure where or how we were going to get all these vehicles through these roads not to mention the pounding pain in my back, and pain and numbness down my leg was adding stress to the mix. I started to pray. "GOD FIND A PLACE TO TURN ALL THESE VEHICLES AROUND PLEASE!!"
We literally went 1/2 mile longer when we found a house with HUGE turn around as a drive way!!!! Also plastered everywhere was "NO TRESPASSING SIGNS" I asked Mike what he thought we should do..
His response.. floor it and DON'T STOP!! SO WE DID!! WE got turned around and back to the highway we went!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The move Part 1

Saturday morning came and I woke up anxious about the move..

*we werent packed all the way
*the house wasn't cleaned
*and most importantly I wandered one more time if what we were  doing was the right thing.
I decided to read a devotion to ease my mind and these words popped off the page

"I am Emmanuel (God with you)"

God spoke to my heart as I asked the question:  What are we doing?
I mean We have no home, no job, no place to go essentially. I mean who does this?

"I called you to it
I will guide you through it"

So I began the day with the affirmation that although we may not know exactly what we are doing God has asked us to step out in a leap of faith, giving us peace to do it. So I got up and began packing. I quickly realized that my back & leg was doing amazingly well considering. Once again I was thankful for God being faithful with the little things..
We need to trust His timing. 

We weren't expecting help due to the timing of us moving... however, another blessing was given to us as a few friends started to show up and help us load the truck. We actually got everything loaded in 3 hours!! 

Much thanks to those involved!!

By this time I was very emotional but trying to hold in my emotions. We were busy finalizing everything and just wanted to stay focused. Mike came to me to explain that the hitch on the uhaul was  2" and our ball on the trailer wasn't going to fit. Which meant I would have to pull the trailer instead of our sons car. Let me back up a minute; years ago Mike rear ended me, ever since I have been paranoid with having anything too close to me while driving.  I was fearful of even pulling the car much less the trailer.  Not having done this before I was thrown into having to pull it over 6 hours!  The weight of this burden was overwhelming me mixed with emotions of saying goodbye.  Once again the words my devotions I read earlier...

"Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs"

A friend of mine asked me if leaving was so sad, why move at all??

Well, to answer the question it is in Obedience of what God is calling us to do.  Just because we are being obedient to what we feel the Lord is calling us to do doesn't make it any less diffucult! With that said there is no better place to be in than in the will of God.

We have done this once before when we moved to Nebraska. Yes, it was extremely sad and scary to leave our comfort zone, our family our friends and everything we knew. However, we have been blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined in these last four years. It's with great expectations we wait eagerly in faith knowing that we serve the same God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!! 

So after everything was done.. we hit the road to leave our Nebraska home, our beautiful friends, and a place we have cherished and will hold dear to our hearts, Camp Rivercrest.

Our first destination was to only take 6 hours but took 8.5 hours due to me pulling the trailer. I was so nervous most the time but the word Emmanuel came to mind, over & over again. The travel was amazing, & traffic was light. We had two minor hiccups but God's provision was with us.

We are so thankful for all those who are  praying over us... We covet your prayers as we begin a new chapter of this journey of ministry that we are on~♡

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. COLOSSIANS 2 : 6 –7"