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the first wave of "see you later"

This weekend was so incredibly special to us. Alvaro and I are just honestly overwhelmed at everyones love and support. On Saturday evening we had Bella and Dominic dedicated at Summit Church. Well lets just say this picture depicts how THAT went.

Bella chose not to stand still at all and be true to herself on stage, that crazy free spirit of hers just bubbling on out for all to see! Caught her just in time before she went for a sip and taste of the communion down the steps as she screamed mom look PANCITO (bread in spanish) Thanks for your grace and love of our children Orlando and elders of Summit :) They also took time in all of their services to present a video about our mission as well as pray over our family. Words cannot express fully the amount of gratitude we have for these leaders that shepherd families in SW Florida and how honored we are to be called family with them. Thank you for seeing us, believing in us, investing in us and loving our family!

We were also blessed with a bit of a send-off party Sunday afternoon and had a great time. Many of our friends are expressing interest and planning to take trips to come see us and serve in dear ones we will hold you to those promises :) You know who you are!

Sitting here in our lone chair in the living room staring at boxes and well lets be honest thinking how is this all happening. I think I've been withdrawn from emotion as the endless lists in my head overtake the space to actually realize we are leaving this place...the place we have called home for 4 years....the place we brought two newborns into, the community we have grown with and the friends that have been life changers for us, the church and leaders that have welcomed and loved us.....

and so it begins hitting me and its the first of our phases of 'see you later' as we head out of SW Florida this week.....and well, it's hard. These people that have invested in us and believed in us, these friends that have sat and laughed, cried and prayed with us, that have held our babies and have cheered us on. This is the part of moving, of transition that NO ME GUSTA! It is amazing how when we find ourselves in true community how God's people affect each others lives, as iron sharpens iron. So how fitting for this weekends message in the service that we dedicated the kids and also were prayed over to be about living in community. We are so thankful. We have been incredibly blessed in this season, having had moved 4 years ago without any connections or jobs with just a desire for change. We would have never seen or predicted what transpired in this season of Florida, for us as individuals, as a couple and now as a family.

TRANSITION: : a change from one state or condition to another (webster)

Well I'd say that is a pretty accurate definition for our lives right now, not just geographically but so much more. In our going there has been a vital help for me with women who are in the same exact mindset as me right now, maybe you'll hear me refer to Velvet Ashes quite a bit on this blog and post quotes from women who have given me encouragement and wisdom that maybe I'll never meet. They have started a resource to women who are getting ready to leave or come back from a mission field and send timed emails in regards to what you would be facing in that exact season. One of the women, Amy Young writes this in one of the emails in regards to 'GOING':

I want to remind you, you are not alone. Others have been prepared by the One who called them for a task or to a place and you will be too. As I recalled the great cloud of witnesses we have, I marveled in the variety of means God used to prepare them.

  • With Mary, He sent an angel to talk with her in person–she had someone physically show up, sit down and talk with her, answer questions, and reassure her.

  • With Daniel, He used formal education and relationships.

  • Esther was prepared through physical attributes and relationships with her uncle and Hegai.

  • Paul was prepared through the family and connections he was born into, the training he received, the positions he held, and then through a time of obscurity.

  • With Joseph, the son of Jacob, God prepared him through dreams, family betrayal, being lied about, imprisoned for years, forgotten, and an ability to hear from God about dreams.

  • David was prepared through mundane, ordinary tasks (tending and protecting sheep), obscurity, time alone, and musical training.

  • Moses was prepared by being given up at birth, being bilingual and bicultural, having a speech impediment, and through connections.

  • And with Joseph (betrothed to Mary), he was prepared through his strong character and a clear dream.

This is a brief list of eight people, can you imagine how long the list would be if we went chapter by chapter through the Bible and spent time studying the ways in which God prepared people?

GO: : 1: to move on a course : proceed 2: to move out of or away from a place expressed or implied : leave, depart 3a : to take a certain course or follow a certain procedure b : to pass by means of a process like journeying

So this is it, 'to pass by means of a process like journeying.' We say our see you laters and keep on the journey knowing that God has used this season in our lives greatly. It was a part of our preparation, all of it. From 3 years ago when we thought the way to get after the dream of Nicaragua was to possibly start our own non-profit and the faithful friends in our lives that gathered then to support our beginning and hard to see dream....what a journey.

So the rain is falling hard here in SWFL and the idea of my last day spent at the beach is quickly fading which seems to make sense since there is still much to do. Transition has a way of creating a long list of to-dos. On the bright side it makes my heart so happy to watch Bella play in a nearly empty apartment with whatever little she can find, which at the moment is some remains of Christmas ornaments she found in a's to that spirit staying through all these transitions.

So thank you to all of you who have stood by our side, who have loved us and believed in us, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you....and we will see you later...

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