Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reluctant Texan


That's me at 3 years old. Pretty cute with those cowgirl boots, huh? The tights make it extra special. :-)

God is amazing, isn't he?

I'm hesitant to tell this story because we always tend to present stories in neat, tidy, pretty packages without a lot of hardship, anguish or confusion present. Well, my story isn't quite so tidy, but I'm thankful for it nonetheless. Sometimes our hard to tell stories are the very ones that God uses. That's my prayer.

Several years ago we were praying for God's leading and one of the shepherds at our current church called and left a message for my husband to contact him about talking to them about a ministry position they had. I heard Abilene, TX on the voice mail and thought, "No, that is just too far away; too hot; too flat; too brown; too too." For a millisecond I considered erasing the message and not even telling my husband. You see I'd spent my entire life in beautiful Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA. But I didn't erase the message. I wouldn't. After all, we'd been praying for God's leading, right? Right.

That night I had a dream that I was shaking my finger at God and telling him I couldn't move to Abilene as it was so flat, brown, hot and they didn't have all the things I considered beautiful like big tall trees and flowers. In the still quiet way that God speaks to me he let me know that "there was beauty all around in Abilene, I'd just have to open my eyes and heart to it."

I woke up from that dream and knew we'd be moving to Abilene. We explored several ministry positions in Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas and Abilene and sure enough God lead us to Abilene. God was sure right though. There IS beauty all around!

While I still can't quite get the hang of gardening in Abilene (as is evidenced by my dead flowers) I'm amazed at the things that have opened up for us while living here.

We get to enjoy walks in our neighborhood and around McMurry's track - - Atlanta was mostly too hilly and there was always the traffic!

I was able to open a neat little bed and breakfast, Journey's Inn (a long time dream of mine) with a dear friend. We meet the most wonderful people.

I work at the prettiest place in Abilene - - really! Wesley Court is gorgeous! I've learned so much about working in a continuing care retirement community. I had only worked in the independent living part of retirement living before moving here and am now exposed to the assisted living and nursing care aspects of it as well.

A dream of ours had always been to live in an old house. Our house was built in 1926 and has all the features we had always quietly wished for! Our oldest daughter begged me to find a house that was at least two stories and had trees - - a bigger order for Abilene. But our house has 3 stories and trees and even a pond, turtles and fish! That is sooo God! That was nothing we deserved or even asked for. I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy these things. That's pure and simple God, not me!

Katie Lea went to ACU and graduated and now is living at home to save some money and Caroline is "away" at college but close to us.

We never would have met Serge had we stayed in Atlanta. We'd have never had him as our son!

Our church is wonderful. We work with the young couples and they are such a blessing. Some of my dearest friends are at our church.

I love my seven minute commute to work! It was an hour in Atlanta and an hour and a half to come home. I love reading good books now instead of just listening to them on tape.

Abilene is such a blessing. It is our prayer that God will use us in this city for his glory, his purpose and his vision. I'm so sorry I was a reluctant Texan. I just want to be your child. My citizenship is in heaven. Yes, Father.

Listening for you,
Lila

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

Awww...what a sweet story. I only wish you had moved to Dallas instead..lol. :)

Allison Connor said...

We are so glad you and Vann are here in Abilene! We love you and are blessed by your friendship!

not-so-deep Denise said...

Yep, Abilene does have it's own beauty. I love it too.

That looks like Katie Lea in that pix!