We have had the craziest month around here! We have been busy trying to grow our photography business and did three sessions this month. It has been fun, and we are praying that God will help us grow and develop because we would really like to do this for a living someday in the not too distant future! For a glimpse of our work, you can view the Rich Imaging Blog (click to link). Right now we're trying to get some practice doing senior sessions and are offering them for FREE - so if you know any high school juniors in the area, send them our way!
We also almost moved this month and it fell through at the last minute. We've been tentatively planning on doing a lease-to-own with someone since the beginning of February. He called on Feb. 16th and said that he'd be ready with money in hand to sign papers and move in by the 1st of March. We said that that would be fine, and set up to sign papers on Feb. 29th. For the next week I frantically searched for a place for us to live. We are actually planning on moving to Idaho (more on that below) in a few months so we couldn't move anywhere that required a lease. Finally on the 24th, we found a place - it was a perfect situation for us and it was as if God handed it to us Himself, telling us not to worry and that He would take care of us.
The next day was Monday, and the guy who was supposed to be signing papers with us on Friday called to try to back out of the deal because he found something more appealing. Mark convinced him to keep his word and he decided to stay with us. I had a sick feeling in my gut all day on Tuesday, knowing I desperately needed to pack but being afraid that it wasn't going to go through. On Wednesday morning, I decided to just go ahead and pack because I had so much to do in just a couple of days. I packed all morning. Then, in the afternoon, this guy called to let us know that he didn't have any money to sign the lease papers and he was calling it off. I was angry and at the same time relieved. So, we're not moving out of our condo - at least not yet!
That brings me to the next topic: our pending future move to Idaho. We've been toying with the idea of moving to Boise for over a year now. We really want to raise our children around their grandparents and include our extended family in their lives. In most ways, Boise will be a better place for us to raise our family. It is a smaller city with much less crime and less traffic. It is a more conservative area with favorable laws on homeschooling and families in general. And since we want to have a few more kids, it will be much easier to raise them with the help of Mark's parents. It will also be a day's drive closer to my parents in Colorado which will make it feasible to visit them much more often. AND, real estate is about half the price as it is in the Seattle area, which is appealing for obvious reasons!
The biggest reason we don't want to leave here is our amazing and wonderful community at Beit Tikvah. BT has been a place of huge spiritual growth and maturity for us as well as a place that has fostered some wonderful relationships. Our faith has deepened to a level we never realized possible before, and we have a foundation that will support us for the rest of our lives. For those of you who don't know, Beit Tikvah is a Messianic congregation. Essentially, it is a place where we keep the Torah as a part of our relationship with God. We keep the Sabbath, celebrate and honor the Biblical holidays (Leviticus 23) and eat Biblically kosher. We are very similar to a typical Jewish community except for the major difference that we believe in the deity of Yeshua (Jesus). Our rabbi's teachings are very solid and Biblically-sound and relevant to our lives. (Side note: you can listen to them yourself from BT's website link on the right!) Such a community is not easy to come by! There are a lot of flaky communities in the Messianic movement, but our is definitely not one of them! We have developed so much there and have fostered some wonderful friendships that we will always treasure.
That being said, we still believe that it is God's will for us to move on from here into a new place, spiritually as well as physically. I remember when we first started attending BT, and Mark told me that he believed that we would be there for a short time - maybe a couple of years - and then God would move us on somewhere else. At the time, I prayed he was wrong but knew he probably wasn't. I've learned to trust Mark's prophetic gift and his ability to hear from God. So all this time we knew deep down that this was probably just going to be a relatively short season of our lives, but I think all along we hoped it would last forever. We don't know what kind of a community of believers we will find ourselves in when we move to Boise, but we do know that at the end of this time we will live forever in a world of Torah observance, where all the nations with gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the festival of Sukkot together with Yeshua! We will always cherish our relationships at BT, though, and hope to visit there whenever we are able.
So, we will continue trying to sell our condo (or do a lease-to-own) and Mark will start looking for a job in Boise, and our plan is to move in the beginning of June. We'll see how things go!
In the meantime, here are some recent pictures of our beautiful blessings from God!
Eliza will be two at the end of March and our next event with her will be learning to use the potty! I am especially looking forward to it! :o) She is talking a lot now and starting to really use her imagination in play which has been loads of fun!
Judah is 6 1/2 months and is growing up so fast! He is sitting up (for a few weeks now) and starting to crawl already! I think that he is always challenged by his big sister and is pushing himself more than she did at his age. He's such a joy!
Well, everyone, I must end this very long post. Have a wonderful day... and leave me a comment - I'm curious if anyone reads this thing!! ;o)
p.s. Oh - and by the way - I voted for Mike Huckabee...