God is on the move! And so are we!
Tracy and I will be moving to Runaway Bay, Texas during the month of May. For the past two years, we have felt that God was preparing us for some big changes. As we waited and watched for His leading, God unfolded the steps for this next season of life.
How It Began
In the fall of 2020, I sensed that God was directing me to step down from the Amarillo City Council and not run for re-election. In the natural, this seemed contrary to the desires of my heart and what I believed to be a calling on my life . . . impacting the government arena for kingdom purposes. But I knew He was letting me know my time of service on the Council was over and it was time for me to step aside.
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served on the Amarillo City Council. It was incredibly rewarding and more fulfilling than I ever imagined.
For the past year and a half, Tracy and I have been on a “working vacation.” We had some projects we were completing but also had an opportunity to travel to multiple locations that had been on our “bucket list”. It was a wonderful year of rest and rejuvenation. As we prepared for one of those trips (traveling through Virginia to arrive in Washington, D.C. for the 20 year commemoration of 9/11 being held on the D.C. Mall), we began praying for a divine appointment. (I imagined someone offering me a job and moving us to the nation’s capital!!) But there was no divine appointment. Or so I thought.
After returning home from a wonderful week, I was thanking God for such a great trip, even though we had not had the divine appointment we had been praying for. I heard the Holy Spirit say “You did have your divine appointment.” What?? How could I have missed that? I was watching and listening for it the entire trip!
I was reminded of a pastor that had spoken at a political workshop and the 9/11 memorial and how much I had identified with his passion for the church to engage with culture, including the area of government. I couldn’t remember his name so looked back through the workshop notes and decided to see where he pastored. I was shocked to find out that his church was in Fort Worth, a mere 55 minutes from our family vacation home. I heard God speak. . . “This was your divine appointment. You were praying for a job with a location that INCLUDED a home church that valued religious freedom and the need to protect it, but the NUMBER ONE priority is finding your church home first.”
We began visiting Mercy Culture, with pastor Landon Schott, every time we were in the Fort Worth area and it became clear . . we had found a new church home and it was time to start the process of moving.
Since we have lived in our current home for nearly 30 years, it was important for our kids to have a chance to say goodbye to the only childhood home they have ever known. We selected a weekend when everyone could squeeze in a trip to Amarillo and say good-bye in style . . . a champagne toast to the memories. Originally, our son-in-law and two of the grandkids were not going to be able to join us for the weekend, but after an unexpected plane cancellation and subsequent delay in flight plans, they were able to make a last minute decision to accompany Rachel on the flight. We had our entire family . . . all the kids, grandkids and even grand-dogs here for the final farewell!!! What a gift.
Getting Rid of Stuff
Since we will be down-sizing substantially, we gave the kids an opportunity to “bid” on items they were interested in taking to their own homes. As financial planners, we have encouraged families to plan for the disbursement of their estate prior to death to avoid unpleasant family dynamics and loss of relationship over “stuff”.
We had each of our kids choose from playing cards (Ace through four) based on their order of calendar year birthdate (not birth order) to determine who would select first. Similar to an NFL fantasy snake draft, the person who chose first in the initial round was relegated to the last pick in the second round. And then it reversed. It was so fun to watch them make selections! I had no idea if they would want any of the items that I have enjoyed over the years, but they ended up with multiple selections going to each home. I loved it.
A New Season
We are not certain of what is in our future, but we are certain of at least the next step. We will be moving back to the area where I grew up and see what God has in store from there. We are so excited to get plugged in with Mercy Culture and make ourselves available to help with the things they as a church community feel called to do.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Luke 10:2
“Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8
As an added bonus, we will be moving closer to family! My mom, sister and all her children live in the area, as do Tracy’s brother and his family. And we will be centrally located to all our kiddos who are scattered across Texas! (God always amazes me with His “multi-tasking” blessings.)
Thanks for the Memories
We are so grateful to have raised our family in Amarillo for the past 36 years. (For Tracy, it’s been his home for over 60 years.) We have made incredible friendships over the years and loved our community. But we want to follow where God is leading and can’t wait to see what is next!
Thank you, Amarillo!
All our love,
Tracy and Elaine