8.08.2011

One year.

Today is our fourth anniversary of living the good life, serving Jesus in a jungle paradise. (Of course, if I had written this before my morning coffee, I probably would have said, today is the fourth anniversary of this financially disastrous, lonely, living hell. But I've sipped the good stuff, so we'll go with "jungle paradise".)

It's just crazy to me that we've been here that long!

But what's really insane is that we only have a year left of our commitment here.

One year!

That's like....nothing.

Seriously. Have you experienced the phenomenon of the disappearing year? It's scary.

A year seems long when you're a kid and life appears to be this never-ending monster of weekdays and homework. But, one day down the road, you find out you're pregnant and you say to yourself, "This is good, I have 9 months to prepare!" And then, like, 11 minutes later you're holding a new born baby. And it's yours. You wake up the next morning and that baby is crawling around, sucking on the dog, and by late afternoon you're baking a birthday cake in the shape of the number "1" while that same baby now swings naked from the chandelier with all the manual dexterity of a highly developed chimpanzee - and that is when you realize that a whole... entire... year... has passed in the blink of an eye. Gone. Done. Fin. It just.... disappeared. And you're left standing there, eating frosting out of the tub with your finger in a daze, wondering what the hell just happened?! Where did this giant baby come from?! Wasn't I pregnant, like, a second ago?...

Trust me. That is exactly how it happens.

So you can imagine my panic when I looked at the calendar today and saw that ONE YEAR stands before us, ready to yank the rug out from under our feet, so that we open our eyes and we're flat on our asses and it's August 9th 20TWELVE...

"What happens next?" has become the life-sucking, prayer-devouring, conversation-consuming question in our home.

Everybody is asking us what we're going to do next year, because they're smart and they know that "next year" is really, like, tomorrow: Are we gonna stay in Costa Rica? Are we gonna go back to the states? If we go back to the states, what does that look like? What would we do there? Who would we work for?

The answer is :
We have no freaking idea!

We love life here (ok, not always - but mostly), and we've seen God move in amazing ways through the people and ministries we've invested in, along with our personal lives and family. Yes, we've had our difficulties, but we would be honored to stay and continue that work. In so many ways we would be sad to leave Costa Rica.

But, there's part of us that feels a tugging to head back to the states (and a myriad of reasons to do so). We're just not totally sure what that would look like, or where, exactly, we would go - except to say that if we do end up stateside next year, we'd love to be part of the movement ushering in a new kind of missionary and a new kind of mission to the world. I guess you could say that we have a certain daydream we've been kicking around which we would love to see come true. So, in many ways, we would be happy to return to the U.S.

We've been earnestly seeking God's heart on this, and hoping for a clear direction. But so far, we're still pretty unclear about what it is He'll have us do or where it is He wants us, come next year. So our tactic has been to open as many doors as possible, while narrowing our ministry focus, so that when the time comes, we'll just know. Ya know?

Yesterday, we finalized our decision to go to the Catalyst Conference, coming up in Atlanta in October. We've been going back and forth for months, but it's getting down to the wire, so I made a list of "pros" and "cons". The "pros" said:

much needed time together (without the kids!)
time of learning from leaders in the church
chance to worship in English!
no kids
three consecutive days "off"
chance to chill with wannabe internet friends
networking
Starbucks
"Be Present" = awesome theme which I sincerely need jammed down my throat about now!
beer
getaway without the kids!... What?!

And the "cons" said:

money.


So we're going. *eeep* I'm SO excited!

Along with El Chupacabra finishing his degree in Business Administration, and me working toward a book contract, and in addition to our unceasing prayers, we're making Catalyst part of our "open as many doors as possible and see where God takes you in 2012" tactic. We're hoping to meet a lot of people and we're hoping to have some great conversations. We're hoping to make connections that could matter sometime down the line, either in the coming year or whenever - doesn't really matter - we just want to engage more deeply with the Body of Christ for 3 days in October!

So if you're in Atlanta, or if you're gonna be in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference in October, and you wanna connect - let's make it happen. We would really LOVE that!

As for the next year, I love being open to the possibilities. I love wondering what our future holds. I love dreaming about what's to come, especially when I'm able to rest in the palm of God's hand because I trust that what He has in store for us is... Good.

We could be one year away from a whole new adventure. And you know how fast a year goes by...

.... .... ....

Ever been on the verge of making a life-altering decision - and hoping God was at the center of it?

or

Going to Catalyst? Wanna hang out?