With this "new life," I've been thinking a lot about the future and what lies ahead for John and me. Some ideas we've pondered are moving out of Claremont after Makenna graduates high school and leaving California after John retires. At some point, we'd like to experience owning horse property. It sure would be nice to have the barn animals on our own property. If we had the ability to determine our future, we'd buy some horse property in Texas, build a home and have the girls nearby to raise their families.
My life history is like the old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." In reality, I know that nothing I could dream up could ever compare to the life God has planned for me. As Jeremiah 29:11 says,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."The other day, I started thinking, if I could choose any life for myself and my family, what would it be? For my girls, that is simple. I want them to graduate college and anything else after that, is fine with me, as long as they are fulfilled and happy. I have one big stipulation on that though, I desire them to love and serve the Lord with everything in them. If they put the Lord first in their lives, all other things will fall into place. I know many people desire for their kids to be rich and famous, or at least rich. Most people want that for themselves too. I'm actually not one of them. I'm content to have just enough money to live an "average" life and enough extra to fund projects that advance the Kingdom of Heaven. For John, I desire for medicine to advance and heal him of his pain. However, if God uses that pain to keep John focused on Him, much like the thorn in the Apostle Paul's flesh, then I know we both agree that the pain remains.
When it comes to pondering how we'd live out our lives, it doesn't take a lot of thought, I already know. I'd love to run a horse ranch that helps people, young and old, to recover from their limitations, whether physical or mental. I've always known God's going to use the sexual abuse in my past to help others. Our horses and other animals have been wonderful therapy for me and I want that for others. When I think about my daughter and her horses, I know that she could never be the bright, confident young woman she is now without her horses. Research equine therapy online and you will find horses are the best therapy for kids with autism, wounded soldiers or those with PTSD and so much more. There's something about horses that are pure therapy to the soul.
Now, if I could take this a step further and really "pick" my future, my family would be running this horse ranch in Africa. As many of you know, my visit to Kenya in 2011 changed my life and a piece of my heart has been there ever since that visit. My heart desires to go back each day of my life. The beauty of the land and the people, the need for healing and to better know Christ and the simplicity of life are among the many reasons I yearn to return. I want John and the girls to experience the joy I felt while serving in Kenya. Until/if God calls me back to Kenya, I pray that He would use me right where I'm at to advance His Kingdom. Whether that's here in So Cal, Texas, Africa, somewhere else or a combination of any of those destinations, my desire if to grow in Him and serve Him with unceasing faithfulness. My life is constantly growing and changing and I seek for my family to keep Christ as our focus wherever He takes us.