Monday, May 21, 2012

My 7 Year Old!

Yesterday was my oldest child's 7th birthday! We had a blast of a day celebrating my sweet girl. We decided to have family get-together at Hurricaine Harbor. We started the day out with donuts, instead of cake. Alyssa isn't a big fan of cake :)
We ate pizza at lunch and swam alllllll daaaayyyyy looooonnng.
To say everyone had a blast was an understatment! I am so proud of my seven year-old. This past year she lost 4 teeth. She still loves to dance and sing. It's probably her favorite thing to do. Her number one gift request was an ipod. So we got her a shuffle and are praying she doesn't lose it. So far, she has loved it and is constantly on it listening, and singing along and talking too loud because she doesn't realize how loud she! Alyssa is such a sweetheart! She has a gentle and kind spirit about her. She is quick to forgive, mercy gifted, and has such compassion for others. Her new favorite colors are lime green and more pink for her! She is adventurous and loves to be outside. She can be a bit timid at first, but once she gets through that first little push, she can't get enough. Whether that is riding a wave on a boogie board, riding a roller coaster, kayaking with her dad, or conquering the black hole at Hurricain Harbor. She loves it! She's just a fun girl to be around! She loves dogs. My dog, Lucy has now turned into Alyssa's dog, and when we are at the market, if I turn my head for a second she is darting over to the SPCA booth to see what dog she can hold that day, and wish to bring home with us. She is a bit soft a spoken (at first) but she is very relational one on one. She's like her daddy in that way. She's a pie kinda girl, not a cake kinda girl and she prefers milk over juice. She is a skilled roller skater, and loves to run and ride her bike. Alyssa hears from God far more than I ever remember hearing when I was her age, and her knowledge of Him surprises me at times. She has spoken into my life on more than one occasion. I love this precious precious girl God has gifted me with. She is worth more to me than all the diamonds in the world! I love you my Alyssa Joy! You bless my life and others more than you will ever know!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Post 5...The final straw and final post

(The is Part 5 of a blog series. If you want to start from the beginning, please scroll down to where it says "Our Big Announcement") I realized I haven't posted a picture of the amazing Cottle family so there you go. Here is Brady and Misty with their beautiful family :)
The next day was going to be spent on the YWAM base. Donna and Tom were scheduled to teach their class called "Pure Heart," and we were just going to sit in and observe a day in the life of a YWAM student. It was a Monday and they have corporate worship every Monday and Thursday morning before heading off to classes. Of course it was amazing! There were hundreds of students gathered singing praises to Jesus. I was very pleasantly surprised to see a TON of families with their children. While everyone worshipped outside together, we watched as all the kids lined up to be led off to their classes for the day. I tried to take it all in and dream, with the ocean view in the background, and standing in the perfect weather, I tried to invision my family and little ones lined up with big smiles as they headed off to school. I was really trying my hardest this to day to relax and just be open to whatever the Lord had for us. Although still hesitant to say yes, I knew I didn't want to miss what He had for us. I knew better than to be wrestling so much with the Lord on whether or not I was going to do what He had called me to do. Deep down I was thinking about our adoption, and how we would've never thought to adopt a child from Africa, of all places, if the Lord hadn't spoken so loud and clear on what He wanted us to do. Although that road was difficult, I learned that I never want to say no to what the Lord has, just because I'm fearful, because He knows what is best. Aaron and I could've said no. We could've said that it was just too hard and too expensive and gone a different route, but if we had, we wouldn't have our little JoMo. What a blessing that boy is! If we hadn't said yes, we wouldn't have been stretched so much and grown in our faith and trust in the Lord in such a difficult circumstance. If we hadn't said yes, we wouldn't have been blessed with being able to visit the beautiful land of Ethiopia and fallen in love with their amazing culture and people. And if we hadn't said yes to Him then, I don't think I would've had the courage to say yes this time to visiting the possiblity of moving to Hawaii and joining YWAM. He had built up my faith, and I learned through saying yes to adoption, that I wanted to always say yes when He was being so persistent in asking us to do something. But in saying all that, and knowing all that in my heart, there was STILL a wall up. Here we go again with the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions that were going back and forth like a ping pong match in my mind. I knew what He was asking, but I wasn't too happy about it. I think my parents may could argue that I am a bit strong willed at times. I think a weakness of being strong-willed is called stubbornness, and I was being a bit stubborn to totally surrendering and say yes. I can imagine the Lord at this point up in heaven, was thinking to Himself..."Oh my Stacy, What more do I need to do or say for you to put your guard down?" That's when He had decided to come at me hard and direct. And it wasn't just for me, it was for all of us. Although I think I was the only one at this point, not planning the move already. I think Brady, Misty and Aaron had already accepted it. Sweet Aaron was waiting so patiently on me to catch up. It's ok. He's use to it by now ;) I know you are wondering what the final straw was that the Lord had to pull to make this stubborn girl say yes. Well, after worship that morning this more seasoned looking gentleman/leader got up to pray for the body and dismiss everyone to their classes. After he was done praying he says this: "I feel like the Lord has given me a word for someone here today. It could be for one person or it could be for many, I don't know. But the Lord is saying that you are someone who is just out of your twenties." (Ears are perked and you have my attention, because this could be me). He said, "You are here searching. You feel as though you missed out on what the Lord had for you in your younger years, of what you felt was the prime time in your life. He is telling you that it's not too late! He says it's not too late, and if you say yes to what I am asking, I will show myself to you, and you will witness my glory in ways you could never even imagine." Is your jaw dropped right now, because mine sure was. I knew 100% that word was for me. The way the man said it, it was from the Lord for sure, because the Lord knew my heart. He knew that I had many times looked at student's YWAM pictures online and heard their stories and felt sadness and regret for not doing something like that before I had children. He knew that I thought it was too late, and my time had passed. He knew I had told young girls going off to YWAM DTS that I wish I had done this when I was their age, and that was my biggest regret in life. He knows my heart and He wants to give me the desires of my heart! So this is when I just slumped over and looked at Aaron and said..."Oh My gosh!" Aaron was grinning through his watery eyes because he knew too, and I am sure he was relieved that I finally got it. I told him, "Well, I guess we are coming for sure." Aaron gave me a big hug and kiss on my cheek, and I looked over at Brady and he was slumped over weeping, because that word was for him too. Misty missed it, because she was chatting with a mom about the school, but that's ok. She was already planning her move, and probably didn't need to hear it as much as we did at that point. It was just so incredible the way the Lord spoke, and how much He spoke while we were there. So much so, we can't say no to it. We enjoyed the next two days sitting in on Tom and Donna's amazingly powerful teaching on inner healing and watching as students were being healed of past hurts and walking away in freedom. We got to pray and take part in some ministry time as well, and came home feeling a bit more whole ourselves. There is still some nervousness here because of all that needs to be done before we can leave. It's overwhelming thinking about it. We did, however, get the hard part out of the way, and told our families we were going. I had myself all worked up that everyone was going to be against it, but they surprised me. Some are sad, of course, but I don't think anyone is really shocked by the news, which is good. I have my days where I can't wait to see all that the Lord has for our family, and then days where I cry thinking about leaving everyone. I think it will be hard and also be a blessing, just like our adoption. Please be in prayer for our family and the Cottles as we have A LOT to do to prepare for January. We need prayer partners, and would love it if you would partner in praying for our families.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Part 4 - Visiting the land

(This is part 4 of a blog series. Scroll down to "Our Big Announcement" if you want to start from the beginning.) The next 2 days were spent site-seeing. Our first day site-seeing we drove to the rain forest. It took us about two hours to drive the breathtaking route. The further out we went the more lush and green it became. On the way, we spotted a little local farmer's market so we stopped and decided to have lunch there. We each bought something and sampled all the goodies. The best thing hands down was the Hawaiian bbq and the malansadas. This is a malansada:
I had never heard of them before until Hawaii, but Tom was a huge fan, so we actually ended up sampling malansadas in 3 different places. They are a Portuguese sugary donut-like pastry that are wildly popular and everywhere in Hawaii. One of the great things about Tom is that he is a total foodie. We tried all kinds of new things thanks to him :) Tons of fun! Brady actually said he gained 9 lbs while we were in Hawaii :) LOL! Hey, it's ok, it was vacation, and we were exploring the option of moving there. We needed check out every little detail of Hawaii, including the food, right Brady? HA! Just so you know, he lost it all the first week back...that's a man for ya. We drove through some of the cutest towns and stopped for some coffee and some more snacks :) I bought some coconut jam at a little store that we save up for Sunday morning biscuits....YUM! We saw some of the most beautiful, lush, green scenery with little waterfalls in the middle of vallies. Beautiful doesn't seem like a good enough word. My eyes were big and all I could seem to say was "Wow!" over and over. It was green and tropical with gorgeous flowers on one side of the road and the ocean on the other. While we were on this drive the Lord was speaking to me about creativity. I felt like He was telling me that He was going to bless me creatively. I have had some dreams for a long time that have to do with writing, and I just felt Him bring that back up in me on that drive. I felt in my spirit He was saying that my creative juices would flow more freely there. I got excited about that for a split second and daydreamed about it, then I was back to freaking out because it was seeming more and more like we were called there, and I just still wasn't ready to give in just yet. Aaron also had the Lord speak to him about creativity while we were there. Most people don't know that Aaron can play the guitar. He use to love it, but never does it anymore. He was in the car thinking about playing again, and Brady says to him right then, "Hey Aaron, I am just going to throw this out there, but I just saw a picture of you in my mind playing your guitar." Of course then Aaron knew that it was more than just his own thought. I think the Lord was telling Aaron that it use to bless His heart when Aaron would play for Him, and He misses it and wants Aaron to do it again. It really was just so amazing how the Lord was so there with us the whole time, speaking and interacting with us. The next day was our trip to North Shore. We actually drove to the land that the Lord had told Misty about in her dream from my first post. Talk about surreal and knowing God had brought you somewhere! It was just crazy! I asked myself a few times if this is for real while we were there. After stopping for yet more malansadas, (lol) we drove to the 80+ acres that Lou Ingle had been gifted. Tom and Donna just happened to know a couple guys who were hired to clear the land and farm it. They were gracious enough to meet with us and show us the very beginning stages of clearing and preparing the land. I think we were all super nervous and curious how we were going to feel when we saw the land for ourselves, and if the Lord was going to say "THIS IS IT!" I think we were expecting something big here, but it didn't happen. It honestly was so overwhelming being there. It was a HUGE job. There were trees everywhere. The property was beautiful, but far from being anywhere near ready for anything to be started there. They had been waiting for archeologists to mark off historic graves and areas that they couldn't build on top of. There were brush piles and rocks everywhere. It was just a mess. They had several different test crops planted to see what grew best in the soil. It was really interesting being there. One guy and his sweet family invited us back to their home for lunch, and we enjoyed our time talking about everything and praying together. They were sweet, sweet people that had obvious love for Jesus. We were blessed meeting them. It was an honor being there, but it's really hard to explain how I personally felt while we were there. I guess the word that comes to mind first would be heavy. I felt so heavy. That heaviness didn't really lift when we left either. I was uncharacteristically quiet in the car, just processing the past few days. It might have been bit a awkward, because Donna tried to break my silence and ask me what I was thinking and feeling. I remember telling her and Misty that I was just overwhelmed. This was all so much to process in such a short amount of time. I mean, think about it, all within 3 weeks time, we were living our ordinary lives comfortable in our home in Texas, and next thing I know, the Lord is asking us to visit Hawaii, and He is speaking so much while we are there my head is just spinning. We get back to the house and I am still I am starting to feel for sure that we needed to be there, but I was scared to say yes to God. Scared of change and also loss. I was so sad thinking about leaving my family and dear friends. We have so many precious valuable relationships that I didn't want to leave. And I was worrying about money and how we would be able to do this financially, and Aaron's farm and having to lay that down. Just processing all these things, made me feel super heavy and burdened, and sad. So much so, that I couldn't enjoy being in Hawaii. The reality of it all settling in was scary. Then Brady, being Brady, had been listening to worship and processing with the Lord himself outside, and he came in and said..."Stacy, I was listening to this song, and I felt like the Lord wanted me to play it for you." As you listen to the words of the song imagine how I was feeling at the time. The very first line of the song, I started to cry. All the way through I felt like the Lord was just hugging me, telling me, I know you. I know your heart. I know what you are feeling and thinking. I know you are scared, but I am here. Trust me. I've got you. " I am closer than your breath. " It was so very sweet. I love how genlte and loving and personal my heavenly father is! I love how He loves me so much to speak so sweetly right when I needed it. (To Be Continued)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Story Continued, Part 3 ...Hello Hawaii!

(If you haven't read part 1 and 2 of this story you may want to scroll down and start from the beginning or you may get a little lost ;) The morning we left for Hawaii, I had a roller coaster of emotions all balled up inside of me. I was excited, because WE WERE GOING TO HAWAII!!!! But I was so sad to leave my kids, and nervous. I honestly had it in my head (even after all the confirmation) that we would to go to Hawaii, we wouldn't really get anymore confirmation while we were actually there, and that we would come back to our lives in Texas and resume life as usual. I really think I was in total fact, I know I was. I went to Kona looking for a "no." The truth is, I have never lived anywhere else. I have never been farther than a 20 min drive from my mom, dad, and brother, and I didn't care that it was Hawaii, I wanted the possibilty of the Lord calling us to live somewhere else away from them to just be a "no." On top of that, I didn't want my husband's farming business to suffer. Aaron has worked so hard from ground level to build it into what it is today. What were we to do with that? Sure moving to Hawaii and going where the Lord led sounded exciting and wonderful, but when it really came down to me thinking about it seriously, it was a lot to give up that I wasn't too sure if I could do. I was worried sick that I was going to hear a big yes from the Lord and not a no. Would I even have it in me to say yes back to Him? I was walking in fear. When we got to Hawaii, we were greeted by this cute couple, who I actually grew to love in the short time we were there. If you have ever met them, you would know this isn't a hard thing to do. This is Tom and Donna, whom I mentioned in the first post. They are friends and mentors to Misty and Brady.
Tom and Donna, although they had never met Aaron and I, welcomed us into their home along with Brady and Misty, fed us, loved on us, listened to us, spoke into our lives, and drove us half way around the island and back during our short visit. We were beyond blessed by them! The first thing we decided to do right away was visit a local farmer's market. The guys were in one car and the girls were in another and we were going to meet at the market. We, the girls, somehow got sidetracked and ended up at the YWAM base in the prayer room. This was our first day there, within our first couple hours of arriving, and we were in the prayer room. I think within 30 seconds of being in there, I started crying, because as we walked in, God's presence was so very much there. You could just feel Him right away, and I always cry a lot when I feel His presense; I can't help it. And on top of that, they were praying for families to be brought to Kona and for farmers and the farming ministry they have there. What are the odds of that? I thought to myself, "Well, here we go." Donna loves prayer and the prayer room, and she wanted us to get prayed over, so she went and got someone to pray for us. After she was done she brought someone else. She was so cute, she kept coming back and saying, just one more. I think 4 young girls ended up praying over us and one guy. It was so amazing seeing all these young people so passionate for Jesus. The last girl that prayed over us also spoke prophetically over both Misty and myself. What she said to me didn't really resonate within me, at the time. I think it was because, first off, I didn't feel worthy, and see myself in the way she was describing, and second, my heart hadn't accepted that we really were going to be there just yet. But when she finished praying and prophesying over me, it was Misty's turn, and everything was just so right on. She told Misty that she is a "friend of God." "She is a faithful intercessor and loves to pray." She said, "the Lord wants you to know the dreams that are in your heart, that you have had for so long, were put there by me for a purpose, and you have longed to see them fulfilled, and you are now in a season where those dreams will start to come into fruition." Misty and I both, at this point, were crying, because this girl didn't know us and she was saying things and calling out things that were deep in Misty's heart that only the Lord could have known, not this girl we had just then met. I love when God speaks through His people. It was so powerful! After a while we left and tried to meet up with the guys at the market, but they were done there, and when we told them about the prayer room, they wanted to go too. A couple of young men came over and prayed for them and one starts telling Brady that he was going to be seen as a father figure model for the youth there, and he sees opportunites for him pastoring and teaching the young generation there. Then he prays for Aaron and tells him..."The Lord wants you to plant your seeds in unfamiliar soil. He says if you do this, they will bear much fruit." Well, with Aaron being a farmer, he starts thinking literally about farming, like he's suppose to farm in Hawaii. But right when the guy finished, Tom told Aaron he felt right away that "the seeds" the Lord was talking about was our children. Brady also sensed that the Lord also meant our children. Of course, when I heard this, it got me right in the heart. If we were to move there and go through the DTS, I wanted it more for my children than for myself. Aaron and I both want to see our children passionately going after and experiencing God for themselves, and we want them to see us genuinely seeking Him passionately as well. Not just going to church every week and saying we love Jesus, but really living for Him and showing them we love Jesus. A really great thing about the Kona YWAM base, which makes them unique above all the others, is that they have a mini DTS for children called "Foundations School." Our kids will be getting discipleship training similar to ours. We will be trained in discipleship as a family and prepared to do our outreach as a family together. They also do some pretty amazing things for academics, like going to the beach to study marine biology, or taking a science field trip to the rain forest. How amazing is that for our kids? I was dreaming more for them while I was there than for myself at this point. (To Be Continued)

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Story Continued...

When I said God was persistent with speaking to us over and over, I really meant HE WAS PERSISTENT. At first He kind of showed off a bit with a few small things like we got a bill in the mail with a stamp on it that said "Aloha." One day Aaron was delivering some things to one of his Indian stores he delivers to and a truck pulls up beside him that says "Hawaiian Imports" real big across the side of it. Now how many times do we see Hawaiian imported produce trucks in the Dallas area? Ummmm, not too often. Aaron got a gift card to Jack-In-The-Box for Christmas, and we decided to use it one night, so we pulled up to the drive-thru and there staring at us was a big sign across the menu that said, "NOW SERVING KONA COFFEE." At this point we just started laughing and figured God was probably getting a laugh at our expense too. I can imagine He was having fun with us. Shoot, He's still doing it. I took the kids to Yogurtland today after school and they had, low and behold, "Kona Coffee yogurt"....HA! Just another little wink I think ;) With all these little things happening, I reluctantly agreed to visit Hawaii with Aaron and the Cottles. I say reluctantly because it just still seemed so crazy for me to imagine this was for real, and I wasn't too keen on leaving our children, especially our newly-adopted-not-even-fully-attached-yet-to-me-son. But I thought the Lord had done an awful lot to nudge us so I should take the leap and go, so we booked tickets. I need to back up a bit to set up this next REALLY BIG confirmation we got. About a year and-a-half ago or so, the Lord gave me a dream one night. I was standing in front of a woman from our church named Karen, and Karen was holding a gift out getting ready to hand it to me, and I woke up. That was it, short and sweet. Now I knew Karen, but didn't really know her too well, not enough to call her up and tell her about this dream the Lord had given me with her in it. To me, the dream seemed clear, Karen had a gift for me. I was convinced over the course of the next couple months that when Karen saw me, the Lord was going to speak and give her a prophetic word for me, hence the gift. I would make sure we sat close to Karen at church, and when the service ended I would wait and stand ready for her to approach me, but it never happened. Time went on and I never got a word from Karen, so I forgot about the dream. Well this brings me back to about 2 weeks before our flight was to take off. I was grocery shopping and the memory of that dream of Karen just popped back in my head. I thought to myself, " that you God reminding me of that dream?" That very same day Aaron and I and the kids were driving in the car and Aaron says ( I kid you not ) "Hey, do you remember having a dream where Karen was standing in front of you holding a gift?" My eyes got real big, (I can imagine,) and I said something to the effect of... "Shut up! I was just thinking about that today!" We knew then, yes, the Lord was bringing it back up again because He confirmed it to both Aaron and me. So that Sunday in church, my stomach is just in knots. It's two weeks before we leave. All the reasons of why we shouldn't go keep spinning and spinning around in my mind. I am a nervous wreck, and my husband, Mr. Chill, is just as cool and calm as a cucumber totally sure that we are doing what God wants us to do. Yes, we are a great balance. (I told you all that I was that girl that needed to know that I know that I know that I know. Even after all that, I was still asking God if we made the right decision.) So after service, I told Aaron "let's just go to the front and get some prayer for clarity and direction." LOL!{imagining at this point God is rolling up in heaven} We walked up to where about 6-7 couples were standing, waiting to pray with anyone. We started to walk up to one couple and before we made it, someone beat us to them. Oh darn! On to the next couple....same thing....someone beat us to them. This actually happened FOUR times. After the 4th time. I looked at Aaron and said, "well, that's odd, maybe we should just wait til next week. We have one more week before we leave." Yes, that way the prayer is fresh ;) We turned around to walk off and who do you think was standing right there as we turned around????? YES! IT WAS KAREN FROM MY DREAM. Aaron said to me, "I think we should have Karen pray for us." I totally agreed, and so we did. We went and grabbed Karen and her husband, Doug, and asked them to pray for us. We told them what was going on and that we just wanted some prayer to make sure we were doing the right thing. Karen says, " So why do you feel as though I specifically am suppose to pray for you?" So I told her about the dream and God reminding both Aaron and I about it. She and her husband both started crying. I think I heard Doug say, "Wow" a few times. Karen starts saying things like, "Oh Jesus, thank you. The way you speak to your children is so powerful, Praise you!" She was just praising Him and giving Him glory, and Aaron and I were kind of standing there thinking what is she about to say, totally knowing that it was about to get good. So she said, through tears, "well, the gift that I was holding was the gift of faith, because what you are about to do is going to take more faith than you have ever needed." She said, "The truth is that in 1997 Doug and I packed up everything we had, left our life here, and moved our family to Hawaii and went to YWAM DTS in Kona." Aaron and I couldn't think or say anything else other than "WHAT???? You are kidding me!" She wasn't kidding. She told us that it was the scariest move they made, but the sweetest move they made. It took a lot of faith to leave their life and go there, but she said it was the sweetest time they have ever had with the Lord. She said being there and living there surrounded by His beauty everyday felt like such an almost-too-good-to-be-true gift. And she went on about how anointed the YWAM Kona base was and how amazing of an experience it was for their family and they would't have traded it for anything. We had absolutely no idea Karen and Doug had ever gone through YWAM DTS. Ummmm... I think that was pretty big confirmation that yes, we were indeed suppose to go. After Aaron and I picked our jaw up off the ground, we went home and had Misty and Brady over for Taco Delite and to tell them what happened. So that was the night it became really real for us and we started praying seriously together as families about our journey to Kona together. (To be continued) Just wait til you hear about when we got really does get better. God is so amazing!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Big Announcement

In my last post, I asked if you could guess, from the pictures I posted, where Aaron and I just returned from. If you guessed, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, then you are correct. Our big announcement is that our family, along with our friends, the Cottle family, and their 7 kids, will be making Kona our home for 6 months starting in January 2013. We, along with our children, will be enrolling in the Fire and Fragrance Discipleship Training School at the Kona "YWAM" (Youth With A Mission) base. Sound crazy to you? Well, that's ok, it does to me too. I couldn't have dreamed this one up on my own. Over the next few posts I would really love to share with you the incredible way the Lord presented this journey to our families, and how He very strategically placed us together. Let me first start out saying that I have never really had any kind of dreams to "be" something, other than a mom. I didn't have life-long dreams of becoming a nurse or teacher. Since being married, my only dream I really dreamt about was having a home with a view. I dreamed of sitting on my front porch with my coffee and staring at a spectacular view in awe of God's glorious creation every morning. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think Hawaii a possibility. Many people in our church are associated with YWAM. Our pastor and his wife, and most of our close friends have been through a YWAM DTS somewhere during their earlier years. I have sat through many dinners listening to stories of the good ole YWAM mission days and heard of their travels around the world and honestly felt a sense of jealousy and regret that I missed out on something like that in my younger college years. I assumed being married with 3 children made that kind of thing impossible or just too difficult to pursue. We also adopted Josiah through a YWAM Ethiopian adoption program as well, so YWAM was already cultivated into or lives. A little background on the Cottle family: Misty and Brady have 2 biological children and 5 adopted children....1 from China and 4 through the US. Misty, since she was a little girl has always dreamed of running an orphanage. It was a dream God gave her as a child that never went away. She and Brady owned a coffee shop in Dallas and felt as though one day God was asking them to give that up and move to our town. They didn't know why, but they did it. Misty and Brady ended up at our church and the first time they met us, as Misty was shaking Aaron's hand, the Lord spoke to her heart and said, "Your families will build together." She didn't know what that meant but knew it was the Lord. Seeing how we had similar hearts for orphans and seeing children's lives transformed and redeemed, it wasn't hard for us to connect. Our children also connected. Aubrey, my 4 year-old and Edie, the Cottle's 4 year-old had that bff connection from day 1. How this all came about was started by the Lord giving Misty a prophetic dream. During our girls gymnastics classes one day, Misty told me about her dream. She said that she was walking out of a house and as she was walking out the door, Lou Engle (Lou leads "The Call" and is a leader/speaker at IHOP in Kansas City) walked up to her and said "Hi, I know you, you are Misty. You're my new neighbor." She also said that she sensed Lou knew her heart and understood the dreams the Lord had put there. She walked a little further and she saw Lou's wife and she was holding hands with a young boy with downs syndrom and she said, "Hi, I know you. You are Misty, my new neighbor." About that time Misty looks down the sidewalk and Aubrey (my daughter) and Edie ( her daughter) come walking up holding hands. That was it, the end. After hearing it, it was obvious to me that it was a dream from the Lord, but I didn't know the translation of it, and I didn't think at all about it pertaining to my family at all. Misty then emailed her friends and her and Brady's mentors, Tom and Donna, who are on staff with YWAM in Kona. Within minutes they were calling her saying they needed to skype about her dream. During their skype time Donna and Tom said "Misty, did you know that Lou Engle was just gifted 80 acres of land on the Big Island in Hawaii and is planning on partnering with YWAM and using the land to build a home for trafficked children?" Misty and Brady totally stunned said they had no idea. Also at some point it was mentioned that they were in need of farmers. The next morning Brady and Aaron met for breakfast and Brady shares Misty's dream with Aaron and shares what was discussed with Tom and Donna. Brady also said that after praying, he felt strongly that he and Misty may suppose to be checking out YWAM in Kona, so much so that they were already planning to buy plane tickets to check it out. He went on to tell Aaron that maybe we needed to be praying about it as well, because they sensed that maybe the dream was for us too. Aaron just started weeping at that point. He didn't know why, He just felt God's presense and was overwhelmed with how that was resonating in him. He began to pray and ask God why Aubrey was in Misty's dream. That morning Aaron came home and was smiling and asked me if Misty had shared her dream with me. I said, "yes, why are you smiling?" He told me that the Cottles were going to fly to Kona and check it out and he thought maybe we were suppose to go with them. He mentioned we needed to be asking the Lord why Aubrey was in Misty's dream and that there was something significant to that. It was time to take Aubrey to school, so Aaron left to take her to school. After leaving, I sat down to process the thought of this actually being a possibility for us. Of course with the way my brain works, all the thoughts of why we shouldn't pursue this came flooding my mind. But at the same time, it was very odd that the possibilty of it was resonating in my heart. I sat down on the couch, and thought...."Lord, are you placing this in front of us?" And I heard as clear as day in my mind..."Well, you did always say you wanted to live somewhere beautiful." Recognizing the familiar voice of the holy spirit, I just started crying,crying,crying. For God say it to me in that specific way, for Him to know my every thought and desire and what I day dreamed of was just so sweet and personal. He told me in such a way that it made me feel like it was a gift from Him. Within a few minutes my cell phone was ringing and it was Aaron. He was calling to tell me what the Lord just spoke to him. It was raining that morning while he was driving Aubrey to school and there was a truck in front of him driving slow. Aaron's eyes became fixed on a bumper sticker on the truck but couldn't make out what it said because of the rain. Once it finally became visible to him, it said "Farmer's Daughter." He said immediately the Lord spoke to him in his mind and said Aubrey represented being the farmer's daughter in the dream, and you are the farmer. After dropping Aubrey off at school, he saw another truck with a sign on it that read "Farm for sale." So he called to share this with me and said he thought we should go to Hawaii with the Cottles to check things out as well. It was a lot to process and with me being the way I am wired, I had to know that I know that I know that I know, that this was what the Lord wanted before I stepped out, because I am not a risk taker by nature. So the Lord knows He needs to be loud and clear and repeat himself a few times before I jump. So the next week after that proved that He definitely was going to be consistent and not let us miss out on this one. (To be continued...)