Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mountain Top Experience

Just a warning...it's going to be a long post. A long post that is going to leave you smiling and hopefully praying.
So sit back as I follow our journey through the seasons.
Some of you were not with us when we began this journey.
We left Covington, Louisiana last summer in July because we knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was calling us to these mountains.
Site unseen we reserved a place at a campground in the Waynesville, North Carolina area and headed out leaving our home in storage in Louisiana.
We arrived and this is the picture that I took from our campers front door.
What you can't see is that we are snuggled in between many other full time campers. I was a little discouraged but figured we would get used to this life till God moved us on. And we have!
Why did God call us to this area?
Because God had given us a dream to run a place in the mountains that would be for ministry to those in the ministry. I wavered in this at times as the months went by and Keith had no job and our stash of money was disappearing quickly.
What we did not know was that over the next 11 months God was going to use this time to heal our hearts and bind our marriage....not to mention teach us to walk by faith. I will say that most of the previous list was for me......the person who was most damaged and the biggest worrier.
Months went by and Julia settled into her school just across the creek and finally in November Keith got a job. God also led me to get involved with the Guardian Ad Litem program in our area where I met Elayne.........someone God has also used greatly in my life. Some of you know her as my work out buddy. That has kind of two meanings because not only were we working out our bodies but God used it also as a time to renew my spiritual strength.
Soon the picture from our front door began to look like this. Coming from our neck of the woods.... I was amazed at the awesome creativity of our God. He spoke to me often through what He was doing in nature. He was brilliantly bringing one season to an end and starting a new one.....just as He was doing in our life.
I will admit that when we got here I was ready and jumping to start using what He had planted in me. But God had different ideas. For months all I heard from Him was...Peace be still. And then the message changed just a tad to....Peace be still and know that I am God.
I finally got the message and started to rest and heal.
There were so many things in my life the past few years that had left gaping holes in my in my soul and spirit.
Some from my own mistakes and some from the people I was surrounded by.
I was not really aware of the extent of the accumulated mess I was dragging around.
And then as God opened my eyes we began to deal with those things.
And peace and joy came in such an amazing way. I would look out over the mountains here and I just knew how powerful He was. How powerful and how He was more than capable of taking care of all of the details of our life.
At this point I was able to enjoy the next new season that was upon us.
Winter.
Soon the picture from our front door looked like this.
I was amazed by the beauty of the bare trees against the white of the snow.
It was a time to snuggle in and learn to enjoy family....especially my husband who was home during these times because He could not work. We spent times with Julia roaming the mountains and taking pictures like the one below.

And I would spend times walking the creek talking to God about the beauty all around me and of course my relationship with Him and others .
I began to feel secure.....even though at times I would look at our account and think....O.K God, now you know how much we have left and if you want us to get a house you had better do something soon. And I will have to say here that my husband was a real man of God for putting up with what I put him through. I would hear people ask when we were going to get a house and it would get me riled and Keith would just remind me that when God was ready we would go.
And so as God remained silent we sat and the peace grew.

Around Christmas something new entered the picture. My brother told us about a ministry in the mountains not far from us. We tried to make contact then but got no response. And so we went on with life knowing that when God was ready He would reveal the plan.

I had begun attending music on Monday nights with my brother. It is a group of mostly retirees that get together at a local church and play all types of music. It is amazing how God used that time to bring a sense of peace and quiet.
Eventually a new member joined the group. I would later find out that Laura was the daughter of the man who began building the ministry in the mountains....the one we had tried to make contact with.
I knew that if an introduction was to be made between her and I.... God would handle it.....and He did.
A few weeks down the line we spoke and she suggested we go on up and see the place.
My brother went with Keith and I and we drove way back up in the mountains and looked around. Some of the area is still under construction and the roads are a little tight....just made me a tad nervous. :)
We left not knowing our visit not knowing what God was saying.
Eventually I called Holly.....the sister who has really been the behind the scenes person who is doing a lot of work on the place. We spoke a little but the conversation did not go far.
And for a few weeks nothing further was said.
Then Keith got laid off and I felt as if God was saying that we should call to offer help with the place. Keith thought it would be a great idea but I didn't get the feeling that the time was right to call. So I just waited. Then on Friday while Keith and I were out it came to mind again and Keith said to go ahead and call.
So I called and left a message saying we would like to help with whatever we could.
Holly called back the next day and said what a blessing it was that I called when I did because she had just met with someone on Friday who gave them some ideas on how to get the place up and going. They would like to get it open by the end of the summer
and she could use all the help she could get.
We met today after church and had a meeting at the lodge. We got the tour by Holly and Laura and got a chance to hear the dream that their father had for this place.
And then we talked about our journey and where we thought God was leading us.
Here are a couple of pictures I took today.
The picture below is of the main lodge. Those top windows are the main office and a counseling room. Then you go down the stairs to the main area bathrooms and the main hall.

The main hall is is mostly finished but still does have some work to be done.
Downstairs there are four rooms....all have comfortable seating, a bed and there is also a loft area that can also be used for beds. There are glass doors which have a great view to the great outdoors and would also be a great place to have a little quiet time with God in the morning.
There are no bathrooms in the room but the four rooms share two bathrooms on either end of the hall. The picture below is the main meeting and eating room on the entrance level.
The photo below is the unfinished kitchen. It has water and refrigeration right now. Still a good bit to be done before it would be ready to handle people.

The place has a great wrap around porch.....and you should have felt the breeze!
This would be a great place for eating...and meeting....or just sitting in a rocker and taking in the mountain scene.
And here is the scene you would take in. They are in the process of clearing a few trees so that the view is better seen from the porch.
There are a few other buildings on the property. One is a cute little chalet with a loft...it is a little down the hillside from the main lodge. And there is also a "bunk house" that could sleep around 6 to 8 with a bath house located not far away.
There are several acres with the potential for a few more little cabins and also some camping spots.
Laura and Holly's parents were given the vision for this place.....and although their father passed away this past December (I believe)......the girls with the help of spouses and many volunteers have continued the work. Praying that one day this place will be the place of ministry that their dad dreamed it would be.
Here is the sign that leads to their secluded spot.
We enjoyed our visit today....we believe it was God ordained.
Are we sure this is where God wants us to be?
That assurance one way or the other will come with prayer on their end and ours.
But till then.....we are going to help in any way we can. Keith I and feel that even if this is not where God is drawing us that you can't go wrong helping others complete the work of God.
And we do feel God is behind this ministry.

So if you would please join us in prayer we would really appreciate it.
Pray that God would show us where we should be.
And if this is it..... pray that God would give us the wisdom to step in where we belong.
Neither of us have worked in a faith based ministry.....kind of like a missionary.
But I do know that God is the God of all wisdom and knowledge-- and He is more than capable of providing for the needs of this place and providing for us financially.
He is Faithful!

8 comments:

MelanieJoy said...

WooHoo!!!! Oh Sharon, I pray this is the open door you and Keith are to walk through. This is a beautiful place! You know I will continue to lift all these things in your life to our Father. I'm so glad you guys are getting to help out now with some things.
=) I can't stop smiling.
Thank you so much...and I thank Him so much for letting me tag along on this journey...I told you earlier....it's such a huge encouragement to my heart...man, now I'm gonna cry...to see and walk this thing out with you at the same time.
I hope you know how much I've grown in the last two years to love you. You are a great friend, mighty warrior to walk with, and the encouragement in life He knew I needed.
Love you Girl!

Denise said...

I am so happy for you sweet sis. My heart is smiling really big for you and your family. I love you.

Oh Sew Good said...

Well there's never a dull moment with you, is there? From tatoos to mountain tops, I'm sure there are times when your heart felt "raw" but you're growing in Him and that's the best part!

luvmy4sons said...

You did leave me smiling. Thanks for your tranparency and for sharing your journey with us...it is so awesome to see how the Lord works and to observe and have privy to how wonderfully children of God can truly lean on and trust in Him...and follow where He leads! Hugs and prayers sweet sister! So awesome!

SunnySusan said...

Did I miss you got a tatoo??

I just love this....God has so much for you to do...I am excited to see where and what God is doing with you..

Sandi said...

To be still and hear God direcctions is an awesome feeling. The patience it takes is hard but the reward is over flowing joy.

melanie said...

You have been through quite a bit in the last year. You are an amazing woman!!

I need to work on being still and listening so that I know what God wants me to do. What an amazing place you are in to be able to hear God!

Praying for you!

Halfmoon Girl said...

What a beautiful place. Keep us posted, and yes, I will pray!