Friday will mark a big day in the life on this family.  It will be the end of Gary’s job at Carlson where he has worked for 12 years.  It will mark the end of a 12 year chapter and the beginning of a new chapter!  One with a lot of unknowns, but one of expectancy as we wait for the Lord to provide direction for our future.

As I look back over the past 12 years, a lot has happened in our family.  We moved to Eagan 2 months prior to Gary starting his job at Carlson.  Here is a short list of  12 life changing events that have happened in the past 12 years;

*I was pregnant with Geoffrey when we moved into our current house!  He was born in December 1998!
*Giovanna joined our family in 2002!
*Two of our children have gotten their drivers licenses
*Our oldest is officially in college as a junior and one is taking college classes as a Senior in High School!  Two of my children in College  – should I feel old? Because I don’t!
*Short term ministry trips have become a family tradition.  We have taken 6 trips down to the Gulf Coast to help out post Hurricane Katrina beginning in 2006.
*I started running marathons in 2006 when things seemed to “calm down”
*Giovanna had her last 2 major surgeries in 2006 and 2008!  For now we are done with surgeries!
*I have started a business, CLUB 4th, that takes teams overseas to provide programming for children at family life conferences!  2011 will begin the 4th year of doing these trips!
*Caleb ran his first 2 marathons in 2010!
*3 of us have been diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and have made diet changes for the whole family.
*After 12 years of living in the “Suburb” of Eagan – it is beginning to feel like “Home”.
*We had our first ever blizzard since moving to Minnesota!  That seems like a fitting book end to this chapter!

Wow – that is a very impressive list of things that have happened and it only begins to tap the iceberg of all the things that God has been at work doing in the last 12 years!  This list is a good reminder that God has been faithful to us in the past and will continue to be faithful to us as we enter into this next phase which can be overwhelming and full of confusion – if we lose our focus on the one who has brought us to this point.  This will be the first time since Gary and I were married that he will be without a job.

What has been so encouraging and humbling at the same time is to hear from the multitude who are praying for us.  At just about every gathering we go to, some one asks how we are doing or how they can pray for us as we move closer to Gary’s last day of work.  It is so good to know that God has continued to put us on the hearts and minds of others.  These prayers are an offering, a sweet aroma to the Lord and He uses your words to keep us from getting discouraged.

Here are some prayer requests for this week;

*This could be a hard week for Gary as he will go into work for the last time on Friday.  He will say goodbye to people that he has worked with for the past 12 years.  Pray that he will finish strong and that the time he has with people will be sweet.

*There are many decisions that need to be made this week as well – what to do about insurance is one of the bigger ones.  We can continue his insurance from work, but it is very expensive.  Pray for wisdom and that if there are other options, that we can find out about them and make wise decisions

*Gary needs to continue the job search.  At this time of year, things move very S L O W L Y!  People are on vacation and are not thinking about job decisions that affect others.  Pray for patience, diligence and wisdom as Gary continues to work for a job.  We know that he is still being considered for some jobs that he has already applied for – this is encouraging.  Pray that he will continue to be considered and hired!

*There are other things that need to be considered – like should he pursue certification in some of the current computer languages.  Will this help him in pursuing a job?  We are not sure, but it seems like a wise thing to do!

*Pray that we would make adjustments as a family to living life with a war-time mentality – going after those things that are priority and necessary – not the nice to have!  I have spent the past several months going through Isaiah in my times with the Lord and there is much in this book about idols!  The timing of this is interesting.  While I never thought I idolized Gary’s job – it did give me a sense of security that is no longer there.  Pray that all I have read over the past months would come to mind as I struggle with different things related to Gary’s job or lack there of at the moment.