Leisurely evening walks.....just because. Quick trips to get ice cream.....just because. Swims in the pool morning, noon and night.....just because. Afternoon naps......just because. Sitting in lawn chairs talking about whatever.......just because. Rounds of mini golf.......just because. Reading a book in the middle of the day......just because. Consuming as much seafood as possible just because it is the most delicious thing ever. Visits with family and friends because you miss them and love them.
That is just a few of the reasons why I should never take another Florida vacation....... because I never want to leave! This year's trip to Florida, back in January, was even better than past Florida vacations because it was one of the most restful vacations I have had in a long time. I can't remember the last time my entire body and mind felt so relaxed. I absolutely LOVED every minute of it! Needless to say that leaving Florida, saying good-bye to friends and family and returning to Colorado was not easy and knowing what awaited us back in Colorado made it even harder to leave Florida. Before we left for Florida I made the huge mistake of not putting away any of our Christmas decorations, including our fully decorated Christmas tree. I dreaded even looking at all those Christmas decorations never mind actually putting them away. It is one thing to deal with Christmas decorations right after the New Year but another thing entirely to tackle Christmas decorations at the end of January after a leisurely Florida vacation. As we drove home to Colorado from Florida I was kicking myself for not taking them down before we left.
I also knew that upon returning home to Colorado we had, for me, the much dreaded task of applying for grants for Soaring Wings Ministries. I dreaded the task with a passion. It is a slow, tedious, time consuming task and I can't think of much else that goes against the natural inclination of my personality than applying for grants (unless it is working with Quick Books on the computer. A thank you to Ed for taking on that task and sparing me that torture!!!). I was a grump all during our trip home from Florida. I was having a big pity party and wondering why in the world we were leaving Florida. After all, Ed and I, are in our mid 60's and we were completely entitled to retire in Florida after working hard all of our lives. Each mile that we drove home took me further and further from relaxation, sprawling beautiful live oak trees, warm temperatures, seafood, swims, and most of all further away from family and friends. I was not happy. As you can see, I can complain and pout with the best of them and yes, God hears all of my complaining and pouting and yes, He can still use a complainer and a pouter.
I am so thankful that God is so very patient with me. Once I get over my complaining and pouting and confess this sin to Him I am ready to move on, push up my sleeves and get to work. This year, 2017, our main goal at Soaring Wings Ministries is to have the addition completed. I repeat this because it is so very important. In 2017 the addition has to be completed. It has to be completed not only because our building permit will run out and because it is not a good thing to leave a building half finished but it also needs to be completed because we are all more than ready to be done with the task of raising funds for the addition. We want to see a homeless family move in and begin the process of helping them soar on wings like eagles. We are tired of wondering who these people will be. We are ready to know them personally. Right now the picture of this family looks like an outline of a person's head in my minds eye. You know what I mean. It is the filler in a year book or church directory when the person was absent at picture taking time so there is just this empty space with an outline of a head. I don't know about you, but I don't like seeing those vague outlines of a head. I want to see the person's face!!!! That's where we all are at this stage of Soaring Wings Ministries. We want to see the faces of the people we will be serving! The only way for us to see these faces is to finish the addition and the only way to finish the addition is to raise more money because building an addition takes money....... a lot of money.
While I am writing this Blog my family is circled up around the television watching the Super Bowl. Not being a foot ball fan, it is a good time for my to have peace and quiet and to have the computer all to myself. Prior to game day we heard all about the pregame excitement on the radio and on the television. People were gathering in Houston for tail gate parties and other pregame events. The news shared that everything around Houston was over the top expensive because of the Super Bowl. One newscaster shared that some people were paying $35,000 a night, with a four night minimum stay, to rent a house in the area around Houston. That is $140,000. When I heard this on the radio, I cringed and gasped. Do you know what Soaring Wings Ministries could do with $140,000!!!! It didn't seem fair that some people could easily pay the $140,000 for a leisurely activity such as football without even thinking twice about it and then here we are working hours, days, weeks, months and years to build a home for a homeless family. So, since we don't have $140,000 to spend without thinking about it, we are left with no choice but to raise the funds and apply for grants to finish the addition so we can see the faces.
It is our desire to see the faces and a desire to complete the assignment that God has given us that enabled me to drive away from a place that I love, from friends that I love and from family that I love. Being a Christian calls us to be more like Christ. This means that our Christian lives, like Christ's life, will often be a life of sacrifice. I think so often of missionaries all over the world and in the United States who are serving Christ. We personally know missionaries in China, Dubai, Guam, Michigan and New York and we know that most of their lives are filled with busy, exhausting days and that so many of them are far away from places, family and friends that they love. It is a life of sacrifice to serve Christ. As Christians we don't get to do what we want to do and yet the mystery of it all is that there is no other life or place that we would choose. If I was given the opportunity to retire and have a life of leisure in Florida at this point in our lives, I would say no. We are right where we are suppose to be and doing exactly what we should be doing. Anything that would take us away from this assignment God has given us would not only be a huge mistake it would be wrong. James 4:17 says "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it". As Christians, our relationship with God calls us to be pleasing to Him in all that we do not the other way around of having God do all that pleases us. Maybe some day God will be pleased with our work here in Colorado and we will be able to "retire"in Florida, but that time is not yet. We have work to do so that we can we see the faces of the people we will be serving rather than just a vague outline of a head.
In closing, I would ask that you pray for our grant writing process. We will be submitting 10 grant applications over the next 3 months. We need your prays for God's blessing in order to have our grant requests result in dollars received for the addition. We also ask that you pray about your financial partnership with Soaring Wings Ministries to determine if you are able and feel led to support our work here in Northern Colorado on a monthly basis. Also, please remember our missionaries serving God in foreign countries and in the United States. We know first hand how much a phone call, email, hand written letter or donation means to them. Lastly, we pray that each one of you will love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and that you serve Him with all your being where ever you are.
499 Trinity Lane
Wellington, Colorado 80549
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries