Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Greater Love...

"No one shows greater love than when he lays 
down his life for his friends."
John 15:13 isv


This is one of "those" posts.  The kind that I have been working on for days.  How to word it just right.  Typing and retyping in an effort to express deep emotions while accurately sharing my heart in words that would also adequately convey my thoughts.

And so here goes....

As always, I would kindly ask that you please not skim. 

When the Lord brought Ruby into our lives back in June of this year {2011} we knew that it was Him and Him alone that had orchestrated this beautiful event.  In fact when Emma and I were in Africa for those 7 weeks, the mama at the baby home who primarily cared for Ruby said to me, "I believe God brought your husband to Uganda at just the right time in order to save Ruby's life."  

There was no doubt in our minds that God had divinely planned the mission trip so Dw and Emma would be able to advocate for medical help for Ruby.  When Emma sent me a picture of Ruby, I was overcome with powerful emotions.  I wanted to rescue that baby girl.  I posted about her need, knowing that you, our sweet bloggy friends would pray.  And even though I had never, ever met her, I laid awake at night interceding for her, fasting days, begging the Lord to spare her life.  I could think of little else, just a tiny six pound bundle on the other side of the world who desperately needed a family. 

When Dw was leaving Africa he said he wanted to be sure that the director of the baby home knew that we did not want money to stand in the way of Ruby's medical care.  We would do anything for Ruby.  Anything.  Anything.  A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. 

Actually when Dw told me that he had gone to the director three times to be sure she understood that we would do anything, I said, "Why don't you tell her that we will even adopt her?"  He had decided he would not tell her that.  He would see what God would do.

So when, without any solicitation, the director wrote to Dw and said, "Pastor Dwight, you and Linny said you would do anything for her, would you even be willling to adopt her and believe with me that God is going to heal her?"  we were not shocked.  The Lord had been preparing our hearts and our home.  We had cried and fasted for God to spare her life.   We had fasted and prayed for her healing.  God had broken our hearts for this precious bundle.   We could not wait to bring her home.  

I kept shaking my head, "Unbelievable God!  You are bringing us the greatest treasure ever! And at our age!  I am overjoyed that you would trust us that much Lord! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this privilege."  

We were smitten beyond smitten. 

In fact the other day Dw said to me, "I can't wait to come up to the hospital.  
I am addicted to her Linny.  Completely addicted." 

Funny how a teeny-tiny {once} six pound bundle can totally change your life.  
And change it, she has!

As we look back on each detail of meeting, loving, caring, advocating, interceding for Ruby we know that it was only God who set all of it in motion.  No doubt we were walking in the center of HIS will.   We have never doubted, even for a split nanosecond that Ruby Grace was Almighty God's doing.  Completely.  

Having several kids with big medical needs, we were more than comfortable with her hydrocephalus, although we really did not know much about it.  Ruby was ours no matter what and we would figure out the medical stuff as life progressed.

Well when Emma and I were in Africa we took Ruby Grace for surgery at the hospital in Mbale, about 7 hours from Kampala.  I cannot say enough good stuff about the hospital, the staff and the care of Ruby. Before her surgery they even came and prayed over her!  Wow.  

In the midst of being there, the neurosurgeon who was working on Ruby said something that kind of took me back.  He said, "You know that Ruby will need to live in close proximity to highly specialized health care for her whole life."  Hmmm.  Really?  

The next time I was talking to Dw I told him what Dr. John had said.  He was equally shocked.  Wow.  Really?  

We tucked that bit of information away to process another day. 

The spiritual warfare that Emma and I encountered to get Ruby out of Africa was more intense than anything I had ever experienced.  I stood in disbelief and thought, "The Lord's plan for our little bundle must be so powerful because the enemy is desperate - he does not want her home."  

Upon arriving in Phoenix we went straight to the hospital that night.  Of course, as most know, they admitted her immediately and we were there for 3 weeks.  On the first Monday morning when we met with her neurosurgeon and he showed us her CT scan, he said, "You know Ruby will have to live near highly specialized medical care for the rest of her life."  Wow.  There it was again.  

We asked him what he meant.  He told us of a patient that he has who has hydrocephalus.  They live in Lake Havasu, AZ.  He explained that when the shunt has a problem, they do not have 3 hours to get to Phoenix Children's.  Time is crucial and so they have to air-lift this little one to the hospital.  And yes, this little one has had to be air-lifted in on several occasions.  Really?  A three hour drive is too far under these circumstances.  Wow.  

We were dumbfounded.  

Durango, Colorado is a wonderful community. 
 They have a beautiful basically new hospital, 
but they do not have highly specialized medical care for hydrocephalus.  

And so we knew what God was calling us to do.  

Lay it all down.  

All of it.

Even pastoring.  

For Ruby Grace.



We have been senior pastoring the River Church for seven and a half years now.  We love the people we pastor!  Love, love, love them. We love the privilege of pastoring!   We love the privilege of influencing people in their walk with God.  We love the opportunities we have had in our Four Corners community.   

BUT we love Ruby and we know, without a doubt, that God brought her to our home.  

And so it is with great joy mixed with very real tears that we lay it all down for Ruby.  
We have senior pastored for just over 20 years now. 

This morning, Dw will be standing on the platform at the River Church and sharing with our church at both morning services all of this and then he will share his resignation.  Ruby needs highly specialized care and we are moving to Phoenix.   

In fact, the likelihood of Ruby and I even going back to Durango is slim at this point. Maybe we will be able.  But probably not.  Dw and the kids will most likely pack up the house and move us.  

I knew it was the Lord directing me to book our flights out of Phoenix.  Most of the time we fly out of Albuquerque, but I felt like He was saying, "Phoenix this time."  When booking our reservations, little did I know that we would literally be landing at "home" when we arrived back in the states.   That Almighty God was orchestrating each step of this journey.  

People asked me why we didn't fly out of Denver and land there for medical care.  The answer was simple: SNOW.  The likelihood of snow when we were returning or leaving is real about 8-9 months of the year.  And to get from Durango to Denver {8 hour drive} would be a likelihood of snow in the mountain passes and often snowstorms there!  We love Phoenix.  It just made sense - now we know why 
{and the altitude is much more suitable in Phoenix for Ruby as well}!  

So, we are embarking on a new journey.  A new season.  We would appreciate your prayers.  Leaving senior pastoring is filled with powerful emotions.   We knew that one day senior pastoring would come to a close, we just didn't expect it to be now.  There is much work ahead.  A rental. Moving.  Our home to sell.  And the list goes on.  

We are thankful for God's faithfulness over the years.  

He goes before us.  

And we cannot ever thank Him enough for laying down HIS life for us.  

We joyfully {yet through very real tears} lay down 
our lives for Him and 
for our precious little Ruby Grace.
How thankful we are that He has the next step 
in mind already too. 

99 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. Ruby must have a special string attached to everyone's hearts. I cried reading this!

    I will be praying for your family as it expands, as it moves, and as you all adjust and transistion!

    Please don't hesitate to ask if you need anything more than prayer too! :)

    (hannah.e.lizabeth@live.com)
    (amothersmosey.blogspot.com)

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  2. Dear, dear Linny, I have much to write to you as well but it will have to come later after much thought. I have been processing this news and definitely cried my way through the service (in a good way). Your family has touched many, including my life, in such a great way! I am praying with you and standing next to you as you continue on this journey. So thankful that we know our GREAT GOD has orchestrated each of our lives and directs our steps. Makes events like this much easier knowing we can put our trust in Him. I am so glad to have become friends with you during my short time here in Durango before He directed you elsewhere. I have prayed much for your family these past months and will continue to do so!! Much love and hugs, Megan C.

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  3. Oh, sweet Linny. I'm sitting here in tears for y'all. Love y'all. Praying hard for y'all. Thank you for always being obedient to His call, especially when it is hard.

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  4. Linny,
    I have only posted a few times even though I have read your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I wanted to tell you thank you. "Thank You", for showing us how to really lay your life on the table and let the Lords will be done. There is much to be admired about the choices your family has made. We too are entering into a season of laying down and making some tough decisions because God is the one asking. Really, there isnt a decision that needs to be made, its really just a matter of obediance. Obediance isnt always easy, and it isnt always what we want. Thank you. It means alot to me to see you guys making the hard decisions over and over and over again. May the Lord of Lords open every dooor for your family and may He move every mountain in Jesus Name. May the current body you pastor send you off with such an amazing blessing that it takes your breath away. ~Trina Scoda

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  5. All I can think of to say is our love and prayers are with you. This may surprise most but God...now He knew of it when Ruby was being fashioned by His hands in her birthmom's womb. Your joy at being an *older* momma reminds me of Sarah when she laughed at the promise of Isaac. Love you guys~Maureen

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  6. Linny,
    I have no words right now for you other than to say that I am praying for your family. I can see in your words that the Lord is directing your steps and that means that EVERYTHING is going to work out for the good and to His glory.

    Love,
    Kimberlie, Paul, and the rest of the "Dumpling House" family

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  7. WOW- crying and rejoicing with you!!!! You are right RUBY IS WORTH EVERYTHING because God is!

    PRAYING for all the details, and for a job, rental, moving, everything!

    Having just moved ourselves not too long ago..no job lined up, no house, just being called to move....it is a step of faith. BUT we know what happens when we take that leap for GOD don't we :)

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  8. Dear sweet Linny
    Joel and I have been praying and will continue to pray. Your willingness to lay it ALL down before the Lord is beautiful and amazing and we know God will BLESS it..he already is...He already has it all worked out according to His plan.
    I look forward to hearing about what is ahead.
    Making a decision to leave a congregation is difficult, we know. Tears for what you are leaving behind...but joy for obeying God I am sure.
    Hugs to you dear one...hugs, love, and prayers.

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  9. love you, linny! will continue to pray for you all during this time of transition. what a joy it is to walk in the center of His will. so proud of you.

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  10. Wow!!! Your willingness to make such a huge move brings tears to my eyes. Of course our God has sacrificed so much more for each one of us!!! But I ca't imagine you not sitting by your window as the snow falls silently and gently around you!! You are right though, you need to know you can get to the hospital fast!! I have a friend whose little one has a shun t and when it gets blocked it is a medical emergency!!! I will pray for your family as you proceed with this undertaking. May God wrap you in your arms and bring you Peace!!!
    Love
    Kathie

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  11. Such a beautiful and powerful decision - I can't wait to see what God does next! I'm praying for you all during this transition!!!

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  12. Will be praying for you all as you take this step in faith and obedience.

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  13. Wow! I just started following your blog recently. I am so moved that God loves Ruby so much that he would move an entire family for her. I'm so moved that your love for Ruby and God are so great that you would quickly drop everything. Thank you for your testimony.

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  14. OH MY WORD! Now I really really really wish we would have been transferred to Phoenix rather than Florida. Lots of love and MANY prayers!

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  15. Durango won't be the same without the Saunders. :(

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  16. Oh my goodness - I am thrilled for you guys and know that there is no better place to be than in the center of God's will - but how I grieve to think of not having you there in Durango when we are there at the River Church. Even more so - I will miss getting to know you guys better face to face. I guess I need to lay something down too! Love you guys so much and have the utmost respect for all of you. HUGS

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  17. I sit here AMAZED at what God is doing in your lives...not one moment of this journey will be wasted, I have NO doubt about that:)! Praying you on my bloggy friends! GO.BE.LOVE to little Ruby Grace and all those "lucky" folks in Phoenix;)! I will not cease to pray for her continued improvement and for the Lord to continue to use you for HIS GLORY! AMEN!

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  18. I have felt, since you arrived in Phoenix with Ruby Grace, that this was where you needed to be. I hope you enjoy all that the Valley has to offer. PCH is a wonderful place with so many caring people. We learned that first-hand. May they provide all that Ruby Grace needs medically. From a long time Phoenician - WELCOME HOME.

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  19. Whoa! WOw! I sure love you guys.

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  20. WOW you don't just talk the talk you WALK THE WALK. You are an amazing family that I learn from everyday. SO humbling and I pray that the move will go smoothly. Tears and can't find right words to say, just want to hug you and say thankyou for all that you do .

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  21. WOW! Our sermon this morning was basically the same message. Would you be willing to give up what is comfortable for you for God? Thanks for being an awesome example of living your life to the fullest for God.

    How blessed the town of Phoenix will be to have your family there. :)

    Praying for you though as you leave the home you love!

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  22. My Calvary church in Surprise (northwest Phx) will be looking for a pastor....just saying....welcome to Phoenix!

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  23. Praying for blessings in every aspect of this journey ahead-in the move,in the home selling quickly and fairly.in the perfect place for you all to call home,that the whole family feels settled,comfortable,and at home immediately in the new home god has planned for you,that every step be guided clearly from your rising to your laying down each night,that this will be a peacefilled,joyful,renewing beautiful new chapter. Oh,the plans He has for you all running to follow HIS will.Hallelujah!!

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  24. My Calvary church in Surprise (northwest Phx) will be looking for a pastor....just saying....welcome to Phx!

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  25. Will be praying for you and DW as you make your plans to relocate.

    Blessings and hugs to you Pastor Linny,
    Suzanne

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  26. Love you, DW and your family more than you know!! Can't wait to see how our Lord will use your family next!!!

    I told ya Ruby is going to rock this world, YOURS!!!

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  27. Linny! Buffalo Kelly here. Praying more than ever for each detail! I can't imagine how your feeling...so many emotions I'm sure! From one family that DW (and you) helped so many years ago...Thank you....Thank you for saying yes and being willing. You both will never really know just how many lives directly and indirectly you have changed.

    More love than you know~
    Kelly

    ps I've managed to get used to non-snow filled Christmas memories here in Texas, Phoenix will be great!

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  28. Wow! Praying for God to continue to move mountains to make your relocation a smooth one. Praying for each of you as you grieve those you will miss in CO and praising God that there are already dear friends in AZ to make the transition a little less painful. AND continuing to pray for a complete healing for Ruby Grace!!!

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  29. We are going to miss you all so much!! Since our first time coming to the River Church (then New Life) in 2006, Sean and I have had the privledge to learn about Jesus through your words and actions. We are truley blessed to know you and your family. You have made a positive impact for the kingdom of God here in Durango and your obedient following of Gods calling for your family is an inspiration to us. May we follow in your footsteps and love each other and the orphan as God commands us to.

    xoxo - The Onions family

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  30. Linny,
    Your faith (and love) is empowering!

    We mourn with you all through your process of stepping down from pastoring at church (an experience we've shared ourselves). We lift you up in our prayers as God reveals to you the next steps on this incredible journey.

    Ruth in WA

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  31. Wow. I can't even imagine. I am sending prayers that everything will work out for Ruby and the rest of the family. She is such a precious child and I love pictures of her and the rest of the family.

    Heather

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  32. oh, Linny. I love you guys so much. so very much. something the "world" would NOT understand, since we have never met. HOWEVER...Phoenix...now THERE'S a place we go to once in awhile. And so I think it very likely that one of these days we WILL meet...and I am excited beyond words for that possibility!

    Your willingness to lay it ALL down, for one little baby girl, well...it moves me to tears, to looking at my own life. God is using you and your precious family to change lives, to move hearts, and to step outside of the box and SERVE HIM!!!!

    Sending thoughts, prayers and hugs your way....and lots of love!

    Nancy in CT

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  33. Wow. Thank you for sharing. God is doing really BIG things in your life. I will continue to be praying for your entire family as you make this BIG transition. A BIG move and BIG changes affecting everyone in your BIG family. Fortunately we serve a BIG God who carries all things, BIG and small in His BIG hand. Praying for you (as always!). God bless.

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  34. Well I hope I get to be the first to say welcome to Phoenix!!! I just find God amazing!! I started reading your blog alomost a year ago or so (I think I found it while looking at homeschooling or adoption blogs) and now this wonderful family that I have felt connected to through prayer is going to be right here in my beloved city! I have lived here my whole life an love it- I hope you guys do too! And I hope that someday I wll get to meet the woman whom has been such an inspiration to me!

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  35. What an amazing story. Our lives are full of changes and we go with God. We listen for the still small whisper from God (Elijah--1Kings 17-19). We have been teaching that this month to the children in our Bible class. Each week a different group of children. Each of them learning differently but listening. They know God is real, not Baal. God is amongst us, in our lives. God be with you in the change and in Ruby's healing and your loving her and all your children. Love ya and praying for ya!

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  36. Wow... praying for you all each step of the way... for the Lord to go before you and work out every last detail:)
    Sara

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  37. WOW.WOW.WOW. That is all I can think of to say! Amazing!!!

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  38. Linn, I'm so sad; I'm crying as I'm reading your post in San Diego. I cannot believe I will not see you and your wonderful family again. I haven't spent a lot of time with you, but I'm truly blessed that Dwight and you have been my first and the best pastors ever. I will never forget you! I'll be praying for you, your wonderful family, and your new journey. God bless you! Gabi from Durango.

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  39. Well, that IS big! But please tell us you'll still blog. I'm a little frightened because all your pictures are gone.

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  40. Praising and praying with you!!!

    Brooke
    www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

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  41. Wow! So amazing! I love how you are following the Lord where He leads. I love that you are obeying Him in all things. Your example gives us a perspective so needed in this topsy-turvy world. It is my prayer that God will direct your every footstep in the next few months and that you will know the peace that passes understanding. Your obedience gives me great encouragement to follow my Lord where He leads me.
    Blessings,
    Cindi

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  42. Wow! You are such an inspiration! I will be praying for this transition and for everything to come together for you as you pick up your family and lives and move to a whole new state. Continuing to pray for Miss Ruby as well.

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  43. As a lurker who has been reading you daily for the last 2 plus years and praying, rejoicing, and crying along the way. I must now say ...You and DW (and I must add Emma in as well) are two of the most amazing children of God I have ever "seen" you truly walk his will in everything. The LORD is using you in such amazing ways!! Thank you so much for sharing you hearts and your lives with us all it is truly a blessing to be part of. Best of luck with this amazing God honoring decision!! And know that even though you do not know me you are truly one of the Titus 2 women in my life!!

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  44. Selfishly, I am very excited that we are both moving to Phoenix! Your sacrificial love for Ruby is astounding! I can not wait to see what awesome things God must have in store for her to put her into such a family as yours. God bless you as you continue to let your love for Him flow through you to your children and others.

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  45. wow. what huge news.

    I can only imagine how tough this move will be for you! May God continue to weave all the details together and guide every step of this move for you.

    We spend alot of time at Barrow's/St. Joe's and PCH -so maybe we'll see you one of these days. :)

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  46. Oh sweet friend! I am so moved to tears. I am in awe of God and His plan for this sweet girl and her family. I am so eager to watch his plan unfold.

    God's blessings upon you all!

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  47. You are an inspiration. . . every single time I read your blog. Blessings to each of you!

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  48. Wow Linny! I am absolutely speechless. Truly. I will miss seeing you and your family during our visits to Durango. I guess we'll need to take a detour though Phoenix. :) How very blessed Ruby is and all of your children are to have you as parents. You inspire me. You humble me (in a good way). I will email you later. I know you're busy! May God continue to bless you!
    Love,
    Jen

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  49. Wow... All I can say is that you all are the real deal and anyone who has said otherwise in the past has no clue. I'm on awe of your faithfulness. I don't have the courage you have! Blessings to you on this journey.

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  50. What a precious testimony of God working in your lives! Praying for your family, and especially for little Ruby Grace... love to all!

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  51. Amazing! No Greater joy. We are so excited for you and your family. This post brought both my husband and I to tears. (More so a blessing for my husband since tears are nothing new for me.) Simply amazing. Encouraging. Obedient. Beautiful. Selfless. Thank you for sharing. We are behind you in prayer 100%. How exciting!!

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  52. Well, there must be a church there that needs you both and all of you there. You can take the pastor out of the church but that does not mean he can just quit being who God has called him to be ... ;-) So much new going on now... I smile when I think how some people think these older years are for sitting and rocking... ha ha... hold on cause you all will be blessed where ever you are. And Ruby will be greatly blessed there as well...

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  53. Durango won't be the same without you there :( when I visited there, it was extra-special (though I didn't have the chance to meet you).

    It's awesome how the Lord led you to fly out of Phoenix, He's awesome just like that :)

    It's big news. Big changes. I'm looking forward to see what the Lord is doing in your lives next :) Can't wait to see SJ join in the joy of your family soon.

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  54. I have been reading your blog for some time. I am not much of a commenter I just felt that now was the time. I have been so blessed by your heart, your service, your love for the Lord, your faithfulness, your sacrifice and your perseverance. I admire and look up to you and your words through this blog have encouraged, spurred me on, comforted and blessed me. Thank you for being you and for serving our Awesome God. I want you to know that you are in my prayers during this time of transition. God is so faithful and I praise Him for how He is guiding and directing you. Thank you for being an example to me as my family is too facing some changes.
    May God richly bless you and your family.
    Jennifer

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  55. Wow! What a big change for you and your family! I will be praying for your family through this transition and the church too. I pray that God will direct your foot steps in the new direction he has for you!

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  56. What an amazing journey you are on with this little one. I am sad for you to leave your home and church, but I know God has a wonderful plan for your family. She is worth it, and God will reward you for caring for this precious gift. God bless you on this new life.

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  57. Hey I think it is great that you are moving to Phoenix. It means that maybe some day we could meet. That is when ever I get back home. I was wondering if you could do me the favor of praying for my nephew. This morning(your night) I learned that my nephew has been at the children's hospital for the past week in the psych ward. I have read about all the prays that god has answered for you and although we have a few people already praying, I was hoping you and maybe some of your bloggy friends could pray for him as well. Thank you

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  58. Wow! I will definitely be praying for you, DW, all you kids, your church and everyone else involved in this new journey. Our sermon today was about this very thing . . . willing to give it all up to follow the Lord, just as Abram did when he was called. God will continute to bless you and your offspring just as he did Abram because he was obedient. Blessings and peace my bloggy friend.

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  59. Loveing u loving gods plAn can't wait to watch it all unfold. You are such an example to all. Lynne

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  60. Oh Linny, I am not one who is good with words, but please know that my heart and my prayers are with you. I know this will be such a hard, abrupt transition for your family, and yet I know God will absolutely go before you and will hold you in His hands as you go. Praying for you all as you lay down your lives for Him and for Ruby. Praying God's abundant peace, joy, and comfort will surround you and protect you during this time. Much love to you all.

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  61. I absolutely adore your family, and the FAITH that just oozes out of you all. Instead of whining, crying and trying to figure it all out, you move in faith and know that God has got you covered.... you have NO idea how I needed to read this post, and how much my faith needs to increase to know that God has GOT all of this in His hands.... Thank you for sharing your heart, really... THANK YOU!

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  62. linny, this is for you, you dont need to publish it.

    i dont get over here much, but i always seem to get over here just in time to catch posts like this. you and your family continue to encourage me with each step. you are absolutely crazy. in the very very most wonderful way.

    when i think you you, i feel such a rush of joy. you are the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, satan shudders, "aw shucks. she's up." AND angels rejoice.

    i am happy to know how to intercede for you in this season. i am SO proud to know people who say YES like this. love you lots!

    ps. i know bits a pieces of the sarah story through sweet mandie joy... if there is anything i can do for you/for her/ on your behalf, let me know.

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  63. Wow! Will be praying for you all. You and DW show the world what it means to "lay it all down" for Jesus. Rock on Linny! So proud of you both that you follow our Lord no matter what.

    Love,
    janet, kevin, ted, sophia, philip, and elijah

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  64. You don't know me, but I believe you know my wife and I know you helped us adopt our Ella Grace. In the midst of our adoption we relinquished our church plant and merged with another congregation, willingly leaving me unemployed, but according to His instruction. It's been 12 months. A door has still not opened and He still provides. My favorite thing to say through all of this is... Chasing the Spirit through the fields of inexplicable is a beautiful thing. The McCain family is praying for you.

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  65. May God be with you aas you take this huge new step of faith.

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  66. Wow! What a testimony and we are praying with you on all the details that come with this new journey. I think of Abraham when God asked for him to do something, he did not sit around questioning, he responded with faith and stepped out with full assurance of who He is not the circumstances. Praise God for that kind of faith in your lives and the way it speaks to your family and others surrounding you. He is doing a mighty work and I stand in awe of Him who will complete this to His glory. Bless you all and may His favor cover you and keep you. Wish I could come help with all the moving etc. Love L Florida

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  67. Thank you for challenging me to daily lay down my life for His plan. I will be praying for your family.

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  68. I've been reading here for over a year, and shed tears many times. This was one of those times. Such a beautiful picture of love and sacrifice.... but a sacrifice that is beyond worth it for the life of little Ruby.

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  69. Oh my goodness, gracious! What an exciting adventure!!! When you need someone to help move things in, unpack, (babysit), etc. give us a call! ;)

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  70. I don't even know what to say, but am in prayer for you guys always. Little Ruby is absolutely precious beyond words. God Bless you guys. God's plans are always better aren't they?

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  71. My word verification for my last comment was hismso...I took that as his mission.... :)

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  72. Blessings to you as you follow God's guiding! We have all been blessed to hear God's story through you! I love to see how God tells HIS story! (and a little jealous that you get to live in Phoenix! I grew up in Mesa, but God has me in northwest Ohio for HIS reasons.) Standing with you in your tears and praying that you will continue to feel HIS presence.

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  73. UNbelievable. I am moved to tears. I am shamed by my 'life of ease' (although we have trials, to be sure, it is nothing like 'watching' your family live the Gospel).

    Prayers. Hugs. Blessings. Bon voyage, as you set sail on a new adventure with your "boatload of dreams".

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  74. God bless your beautiful family! Phoenix will be blessed to have you! I'm positive God will open many doors for your family to serve.

    Jackie

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  75. Linny,

    I have been following your story for a couple months now. I have prayed for Ruby Grace. I will now pray for your family. I am convicted that those days when we feel we have sacrificed much for those things/people that the Lord has laid on our hearts, that HE sacrificed so much more for us. Nothing we could possibly have here on earth is worth the cost of being out of His will. He will handle each detail as they unfold. Blessings to you.
    Angie
    www.rylandsfamily.blogspot.com
    Mom to Colin (age 14 from China)
    Cameron (age 13- still waiting in China)
    Tommy- age 7.

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  76. "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere". ~Frank A. Clark

    Linny, there are just no words, once again you and DW have challenged my thinking and perceptions.

    Thank you for LIVING it.

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  77. Wow! Praying for you all as you start a new season in your life. Janet

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  78. Ruby también es parte de nuestra familia. Como una personita tan pequeña, un bebé nos ha hecho solidarios a tantos de un rincón a otro del mundo.

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  79. Hugs and prayers. Our homestudy agency is in Phoenix so hopefully we could come see you and your treasures sometime when we travel (we live pretty far south).

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  80. You are such an inspiration! Thank you and God bless your travels! Susan

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  81. Bless you. He goes before you, comes behind you, is all around you. Linny, you probably know this already but, please, make an opportunity at some point to go back and say goodbye- to your friends of course, but to your home as well. I needed to quickly leave a home/city once with barely a chance to say goodbye, and it is just not a good thing.
    Continue steadfast in faith!
    Marcia

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  82. W.O.W. the things we will do for these precious gifts He has given us. thank you for being soo obedient. you are such an inspiration. i am touched beyond words. prayers with you and your family during this transition.

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  83. Wow, your devotion is beyond words and I am sure it is working in so many lives right now including mine. I will be praying for you all.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

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  84. Prayers for you and your family during this transition. As Mr. Daddy said above "you have challenged my thinking".........that is how I feel as well. I also agree with Marcia, do go home to say goodbye. Walk through your empty home and say farewell. Thank you for letting us come along on your journey.
    D

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  85. Thanking God for you and yours and praying for this step...

    Love
    Adriana

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  86. So thankful for the beautiful example you are to so many. I can't imagine how you must be feeling right now, but I know you will get through this and come out on top because God is on your side. Such a precious gift of love for your precious treasure, Ruby. Thank you for sharing your heart Linny. It makes an incredible difference.

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  87. Incredible love indeed! Our family is praying for yours as you go through this transition time.

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  88. Praying for your transition. God only knows what it means to "give it all" for the life of another. I remember when we adopted our first son and the amount needed would take every resource and then some-I complained "Lord, it will cost us everything", "Exactly" was his reply. Little did we know then what we know now. Difficult, but no other place we would rather be than in his will!
    Wish Phoenix were closer to Seattle :).

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  89. tears. you make me want to follow Jesus with radical abandon. will close this comment with a prayer for ya'll.

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  90. Praying for you & your family as you begin a new chapter of your lives. What an adventure!!

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  91. Powerful.
    Can't wait to see the doors the Lord will open at the other end of this difficult and joyful transition.
    Your walk with no compromise inspires me so much!
    Blessings from WY
    Barb

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  92. Oh, my! She is worth all the earthly inconveniences that the world can up with. This little treasure, and all the treasures in the world, are worth every bit in order to be cared for the way they need and deserve.

    My heart grieves for you simply knowing that you must leave all those you love so dearly. Yet, I rejoice with you that you are following the Lord's leading!

    Oh, my, the adventure is only beginning and we've got front row seats to see the Lord moving!!!! This is where it gets so exciting! Because we don't know what He's got planned for the next several months and years, BUT, I do know this, its going to be GOOD!

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  93. I've only commented a few times over the years, but like so MANY others, I follow your blog closely! I realized as I processed this latest news -- with tears of joy -- that you feel like family to me. Your openness and love for God and God's children alike is inspiring. I pray for all God's blessings as you all love Him and submit to His good plan. I can't wait to read what that plan of His entails as you move forward!! :)

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  94. Oh wow Linny. I am in tears reading this because I just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what God is calling you to do. I know this is not something you would enter into lightly (goodness, who would enter into uprooting their entire family lightly?!), but I mostly cry for your church. I know they are going to miss you so very much. How could they not?

    And a shred of me is tickled because we were just in Arizona last month and are in love!! With Scottsdale to be exact. We are hoping to move there within the year! Oh it would be so wonderful to be close to you! I love you friend and will be praying for your amazing family. <3

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  95. Wow! God is leading and you are listening. What a testimony your lives are to so many.

    Praying for your entire family as you transition to Phoenix. Praying also for your church family as I'm sure they're still reeling from the loss of your family and the precious ministry you shared with them.

    Asking God to continue to lead your steps each and every day.

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  96. re going home to say goodbye...it may be years down the road, but someday i believe God will allow your path to wend up into the Rockies again, and you will get to show Ruby Grace just how beautiful the mountains are. and you will have a chance to say goodbye. (speaking from experience, i am...;)))

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  97. WOW I just know God has even bigger things in store for you. Hugs and love

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  98. Wow Linny, I have over your blog many times just to get caught up..I never saw this post. I must say my heart has been touched forever. To lay it all down like your family has is truly amazing, God is so good. I know He is asking us to lay it ALL down, we don't have the full picture yet, but we are ready. Thank you for sharing, it came right at the right time...His timing. :-)

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.