east to west

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It has been a year… God whispered GO… the time is now. He stirred in our souls a desire to leave comfort and a place we were known and loved by beautiful people, to a place of unknowns. We responded to God – yes, we will go. Unsure of exactly ‘where’, we knew He was calling us to the Northwest to plant new roots. Our hearts were drawn to Oregon, where Adam’s family lives… and to the Nations, our desire to serve in overseas missions has burned in our spirits since we began dating over 18 years ago.

We said ‘Yes’ to the GO. We began the process of discerning the ‘next step’ early summer. We resigned from our church in Ohio in June, and began the process of saying goodbye to the church family we’ve loved for 10 years. We knew we would miss the hell ‘outta them. It was not an easy process. Some people excited for us, some joy-filled for our journey, some sad, some confused, some without understanding, and some angry we were leaving… It’s hard for a church to lose a Pastor. We’ve walked this church thru that loss before. We don’t recommend it just for kicks or anything.

We became very comfortable with the answer ‘We don’t know…’ We don’t know where we’ll end up. We don’t know which country we’ll be going to. We don’t know which church we’ll be joining. Slowly, the next steps began to unfold, along with many more unknowns and many times the answer to questions about our future was ‘I don’t know.’ He never promises us a map of the journey, but He promises us His presence on the path. 

We began to pursue YWAM. Their mission, their ministry and their movement inspired us. We connected with the YWAM leaders at their base in Canby, Oregon and began the next steps of applying and raising funds for the Discipleship Training School. Meanwhile, we connected with many Pastors and leaders in the Vineyard Northwest region, knowing we would need a new ‘home church’ to plug into. “Our plan” was to attend YWAM, and plug into the Portland Vineyard church.

God had a different plan.

Mid-August, a few weeks before we were planning to move, the Northwest Vineyard leadership contacted us, and we learned another Vineyard church outside of Portland was in need of a Pastor. The same week, we learned there were no other families beside ours attending the YWAM. Regardless, we were moving to Oregon. Now, we were faced with a decision before we began the journey from east to west. Which next step were we to choose? Where was God leading us? What was He calling us to do?

We became more comfortable with the uncomfortable.  

We choose to say ‘Yes’ to God, and Pastor the Hillsboro Vineyard Church. We chose an ‘arranged marriage’ of a Pastor and his family to a church Bride we barely knew. We met her once, we took her hands in ours and said ‘We Do.’ This church was not on our radar. This was never part of ‘our plan’, Yet God knew.

The process has been a journey with confusion and clarity, anger and joy, sadness and excitement as our companions along the path. Yet God spoke. You were made for this. Don’t look back. When the road is expansive and the pathway clear, you just drive… and 4 weeks ago, we began driving.

Wednesday, September 10th 2014 – Day 1. We left our unsold, still-on-the-market, only home our kids have ever known, in Ohio and started driving… Adam, in a 16ft box Budget truck with no cruise control, cd player or companion, towing our CRV chained to the auto transport. Me, in our ’97 Odyssey with our 3 wee Babs, all of our crap, and the beautiful mess of our temperaments and personalities. At least I had a cd player… We made it thru Ohio, Indiana and the torrential rain storms and flood warnings to arrive safely in Danville, Illinois. We were blessed to stay with a family friend the first evening. We even washed our wet towels we left home with. I wasn’t particularly excited about traveling for 5 days with wet towels, but we had to take showers and clean the house until it sparkled, before we left Ohio. We were a sweaty mess from loading the truck, loading Adam’s car and cleaning our house to keep it “show ready”. Barf – house showings make me want to throw up… I digress.

Thursday, September 11th – Day 2. Well rested, we drove on I-80 West, I-80 West, …and drove some more I-80 West thru the rest of Illinois, thru Iowa and made it to Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska is a “I was surprised by its beauty” beautiful state. It’s vast and somewhere along the way, I lost all cell phone coverage, so that became torture for me. We just kept – on – driving. I could handle the kids on my own, but without the ability to make phone calls… I began to doubt my sanity.

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Fun at rest stops in Nebraska

Friday, September 12th – Day 3. Somewhere in Wyoming… which is also a beautiful expansive state with barely any people living in it, and with sketchy cell phone service. While driving, we got a call for 2 house showings. Have I mentioned how much I love hate house showings?!? Oh. but this time, I didn’t have to clean for it & we moved all of our crap out of the house – SO bring on the showings! We continued driving on I-80 West, landing in our super cool hotel room for the evening in Laramie, Wyoming.

Saturday, September 13th – Day 4. We found a super cool coffee shop near our super cool hotel. We can deal with sketchy cell phone service, crazy kids and tiring days driving 2,500 miles cross country, but we can. not. deal. with bad coffee. We’ll be coffee snobs, and drive miles away for good coffee if need be. Driving along thru Wyoming, we made it to Rock Springs and we got a call from our realtor and received an offer on our house. BOOM>>>! Oh yeeeee, of little faith. Why did you doubt ME, thus sayeth the Lord? Oh Lord, forgive us! We knew You would come thru! Some 8+ hours later, after driving thru the rest of Wyoming and the blow-me-away beautiful state of UTAH, we dragged our tired selves into our hotel room in stinky, smells-like-manure- Burley, Idaho and came up with a wicked counter-offer. Would they accept it…??? drum roll please…

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Sunday, September 14th – Day 5. I can’t take it any longer!!! We’re almost there!!! How much longer? When will we be to Grandmas? Blah blah blah blah blah! And this is ME (Mom) asking the questions 🙂 In the meantime, was our counter-offer accepted??? YES! They accepted our counter offer and the real fun I mean, real driving began. Selah became ridiculous and no amount of threatening her while flailing my arms from the drivers seat was improving her behavior, so I screamed at her while I was talking to our realtor (thankfully also an understanding friend, also with three small children) trying to work thru all the details of selling our house… WHILE DRIVING CROSS COUNTY!!! We had to pull over to deal with Selahs craziness, and the only place in cow-town Idaho was near a farm with cows and flies. We rolled down the windows for fresh manure air, Adam stood outside the van, staring at Selah to keep her behavior in check, she settled down and I called Amy back to finish talking thru the house-selling details. Did I mention we SOLD our HOUSE >>> WHILE driving CROSS COUNTRY!!!???  Yep. Yep we did. Oh, Leslie – what did you do on Sunday, BESIDES DRIVE ALL DAY LONG? Oh. We sold our house. 🙂

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Late that evening, tired and weary, our bodies in a permanent driving position, we wedged ourselves out of the vehicles we had come to love hate for the past 5 days, 2,500 miles. We made it to Oregon. Thankful for no injuries. No road troubles. No flat tires. No dead car batteries. No sickness. Full of so much to be thankful for. Five thankful hearts arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s home in Oregon.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our half written records. Our story rages on… In Him, The Babs Fam

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the year (or more) I didn’t mop . . .

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So here’s a little confession: I didn’t mop for over a year. It might actually *ahem* have been closer to a year and a half… maybe… But who’s counting when it’s been at least 365 days [or 52 weeks, if you prefer that calculation] since I last mopped my kitchen and dining room floors? We laid down a new floor in October of 2012. We might have mopped it once. If we did mop [and by we, I mean HE – my husband – because I seriously do not remember ever mopping our ‘new floor’] it was only the one time, which by using my impeccable math skills, would mean it’s actually been well over a year and a half of not mopping said floor.  Whew.

…Why am I telling you this? …Why am I sharing this (literal) dirty little secret? …Why did I post it on Facebook? …Am I strange? …Did the lack of mopping happening in my home drive me crazy for at least 52 weeks? …Am I proud of this confession? Yes.

Why + Why + Why + Because = F R E E D O M ! ! !

There is freedom in publicly announcing your flaws. There is freedom in full disclosure. There is freedom in not allowing fear to hold you back from your non-mopping hopes / dreams / desires. You know – I know – there are many of you *wishing* you had the guts to stand up to your mop and say NO. I will.not.mop. One>More>Day>>>. I will skip it. I will procrastinate. And I am OKAY with this!

There is F R E E D O M in declaring — I have more important things to do — like playing Legos, Barbies and watching FROZEN with my children. Mopping can wait until tomorrow — or a year from now.

So, a few days after I publicly humiliated myself and perhaps a few others who hung their heads in shame on my behalf, I chatted with my brother who lives in Oklahoma. The chat was not about my not-mopping skills, but alas he brought up the proverbial ‘elephant on the phone’ and asked me – Do you even own a mop? I had to stop and think of the answer. I was not 100% sure we owned a mop.

Fast forward our lives >>> One. Week. Later. I still have not mopped, AND we are now selling our home to move our family across the country. Fortunately, as our first house showing came upon us, it was a wonderful time to check and see if we did still own a mop. Adam searched, found and dug out the mop from behind all the important crap we keep in our garage. Like our old non-working refrigerator. Because… that’s surely one. more. thing. we need lying around our house right now. Right before a showing. Right before we are trying to move across the country. But ah-ha… He found the mop! Let the mopping commence!

And the last confession is this: I still didn’t mop for our showing. My amazing husband did.

So. The moral of this ridiculous story is: There is freedom in failure. There is freedom in declaring “I’m not perfect!” There is freedom in letting things go. As we are preparing to move our family across the country, we are fully aware of our failures. We are prepping our house to sell it and we are fully aware there is no way it will be perfect. There is no way we can keep a ‘model home’ with 3 small children and all their crap. Plus all our crap. We have lived in the comfort and shelter of an amazing home for 8.5 years. We are grateful for the provision we’ve had. We can not hold on to this place, but we will carry in our hearts always the memories, the mistakes, and moments made in our home. Our kids have grown in this home – We have grown in this home – not just in years, but in heart. But there is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in knowing what we don’t know. Once we sell our house, we don’t yet know where we will be living… There is freedom in knowing we are in good company with the unknowns “…The Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”

Sure, Martha was fussy about her housework, but she never mopped her dirt floors. Jesus never mopped. and Mary always chose sitting at His feet. SO, Let us all raise a glass to not over-mopping… Cheers!

And the story rages on… In Him, Leslie 😉

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Have you found freedom in failures? Let us know! We hope you’ll join us on our journey into the great unknown… 

 

The Unknowns

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The truth is… we’ve never been good at sitting still.

The truth is… we’ve never stayed in one place for long.

Geez. It sounds like we have commitment issues, I know…

Nope. We are fully committed. We are All In. Our commitment is to each other, our marriage, our family, God’s leading for our lives and seeing His Kingdom come.

For 17 years, we’ve lived as North American Nomads, moving from place to place, across Oklahoma, Texas and New York City, and Ohio. Our whole lives, we’ve been serving God with a heart for His church and His mission. And now He is calling us into the great unknown… and we’ve never been more certain of anything in our lives.

For the past 10 years, we have been serving the Eastside Vineyard Church community as the lead Pastor and Worship Leader. We have walked through both joy and pain, challenges and freedom, and grown tremendously through it all. For the past few years, the Lord has been stirring a desire to GO. He has confirmed in the last few months, our calling from the current Pastoral role to transition into a Missionary role. As our season in Ohio is coming to a close… we are ready to embrace our next assignment.

This is what we do know ~ The Knowns:

God is telling us to >>>GO>>>.

We know God spoke, “You were made for this.”

We know we can not survive doing anything else.

We are selling our house and almost everything we own.

We are leaving a supportive church, full of amazing people, we have loved and served the past 10 years.

Our new “home base” will be the Northwest. And our mission field, the World.

We will be serving with Vineyard Churches in the Northwest region and going thru YWAM for Overseas Missions.

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What will this next chapter look like? What will be doing for the next 20 years? Honestly, we are not completely sure. We do not fully know how it will map itself out… but God. We put our trust fully in Him. We desire to use the gifts He has given us for His glory wherever He calls us to go …

Serving the least, the last, the lost.

Going into all the World.

Thru…

Worship

Church Planting

Preaching and Pastoring

Teaching and Training

Coaching and Counseling

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Our calling is to Know God and make Him known. 

We invite you to join us on this journey. The story rages on… In Him, The Babs Fam

Genesis 12: 1 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

How to Join Us in the Great Unknown:

1. PRAY – Commit to being on our PRAYER TEAM and pray for our family regularly.

2. GIVE so we can GO>>>.
As a Global Missionary family we will be 100% supported by your donations. Please consider becoming part of our GO TEAM so we can GO throughout the world to MAKE HIM KNOWN. There are several ways for you to GIVE:

GO TEAM GIVING OPTIONS:

-GIVE to The Babcock Family Directly via check or cash or send it to them @ 440 Hillview St. Pickerington, OH. 43147 ( until departure in late August 2014 )

-GIVE through Eastside Vineyard Church with a Check in-person or mailed to:
The Babcock Family c/o Eastside Vineyard Church.
333 Jericho Rd. Pickerington, OH. 43147
Just write: Babcock Family Missions in the Memo line or with an attached note. *you will receive a tax-deduction through this option.

-GIVE online through eastsidevineyard.org/give/, and in the Designation field choose, Special Offering and then in the bottom box entitled: Notes, type: Babcock Family Missions. *you will receive a tax deduction through this option