Super happy to be in our home in Ecuador. Happy NEW YEAR . . . It’s here!

New Year, New Country, New Vision

I just took 4 weeks off to sell everything we own, pack our suitcases with clothes, catch up on friendships, and reconnect with my family and then hop on a plan and move to Ecuador!

All that being said, the night before we left the states I could feel the pressure creeping back into my brain! The pressure of how was I going to make all this come together.

That’s the “Self Reliance” talk I often hear.  . . . and is a curse of pressure . .

That negative pressure of having to figure this all out.  I’m responsible for making sure everything goes okay is often how I can get off track.  And off track I did.

It was December 26 and when we arrived at the airport ready to take our 12:30 flight. We got to the airport on time… we have our life belongings in suitcases at curbside check-in and our skycap informs us that Ecuador has a luggage restriction embargo in place and we are limited to two bags each. WHAT? Problem is that we have four bags each.

I’m now in tears and having a full-on panic attack… Hannah follows in tears… the doubt hits, fear hit’s, we have just minutes to find a solution… no exceptions.

We now know that Ecuador does this each holiday season from mid-November to Mid Jan. American Airlines failed to give us the memo on this crazy embargo.

I’m furious with Pat because he’s not being “sensitive” and “emotionally” tuned in to our needs but is scrambling to take stuff out of our bags and ask me DO WE NEED THIS? Of course, we do.  I need everything that is in all these suitcases. I can’t downsize anymore.

Pat looks at me and says you can cry later.  We have no time for emotions… we have minutes to consolidate these suitcases and choose what we are going to leave behind or we will miss the flight.

Note to husbands… next time keep the analytical thoughts to yourself and never tell your crying wife out loud in front of people that there is no time for being emotional and we have to conqueror the task at hand. Yup… He had some apologizing to do… and still apologizing 6 days later.

Listen… it took me 4 weeks to downsize my life and put together 12 suitcases for 3 of us with all of our stuff plus gifts and supplies for our kiddos down at the orphanage. Now we have minutes to leave 6 suitcases behind.

We gave away so much stuff… beautiful nice stuff that we could not take with us. We have experienced amazing freedom from downsizing and the positive feeling to totally de-junk. Now at curbside, I had to go back through and eliminate more items just to fit what we needed to take… it was crazy, to say the least.

I haven’t had a panic attack in over 5 years.  I allowed fear and confusion to grip my heart and instead of trusting in the Lord I allowed myself to panic and listen to the negative voice tell me I was alone dealing with this situation. I finally gained my composure with a giant hug from my son and surrendered in my heart that whatever happens God will take care of us.

Back to the suitcases, curbside… now we have to open all the bags to sift and sort one more time… get this picture… 12 open suitcases on the curb. Pat is on his hands and knees sifting and sorting. And then a miracle happens. But God… our skycap is a Christian and is helping us. He goes to bat with supervisors and they find out why we are moving and allow us to load two suitcases each with as much as we can pack and they waived all the fees for being overweight. I promise… we had over 80 pounds in each of our two bags. Thank goodness, my son Elisha was there to take the extra bags with him.  He will come down in 3 weeks after the embargo and bring extra suitcases at that time.

The picture looks good today but it took a lot to get here to have this view to wake up with, sip my green juice and read my Bible listening to praise and worship by Lauren Daigle. We were in Ecuador for two months this past summer and when we got back to the U.S. we knew that we needed to do more. We thought we would just do an Airbnb with our Florida home and when we return in two years pick up where we left off.  But back in October, the Lord spoke to me after my morning walk to get rid of everything and have no attachment to my home or the things in it.  When I told Pat what I felt the Lord was calling us to He had that same sinking feeling in his chest as I did.  Even though it was hard we knew that it was what God wanted for us and we needed to trust the process.

What we did isn’t for everyone but for us it was a MUST to do. We sold everything from cars to furniture, expensive purses… yeah the ones that have the LV label on them and downsized to a few suitcases and a backpack. What we own for the most part is what we can carry and travel in hand with. Scary feeling. But just like Peter, when Jesus calls you out of the boat of comfort and wants you to walk with him by faith there will be waves that will try to knock you off course if you don’t keep your eyes focused on HIM.

We have been married 28 years and thought we had it all… Porsche convertible 911, BMW cars, big house with a big swim pool in a gated community, Friends, family and living the “unfulfilled” American Dream when it is all said and done we knew God was calling us to a new season in our life, one that is decluttered and rich with purpose.

When storms hit and your faith gets pushed to the limits… God can show out. Don’t quit and lose faith. Keep pressing on!

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