The Elite 8 and Then Some

We thought you might enjoy an update to our prayer list.  The still-needed-desires-of-our-heart are in my personal favorite HAPPY color. 
The moment we began talking about moving to New York, butterflies took up residence in my belly.  Led to Psalm 119, I began every day praying through words of encouragement and promise.  Please know this, I’m not always a daily Bible reader, but I know when God wants me living in the pages of His story.  I also don’t set aside an hour a day at zero dark thirty to pray.  But again, when He leads me to raging waters, I lie down in green grass.

In the rich hope of Psalm 119 I found comfort, strength, courage, and a list of eight essential needs.  If you’d like, this is how you can pray with us.  I’ll let you know when God answers another one. Come along for the ride….it’s a good one!

1) A job for David. – DONE. HERO HIGH in the Bronx.

2) UPDATE — All of our kids seem to be doing well.  Keep praying.  Final goodbyes are just around the corner.  A school for Kori — and that at some point her heart, while broken and hurt, will be excited about the adventure ahead. (You can also add a soccer team while you are praying for her.  I’ve picked one out.  We just need there to be room on the team.)

3) UPDATE — David embarks on the trek to find housing this week.  (Yes, a husband is going without his wife.  That’s okay.  I totally trust him, I think.)  Pray for the most perfect place to call our home and raise our family.  Housing — We have an area we like to live in, and no, it’s not Central Park. We need 1000 square for $2500.  I would like 1200 square feet for $2500.  Yep…you read that right.

4) Storage — There are a few things we just can’t sell, but we don’t want to pay for storage  DONE!

5) Extended Family. – This is hard for our extended family, but they are coming around.  Our parents taught us to walk by faith and are starting to understand that we learned to walk by faith from them.  DONE!

6) UPDATE — We are so proud of this girl!  She has a summer job she LOVES and many friends to take good care of her.    Anna — She is quite concerned, and she will need a place to stay in San Diego from July 1- August 15ish.  Keep praying for her, but she does have a place to stay.  God opened up HUGE doors!

7) UPDATE — This is becoming more urgent.  The truth is, I don’t have any desire to work right now, so please pray for a rejuvenated spirit.  A job for me — I really only want to work part-time while my family gets settled and I have church all picked out.  (The best  We’ll see what God opens up.  I need to make $30,000-40,000/year.  How can I do that part-time?  Only God knows.

8) We had the most beautiful send-off.  God did something supernatural between us and Mission.  As my friend Susan says, “We are forever ingrained in the tapestry of our stories.”  We’re spending our last few days savoring our rich friendships. Favor from Mission Church — This is going to be so very painful.  Honestly, I can’t stop crying, but I know God will heal all of our hearts.   – This is painful, but everyone seems to have seen this coming. God has been preparing them, too.

That was the original eight.  Since then, I’ve added a few more and in the days to come, I’m sure the list will grow.  Still up for praying with us?  Please do!

9) We need a free place to stay in San Diego for the first two weeks in July so our kids can go to their camps. DONE!

10) UPDATE!  Done!  Thank you, Susan Orr.  Our dogs — We need wisdom on how to handle this move with Stella and Lizzie.  And, we need a place for them to stay 7/3-8/2.

Better is One Day…in New York City?

In late March, David and I sat down for one of those “what’s next” discussions.  The adventurer in me loves to talk about next steps.  My cautious and steady husband does not.  Our marriage chat took an unexpected turn when I bravely asked this life-altering question, “Honey, if we moved somewhere for your job, where would we go?”  He answered quickly, “New York City.  If I teach there, I will have taught in the three States that shape all curriculum for the United States and I will add ‘urban’ to my resume that already includes ‘suburban’ and ‘rural’ schools.”

Less than 48 hours later, David had made it through round one of the application process in NYC and within 10 days he had invitations to come interview.  Four weeks later we set off on an investigative vacation.  Even in that, God worked.  We spent five days in New York for less than $1000 including airfare and rested in an amazing apartment on Roosevelt Island overlooking mid-town Manhattan. In our five days, in one of the world’s most exciting cities, we met with a real estate broker, worshipped in one of my favorite churches, experienced the beauty of our global Nazarene family, got lost in East Harlem, ate crab cakes in Grand Central station, ordered cupcakes from an ATM, and began to master the subway.

And four interviews later, David got a job.

So, this summer my family will embark on an adventure more exciting than moving from Lubbock, Texas to San Diego, California.  We pack up June 29, live as vagabonds for a month, and then take on Manhattan.  We will sell almost everything we own as we downsize from 1600 square feet AND a garage to 1000 square and a stoop.  David will teach at HERO High and we have no idea where the kids will go to school or where I will work.

But we do know that “better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere.”  Better is one day in the concrete jungle of New York City than 1000s on the beaches of Coronado.  Better is one day in the wintery, frigid temperatures in the five boroughs than in the sunny February of Southern California.  Better is one day where ever God leads than 10,000 else where.

I learned that lesson watching David’s grandpa move from his home in the West Texas plains to the showy cowboy city of Dallas.  After growing up in Abernathy, he and Grandma made their home in those cotton patches for at least 60 years. People asked Grandpa, “Do you think you’ll like living in Dallas?”  I leaned into hear his response, “Yes.  It’s where God is leading us.  It will be perfect.”

O Grandpa.  I’m trusting you on this one.  San Diego to New York City?  Can we make it there?  Yes, but only because that’s exactly where God is leading the Cook family.  “Better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere.” (Psalm 84:10)