•8:07 PM
LANA:

We are living in an in-between place.

On one hand, we're totally grateful for it. We prayed relentlessly for this job and situation, and are thrilled to be in our current dwelling, managing 24 town homes in return for free rent and pay for odd jobs. We are set up better than we ever have been before to save a significant amount of money every month for school in Paris. Plus, no lease! We can be up and out in two weeks flat.

On the other hand, we're uncomfortable. Our living space is, unfortunately, ugly (it doesn't seem to bother DH, but it does chafe on me quite a bit). We don't have a yard of our own, can't let the boys play unattended for more than a few minutes, and we can't form real friendships with the neighbors. We are always unofficially 'on duty', taking calls about apartments and being caught by tenants who need repairs while going out to the mailbox. All the while, DH is itching to expand his career and experiences, and it grates on him. It doesn't help that he recently saw one fellow CIA alumnus win a chef de cuisine position aboard a Caribbean ocean liner, and another classmate pop up in a Food Network program. Time and opportunity is tangibly passing us by.

The truth of the matter, though, is that our income is not spectacular enough for this to be a speedy process. While we can save a decent chunk of change every month, it will still take several years to accumulate enough by traditional saving alone. We are not prepared to be here for 3-4 more years. It's nearly unthinkable.

It is unthinkable.

It's tempting to consider school loans. Impatient people like me in imminently unthinkable situations are predisposed to find this notion pretty darn appealing. But God just spent two years teaching us how NOT to be in debt. I can't convince myself it's His will that we throw all that to the wind and fall back into borrowing.

We have to fall back into Him instead. We have to pray for something extraordinary.

I hit this same roadblock so many times during the past few years while we were clawing our way to debt-freedom. We were always at God's feet, asking for another job, for a break, for help with a bill, for help selling this or that and finally our house. I continually felt guilt about the righteousness of praying for such things. It felt so selfish. What good does selling our house quickly do for the Kingdom of God? What ministry is there in having a healthy financial situation and two reliable cars? Yet He granted it all. He explicitly answered prayer after prayer after prayer, and we got out and beyond.

I will be open about this. While I knew that God had said 'yes' to our request for help in becoming debt free, and also to selling our house in a timely manner, I do not know what He has to say about Paris yet. It's not exactly written in the Bible whether one should or should not strive to study cooking abroad. But it does say we should bring all things to God in prayer.

So I'm a little embarrassed to say I haven't really started praying about it yet. It's scary, because we've wanted this so badly for so long, and soon after we begin seriously praying about it, we will know His answer. It will become very obvious.

It is a fact that we will not make it to Paris without God's explicit blessing. The mountain of time and money is too large for us to move alone. I'll begin to bring this huge request to Him now, knowing that He is the one who created DH with this passion for food and learning. Also for our will to match His, to make sure we go (or *gulp* stay) where and when He wants us. And of course, for obedient hearts to accept whatever answer He gives.
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