As 2012 began we thought we knew what our life would be like for the next 16 months - continuing as managers of the Alamo Area SKP Co-Op, the Lone Star Corral. We had a great vacation planned, lots of fun activities to look forward too, traveling around and checking out new places in Texas, continuing to hang with those we thought were our friends, content to know we didn't have to look for a new job, and just enjoying going through life...but...God had other things in mind for us...
March found us making a nine day trip to Washington & Oregon to see family and friends. So good to give lots of hugs & kisses to our grands ~ even Max humored us with a few hugs (when you are almost 14 that is just not the fun thing to do). Visiting our church home, Northwood Alliance Church, staying with friends, sharing meals and lots of coffee and seeing as many people as we could in a short amount of time. A trip that was fun, fast, tiring and exciting that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Lone Star Corral - we had hit some rough spots with the change in the Board of Directors, we seemed to be stumbling and being criticized from behind closed doors but not to our faces. Things were being told to us by some people and then hearing from others that other things were being said. Tears were shed, confusion of what should we do or do we do anything and then on April 4, 2012 we were fired from our jobs! Shock, disbelief, now what, we had a signed 2nd year contract ~ didn't that mean anything. And questions of what do we do now? where will we go?
Well we went to Medina Lake Thousand Trails and just rested, prayed, relaxed, prayed, sought counseling with our pastor, sought the prayers of others and trusted that God would keep his promise. And claimed
Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
And thanked the Lord over and over that those were the verses He gave me the morning of 4/4/12. And once we kept our focus on the Lord, His plans became clear. Alice was offered a part-time job in Branson, MO so we moved there on 4/15/12. Thinking Ron would look for work once we got settled. But God had everything under control...as we were offered and began full time work as campground managers right there in Branson.
We have faced some struggles ~ like finding a Ladies Fellowship group and a church but we have found those groups that help us keep centered on the Lord. We have been loved on and welcomed with open arms.
We have been blessed with some "perks" as campground managers: free tickets to Silver Dollar City, won tickets for the Branson Belle where we got to see a show and enjoy a nice dinner where we celebrated Ron's 37th birthday. Saw many of the shows at Grand Country, was honored on our anniversary with special greetings from Michael Patrick & Jamie Haage, seen Neil McCoy and the 3 Redneck Tenors, enjoyed the regular and Christmas show at the Dixie Stampede and have met lots of nice people who have come and stayed at Branson View Campground. Even today, got a phone call from one of the couples that stayed here a month who just wanted to wish us a Happy New Year and see how we were doing. We have been blessed to hear some of the most beautiful music ever as well as see some beautiful country.
We have seen Amish children playing in the school yard, attended our first ever Amish Produce Auction ~ saw watermelons go for $1.50 each (selling at the grocery store for $6 each), been swimming in Lake Taneycomo, driven on some old country roads and enjoyed the Fall Colors as we have never seen before. We have worshiped and shared the Lord's supper with new friends.
We had visits by family: Jim & Sharon Tuck, Lee & Karen Wheeler, Erv & Anita Bach - and cheered Anita on to the finish line of her first ever marathon! Visited with Uncle Rex & Aunt Erma. Met some of our Facebook friends in person and met the needs of some of those we have come into contact with. Ron helped a friend move to Fort Wayne, Indiana and I was able to see my grands in an unexpected way.
We have struggled financially yet seen God meet our needs in a supernatural way - receiving $2000 from friends and family to cover the cost of a needed new eye. Food appearing at our door unexpectedly. Phone calls out of the blue just to see how we are doing.
Most of all we have become closer as a married couple and welcomed a new grandson into our family as well as welcome a new puppy (Linus) into our traveling family. We are thankful for the many blessings of family and friends, saddened at the loss of some in our lives that we thought were our friends but most of all we are thankful for our boys, Jamie & Brandon, their sweet wives, Suzanne & Danalyn, and enjoy every time we get to talk or see (via Skype or Facetime) the joy of our lives: Max, Opal, Christopher, Treyson and Alexander!!
And as we look forward to 2013 we are thankful for our continued jobs as campground managers here in Branson, the anticipated trip to Washington to celebrate the marriage of Jamie & Suzanne, seeing our granddaughter, Opal and spending a few days in Oregon with Brandon, Danalyn and the four boys along with being able to meet and greet many new guests here at Branson View Campground. We look forward to seeing more of this beautiful country we live in and seeing how the Lord uses us to minister to others.