After receiving confirmation that the Lord did indeed want us to go to Dubai, we considered how and when that was going to happen. In our naivety, we thought that we might be able to consolidate our lives in approximately two or three years. The thought of moving was still like a mustard seed; very tiny but with great potential. Late in November 2014, I was driving home from work and received an urgent feeling that I needed to start sorting out my sewing supplies and getting rid of household items. Being a dutiful daughter of God, (but can procrastinate like the best of them), I thought that I would start with the front entry closet. There are NO sewing supplies in that closet! I sorted through everything and gathered a huge bag of shoes; many hundreds of dollars worth of footwear. I donated everything except my motorcycle boots and my sandals. I thought that I was off to a rocking start. Not much more happened after that. It was inventory time at the store and Christmas was soon upon us.
By early January, we were at the temple and enjoying our time with close friends. I sat and asked the Lord how we were doing with His plan. Were we moving fast enough? He immediately responded with, “No, you’re not! Move faster!” Then He showed me two more visions; one was of the bow of a boat moving through water. It was a closed bow boat that I had never seen before. Then He showed me my husband walking along wearing a long light colored tunic and long light colored trousers. I marveled at these vistas, wondering what they could mean. When I returned home, I started searching online for Dubai websites and saw people wearing the clothing that I had seen Erik wearing in my vision. My heart expanded and wonder filled my mind.
I had to decide about a trip to Florida for the end of January and thought that I probably shouldn’t go due to cost and expense for my store. As I prayed about whether to go, the Lord affirmed to me that, yes, I needed to go. So, after some legwork, I was able to share the cost with a fellow shop owner and prepared to attend this seminar. The first two days that I was there, I received a distinct feeling that we were not going to live in Olds for even the remainder of this year. This was a little unsettling as we thought we had some time to make our changes. After the second day, I asked the Lord, “When are we moving?” As I sat quietly waiting for an answer, He showed me a pie chart, which had January at the bottom. As I looked at it, there was an arm that started at January and worked itself around to past half way. I said, “That’s August!” He replied, “Yes, it is.” WELL….it was actually very comforting to know that we had a definite timeline. The next day, my husband had been trying to get me on my phone. I wasn’t answering because of being in the seminar. After I turned on my ringer and saw all the missed calls, I went to the lobby to phone him. He said to me, “I’ve been trying to reach you all day! Do you remember how God said that I needed to change jobs?” “Yes,” I replied. Erik then said, “Well, today I lost my job!” All I could say was, “Oh, boy!” Erik replied, “He’s kicked His plan into high gear!!” My adrenaline rush hit me hard, as I contemplated what this meant for us. I wasn’t feeling fearful that my husband had no work, because I knew that the Lord had a plan for us. I was feeling like I needed to be home to just be in the same room as my husband and start working on the future.
While in Florida, one of my sisters, phones me one night. We start talking about all the things that are going on and to be honest, I felt like all of a sudden, life was zooming right along and was what I had experienced real. Did the Lord really show me these things? Does He really want us to move halfway around the world? It started to feel a wee bit overwhelming. My sister has not been active in church for 35 years and has never been in a temple. Then words come out of her mouth that stun me, because I never thought that I would hear her say what she did. She says, “Cheryl, you know how sacred the temple is, right?” “Uh-huh,” comes my reply (dubious thoughts about where this is going). Then the zinger….”Cheryl, you have to know that whatever God shows you or tells you in the temple is absolute truth.” I was gobsmacked! I contemplated her words and by the next day, the Lord confirmed to me that my sister was His messenger for letting me know that, yes, indeed, life was about to change and that He had a plan for us. From then on, I had no doubts at all.
By early February, we sit down with realtors to get some advice on where to start and what to do with all of our properties. I felt like we received some sound advice and we proceeded to make lists of what needed to be done. Erik started figuring out the budget for renovations. We have an amazing house with great bones and a lovely layout, but it was definitely time for an updated kitchen and bathrooms. By mid February, the realtor phones us to ask if he can show our building the next day. We ask, “What building?” “The one where your store is,” came his reply. I simply shrugged and said, “Why not?” We didn’t have it listed but knew that the Lord was pushing us along. The gentlemen came the next day and then placed an offer on the building. Okaaaay….now we have to deal with the business. The economy was in the toilet with thousands laid off from the oil patch, how was this going to happen? I did feel a surety that everything would work out, no need to panic. But the human side of us kicks in, and I remember going to the store one morning and seeing the $275,000 (my cost) in inventory, I sat in my office and cried. You can only cry for so long before a headache will appear, so practical Cheryl says, “Pull it together, Woman! You have a job to do, and remember the big Guy is on your side!”
Erik was working on renovations all winter and into spring. He wanted to get the basement renovations done first. Two years ago, we ripped out all the cedar tongue and groove paneling that lined two basement walls (intermingled with mirrored glass tiles sections, very 70’s!). The paneling was glued on, thus that led to all the drywall being torn out. As Erik was looking for drywall installers, he finds a son of a church friend who says that he could do the job because none of his drywall contractors wanted to do such a small job. He came on the following Tuesday and then a drywaller called to say that yes, he actually would take the job of mudding. The drywall was hung on Tuesday and the mudder came the next day. It is not an easy feat to get contractors to come right away and get the job done. Tender mercies!
In April, I started to get antsy about the kitchen renovation. One day, while standing there looking at the kitchen, the Lord says to me, “You don’t have time to do the kitchen renovation that you want to do.” My whiny voice appeared, “Well, we’ve already ripped out half the sunshine ceiling. What do you want us to do?” The Lord instructed me to call Greenwood Furniture. I’ve known Jack and his family for years and know of the quality work that they produce, so I went to their website and saw what they did to some kitchens. Erik agreed to call them. He called them on a Wednesday. By Thursday, they were at our home, doing preliminary measurements and a photo shoot. By Friday, they had a quote ready. By Saturday morning, we were sitting in their office going over the quote and then Jack shows us his calendar and explains that they had a family booked in for Monday but they’d had a delay in their project and they could start our job by Monday! By Saturday afternoon, we agreed to the contract and they came out to do final measurements. By Monday all the materials had been ordered. On Sunday, Erik and I were sitting in Sacrament meeting and we slowly turn and look at each other and start grinning. Erik says, “Of, course that family had a delay….” Everything was falling into place in the Lord’s time frame.
While cabinets were in preparation, we needed to tear out all the light fixtures in the kitchen and take out the drywall. Our drywall guy said that he couldn’t get to us for 6 weeks because he was doing a big job for his brother. Now what? Two days later, he phones us back and said that his leave that he applied for came through and that he could come in two days to do the ceiling. It’s seems to be one miracle after another! We made a run into Calgary to go look at granite and quartz for the counter top. A more glorious sight, I don’t think I’ve ever seen. If you ever want to see the hand of the Lord at work, wander through a granite warehouse. I made a choice and we were off to the races. The quotes came from two different businesses. While I was at a Rotary conference, Erik calls to ask what we should do. One company could install by that Thursday; the other would be two weeks off. I said to take the soonest possible as the Lord’s time seems to be quite precious. When I came home, I had the big reveal…I laid my face on the granite and inhaled. I daresay, I licked it too! You know that saying, “Once you lick it, it’s yours!” I heard that courtesy of Kaye England and use it to my advantage.
Many people have said to me, Why go to all this work, only to sell it to someone else?” There are many reasons, but according to my Papa, “Always leave a place better than when you found it.” Yes, it looks stunning, but I know that the Lord has a need for us to be somewhere else. I don’t feel anxious about doing all this and leaving it behind. There is a purpose for it, probably more than one. One of my friends came into the store one day and said, “Don’t worry about WHEN something will happen, because down the road, you will see that certain things had to happen first before THAT could happen. True words, my friend! All will be revealed in the Lord’s time and right now it feels like we are on a roller coaster zooming along.
Everyday is not a bed of roses filled with happiness. We all experience anxiety to some degree. Some days, Erik is in panic mode and I am the calm one and on other days it is reversed. I have suggested that when we get up in the morning that we look at each other and ask whose day it is to be in panic mode, because only one of us at a time is allowed. Starting the day with prayer and scriptures definitely calms our souls and minds and prepares us for what He needs us to do that day. So, from our little baby steps, we have progressed to giant leaps. My husband looked at me recently and told me how he appreciates my surety in the Lord and my faith. I know that the Lord will not fail me but I must constantly be on guard against the adversary who does not want us to progress. Who do I choose to follow? Definitely and without a doubt, the Lord!