Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just to chronicle what God has been doing.  I don't want to forget HIS hand in all of this!  As we keep taking steps towards going to Italy, God has been active in letting us know that we are doing the right thing up to this point.

1.  Our daughter's endocrinologist is excited about our opportunity and is doing all she can to help us in our endeavor!  A true answer to prayer!

2.  Our friends over there already see an endocrinologist, so we might already have a doctor for our daughter!

3.  Our friends are also going to the local pharmacy and checking on whether they carry the brand of insulin we need.

4.  Some stress has been relieved here to make it easier to work on the preparations!  This is huge!

5.  God has opened a door with EFCA ReachGlobal to maybe be able to be sent as a EFCA missionaries.

6.  Through EFCA, we are beginning talks with the head of the EFCA team in Rome and he already knows and has only the kindest of words for the head of Italian Ministries (the agency we would also be partnering with)!  What an amazing provision.

7.  Emails and facebook messages are flying back and forth with quick responses.  This is exciting to me as many times quick responses are nowhere to be found and many times things can't be done until the next response is received.

8.  We have a skype date with the head of Italian Ministries tomorrow morning.

9.  Only three birth certificates left to get in the mail!  We had to order everyones' "long form" certificate.  Fortunately, we could order them all online!

10.  I found our long form marriage certificate so I don't have to order that as well.

God is making HIMSELF so evident in all of this!  It's humbling to think that HE is so active in our lives and that we are able to recognize it now and not just as we look back! What a privilege.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The door to Italy seems to get opened wider and wider.  The possibilities that God is beginning to bring before us are exciting.  It is getting easier and easier to ponder leaving and starting the biggest adventure of our lives! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Life certainly takes some interesting twists and turns, doesn't it?  We have been asking God to close doors as we begin to really pursue our next move after seminary.  Well....HE has been closing doors and confirming the opening of the one door we are pursuing.  It's interesting to be right in the middle of HIM working.

Each day HE seems to be confirming that the path we are on is the correct one.

It's exciting and scary and thrilling and adventurous!  I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.  Just thinking about the way God will use us gives me goose bumps!  The fact that HE might even use our children brings tears to my eyes.  The knowledge that they will see HIM working and not just hearing our stories of God working makes my heart skip a beat.  Isn't that what every Christian parent wants for their children?  To see their children move from second chair believers (ones who believe but really live on stories of older generations) to first chair believers (ones who experience personally the working of God).

I look forward to what each day brings!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I have had some interesting encounters recently and they have left me baffled.  Our family has homeschooled our children for 16 years.  It is a choice we have made very consciously, thoughtfully, prayerfully.  We have felt as though this is what we have been called to do up to this point.  We have reasons, some biblical and some personal.  We still pay taxes to our local school district.  We pay extra to live out this homeschool option.  We have never forced this option on anyone.  We explain things when asked, but never begin the conversation about it.

Why, then, do people feel such negative emotion towards us?  It's not really towards us, but towards homeschooling in general.  Why is that?  I am confused about all of it.  If I don't feel the need to convert people to homeschooling, why do people feel the need to try to convert me?  Why the anger?

I have never felt such emotion in all my years until here...our church in particular!  That is what surprises me even more.  I think the interesting thing is that God allows so many options for us...but what I think HE really wants is for us to consult HIM about things.  Do the folks who feel such hatred consult God?  Do they just go with the flow of what our culture thinks is expected?  Do they care what HE thinks?

Just confused about this lately.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I think I just had the smallest glimpse of Heaven.

I woke up a couple of nights ago, not able to go back to sleep.  I moved to the couch to see if that would help.  Nope.  My stomach began to rumble and before I knew it, I was in the bathroom, throwing up.  The rest of the evening was a repetitive cycle of not doing so great, not being able to be settled, throwing up, repeat.  The following day, the throwing up stopped, but the plain "ucks" continued.  I was only able to stay in bed, eat dry toast, and attempt to sleep.

It was obvious all day that this was not normal.  I was not supposed to be feeling this way.  Something was wrong.

Yesterday, I awoke feeling amazingly better!  I was rested, had energy, and was ready to begin living again.  All day long, I felt really good.  I was able to get things done around the house, play with the kids, and enjoy chatting with friends and family.

It dawned on me as the day ended that I had been given a glimpse of Heaven.  The angst and unsettled feeling from the day before is very similar to the way I feel living here on Earth.  This is not my home.  I am traveler, a visitor.  Yesterday, compared to the day before, was almost perfection. 

I am grateful for that perspective God has given me. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

As a mom, I love seeing my kids grow up.  Though, sometimes that is bittersweet, I thoroughly enjoy that process of them developing their own thoughts on life and beginning to branch out. 

I remember when I was pregnant with my girls, I had seemingly everyone in the known world tell me to enjoy them while they are little because once they became teenagers, life was going to be extremely difficult with them.  Well...needless to say, that was very scary to hear and put a certain dread within me as my first daughter got closer and closer to those teen years.

I am very pleased to say that the teen years and beyond have been my favorite so far!  I love the time, talks, and treats with my teen girls.  It is special and lovely and I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

So, as much as I love these years, as a Christian mom, I love seeing my children begin working in their giftings to serve others even more!  There is an inexplicable joy in seeing a child start to know the gifts and talents God has placed within her and then use those for the joy of others.

Bailey, my oldest, is 22 and has a true gift of organization and administration.  She currently works at our church in the early childhood department.  She sets schedules for the classrooms, organizes parents, heads up training, and works on special events.  It is a beautiful thing to watch her blossom in this area and it is very exciting to think about the next thing for Bailey and where God will use her skills next.

Darby, my second oldest, is 14 and has a gift of singing and playing piano.  She uses her gifts at our church to work on the worship team for the youth.  She works on this team on Wednesday nights at the worship time before their Bible studies begin and then on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights for other youth times.  Darby has been asked to help lead the worship for the upcoming Senior Night.  When she sings, I know she is making God smile, as she uses her gifts to bring glory to God and helps to bring others into a time of true worship.

Kally, my third daughter, is 10 and has a gift of working with babies.  She is magnetically drawn to little ones and they seem to adore her as well.  She is such a help when she goes to church and uses her gifts to work in the childcare area.  She helps during MOPS and Sunday night life group times.  It is quite stunning to watch her face lighten up when she sees a baby and the mom of that little one let's Kally pick up the baby and play with her.  What a joy to see!

It takes my breath away to know that God has placed these gifts, and more, within my sweet girls and that they are edifying the body of Christ, and bringing God glory with them!  Ben and I have worked hard to teach our children how to serve and I am humbled to see it lived out in my children.

I don't know about my two boys yet....I trust that God will continue to work within their lives and hearts as they grow and that I will get to see them use their abilities for the glory of God as well!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well, it looks as though this is where we might end up next year!  Where is this, you ask?  It's a town in NW Italy called Chiavari (kee-a-var-ee).  Ben and I feel like we should begin the process of walking through the open door and see if God closes the door along the way. 

It's an exciting time to begin thinking about a move.  The kids are excited and anxious.  Ben will finish seminary next May and then, if all is still on course, we will leave in late May or early June.

I, especially, praise God for His provision.  Our whole life has been an adventure, but this could be the biggest adventure yet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Today is the day!  We leave the kiddos with Bailey and Ben and I are out of here!  It's been almost two years since we went away overnight by ourselves and that was for only one night.  How my heart skips a beat to think of two nights and two full days with just Ben.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I have just finished doing the Bible study, "James Mercy Triumphs" by Beth Moore.  It is an amazing study.  We not only learned about the author of the book of James, that he was Jesus' half brother, and ended up being one of the elders of the Jerusalem church (after being a total unbeliever while Christ was alive); but we also were challenged to really put our faith into put feet to our faith.  I am grateful for the gals who did the study with me.  They were, and are, a true blessing to me!

Just as I am finishing this study and having the thought of practicing my faith in the forefront of my mind, Ben and I are heading out for a couple days to really discuss our future.  We are wondering where God is taking us after seminary.  We are praying for closed doors, as in reality, all doors are open and we can technically go anywhere.  God is already answering our prayer.  Doors are beginning to close and we are thrilled!

I can't wait to get out of town tomorrow with Ben and begin the conversation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Last Thursday we finished our school year!  I love when we begin it, and I love when it's time to end.  We are taking 2 weeks totally off and then we are going to just do some reading each day over the next 6 weeks.  After those 6 weeks, we are going to begin with reading and math.

I love being able to have my own schedule mostly.  I love ending in April when the weather is a bit nicer than the summer.  Then I love starting back in small chunks as the weather gets ridiculously hot.  We then do our little bit of school and then head to the pool for the rest of the day.

I am one privileged mama to be able to stay home, have my children around me all day, and wait for my incredibly handsome, wonderful husband to arrive at home!  Praise God!