Some Changes and Some Sames

With the beginning of the distribution of our prayer cards and the upcoming move to Mozambique, we have decided as a family that our best communication methods on the field will be through this blog and through an email prayer list.

For the sake of bringing you all with us on this adventure,¬† I have made a few changes to the blog to hopefully allow for more ease in navigation and just freshen it up a little. I am still going to be the primary writer on this blog (cause, people it’s my hobby and I really enjoy it), but occasionally Matt may pop on to add a little extra flare.ūüėČ

Matt will be running the email prayer list account. To get on the email prayer list, please feel free to email us at the address on our prayer cards if you are unable to fill out¬†one of our¬†information cards. (Don’t panic if you haven’t gotten a prayer card yet, it’s not personalūüėČ We’re just beginning to distribute them and will do our best to get them to you soon). We will begin sending out regular prayer updates and news bulletins through the email address only. These updates will not begin until we have moved to Virginia in late July 2016 and will only become more regular in nature once we move overseas in October 2016. We will explain more in our welcome letter that we will distribute to those joining the email prayer list.

This blog, on the other hand, will be a more of a daily snippets from our world. I will continue to update this blog throughout our journey through packing up, saying goodbyes, vacation fun, moving to Virginia for orientation for 8.5 weeks, and moving to overseas to Mozambique.

 

Clear as mud?ūüėČ

 

So now you are in the know-how and hopefully you will (continue) to enjoy this blog and our email prayer list as we begin to put our feet to the ground in these last few months.

I can’t say this enough… THANK YOU for journeying with us to the very ends of the earth.

 

 

Pasta Newsey

I had a little fun yesterday and made the girls some bow tie pasta for the play kitchen out of part of a pair of Matt’s old khakis.

   
 
Then I got adventurous with a second recycled pants part and made ravioli, stuffing the bow tie pasta scraps into the ravioli. Hehe. 

  
Pasta anyone?:)

The Everyday

There’s¬†thriving on the excitement of the moment.¬†The anticipation of the big day on my lips and on my heart. The countdown. 96 jam-packed days left.

But I have a little secret. That day is going to be massively exciting, life altering as we step into the unknowns. But that day will pass. Just like the others have.

Friends, I get most excited about sinking into the ordinary in Mozambique. That’s where my heart thrives to be. And I know the ordinary is not Disney World. It’s not hyped up newness. It’s just living.

I still remember the butterflies of our upcoming wedding. All the planning was intense and yet wonderful. But I told him the truth that what I looked¬†forward to and still do enjoy the¬†most is just doing the normal with him. Days of just regular old Joe grocery store trips, trips to the bank, and driving to and fro. Just hand in hand walking through life’s less exciting days is really my delight.

I desired most just to hold each little lady, while pregnant, and just sink into the normalcy of spit-up rags and dirty diapers. The normalcy of toddler tantrums and sharing conflicts. The everyday.

That’s where my heart desires to be. That’s just how I’m wired. I love the beauty in the non-hyped, nothing to write home about¬†mundane. (Keep reading, I’m not completely insane…. yet. Ha!)

This Africa planning is wonderful. And stressful. And a new challenge. The beginning of an adventure of a lifetime.

And yet my heart also longs for that quiet place on the other side of the ocean, which I know won’t be quiet at all and yet in my heart will be. It’s that same quiet place God has taught me to embrace here serving at our church. Nope, nothing is perfect. Yes, there will always be some kind of discomfort and some kind of growing and some kind of moment to rise to the challenge. There will be super hard days in the world of the mundane, the world of the ordinary. There will be days I cry myself to sleep and I feel helpless. There have been those days here so why would I not expect them to be there? And there will be a whole floodgate of new that I don’t have any idea how to prepare for and really can’t. But that’s a part of the beauty in the normal. It’s predictably unpredictable. It’s ordinarily extraordinary. It’s beautifully mundane. It’s just life.

And it’s a gift.

Even when I need to adjust to seeing it as such, it’s still a gift.

 

I am thankful for the gift. For God gives that which is best. He knows me better than I know myself. And each day is a gift.

I am praying He continues to teach me how to receive better.

To rest in Him better.

To worship Him better… right in the middle of the everyday.

To exalt Him and glorify Him and pour out for Him.

Lord, help me to make that today’s legacy.

The Eye of the Storm

It was one of those mornings. She was just grumpy. Fussing about breakfast, fussing about sharing. She just followed me around the kitchen, crying and fussing. She wanted held. She wanted read to. She wanted to steal her sister’s doll and stroller. She sat on the counter a screamed. How dare I not let her take her sister’s chair?! Tears, rage, and then the need for nurturing. I had held her, read to her, walked with her. But it was only a temporary fix.

It was a busy morning. Four little ladies is always busy. But then there’s the chores, the never ending Africa prep, and the scheduling of time with friends. I needed two hands. She had to wait sometimes. That was never in her plan. She didn’t need words to explain that.

And then I just held her, pacing with her on my hip as I made needed phone calls. The recipients were patient with the fussing toddler.

I say down on the couch. My back was tired. She’s not exactly light. And as I talked to her big sisters, this happened.


Some times as a mommy are hard. It’s not all a cakewalk of beautiful memories. There are times I’m ready to tag someone else in. Matt is familiar with the glazed-over stare. He’s had it himself before. And while I know when she wakes back up we may very well be back to this teething ugliness again, but for now she is overcome with peace. And I can see the beauty in the still, even if it may only be the eye of the storm.

Embracing the beauty is such a help in building endurance. I’m praying that over tired moms today.

Through Christ’s eyes we can see the beauty, even when the storm’s still hitting.

Preparation Participation

At the request of a handful of people, Matt and I have compiled a list of specific items he and I would hope to purchase before our international move. Some of these items are quite specific due to availability of things in our very near future. Since we will be crating our items for Africa during the last week of June, we will take down the list by June 26th. On the list I’ve put up explanations for many of the things so you can enjoy the journey with us as we bridge to third world living.

You can click on the following link to access our list. Our “We’re Moving to Africa!” list.

With the discovery of no efficiently organized postal solution in Mozambique, we are doing our best to acquire these items and a few others for the next four years before returning to the States. We appreciate any help that you all may be able to provide in coming alongside of us as we prepare for a whole new slice of the world.

If you would prefer, a gift card to Amazon can be purchased instead of fulfilling a specific need. Also, if you are able to purchase one of these items at a better price elsewhere, then please let us know so we can take it off of the list.

 

******Thank you to all those desiring to help in any way possible. We love you all and cannot say “thank you” enough as we GREATLY appreciative all of the love, care and support you all have so graciously bestowed upon us. Thank you for continuing this journey with us.

 

Play

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Remember back when it was warm? Yeah, me neither.

 

Toy wash
Toy wash
Toy wash
Toy wash
Children's museum vet
Children’s museum vet
Fall Festval hay!
Fall Festival hay!

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Cool walks with sweet friends
Cool walks with sweet friends

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Hotel swimming
Hotel swimming
Winter in a nutshell
Winter in a nutshell

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Inside play!
Inside play!

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And we have come full circle again.
  • Fall 2015 to the present.
  • Thankful, grateful and blessed.

 

 

In the Midst of it All

As Easter approaches my heart longs to go to Mozambique to tell of the good news that He is Alive!

Our countdown until orientation chain says 119 days and sometimes I just want to rip four weeks off of the chain as if it will somehow advance the time.

Last week I hit a lot of big projects in our home during our Easter break from school. When you have four kids you’ve got tot take advantage of¬†all the time you can get, which for me was our Easter break. During the week I sorted, organized, matched into outfits, inventoried, and space saver bagged over ten kid wardrobes that once consumed¬†a whole closet and now occupy 3 totes. Thankfully my friend, Susan, helped me, cutting the workload down to two days instead of the whole week. I also bagged more than ten goodwill donation bags filled with winter clothing, random extras, wall d√©cor, random storage bins, old craft supplies, and toys. I cleaned out and organized our keepsake bins that will stay in the States. I cleaned out the underside of beds and Eden¬†moved out of the crib so we can clean and sell it.¬†I gave away 3 wooden shelves (and most of their contents) and destashed toys the girls haven’t touched in months. I organized all the art/craft supplies we’re bringing to Mozambique.¬†I also gave away our outdoor playhouse and power washed outdoor toys and the swing set. And then to top off the week, I inventoried the entire house, notating what we hope/plan to bring, what will be sold/donated, and what we’re still not certain about. The office wall now displays these lists so I have a further plan on simplifying.

You know, it may feel a little early to some to be at this phase of the cleaning out process. And sometimes it feels a little early when I look at the wall of paper chains still awaiting our countdown. And then I remember that we’ll be gone for 2.5 weeks of June and the last 2 weeks of June will be packing for Orientation/Quelimane and preparing to crate¬†at the end of the month. And July we will be home about a total of 5 days distributed in 2 or¬†3 day segments in the month.

Beyond our busy schedule before we leave, once homeschool begins again next week there is so much of our life that I just want to experience and enjoy instead of constantly run decluttering and preparation lists. I just want to knock out the big stuff and then play outside with the girls, enjoying the weather and the local parks in the middle of the homeschool day because we have that blessed luxury to do math at the playground. I want to just fill our days with friend playdates and invest in the beautiful lives God has used to cultivate such sweet friendships.

So if our house looks bare a little early, know that it’s because our¬†investment was never in these walls but in sharing¬†in others’ hearts.

119 days can seem so far away some days and yet I know it will absolutely fly other days. But we’re fighting to be present these last 119 days. We’re fighting to spend more time doing life together and less time reorganizing our crate stuff. Oh sure, we need to have intentionality in our crate, but we also need to walk beside our friends and family, continuing to make memories, laugh and cry together. Because when the sun goes down and we load our van to drive to¬†Orientation¬†we¬†don’t want to look back with regrets that we¬†had moved on in our hearts before God had moved our family.

Mozambique is ¬†crazy exciting. The adventure. The bittersweet whittling down of ourselves to rely more fully on God’s provision. The unknowns. The “no plan B” abandonment into God’s Call to run to the nations. Yes, it’s an endurance run, not a sprint, and our hearts still yearn to quicken the pace in moments. There’s a bend up there and we desperately want to see what horizon view lies up ahead.

And our hearts also long to be here with you all. Right here. Right now. Delighting. Laughing. Hoping. Praying. Remembering. Investing..

You go with us because we can’t bare to leave you. And we also stay with you because we can’t bare to leave you.

So today we’re here, celebrating the Lord’s glorious resurrection from the grave and our prayers are there, praying that others would soon learn of the Lord’s glorious resurrection from the grave.

And in both places, He is more than enough! He is. Praise the Lord, He is

RISEN!