Praise, Prayer, & Pressing Through

Our four-year-old tootled past with a stuffed puppy hanging over his arms.  When I commented on his brown-eyed friend, he said, “Yeah, but I won’t be able to take him to Costa Rica.”  For months he has brought me everything from kid’s meal toys to rocks, asking if they can go with us.  So, why not this?  It hurt a little to hear him say, “Because he’s big and not important.” I assured him there was room in the suitcase for the stuff he loved most.  Off he bounced, paws flopping, while I started thinking about how to help us all through this process of sorting through our houseful of stuff.  Yesterday we packed up each child’s A-list of toys for this flight and set aside another pile for future transport.  Some has been tossed, some sold, and some marked for memory-storage in Matt’s parents’ barn.  Fear not. There will be no shortage of Legos to decorate the floor in our future Costa Rican home.   Barbie even gets to bring her horse.  Lucky gal.

We are making good progress, but could really use your prayers.  Our biggest petitions right now are as follows:

  • Wisdom to use the time that we have left in Omaha efficiently and to know how to ask for help to get our house packed up and everything ready to begin our new life well.
  • That our house would sell quickly and soon to the family the Lord has for it.  We have looked into renting options, but feel that the Lord would have us release it fully.
  • For provision as we set out to serve the Lord in the nations.  We have been blessed with funding for most of our one-time launch expenses, and have had many wonderful people come alongside us with ongoing support pledges.  Right now our monthly budget is 53% funded.  We plan to live as simply as possible and trust the Lord to meet our needs in a way we’ve never had to before.

Crossing OverIn 10 days we lift off from the prairie to go serve the Lord in the land of rain forests.  Our feet are on the bridge.  We thought it would be a good time to share why we are praising, how you can be praying, and what we are pressing through.  Click <here> to read more details in our latest update, or hop over to our Newsletters tab.

Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain                           [or home buyers]?
    Does it fall from the sky by itself?
No, you are the one, O Lord our God!
    Only you can do such things.
    So we will wait for you to help us.  Jeremiah 14:22

Training Up a Child in the Way He Should Go. . .

Often, I feel like I should only post amazing and profound things here.  But “amazing and profound” is not an every day event for us in this season. So instead, here’s a glimpse into our days of late.

So what’s up around here lately is a focus on what must come down, and where to put it when it does come down.  That’s right, we’ve been potty training.  It’s been a long 10 days, but we are getting there.  Along the way we have spent a lot of time together in the bathroom reading books, singing songs, doing puzzles, and playing with toys–only a few of which fell into the toilet.

I'm a Robot!

Time to get down now?

I confess that this was a season that I was not looking forward to, but after the first few days of learning it has become a sweet time of focusing on the youngest member of our family.  Ezekiel has a personality all his own, a mixture of strong will and charm that we will be excited to see the Lord fashion into a unique blessing for His kingdom.  And it the meantime we are celebrating the dry big boy pants, learning “when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em,” and sanitizing those fallen toys.  I promise.

Trust Falling

My hands are outstretched, ready to catch him.  Poised a few steps above me on the staircase, our toddler pumps his arms a few times, squats his legs, and gives a little jump, falling into my arms.  I cuddle him close and praise him.  “Good job!”  I rest my cheek on his head and and he contentedly sucks his thumb.  I’m proud of him for pushing against gravity, for letting go, for trusting me in the fall.  And the Lord whispers on my heart how I am doing the same thing in my walk with Him.

This summer I had a chance to do it for real, to jump off of a 15-foot cliff into a Guatemalan river pool.  It was terrifying.  It was glorious.  I got water up my nose.  I had to do it a second time so that I could really enjoy the experience, because the first jump was purely to prove to myself that I could.

Now, as our family walks out the path that the Lord has set before us, as we engage his heart for the nations and hear His call toward full-time global outreach, I feel like the toddler at the top of the staircase.   The gravity of our stuffed house, our stable income, our life-giving, English-speaking church all feels so comfortable.  But the Papa’s hands are outstretched, and His voice is encouraging me, “Trust me, I’ll catch you.”