"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Okay, here's the first one...

"For Him (Jesus) to give you a thorn in the flesh, break your hip, make you sick...to free your hands from the myth of control and show you how dependent you are on Him is one of the most merciful things that He can do." -Matt Chandler

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have you seen it in your own life? Let us know what makes you go HMMM about it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

new idea for the next few posts...

I've got a list of "great" quotes I wanted to write about at some point. Well...that some point isn't coming all that soon. SOOOOO here is your chance to help me out!

I am going to put up a quote or a thought, and I would LOVE it if you would post a comment for me to think about. What does it say to you? What does it teach you? Anything? What is your reaction when you read it?

We're just plugging away at school, we still have about 9 weeks left which we'll try to finish in about 7 (our lesson plans are written for a 4 day week with a catch up day. We'll shift them to 5 day weeks now when we can), plus we still have our testing to do. We also have 15 doctor and dentist appointments in the next four weeks or so (had to move a bunch because our insurance doesn't start until May 1st).

We still have a Friday night small group. Still have Sunday school for the kids for another month, but Wednesday morning bible study is over. The girls and I started a self-defense class on Sunday. After that we eat and then we (and Brian) watch a video and discuss it. Should be interesting!

Brian is working for himself for now. He works at a housing development talking care of all the common areas (landscaping, irrigation, etc). He also works for the guy who developed the area doing all that and mowing and whatever else he needs him to do. This is where he was working before we left. This gentleman has been great to us! The kids love visiting them as much as they love having us all out! Brian just picked up one more home owner out there and is waiting to hear back from another. He has done and is doing some work for others as well.

Trying to figure out exactly what it is to call what he does-lawn care, landscape care, handyman extraordinaire... So if you have any jobs you need done, give him a call! He isn't opposed to a little bit of travel if it is a 2-3 day job. He just charges a flat rate per hour for whatever you need done. He's done a little bit of everything!

Okay--be watching out for the first quote soon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Myron is 4!!!

Our last April birthday is now done. Myron turned 4 on Thursday. Man, he has been a sweety lately telling me how much he loves me and cares for me, and giving me LOTS of kisses. He is definitely getting to be a big boy.

Proof positive that he is a boy-and the nakedness didn't start in Zambia!! Here they were running through the sprinkler in our big, beautiful yard in Kandiyohi (although if you didn't know it, you'd think it was in Zambia!).

Yes, he was quite a chunk, all of my kids were. This was at about 6 1/2 months.

Took this last summer. Dad did his hair and had to take the picture and send to a guy in our church who he looked just like.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hailey Rose turned 7 on Sunday. She was just so happy and excited, she was besides herself! On Saturday she learned to ride a bike without training wheels too, so it was a great weekend. She also wanted to go to AppleBees for supper. She only ate half her meal. The server wanted to know if she was full already--nope just making sure there was room for her ice cream sunday!

She loved having her hair braided even before we went to Africa. She liked having her "babies" on her back.

I am thinking she was around 4 at this next one.

She was 2 this year I think.

Not sure here, not too old! Maybe this was around 1 year.

No picture taking session is complete with out Henry! Myron was getting ready for his birthday picture too.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I have applied for several jobs. The most recent one was recommended from a friend of mine with the company he is with. It seemed like a pretty good fit at first glance. There was only one real concern and that was the amount of travel involved. I would be on the road 60-70% of the time. The more I thought about it the more I did not like it. I know I could do the job. But it was not about that, it was about what is best for my family and me. It is just not good for a parent or the kids to be gone that much. You can easily become disconnected from the family. My kids are young and I would miss out on most of their life. It is not healthy for spouses to be apart that much, how can you grow together if you’re not together? You just can’t. One of the biggest reasons was my own well being. I looked at it this way, a guy out on the road all week alone. He misses his wife and kids, he’s lonely. And you know what happens- satan lays a trap, a temptation right in front of you. Maybe it is a porno on the hotel TV or a pretty gal sitting at the bar. What do you do? You ask most guys if they would remain true to their family and themselves, of course they would say yes immediately. But I don’t think you can truly answer that question until you are faced with it. I cannot say beyond any doubt that I would remain faithful. There are just too many circumstances that could play in. Maybe you have been fighting with your wife, she doesn’t understand why you have to work so much, the stress of the job, you have not been intimate with her for some time, you’re lonely and you feel underappreciated. After all you are doing all this for her and the kids and she is not happy. And your relationship with the kids is deteriorating because they are growing up and you’re not around. The bottom line is we are all capable of anything. To say you’re not just shows your own pride I think. I know myself and I know I am capable of anything. And for that reason I make a point not to put myself into positions where I could fall. For my spiritual health and that of my family, I chose to rescind my application. I know in my heart it is the right thing to do.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

our first teenager!!!

Our Cybil turned 13!!! Here are some fun pictures from the last half dozen years.

This was from the summer Brian spent two months in Africa 2008.

I can't remember when this was-2004 maybe?

This might have been 2006.

Don't know when these were.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So REALLY, how are you?

So no, really, just how are you? Hmmm…how to answer? Most of the time we are just fine, we are just cruising through life…it is what it is. We live, we eat, we do school, we just are and we are doing what we need to do, and yes, we are still waiting.
But then something happens. It is said, or it is read, or it is seen. Something triggers all the thoughts and emotions. Something burns inside. Something I can’t really name. Not bitterness. Incredulous disbelief? Dumbstruckness?
And you just want the answers, again. Answers that won’t satisfy, but you want them anyway. And you ask yourself a hundred questions and answer yourself in the same number of ways. You bring up things from years ago, from last month, from last week, from… You need to work it out in your mind, sometimes on paper, just one more time…
You want to spew out a thousand words-truths that you can prove and feel others deserve and have a right to know… and even opinions that just border on spite. There is sooo much more we could say, but we don’t. Why not? At this point, we don’t feel it is our place to openly share some of it. It wouldn’t do anyone any good for one thing-for us, let alone anyone else. We feel like one grain of sand in the millions on the seashore. What do our truths matter anyway?
But then, you get it all out once again. And you’re over it. For now. Until the next time when it doesn’t quite take so long. 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% of the time you just don’t think about it. You let it bother you less and less…the layers peeled are a little smaller.
Then the encouragements start coming, the reminders that you are not losing your mind.

For the most part, we feel we are at a place in life where we are ready to go, anytime, anywhere. Physically, financially, mentally: yes, I would say we pretty much are. We aren’t tied to a job, school, activities, home… But now more than ever, it feels like we are in a holding pattern…there is no clear direction. Yeah, it kinda sucks. We will start to get excited about an opportunity that looks like it may be it…but then they don’t work out. Over and over again. Why? What does it mean? WE haven’t closed the door to anything, but still they seem to close.
Spiritually are we ready? I don’t know if we are. Are you ever REALLY ready again? What does that mean for us anyway? Ready for what? Still that holding pattern…

A little formula from our bible study—
Stay in the Word + Keep fellowship with God in prayer + live obediently = ready to do whatever it is that God would have for you to do
Where are we especially lacking just now? For me it is in prayer. Which is kind-of ironic as we used to be known as “the prayer people”-we need to pray, have prayer meetings, etc. I just can’t seem to find my groove there-I can’t seem to shut off my mind on everything else and focus on what I am saying.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3

Friday, April 2, 2010


Before we left Zambia we took a trip to Lake Kariba for a missionary seminary. One of the days in class the husband of one of the couples there shared some of their story. They had been through hell in the mission field and they were still there, trying to heal up from all the hurts and betrayals that had taken place. He shared that in the midst of the hell he was very upset and was crying out to God. And there was nothing. He prayed and prayed and still nothing. He did not understand why God would not speak to him anymore. He told his mother what was happening and was asking the question, why? And she said something that was so profound. “The teacher is always silent during the test”. WOW, it pierced me through the heart. You see it was where I was at. For months I had been crying out to my Father and I heard nothing. I was angry, frustrated, hurt because of the silence. I wanted an answer from God and I got nothing. I did not understand why. Just answer me, please. Day after day I would cry out to Him and I heard nothing. But when he shared this, it was like the light came on. I now understood. God had not forgotten me; He was not too busy for me. I was in the midst of the test, it was not finished yet and the silence was for a purpose. Has God since began to speak, yes He has. That test is finished.

Being Easter I have been reflecting on what it means, what happened. And the fact there was even a time that the Father was silent to even His Son. And Jesus asked, “Father, Father why have you forsaken me?” Even Jesus knows what it is like not to hear the Father for a time. How comforting that is to know. The good news is, He does not stay silent. He can and will speak again. The test is ultimately for us and His purposes.