Monday, August 18, 2014

Camping in the Boise National Forest

Just over a week ago we went for our first camping trip as a family of four. We borrowed a trailer (and an SUV to pull it) and drove two hours north to a camping site surrounded by big pine trees and near Payette River. It was a fun change of pace from our usual life and I really enjoyed the beauty of the woods and water. 

Some of my favorite moments included:

Zoe waking up on Saturday morning...
Z: My hands are cold!
Daniel and I laughed because this may be the first time she has had cold hands (having spent most of her life in Indonesia).
Z: Cold hands are funny! (and she joined in the laughter.)

Watching Zoe explore the river (with Daniel close at hand to help her get up when she fell down).

Sitting and talking with Daniel at the campfire for a couple of hours after the girls had gone to sleep.

I am so grateful for the fun time that we had...and we all want to go camping again! (At least Daniel, Zoe and I do...I can't really speak for Ariella on this one.)

Have you gone camping this summer? What did you enjoy the most about it?

Eight Months

Ariella was eight months old while we were in MA visiting my parents last month! What a lovely little girl she is!

This was taken 2 days after her 8 month birthday...her first time eating corn on the cob! Yum!

Zoe's 3rd Birthday

Just over a month ago Zoe celebrated her 3rd birthday. We were in Ohio with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (on Daniel's side) for the week!

We took family photos on the birthday morning in Daniel's parents beautiful back yard.


Happy birthday Zoe and Seth! Seth was exactly twice Zoe's age on their birthday.

Zoe got into my make-up during her "nap." What a mess!

Beautiful birthday princess Zoe opening presents.

I am so grateful to be mommy to my precious daughter Zoe! Happy happy birthday, my Love! :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Seven Months

I just realized that Ariella is 7 months old today so I snapped some photos.

 She is crawling everywhere now, climbing into and under things, and pulling up!

What a cute girl! Ariella crawls to wherever I am and climbs on me. (When she does the same to her sister, she gets yelled at "No! Ariella no! Don't get me!" That doesn't seem to stop her...)

A few days ago Ariella got her first tooth. Today her second one broke through. She nurses a lot and eats bananas, rice cereal, cheerios that Zoe dropped on the floor, and grass and small wood chips.

I am so grateful to be mommy to this sweet, fun, little girl! What a blessing she is to me! Right now she is growling at the sliding glass doors, hoping to go outside. Time for me to play with her. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

He Restores my Soul

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

During the last couple of months I have been praying Psalm 23 when I wake up in the morning, before I fall asleep at night, and other times when I think of it. The line "He restores (or refreshes) my soul" has really stuck out to me. As I was exhausted and not sure why life felt so difficult I cried out to God "please restore my soul!"

I have been back in the US for just over 2 weeks now. I am so grateful to be here. I feel like I am slowly unwinding.There are things that I am excited about doing...dreams...possibilities. My heart is more peaceful. I am better able to see God around me. And my husband is so much happier than he has been in a long time.

God is answering my prayer. He is refreshing and restoring me.

Thank you for praying for me (us) too! I am really excited because next month I will get to see my family (and introduce cute Ariella to everyone).

We just finished dinner and the sun is shining on me, Ariella is giggling and growling, Zoe is happily chatting with Daniel who is setting up the bike trailer to take her for a spin around the neighborhood. Breathe. Enjoy this time. Be refreshed, my soul.

How about you? What is the prayer of your heart during this season in your life?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Six Months

This beautiful girl is 6 months old today! And she is already crawling. Now she can get the toys, bits of hair, and other fun things that she wants. In 2.5 days we will begin our journey to the US. I hope she enjoys travelling (her big sister does!).

Monday, May 19, 2014

When I don't know what to say

I am in the midst of packing up my home in Nabire, Indonesia to go and move to Idaho for a year or so. If that sounds sudden to you it's because it is a big and abrupt change. My husband Daniel and I have been so focused on getting to Indonesia, learning the language, aviation training, and finally settling into a home here with the intention of being here for many years. We're still hoping to live here for a long time...but now we're taking an interlude, going back to the US for counseling. (We are feeling burned out and Daniel is struggling with depression. He has written more about our reasons for going back to the US on his blog. ) Daniel will work at MAF headquarters in Nampa, ID.

People have been asking me how I'm doing. I don't know. Sometimes I feel exhausted, angry, and/or sad. Sometimes I'm encouraged that we get this great opportunity for healing. I am very happy when I think about getting to introduce Ariella to her grandparents and aunts and uncles. I feel worried about the finances involved in this move and about things like buying a car and setting up an apartment. I am also afraid: what if we don't come back?

Last night I read the final chapter in the book The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith (I highly recommend it). In this chapter Smith wrote about the importance of slowing down and being really present in each moment. Today I am thinking about Mary*, who sat at Jesus' feet and listened to him while her sister Martha was hurriedly trying to get a meal ready. I want to be like Mary, listening to Jesus even while there are many things to do and to think about. I want to have a quiet heart, even when my life feels like it's constantly changing. I can trust God to be with me, loving me, guiding me through these changes. 

So, when I don't know what to say I will try to listen to Jesus.

*I am referring to Mary and Martha who are Lazarus' sisters. You can find this story about them in the Bible in Luke 10:38-42.