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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Five Months Old

My lovely Ariella is 5 months old now! This morning I looked at the date and realized that yesterday was her 5 month birthday. We've been a little sick here, so I guess that's my excuse for losing track of the date.

Ariella loves to roll and roll. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks/wiggles/jumps until she falls over. I think she will learn to crawl very soon! She loves to be outside, to watch and touch her big sister, and to grab everything: faces, hair, toys, bowls of Mommy's food, a stray cat, etc.

I especially enjoy her laugh, the way she coos, her lovely smile, and the way she snuggles with me when I hold her. What a precious girl!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beach Day at Pulau Ahe

Today our family, along with 24 friends, went to a little island near Nabire called Ahe. It took us 20 minutes in the car and then 40 minutes on a boat to get there. It was so beautiful! Daniel tried out the fishing spear that I got him for Christmas and speared and cooked 3 (small) fish. I spent most of my time keeping Zoe from drowning and nursing Ariella...but I also got to go snorkeling and saw a lion fish and the wing of an airplane from World War II. Zoe loves swimming and said she would float home in her little floatie (why is she so completely unafraid of the water?). Ariella went "swimming" for her first time.

Here are some photos so that you can enjoy the beauty of the beach with us:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On My Birthday

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.

I woke up and chose to be happy. We have been struggling with discouragement and feelings of burn out, so I decided that happiness on my birthday would be my choice. Daniel left for his first flight, and I cared for and enjoyed my little girls. I decided to take a day off from laundry, except for diapers. When I went out to hang the diapers I found a present on my porch--cookies and a balloon! Zoe and I enjoyed the cookies for breakfast and she danced and danced around the house with the balloon.

I skyped for an hour with my parents and one of my sisters. I even got to say goodnight to my little niece! It was nice to "see" family on my birthday. While we talked, Ariella took a nap and Zoe played happily all by herself.

At 10am we went to my friend/neighbor/coworker Anja's house. She and I have the same birthday! She made a really yummy cake with berries in it to celebrate! After we ate cake we learned that there had been an airplane accident earlier this morning and the pilot Bob Roberts, with the Adventist mission, died. This was surprising and shocking to me. I know Bob and Jan just a little bit...I buy whole wheat flour and brown rice from Jan and enjoy her beautiful piano playing at the concerts that she organizes. I have heard stories about Bob and the dental work that he did when he had extra time. They have served and blessed people here in Papua for a LONG time! And now, suddenly, Jan is a widow. Their airplane--a Quest Kodiak, the same kind that Daniel flies--is broken into pieces and partly burned.

I wondered...should I still choose to be happy today when there is such a good reason to be sad? I could not come up with an answer to that question. A birthday is when we celebrate the gift of life, the presence of a person. Life is a wonderful gift, even though it can be so suddenly snuffed out.

I felt very serious yesterday (still do). In the afternoon I baked cupcakes and made ice cream. We went for a family walk on the runway before eating a dinner of leftover pumpkin soup, cucumber slices (Zoe had ketchup on hers!) and cupcakes. And that was my birthday. I enjoyed the cuteness of my little people, hugged Daniel nice and tight, ate more sugar than I should have, and was grateful that God chose to create me and helped my mother give birth to me (via. emergency c-section) 33 years ago.

You can read more about Bob and Jan Roberts here. Please pray for Jan, their 3 adult children, and their many friends. Much love to you all!