Friday, April 24, 2009

My 39th Birthday

So it really was my 39th birthday this year. I'm not just saying that like, "I'm 39!" wink wink. I really am. Well this year I'm not just saying it but I will be next year. The picture is a bit yellow but I wanted to post it anyway because my nephew Tyler says that posts are always better if there's a pic with them.

Well, what I didn't mention in the earliers posts was the drama that has been going on with the house loan. We've been up. We've been down. We've been waiting. We've gotten loads of encouraging words and messages and we've also struggled not knowing if this was us pushing for what we've hoped for or God calling us to deeper faith. The Saturday before Easter Josh and I sat on the kitchen floor talking over the terms of the loan. He shared his concerns that after just a few years we might get in over our heads. He had a call into the banker to ask her to explain some things but he warned me that it didn't look like we could move forward.

It was discouraging and I spent some time crying over it.

On Monday, my birthday I was a bit tired from all the emotion. We had an easy family day and then Josh said we needed to visit our seller and let him know where things were at. I didn't want to but we did. He was nervous of course but we told him we should know more in the next few days.

It was evening for us but during the middle of the work day in the US when the banker called. Josh asked her to explain some things. As they talked she suggested some changes to the terms that might make things more affordable. When Josh got off the phone she had lowered our monthly payment enough to put it right into our budget! We talked to some folks and got advice and last week requested that the process go forward. We're on our way to getting that house after all!

I don't think it was an accident that it was my birthday. Thank you Lord!

Easter Sunday

Lots going on around here these days! Probably just like at your place; but I couldn't let Easter go by with out posting these shots! At our house the kids get an Easter basket, a hollow egg filled with candy and a plush toy type of carrot hidden for each of them. Josh lets them decide what level of difficulty they want. And then he does the hiding. If they want a clue they must pay one piece of candy. I wish you could have heard Blake's war cry, echoed by Luke, when he'd been looking for half an hour and I suggested he just ask for a clue,"NEVER!"
Then we headed to church for an outreach concert. During the concert was a drama that really impacted Luke. He kept telling Kendra that Jesus died. She wanted to soften the blow and said, "No he just went to sleep and then he woke up." But Luke was adamant. So later I told him that Jesus did die. But he did something else after that! He rose again! After a long interactive explanation he told Kendra that "Jesus did die. Mommy told me. But then Jesus come back and kick those bad guys." The two year old testosterone filled boy version!

Special Days

Just a few shots of some of the sweet moments that we are in the midst of these days! Glorija and Sebastian brought baby Patrik to his first team meeting this month! We took the opportunity to pray for him and bless him as friends, family and the generation going before him. We pray that he'll grow to be a strong man of God in this country.
A visit from our dear friend Becca McMartin! Here's the classic photo I have of the kids with her! Every visit she reads to the kids from the best books. And I don't know who laughs harder, the kids or her! This time the favorite was, "I will surprise my friend" by Mo Willems. It cracks me up that from Blake to Luke they are all laughing and enjoying Becca's reading! Becca returns to the US this summer and we are going to miss these times with her.

The mom of Blake's best friend works at the zoo here in Ljubljana. They invited us to for a free day to celebrate the 60th anniversary. Top favorites? Getting to read the map and call the shots of what to see next, and the petting zoo.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

House Update

In our last update Josh mentioned that the loan we applied for was rejected. In our discourament we sort of laughed and said that maybe someone should tell the folks who've been supporting us financially for the last 18 years that we aren't a good investment!

I didn't think to put it on the blog since it was in our newsletter. Sorry about that. So that's the reference in my last post. We've talked with the owner and he knows our situation. We've got a very capable man in the states who is working on our situation, and we believe that our God is working on our situation!

We believe that, just like Heb. 11:6 says, "he rewards those who earnestly seek him" And that we've been doing that through this process. We just don't know what our reward will be yet. Just that he's asked us to take these steps and that he has something in mind! Thanks for praying with us!

Friday, April 03, 2009

God's grocery cart

Last month our friend Claudia invited us to join her and her husband in Garmisch, Germany for a weekend. We got to stay at a hotel (much to our kids delight who are used to youth hostels or camping!),visit the US Military restaurants and facilities and have a wonderful connection as a family and with our dear friends!Claudia also treated us to a grocery trip to the US Commissary where she instructed me to "fill this cart up with whatever you'd like, my treat!" This is the back of the van filled with all our American goodies! This is probably the 3rd time she's taken me to the commissary like this and other times she's done the shopping and then made the 7-8 hour drive to us to deliever them! Despite the fact that this has become a habit with her; it always catches me off gaurd in a way where I feel how unbelievably overwhelming her generosity is. You can see it on her face! It's as if my heaping grocery cart of American goodies that we can live without but sure do enjoy, bringing her joy!
Infact, the first time she did this for us she said something to the effect of, "I just love the visual image! It's so like God! He heaps up our grocery carts with unexpected treats and satisfies our longings even when they aren't necessities!" And each time she brings us groceries she repeats this sentiment. So each time we go to the pantry to pull out some treat it's a brillant reminder that it's God, "who satisfies your desires with good things."
Every week our family watches American Idol and we eat some type of American food. During our trip we got to do that together with Claudia. What a fun night! Right now the Lord has us in a spot where we are learning this lesson from another angle. We do believe that he will satisfy our desire for a home in Slovenia with something good. And although we don't know in what way or what good thing he'll choose; we are resting confidently in his goodness. It's good to to trust him!