Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Move is Closer Than Ever

We're up to our eyeballs in stuff! I've definitely come to the conclusion that unorganized people should not move overseas! Trying to determine what is worthy of your suitcase space or packing allowance is difficult and leaves you asking the question: If we can do without it for a year, how important is it to us anyway?!

We've found a terrific family who will be living in our home starting next week, as we are leaving Sunday. We'll be living in temporary housing until we find a residence to our liking. We'll most likely be in the Kensington area of central London for our temp housing and outside of London for our "permanent" housing.

We had some great intercultural training last week to get us somewhat prepared for life in England. Of course, the initial trip over was a great experience for that as well. The training was excellent in that it focused on culture shock, life as an expat family, support for the expat spouse, among other things. We know our housing will be smaller, certain American things will be unavailable, friends and family will be very far away and that the adjustment will be difficult. But the trainer emphasized the wonderful things that our family would experience, including a closeness and increased confidence in our own family unit. Overall, it was a very valuable experience.

Of course, you may be wondering why we aren't in London yet, as we were supposed to be there by mid-January. Well, there is a lot of red tape in moving overseas, which we have definitely experienced! The most obvious of that would be our work visa. It has been a slow process, delaying our return. But now, all seems to be clicking along, so we should be able to leave on Sunday as planned.

Any prayers offered on behalf our family during this transition would be so appreciated.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Recently Overheard in Our Kitchen

New word for you from dd4...


as in the wooden pointy thing that goes into your mouth after a meal. Or the kind of instrument one might use to see if a cake is done. That's right - she meant tooothpick! She does have an interesting way of saying things!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh, Happy Day!

I'm learning to live in the moment, to enjoy the most simple things in life, due to our currently stressful life situation. Right now, the moment goes something like this...

I hear the dishwasher humming in the background behind me. (Thank you God for the gift of a dishwasher and clean water).

My two girls are playing house. Oldest is the mommy and baby is, well...the baby! They're dressed up in fancy ball gowns and plastic shoes. Oldest has just tucked baby in with some board books and "read" each one so sweetly. Every few minutes, baby gets down from the couch to come and give me a kiss and hug, explaining it to me this way, "Wan gib you hug!" (Thank you Lord for these moments of sweet getting along between sisters.)

My oldest is behind me enjoying "My Father's Dragon". He started reading it this morning and is already on Chapter 7! He's a voracious reader. I'm enjoying listening to him laugh at the predicaments that Elmer Elevator is getting into on the wild island. (Thank you God for a boy who loves to learn.)

Living simply in these moments, I can better enjoy the gifts of God by paying attention to my life, instead of focusing on stressful situations that I cannot control.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Recent I-Tunes Downloads

I love itunes. Hubby got me a new ipod for Christmas and I also got some itunes cards. So, here are some of my recent downloads:

*She Must and Shall Go Free (whole album) by Derek Webb (used to be with Caedman's Call)- edgy, provocative, and convicting lyrics
*Between the Dreaming and the Coming True (whole album) by Bebo Norman - love Bebo!
*'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus (one song) by the Martins - great acapella tune
*Glory (one song) by Selah and Nicole Nordeman -- heard it on local Christian radio - had to have it!
*Come Away with Me (whole album) by Norah Jones - Do you have any Norah? If not you need some!
*Amazing (whole album) by Parachute Band -- My friend, Pam, got me into them
*If You Say Go (one song) by Rachel Milstead --Gee, wonder why I chose that one?!
*Awesome God by Sovereign Grace Ministries -- a GREAT children's CD (whole album). I love it as much as my kids do!

What do YOU have on your ipod?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Surprised By Trees

I am not a fan of winter weather. It seems to me that Christmas is fine for snow, but beyond that I have no use for it. It is cold, and I crave hot. It is dark and I need light. So, imagine my surprise today when God showed up for me in the winter weather.

We've had quite a snow and ice storm these past few days in Indiana. I ventured out into it yesterday and it was nasty! Slushy, snowy, freezing rain. Then hubby called while I was sitting perusing Beth Moore's newest book and sipping my mocha at Barnes and Noble. (I have a sitter on Tuesdays.) He told me to get home because he had heard that the weather was getting worse. I bought a few books --"The Great Omission" by Dallas Willard, "Confessions of an Amateur Believer" by Patty Kirk nd the latest "Leadership" magazine and "Simple Scrapbooks" magazine-- then I dutifully obeyed my smart husband and headed home.

By this time, the rain was coming down frozen, and the roads were very slick. Actually, they were more like solid sheets of ice. Trees and power lines were being coated with ice. While traveling a tree-lined street on the way home, I heard a crack, and glanced up just in time to see an ice-covered branch smack the street in front of me. The ice was so heavy, the branch had bowed under the weight. So, needless to say, I was glad to get home and since it continued to rain and snow well into the night, I was happy to stay in all day today with my kiddos.

Hubby called before coming home this evening and offered to take the kiddos and me out for a Valentine's Day dinner. I laugh when I reminisce about our long, lingering Valentine's Day dinners of years past. Tonight we went to family-friendly Cracker Barrell and had a ball with our children. On the way to the restaurant, our family beheld the most amazing sight.

It was the time of day that photographers refer to as the magic hour. The sun was just ready to set and the light from the sun was casting a glow all over the earth. And then we saw them...the covered and full of crystal-like brilliance. It's times like this that I wish I were a better writer, so that I could convey to you the glassy splendor of these trees. The ice was slathering the trees, tall trees that lined the highway, from bottom to top. And the sun was casting just the right light to illuminate the tops of the trees as if they were lit with millions of tiny Christmas lights! It was absolutely breathtaking. The children, their father, and I were in awe, praising God all the way to the restaurant for his creativity, and for allowing us to be surrounded by the majesty and beauty of His creation. My middle daughter, who appreciates nature to the fullest, often teaching her parents a thing or two about wonder, commented all the way to our destination. She was really appreciating God's handiwork as usual. And I was humbled because I am usually complaining about the snow and ice. My sweet Jesus amazed me with Himself. The Creator of heaven and earth reached down and touched my soul through the beauty of His glassy trees.

From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? Job 38:29

You alone, o Lord. You alone.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Little Pitchers With Big Ears

You know the Englishness is rubbling off when your four year old daughter who is playing with her two year old sister and their new cash register looks at sister and says, "That will be 186 pounds please." And we aren't even there yet! Guess all this talk of England is being heard and imitated....