Saturday, March 29, 2014

Before and After

We've been in our house for two years and eight months.
It's so awesome that we are here!
And we are in project mode around here.
And we are not packing.
Our boxes are tucked away in the attic.
And our house is looking awesome!

Steve just found new furniture on Craig's List.
We have a bit more painting to do.
And decorating.
And 1/2 of the kitchen and laundry room.
Then we'll be finished with the downstairs!

Before

After

Before

After

Before

Before

After

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Full Plate

We have a lot going on right now.

The P4O retreat is only a week away.
There are still lots of details to finalize.
Name tags, welcome packets, gifts and cards for the ladies, and more!
We have 46 ladies coming, and 5 exhibitors, including Mavuno.

As soon as the retreat is over, both Shiloh and Landon have Memory Master testing.
Then, they both have online assessment testing.
So, we are working hard to push through to both of these big tests.

A day after Shiloh finishes her online test, Shawnie and I leave for India.
We are ironing out the details now.
Melanie is planning quite the trip for us.
Without a doubt, we will come home completely exhausted!

Here's an 8 minute video about My Choices, where Melanie is currently working.
We will visit their centers in addition to the leper colony.
Our hope is to add artisan groups to our buying circle.
We want to add ladies we can buy directly from, with a smaller middle man.




My Choices Sustainability Program from My Choices on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Murphy


We got Murphy in December.
He has been the sweetest dog.
He's (mostly) obedient, potty trained, he stays downstairs, he's a snuggler ...
but lately, he has started biting people!

Just today, when I got home, he came out to the garage with Steve.
A gal had parked on the street to visit the guy next door.
Murphy saw her, charged her, and bit her knee!
Thankfully, she was wearing jeans and he didn't break the skin, but I could certainly see the teeth marks.

As soon as it happened, we remembered the other times it has happened.
He has charged Wesley and Daniel, 6 and 9 year old boys in the neighborhood.
Both of them were going into our back yard to play when Murphy got out and snapped at them.
Landon remembered that he did the same thing to a man when they were out walking.
He also bit the big white dog in Cuchara.

In every case, he was not threatened.  None of the people were even walking toward him.
It's a HUGE bummer, but it seems to be that we are going to have to get rid of Murphy!  =(
After all the frustration I felt over Steve getting us a dog to begin with,
I've grown to like Murphy.  He's a very sweet dog.

He will most certainly be missed!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Tanners


We got to spend an entire day with Dan, Bethany, and little Reuben Tanner!
They got to our house yesterday about 10:30 am and stayed until almost 9pm.
We had such a good time!
I got to see photos of Mavuno Village - and all the changes.
They told us stories and shared their hopes and vision.

Truly, it breathes life into my soul.
Just talking about Africa.
Seeing pictures.
Hearing stories.

They have such great vision for the future.
Any and all of my questions and concerns were addressed and answered.

They have really struggled with the Helsby's decision to leave.
They really do have a mess on their hands.
And they have lost a close friendship.

We talked about their desire to start a primary school.
We talked about job creation through agriculture.
Both ideas for which Steve and I have a vision.

I hope.
I pray.
Maybe one day we have more of a future with Mavuno Village!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

AIM



So, back in November, we met with Al Dobra, Africa Inland Mission's regional administrator.
We wanted to begin a discussion about the possibility about going with AIM.
Our desire is to work with Dan and Bethany at Mavuno Village.
Since they are on staff with AIM, that seems to be the path we should also take.

After our meet and greet with Al,
we submitted a preliminary questionnaire in December.
On February 3rd, Steve put our application on hold.

Nevertheless, Al reached out to us again.
He came to the house on Saturday to discuss our situation and plans to continue with our application.
I don't know why, but it was a difficult conversation for me.
It was hard to know what to tell him.
I would love to be moving forward with our application, knowing that the application process is quite long.
It could be that if it's not what God has for us, then He would close the doors.

But with Steve having never been to Africa, it's hard to move forward.
I have the vision.
I have the passion.
Steve, however, is 100 steps behind me.
That's not unusual for us.
I often charge out ahead, far ahead.
Steve gets left behind.
Then I wonder if he even wants to catch up.

Why is it that I spend much time thinking about Tanzania?
Why do I long to go there?
I'd like to say it's because of vision, not because of discontentment.
But honestly, I don't know that I know my own heart.
I don't really know what's going on inside.

So for now, we will shove it to the back burner.
And tomorrow, we get to enjoy some time with the Tanners!!!
I'm super excited that they are coming here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

P4O

The deadline to get the early bird registration rate for the retreat ended on the 10th.
On the 7th, I had to cancel rooms.
In my hope (faith) I reserved 40 rooms and believed that 80 ladies would come.

But I dropped 15 rooms, leaving us with 25.
Instead of 80 ladies registered, we have 40.

I'm struggling to fight off discouragement.
Waiting.
Trusting.
God will bring who He chooses.
He knows who should be there.
But I feel disappointed.
Like it or not, numbers reflect growth.
Numbers reflect health.
A loss of numbers reflects quite the opposite.

I hope God chooses to send a few more, but my expectations are low.
And so, I press on.
I believe that God will use me to minister to those who come.

But maybe more importantly, I will ask Him ...
What does He want to teach me through disappointment?
How can I better handle discouragement?
Why do I feel discouraged?
How does God see this event?
Certainly, He does not feel the same discouragement and disappointment as I.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

?

Some days, I just don't know what to write.
Those days can turn into weeks still I have few words.

Not much has been happening.
We've had a 2 week break from CC.
We've tried to plug along with school.

I've been working not P4O details.
So far, we only have 40 gals registered.
(down from 64 last year)

Shawnie and I got our visa applications sent in for our India trip.
I have continued to email Melanie and Eileen to work out details.
Other than the fact that it's going to be HOT, it should be awesome.

I surprised Steve with a concert - Francesca Battiselli.
It was fun, but FAR too loud.  My pants vibrated from the bass!

We have finally left Heritage!
I honestly just reached a point where I couldn't take anymore.
It's a dying church with bad leadership.
I miss Mars Hill Church!  I so wish there was one here.
But instead, we have been visiting Front Range, a new church plant.
It's been good.  Ernest is a young pastor with much excitement and passion.
But again - the music is FAR too loud!
What's up with that?

Today, I'm fighting off a cold.
I have a sore throat.
But it's 65 degrees today.
And I have more house work to do than I care to even think about.

So, with that - I guess I'll get up and get to work!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

44


On this cold, foggy, frosty day, my Sweetie is turning 44.
First, we will have a small celebration with Shawnie at my parents house.
Although mom and dad will miss out as they are heading home from Mexico.
Then, Shawnie is going to watch the kids so I can take him out for dinner and maybe coffee.

Mom and I planned a surprise for Friday.
So, we get to celebrate again then!

I know that Steve wishes he were doing something else at this stage in his life.
He wishes that choices he made led him to a different place.
BUT I have no doubt that we are right where God wants us.  
Steve is right where God wants him.

Steve has a good heart.
He's a dear friend and a loving father.
He's faithful, loyal, teachable, and passionate.
I am thankful to be his wife.

Happy birthday, Steve!