Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Whirlwind trip to Europe!!

 (This is a picture taken outside of Notre Dame Cathedral.  Dillon slept through most off the cool stuff.)

WOW!!  So I think we've recovered from our trip.  Dillon had a rough case of jet lag followed by a little stomach virus but I think life is settling back into the real world.  We're so thankful that we were able to travel as a family and experience a little piece of life in these European cities.  We didn't come back knowing for sure what we would do next, but we have a much better picture and know what questions we need to ask going forward.  But let's start from the beginning.

So I know a few months ago I posted about the need for Evangelical churches in Europe, but in my heart I was still skeptical.  I thought, sure, but there have been Christians in Europe for centuries so the church will  be fine.  But in visiting the cities of Paris, Marseille, and Belgrade, God changed my heart.  In France, for example, the reformation never happened.  They violently repressed any group with ideas contrary to the Catholic church.  So there are relics of Catholicism everywhere, but few whose hearts have been changed by the gospel.  It's a similar story in Belgrade.  It's said to be Serbian is to be Orthodox, but the church is becoming less relevant.

In these two countries, some have a grandmother who went to church or they may celebrate Christian holidays, but there are other places in Europe where this isn't even true.  In some countries, most do not even know a Christian.  Most Europeans don't wonder if Jesus is the way, they don't even ask themselves if there is a God.  So we could sit at a cafe in Paris for example, a city of 20 million, and we may not see another Christian even though hundreds of people walk past.

We were humbled by the lostness and burdened for the work started.  Though living in Europe may seem like an easy thing to do, we saw the struggles of the missionaries.  Some who have lived in Europe for at least 5 years and still have not seen a church planted (and not for lack of effort or reliance on God).  We believe that God is moving, but it is slow work.

So what now?  We came home burdened to pray for Europe and the church planters there.  We also came home desiring to return.  We don't know exactly when or where, but we are ready and willing.  Because of Drew's degree program at the Seminary, we know that there are job openings that we could apply for.  We expect to wait another year before we leave unless God directs otherwise.  Please continue to pray for us as we continue to seek God's will for our family.  This has definitely been a life changing process for us as we are trying to learn what it means to submit to God, and to our local church, and follow where he leads.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


(This is a picture of an eruv that I found at http://bokertov.typepad.com/btb/2007/12/boulder-eruv-fr.html)

I was watching the Daily Show from Wednesday night and one of the reports was about an eruv that Orthodox Jews want to put up around Westhampton Beach.  I don't know a whole lot about Orthodox Judaism, but according to myjewishlearning.com and wikipedia (I know, not the most reliable sources) the eruv is an enclosure around a home or a community that allows observant Jews to carry things on the Sabbath.  Basically, God told the Jewish people not to work on the Sabbath.  Jewish scholars include carrying babies and other things within this command to not work.  Obviously, if you have a baby you have to pick him up and, by this definition, work even on the Sabbath.  So they created the idea of the eruv.  It is a symbolic wall set up and within this "wall" you are allowed to carry certain things on the Sabbath.  The segment on the Daily Show was about discrimination and some other things, but as Drew and I have been memorizing Romans 8 with our church family and this idea of an eruv really caught my attention.

The way I see it, the Orthodox Jews know that they cannot fulfil the law.  They (and we) are not capable of doing everything that God requires.  These Jews also know that they will be judged according to the law.  So they have created a loophole.  They are still breaking the law, but they can feel justified because of their human tradition.  As a Christian, I am so thankful that I do not have to rely on tradition to feel justified.  God's word tells me "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you, through Christ Jesus, from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature.  But God put into effect a new plan to save us.  He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful.  God destroyed sin's control over our lives by giving his son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fulfilled for those who no longer follow their sinful nature but instead follow the Holy Spirit."  Romans 8: 1-4 NLT.  How wonderful that we do not have to rely on ourselves to fulfill the law on our own, or to create our own loopholes, but we can simply turn to Christ and God has done it for us!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Well, we have already had an exciting 2011.  We've visited Arkansas twice and gotten to see so much of our family and so many friends, but of course we NEVER get to see everyone we would like, or have enough time.  Traveling with a 3 month old was adventure enough for us!  We drove back right after Christmas and were so blessed that Dillon slept most of the drive, except when we got stuck in a traffic jam.  The second trip was unexpected for my grandmother's funeral so we flew.  And we were again thankful that Dillon did so well.  He loved looking at all the people and was willing to stay on our laps the whole flight. 

We've been so amazed at how much he has grown in the past 2 months.  He can even roll over!  He's started babbling which has been so fun.  And every day he's becoming more and more expressive.   In the past couple days he's even gotten to play his own little version of catch and practiced trowing frisbees with his daddy.  We're so thankful for our little one and how big he's getting!!

Our church, Sojourn Community Church, is continuing to grow and our campus has had to split from one to two services!  One of the things we love about our church is that we have community groups that meet througout the week instead of Sunday School.  Our groups talk about the sermon from Sunday and it helps us apply what we've learned and dig a little deeper.  Since our church is growing, they are always in need of new groups to start meeting and Drew and I are hoping to multiply from our current group so that both new groups can have room to grow!  We are really excited about this opportunity to get more involved!

Another opportunity that we have is coming this summer.  We are hoping to be able to go with our church to visit our missionaries in Western Europe.  This is a unique trip to not only pray for the cities, talk about Jesus, and encourage the missionaries, but they will be sharing their vision with us.  The hope is that Sojourn can learn how to better partner with these families, and that those on the trip would catch their vision and decide to partner with their church planting team.  Sojourn has a great vision of not sending individuals or families on their own, but to send them in teams with other families and we might have the opportunity of joining an existing team in either Paris or Rome.  There are a lot of things that we need to work through, but we think that this trip will be invaluable to clarifying our call to missions.  A good friend has told Drew that he thinks our family could thrive in Western Europe and we want to take that seriously.  Even though it was once home to many Christian heroes, Europe is now a spiritually dark place, with less than 2% evangelical Christians.  The society is now post Christian, because the people see Christianity as a thing of the past and think that they have gotten over the need for religion.  It is clear to us that Western Europe has a desperate need for the Gospel.

The trip is at the beginning of June and Dillon will be 8 months old by then.  When you think of us, pray that we can be prepared to take an 8 month old all the way to Europe and that he will travel well not only on the long plane ride but as we travel between cities.  Please also pray for us as we raise support.  We can't go if we don't raise the funds for the trip, a big chunk of it over the next week.  If we don't go this summer, there may not be another good time.  We feel that it is important to go as a family and this is our best opportuity before Drew finishes school in a couple years.  Pray that we will be diligent and that God's people will be generous.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

7 Weeks!

3 weeks, 7 weeks... If I were better at this blogging thing, I would have waited for 1 month and I'd wait for 2 months. But I know myself and I know if I try to wait for next week, this won't happen and I really am trying to keep our family and friends posted on what's going on in our little man's world.
I'm really amazed at how much this little one has grown!! Every day it seems like he does something new! Right now it seems like his favorite thing is to stare at the lamp in our living room. Our favorite thing is that he's started to recognize mommy and daddy and he smiles when he sees us!! We love that we can make him so happy!
We're also getting better at life as a family of 3. It takes longer to get ready to go anywhere, and lots of planning. I'm not sure how many times I've gotten out and forgotten wipes or an extra outfit. I've learned to improvise, but also to be better prepared. I do have to say I'm so thankful to be able to breastfeed so when we're out and he gets hungry I don't have to be super prepared, he just needs mama.
I'm also thankful for my amazing husband. He has done such a great job all semester at working so hard to provide for us and get all our bills paid on time and still get his homework done for his class. I'm thankful that I get to stay home with our little man and take care of our home and our family. I'm excited,now that we're starting to figure things out and Dillon is settling into longer naps and a more regular feeding schedule, to find ways to get more involved in our church and minister to other women.
While Dillon sleeps, I've baked and pureed a pumpkin to make a great dip and homemade ginger snaps to go with it! I'm starting to learn how to cook while Dillon's sleeping to have dinner ready. So I can buy fewer processed foods and make healthier and less expensive meals! I love learning more about my new role as homemaker and how I can best help my husband at home!
I'm trying to post pictures on facebook and update our blog often enough so you can all see how much our little man is growing and changing! Thanks for loving our family so much!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Meeting MawMaw

Meeting Nan

Going home

First trip to church!

First round of disc golf!

Friday, October 8, 2010

3 Weeks

*So I typed all of this up on Tuesday and tried to post pictures with it, but then our internet messed up and I got frustrated... So I'll post the pics later. Also, we heard today that his last cystic fibrosis test came back normal!! Praising the Lord for sure!*

The past few weeks have been the most amazing and hardest weeks of our lives! It's hard to believe that this little person who has changed our lives completely wasn't around 3 weeks ago! We can't say enough good things about our delivery experience! The hospital was amazing, the nurses were awesome and so supportive of our decision to not have an epidural! I was working on no sleep, we definitely didn't expect my water to suddenly break at 2 in the morning, but everyone was so great and helpful! Drew especially was so supportive, I definitely couldn't have done it without him! Then after 16 hours our sweet son was here!

Dillon got to meet his mommy, daddy, mawmaw, daddy Jim, poppy and nan! Lots of people were there to welcome him and love on him! I don't remember a whole lot from that night, I was so ready for bed, but I do remember so many people being excited about his arrival!

The biggest shock came when it was time to leave the hospital... and take Dillon with us! It was definitely a surreal feeling to suddenly have an extra member of our family! I am so thankful that my mom and dad were able to stay with us that first week. It was so great to have them as we started adjusting to our new family life.

Our friends at church have also been amazing! They have brought such amazing food!! I still haven't had to cook a meal because of them and a few meals from the freezer (thanks to my dear mother-in-law!)

We have had our share of adventures with this little man already. We went home from the hospital on Wednesday and had to go see his pediatrician on Thursday because they thought he might have a jaundice problem. That turned out to be fine, but they started worrying about how much weight he had lost. So we started going back to check his weight every 2 days... We also got to see a cardiologist and he had a hip ultrasound, not because they thought anything was wrong but because there was a family history of problems. The poor thing has seen a Dr. more days than he hasn't! Finally, at his 2 week check-up his Dr. said he might be gaining too much weight!

We also had our first experience having to really rely on and trust God for our child. We got a phone call saying that his results from a cystic fibrosis screening came back abnormal. We now know that I am not a carrier so there's no way Dillon has this disease and that there seems to be some sort of problem at the lab where they send these tests because so many are coming back abnormal, but at the time we were really scared. Drew came home from work and we prayed and cried and called family and took him back to the hospital to have them take blood again. That was not what we expected. We can't tell you how thankful we are for our family and friends, for all your prayers and for information about how inaccurate these screenings are. We're also thankful for a powerful God who we can trust. Even if Dillon has CF, we can trust that God would be glorified! Well, the results of the 2nd screening also came back abnormal and we have to take him to another hospital early tomorrow morning for some sort of sweat test. So much for our week without seeing a doctor! And a couple days later we should know for sure that he does not have cystic fibrosis!

So that's our first 3 weeks in a nutshell. We've also had plenty of fun learning his personality (so lucky he's happy and laid back like his daddy!) and introducing him to new things, like taking him to church and to play disc golf! We're excited to get to watch our little man continue to grow!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is it Christmas yet?

So our due date has passed us by and we're ready to keep waiting. Drew says it's like waking up on Christmas morning and your mom saying, "No, Christmas is tomorrow." Then you wake up tomorrow and she says the same thing. I have never seen this man so excited about anything! I love it!!
But we also know that on average first babies are about a week "late" so we're not trying to speed things along just yet. God decided when we would he would let us conceive and He can best decide when Dillon will will be born! Our Dr. said that if he's not born by my appointment next week that we would need to start talking about how we can encourage labor to start, but we would much rather everything start all on its own.
So, yes, we're still waiting and may be waiting for several more days. We so appreciate your prayers! Especially on days when I don't feel good and I'm just ready to not be pregnant anymore. We're so thankful to have so many friends to encourage and pray for us!