Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Raising Awareness, Raising Funds

If you have been a reader of this blog very long then you know of our many goodbyes over the past few years as friends have packed up and moved across oceans to serve in the mission field on foreign soil.

At first I took it as a cruel joke that the friend who I felt the most "me" with, was now plane rides away in Zambia. 

And then another family whose kids were close friends of ours is making Papua New Guinea their new home for the next 25+ years.

And Hannah, introverted Hannah, who was so excited to make a friend in Kindergarten, had to say goodbye 2 months later as her friend's family moved to Poland.  
The map that hangs in our house, a daily reminder for prayer and frugality

And there are more.

I am so thankful to be a part of a Sending Church, a Sending Community.  But with that comes some responsibility.

When Paul and I were first married 14 years ago we both felt called to serve in the Mission Field.  Despite different attempts and pursuits, overseas missions never materialized for us.  For a while I was confused.  Why was this placed on my heart, but yet every door was closed that we tried to pursue?

But now, over these past few years of us saying Goodbye, doing the Sending and never doing the  Going, God has made it clear that we are to be in a different role.

At least for now.

Prayer Warriors.  We send by praying.

And financially.  It is our desire to be able to support all the friends we have who have Gone.  Currently that is 13 families/couples.

Our goal is to live minimally off our income and give the majority of our money away.  Given that we are both frugal people, we have a decent handle on that (but still there are struggles!), but it still wasn't enough.

Enter Rodan + Fields.  In November I signed on as a Consultant with this Direct Sales company.  I've used their products for over a year and have loved what it has done for my skin.  

My plan is that all commissions that I make off selling Rodan+Fields Products will go to support our friends in the mission field.

My commission goes to support the Great Commission.

To find out more about the products click on the 
RODAN+FIELDS link at the top right of this page.

I'm not sure where all this journey will take me, but I know that if God led us to it, He will lead us through it.

And whether He keeps us here in America, or ends up leading up to a whole 'nother country, that is the only road I want to be on.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

December Lookback

Ah, December.  The month of ALL OF THE THINGS.

December kept us moving but it was all good.

Thankful for extended family time, random warm weather, a date night, a chance to sleep in, and the the daily reminder of why we need Jesus.

The Suvar Christmas.  We hosted at our house this year. 
13 people under one roof for  3 days.   It worked.

Grandma teaching the granddaughters how to make traditional Slavic nutbreads.

And eating the traditional Vilja dinner

The next weekend we were with the Steffen side.  I forgot my camera (grrr) so had to work with my mediocre camera phone. meh.

Nieces!  All those cheeks need squeezed and kissed.

Cousin love.  Madeline wanted to hold all the children 3 and under.  
Unfortunately only the 7 month old was willing.

We took one evening and drove around the city seeing all of the Christmas lights.  I love taking our kids to see this display; something I grew up seeing every Christmas.

Christmas break was wonderful.  I got to have non-stressed Paul for 2 weeks.  Yes.

I got this shirt for Paul for Christmas.  He wasn't sure about wearing it in public because then people would know that he qualified for Boston.  I told him just to tell them his wife got it for him. :)

Enjoying our Christmas "picnic"

And a Christmas morning attempt at taking a picture of the kids by the tree.  Where's the third....?

She was not interested.

Friday, January 1, 2016

As family we go

 Rend Collective's "As Family We Go" has been my anthem song this past year and most likely will carry into this current one. 

A song of praise for the One who has led us through both triumph and defeat, mountain tops and valleys low.

And He has given us family to walk it with us.  Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, into 2016...

Your grace will never be forgot
Your mercy all my life
Will be my soul's forever song
My story and my light

 January: Paul turns 33!

 February:  a get away weekend with long-time friends

From mountaintop to valley low
Through laughter and through tears
Surely the goodness of my God
Will follow all the years

 March:  Spring Break at Pokagon State Park

 April: Mud puddle fun

 May: Madeline graduates Preschool and a weekend trip to Michigan to meet up with friends

In all our failures and regrets
You've always led us home
Redemption's arm has raised us up
Our triumph in the storm

 June: long awaiting excavating project, and just in time: over 11 inches of rain in one month!  

June also had baseball games and a family vacation to Virgina

 For all that You have done, for us
For every battle won
We'll raise a song to bless Your heart
For all that You have done

 July: the long-anticipated arrival of the Wiegands and a trip to Illinois for a reunion and to see Grandma Jane

 August: last swim party with the Muellers since next summer they will be in Papua New Guinea.  And our youngest starts Kindergarten!

 September: family campouts and baseball games

 October: evening walks and running the Columbus marathon

 November: an early snow and celebrating Thanksgiving with family

 December:  family get togethers, farewell to the Muellers, taking in Christmas lights, and celebrating Christ's birth

In unity we'll stand as one
As family we'll go
Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand
Into the great unknown.