Monday, October 27, 2008

NOW and THEN (take 3)

The NOW and the THEN

The NOW and the THEN

NOW and THEN (take 2)

The NOW and the THEN

The NOW and the THEN


The NOW and the THEN

The NOW and the THEN

More to come!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"oh, the places you'll go..." TOP TEN

(warning this is a lengthy post)
When I graduated from high school my family shared a book with me: Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr Seuss. This is a typical gift for the gradute to receive. A "GO GET'm" type of book. It serves as an encouraging word to pump up the individual into the ambition-filled mindset needed to make it in the world today. When I think back to this book, the discussions and encouragement from my parents I am greeted with a smile and a sigh.
Boy were they right...OH, the PLACES I would go...

1) a small town in Alberta, Canada where I would study the Bible. The comedy of the location was not that it was nestled next to the rocky mountains (and I only went there twice), but that my home away from home was formerly a youth detention center (prison) turned Bible College (redemption at its best).

2) a two week trip to Israel, via Great Britain. An adventure in seeing the Bible come alive. The comedy of going to a place known as, "David's tomb" to find that a) no one died there nor was burried there, b) especially king David...there were many instances of that.

3) a three year adventure in Chicago (known as College). I completed my undergraduate degree with many journeys...I invested myself in people...and I went to classes too...that was until I found a foreign land named "Chipotle." I should apologize to my Psychology professor for my skewed commitments to academia...or maybe the guilt is that I didn't bring her a burrito.

4) a path that led to marriage. Twice. Yes that's right. Two weddings, one marriage, one beautiful bride, many tears (most good), and no divorce. I could go on, but it is much more enjoyable to tell in person. Just ask us at some time...when you have time (a lot of time).

5) a road that led to Nebraska. To be more specific a church in the middle of a corn field. This town of hard-working and family-oriented folk welcomed us and walked a journey of pain and faith-deepening community... We are humbled and grateful for their partnership in life and ministry.

6) another road (I-80) which led to the burbs of Chicago and graduate school. As we shared our "call" with our family and new found loved ones we ventured toward the "big, scary, and dangerous" Chi-town...we convinced ourselves and others that it was the right choice.

7) a place of utter humility. Life had a funny way of reminding me that when I am weak, HE is strong. A life held together by a thread of experience of grace that only God can give. Mmmm...Grace...that's Good Stuff! For those who have not experienced that Grace...imagine a bathtub filled with Skittles, DOTS, Swedish Fish, AND Diet Dr. Pepper and it is ALL for you (Yeah...THAT good!)

8) a journey of sadness. (Trying to get pregnant...and not being able to)

9) a destination of complete joy. Once our home (see previous and I'm sure future posts) is completed we will finish the Home Study and then we prayerfully open our doors and heart to the child(ren) that God gives us. We have already been BLOWN AWAY by the presence of God through our friends and family since we said the word "adoption." We have prayed for God to work out the finances (average infant adoption currently is 15k-35k), emotions, and lead the process. Funny, how we are still shocked when we randomly receive a check in the mail, or extra change to put in our "baby jar?" Why? Because as faith-filled as we are, we still find ourselves humbled by the actual love and care that God has for us.

And who would have imagined of all the places I would go (towns, countries and regions)...of all the people and circumstances I would encounter... I would find the following...

10) an outdoor, self serve, insert your money and out comes Live Bait machine...Really?! Oh yes it is true...and I have proof. (see image). This can only serve as confirmation that God has a sense of humor...and some people take fishing FAR TOO seriously. I can only imagine what my loved ones in NE must be thinking now of the Chicagoland area.
Where has your journey taken you? Its ok to share...go ahead and do it...
Tell Me A Story!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lights. Camera. Action.

It is starting to feel like home...Here is a synopsis of today's events:

Today we celebrated the dedication of our little guy, Liam Buki (LOVE HIM! Clarification we are Liam's Godparents...not his parent:)). What a celebration it was at church.

After church we spent some quick but enjoyable time with the Craigs (Blake and Jilly).

Then our dear friends the Smiths (and their nephew Eric) came over to help with the house projects...Many hands make light work...Or in our case; many hands make the significant amount of work a little lighter! They arrived 1pm(ish) and we all stopped for supper about 5 hours later. Fans were hung. Furniture moved. Lights installed. Furniture moved again. Oh the house is beginning (slowly) to look like a home. WOW! Thank you God. Soon this will be a place to welcome a little one to. I will stop rambling and post a few pictures of today's accomplishments.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Whole New World...

Granite. A FOREIGN concept to say the least. We are not granite people. It is for the wealthy, fancy and trendy. We are not any of those...and YET, we now have Granite in our main floor bathroom AND our kitchen. What is happening to us? Have we come into some vast amount of money? No. Are we trying to impress people? Nope. Are we seeking the "natural" life by inviting the great outdoors (stone) into our house? Nah. We have some AMAZING new friends and neighbors next door.

In fact, we laughed when we first moved in seeing the "granite" advertisement on the side of our neighbors truck in the driveway. We found humor knowing that we were never going to have the funding (a pastor and teacher salary only goes so far...usually enough to pay for groceries and gas) to have him come over and give us an estimate... Oh the Irony. He, Kurt, and his wife Rachel are wonderful. We have immediately befriended them and their children. It was before we even moved into the home that I called him to get his ideas on a bathroom fix (after a disappointing experience with our Electrician). He gave us ideas, and then said he would "take care of us." He wasn't kidding. A week later our bathroom vanity was topped off with a custom measured and installed granite top. (WOW!!! IT was beautiful. and affordable).

He said...when you get ready for the kitchen give me a call...we thanked him and moved forward on the renovation. It was time for the kitchen...We priced laminate, and then called Kurt. As you can tell from the pictures...He gave us a Great deal and again we have been humbled in this home renovation process.

(SIDE NOTE: Truth be told...Sunni and I both felt VERY OVERWHELMED by the process of picking out the actual slab of granite from the warehouse. I mean, it felt like we were on an HGTV show and our budget was endless...)

I will never say that God blessed me with granite. To be honest it just doesn't mean that much to me. But God certainly has blessed us with friends and family who continue to feed into us; encouragement, hope and love. We are overflowing with appreciation for the beloved people who point us back to Christ on a daily basis. We are blessed! (and the counter tops look great too;)