Its Always Sunny on Tuesday

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Chewelah Valley

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Dressing up Baby Evangeline. G loves to pick out pretty dresses for her sister to wear.

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Spring in the Japanese Gardens at Manito Park

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Enjoying the WA heat wave

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Waitts Lake

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Action Shot. Et actually caught some air here.

Did we really just have lunch and swim with my missionary friend back from the Ukraine? I am utterly amazed and totally blessed! God is so good to arrange us being in the same place at the same time together. Our kids hit it off beautifully and our husbands found much in common between a love for good steak, ice cream, and American wives.

Its been unusually hot this spring in Washington. As a result the lilacs are blooming early and the mosquitoes are thick and heavy. Gert and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary by running 12k’s on May 5th. We participated in Bloomsday, one of the largest races in the country. It was quite an experience with 50,000 people and since I couldn’t walk properly for 2 days, I felt my t-shirt was well earned.

Our kids are doing so well in school, even Gabrielle is beginning to read. I’m amazed at this as she has had no formal instruction, just picking it up from her siblings. Homeschooling is such a natural and rewarding way to teach and learn. Our evenings are full of meetings, softball games, late-night hotdog roasts, and collecting my children from their bikes and neighborhood playmates.

I am trying to fully enjoy each day here, time is going quickly. For some reason, Tuesdays have never been may favorite day of the week. The productive ‘to-do’ list is finished from Monday, and its not mid-week yet. Tuesday is just sort of a filler day. As we say down to breakfast this week, Hope said to me, “Mom, its always sunny on Tuesdays.”

So get out and enjoy the sunshine of Tuesday and all the little moments that make up what we call life.

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Settling into Steven’s County

An early spring has lightly rested on us in Eastern Washington. Its beyond wonderful to rest and enjoy the beautiful mountains, pine needles and tall evergreen trees. I even fought my way into my running shoes this week and made it all of two miles. Part of me wants to just pick up 20 acres of this amazing mountainside and settle in here. But there is a restlessness to our life, a feeling that we don’t belong here. God is keeping the fire burning in us as we prepare to move overseas. Here are a few pictures of our month’s activities!

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They LOVE Awana. There’s something for everyone, and my kids are learning the Word of God at a rate I’ve never seen. This is an unexpected blessing to our family.

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No one can make her laugh like Hope can.

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Little Eva…or Bluejay…Evangeline has a myriad of nicknames so far. We’ll see which one sticks.

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Quilt my mom made for Hope, with one of her old shirts.

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St. Patrick’s Day wreath. For the first time EVER I am having fun doing crafts with the kids! The messes used to stress me out too much. I guess it took 5 kids for me to quit caring if we paint the walls with glue and glitter.

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Chloe before we bottle-fed the calves (thank you for the hats Pat Sherman!). Last week we got our kids dirty on a friend’s dairy farm. It was a great adventure! We had so much fun. This is what I love about homeschooling.

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Hope, the only brave one. And yes, the kids did make the connection between mom’s nursing the baby and milking a cow! There have been some great conversations around our household lately…

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Born just 12 hours ago

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The Pantry. Toshelle is amazing! I could learn so much from this girl! She does it all…dairy farmer’s wife, canning, sprouting, grinding grain, yogurt, cheese-making, the whole bit.

The Latest

Chewelah

Main Street, Chewelah, WA. As my sister says, our own little Shire.

Valentine's Tea

Valentine’s Day Tea. We served our guests rooibos and oh-so-good sugar cookies, brie, and green apples.

Lake Roosevelt in February

Lake Roosevelt in February. So many memories here. It was a privilege to share this experience with my kids.

Columbian Princess

Ferry to Inchelium, WA on the Colville Indian Reservation. We shared at Inchelium Community Church and drove through St. Michael’s Mission. Our childhood home looks much better in my memory before we moved off the reservation!

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Baby Evangeline is four weeks old. We cannot imagine life without her! Thank you God for a new life and new destiny in you. You have ordained praise from her lips to silence your enemies. I am feeling much better after a quite awful post-partum experience. My husband is glad to have his wife back! We are plugging away with homeschool hoping to catch up from the 5 weeks we took off in December. We love and miss our dear friends in Missouri and our little house in the woods. But we press on toward the goal in Christ Jesus! No looking back. Hugs from the Roets’.

Combating Negativity with A Thankful Heart

In keeping with the season of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the power of gratitude. I frequently admire people who seem to walk through life with joy and thanksgiving naturally flowing from them…and then, more often than not, I learn this person has been through a personal tragedy or defeated overpowering obstacles. I believe we have the answer to one of the most common maladies of this day and age! Thankfulness is the answer to depression and anxiety (I am not referring to those clinically depressed, or suffering from anxiety/panic disorders…although I do believe this will improve those conditions greatly too!).

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

This The Weapon!

So when negative thoughts crowd your mind, instead of turning down that road to despair, drop to your knees or reach your hands up and begin to practice thanksgiving. Don’t be disingenuine about your difficulty, struggle, pain, or depression. But begin thanking God for what you have! I recently finished the biography of Joni Eareckson Tada. Now, I have been avoiding this book for years, simply because I knew enough of her story to understand I would be deeply convicted and challenged by it. I was right. When Joni was in the throngs of depression due to her paralysis, bitter and resentful, a friend reminded her of the truth. “I saw people at the long-term care center who were really bad off — blind, mute, deaf. Some even lost their minds. They have nothing left. But you have your mind, your voice, your eyes, and your ears. You have everything you need.”

Whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. And the God of peace will be with you.

Here is my gratitude list as I combat the enemy of my soul with a THANKFUL HEART.

1. A house of our own to live in while we spend time with my family in Washington State…thats just one block away from where my parents’ live! The kids can experience what its like to ‘go next-door to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.’

2. A breakthrough in my husband’s RSA passport status. We’ve been waiting for 13 months for renewal and have finally been approved for an emergency passport while they frantically dig through heaps of papers to find where his is misplaced (my theory :)).

3. A flexible, gracious employer who is willing to work with us through this time of transition, moving, and process of citizenship.

4. A healthy, kicking 29-week old baby and an uncomplicated pregnancy. An OB whom I love.

5. No debt.

6. A clean house. Even though our house hasn’t sold yet, with every showing, I get to come home to a sparkling, clutter-free home. If you know me at all, this would not be the case in any other situation!

7. An online homeschool group in the Western Cape, South Africa, where I am already making acquaintances and finding resources. I needed a starting point as we move to an entirely new part of the world and God has provided this amazing, like-minded group!

8. An great deal on plane tickets to Washington during the typically inflated-fares of the holiday season.

9. Wisdom as we make each decision towards moving overseas. The logistics involved are staggering and intimidating but God is directing our steps.

10. A homeschool curriculum I LOVE (Sonlight) that makes it possible for someone like me, not especially organized and easily overwhelmed, to home-educate 4 children. My children have already developed a foundation of missions with the biblical worldview Sonlight books provides.

11. Friends and men of faith, near and far away, who have spoken words of life and faith into me as we embark on this journey.

12. A powerful display of God’s providence as I met up with a missionary friend from years ago, at a missions’ conference where neither of us currently live.

13. A beautiful Midwest fall and coming Northwest Christmas (we want LOTS of snow!!) to add to my storehouse of precious memories.

14. A husband who listens intently to the Lord as he leads our family.

15. A growing church body, full of dear friends, that is able to send us out into the mission field.

16. Pumpkin Pie. 🙂

17. Health for our family, protection from sickness, disaster, and disease, refuge from the storms of life. Psalm 91.

18. The mercy and goodness of God. His kindness that led to my repentance. That his gifts and call are irrevocable. That he is faithful through our struggle against sin, in the process of us being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

19. A super-fun shopping date with my oldest daughter. I remember going on these with my mom, and they are some of my favorite memories. Now its my turn to create them with my daughters!

20. His JOY is my STRENGTH. For when I am weak, then I am strong in the Lord.

 

 

The Great Commission and Elections

I feel, like many others, that I’m in a time of mourning for our nation. We prayed hard for this election and God revealed his will…but its not in the direction we hoped. Mourning is not a lack of faith. Its a spiritual and emotional response that is an important part of living by faith!

We know God’s ways are not our ways, and he uses many different methods to advance the spread of the gospel. Including persuasion and kindness. But also including persecution, war, natural disaster, and political leaders.

Habakkuk carried a burden of prophecy as he looked upon injustice, wrong, violence, and paralyzed law in his nation. He complained to the Lord! ‘How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.’

You know what the Lord’s answer was? Listen to this. Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

The lense I see the world through is God’s kingdom. It is advancing all through the nations. Its so important to not become discouraged, cynical, or fatalistic in our faith regarding these elections and our government.

I turned to Psalm 2 on Wednesday morning. Have you ever read it?

‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:

He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession (vs 1-8).

You might not sense God calling you to move overseas into cross-cultural missions, like he is calling our family to. But did you see the electoral map of the election results by county? I perceive this map as a clear indication of where the mission field of the United States is. The inner-cities and metropolis are where the unreached of America lay.

This election is not a call to depression, seclusion, fear and bitterness! Its a call to sell yourself completely to the Kingdom of God. I believe we are about to see a great harvest, greater than the first. The fields are white in the world. Even here in America where immigrants abound and a generation of Americans do not know the living truth of the gospel.

Let’s cry out as Habakkuk did when he saw his nation in distress; when he heard and his heart pounded and his legs trembled…

I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known;
In wrath remember mercy.

Let’s ask for the nations as our inheritance, now, in our day.

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Home Church

Home Church today. The unexpected blessing of sick kids this morning was the best time of worship we’ve ever had as a family. The kids recited all of Psalm 8…”From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

We discussed this Psalm, how God has crowned us with glory and honor and made us ruler over he works of his hands. We sang worship songs and enjoyed the presence of God right in our living room! We prayed for those who don’t yet know they are crowned with glory and honor…the lost.

We prayed for our nation. For lies to be exposed, for justice and mercy to be carried out. We prayed for the unborn. Proverbs 24:11. Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”

Blood has a voice. When Cain killed Abel, the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

The blood of millions of innocent babies is crying out from the ground. We are responsible for our part in this. We are responsible for our vote. How long will God stay his hand of judgement on our nation? He hears the cry of the innocent, the helpless, the unborn.

God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. If we allow men to marry men, and women to marry women, what is to stop us from allowing men to have multiple wives? Or from men to marry animals? Group marriage? Sons to marry mothers, or fathers marrying daughters? Or trees, as ridiculous as that sounds? Walking outside of God’s boundaries is inviting pain and destruction upon ourselves. Marriage between one man and one woman is essential to preserving our family structure, to prospering as a nation, to being fruitful, multiplying, and filling the earth with the knowledge of God’s glory.

Yes, I vote the issues I believe God cares about. The candidate may not be perfect, but the choice is clear. I’m not looking for perfection in a man, a leader, a president. There is only one perfect man. His name is higher than all others. His name is Jesus Christ. Until his kingdom comes and is fully established on this earth, he has shown us what is good. He requires us to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

The Tension of Faith

Its been an exciting and difficult week. Emotions come at unexpected times, packing and sorting through 11 1/2 years of life. I’ve made a pact with myself not to be sentimental about every drawing from the kids or every wedding present I’ve had in storage, never used. But still the emotions surface. For me, its my entire house. For my husband, its his office. The kids are wondering what special things they can and cannot bring with to the mission field. I’m having dreams about finding a home for our dog. Hoping she can be re-united Lucy.

We know God has called us to go. No doubt about it. We have a very specific vision he’s given us. The thing is, we don’t yet know where we are going! Here the tension comes in. Faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see. When God said the righteous will live by faith, not by sight, he wasn’t kidding.

We are waiting for an opportunity to open up in South Africa, believing this is the place for us. At the same time, two other opportunities lay before us in Israel and Nepal. With a family of soon-to-be 7, support-raising in full swing, and expecting an offer on our house any day, we certainly feel pressure to have a plan clearly laid out.

But God must be enjoying himself, surprising us with unexpected turns and twists in the path. Our ‘plans’ change on a weekly basis. I’ve had to pick my jaw up off the floor at least three times this week at astounding surprises from my Father. Many are the plans in a mans heart, but the Lord determines his steps. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and he will direct your path. Proverbs.

We are on our way to Blue Grass, Iowa and then on to Cleveland, Ohio to visit dear friends. One who we haven’t seen since our wedding 11 years ago! We met in OM, each have 4 kids now and I cannot WAIT to catch up and laugh together. Thanks for your prayers and sweet emails, texts, and phone calls. I love you!

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