Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy 21st, Kevin!

This week we celebrated Kevin's 21st birthday! He was home between work in Seattle and a badminton tournament trip and we had a fun evening celebrating his birthday. On his real birthday he'll be in Orlando, Florida playing a tournament, so we decided to celebrate a bit early. Chimichangas and black bottom cupcakes were fun to make for his special day. We laughed a lot. We simply enjoyed being together as a family and celebrating this milestone.

We are so proud of Kevin and the young man he has become over the last years. He is incredibly passionate about what God is doing, fiercely loyal, and amazingly tough. In the last year he has lived in three houses in two countries, competed in some amazing badminton tournaments including his first international tournament, gained varied work experience, and made 3 round trips between Manitoba and Washington. It really has been quite a year!

I am continually amazed that this is really our son, and am so proud of him. Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Normal

Normal rarely happens, and when it does, it is usually at an unexpected time. I expected the last couple of weeks to be normal. And they have been in many ways. We've done school and Garry has been working. But that's about where our normal ends.

Spokane has experienced one of the biggest power outages in the past 20 years. We are thankful that our house is in an area that has not been affected, but everyday life has had to adjust. We've been playing host to some people who have no power. School has been closed so Garry has been working from home and helping others repair a roof and dispose of a huge tree in their yard. Kaleb has been sick and now I caught his cold.

We also found out last week that we needed to get our insurance and drivers' licenses changed as soon as possible, and that has been a bit of a challenge. Garry has figured out insurance while taking my written and driving test have been a bit of stress to me.

Kevin is working in Seattle and doing a lot of badminton. He's competing in his third tournament in as many weeks, and will play 3 more tournaments in the next 3 weeks. He is enjoying the journey, but it is busy for him.

Kaleb is doing his best to take advantage of sunshine this week to ride his bike and be outside. His friends have been out of school due to the power outages, and that has been good for him.

Yes, "normal" is somewhat elusive. Or maybe normal is this, being present in the moment and waiting expectantly for the next opportunity and change.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Unexpected travels

Thursday morning I had no idea I was going anywhere. Friday noon found Kaleb and I on an airplane bound for Manitoba. Saturday I was sitting in Winnipeg with family, watching Kevin play a badminton tournament. The following week was full of unexpected blessings as Kaleb and I visited family and friends. Thursday morning I was up early to say goodbye to Kevin and Kaleb as they headed to Washington in Kevin's car. Saturday I flew home. Sunday Kevin left for Seattle and Vancouver, and Monday Garry headed out for North Carolina. Today Garry should be home and next Sunday Kevin will be back for the day.

This coming and going has been unexpected and fun and sometimes challenging. I loved getting back to Manitoba and sharing stories of what God has done in the year we've been in Spokane. I loved seeing friends and hearing what God is doing in their lives and how things are unfolding for them. It was amazing how Kaleb was able to connect with so many people in a week, and I saw the blessing that was to him. Kevin had a chance to connect with a lot of people and they are excited about his next step as he moves toward school next semester: his sad goodbyes were a thrill as I pondered the connections he's made in Manitoba.

Garry sounds like he has had a good week in North Carolina, attending a safety summit. It has been a great opportunity to connect with a  lot of people in mission aviation, hearing what is going on in different organizations and discussing challenges and joys. I'm very much looking forward to hearing more of what happened when he gets home later today!

This coming week is Missions Conference at Moody Bible Institute, Spokane. This is the first time we've been here for this, so it will be fun to see how it all works. We anticipate some opportunities to connect with students and build into their lives and passion for God and ministry in mission aviation. 

These weeks of travel and connecting have been an unexpected blessing of refreshment and encouragement. And now i am thankful for the coming weeks which look like they will include some normal routine, some building into the everyday things that God is calling us to in this season of life and ministry.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Supply Lines

In a war, the troops must be trained and supply lines must be maintained. I've been thinking lately that the same is true for us, in most areas of life. Everything we do takes resources, and those resources seldom appear on their own. 

Things that you pass on must first be learned, food that you cook must be purchased, vehicles need fuel and maintenance to keep running, and relationships take a certain amount of time to grow. Yet, sometimes we can get so focused on forward motion we lose sight of keeping the supply lines open, and we find ourselves in a bad spot.

Some of the most important supply lines are the invisible ones of prayer, worship, and time in the Word of God. These things change us and allow us to see and do what God is calling us to do. And they keep us focused on the things He has for us and save us from the distractions that want to capture our attention.

As good supply lines are built and maintained, we enjoy the increased return of our investments.

Update:

We've been reminded of this in various interactions this week as things we have been working toward are beginning to come together. 

Kaleb recently met another young guy who is also a believer and lives in our neighborhood. They've had fun hanging out and being teenagers. Kevin spent last week working with a construction crew in Tacoma, an interesting experience.

As we head into another week we are thankful for the supply lines God has given us and the investments over time that allow us to be here and be involved in this ministry. May you week also be blessed by your supply lines and the ones you provide for others!


Thursday, October 01, 2015

Truly seeing

Every week, every day, every moment has it's opportunities, the good works that God has prepared for that time and place. I've been hanging out in Psalms lately and have been impressed again with how often we are told to praise God, remember His works, and speak of what He has done. It's reminded me to look out for what God is doing, to pay attention to the opportunities, to thank Him for His work. And it's good medicine for my soul!


The past couple of weeks have been busy in a very fragmented way. When the days are invested in a multitude of things, it's sometimes hard to see progress. But when we consciously ask God what He is doing and the ability to perceive His work, things change. We begin to see. We enjoy. We appreciate. We praise Him.


Here are a few of the things I am thankful for right now:
  • It is amazing to be a part of mission aviation worldwide: we are investing in the next generation, and the people Garry is working with are thankful for the input He gives
  • Change in both Kevin and Kaleb as they grow and learn
  • Great times with family and friends are a gift from God: left to themselves, relationships easily deteriorate to a source of pain instead of joy
  • God gives wisdom as we ask Him for it, whether we need it in the large scope of ministry or the small things of plans for today
  • Health is truly a gift, from a day of feeling energetic to simply being able to walk
  • I've met a number of ladies recently who are passionate about God or just getting to know Him, and that is energizing
  • We are members of God's Body, and that is incredible
May you be blessed today by the blessings in your life, may we each have eyes to see what God is doing and both where He wants us to be involved and what is not ours to do.

Kevin recently posted a story about "seeing" on his new blog. Check it out here

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Great Visit

Two weeks since I was last on here. But I had good reason: Garry got home late last Friday and his Dad and Doris came to visit this week. We had a great time with them, just being together and showing them our lives and regular places here in Spokane as well as finding a few new places.

One evening Doris and I joined an If:Pray meeting, a great time with other women who are passionate about knowing and loving Jesus. I hadn't met most of the women there, so it was fun to hear some of their stories as well as pray together. God is at work and using His people all over the place.

We enjoyed showing Dad and Doris around Moody Aviation and sharing what God is doing here and the ways we get to be a part of it. I think Dad was most impressed with the Kodiak, which is a good airplane to be impressed with.

One day we decided to go for a hike at a small park, and missed our turn. We were looking for a place to turn around and ended up in a parking lot. Bear Country Carvings is a great little place, and we got to chat with the owner and hear a bit about this history and learn some about chainsaw carving. It is really quite an art, and apparently there is a more of it on the coast. It was a nice detour on the way to the park, which was also a good time as we walked around the lake.

Meals around our table, exploring local coffee shops, and walks in the neighborhood quickly filled the few days Dad & Doris had here. It was just good to be together.

I got to do a lot of things with Dad & Doris while Garry was busy at work. These days he is focused on better defining roles in the Safety Department as well as setting priorities for the next few months. Too many opportunities is a good problem to have, because it makes us think through which ones are ours to take. 

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Value

Some things feel valuable and others just feel useless. A long soak in the tub feels useless to me, for some reason. A cup of coffee while staring into space feels like a waste of time. This week we were reminded that these things are often key. They allow us to keep creating, thinking, and producing. And I think they remind us that the world does not, in fact, depend on us. That we but a small part in a big production: our part matters, but it has its time and place. And sometimes what that place demands is that we slow down and savor the moment and drink from the well of God, whether that is through the beauty he created, the activities He gives to enjoy, or the solitude that He inhabits.

We had a busy week, really. Work and decisions and company. Places to be and people to see. The normal things that make up life. And to end the work week, we went cycling at Beacon Hill. Now, Kaleb can really take advantage of much of what Beacon offers: the rest of us less so, with me at the bottom of the riding scale. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by beauty and away from work and home with my three men. It was both fun and refreshing.

After we went home and cleaned up, I began problem solving in new ways. I was reminded of the gift of simply being alive. I was challenged to enjoy simply being. I was extra thankful for Garry and our sons. I was ready to tackle something new. I was ready to engage in life again. I fell asleep with those thoughts and woke up thinking the same ones.

Not that this never happens, maybe it's just been a bit too long since the last time. Or maybe I was just in a better place to simply enjoy the moment and the process. Whatever the cause, I'm simply thankful.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Family & Friends

 Family and friends are some of the greatest gifts given to us by God. We've thoroughly enjoyed visits from both this summer. People from Manitoba, Oklahoma, and Kansas have graced our home, and our lives are richer for it. We are so blessed by the people God has brought into our lives and the ways our stories have intersected.

We've found some new coffee shops and tried out new restaurants. We've gone to BBQs in the park and found new places to picnic. We've taken people to see Moody Aviation and what God is doing there. And in the process of welcoming people to our home and Spokane, we've found that this is, in fact, becoming more home to us.

 Kevin is in Spokane getting his green card right now, and it's been great to have him home. He's gotten involved in the badminton community and is making friends through that as well as a Bible study. He's also been helpful around the house, doing repairs and projects. He's found a few new places to work out. He plans to head back to Manitoba to train and work in just a few weeks, and we will miss him like crazy when he goes.

Kaleb is busy doing animation these days, working on a project for Malachi Man and also creating a short film for a contest. He's also enjoyed riding bikes and showing friends from Manitoba his life here. He's found he likes cold brew coffee and joined a youth group.

Garry just got back from a trip to Bolivia and plans to head to Denver in a couple of weeks. Work has been both busy and surprising as various projects have come together. He is enjoying his responsibilities that allow him to interact with people from many different mission aviation organizations.

I've enjoyed the more relaxed schedule of summer, sharing conversations with friends and organizing things at home a bit more. I've done some writing and soon hope to finish up school planning for the next year. It's been nice to take opportunities to meet other staff at Moody Aviation as well as interacting with students.

We are so thankful for the people God has allowed us to know and the family He has blessed us with!

New Students, New School Year

Beginning are really fun. Some are fun because they are our own beginnings, and some are fun because they remind us of ours. Usually, beginnings are filled with hope, a sense of wonder and a belief that this new journey will take us somewhere we really want to be. Not always, but usually. And I think the first weeks here at Moody Bible Institute, Spokane, are particularly full of expectation and hope.


Garry and I have enjoyed several of the events for new students and the opportunity to meet a few of them. It has been great to hear God stories of how they got here and where they dream of going. It is good to share our story and the faithfulness of God through the years. It is amazing to be a part of the journey.

Besides events to welcome new students, this week Moody Aviation has hosted various mission representatives, people who give of their time to come fly with students, share what's going on in their organization, and challenge students to keep on keeping on through the program. Chapels have been great this week as different reps have shared their stories and challenged students. Meals have been shared. I've had too much coffee. And through it is all the thread of God's faithfulness and the fact that He is worthy of all worship and praise.

We serve an amazing God, and these times of new beginning and repeated reflections are good for our souls. God instituted times like these for Israel, times of celebration and reflection and worship. And we do well to take these opportunities when they come to us. I hope you have a similar opportunity soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bolivia Update

Garry's been home almost a week now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about his time in Bolivia. I was a tad jealous when he sent the first photos back, just seeing how much like many of our homes Bolivia looked. Garry was at home there too, working in a flight program, interacting with some of the EMC missionaries, and speaking Spanish. It was a great reminder of how rich in experience our lives have been.

The focus of Garry's time was a flight and maintenance audit for South American Mission Air. They are facing a lot of challenges and changes these days, yet are passionate about what God has called them to do in Bolivia. They are meeting their challenges head on, focused on what God is doing. It was a blessing to spend time with them and a great time to offer encouragement and pray together.

While there Garry was also able to visit one of EMC's works among the old colony Mennonites. Some friends of ours are serving there, and it was good to connect with them and hear some of the challenges and blessings in their ministry. Garry was very encouraged by what is going on there, and it was a cool thing to be the one in a more support role of having prayed for the ministry and now seeing it!

On the way home Garry unexpectedly ran into some good friends from our Panama days and enjoyed catching up in the airport. It never ceases to amaze me how often we run into people we know from times past and how good the fellowship is!

Garry arrived home Sunday at noon and got right back into life. Last week was new student orientation at Moody Bible Institute-Spokane. We enjoyed a BBQ in the park, chatting with several new students as well as friends who are on staff. The end of the week was a planning retreat to look at the next semester and upcoming challenges and opportunities.

We are excited about what will come next, though there are at least as many questions as there are answers. We do know that there are many opportunities to invest in what God is doing and the people around us, and these opportunities present themselves every day. We are so thankful to have this opportunity to pass on some of what God has taught us over our years of life overseas and in mission aviation!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friends, old and new

There are a number of things that make for a full life, but one of the greatest among them must be friends. Friends we've known for a long time, and new friends. Friends who make us laugh and the ones with whom we cry. Friends who help us out in tough times. Friends who offer the gift of simply being there.
In this journey we call life, we have a million opportunities to make friends, and often we do. Sometimes we don't. It may or may not be my fault, and you can't make every person you meet a friend. Still, there is that something that happens between us as we walk life together, learning and growing.

This has been a week of meeting many people, and making new friends. Garry has been in Bolivia this week, interacting with the folks in the flight program there. I haven't had much chance to talk to him, but he has mentioned several times how much he enjoyed the people. We had new friends here to visit from Oklahoma. We enjoyed meeting new people at a badminton barbecue. 

We've also enjoyed the people we already know, people who came to the house for dinner. People who had us over for pizza. A friend who took me for coffee. 

As I look at a week, I often list the tasks that need to be done or the projects I've finished. This morning I choose to focus on the people who are part of that journey, the friends who brighten the path we walk, adding depth and companionship. 

Thanks for being one of those people!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Bolivia-bound

Garry's at 30,000 feet on his way to Bolivia. He got a free upgrade for his first leg of the journey, so I'm sure he is enjoying the extra space and food. He is very excited to be part of a flight program audit there, helping the pilots and mechanics be wise in the way they do the business of flying and maintaining airplanes as well as relate to one another as co-workers and friends.

His primary focus will be on flight aspects of the program as well as interviewing personnel. And audit can be a hugely helpful thing for a flight program, and we pray this audit will be one that is helpful and encouraging. We pray his time there is a  blessing to those he serves, shining a helpful light on their technical practices and lives.

The past week has had fun and hard moments... we enjoyed visits from several Canadian friends, catching up with their lives and God stories. While riding, Kaleb's bike frame snapped in two. We enjoyed meals with friends. Garry had some great conversations with various people in mission aviation. Kevin did landscaping for a friend. We met new friends. We found a great coffee shop in an orchard close to us.

And between the bigger moments, there was the everyday. The eating and sleeping and interacting and cleaning and paperwork. I think sometimes that the moments we remember from a week are often like decorative bricks in a wall, full of color but not the main structure. The structure is built of the small moments, the moments where we live our everyday lives. We learn and practice and grow in truth in the daily things of life, and we see these lessons in a new light in the bigger moments.





Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Investment reflections

About 8 months ago we packed all our earthly belongings in vehicles and started heading west. The trip was exciting as we crawled along icy freeways, experienced delays when the blowing snow got too bad, and contemplated how this new venture would unfold. Moving to the west coast was a totally new venture.

Once in Spokane we joined an amazing team of people at Moody Aviation who are training future missionary pilots and mechanics. We love the passion and vision we share. We love the people we work with and the opportunities God is giving us. Our journey began in Venezuela where we worked in a large program with a lot of support, moved to Panama then Paraguay where we worked alone, took us to a leadership and training role in Arizona, and then led us back overseas to the Philippines where we trained and led a team. 


We draw on all of these experiences as we invest in future mission aviators. Experience is a great teacher, and we have many opportunities to pass on the lessons we’ve learned. As our ministry here has unfolded, God has given us (with our support team) various areas in which to invest intentionally.



Staff & students: Setting up a Safety Department gives Garry plenty of opportunities to spend time with staff and students, sharing his experiences and investing in their lives. He has opportunity to interact about technical issues (like maintenance and flight practices) as well as life as a missionary pilot and glorifying God in our unique context. We as a family also enjoy having people in our home and spending time together, sharing what God is doing and processing what it means to walk in grace and truth, to disciple others, and to be a missionary pilot/mechanic family.

Leadership: As part of the Moody Aviation leadership team, Garry has opportunity to give input on the direction and practices here. This is a great team who is passionate about providing discipleship and quality technical training to students who come to MA. As part of this team, Garry and I are engaged in a strategic planning group that is seeking ways to be more effective. Our part of the initiative is to help us understand what it means to train successful missionary pilot/mechanics. 


 The Student Success Committee is another opportunity to speak into what we as staff can do to help students be successful. It has been a great chance to speak into helping students understand their gifts and where they can be most effective as part of the Body of Christ, among other things. Moody Aviation has trained about half of the people who have served in mission aviation over the years, so the impact of this team is significant.

Mission aviation world-wide: We are in the beginning stages of a 3-year initiative to implement a SMS (Safety Management System) at Moody Aviation and offer training and support for SMS throughout the mission aviation world. We have been challenged over the past years to invest in the Body working together, and this is an opportunity to do just that as Garry leads this initiative and I contribute through the secretarial work that I do. 

This will also give us personal opportunity to interact with people from many different mission aviation organizations. SMS will be a simple platform for mission aviation organizations to share valuable safety information across organizational and geographical lines, information that has the potential to help us avoid costly incidents and accidents. It will also give us time with various mission aviation staff as we provide training here at Moody Aviation and also give requested input on various programs.

As we learn all that this role entails, we are incredibly thankful for the team that God has given us. As the opportunities expand in various directions, so do the challenges and the costs. We are so incredibly thankful for the team of people who are on this journey with us, investing in the future of mission aviation and mission aviators!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

One.

Just one Body. One Faith. One Love. How incredible to be a small part of an epic Body, and epic story, and true reality!

This week I had opportunity to walk around Manito Park, and it was amazing. It struck me how many small details come together to make one big reality. The many flowers that are planted, watered, and weeded to make a garden. The time it takes a tree to grow. The many stones in various buildings. The many people who make this park beautiful. And this is just a park!

We are part of the Body of Christ, an ageless Body that was created to impact the world. A spiritual Body that exists for eternity.

And yet, this huge Body is made up of many members. Members like you and I who go to work, cook dinner, wash laundry, need exercise, need community, grow, and change. Each of us on our own is a small thing. Tiny, really. And yet together, we are a force that is changing the world. The tasks we do, the relationships we invest in the words we speak-- these all matter. And they matter not just to this small moment, but to the whole Body, forever.  These moments, these choices make a difference.

This week we've been feeling this as Garry met with a student who is entering the program and facing some challenges. I felt it when I tried to connect with a friend and kept missing her. We feel it as we write proposals and connect with people in the aviation world. Kevin is experiencing it as he plays a tournament in Seattle this weekend. Kaleb knows the reality as he and Oli interact and fill their days with "guy stuff".

I read an article the other day that was pointing out that fact that we often don't like to say "no" to opportunities. The solution? A bigger "yes", a clear understanding of what you are meant to do that keeps you focused on your unique opportunities. For us, part of the journey is finding out where in His Body and His Kingdom we belong. Of seeing the strengths we've been given and understanding where those can be used to grow His Body.

Over the next while I plan to post on the "bigger yes" for us personally here in Spokane, the things that claim our attention and fill our days, the ways we believe God is giving us the opportunity to invest in what He is doing... investing in people, in mission aviation, and ultimately in reaching the world and making disciples among all people groups!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Firmly Planted

Don't you love to look at tall tress standing firmly upright? To see the incredible weight and length the roots can sustain? Those are the kind of roots I want, the kind of roots we only grow when the winds blow hard and the rains pour down.

I've been pondering roots and growth. The depth of truth we need to stand firm in a world that seems to be always pulling us away. The truth we have opportunity to plant in one another's lives, and the potential it has to grow tall. The importance of what we tell ourselves, our kids, and our friends. The power of both love and bitterness to grow.

And that pondering has brought me to think on our own stories and how we interpret them. How the truth of God and His reality in our lives is meant to color and change the stories we tell ourselves, and how we tell our own story. He allows us to interpret our past and our present in His truth and reality. And what an amazing reality it is!

Garry is busy doing various kinds of presentations lately as he moves ahead with a Safety Management System he hopes to share with others in the mission aviation world. It's a huge project that will take several years to unfold, but we are super excited about the potential it has to help us be both effective and efficient while making the best possible use of Kingdom resources. It really is amazing to be here and a part of what God is doing here!

Kaleb is becoming the neighborhood "house watcher" while people are gone. He is watering and mowing lawns as well as feeding some pets. It's a great opportunity to be part of the neighborhood!

Kevin is back in Washington working on his US Immigration. It's good to have him home, and we are praying for opportunities for him to move ahead with his training while he is here.

Today is a classic west coast day, wet and overcast and rather inspiring. May we each be inspired to reach for all God has for us and stay firmly grounded in all He is and has done!



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Whirlwinds and WIGS

Covey often talks about whirlwinds and WIGS (Wildly Important Goals). It's the concept that life is a whirlwind that will devour all our time and energy to maintain, unless we purpose to reach for other goals. It's the reality that every day brings challenges and opportunities that keep us moving, but sometimes these things are just spinning us around. It's not that the whirlwind is not important-- it is often made up of things that keep the family/organization/community moving and producing. But when that is all we are doing, we can lose our sense of direction and lose sight of our purposes.

Ecclesiastes reminds us to Remember your Creator in the days of your youth," and I believe for all of us, that is a wildly important goal, no matter what stage of life we are in. Keeping our focus on God reminds us that we are a part of a huge plan. And it reminds us that we are only a small part of that plan. Worshipping God keeps us humble and excited, aware of His grandeur. And He often reminds us of our purpose and calling, the things that He has put before us to keep as priorities that are individual and timely. 
What at incredible gift to be a part of something huge that actually makes a difference: what a comfort to know that the weight of it does not rest on our shoulders, but on God's!                          


We've made some fun memories and enjoyed some great blessings lately. We spent Canada Day with Garry's sister and family in BC, a great time of catching up. And amazing fireworks. Good conversations. Great food. A really good time!

After working his brain hard all day, Garry sometimes enjoys more tangible projects in the evening. One of the last ones is one of my favorites, an amazing dining room table! We are enjoying eating together around it and also sharing meals with friends. Right now Kevin is home, and sitting down as four is a special gift.

We've also been working on paperwork for Kevin's US immigration, which feels like a long process. However, it is coming together and we pray that it will move quickly for him.

As the days unfold we are enjoying the whirlwind (for the most part), and seeing God do some very cool things in regards to goals. Projects are moving ahead. Relationships are growing. People are being impacted and challenged. And we are thankful to be here and be a part of the process!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lego, Life, & Catching Up

God cares. That is the answer, no matter the question at the moment. His heart is one of love and compassion, of truth and justice, and He cares. He cares about us. He cares about His glory and His purposes, and we are in a perfect place when we care about His glory and His purposes. These things take us on adventures beyond our imagination and to places we never thought we'd be.

Like Spokane, WA! We never imagined we'd be here or working at Moody Aviation. To be honest, we couldn't quite imagine a job here that we'd really enjoy. But we love what we are doing, and it gets clearer that this is a great fit for Garry (from my perspective!) Our passion to see the Body of Christ work together and our passion and experience in mission aviation are finding a unique fit. Still, sometimes it feels like climbing this hill last Saturday...

... or exciting like the Lego Store for Kaleb. We have no clue where animation will take him, or if it has a future, but we do know that right now it is important to him. And we see how his experiences and convictions are being turned into short, quality films that require Lego, lots of Lego! While we were driving to Maine, God allowed us to spend the night in Danbury, CT o and Kaleb got to go to a Lego store and fill a small container with a huge number of Lego!

... or incredible like dreams coming true. Like competing at the Canadian Open and playing a top-ranked singles player like Marc Zwiebler in a tournament. This week has been pretty incredible for Kevin, from our perspective! He is traveling with a friend, has played at an incredible venue with people from all over the world, and has had some very cool interactions. At so many points this seemed like it wasn't going to happen, right until he headed to the court for his first game and was told he was disqualified because his shirt was improperly printed!

... or like the daily reality of office work and business meetings and assignments. Whatever the reality, we are in a safe place, anchored in a God who cares and will bring His purposes to pass.

This church in Lewiston, ME was a great reminder to me of what the Body of Christ is meant to be-- strong, beautiful, and enduring. And that happens only when we following closely after God, seeking to glorify Him and see His purposes come to pass!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Roundy Family

Kaleb and I were able to spend nearly two weeks in Pennsylvania and Maine, soaking up time with the Roundy family. If you know us, you know it was full of conversation and good laughs! It's been a long time since so many of us were together, and it was amazing to be gifted this time together.

It was so much fun to reconnect with my parents, my brothers, and my brothers' families. We are all growing and changing, yet there is so much that we have in common. Our lives have each taken very unique paths, and yet there is something similar in them. Our children are all being raised differently, yet there is something the same in all of them. What a blessing! And what a reminder that what we plant in our children will be part of them forever!

I could ramble on about all we did and how much fun it was... after all, it was 10 years ago and 4 children less when we were all together. Six years ago many of us were together, but my sister-in-law and their children were missing. If you see some of most of your extended family monthly, weekly, or daily, enjoy it! It is a blessing and a gift, as this time was for Kaleb and I and the rest of my family.

Soon I'll blog more about what Garry did while we were gone and a few more details of our trip. For now, I need to play catch-up in the office!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Grad, Goodbyes, and a Visit

This was a weekend of goodbyes for us as we attended Moody Aviation's graduation events and also said goodbye to Kevin. Goodbyes are always a bit bittersweet-- that they are bitter is sweet because it is a gift to have friends and family that you enjoy. 

Graduation events included a brunch, commissioning service, and dinner cruise.  Each of these events was a celebration of students and their accomplishment in completing a very challenging program. Graduates from Moody Aviation have invested countless hours over the course of 5 years to complete a BS in Mission Aviation. Graduates are pilots & mechanics or maintenance specialists, and many of them will go on to serve all over the world. We enjoyed hearing parts of their stories, seeing various ones receive special awards, and being part of these special events. As graduates head out to the next stage in their journey, we pray for clarity in where God wants them to serve and perseverance and faith as they continue the journey.

Kevin headed back to Manitoba this weekend, ready to get back to work and training as he prepares for the Canadian Open next month. He is currently in reserve, as there were many entries and he hasn't competed internationally yet. We are praying he gets into qualifying. We have enjoyed having him here, simply spending time together. The guys took me out for Mother's Day one day, which was super fun. We were also invited to a cabin on a nearby lake for a day, a cabin that includes a barn turned into a badminton court! We enjoyed spending time with some of the local players and making some memories.

This coming week promises to be exciting as well, as my parents are flying Kaleb and I to Pennsylvania. My dad is having surgery at the end of the week, and I am thankful I can be there during that time.  Besides the surgery, we plan to have a lot of fun and enjoy being together-- it's been over 2 years since our last visit! If things go as planned, we may be able to attend my niece's graduation and see my brothers and their families!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Family and Fun

Family and fun. It is really great fun to be together as a family, and we've been enjoying it. We've enjoyed meals together, gone mountain biking (ok, Kaleb did some awesome jump runs and the rest of us just rode), played badminton, shared terere in our living room, and worked at various projects. The history I talked about in my last post has come to bear as we've discussed the past and dreamed about the future for us as a family and for us as individuals. It is good, so good.

And yet in the midst of the fun and the good there is also pain. Last week ended with a fatal accident involving two pilots. These guys worked at Felts Field, close to Moody Aviation and were friends with various staff and students at Moody. Those who witnessed the accident were affected. The whole team was affected as we grieved and tried to understand. God's truth speaks into this, and we are so grateful. Grateful for the way each joy and sorrow is an opportunity to grow and learn and see God and one another in new ways. Pray with us for the families and friends of these men.


All over the world there is pain and tragedy, and where our lives have intersected with these places or people, we are affected. I suppose that is why we each have limited experience, because we simply could not bear to be personally invested in all the pain and joy in the world. Rather, we are given a community and place and time, and in these areas we invest and care deeply. And for those things that are outside of our knowledge or experience, God has given someone else the opportunity to invest and care deeply. 

It's back to the beauty of diversity and the function of the Body of Christ. Each of us appointed to a unique call, together accomplishing the eternal purposes of God. 





Saturday, May 09, 2015

History

History.  It gives us roots and depth. It proves that we can survive, and even thrive. At least, that is what history says to me today. This is the Spokane County Courthouse, and I love it! I love the history and the architecture. We walked by it last Sunday on our way to watch the Bloomsday Run, a local fun run that attracts nearly 50,000 participants (this in a city that is home to just over 210,000 people).

You can tell I've been thinking about Spokane this week... mostly due to the Spokane Leadership Prayer Breakfast we attended on Thursday. It was a real privilege to be part of this gathering on the National Day of Prayer, to gather with others who are passionate about God's ability to change us and change our communities and our city. We enjoyed meeting various people at the breakfast as well as being part of corporate prayers for the families, churches, businesses, and leaders of this city. Here, as in your town or city, God is doing something and we can be a part of it!

I have also been reminded of history as Kevin got home on Thursday afternoon! We have a rather unique family history and it is such a privilege to all be together again, enjoying conversations, memories, and a few traditions. And obviously NOT taking photos, since I don't have even one of us together! Today the guys are getting some "men time" while I take care of some office stuff.

History. We're making it today, leaving an imprint on our world. Let's leave a Godly one!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Whirlwind week

Yup, a whirlwind in a lot of different ways. Kevin had the biggest week of all of us, playing an exhibition game against Peter Gade (former world #1) and making it to quarterfinals at Jr Nationals in both singles & doubles! We see God's hand in this is so many ways, even in the fact that Kevin is in the badminton world right now, living truth as he feels God would have him to do. And part of this journey has been you who showed up to show him support, to watch his games, to chat a few moments when possible-- to remind him of the people who are standing behind him in this unusual journey. At the top of this page is a link to another page where I chronicled the jr. nationals and exhibition journey a little as well as open letter to Gade, a reminder to myself of the value of dreams.

Here is a short video of one of Kevin and Gade's rallies lat night:

video


What we didn't know when Kevin was asked to play was that this would mean other opportunities-- hitting with Gade, Snider, and the other pro players, photo shoots with VIP ticket-holders, and a late dinner with Gade and the other players.

Here in Spokane we've also been on a bit of a whirlwind. The school year is coming to a close and end-of-year events are beginning. Yesterday Garry went white-water rafting with the graduating class and staff. It was a great connecting time, away from the office doing something fun. After the rafting trip we met at a home for a cookout with many staff and students. It was amazing how God allowed me to meet various people and opened conversations for all three of us.

This journey is never predictable, never boring, and seldom easy. And yet how rewarding to place the little bit that is our lives in God's strong hands and see him lead and multiply.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stuff and Nonsense

It's sort of like repeating myself-- stuff and nonsense. So much stuff is nonsense! Today I'm working at a coffee shop in the mall. And I am struck by all the stuff. I needed some of it, that's why I'm here today. But I find as I walk around, that much of what is displayed seems rather silly. Inventions to keep us wanting and working and measuring and comparing. And distracted. I think actually, it mostly keeps us distracted, focusing on the here and now, the tangible things that we can get and have and keep, the glitter that distracts us from the needs of people around us and our own need to continually run to God for grace and wisdom and strength. After all, it's much easier to chase something tangible.

Not that I think everything is bad. It isn't. We need things to live, and when you pack up a house you see that you may need a lot of things to live. Pans to cook in, plates to eat off, clothes to wear, blankets to stay warm, chairs to sit in. But as I sit here I am reminded of Michael Card's song about the man who was owned by all he possessed. And I don't want to be that person.

I want to run when things start filling my time and my mind. I was to flee when my days are full of improving my house and fixing my stuff. I want to look around when I see my vision is full so full of the tangible that I can't see the unseen, I can't appreciate the supernatural, I can't fathom a reality beyond my own. I want to stay on a road that takes me where I want to go... and I think that road only stops by the mall occasionally.

Yes, coming to the mall was good for me.... a deep reminder of what really matters. And what doesn't.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Nasty Cold

I thought when the weather turned warm, the colds would be gone. But though I've remained quite healthy through the winter, I have a nasty cold now. When it's warm and sunny. When there are a million things I want to do. When things are busy. When I don't really have time to be down.

All the same, down I am. And I realised there really isn't a good time to get sick. Who has times in life that they don't have much to do or many things to enjoy? Not most of us. And I am no different. But being sick is actually good for me. I am reminded that I am not indispensable. The things I want to do can wait. The things I'd like to do can wait. I really have no choice in the matter, I've been put in my place and it's a very comforting thing when I think a little more. After all, God's got it under control. He doesn't need my striving or trying: He simply wants my obedience and faith. And I believe this lesson is applicable when I am well again (hopefully soon!): I can simply rest in God's leading day by day. And His call on my life is simple, though often impossible. It's a good thing, after all, to be sick for a few days!

Last week Garry had this cold and we were all a bit tired. That's when we got a text from Garry's brother-in-law inviting us for lunch. While Fern & Alan live a few hours away, they were heading to a town closer to us. Without much thought we piled in the car and met them for lunch. It was great to see them, fun to go for a drive, a blessing ordained as just what we needed this weekend!

I think I'm done talking for now, mostly because my head hurts and I can't figure how to string words together anymore. A little more pain killer and back to resting....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kaleb's week & "Saved"

Some weeks it seems that one or the other of us has a lot of excitement. This was Kaleb's week. Over a year ago, when we were doing relief work in the Philippines, Kaleb started talking about making a short Lego film about a man who is cornered by a sniper. The idea grew into storyboards and soon he was building sets. One set, then another. Months passed an he started editing. A friend agreed to do the soundtrack. Editing continued. It's been over a year, but Kaleb has persevered in this project, and this week he released his film which he titled, "Saved". I've been amazed to watch this film come together, to see the things he's learning and his ability to manipulate shots, lighting, and dialogue. You might enjoy watching this great short film HERE

HERE

This week Kaleb also volunteered at Kids Club at our church, a great opportunity to reach out to neighbourhood kids, some of whom do not receive a lot of teaching or attention from their parents. He enjoyed playing games and then being part of the teaching time. Later that evening he attended Youth Group, which was also a new experience. One of the leaders, Adam, was super helpful... and turned out to be a missionary kid himself.

Garry and I enjoyed our week also. This week one of our focuses was the learning environment and how we as staff at a Bible Institute can best help students to thrive in their years of schooling and beyond. As we read through some of the latest research we were reminded of the Bible and the principles that God has impressed on us over the years about the value of community, honesty, and growth. 

This evening we're looking forward to enjoying the musical, "Oliver", put on by Moody. May your weekend also be enjoyable and productive, investing in thing that matter in ways God has gifted YOU!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Black Saturday & Divine Intervention

Here is a short Lego Animation Kaleb did about Easter for a contest. In 20 seconds he tells a story of truth and redemption


Several years ago on this day, Black Saturday, we were on a long trip in the Philippines. Almost no one was on the road, and being new to the country, we wondered why. We were told that most people believed that God was dead every year on Black Saturday. They were afraid to do most anything because there was no God to protect them if things went wrong. The days leading up to Easter are sad days there, days when people pay penance in hard ways and sins are brought to mind.

Here there is little sadness and I haven't seen anyone doing penance (though i'm sure some are). Easter, like Christmas, feels like a buying frenzy. Now it's decorations in spring colors, Easter basket treats, mountains of chocolate, and a million things depicting bunnies and eggs.

It struck me today how lost we are. How desperately in need of grace. Everywhere you go, people are trying to either pay for their sins or forget them. Busyness rules our lives on this side of the world much the way animism does in many places. We worship production and money. We respect people who have it all and emulate those whose lives glitter.

Either way, we are lost. No matter how you cut it, we are in desperate need of divine intervention or we will spend eternity in hell. Easter celebrates that intervention. The God of the Universe paying for our sins so we wouldn't need to and rising again so we could also live in freedom. A relationship with God opened to us so we could find abundance in Him. The power of the resurrection to live lives free of sin and bondage, serving the One who rules over all.

Here is a short (20 sec) animation Kaleb did for an Easter contest



This is a weekend to celebrate paid debts and Light shining in the Darkness. I pray you know the Light and experience His warmth. I trust your faith in Him is deep regardless of the experiences you may be facing.

I pray my faith grows and that I celebrate Easter in spirit and in truth. I pray you do the same.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Investment Opportunities

Here at Moody we are working with people who are headed to various places overseas, former students who are paying off debt and gaining experience before heading out as well as current students. One family has just finished their technical evaluation with NTMA and plans to begin training with NTM in August. Two families are headed to Alaska to serve first nations people in a remote environment there. Another family plans to leave for JAARS this summer to begin serving with them. Yeah, God!

Apart from the ways we have opportunity to invest throughout the work day, we’ve enjoyed getting to know students and staff, having people over for meals or coffee.  One young engaged couple has been at our house a few times and has asked to spend an evening talking specifically about serving overseas as a couple. Kaleb has been interacting with the neighborhood kids, and has opened doors for us to interact as a family, sharing love and living truth. In fact, several people have talked about Kaleb or us watching their houses while they’re gone, which speaks of the character they see in him as he interacts with their kids.

While we seek to invest, we are also enjoying networking, interacting with various people who have offered to help. One such gentleman is bringing his wife and coming to spend a couple days with Garry in the office, working on aviation manuals. We are looking forward to having dinner with them and hearing their God story. Mike and Gwen work as New Tribes Mission representatives in the area, and it’s been a privilege to spend some time with them and hear how God is calling people to bring His truth to remote groups all over the world. Another young guy is training with hopes of working in the inner city, and it's been a privilege to see his heart.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Family Update

I realized the other day that I've been doing a lot of rambling here, and not a lot of updating on us as a family. We are incredibly blessed to be on this journey together as a family. We love to work and play together, and though we are in different countries, we continue to invest together. It's a privilege we don't take lightly! So here's a quick update...

Garry is busy at work pursuing various aspects of safety. These days his focus is on SMS software choices, creating an integrated flight & maintenance manual structure, addressing a small incident that occurred a couple weeks ago, updating walk-through procedures & follow-through, and strategic planning. He's enjoyed some days working in the shop and is looking forward to a visit from Jim next week to work together on maintenance manuals.

I spend most of my days at home, keeping things clean and food on the table, homeschooling Kaleb, and preparing for the people who come by. I'm also enjoying doing secretarial work for Garry and being part of the strategic planning initiative with him. Our current task is to come up with specific criteria that define what makes a successful mission aviator as we seek to make the training here as effective as possible.

Kevin is in Manitoba, training for badminton and working. He enjoyed Canada Winter Games and is gearing up for Jr Nationals in just over a month. Lately he's had a lot of opportunities to coach, which has opened some neat doors for interaction and living truth. It has been neat to see him develop more friendships in Manitoba  and we've been blessed by the various people who are investing in what he feels God calling him to in the badminton world. He was recently approached about another opportunity which we are praying about and excited to see God unfold.

Kaleb is a busy figuring out life in a new world. He is almost ready to release an animation he's worked on for over a year and we are excited about the message it portrays. He's also the big brother to a lot of the neighbourhood kids, which they love and their parents appreciate. We love the way he is making use of this opportunity and are excited to see where it takes him. He continues to do well in school. study videography, build jumps, and dirt jump.

Family. What a gift!