Friday, March 31, 2017

Next Steps

Sometimes I'd like to take a leap, go far in a single step. Most often, life just doesn't work that way. Usually we walk. One step at a time. This step. Then another. Little by little. And over time those steps add up to real progress.

One exciting step this week was receiving a letter from immigration saying Kaleb's work permit is on its way! This doesn't mean his papers are finished, but it means things are moving ahead and that's a great thing. A positive step.

This has been a week full of steps. Plenty of small steps. Reports coming and going. Prayers lifted. Conversations. Paperwork. Team meetings and meetings over lunch. Questions that need an answer. New opportunities. Closed doors and open windows.

These are the real things of life that provide tangible opportunities for faith and hard work. There are things that demand attention and the things that truly deserve it. The people in our lives and the tasks that bring us together. The hours that tick by and are forever gone. The blessing of another sunrise and the beauty of another sunset.

This morning I am simply grateful for where we are the privilege we have to serve here, the blessing of the team scattered around the globe and the blessing of those who are nearby. The small steps we are taking together in our journey to knowing God and making Him known.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Family Foundations

Family. Home. Foundations.
Garry and I both grew up overseas as missionary kids. We have never been quite at home in North America. Our roots are deep, but not local. I think that's why we count it such a privilege to be here these days with both our sons at home. Our roots nor our lives are centered in one location, they're connected to people. And given where God has taken us four, our lives are uniquely connected. We love watching the boys integrate into life and culture here and we want to be sure they, too, have deep roots. Roots in eternity, the kind we are each still growing. While this is not our main goal in life, it is an important part, and today's post is about that.

So, what's up with us four at home? Garry found a manual transmission for a car we've been wanting to fix for quite some time. He spent the morning at pull-and-save and came home rather dirty but smiling. Both Kevin and Dustin worked with him this morning, so there were other bonuses besides the transmission. I'm constantly amazed at the things he can do after a long day's work. He reminds me that his work isn't as physically demanding as it once was, but I know that mental work is also exhausting, and I am amazed at the energy and determination he always has.

Kevin is studying, training, and coaching. School this semester has a few new challenges as well as new joys with some great classes. He has a couple of profs that are just incredible in their heart for ministry and depth of knowledge and passion. He is learning much about intercultural communication as well as literature and writing. God has given him some great coaching opportunities this semester,  which is covering his bills during school. He has a great group of students, from middle schoolers to a lady who could almost be his grandma. His heart for the badminton community continues to grow and he is working hard at his training, lifting and running and researching. Others doors appear to be opening in badminton, opportuntiies that we are watching unfold.

Kaleb is thankful for sunshine and clear roads to do his street BMX riding on these days. He's met a few guys in our new neighborhood that also ride BMX, either street or jumps. He continues to meet young guys and is constantly asking God how he can best invest in their knowing Him. It's a challenging and exciting journey. In between riding he is also working on a longer animation that is a strong allegory. School, interning at a local studio, and having fun with friends fills the remainder of his days.

For my part I'm enjoying working with Garry a little more, planning Kaleb's next steps in school, meeting with women for coffee, and keeping house. I'm often reminded that even in very clean suburbia it still takes time to keep a house looking like a home and meals don't make themselves. I've also enjoyed getting to know people at Moody better as I've helped Garry with preparations for a couple of events.

Family. It's a gift. Thanks for walking this journey with our family!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Two Weeks Ago vs Today

In the midst of the busyness of planning this year's Safety Seminar and working on details for Moody Aviation's Safety Audit I began a post that I never finished. It started like this:

"Two weeks and this will be over! It's a happy/sad thought today as I ponder the many hours we've invested in this year's Safety Seminar and Aviation Audit. When you're focused on a task, working at succeeding at something you feel you are meant to do, it is easy to lose the bigger picture. It's easy to get lost in the details. It's simple to lose sight of the world in the pile of papers, the much-corrected calendar, and the list of tasks that are waiting for you. It's easy to forget what it's really about and the people who matter most."

Those two weeks are now gone, the Safety Seminar and Audit are finished, and I am looking back at what I had been looking forward to. My perspective has changed. I've not forgotten the effort we put into these events, but the effort seems small compared to the results. We didn't make things happen, but things happened. We didn't force God to act, but He did. We couldn't make people engage and learn, but they did. And from this perspective, it feels so worthwhile and I am so thankful we got to be a part of it.

I didn't feel the earth tremble or see a revolution happen. But I see change happening-- new conversations, new understanding, and a new level of engagement. Seeds sprouting and I believe these are seeds that have great potential to produce good fruit. This is what we were asking God for. Not so much a huge one-time change but the start of a process that would carry on and spread. That God would use these events to both encourage and challenge us.

As I look around at the piles of unfinished work around me, I am encouraged by looking back. That set of piles is now finished. And this is mostly a new set. If this is worthwhile, I want to do it. If it is not, I want to leave it undone and move on. But this will not last forever-- none this stuff will. Yet in some small way God allows us to do things and learn things that WILL last forever. That's the kind of thing I want to do, and I have a suspicion that the lasting things have a lot to do with my intentions and my heart.