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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Elysburg, is that said "ELLIS-burg" Jared?

One of the most awesome things about being on this journey of support-raising for Jared and I is that it is really a journey of re-connecting with so many that line the paths of our lives. We have both been blessed to visit with people who are each other's good friends and even just acquaintances from early childhood, throughout our school and college years and beyond.
This weekend we were able to re-connect with a dear friend of mine, Beth. Beth and I taught together at Souderton for three years before she got married and moved away. I had not seen her since her wedding nearly 4 years ago. She and her husband have moved to Elysburg (not "ELLIS-burg" or "ELI'S-burg", but EEL-EES-burg!) We had a nice visit and JJ was able to experience some real firsts in Elysburg!

JJ had his first real interaction with a dog with Beth and Kyle's dog, Riley. Riley was very friendly and even gave JJ a few kisses. JJ didn't quite know what to do as you can sort of see here by his face. But he definitely was quite interested in Riley the Pooch.

Kyle is a classical pianist and introduced JJ to the piano. I definitely think JJ was interested, but his interest waned quickly (is it too early to worry about ADD?)

The main reason that Jared, JJ and I visited the Sunbury area was to meet some supporters that have joined our team even without meeting us! Dave (pictured below with JJ) is married to a mutual childhood friend of Jared and I (Rebekah). He invited many of his friends over and made a meal for everyone (even though his wife was away!) so that we could share with them more about our ministry! What a huge blessing!
Thanks A LOT Dave! What a huge blessing you were to us this weekend!

How about a tackle??

Here is JJ with a new little buddy, Dominic. Jared and I were sharing about our ministry with Dominic's parents and incidentally, Dominic's mom is Jared's second cousin.

I would say nothing unusual here. Dominic was adjusting to another baby boy in "his" house even though JJ had just attempted to make friends with Dominic by taking his hand and grabbing Dominic's face. It was pretty extreme, but "so far so good".

Things continue to look pretty normal here, but, as you can see, JJ appears to be "eyeing" up Dominic. Well, his next attempt at friendship came in the form of a "shirt tackle" where he grabbed Dominic's shirt and pulled him towards him as if to tackle him. It was really quite something as JJ kept going for him even when we pulled him away. This was too much for Dominic and he burst into tears. Jared, myself and Dominic's dad, Jason, were all laughing as we observed JJ's first football move. I have no doubt that my boy is ALL BOY and is going to be as rough and tumble as they come. I just hope he is a big, 'ole teddy bear inside!

Let's Take a Walk

It all started when my dear friend, Jamie, and I decided to take a walk. Jamie and I taught and prayed together at Souderton High School for one year before I went to Hungary. We then had sons a month apart and now we and drinking in the nice days to take walks together and solve all the problems of the world in the process (as women are good at doing:-)! Well, last Thursday must have held many problems because we decided to take a walk around Lake Galena at Peace Valley Park.

As you can see the lake is rather large

It was a gorgeous day and so we plopped our little cherubs in their respective strollers and off we went, heading the opposite way along the trails that go around the lake that we both normally would. At one point Jamie posed the thought of how long it would be to walk the WHOLE way around the lake...almost 7 miles! We both entertained the idea, glad for a little adventure and lots of exercise and decided to go for it! At one point we both stopped and fed the boys THEIR lunches and each found a moment to snack on a granola bar ourselves and drink plenty of water and WALK, WALK, WALK! It really did seem to go quite quickly and our little guys were so good. They each slept, but only for 45 minutes of the time of so and the rest they were content to look around everywhere.

Here we all are at Jared's parents' house after the 'BIG WALK'

I guess that the moral of the story is:
when your friend asks you to take a walk on a beautiful day and you've both been stuck inside most of the winter with your babies, you'd better wear comfortable shoes and clothes and bring plenty of water because you might just end up walking 7 miles around a lake!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Whooose the cutest lil' baby...gutcha, gutcha goo!

Yes, I am a babietalkaholic!!
Surprisingly, I was able to get these great pics today. I say "surprisingly" because my baby who is normally quite content wasn't so today. It was my fault since I woke him up (by accident) to show my mother-in-law how he had rolled over to his tummy in the crib. This, in itself, is not an amazing thing, but considering that he would NEVER roll onto his tummy, even though I knew he could, because he HATED being on it. Now he's rolling onto his tummy and I think will be getting the fact that he can move around (i.e. crawl) before too long...and we can already see that he wants EVERYTHING!

Anyhoo, I took these pics while we were getting ready for our walk. After JJ woke up from his "early afternoon" nap EARLY (he takes a later one too--3 a day still!) he wouldn't go down later and was bawling, so I decided we would go for a walk and lay him down in the stroller to sleep. He was bawling right before and after (I think) these pictures, so I don't know how I got him to smile.."mama's touch" I guess...

"Mama, can I PPPLLLEEEAAASSEEE play with the sunscreen now!!!"

"Can you see my rash?? It really doesn't bug me, but it bugs my mom and THEN SHE BUGS ME trying to put all sorts of stuff on it to make it go away! I wish she would just leave it alone...By the way, what's this thing on my head??"
"I think that I want to pull it off!"

"See you again, soon, everybody!"

Henri Nouwen Daily Meditation

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Being Sent Into the World

Each of us has a mission in life. Jesus prays to his Father for his followers, saying: "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

We seldom realise fully that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks. We act as if we have to choose how, where, and with whom to live. We act as if we were simply plopped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.

I thought that this linked up well with the previous post. To sign up for Henri Nouwen daily meditations visit

Mom's Inspiration

I was thinking about this piece that I had written when my Mother was in the final stages of terminal cancer. I thought I would share it with you for today:

Funneled hope pours through the day's dismal tinge and the spirit longs, yea desires, to live. "Simply live." She says in a quiet, steady, ready voice. Let me live the days given and find meaning true yet. Let me take what it is TO BE and narrow and shape moments of action with the simple peace of life. Let me yield to the eternal finger that pokes its persistent end through THIS DAY. Let voice be breath's action as the longing, desperate voices of the many who suffer with nothing to live for becomes my inspiration to live. Let me walk--never wavering from the continuance of a true journey. For in the end living is not measured in quantity, as though more years mean more life. It is measured by its passion--not the flashing, daring kind, but the one that refuses to be anything less than alive. This is the life I choose--no other is meant for me.

Abigail W. A 2/1/02

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bringing over some photos...

Playing with his new toy and wanting to STAND!

He's the 'big cousin' looking to Mommy for approval
Stroking Layna's hair "GENTLY" (too bad he's not that gentle with Mommy's hair!)
Looking up to Big Cousin Owen--
we hope they are good buddies as they grow up!
Enjoying Baby Einstein together

Here I am, relishing the joy of 2 babies!!
My twin sister's twins: Judah Jay and Layna Kay
My sister Linea, nieces Kaylie and Kelsee and of course, our beloved, chubby JJ!

Swinging in the neighbor's swing! It's a favorite spring activity, for sure!
"Talking" to my niece Kelsee

Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Spirituality of Fundraising"

Jared and I received this booklet from the Henri Nouwen society that you can visit here.
I signed up for daily meditations that have proved a blessing to me. It has been "bread for the journey" as we complete the last leg of this initial support-raising as missionaries to young people. I trust that you will find it an encouragement as you partner with us or others in the Great Commission that God has charged all of us as believers to be about.

"Fund-raising is proclaiming that we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.

"We are declaring, 'We have a vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you--your energy, your prayers, and your money--in this work to which God has called us. Our invitation is clear and confident because we trust that our vision and mission are like "trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not whither" (Ps. 1:3)

"Here we see that if fund-raising as ministry invites those with money to a new relationship with their wealth, it also calls us to be converted in relation to our needs. If we come back from asking someone for money and we feel exhausted and somehow tainted by unspiritual activity, there is something wrong. We must not let ourselves be tricked into thinking that fund-raising is only a secular activity. As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry. So fund-raising has to help us with our conversion too. Are we willing to be converted from our fear of asking, our anxiety about being rejected or feeling humiliated, our depression when someone says, "No I'm not going to get involved in your project"? When we have gained the freedom to ask without fear, to love fund-raising as a form of ministry, then fund-raising will be good for our spiritual life.

"Fund-raising is a very concrete way to help the Kingdom of God come about. What is the Kingdom? Jesus is clear that if we make the Kingdom our first priority, "all these other things will be given you as well" (Matt. 6:33 NJB). The Kingdom is where God provides for all that we need. It is the realm of sufficiency where we are no longer pulled here and there by anxiety about having enough. "So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself" (Matt. 6:34, NJB)...Even a seemingly small act of generosity can grow into something far beyond what we could ever ask or imagine (see Eph. 3:20)--the creation of a community of love in this world, and beyond this world, because wherever love grows, it is stronger than death (1 Cor. 13:8). So when we give ourselves to planting and nurturing lover here on earth, our efforts will reach out beyond our own chronological existence. Indeed, if we raise funds for the creation of a community of love, we are helping God build the Kingdom..."

I trust that there is something here for you...

Joining the crowd

Hello everyone!

I decided that I could do much more on a blog over here, so here I am! Hope you all make it over here!