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365 Czech Republic

Laboring on Labor Day Weekend

For the United States it’s a nice long weekend. Everyone will celebrate Labor Day on Monday and most likely take the day off. Many are probably already at the lake, on the road, or heading out someplace for a little rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, we’re not in the United States so instead of taking a break we were hard at work today on our apartment trying to get things unpacked (yes, still…) and getting our storage room organized. We shared before we have very limited space so we’re trying to make decisions on what things will stay inside and what we can put in the garage. After filling about six or seven plastic tubs we called it quits. We definitely gained some space in each room and we keep chipping away at the boxes.

Gettin' Work Done (8/30/14)

Titus and I (Shay) went to Tesco (store) and did a little shopping this afternoon. Bethany stayed home to work on the house and and do laundry. If I’m going to the store I like to take my time and really just take in everything that’s available. Things change constantly and I am on the hunt for a few items, namely a good vacuum and an iron. Our iron from the States is too high of wattage for the power transformers we have and even though our vacuum works here it has to go through a transformer which really isn’t convenient and not the most efficient when it comes to energy consumption. As we were slowly making our way through the aisles I saw this board game (photo below) on learning English. It’s funny how learning English is associated with England. In my American mind I want stars and stripes on the front of this box.

Gettin' Work Done (8/30/14)

This evening we had a chance to Skype with Bethany’s sister, husband and their two year old son Jude. It was nice to connect with them for the first time since we’ve been here. There’s no doubt that technology like video chatting is just such a blessing to foreign missionaries. I realize not all missionaries are able to connect back to family the way we can, but we praise God for means to do so.

Gettin' Work Done (8/30/14)

More and more Bethany is having to make things from scratch in the kitchen. I think it’s great how she has jumped right into it. I’ve said before she’s braver than me and I can tell you she is doing it with a willing attitude and never complaining. We can’t just go to the store and get a familiar pasta sauce so tonight she made her own from scratch. The only down side is dinner takes a little longer some nights but I usually end of taking the kids outside if the weather allows. Tonight I took them in our backyard and put Avery’s new streamers on her tricycle (Nana and Papa sent them to us in the “box o’ fun”). She had a huge smile on her face as she made her way around the driveway and that’s always a joy for me to see.

Gettin' Work Done (8/30/14)

As we were laying the kids down tonight we heard some big “booms!” coming from outside. Bethany and I ran to the open kitchen window to find fireworks coming from down the street. We’re not sure if they were happing on the Poland/Czech border and we’re honestly not sure what the celebration was, but it was fun. Bethany said, “I’m gonna get the kids!” and ran back and we all watched the big sparkles in the sky for a few minutes together. Oh fireworks, you really don’t get old and I’m not too old for you. Here’s a little video I took accompanied by a song by Sleeping At Last that I enjoy.

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365 Czech Republic

One Box At A Time

Some people take life one day at a time, but we like to take it one box at a time. If you’ve ever moved, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like you keep unpacking and unpacking and the more you unpack the harder it gets to find places for everything. There’s actually a part of me that has sort of begun to ignore some of the boxes in our house, but seeing the stack of empty ones that Bethany had from today surprised me. Where are all of these coming from?! Bethany is on a roll right now just tearing through boxes and putting stuff away. I’m so thankful for her. She works so hard for us. I honestly don’t know where she is getting all of this energy.

One Box at a Time (8/11/14)

The past few weeks have actually been very busy at the JV office as we prepare for an international training conference in late September. Over 300 people will come together for an annual conference that JV puts on for the country leaders and others (or least that’s my understanding at this point. I’ve never been to this conference). Needless to say there’s a lot going on with my team to prepare for their arrival and hopefully provide them all the resources they need so they can be equipped to serve Christ better in their countries. For instance, my team is helping build a Web site right now that will be a resource for leadership training material. It goes hand-in-hand with a book that we’re designing (written by JV staff) that will aid leaders to train other leaders. There’s a lot that goes into both projects but things are moving along which is a blessing. My hope and desire is that these will be a blessing to those who use them and more fruit in the Kingdom will come from it!

The other night when Jonny was visiting I was showing him some music that has been blessing me of late. One of the songs I showed him and one that I just can’t seem to stop listening to is “The Only Name (Yours Will Be)” by Benji and Jenna Cowart. I won’t try and explain the song now but recommend you take a listen. It’s a simple worship song and a good reminder about what really matters at the end of the day (or the end of your life!). I’ve placed the lyrics below the video. Enjoy.

The Only Name (Yours Will Be)

Yours will be the only Name that matters to me
The only One Whose favor I seek
The only Name that matters to me

Yours will be the friendship and affection I need
To feel my Father smiling on me
The only Name that matters to me

And Yours is the Name the Name that saved me
Mercy and grace the power that forgave me
And Your love is all I’ve ever needed

When I wake up in the land of glory
With the saints I will tell my story
There will be one Name that I proclaim

Jesus Jesus Jesus just that Name

This song can be found on their EP album “Letters To The Church At Buffalo.”

Categories
365 Czech Republic

Unpacking Our Lives

Today we unpacked. That’s it. End transmission. OK…there was a little more to it.

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

The day started off with some nice dolphin toast… wait, never mind that! Move along…

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

We unpacled¬†a lot today. I can’t say I have photos of it all because we were moving along in a hurry, but I do have some. Today I built 2 desks, a bookshelf, and a small kitchen cart thing (all things we had from IKEA already). The kids loved getting their toys back. Above is a photo of Avery putting a bib on one of her “babies” all by herself. She said, “Daddy, baby’s hungry.”

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Our Bible study in California did something awesome and put together these monthly envelopes that we get to open. We were pumped to get the box we had of all the envelopes. In our haste to open them we accidentally opened the last one which was meant for June 2015. As soon as we started reading the card that went with the envelope we said, “Oh no, this is for a year from now!” Then it hit me that they had actually told us that when we got the envelopes but our brains are fried and we felt bad. However, it was actually a blessing in disguise because the June envelope had tons of kids stuff and they were great for our kids to have today while Bethany and I unpacked. So either way it’s a God thing and we’re thankful to our friends for putting the energy in to all the fun things we got to open today.

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Here’s a few shots of stuff just waiting to be unpacked.

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

Unpacking (7/11/2014)

I am so amazed how well our stuff traveled. We unpacked a ton of fragile items (glasses, cups, vases, etc.) and not a single thing is broken or cracked. It’s a testament to our friend Cathy who helped us pack and of course it’s God’s amazing grace.

While I was writing this post tonight I got to talk with my dad for the first time since we’ve been here. It was hard trying to figure out how to call them without paying a ridiculous amount of money, but thankfully there’s apps out there on the iPhone that allow us to talk over the Internet for free. We talked for 45 minutes and it was just nice to get his take on some things like our washer and dryer not fitting and what to do about the power conversion stuff. It was good to hear his voice.

It’s time for bed. I’ve enjoyed writing daily and rethinking our days and just remembering how God has worked in all of this. God is so kind to allow us to be here and now to have time to unpack all of things He’s provided for us. It doesn’t get old saying this: it’s a joy to serve the King.