Saturday, May 28, 2016

Anticipating Transition

Change is hard. Even if you are transitioning into something wonderful and exciting, change can be tough on everyone. Nate and I both seem to struggle with patience when a big transition is approaching...the closer it gets, the more we have trouble waiting for the transition to be here and finally happen.

There are many times in life where are are forced to be patient as we wait for a major transition. I was thinking back recently on the weeks before our wedding, the final weeks before moving to Austria, the last few weeks before Ellie was born, and so on... All of those times, it was so difficult at the end to live in the moment, rather than let impatience win out and lack contentment. Even when a difficult transition is approaching, I often just want to get the change over with and start figuring life out in my new reality, rather than continuing to wait.

This last week has been presenting a similar challenge. We are enjoying our time in CT, but as the flight back to Austria approaches, it feels as if time has slowed down, and it is hard to wait for this next big change to occur. After 7 months of life away from home, we are ready to begin settling back in to life in Vienna and that makes it hard to be content where we are at. We will surely miss many things about the U.S., especially time with friends and family (and easy, free babysitting!), but we forget to be thankful for the blessings of our current reality when we are too focused on the next step.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to go through life, anticipating the sacrifice he would need to make at the end? He didn't even begin his ministry until age 30 (talk about patience right there!) and all that time, he knew that he would need to suffer and die a gruesome death. If I were him, I would have just agonized over the waiting and wanted to get it over with. Naturally, Jesus is the ultimate example to us of patience in the face of waiting and transition. He depended on the Lord, even when he struggled with his emotions about the coming sacrifice and death. He regularly retreated to be alone. When he ministered to people, he was focused on them and living in the moment, rather than rushing through so he could move on to the next thing.

May we live our lives in the moment, as Jesus did, right where God has placed us now, being patient as we wait for each new stage and transition!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Week Away

We are just a week away from our departure from the U.S. back to Austria! Watch below to get an update from us on what's coming up and how you can pray for us. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Visit to Encounter Church

Last Sunday, we shared an update at Encounter Church, one of our partner churches here in Connecticut. We love this congregation - they are so passionate about missions and being engaged in the work going on in Vienna. We really enjoyed giving an update and connecting with many people after the service. This was our last Sunday service presentation and our last time wearing our traditional Austrian dress on this Home Assignment, before heading back to Austria (which is good, because I couldn't button the dress all the way, thanks to being 18 weeks pregnant!). Encounter Church was a great way to close out our visit to the U.S.!

Getting Away

Last week, Nate and I were blessed with the chance to take a 4-day trip by ourselves to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, leaving Ellie home with Grammy and Grampy. We were so thankful for this opportunity to get away and rest a bit, before we jump in to lots of transition in the coming weeks and months.

Nate used to go ice climbing up in this area of NH, and it was really special for him to take me there and bring me to his favorite restaurants and hiking trails. We worked hard, hiking quite a few miles each day, and then rested hard, too (sleeping a LOT at night and splurging for some massages). All in all, it was a really fun time away.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

At outdoor lunch at a cafe with a scenic view and delicious food

We saw so many beautiful waterfalls!

Conway Scenic Railroad

A view of Mount Washington

At the top of Cathedral Ledge

Atlanta Adventures

We recently had the privilege to travel down to Atlanta for a week. We stayed with my brother and his family (including our four nieces and nephews) and not only spent time with them, but also met with some supporters. Nate also had the chance to attend a conference at my brother's church about improving hermeneutics in preaching. It was a busy week, but a fun and memorable one!

Here are some pictures from our visit:

Time on the airplane. Ellie is a professional traveler now!

Enjoying the warm Atlanta weather

Fun at the aquarium with cousins

Silhouetted family photo with the whale shark

Posing with a penguin

Visiting a nature center 

Fun with cousin Caleb