Personal Reflections

Thoughts, struggles, and ideas we a dealing with through this process.

Opened Doors

Opened Doors

For many months now Chad and I have been praying about where to have this baby. In the beginning we always intended to have the baby here. We never really thought twice about it. But as we began to ask around, many people told us that if it was possible, to go have the baby in the states. But we still didn’t know if this would even be an option. And we didn’t know if this was what God wanted. God would really have to open some doors for us to go back home to WA and have this baby.

Having the baby in either place would mean sacrifices that we would have to make. There are definitely pros and cons to both. And even after sitting down and writing out the pros and cons, we still didn’t have a clear answer as to what we should do. So we continued to pray and pray and pray. We wanted God to be glorified in the decision that we made. And we wanted it to be God’s plan, not just what we wanted.

Our answer became more clear when God began to open some doors. They just happened to be the exact doors that we had been praying about. Because of those open doors, we will be traveling back to WA to have the baby. This was not any easy decision and like I said before, does require some sacrifices. One of those sacrifices is Chad and I being apart for at least one month. My sister-in-law, Tanya, is here right now with us. She flew out here to fly back with me so that I could have some help with Asher, being that I am almost 8 months pregnant! We leave on Monday (Oct. 22). Chad will be staying in Honduras to continue work in the ministry, probably until sometime around Thanksgiving. The baby is due December 6 so we plan on staying until early January, once we have obtained all the necessary paperwork to fly back to Honduras with our new bundle.

Thank you to all those that were praying with us on this big decision. We do feel at peace that this is what God wanted for our family. Please continue to pray for us in the coming months. Specific prayers include the time while Chad is apart from us, the traveling that we will be doing, the labor and delivery of baby B, and all the adjusting that will be taking place in the next couple months for our soon to be family of 4. Thank you and God bless!

33 weeks and feeling large! Asher just had to be in the pic with mommy and baby brother.

Back Home

We’ve been back in Honduras for a little over a week now. Coming back was a little difficult as we had just said goodbye to our families and all the familiarities and comforts again. I was in tears upon our return, for two reasons. One, because leaving our family is never easy. It’s a sacrifice that we make everyday to be away from our loved ones. And two, because while difficult, it still felt so right. We really do feel like we are back home, and going to church on Sunday and seeing our Honduran family reminds us again of why were are here.

We are beginning to slowly transition back to the Honduran lifestyle and to the life of full time ministry. If you were at our Taco Feed, you know of the changes that are taking place for us on the mission field. We feel that God has called us to Honduras to do leadership training and to teach men, women, and children to become Christian leaders of their generation. This is what Honduras needs and this is the hope for Honduras. Chad will be busy teaching leadership to Honduran men, many who come from our church community. My job is a little different in the sense that I am first and foremost a wife and a stay-at-home mom. But I do plan on doing leadership training with the young women and children in our church.

We are currently busy, mostly me, planning, preparing, and nesting for baby #2, who is just a couple of months away from making his appearance. I am no longer sick but am feeling the affects of the third trimester (30 weeks), which include fatigue, aches and pains, and did I mention fatigue. I am so tired these days and my energy feels zapped! But we are so excited to meet this little guy and welcome him to our family. Thank you for all your prayers for us every day. God bless you and your family this fall season!

We HEART Washington!

We HEART Washington!

Going on swings is a luxury!

Our WA Visit, so far

WOW! It has been a bit too long since we last posted. We sincerely apologize and we blame it on the fact that we are still in the states and keeping busy each day. Our time in WA has been wonderful and we are so thankful for the rest and relaxation that we have been getting while at our home away from home away from home (make sense?) :) I know that I feel completely blessed to have some help with Asher, especially since I am becoming more and more pregnant each day! I think it’s safe to say that our little guy is loving being surrounded by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and several cousins. Not to mention running around in the grass, going to parks, going on walks, picking blackberries and pretty much everything that we do not have the luxury of doing in Honduras. It actually brings a tear to my eye to think of taking him away from everything he seems to love so much here.

Taco Feed

Right now we are busy planning our 3rd Annual Taco Feed, which is our main fundraiser of the year (Thursday, Sept. 6th). It’s a time where we get to say our many thank you’s to all who support us while on the mission field. There is also a silent auction, free tacos, and a short time of sharing about our ministry in Honduras. We appreciate prayers as we prepare for this up and coming event!

We still have a couple weeks left in WA, until Sept. 20. We are looking forward to spending that time with family and friends and celebrating Asher’s 3rd birthday. Thanks again for your continued prayers and support. God bless!

Loving some smores at Birch Bay.

Believe it or not, we actually had some “fall like” days where Asher got to try his first hot chocolate. Him and his cousin Tye at Nana’s house.

And we can’t forget the Fair! Asher and his cousin Daisy on one of the many rides that we went on that week.

Asher and daddy at a Mariner’s game over Labor Day Weekend.

For a Season

Update

We sincerely apologize for the lack of blog posts lately. As some of you read in our last newsletter, I am 4 months along in the pregnancy now and I was feeling better. Well, that lasted about a week. Asher came down with the flu, along with a horrible cold and cough. He then passed that all on to me. The both of us were sick for a couple of weeks with that cough. And just when I thought I was getting over the pregnancy sickness, it decided to sneak back up on me again. It’s definitely not as bad as it was, and some days are better than others. But I am still trying to remember what it feels like to feel good and normal, and energized! I am 2 weeks shy of being 20 weeks, which means I am almost half way there. December can’t come fast enough!

More Discouragement

I’ve said it before, how I have been feeling very discouraged the past couple of months. Being so sick all the time means that I am home all the time. And when I am home all the time, it means Asher is too. Both of us are experincing some major cabin fever, and some days I feel like one of us, or both of us, might just go crazy! I have come to hate the television, as I confess that I turn it on a lot to entertain Asher while I lay sick on the couch. I wonder if I will look back on these days and just cry because I disliked this period of my life so much (being pregnant and sick) and have missed out on opportunies of enjoying the little years of my little buddy.

Seasons

I’m not asking for a pity party. I know that God puts us in different seasons in our life. Some are wonderful, and some are difficult. Right now, my season is difficult. But during the difficult ones is when I feel that God is trying to speak to me or teach me a lesson. My sister-in-law recently gave me the book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, which are pages of Jesus speaking to you. It is through this book that I feel God wants me to just learn how to experience peace in His Presence. No matter what season we are experiencing in our lives, we can always experience His peace. It’s not easy, and I confess that I don’t always experience this peace, even though I want to so badly. But it’s good to know that it’s always there. I leave you with an entry from this book that I recently read:

Trust me in all your thoughts. I know that some thoughts are unconscious or semi-conscious, and I do not hold you responsible for those. But you can direct conscious thoughts much more than you may realize. Practice thinking in certain ways, trusting me, thanking me, and those thoughts become more natural. Reject negative or sinful thoughts as soon as you become aware of them. Don’t try to hide them from Me; confess them and leave with Me. Go on your way lightheartedly. This method of controlling your thoughts will keep your mind in My Presence and your feet on the path of Peace.

 Can I get an Amen?!

HOME!

HOME!

SURPRISE!

Many of you know now that we just made a trip back to our hometown of Lynden, WA. We spent a quick week there for my 30th birthday, whom I got to share with my twin sis, whom by the way had no idea I was coming.  It was not easy to keep a secret, but we managed to pull it off. Surprises are the best!

TWINS

I do feel so blessed to have been born with a twin sister. On June 8, 1982 we made our appearance in the world. I can think of three birthday’s that we didn’t get to spend together, all in our 20′s. So from 1 all the way to 29, it has been us together on our birthday. It didn’t seem right that we weren’t going to be together for our big 3-0. It brought tears to both of our eyes to think of us not being together on our special day.

The Plan

SO, after some secret emails between my older sister and my husband, it was decided that we would fly home for my birthday and surprise Treva, my twin sis. Both of our families pitched in the money to get all three of us home for a week. Chad surprised me with the news a little early. He couldn’t keep it in any longer when he saw how upset I was about being away from Treva on my birthday. I was just a bit excited!

Thankful

We all kept the secret from Treva so she had absolutely no idea that I was coming. I didn’t tell anyone from back home that we were coming, so basically only our immediate families and some close friends knew. I didn’t want the word to get out, which isn’t hard to do in Lynden! But we kept it a surprise and nothing could ever compare to the look on Treva’s face when I popped up from behind a door and she saw me. It was one of the best moments ever. I am so thankful that we got the chance to go home for a little break and see family. And I am so thankful that I got to spend my 30th birthday with my twin sister. God is good!

The Voice of Truth

A Good Song

Chad and Asher had just left for church when I started to do the dishes last night. I didn’t go because I was feeling sick, like usual. I usually like to listen to music while doing this, so I went to youtube and found the song, “Voice of Truth,” by Casting Crowns. I have heard this song many times before, but as I was listening to the chorus, still washing dishes, I literally began to weep.

“And the voice of truth tells me a different story, the voice of truth says do not be afraid. The voice of truth says this is for my glory. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

The part I began to weep on was the part I bolded, “The voice of truth says this is for my glory.” I just couldn’t get that out of my head. I thought to myself, if every struggle, every trial, every difficulty we ever go through is for HIS glory, doesn’t that make it all worth it? Easy? Absolutely not. But worth it? Absolutely yes. I pictured my struggles bringing Him glory and I just couldn’t stop crying. Let me say that again, my struggles, your struggles, bring Him glory.

Discouragement

I’ll share a little about why this was such a huge impact on me last night. These past few weeks have been very difficult for me. I have been extremely sick with this pregnancy, unable to really do much of anything. I have felt more discouraged and defeated in the past month than I ever remember feeling. I have felt like a horrible mother for letting Asher sit in front of the tv while I lay on the couch, unable to hardly move. I have felt like a horrible wife for not being able to clean, cook, or even make the bed each day. I feel completely disconnected from the ministry, rarely going to church and not visiting the mothers at the hospital. And I hate it when I have to make a trip to the bathroom to throw up, locking the door behind me, only to have Asher screaming and banging on the door for mommy to come out. He knows what I do in there and he gets very concerned about me, always asking, “What’s wrong honey?”

Why?

So yes, it’s been a difficult month. Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond the moon excited for this baby; and nothing amazes me more than the miracle that is the creation of a baby. I know many women would give anything to feel sick if it meant they could carry a child themselves. My heart breaks for them. Which is why I am very thankful that God chose to bless us with a second child. I also know that God teaches us lessons throughout our lives, many times through a trial. And why does He do this? Because He loves us and wants whats best for us. But also because it is all for His glory. And knowing this, knowing that my God is glorified through my struggles makes it all worth it.

 

Church Makes Me Sad

Church Makes Me Sad

I usually stand at the back of church on Sunday morning so I can say Hi and shake hands with the people as they come. I see a lot standing there.

This Sunday there was one young girl sitting on the steps below me sobbing. I know this girl. She is 18 and living with her boyfriend and making bad decisions. It is hard to blame her though when you know the trauma she has been through. A little later she was sitting outside by herself so I went and sat by her and asked her what was wrong. She is living in her boyfriend’s house but hasn’t seen him for a couple days. He doesn’t call and won’t answer her calls. She is worried. What if he found someone else? What if she throws her out? Where will she go? I asked how her relationship with God is. She said she isn’t really following Him because there isn’t a church close to where she lives. I told her we love her and if she needs something she can come to us. But I’m not sure what I can do.

There was another guy at church. He is married with a 2 year old son and his wife is 9 months pregnant. He is in his 20′s and for work he sells cell phone accessories in the street. He doesn’t make enough money for his family to live on and is worried. He can’t read because he only went to school through 2nd grade. Despite the struggles in his life, there are few people I have ever seen who worship the Lord so genuinely. When he is worshipping he is all in.

I sat and talked with another young man I know. He has the biggest servant’s heart of anyone I have ever met. He is always smiling and always helping someone. He is married and him and his wife live on less than $300 a month. The house they live in gets broken in to all the time. Anything they had of value has been broken or stolen. They need to move but can’t afford to.

The stories go on and on. And last Sunday as I sat there looking out over the congregation with many of their stories playing through my head, I got very sad. I was sad because I want to do more to help them. Some of them need training and discipleship. Some of them just need a little money. Some need a place to live. But I don’t have the time or the money to help them all. There is only so much I can do.

Hope

Then I read this verse from 1 Kings 8:56 this morning:

“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.”

It gives me hope. The people of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Then they entered the promised land but still had battles to fight to rid the land of their enemies. But after it was done, those who remained faithful to the Lord got to enjoy his promises. Every one. Not one word of the Lord failed. And I believe the same is true today. On the other side of every season of difficulty and trial there is a season of blessing. And that blessing is from the Lord, not from me.

I wish I could do more. In the coming years I hope I am able to do more. But ultimately I know the responsibility rests on the Lord. These are His people just as I am His servant. He has promised blessing to those who remain faithful.

I Can’t Imagine

I Can’t Imagine

A Different Perspective

Going to the maternity ward these days gives me somewhat of a different perspective, now that I am pregnant myself. When entering each room and visiting the mothers and their babies, the phrase, “I can’t even imagine,” seems to come to my mind a lot. I would like to share those ‘can’t imagine’ moments with you to give you a glimpse into the lives of some of these women. Some might be a little graphic, but this is their life.

The Can’t Imagine’s

I can’t imagine giving birth in a room with five other women, who are also giving birth. I can’t imagine giving birth in a hospital where my Dr. might be a medical student (not a real Dr.). I can’t imagine, after just having my baby, being brought to a room where there are again 5 other women. I can’t imagine not having my husband by my side with me during labor. I can’t imagine not having even one loved one come to visit me. I can’t imagine laying in a bed with my own blood soaked sheets. I can’t imagine the excruciating pain of a C-section, the terrible pain afterwards, and no pain meds. I can’t imagine using a sheet as underwear, especially after just giving birth. I can’t imagine losing a baby after delivery, and then being placed in a room where 5 other women are cuddling theirs. I can’t imagine leaving the hospital, still in pain from the delivery, and having to catch a taxi or sit on a bus full of people in the smothering heat. I CAN’T IMAGINE.

Planting Seeds

My last visit to the hospital was just this morning. I almost didn’t go because of the morning sickness I’ve been having. And I didn’t know how the hospital smells and sights would make me feel. But God wanted to me go. Each time I visit the hospital, there is usually one or two girls that strike a chord within my heart. Today there was a girl who looked no older than 15 years old. She was laying horizontal in her bed with a full bed pan laying next to her. One of the nurses came in to draw her blood. I could see the fear in her eyes as that needle was about to make its way in her arm, so I grabbed her hand and let her squeeze. I left her with this one message that I hope plants a seed: “There is a KING in the heavens and you are HIS princess. Jesus loves you.” And this I CAN imagine.

More Goodbye’s

More Goodbye’s

Goodbye's are never fun.

More Visitors

Having visitors in our home always reminds us how much we love hello’s and how much we hate goodbye’s, especially when it’s family. We had the wonderful blessing of having Chad’s whole family visit us during spring break. This was an extra 8 people, making that 11 total, all in the same house. It was a busy week as we tried to show them as much of the ministry as we could, as well as some sightseeing, in such a short amount of time. But it was a good week. And one that none of us will ever forget.

Servant’s Hearts

For our 3 nieces and 1 nephew (between the ages of 7-14), it was their first time out of the country. Their eyes were opened to the drastic differences from the Honduran culture to their own. But they handled it all so well. It was clear to see their servants hearts as they made sandwiches for the kids on the street, as they wrapped bundles for the moms and babies at the hospital, and as they handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to the kids at the orphanage. It was beautiful to see them truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Welcome to Honduras!

Exciting News to Share

We also were very blessed to have the family here for another reason. We got to share the wonderful news of our pregnancy (due December 4th)! It’s very difficult to share such great news with loved ones from so far away. So we were excited to have some family here to share in our excitement with hugs and congratulations. If you look at the picture to your right, you will notice the sign that I am holding. This is how we told Chad’s family.

40 Years

Chad’s parents celebrated their 40th anniversary in February. This family trip was a celebration of just that. We are so thankful that they chose to take the family here and for all the money that they put into this trip. We will cherish the memories made and the time spent together. Thank you Jim and Laurie!

Grandpa and Grandma with their 5 grandkids.

 

A Sacrifice

A Sacrifice

All so happy to be together again!

They’re Gone

My parents just left today, and we are sad. It was so great spending time with them, showing them the ministry, and especially watching them bond with Asher. We couldn’t be more grateful for the time and money they spent to come see us. It’s times like this that we never take for granted, and we truly do treasure.

Time Spent

We were fortunate to be able to show them most of the ministry and what we do. We went to the Feeding Centers, the Maternity Ward, and mom even braved the streets! We also took them to see some of the more beautiful parts of Honduras, including the statue of Jesus (El Picacho), and a little tourist town known as Valley of Angles. But I think what they really enjoyed the most was just spending time with their grandson, and who can blame them!

Asher loved to walk hand in hand with his Papa and Nana.

Sacrifice

So saying goodbye was not, and never is, easy. It’s a huge sacrifice for all three of us, and it…is…hard. Sometimes I just wish we lived back in Lynden so we could see each other whenever we wanted. And it’s difficult to watch Asher bond so much with his grandparents and then have to turn around and say goodbye once again.

Hello’s Are Good

But God never said it was going to be easy. We knew there would be many sacrifices that we would have to make along the way. And even though it is very hard to be without your loved ones, we are still confident that this is where God has called us for this season of our life. So while saying goodbye is never any fun, we always look forward to the many sweet hello’s.