Just be Still

“The Lord will fight for you.  Just be still.” Exodus 14:14

These words, from the kid’s church verse from last week, are a powerful reminder to me in this season of business.  Ryan and I have gone from place to place, speaking engagement to speaking engagement and this is just the beginning of our busy summer.  We swing from low, exhausted lows to energized, determined highs and back again.  Yes, this is our job but we have to be careful that we don’t start relying too much on our own abilities and forget the underlying foundation of our work.ExodusI’m not good at being still.  I’m not good at resting.  Case in point: As I type these words, I’m actually feeling a little guilty because it’s Sunday afternoon and I should be napping or otherwise really resting but instead I’ve convinced myself that writing a blog entry to maintain my blogging schedule is more important.  And although I am going to finish this,  I’m reminded that I need to remember the words of this verse even more.

“The Lord will fight for you.  Just be still.”  The deeper we get in this process, the more convinced I am that my own words and abilities are severely inadequate.  It’s only by God’s grace, through the Lord fighting for us that we will see everything fall into place, raise the support we need, finish the training we have to complete and make it to Australia.

We have a loving heavenly father engaged in this battle, we have his son Jesus who is also in on this fight and the Holy Spirit is constantly doing battle on our behalf.  We have a whole army fighting for us…now to just be still.

Reasons #60-#62 Why I Love My Husband

There is no shortage of reasons why I love my husband.  Even on the difficult days, I still find that there are many reasons to celebrate our marriage and how God is working in us together.

#60- His ability to focus on the moment.  Although frustrating at certain times, I wouldn’t change my husband’s ability to be in the moment, enjoy what is currently happening and not be weighed down by all the other stuff that can easily crowd out in-the-moment joy.  This is one of the things I truly wish I could glean from Ryan, even just a little.

#61-He’s a cat whisperer.  No, not every cat likes him but he has an uncanny ability to connect with cats and other animals too.  He’s amazed a couple people who thought they had cats who don’t like anyone but by the end of our visit, Ryan had them purring.  RyanCatWhisperer#62- He doesn’t yell.  I really don’t know what it sounds like for my husband to raise his voice.  I’m very expressive when frustrated or angry, however, Ryan chooses his words carefully and rarely even raises his voice.  Sometimes I wish he would just yell and let it out but we both know that yelling is probably not the solution.  I love Ryan for his gentle, not yelling ways.

As much as I do love singing Ryan’s praises, this list is as much for me as it is for anyone else.  Marriage isn’t easy and I need these constant reminders that God brought us together for a reason and that there are indeed, many reasons why I love my husband.

A Day in LA

IMG_20160402_111504-2We love to take advantage of beautiful California days and hike whenever we get a chance.  Today we hiked from Ferndell up to the Griffith Observatory, a beautiful scenic hike in the middle of LA.  Last time we visited the Griffith Observatory was Valentine’s Day 2014, a week before we got married.  And this morning we got together to celebrate life milestones with Ryan’s friends from Pardeeville, Wisconsin who live in the LA area.  One couple is newly engaged, we got to meet the other couple’s 8 month old son and we shared more about our adventures getting to Australia.  It was a great LA day.IMG_20160402_114527

Are you in Australia yet?

Are you back from Australia already?  How is Australia?  What’s it like living down under? Back so soon!?  These are all questions we receive on a somewhat regular basis.  It’s especially prevalent in areas where we have spent a lot of time but now are mostly gone.  If we didn’t leave for Australia, than where did we go?IMG_0821Coming back to Camarillo is a little strange for me and almost surreal.  We lived here for the first two years of our marriage, and Ryan had lived here for a few years even before that.  We use to have a home, jobs, friends, church and community.  It was all here.  But since early February, we’ve been on the road working towards the goal of serving in Australia.  We even had a good-bye party in Camarillo because we wouldn’t be living here any longer and of course we’re not at church every Sunday anymore.  So it’s understandable that some people in are confused about where we are but no, we’re not in Australia…yet.  We’re working towards it!

Our home is currently wherever we are together.  We knew that going into our marriage.  Through prayer, the wisdom of our organization and God’s timing, we are working towards getting to Australia.  This requires more financial support as well as training among other things.  Since you’re a blog reader you know that we’re still here in the US and you’ve hopefully been following our adventures.  Please pray for peace for us in God’s timing.  We may not be in Australia yet but we definitely feel that God has already started our ministry.

Reasons #57-#59 Why I Love My Husband

It’s been a couple months since I posted reasons why I love my husband (From January- Reasons #54-#56).  Since February Ryan and I have been spending so much time together on the road and like many things in life, it’s wonderful, terrible, challenging and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But it still seems like a good time to remind myself why I love this man so much.  IMG_20160316_152739#57- He is a hard worker.  He would much rather be outside enjoying the sunshine and hanging out in the beautiful mountains pictured behind him.  But he knows that this is now his job and this is how he is able to provide for us as a family.  I’m very thankful for my hardworking husband.

#58- His positive attitude.  I say I’m being realistic but it’s often quite negative.  And as much as I am trying to work on my own attitude it’s helpful to have a very positive husband.  Ryan’s amazing optimism is a nice balance for me.  He helps me to remember that rainbows, sunshine, gumdrops, piglets and puppies all make the world a better place.

#59- His confidence in God’s ability.  Just like my lack of positivity, I also tend to limit God’s ability to work in our lives and be in and of himself the impetus for change.  But Ryan is confident in God’s ability to be the omnipresent, gracious and powerful, all-knowing and loving God of the universe.  This is amazingly encouraging for me while we walk through a daunting time of tasks and work that will not be accomplished in our own finite power.

For my single friends: The list I had of what I wanted in a husband didn’t include many of the things that now I am thankful to have in order to promote a healthy marriage.  If you desire to be married, I would encourage you to pray for your future spouse and pray that God would be equipping them with the traits and abilities that you can’t see you need now but that God knows you will need in the future.

For my married friends: What are three things that you love about your spouse?  (You don’t need to make a public declaration, unless you want to, but I’d love to encourage you to think about it.)

A New (to me) Phone

I will admit that having a smart phone is a blessing in so many ways.  It’s a great way to keep in touch with people because I have my Facebook, email and phone all in one place.  With maps and GPS it is a lot more difficult to get completely lost.  Ryan and I keep schedules, do mobil banking, write lists and so much more.  IMG_20160311_151723However, technology keeps moving forward and one of my least favorite tasks is getting a new phone.  I don’t like relearning how things work and re-setting up all the apps and such that I use on a regular and not-so-regular basis.  That is why I’ve waited for so long for this latest upgrade (despite having the new phone at least 6 months since it is Ryan’s old one from his last upgrade).  However, when the majority of my main apps stopped working because they are “no longer compatible with this device”, I had to take the plunge.IMG_20160311_142452Ryan is now helping me set up my One Plus One.  The One Plus phones are a great and relatively inexpensive alternative to the current phone market.  I’m not promoting these phones for profit, Ryan and I have simply found that this was a good choice for us.  Although larger than my preference, this phone will hopefully work well for a long time.  It is not tied to a specific network and will be able to adapt to Australia too.  So with that said, here’s to new phones and new technology!

 

Shorty and Slim

Ryan and Josh first met at Trinity Bible College.  Josh came up to Ryan in class and said “Hey Shorty” to which Ryan replied “Hey Slim”.  They’ve been fast friends ever since.  If you couldn’t tell these pictures are from their college days.SlimDog2I met Josh 2 1/2 years ago on my first Pacific Northwest road trip while Ryan and I were dating.  It was important for Ryan that I meet Josh and get his stamp of approval.  Needless to say I passed his rigorous testing process.  Josh and I met again when he stood next to Ryan as his best man at our wedding.  Although now many years removed from Trinity, Ryan and Josh remain close friends.  SlimDogTomorrow (Sunday the 28th) we will be there to witness Josh’s wedding to his fiancé Cathie.  Just as it was important for Ryan to have Josh with him at our wedding, it is important for Josh to have Ryan at his wedding.  We are thankful for the timing and that we are able to be a part of this special day.  Please cover Josh and Cathie in your prayers as they begin this new chapter in their lives as husband and wife.