Monday, August 11, 2014

A Change is Coming!

Just over a year ago we returned from "Missionary Life".
Hans started a new job.
I began teaching again.
The kids started in the public school system.
Ashlyn had a regular babysitter for the first time.

Life was crazy. Life was hectic. Life was busy.

We weren't sure which direction to go or what to look for. We had no idea what was next for us and it was very unsettling, frustrating, and discouraging.

We continued to seek God. We continued to ask "What next?" And, "What do we do now?"

An update (only a year later) :)

Hans began having problems with his shoulders (more than normal) and he was just struggling to figure out how to use his passions and God given talents in the job that he was in. We began seeking God and then began pursuing the thoughts of him going back to school for teaching. We threw it around and talked about it and what it might look like for our family...

In the meantime...I was looking for a new job. I was ready to be at a bigger school, preferably a K-2 school and possibly working with Hispanic kids and parents. At the end of May I received a call that I had an interview with Sturgis Public Schools. I interviewed once, twice, and got the a K-2 school teaching first grade where about 40% of the students are Hispanics. I cried happy tears. God had prepared me for the past three years for a time such as this...

Then, back to Hans. This was the clear answer we needed for him to get ready for school. He's going back to school. :) He will start in a week at a community college. We are SO excited for this for many reasons. He LOVES working with middle school/high school aged kids and has desired for so long to be involved in a school system. He will major in Math and minor in Spanish. :)

God is GOOD!

So the other "God" part of the story is that we began looking for houses in Sturgis and we weren't having much luck. A week later our realtor calls us and says, "I know you weren't thinking of selling your house, just renting, but I have someone who wants to look at it." Uh, ok. I guess. She loved it and bought it. WHAT?!?! Since when does that happen...Oh yeah, when God is in control, when you're faithful in serving him...he will grant you the desires of your heart.

And I'm typing this through tears. I think back to all the amazing memories in this house:

Our first house
Bringing the boys home from the hospital
Birthday parties
Lots of youth events (including the marshmallow fight) lol
Neighbors over to play
Many updates to make it home
And a lot more laughter and tears

Leaving is a little sad, but it's really hard not to smile and be excited when God's hand has clearly been evident in our lives over the past year. Waiting is never easy, but God's shaping and molding in our family over the past year has been amazing. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our three little ones as we begin a new normal (house, school, church)

Our Journey was meant to be for our life as missionaries...

and has proven to be a great title to our life. It's all a journey people...a journey that God wants to be involved in in all of our lives.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Next?

jour·ney [jur-nee]

1. a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time; trip: a six-day journey across the desert.
2. a distance, course, or area traveled or suitable for traveling: a desert journey.
3. a period of travel: a week's journey.
4. passage or progress from one stage to another: the journey to success.

When I realized how long it had been since I made a blog post my first thought was "Oh well, it doesn't matter, we're not missionaries anymore. No one really cares about what's going on with our lives. And to be quite honest, our lives aren't that exciting right now anyway" But then, as I really thought about the fact that I haven't written in two months...I was really kind of upset at myself. I mean really...all of life is a journey, not just a few years...that's just a small part of it. Our journey hasn't stopped just because we're back in the United States and not under the title of "missionaries" anymore.

So I write today about what? About the next journey? About life as it is right now? About how God is working and moving in our family? About all of that?

I think that being back for two months now I can truly say...I'm glad I'm home! The first couple weeks were a bit overwhelming and emotional. We were around people all the time (which was good) we were excited to be back, yet missing the DR and our friends there. Then, it hit...the NOW WHAT? What do we do with ourselves? What does life and routine look like here in Centreville, in this house? How do we balance family with Hans's work, and getting involved with church, or do we even get involved?

Here's what life looks like...

Hans is working for his uncle building houses. Their business is located about 30 minutes from where our house is at, but he could be driving in numerous different directions at any time to be working. So, at first it made for long days...for both of us. Leaving before the kids wake up and getting home at dinnertime was a VERY big adjustment for all of us. We've learned to embrace the time we have with him in the evening.

I'm at home with all three kids right now. The boys will start kindergarten and second grade at the beginning of September at the public school here in Centreville. We're (mostly me) :) looking forward to getting them into school and getting a routine down for all of us.

We're attending our old church which is about 15 minutes from where we live. We're a little hesitant to get too involved right now as it's just a little much for our "Dominican mindset" of relaxing and siestas and having a lot of time together as a family. We know that when the time is right God will clearly show us our next step/direction in getting involved with the church.

Thank you for your love, your prayers, your kind words, your encouragement, and your support. We are grateful for the people that God has placed in our lives to help us continue OUR JOURNEY here in the states.

Friday, May 10, 2013


May has been one of the most amazing months for so many reasons.

Hans's parents came to visit.

Hans and I got to get away for a weekend with the SI staff at the SI staff retreat. What a great, restful, refreshing three days away without kids.

Got to spend an amazing night away with great friends while another great friend watched our kids.

I feel like we're going out with a BANG! :) Thankful for so many great friends who have invested in our life here in the DR. Our journey has been better because of all of you.


We're selling stuff.
We're packing up.
We're beginning to say good byes.

I cannot believe that we have one week left. I am excited about the next chapter of our lives and sad to have to leave here. God has changed us in so many ways as individuals and as a family, and I cannot wait to see how He uses these things to bring Him honor and glory.

Pray for us as we wrap things up here.
Pray for good "good byes".
Pray for our transition back to the states.
Pray for those friends that we are leaving.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finish the Race

I was never a runner in school...
And I still don't like running just for the fun of it.

However, I did get to watch my brother run when he was in high school. It was so exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. I remember it so vividly...

He usually ran the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and the mile relay. (maybe some other race too, I can't remember.) If any of you know track these were the "FAST" races. It was so exciting when the gun would fire and they would take off sprinting as fast as they could to the finish line. My brother's two fast races (100 and 200) led up to the one mile relay (still a fast race, but a little longer). A lot of times the whole meet would come down to this one, last race. Four runners each running one lap around the track to equal a mile. So exciting as the first runners start out, then handing the baton off each time until he very last runner crosses the finish line.

All this makes me think of the race that God has set before us. It's a series of sprints and sometimes marathons to get to the finish line.

In our case right now, we are finishing our first marathon. Three years have passed since we began the call that God set before us. Language training in one country, back to our home country, to another state for missionary training, to the DR where we began the marathon of doing God's work that he called us to do.

Mixed emotions are flooding us right now. Excited. Nervous. Scared. Overjoyed. Frustrated. Sad. Hopeful.

BUT, we know that...just as strong as we began this race, we must finish the same. We must run until we reach the finish line. We must finish strong. We must always remember that...

"Let us run the race not only for the prize! But as those who've gone before us, let us leave to those behind us, the heritage of faithfulness passed on through Godly lives!"

Please pray for us as we finish here in the DR. One month left now...

Pray we will finish STRONG.
Pray for us as we say goodbye to great friends.
Pray for us as we finish selling our stuff.
Pray for us as we get ready to transition to a totally new culture, a culture that our kids are unfamiliar with.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm Just So Mad

I'm sure most of you reading this have heard of the book, I'm Just So Mad. Well, today, I feel like titling my day "I'm Just So Tired". Actually, I think that pretty much sums up every day for me lately.

My 6 year old has Spanish homework every night...along with his regular classroom homework. And when I say homework I don't just mean something that will take him a few minutes and then he's done. smart little man, who works so hard and quick, works for almost 30 minutes just on Spanish homework. And that's not the worst of it, normally, he needs help.

My 4 year old...we'll he's 4, that should explain a lot.

My baby girl, 8 months old, is busy to say the least, and she hasn't been sleeping or eating well due to teeth coming in.

It's go, go, soon as I step out of my bed (which is normally between 6-7 each morning). Then, when bedtime rolls around I am so frustrated and tired and I just want some quiet time and to not think about anything that has to do with telling stories, poopy diapers, or Spanish homework.

I really love my life...I do! I love my husband (of almost 9 years) more than I ever imagined possible. I love my three healthy, beautiful babies so much. BUT, I'm tired.

This morning as I was reading my bible/devotional and writing in my journal I was just so negative about everything and I came to a verse, Mark 6: 30-32 "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place”

I realized that I wasn't taking time to get away, time for just me (I know, seems selfish right). I wasn't taking care of me. I wasn't taking time to spend in the Word or time to just sit, think, listen, and pray.

Even if I do this and find time to do this...I'm still tired (physically), but I am a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and most of all a better follower of the Man who created me.

I just want to encourage moms and dads to find time away...however it may work or whenever it may work. It's worth it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Owl Hats

There's this place called Screaming Owl and they're always giving away free and cheap stuff for kids and it's so adorable. I just entered to win a free owl hat and you should too!!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GO and DO the same

I am always asking God for ways to help out.
I am always looking for ways to be a blessing.
I am always trying to find new things to do.
I am always searching...

3:00 already...when did that sneak up on me. I had a great morning with our cleaning lady, skyping, some outside time with Wyatt, a great (kid free) lunch with Lindsay, and an afternoon of just restfulness. Then, it was time to go. It's always such a pain to wake Ashlyn up, as she's usually napping, to load her in her car seat. Then, to lock up all the locks and make sure all the windows are closed, open the gate, close the gate, lock the gate...sigh. ALL to get out of my house and onto the road. Most days I'm fine and I don't think about I thought about it, and it frustrated me. So, as we're driving to get Grady from school I'm thinking today would be a good day to go to the park. The boys can plan, Ashlyn can watch everything, and I can just sit and enjoy the beautiful sun and mountains.

3:20 we pull into the park...I'm really looking forward to this today for some reason. I sit down, take a sip of my water, and I hear "Que linda, Dios de Bendiga, muneca" You see, everyone is always loving on my Ashlyn...and I do love it. Today it was two Haitian girls about 12 years old or so. They begin talking to her and then to me and after about five minutes they're sitting with me. Sweet girls, a little giggly...ok, a lot giggly, who just got out of school and we're on their way home. We were talking in Spanish, which was funny to me. My first language is English and theirs is Creole and we're talking in Spanish. :)

3:35 we're getting ready to leave...The girls ask for a ride home. There it way to be a blessing, helping out, something to do. We all load up in the car. Both girls are smashed together in the front seat, still giggly. :) We drive about three minutes to the one girls house and she says (in Spanish) Come meet my mom. SO, I meet her mom and her three sisters who speak NO Spanish. That was interesting, a 12 year old girl was translating for me. We finally leave there after about 15 minutes and take the other girl home. We get to her house and the road is a dead end with no turn around. Did I mention it's only big enough for one car. Hmmmm...the boys did a really good job guiding me backwards down most of the road. Geesh! On the way out I heard the words "Americana" and "Amor" about 3 teams and I began to wonder why I was actually doing this. And then I remembered...

One of Wyatt's favorite books and stories in the bible, The Good Samiritan.

It's what we do people. We are Christians. We are disciples. We are followers of Christ. We love. We help. We bless.

BECAUSE that's what HE calls us to do.

When we ask...
When we look...
When we try...
When we search...

BIG things can happen and we can make a difference in the lives of HIS people.

...go and do the same! said Jesus.

It didn't seem like I did a lot. I just took two little girls home. I mean really, how hard was it. BUT, in their eyes it could've been the highlight of their day. I could have been the only other adult the mom talked to that day. WHO KNOWS! I just know that when God calls I want to answer.