Thursday, January 3, 2013

There's always another bend in the road...

When I was around 12 or 13, I loved "Anne of Green Gables", both the books by L.M. Montgomery and the movies. I loved how Anne had such a big heart, a longing to be loved, and was forever getting herself into trouble with her spontaneity. She loved big, trusted big, messed up big, sought and found forgiveness and bounced back from her mistakes. Much like my oldest son Sammy :-) One of my favorite quotes from her character is "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. Well, with no mistakes in it yet!" During my preteen years I studiously avoided mistakes, feeling that I had to always be perfect, or at least give that appearance. I still struggle with this (pride is the best name I have for it), but God is so good to give me a forgiving husband and adventurous children who remind me that unless you allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, you miss the adventure! And, that the more we really trust the Lord and follow His plans for us, the fewer "mistakes" there are. Often our choices can look like foolish mistakes in the world's eyes, but if our eyes are on Him, then we can trust that He has us on the right path.

The Lord has grown us all so much this year. It's hard to condense it down into one end-of-year blog post. Very little of it has been in the ways we would have expected. It has come through surprising friendships, unexpected hurts, humbling mistakes, and moments of pure joy. We are beginning to truly fall in love with Jesus and allow that to just spill out into being able to love others more freely. We thought we were coming to Eatonville, WA to "learn to be missionaries" but God has brought it about in such a beautifully personal way that is far better than any formal discipleship school we could have imagined. Much of it has come through our amazing family of believers at South Hill Calvary Chapel, but also through our wonderful friends at Trinity Aviation Academy.

Phillipians 1:3-7
New King James Version (NKJV)
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,  for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;  just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace."

The Ledfords
We've been struck this year by how much of the Bible is about relationships...really ALL of it is about relationships. It begins with God's relationship within Himself of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect communion and love...then His relationship with man made in His image, how man broke that relationship through sin and then how our loving God has sought throughout history to restore His people to Himself, even though we, not He, were the ones who broke the relationship. It ultimately cost Him the life of Jesus, his perfect Son, as a sacrifice to cover our sin and bring us back into a relationship with Him. We are very, very important to God and therefore should be very important to each other as well! He has taught us a lot about being authentic in relationships this year as we seek to know His nature better.

This Christmas we were blessed with the opportunity to spend time working on our relationships with family and friends, with a visit from my sister, Caroline, and her husband, Dave; followed by our visit to the Ledfords in Grand Rapids. It was wonderful to first open our home, and then to be welcomed into the home of Gabe's brother, Paul, his wife, Tammy, and their five children. Then, on New Year's Eve, we topped off the visit by spending the evening with our crazy friends, Scott and Christine (Christine has been Gabe's friend from childhood). They are always so welcoming, and really know how to have fun!

There are changes on the horizon for us and how He would have us fulfill our calling. For now, we are still called to foreign missions, and still through aviation - including Gabe completing his A&P certificate and commercial pilot's license to better be able to serve the Lord using an airplane (or helicopter?) as a tool. It seems the Lord is changing our direction, however, about where Gabe receives his aviation training from. We feel led away from our dear friends at Trinity and on to somewhere else, not sure yet where it will be, but probably not until summer/fall of 2013. So we ask for your prayers through the transition as we seek where God would use us in the next 6 months in Washington (possibly a summer mission trip?), and where He would have us continue Gabe's training in the fall. It has been a difficult decision, but one covered in prayer in which the Lord has been so faithful to speak to us, send others to minister to our hearts, and preserve our relationships through difficulty. The road to "becoming aviation missionaries" seems longer than ever before, but we trust that God knows exactly what He's doing(duh) and we are seeking to have joy every day in being in His will for this moment. Thank you for all your love and prayers this year and may you all be blessed as you seek a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus!

In His Love,


Here are some recent photos of the family:

Ciara's Ballet Recital

Looks like the Wii is being held hostage again...

"Reading" his Christmas gift

Ol' Man Winter visits Eatonville occasionally

Spending Thanksgiving weekend with friends
Darth Dave has the young padawan on the run

"Sledding" in Michigan

Ciara's Werewolf Phase?

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