Wednesday, August 24, 2011


A year from now we'll be in Italy.  Well, actually a year from today we might possibly be in Germany for All Europe Conference.  Or maybe on vacation since absolutely nothing is open in August in Italy (so I hear).  Anyway, the point is, I won't be in the States.

This will be a year of lots of family trips.  I find that we're craving time with family more than ever before.  Being intentionally about dropping by for Sunday afternoons on the porch with Linda & Tim.  Taking the time to travel to Wisconsin even though its inconvenient and often expensive.  Committing to see ALL the family at Christmastime - Missouri, Wisconsin, and Virginia.  Investing the legwork and $$ to plan some 'last hoorah' family vacations (that ones slated for February - we'd love to see you, please come).

Hopefully we'll get tons of family time in this year.  It will take sacrifices (like unpaid time off from work, cash, and LONG car trips).  But it will be so worth it.  There will come a day, very soon, that we won't have that opportunity.  So, for now, to all of our families, we love you.  We miss you.  We're really excited to see you.  And we agree that it stinks a bit that we'll be separated for so long.  BUT.  You're always welcome to crash our flat and get a (cheaper) European vacation.

Come visit.

(Oh - and that goes for all everybody.  Family.  Friends.  Feel free to do a bit of house crashing.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Infertility Etiquette

I read this article today and thought it was so important, so I thought I'd share.  Infertility is something that is still taboo to talk about it.  Mostly because the majority of Americans are uneducated about the facts.  For decades its been a private struggle that women/families have had to bear alone.  But as Christians we were created for fellowship and community.  Infertility should be no different.

Borrowed from here.

The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

9 Things Not to Say, Plus 1

10.  Don't Tell Them to Relax
9.  Don't Minimize the Problem
8.  Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
7.  Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
6.  Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF
5.  Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
4.  Don't Gossip About Their Infertility
3.  Don't Push Adoption
2.  Let Them Know You Care
1.  Remember Them on Mother's Day

Believe it or not, all of these things have been said to me (except number one, which would have been a good thing.)  If you don't know what you say, this is a time when saying nothing is better.  Because, the well-intentioned remarks of friends end up hurting more deeply than you can expect.

And another thing, from my personal experience:
The reason you remember that friend of a friend who tried to conceive for ten years and it finally happened and now they're happy?  The reason you remember it is because it happened once.  Think about how many women tried for ten years and it never happened?  Why don't you remember that story?  Well probably because that woman couldn't share her story for fear you'd tell her to relax.  

We're out here.  No one talks about it.  

I have a few friends who are absolutely amazing.  They ask how our infertility is going (which I love).  And, they probably don't know what to say.  Yet they have the best possible response.  "I love you.  I'm praying for you.  And I hope you get pregnant."

Friday, August 19, 2011

What if your blessings come through raindrops?

I love this song.  It makes me smile.  Though I'm not really at a place where I can be thankful for the raindrops, I know that someday I'll get there.

Eight years ago, my father died without knowing Christ.  Even at that time, though it was painful, I knew that God would use that experience in my life.  He used that event to call me to the lost and teach me the urgency of sharing the Gospel.

Right now, I don't appreciate our struggle to start a family.  Its the most painful thing I've ever experienced.  But someday, I will see its value.  Someday this experience will enable me to minister to others.  Maybe there is someone in Italy, right now, who is where I am.  Maybe I'll meet her in a year and my story will help her see God's love.

Without the valleys there'd be no mountaintops.  Without the rain, we wouldn't know the warmth of the sun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Through the Trials

The Lord promises to bring us through the trials...not out of them.  How many times have I prayed to be delivered out of a trial.  

Pray for us.  We're in the midst of several trials right now.  The hardest things we've ever done.  On any given day we can't decide which is harder.  We're 18 months in, and there's no end in sight.  My prayers have more often been to be delivered from these trials.  

This morning I woke up, and it was the first time I thought about giving up.  I'm thankful for a husband who can be strong when I am not.  

Pray for us.  For our hearts.  Strength.  Encouragement.  Arms wrapped around us.

Because its really, really hard.

The best thing about the valley, or the only good thing, is that you know somewhere, someday, there's a mountaintop.  


Why oh why is it always, always freezing in Starbucks!  Its freezing.  If I didn't need power I'd move to the patio.  Oh, that, and having to pack up all my stuff.  And I have a lot of stuff here.  My purse, two drinks, laptop, pile of folders, open notebook, stack of papers, 4 highlighter, two pens, two sharpies, my iPod touch (calculator, needed), phone, and power cord.  Its like my own little desk taking up 1/3 of this 8 person table.  (I'm at the Plaza Starbucks in case anyone wondered.)  There isn't enough room for 'my desk' outside

But its freezing!  And, I have a hot drink.  Its not even touching how cold it is in here.  There are people with shorts on outside, perfectly comfortable.  I'm wearing jeans and just put on my sweater because its so cold.

Oh - and the same women has come in here three times since I've been in here - with a double stroller.  A nanny is my guess.  But seriously, she's getting pretty good at manuvering that huge thing around in here.

I'm seriously shivering and have goose bumps.  And I have to pee.  But than I'd have to pack up all this crap I'm surrounded by.

When's my lunch break?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Some Days

Some days are easier than others.  Some days I want to get rid of all my stuff an move into a hotel room until we leave.  Other days I want to stay right where I am in my comfortable, homey home; keeping all my things until we buy our plane tickets.

Some days are easier than others.

The thought of Skype is all I need to be okay with leaving my friends and family - some days.  Other days I tear up just thinking of saying goodbyes.

Today was one of those not so great days.  Satan whispers doubts in my ear.  The emotions of it all catches up with me.  I miss the landscape of Wisconsin and the beauty of Wisconsin winters.  I want to keep my oh-so-comfy couch until we buy our tickets.  I doubt want to sell my stuff at a garage sale.  Except maybe all those mountains of clothes that don't fit.

Today was one of the hard days.

I wonder why even just one area of our life can't be easy.  Or normal.  Or comfortable.  Or not so stretching.  But that's not the life Jesus called us to.  (And I'm not just talking about missionaries.)  He called us to the uncomfortable.  He called us to live counter culturally.  He called us to take up our cross.

The hard days are the days that glorify God and He shines through us.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The First Goodbye

Our life will be full of goodbyes.  But today was the first.  Saying goodbye to dear friends, some of our closest friends.  They're leaving for Mexico next month, and we won't see them between now and then.

I wasn't really prepared for this goodbye.  Its the first of many.

They'll be in Mexico for at least five years.  Next year we move to Italy for our five years.  So six years from now I might see them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Can you say scatterbrained?

Well I think we can say its official - I'm on my way to losing my mind.

I lost a file today.  Or, I should say, that I lost it two weeks ago and remembered I needed it today.  When The Boss asked for it.  Today.  As he went for coffee.  I proceeded to look for it in all the rational logical places.  Of course, it wasn't there.  So I took the next obvious step - freaked out to Linda about where on earth it went.  She helped me look, while suggesting I label my files.  (I DO label my files, but it doesn't help if I don't put them away :) ).  Then Linda and I decided that it was all because someone made me clean off my desk two weeks ago and That's why I can't find anything.

But she found it - on top of my cabinet.  Which in my defense isn't visible from my chair and BARELY visible if I'm standing up.  So, it wasn't lost in the first place.  But the search was quite entertaining.  Especially when Jon walked up behind me and stood their patiently, very quiet, until I turned around and about jumped out of my skin.  I may have screamed.  Can't quite remember that one.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Project 52

Check out the new "My Project 52" page.  We'll see how this goes!


I'm not quite sure when I got so busy.  (Well, honestly, it was June.  When Josh finished his Masters and life was supposed to slow down.  Right.)

I'm convinced the next time I'll have a free evening is the day we step off the plane in Italy.  Except that I'm pretty sure we have dinner plans with Troy and Penny Taylor that night.

Support Raising definitely makes us busy!  That and the whole 'I'm moving to another country' thing definitely does not help!  Dinner appointments, errands, meetings, team meetings, full time job, family, marriage, ministry, fellowship, and relationships.  Not one of these things would I trade (well - that full time job maybe) as we make our way to the field.  Still, I remember all those sermons on Rest and eliminating the Business from our lives.  Apparently I stink at that.

To all of those who have waited patiently as I was late for appointments, etc, I apologize.  And I have been late - a lot.

Are you ever late?  Tired of being so busy?  Me too!!