Counting Down

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A couple weeks ago we bought one way plane tickets to Cape Town. We leave September 6th, and our official countdown has begun. As a family we decided to make a paper chain to mark the number of days to go and the kids have loved tearing off one chain each night before bed.

We made our chain out of the 6 colors of the SA flag: red, yellow, blue, green, black and white. In an attempt to make our chain-making time meaningful we had a small history lesson as we put it together: What do the colors of the flag represent? Note to our SA friends-we found this information online so I’m hoping it’s mostly accurate. But if not, we’d love to know how to correct our facts.

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Red: Blood shed. We started here because this is Avery’s favorite color and of course it was a bit of a difficult topic to talk about with our young ones. But, we touched on it briefly and it allowed us to talk about Jesus and His sacrifice for us (this kind of blood they have heard about many times before.)

Yellow: SA’s natural resources, especially gold. This is Zeke’s favorite color so of course it was next. Now the kids are hoping we’ll find gold when we move!

Blue: The sky and ocean. We’re looking forward to seeing both of these!

Green: Farmland and the rich, natural environment of the country. 

Black: The black people of SA. Both older kids hoped the black and the white represented penguins. Seems reasonable to me.

White: The white people of SA. Avery thinks that they will have to add pink to the flag once we move because Mommy and Daddy’s skin is pink…hehe!

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46 paper chains to tear before we move. That’s 46 more days to organize, pack, visit with friends, fundraise, and store up memories. I have a sneaky suspicion that those 46 days are going to fly by.

When I am afraid…

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

This has been one of Avery’s memory verses at church recently and as a family we recite it often. Right now as we get closer to moving to South Africa, and as the reality of our move gets more tangible, this verse is on repeat in my heart:

  • When I am afraid that our visas won’t get back in time…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid that Cassidy will get sick again…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid that we won’t be able to raise enough finances…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid of losing my mind during the crazy long flights with 3 young children…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid that we won’t find a great home to live in…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid that our kids will have a hard time adjusting to life in SA…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid that our family will not be safe…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid to leave our friends and have to make new ones…I put my trust in YOU.
  • When I am afraid of not having a Target down the street (or access to peanut butter MnMs or diet coke)…I put my trust in YOU.

You get the point…I am a ball of fear right now. A total mess. I put my trust in Jesus and I know that He is going before us as we make this big move forward, but I am still afraid. Not every minute, or even every day, but it creeps in often lately.

One of the things that comforts me the most in this verse is that David says when. Not if I am afraid, but when. The word if would mean that I’m a failure. I definitely am afraid, and not just in this part of our journey, but in so many other times of my life as well. Instead I know that it’s human to be afraid…but I am to put my trust in God. Because fear is not from Him. His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). YES, this is truth I can hold on to! And you can too!

So today, and every day, I choose to trust in the One who calls us to South Africa and I will not be afraid. Or at least I’ll be less of a fearful mess than I was yesterday…

Home

If “home is where the heart is”, then our hearts are confused. We just moved out of our beloved home in Aurora and into my parent’s house in Highlands Ranch, in order to start saving for our future home in South Africa. Our week has been full of chaos, lifting and moving, cleaning, organizing, lots of tantrums and tears (mostly from the kiddos), and many moments of reflecting.

The home we just moved out of is the first house that we have ever owned, and it is full of so many memories. We bought it in 2010 when it was just two of us, and we have grown in countless ways inside its walls. Our family is bigger, our dreams are bigger, our hope is bigger, our faith is bigger. This is the place that we brought all 3 kids home to, the place where our energetic Samson loved and played, where we spent many nights up with sleepless babies, where we built community, where we laughed and played and fought and cried. It is hard to leave.

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Moving out day. We are going to miss this place!

Our current home is also full of memories. It’s the home that I grew up in and Kenny and I lived here before moving to SA last time. Our girls are sleeping in my old bedroom and Zeke is in my brother’s room. Talk about nostalgic. This place is full of excitement, newness, and silliness (in the form of grandpa!). This week I have learned that our kids are amazingly resilient, and we are so thankful that they are handling all this change well.

Our next home is the wild card. It’s the only unknown in the bunch. Kenny and I have lots of memories of life in Cape Town, but we have no idea what home for a family of 5 looks like. We are all excited and anxious for what’s to come. But, while home is unknown, God is known and He is faithful. We believe that He is walking before us in all things, preparing a way (and a home) for us. Wherever He takes us, as long as we are together, we are assured that our hearts are home.

Blog Shmog

Warning: if you are on the fence about reading and investing in this blog, skip this post. I just may be able to talk you out of it.

When Kenny first told me he thought we were supposed to move back to Cape Town I was filled with all sorts of emotions (You want me to take our THREE young children where!? Do you remember how long those plane flights are!?) More on those emotions, and how God is changing my heart later.

But truth be told one of my biggest drudgeries in this possibility was that we would have to start blogging/writing newsletters again. The blogs that I visit are full of profound thoughts, vulnerability, wit and humor. And I feel like I am not any of those things. Some of my most profound thoughts during the week are about Curious George, mac n cheese, and how to power through baths. And humor? Not so much.

I even made Kenny promise to do all of our writing so that I wouldn’t have to. But God keeps nudging me to put myself out there. To step out and write. So I am.

As a missionary family it’s important for us to be open and accountable to the people who support us. We are in a place of major interdependence moving forward. We need you. And our hope in this is that you too need us in some small way. That what we are called to do in South Africa will impact your lives as well as ours. So we commit to sharing our story with you. We are in this together.

May this be a place of honesty, truth and encouragement. May God be glorified in our inadequacies. And may His kingdom come.