Monday, February 16, 2015

One Month to Go!

We knew it would happen.... we were prepared.... as you plan and think we are doing well, things are falling into place, it never fails that something happens... well today it was two broken water pipes and a destroyed water meter.  Thankfully we have friends - aka John Mingle who are willing to brave the elements and sacrifice family time to come and help us.  Also we are thankful for neighbors with running water and hot showers - Thank you Kate Alderfer for sharing your hot water this morning so I could look half way presentable for school.  Yesterday it was a disgruntled toddler that caused for us to sigh and feel inadequate - which we also figured that would happen since we had just gotten back from a wonderful couples retreat with our church family.

God is working!  We know he is, and despite the hardships that seem to be bombaring us, we see Him answering prayers and finalizing important details all around us.  The first detail that has fallen into place is that we have an apartment secured for our time in Timisoara.  We have yet to see pictures but we know that it is in a nice part of the city, close to the church and close to the market. We have also finalized some details as far as who will pick us up in Hungary and transport us to the WOL Castle and when we will be picked up for our trip to Romania.

It gives me a sigh of relief as I can start to check things off my list, however it does seem that sometimes as I check one thing off the list, I do add two more.... but that's par for the course.

Please continue to pray for us as we have several big things coming up these next few weekends.  I have a crafting retreat I am leading this weekend (and trying to finish a quiet book for Ella for the trip).  The following weekend is an Open House for my Tastefully Simple Business, followed by a speaking engagement at PA Impact.  These 30 days will fly by!

Deep Breath and a reminder - Romans 8:28

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Monday, February 9, 2015

38 days and counting....

Now that the days until departure are below 40, this trip seems to be more real each day!  With the realness of the trip also comes the reality of the need for intense organization on the part of the planner (because if it was up to Joel we would pack March 18th).  
I have gone on several international trips before on Mission trips, I even spent a month in Africa, so I would say have enough experience to be adequately confident in my packing skills.  However, they were all when I was single, and we were staying as a group in a specific location, and all the details were taken care of..... now it is completely different.  Spending 100 days in a city in which none of us have ever visited makes for a whole new story and a whole different kind of organization process.  

I have spent some time today online, printing out travel checklists and packing lists in order to help create my own.  Of course the plan was to do this while my toddler napped, however, after laying in her bed for over 1 hour with several visits out to the table, she is still awake and now crawling all over me, kissing me as I type..... I guess it has turned into a no nap day.... then while trying to print my checklists, our printer wouldn't work..... urggghhhhh!  I was warned last night at Bible study that things like this would happen to try to steal my joy and excitement about going to serve.... and today it worked.... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Deep breath and focus on the joy in the journey!  

Some things we can now check off our list..... House - check - God has worked out all the details and their is a family whose house is sold and needs to be out by the end of March, and their new home is being remodeled and won't be done until June.  Awesome God Moment!  Dog - Check - Our beloved Tucker is going to be having a 100 day sleepover at the Benner's house!  Austin will be in charge of him and I think they will end up being great buds!  Suitcases - check - we had to purchase several for the trip but with others donating some for us to use, we only had to purchase 3 and I know they will get lots of use for trips to come.  House cleaning/organization - part of a check.... I have been trying to sort and downsize room by room..... I am about half way through the process.  

Now comes the time to begin the list making, and suitcase planning.... 12 suitcases!  9 Large ones to check and 3 carry on size which we will use while in Hungary for a few days.  Since we will be living in an apartment while we are there we will be taking a few kitchen items, spices, and snacks so we don't have to buy all those from scratch.  Then two suitcases of clothing and such for each of us for the three months, one with toys, games, books, etc for mini me, and the rest will be filled with ministry materials for our time there.  

Many have asked or suggested shipping things over so we don't have to navigate taking 12 suitcases, however - those are all included in the cost of our flight, so it doesn't make sense to pay extra to ship those things when we have the ability to take them with us for free.  

So prayers would be appreciated as we get to the "final countdown" we know that this is going to be an awesome adventure and God has great things in store for us.... 38 days!  We can do this!  With God, all things are possible!!!