Another Transition

And so it begins. Transition. Change. One of the inevitable realities of a life in missions is moving and reshuffling. We have another transition that is about to take place in just over a week…..and my husband is overseas at the moment which is making this all the more….challenging. Thankfully it’s a minor one and I’m actually really excited about it and what it means for our family. And secretly I love changing up my furniture and re-doing things.

This year at Drive we reconnected with a couple from Germany who we’d met about 3 years ago. During our conversations we started talking about children’s ministry and how they wished their daughter could spend some of her summer learning more about North Point. So…we offered that she could come and live with us. In return, we get a native German speaker in our home!! This is HUGE for us and for the kids. Especially since Ellison will be entering 1st grade in the Austrian system where everyone will speak German.


We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse/duplex and we are already a family of 5 so we had to do some major reshuffling to make the next 2 months work. We started all of our changes over the past week and our kids got really into helping move everything around in their rooms. The end result is that now, all 3 of them are in the same bedroom. It has worked out beautifully, so far. The boys are sleeping longer and Ellison (our early riser) just leaves quietly when she wakes up and has done a great job at not disturbing them. We then moved their toys downstairs which meant some other reshuffling down there as well. We’ve had a short window to get it all done, but it’s worked out thanks to fantastic friends who have helped me out BIG time!

I hope that Brittany feels welcomed to our home.

Welcome Summer

We are officially on summer break. Ellison finished up her last day of Kindergarten and Jude finished up his last day yesterday. Here are some pictures of our first days at home.

My girl posing for the camera.


The Strong Man!


First Piece of Watermelon.

We hope your summer vacation is off to a good start.

King of Whiteness

The other morning at breakfast Ellison looked over at Asher, gasped and then said “Asher you’re getting darker.” Ian chuckled and then replied, “Yes, just like you and Jude, Ellie.” After thinking for a minute she said “Daddy, don’t worry you’re lucky…….

For a moment there, after Ellison said Ian was lucky, I held my breath. I breathed a big sigh of relief when she gave us her explanation….because you are the king of whiteness.” The innocence in her reply reassured me that she doesn’t see race in the way that I do. Sometimes the fact that we’re a different family can be a big elephant in the room-for me. In our home we often skirt around issues of race. We generally try to talk about people in terms of other qualities before mentioning skin color.

When Ian and I met, we weren’t concerned about each other’s races at all. We just knew that we liked what we saw(…ahemm-and still do in fact :-)). The only concerns were about what other people would say and think. And after a while even those fears subsided. As our relationship progressed and we started to talk about marriage, we never really considered how our marriage would always affect the way that people look at us.

You see, when people see us I suspect that most of them aren’t thinking that we’re Christians. Ouch….I know. Mainly because you don’t find a ton of interracial couples attending churches in the south- at least that’s what we’ve observed. Even now, when we visit some churches we notice the double takes and the ohhh you two are married looks. Don’t get me wrong, nobody has been blatently rude, mainly just taken aback for a second or two or three. Automatically, they see us and they see something different.

When we lived overseas, I think that people saw something different too. It was surprising to find that our marriage opened a door to connect with people in new ways. Although we talked about Jesus and had conservative views, people still invited us back into their homes. Many times they had questions about what it was like to be black or what it was like to be married interracially. I’ve even been asked if I could sing a time or two and there have been some very disappointed Europeans whose hopes of me striking up a tune were very quickly dashed.

As I think back to my childhood, teen years and college days, there’s always been something a little bit different about me. I have always loved the BeeGees been enthralled with the Sound of Music and ran with crowds where I was clearly the minority. I could never fit into a mold, it just wasn’t me. And for a long time that bothered me. I felt unaccepted.

Now I can finally say that I’m truly thankful for the things that make me different. Those things are the mark of my Creator. Marks of his unique design on me to get me to here.

So here’s to being different and letting God do his thing with that. Because, if Ian and I weren’t willing to be different, we would never have had our first date, gotten married or be heading to the mission field.

I hope that as we take this journey overseas- a journey that will create a number of different experiences for Ellison, Jude and Asher- that they will realize the mark of their Creator writing a story drafted just for them.

Mother’s Day

Ahhh, Mother’s Day. What a great holiday it is. Ian and the kids did a great job of making me feel appreciated and loved. There was lots of laughter, a few happy tears and lots of hugging and kissing and dancing too!

We had a pretty laid back day starting with church together in the morning, and then hosting some family for eating pizza and salad so none of us mamas had to cook. Here are some pics of me and the 3 babies. Hope you enjoyed your day.


Asher was asleep for the first photos :-).

She gets dunked!

She did it!!!!

She's in the water!

 

About to go under.

This past Sunday we got to celebrate Ellison’s baptism at Family Birthday Celebration (FBC). This is one of my favorite events. It’s where kids go public with their faith and then get celebrated like crazy. The celebration, however, is the icing on the cake. There is a very strategic process leading up to this point involving Jump Start (an explanation of the gospel), an interview with staff (to talk further about her decision) and a video taping of her story.

The process for us began last fall when Ellison told us that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. She talked to friends about it, she talked to our neighbor, she talked to her grandparents. Basically anyone who would listen she was a talkin’ about asking Jesus in her heart. Honestly we didn’t want her to rush into such a big decision so we want to be sure that she really understood what she was asking for and we did some talking to people on our own too. Instead of waiting on us she decided that one day in the car she would just ask him herself….and she did! When we got home, she announced that she’d done it, all on her own.  Now I worked in children’s ministry at our church over the past 4 years and I’ve heard a lot of kids tell their stories during Family Birthday Celebration but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a kid say that they asked Jesus into their heart in the car. That’s what I love about our girl. She is very creative and imaginative with a spark of independence and I love that her story is so uniquely hers.

Celebrating with our girl cousins
Opening Some Gifts

After the actual service, we celebrated with cupcakes, balloons and of course gifts! Experiencing Family Birthday Celebration as one of the families made me so much more grateful for the behind the scenes work that I’d been blessed to be a part of  when I was on staff. Attending FBC as an outsider made us so excited for our future. Just imagining the possibilities of what an event like this could be like in Austria.

Praying, hoping, trusting!