Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week In Review (by Shawna)

Saturday morning and the mood in the house is loud and happy. It has been a busy week for us and the next week looks the same. Sometimes life hits warp speed and just doesn't want to slow down. However, there is an end in sight! We will be taking a vacation in two weeks and using the time to further explore the beauty that is Alaska. I must be truthful enough to say that I am looking forward to an entire week with no agenda.

Some of you may remember that when Ethan was barely three I asked him if he wanted Jesus to live in his heart. He said yes, and repeated a prayer after me. I have often wondered if he truly understood the significance of what he had done. This morning I received an answer to that question. He woke up with a huge smile on his face and said this: "Mommy, I was praying to God in my bed. I asked God to live in my heart. And now I feel happy because God lives in my heart!" This time he initiated it, he prayed on his own, he took responsibility for it. What joy!

Eliana is becoming very responsive. When we talk to her now, she smiles and squirms and kicks her feet. She is enamored with ceiling fans. When she is crying and inconsolable, I lay her on my bed so she can watch the fan and she instantly calms down! Yesterday she rolled over for the first time, from her stomach to her back. I am amazed at how quickly she is growing. I am truly trying to soak up every moment.

Caleb has developed an obsessive love for cereal. He wants it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It doesn't make any difference what kind of cereal it is. If it's in a bowl with milk and he can eat it with his Lightning McQueen spoon, he's happy. He is also becoming quite the protective big brother. If a non-family member is holding Ellie at church, he is quick to point out, "that's MY baby." When she cries, he pets her head and tells her it's ok. Or he sticks her pacifier in her mouth. It's rewarding and sweet to watch.

Damian has been busy with church construction and searching for our new Fine Arts Pastor. I am so proud of him! This is just the opinion of a loving and biased wife but I think he is doing an amazing job here! Well, dishes and laundry are calling so that's all for now!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Foreign Land (by Shawna)

Welcome to Alaska! One of the 50 states in our great America, and yet, to many it seems like a foreign land. I must admit that it was not on my list of “Dream places to live.” However, now that we are here I would be heartbroken if I ever had to leave. Have you ever read journals from the early settlers? Their words spoke beautifully of what it was to “love a land.” This is something I never fully understood until we settled here. I love this land. This Alaska. Why? I wake up in the morning and see moose in my backyard. Wildflowers spill their colors unrestrained. The Northern Lights. Snow and ice turn the trees into tall crystal works of art. The beauty of this landscape is rugged and distinctive and beyond description. It reminds me of the poetry that is God’s creation!

Then there are the people. Alaskans are the most generous and servant-hearted people I have ever met. They challenge me to be less selfish, and more like Jesus. We are so far from our family here and of course we miss them ferociously. And yet, these people have become our family. I love them much more than you should love someone you’ve only known for five months. This is where we belong. This is home.

I feel truly blessed and humbled that God has chosen to place us here. We hope it’s a lifelong appointment!