Thursday, September 11, 2014

Harvest time in Wormit



      All the fields around us are changing.  The skies are getting bigger as the land shrinks.  It is harvest time for wheat and barley and Ian knows all about the harvest thanks to his Nursery 4 teachers.  For two days the combine and tractor rumbled back and forth as Ian explained why the farmer was harvesting.  "Soil was broken up and flipped over, then seeds were planted, rain watered the broken earth and seed and small plants appeared.  Next, he says each time with his teacher voice, the plant grows and grows and grows, and when it is tall enough, the farmer knows it is time to harvest."  I sound amazed each time he recounts this information because I truly am.  Watching it all unfold in front of me while I do dishes and prepare dinner helps me soak in the miracle of it, how something can start so small and then grow into something so big and vast.
And I can't help to think about our small little burgh of Wormit.  Small enough to pass the same people on bike rides and walks.  Small enough to pass through the whole town on a ten minute bike ride.  Maybe a fifteen minute ride if your enjoying the scenery.
     But this small patch of earth has had many seeds planted.  While there may be a distinct absence of youth workers in Wormit and the surrounding burghs, there is not an absence of prayer.  When we arrived we had already gotten to know several people  through emails and phone calls.  People that had stood in the gap of hope and faith and prayed for the next generation to know life in the fullest.  They prepared the way for us to come and settle and call this place home.  I have been convinced over the past few years that God wastes nothing.  He is not a God of waste.  All the time spent with hands feeling tied and feet stilled we were also praying.  At time it felt the only thing moving was our mouths mustering up small prayers to a big God.  And the entire season of what felt a lot like waste was really a season of sowing seeds.
     We are starting to have weekly meetings now.  There are some pretty amazing people that came to camp and now to Monday nights.  They all go to Madras College (the catchment secondary school for the surrounding areas, think USA 7th grade-12th grade.)  and they show up to play games, eat large amounts of ice cream and talk about life.  It is a small group of ten or eleven.  But man is this time sweet.  It is hard not to think of the small shoots we saw growing in the field across from our house when we first arrived.  Remembering how they grew a little higher each day. And now we have watched a large harvest be cut and collected.  Truck load after truck load of grain that grew right before our eyes.
   
Please continue to pray for our family as we transition.  Jeff is playing tennis on Sundays and attending  lectures on Thursday nights at St. Andrews University.  I am hoping to start and art club and take some art classes near by at a newly opened community art center.   All these things are helping us to better know the community we are being planted in.  The boys are still loving school and are making friends.  Ian even dug up potatoes at school today and brought them home to cook for "tea" (what they call dinner here in Scotland).  Thanks for all the love and support we feel every bit of it an ocean away.

"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.  If they watch every cloud, they never harvest."  Ecc. 11:4



 Had to add this last picture.  Here in Fife, we recycle everything!  The brown bin is for food waste and yard clippings, the green is plastics and tin, the small blue one is for trash that cannot be recycled and the black is for cardboard and paper.  In the USA we use to fill a bin larger than the black one in one week with all our trash.  Now it takes two weeks to fill the small blue one!  Luke is the recycle sorter and he is thrilled with that chore.





Friday, August 29, 2014

Three ways our lives have changed


We are still readjusting to life in a small village in Scotland.  This phrase alone makes it sound hard and exhausting.  It is not, it is actually pretty amazing so far.  We are clearly smitten with the land, culture, and people of Scotland.  Everyone tells me this is the honeymoon phase and that harder days are coming.  I believe them a hundred percent.  But during this season of fully embracing our new home I will explain a few things that have made this move easy and how our lives look different than before.

Number one, FREEDOM.  We all have wheels of some type.  Whether borrowed or bought.  We have also never lived in a house that you can just walk outside hop on your bike and end up at a rivers edge, bay, or corner shop.  Luke bikes everywhere. Even to school and back.  Levi can walk to the corner store alone, or to a friends house and back.  Ian, well Ian still has to stick with me.  But he gets to ride his scooter to pick plums or blackberries after preschool and he loves that.  The village is small and everyone knows or at least can recognize you.  When I meet someone on the bay and I tell them I live in 2 The Beehives house, they smile and say oh yes, that is where you are, I always see you doing dishes.  There is only one church in Wormit, one restaurant, a blacksmith, a hair dresser, a small corner store and post office.  In Culpeper, VA we drove EVERYWHERE, had many shopping and eating out options but only rode bikes at the park or walked in the woods behind our house.  We had two neighbors we could walk to, now we have a whole village to get to know by foot, bike, or scooter.  There is something about passing someone face to face and being able to stop and talk that has been such a fun way to get to know kids and families.

Number two, RECESS!  The boys absolutely love school.  They also loved their school in Culpeper.  The school day here however starts an hour later and has a twenty minute morning break and a full hour of outside recess (picture the whole school pouring outside to the big green field to play last man over, sleeves up, and all of the other games they have yet to learn.  They also have far less homework and are not tested (think SOLs) until Secondary 2.  That would be our equivalent of 9th grade.  They seem to be at the same level and have not complained of feeling far ahead or behind (except in cursive and handwriting).  They do wear uniforms and instead of not liking them, they love not having to figure our what to wear each morning.  They also have outside and indoor shoes for school.  Floors stay clean and the janitors here must be happy about that.  Ian is in Nursery 4 and spends the majority of time there outside.  They trek to the bay, and local farms, and even have a forest academy where they all don jumpsuits and head out to the forest to learn.


Number three, RISK!  The playground and outdoor setting here offer adventure and risk.  Ian totters up tall climbing towers, the boys swing on huge rope loops, they jump from mound to mound and fly down some of the tallest slides I have ever seen.  Scotland playgrounds look more like a training ground for vikings.  Or a outdoor retreat center to work on fears or team building.  The playgrounds are where I have met the majority of moms and grandmas I know.  The local hub for young people and I love that my boys have never asked "when are we leaving?"  as we talk.  


Everywhere we go we feel like we are living life to the fullest.  Getting to know more and more the community around us.  We are enjoying the increase in family time and the larger overlap with ministry and the boys.  We really do feel like we will reach out as a family instead of just sending Jeff out each morning and night.  Incredible connections have been made as the groundwork is laid for Young Life in Fife, Scotland.  Churches have been supportive and we have felt welcomed in so many ways.  Pray for us as we seek to meet and develop leaders, student leaders, and move boldly towards the vision God has for us.  Thank you for walking beside us as we continue to discover what God has in store!

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy;  I have come that they may you have life, and have it to the full."   Jesus











Saturday, August 9, 2014

Our lives are in His hands

 How do I wrap up two weeks in one post?  In the life we live, it seems close to impossible.  The boys and I picked up Jeff for the last week and a half in America.  We squeezed out as much time as we could with family.  Visas came in and we rejoiced.  Tickets were confirmed and Jeff and I got not one, but two dates.  I said hello and goodbye to way less people than I thought I would.  We stayed in a lovely house in the wood with very little Internet connection and with a loaner phone that had none of my friend's numbers in the phone.  That was sad at first, but became a unrequested blessing of rest in the middle of a maddening season.

Once visas were in and Jeff was with us again I had time to reflect on the last month.  I realized again how grateful  I am for my parents and sister.  I am the youngest of three, so I grew up very aware of just how much they helped usher me through life's tougher moments.  My sister ate my peas, told me about life, and helped me match my socks.  She still is the calm I may never grow into.  My mom was and still is a bundle of life and joy.  She taught me to pray for joy as my strength, not a happy heart, but a rich joy from being rooted in God's love.    She could run a small country and will talk to anyone.  My dad help formed some of my earliest memories of the God who made me.  A wild, untamed God, full of love and mercy and forgiveness.  He taught me not to be afraid of people's mess.  To not be afraid of my mess.  They made life easy to live out, to grow up into.  All the fearful awkwardness of it.  I know that is a gift many do not get.


 And so when we said goodbye this time there were less tears.  They have always been excited for our chance to live out our calling, whether in Culpeper, VA or Wormit, Scotland.  We said goodbye to my dad while he was still in the hospital.  Fluid retention around the gut was slow to come off kept him in longer than any of us hoped.  The boys and I sat on the edge of his bed and prayed for him and then he prayed a blessing over us, releasing us back to Scotland.  I called from the airport during our layover to see if the liver test came out okay.  I stared out into the night as we flew further away and I put a shaky heart in God's hands.  Even if you know you have held a rare gift for so long, it still does not make it easier to lay down.  Material things are easy to let go of, but handing over the ones we love feels a little trickier.  Do I trust the God who knit my father's heart together?  Yes.  Does my heart ache in the goodbyes and the not knowing?  Yes, in a messy, heavy way, that doesn't make it all feel okay.

We landed feeling as if we came home.  We drove through our town and parked the car and ran in yelling "We are HOME."  And it feels so right and great to be back.  We all feel it.  The clicking into place of something good and real.  Wormit, Scotland is exactly where we are suppose to be.  We ran to the bay and stayed up way too late as the tide rolled in.  Today we went to the church's soup lunch and said hello again to many of the people we have met on our trips to the bay.  I took some soup home to deliver to my neighbor who I had heard was ill while we were away.  Knocking on his door, I saw him struggle to get up and open the door.  I sat nervously, knowing I was already acting completely American visiting so soon after getting back and while he was ill.  He told me he was in the hospital for two and a half weeks.  Almost the whole time we were away.  He was in because he had fluid on his gut and legs and it was slow to come off.  I listened as he shared how hard it was to be away and wait to come home.  And I shared with him about my dad an ocean away walking out the same hard lesson.  Our lives are in His hands, and His hands alone.  Every chapter.  We both were amazed at the similarities to how much fluid they are allowed to drink a day to the different medicines they have been on.  I left with a lighter heart.  To trust that God has the exactly the right people to shape and change us into His image.  To show us how to be His hands and feet to the world around us.


We ended our day with a trip to Tentsmuir Forest.  The boys got soaked in the North Sea, smiling and shivering.  We remembered all the beach trips with Mimi and Papa and cousins, toes all digging in the sand.  Luke asked if I thought Papa would get to see all this.  How beautiful it all is.  Get to feel how much this is our home too.  I answered what I hoped but didn't know.  We got home sandy and wet and to an e-mail that he is finally home from the hospital.  How sweet it was to read those words.  On the way to church tomorrow, I will knock on my neighbor's door to tell him an answer to prayers that included his.  They both will sleep in their own beds tonight, an ocean away but with the same grateful hearts.

Please pray for my parents as they plan a trip to come out to see us for Christmas.  He is released to come if he is able.  We are praying that he will get to see this land we call home and meet all the people who have opened their  hearts and homes to us.

We begin work again on Wednesday, working with the youth of Wormit and NE Fife.  School here begins August 20th and the boys are ready!

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  John 13:34&35 ESV




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Coming home


How we really felt about flying
 I didn't pack to come back to the USA until 10:30 the night before.  All day I fielded questions about when our flight was, how long it would take, and would we see the cousins right away or the next day.  Ian would ask again why Jeff wan't coming and the older boys asked where we would stay and what car we would drive.  I responded, "I am not sure", or "we will see" as Jeff tried to fill in my distracted answers.  The truth is, I didn't want to come back.  We had finally settled a little more.  We had found our favorite spots to hike to.  We all had beds and enough chairs around the kitchen table to eat dinner together.   We knew our neighbors and looked forward to tea times.  The thought of 18 hours in planes, airports, and security with three boys and no Jeff was down right terrifying.  I felt like a child zipping the blue suitcases and mumbling, "I really don't want to do this, isn't there any other way?"

We woke the boys at 5am and drove through the wet countryside.  Walking into the Edinburgh airport under a large banner that said, you are home now.  Goodbyes, security, the long wait to board.  Luke and Levi are now pros at flying and Ian did amazingly well this time.  Seven and a half hours playing games, play dough, and Lego's on a small food tray.  We watched Mr. Peabody and thumb wrestled.  We ate two meals and Ian went to the bathroom six times.  The poor man in the aisle seat got a proper leg stretching each time he had to let us out.  We landed in Newark, and oohed and ahhed over the American food options.  Customs, more security stop points, another long wait, and onto the smallest plane I have ever flown on.  My parents were at the luggage claim smiling and hugging and asking how it all went.  Ian never cried the whole long day, 5 am Scotland time until 6 pm American time.  And within the first hug it felt right, home is where your heart is, and my heart was with my family again.

We tumbled back into their days and they made room for us.   The cousins all tried to squeeze onto one couch or a small section of counter top just to be together.  My mom made a sign and taped it to the car's dash to remind me to drive on the right side of the road.   They all reassured me again and again that we were not too loud, tired, or cranky for them to handle.  And my dad reminded me that this all would work out according to Gods plans.  Jenny had our favorite foods ready and waiting.  And Phu cooked his famous beef stew.  I am not sure I could have gone through this last week without them.

Because this past week was filled with Visa appointments, paperwork, pictures, applications, and the final trip to the post office to mail them off.  It has been filled with stressful moments and not enough sleep.  My parents helped me with the boys and calmed my fears of doing it all wrong.  Jeff and I squeezed in talks after dinner and late into his nights.  Moments filled with His grace do not always feel graceful.  I have had a week of clunky, messy, falling apart grace.  But this part is done, packaged up and mailed away.  And now we get to wait, pray, and enjoy a little bit of time to say hello to the family and friends we just said good bye to.


There is a place near our home in Wormit that we can walk to.  We go past four or five houses, cross the street, and follow the gravel path under a stone tunnel that the train passes over.  We then walk past the hill top playground and down some steps to the bay.  Just before we left we traveled further down river's edge while the tide was low.  There are small cliffs that jut out that you can easily climb.  At the middle of one there is a spot big enough for three boys to lay down on a large tuft of grass and look out over the river.  The tide comes back in little waves and they rush over the smooth rocks and piles of kelp.  We spent an hour once just watching the tide lap in.  It is a place of being still and knowing.

 "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10  My mom and dad have quoted that scripture to me growing up more than any other.  Their child with an anxious heart and wild dreams.  It is easy to be still and know He is God on blanket of grass overlooking His creation.  It is painfully hard to do it with life spilled out in paperwork and cranky boys.  But His commands and promises are not conditional.  They are not dependent on our surroundings or frustrations.  So we are waking up  each morning praying for our hearts to be still and to know He is God.  He is God in the post office line and at the computer.  Together as a family and when we are separated by an ocean.  And our hearts and minds can be still because of this.  We get to pick up Jeff from the airport on Thursday, a happy reunion.  If all goes well, the visas for the boys will be in and we will head back to Scotland the first week of August.  Thank you for all the prayers as this transition time stretches a little longer.  We know that in the seasons of stretching we are being humbled and equipped for what is next.  And from the little bit we got to experience so far in Scotland, we are really excited to see what is in store.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The first few weeks in Scotland, the nettle and the dock plant


The weeks leading up to the move to Scotland could only be described as a whirlwind of chaos.  I knew it would be, but knowing it does not give you a ticket out of living it.  My sister swooped in to help tie and tidy all the lose ends.  We set off, two vans packed to the brim with luggage and kids.  Four adults and five kids.  Good byes at the airport and loading carts, a quick security check, and last minute snack purchases.  All went so smoothly, surely this would be a gracious experience.  The plane took off and all was well with team Stables.  Even little Ian, charged up with steroids because of a breathing issues, was a happy camper.  Then the bottom fell out.
 We landed in London, our short layover, with Luke having slept the most at 4 hours and Ian the least, at 2.  Ian's howling began and lasted through a very long security check (too long to recount here, but we have forgiven the son who mistakenly packed the long, sharp school scissors in his backpack.)  We wearily made our way to where we thought we were to go, only to land in the customs line.  The line snaked through the large room, Ian's howling had not stopped and only got louder as everyone in the room turned to look at the commotion.  We reached the front, as passports opened and closed.  We were then ushered into a holding area in the middle of the crowed lines.  Something was not right with the visas.  We had two choices to make, fly home on the next flight to get it sorted, or stay with the boys on visitor visas and fly home to have it all sorted within the next six months.  We gathered the boys, Ian still piercing the air with his cries of going back home and Aunt Jenny and a real bed.  We prayed and decided to go through the long process of getting five more tickets to Edinburgh because we had just missed our connecting flight.  Six hours later (you really do not need to hear of those details other than it was still hard and Ian still was managing to squeeze out yelps and protests) we boarded the plane.  We were welcomed to Scotland (Ian still howling) and crept into soft beds with heavy hearts.

I woke up the nest morning to a feeling that a very large and very alive fish was dropped into my belly while sleeping.  The next five days was a blur of setting up the new home and accounts.  And then the American team came, along with a dear friend to help run the first ever Taybridge Young Life camp.  This whole time every picture taken of breathtaking scenery had Ian clutching my leg and crying about something.  It could be that we were walking and not scootering along or that we were scootering and not walking.  It could be that he was not wearing his blue shoes or that he was.  He just seemed to always be crying and clutching my legs and pushing me away all at the same time and it was exhausting.  He was struggling for control and I was at a loss on how to help him.


















In our walks and exploring we soon found the Scottish nettle (on the left).  It leaves a nasty sting and depending on how you react to it, a rash and large welts.  Not fun.  We talked to some Scots who were not sure why God created it in the first place.  But then we learned a equally important fact.  Almost always near the nasty Nettle grows the  dock plant.  You can pick the dock leaves, crumpled them, and rub them into the nettle sting and it gives almost immedient relief.  We have now gotten to test this on Luke and Ian.  It really works.



So we felt we had a fair share of nettle stings to the heart in this process of arriving and settling.  But God had arranged dock leaves of comfort in ways we could never have expected.  First, we have met some of the most supportive, friendly, and wonderful people that we will get to call friends and neighbors here.  I joke that our house was furnished by the village of Wormit.  But truly, that is how it feels.  We have had to buy very little and it feels like home already.  Someone came with potted flowers and plants outshining anything I gave away in splendor and color.  The dishes given were blue and white print, ones I would have picked out myself.  This home has more windows than our American home.  Which is simply unbelievable.  The views from those windows make me catch my breath every time.  The sky here is like a constantly changing canvas of white, blue, and washes of grey.  We truly are in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The boys had made a "pray about it and see" wish list for the house we hoped we would get.  This was back when we did not know what town or if it would be a two bedroom flat we would be in. Levi said he wanted to be able to ride to the water or school.  Luke said he really wanted his own room.  And I wanted to be near the water and places to walk and explore.  Jeff said he would rather a house than two bedroom flat and we all agreed with him heartily.  All of them and so much more have happened.


This week Ian has had fewer breakdowns.  He says hello to people and yells he loves Scotland as he zips down a playground zip line.  Luke is trying to figure out if he can become a true Scotsman and stay forever.  He is already saying his a's differently after the camp week.  Levi is running into every new experience with a big smile and bright eyes.  (Well, except for trying haggis.)

We feel unbelievably blessed by our life here.  Our church, friends, and neighbors have been a comforting and encouraging community.  I feel like all these little comforts of home, relationships, and surroundings have clinked in like a perfect jigsaw piece.  And so thinking of packing up the boys and I for an unexpected trip home is a bit of a heartache.  But a good one.  I will travel back with three boys and a thick envelope to fix visas and visit family until the paperwork is in order.  Jeff will meet us for the last weeks, and we will all travel back to our new home in Wormit by mid August.  Jeff is staying the first two weeks to continue the work that was started last week at the first ever YL Taybridge camp.  It has been a wild couple weeks of nettles and docks.  But we are so grateful God places us where we are suppose to be.  And that He plants dock plants near the nettles.

Please continue to pray for us and our many unexpected travels.  For Ian's little heart and mind to adjust to all the changes.  I firmly believe this all happened for a reason.  Miscommunication,  misstep, and visa havoc are not out of His control.  We are trusting that this too will become good in His capable hands.  And as much as we will love our early reunion with family and friends we will have already begun the countdown to come back to our new home in Scotland.  Thanks for following along!  Internet is officially in the house so the blog will be back up and running!  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Time to smile


     The morning of this picture I had all three boys and Jeff lined up for a hair cut.  We wanted a recent family picture because the last one we had was when Ian was a year old.  Ian is smiling because he was looking at my mom holding the camera and his Aunt Jenny making faces behind her.   The rest of us were looking at my dad because he had a camera also.  We figured the more cameras the better.  One shot would be sure to turn out alright for our Scotland post card.
     We are all still smiling because we have heard good news after good news in the last couple of weeks.  First, I ended up ordering some luggage that was reduced 75% and came with free shipping.  As the boxes came in we unwrapped them chattering about what was going in each.  Lined up against the office wall makes me feel as if this is really happening, and soon.  
     The next great news was that a very important meeting happened last Sunday in Scotland.  It is the first stage of approved funding from a Scottish church. We will be working with this same church directly and they have been a wonderful help in many areas.  This is a big piece of our fundraising that has nearly clicked into place.  
     Just on the heels of that we agreed on the next family to fill these walls with love and laughter.  We officially have renters and they are a really neat family of five.  When my heart was anxious about what our next home would be like in Scotland I would pray for the family that would take ours.  That this home would be a place of peace and a sanctuary from the craziness of life.  To finally meet the family is exciting and encouraging in so many ways.  Now the last few things on the list left to do will be done with a lot more joy knowing who it will bless.
     The next surprise was our cat "Jub Jub" having three kittens in one of the empty luggage boxes.  We had originally thought we would just foster her until we moved to Spain.  Then we didn't move
and we failed to register that she was the first female cat we have had and we were letting her out every night when she meowed.  Needless to say, she was not just filling out from cat food.  Every morning and afternoon and evening I can find three unusually quiet boys laying on their bellies with chins resting on the box watching the miracle of life.  We know we don't have long to watch them but it has been incredible to watch with the boys.
     And now, for me two of the most prayed about, fretted about, handed over to God again and again issues.  Our future home and school for the boys in Scotland.  There is a beautiful house in Wormit, Scotland being held for us now.  We were fully prepared for a two bedroom apartment for the first year because Wormit is a small town and there is not much that comes on the market.  But this is a wonderful fit for us and more than we could have imagined.  
     The Primary school in Wormit looks fantastic also.  There is only one and it is ages 3-11.  All three boys will travel a mile and a half to get there.  From the school you look across the Tay River and the train bridge that crosses it into Dundee.  There is much more to tell you about what schooling will be like for the boys in Scotland but that will have to be its own post. 
     We are still waiting on our visas arrive.  Any day now!  And plane tickets are on hold for a price half of what we expected it to be.  We are overwhelmed with gratitude.  The community in Wormit has been a wonderful support already!  So friends and family that have prayed and wondered how all these big and small pieces would fall into place, they are doing just that.  Today my make up is off and all the guys are dirtier than the picture above but we still have the silly smiles of thanks plastered on our faces.  

  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Philippians 4:6

Thursday, May 15, 2014

300 questions a day

We have flown through three weeks as if it was one.  We are still waiting on visas before we purchase the one way plane tickets.  The best way to illustrate our current mindset is this picture of Levi on a bungee jump ride at the beach last summer.

It is exciting and we are holding on, but it is like trying to take a sip from a fire hydrant each day.  We had spring break, the stomach bug, and a very suprising trip to the beach.  We spent a day with dear friends and said our first of many good byes.  I wrote blog posts in my head and never typed them out.  We cleared out another room and have had rental walk throughs every other night.  Beds are always made and art supplies tucked back into the cabniet before they arrive.

Because the days are so full, I try to spend a couple hours each morning out of the house with Ian.  If we stay here, I eventually start sorting, packing, and cleaning.  If we go to the park or library, I am all his.  Ian loves this time, and I need it too.  He has become a very chatty and inquisitive child.  He will turn four right before our move.  The boys and I read once that the average four year old asks 300 questions a day.  I am pretty sure he goes over that on some days.  Here is a small sampling of them:  "Why didn't God put our numbers on us? Do you know why we only have two eyes?  Where does sand come from?  Why don't the waves ever stop?  Why do you get mad when I whine?  Are you tired?  Why do you get tired?  Why do Luke and Levi have to go to school everyday?  Why did you spell my name IAN when we say E-an?  I think you spelled it wrong.  Why don't you have a baby in your belly?  Will you ever have a baby in your belly?"  All day long.  Those two hours riding bikes, or whispering in the library gives me time to look him in the eyes and answer each one.  The rest of the day is filled with, "I am not sure", "how about you get out the playdough?", or "let's just paint quietly, OK?"  There is little room for any complete answer before he has thought of the next question.  Ian does not like the "I don't know" answer.  He can't bear to think some things are simply out of his comprehensive grasp.
 Once Ian falls sleep, spilling out the last few questions he can muster, my brain switches gears and I begin asking the questions.  Jeff and I sit down to talk about the day and I ask, I wonder if we will get the house in Wormit, or if we will end up in Newport.  Do you think we should order the luggage now or wait until visas come in?  Would we order the tickets as soon as the visas come or make sure everything else is in place?  Why in the world do we have so many legos? I have always been filled with questions.  The questions aren't filled with fear or worry, they are just wonderings that will not all be answered today or even tomorrow.  Luke said one of the best parts of the suprise week at the beach was the the wind and surf was so loud we were all together but quiet.  And he is so right.  It was a windy, beautiful week.  We spent much of it bike riding, collecting shells, and digging shallow pools in the sand.  All of us together, but all quiet.  I spent time praying and thanking instead of asking.  What a beautiful reminder to make room for quiet gratitude in a season of excitement and transition.

Here are some things we are so thankful for as a family:
-clearer direction on where to live in Fife.  We are narrowed down to Wormit and Newport on Tay.  Both are small towns about 12 miles from St. Andrews.
-Incredible support from churches in these areas
-Two great schools that all three boys could go to in the fall
-both vehicles have solid, potential buyers
-a long list of people that would love to rent our home starting in July
-a beautiful home in Wormit, that may be the perfect fit for our family
-and reaching 98% in funding!

Thank you for all your prayers as we near the last month here.  We are soaking up every little bit of time with friends and family we have!
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