Favorites From 2017-2018

Now that we’ve been back in the States for 4 months, I finally am taking some time to sit down and put together a “my favorites” page for the 2017-2018 year. I will admit, it’s a bitter-sweet experience as I look through these pictures and remember all the amazing places we’ve been and seen and how wonderful it was to be able to do that together as a family. The biggest adjustment for me in coming back has been trying to figure out how to not fall back into the fast-paced hurried business that comes with the traditional American lifestyle (or maybe more accurately it’s the traditional Western lifestyle). We will continue to fight against the onslaught of what our culture says is the way life is, seeking what is best for our whole family, open to changing what we’re doing for the sake of the health of our family unit. We believe that who we are and what we do matters, and ultimately, who we become is the most important thing we can do as we live our lives today. This is why we want to foster a home that is a safe place for ourselves and our children to discover our own lonely way to who we have been created to be. We have chosen to do this by eliminating as much business, hurry, and noise from our lives as we can. This is why we left and this is why we knew it was time to come back. Here’s to new chapters and room for different ways to grow!

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Costa Brava, Spain

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Fort Saint Elme, France (Photo by Ryan)

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Cap Norfeu, Spain

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Bran Castle, Romania

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Peles Castle, Romania

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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Larnaca Aquarium

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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Malaga, Spain

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Malaga, Spain

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Malaga, Spain

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Vinaros, Spain

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Vinaros, Spain

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Vinaros, Spain

San Jordi

Vinaros, Spain

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Valencia, Spain

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Changes

I’m sitting here thinking about how the last six months have played out and I can honestly say that I miss traveling. I miss the adventure, the excitement, the unknown of what’s to come–and yet, there’s a settledness in where we’re headed that brings peace to my soul. I’m excited about the new chapter we’re embarking on. This has been a real bitter-sweet time, it’s kind of like the end of an incredible book that I just couldn’t put down and then I find out there’s a sequel, but I have to wait until it comes out. The waiting has been so hard, and now, here we are.

Today we start our new adventure, where some would call it a new chapter, but I think I want to call it a sequel. I have been accepted into seminary, so we are moving our family down to the LA area, where I can attend classes, my husband can continue traveling for work, and our kids can get back into the kid rhythm of sports, friends, and play.

You see, seminary is not something that was ever on my radar until last November when I began an 18-month cohort program called the Apprentice Institute based out of Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. I was sitting in a room with a bunch of people from all backgrounds, lives, and stories and I realized that I was one of them. I remember looking around the room and it dawned on me that it didn’t matter to anyone what title I had or didn’t have, what schooling I did or did not accomplish, who I knew or didn’t know, but what did matter was that we all loved Jesus. We were all individual human beings, created by a loving God, knit together with a unique purpose, carrying around an individual God-made thumbprint, to bring the peace and love of Jesus Christ to this world. It was in that room that I knew that I wanted to go to seminary someday–but I didn’t expect to be able to go so soon.

So, here we are, walking through doors that have been graciously opened, and I am in awe at the unexpected twists and turns life has brought us. I am excited, expectant, hopeful, and if I’m honest, a little nervous. Tuesday we will begin our house hunting–this will be our first permanent home in over two years, so it is a big change for us! If you think about us this week, my prayers have been that we would find a home that fits our family, where there are lots of friends in the neighborhood for our whole family, for a new church home close to where we find our home, and that we would all be able to balance my schooling with my children’s schooling, sports, and activities, and my husband’s travel well.

Thank you all for your prayer’s and support these last couple of years!

Valencia, Spain

My parents got to come and visit us this last week and we had a wonderful time! We spent some time exploring Valencia, which was really a lot of fun. We saw the Holy Grail (apparently Indiana Jones got it wrong when he chose the wooden goblet since what is on display is a golden chalice), the hand of a martyred saint, the walls around the city, and some beautiful countryside. Here are some fun pictures of that day trip:

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