28 November, 2011

Saying Goodbye

This has to be my least favorite part of leaving. I actually enjoy packing and organizing. I can look ahead to the exciting adventure and new experiences, but it is so hard to get past the good byes. My mom never says  "goodbye." After being a missionary kid and then following my dad all over the country, she refuses to say it anymore. She instead says "see you later."

There is a sorrow in goodbye that cannot be expressed in words. Knowing that, while you may come back to this place, you are leaving this part of your life permanently. I will never again get to hold my nieces as I currently know them. Thinking, as they put their sweet, little hands on mine, that the next time they do the difference in size will not be so great. I suppose this is a lesson that every person must learn. Children do not stay the same and every moment must be cherished, because in the next their foreheads will no longer be their "two-heads" and they will no longer ask God to bless the food to the "nursery" of our bodies.

As hard as this is for us, we know that it is equally hard for our families. To ease the transition for our nieces, we bought 2 identical sets of a Mickey & Minnie. The first set we sprayed with our colognes and gave to the girls. The second set we are taking to Hungary. We told them, if they ever wanted to give us a hug, to hug Mickey or Minnie and they would send the other Mickey & Minnie the hug for us. We can also hold them while we are Skyping. I think this helps us as much as them. I've definitely stolen some hugs from Minnie.

Megan, her grandma, and her dad

Megan, Ben, the girls, and the Mickeys & Minnies

L reading to Minnie

Friday is coming very quickly and I continue to thank God that He delayed us a little bit longer and we are not leaving Wednesday as we originally hoped to do.

Do you want to know why else I am thanking God that he is not having us fly into Heathrow on Wednesday?

On November 30th more than 2 million British workers are planning a strike to advocate pension reforms. Public officials say that this could jam up airports and cause as much as 12 hour flight delays in Heathrow. They are even looking at bringing in the army to help move passengers through customs and fill in for some of the unionized workers!

This was the exact day Ben and I had hoped to leave DFW and fly to Heathrow! At the time we were booking our tickets, it was actually more expensive to fly on Wednesday than on Friday. How often does that happen? I actually toyed with the idea of paying more to get there earlier, but we finally decided that it would be best just to wait. What an amazing God! Events we could have never dreamed of take place and he STILL has us taken care of! I am so grateful that HE is in control and not ME!

21 November, 2011

Cold Water

Man, oh MAN a lot's happened in the last week!

To sum it up, we had a going-away party, we were commissioned by our church and we SOLD OUR CAR :D

That last thing is an answer to prayer, it was one of the big things that we felt was anchoring us to this place.  We originally hadn't planned on selling it but decided that it was best in the long run.  Cars don't exactly appreciate in value so we thought it was wise to go ahead and cash in that asset, saving the money to help get us a car when we return in a couple years.

Side note, Megan is refilling her travel bottles right now and apparently it's not going very smoothly.  Her little squeals are pretty cute as the various creams and liquids make messes :D

Mesquite Bible Church has been home to us for almost 3 years now.  We have been tremendously blessed by the people there and are so grateful for our time with them.  Yesterday morning, our Pastor and the Elders laid hands on us and prayed for us, sending us out from our church family to Hungary.  It may sound kinda weird to some of you reading this, but I gotta tell you, having so many loving people standing with you and supporting you is both humbling and incredibly encouraging!  As we walked back to our seats, one of our friends shouted out, "GO GET 'EM!"

Our going-away party was SO fun.  It was difficult in a way because so many people who came, that was our last time to see them before we leave.  The transitions as a missionary can be very difficult and to be honest, as soon as you finish one you start another.  C'est la vie.  Despite that, we really enjoyed our time with family who traveled from Austin, Amarillo, Hurst, Arlington and Oklahoma City to see us as well as friends from the metroplex and one goofy guy from College Station.

Several people who came by gave us some very encouraging cards, but one thing really stood out to me from all of them.  In one of the cards was written this verse which I'll leave you with.  I won't comment on it because I don't think I could say anything that wouldn't distract, just let it hydrate you.

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." - Proverbs 25:25 (ESV)  thanks to KD

14 November, 2011

Is 'Untitled' really a title in disguise?

Hey there!

So Megan and I have committed to blogging more frequently, so I'm in charge of posting each week by Monday :D  We just want to increase our communication to y'all and be more like our friend Shannon who blogs a LOT (though we don't have a cute 2-year old to source our stories and pictures).  Yet.  NO, we're not preggers.

So today we are finally diving in to the massive to-do list we created for everything that needs to get done before we leave on Friday the 2nd.  It's big, but it really helps both of us to get all these thoughts buzzing around in our heads written down on paper.  The activity helps clear our minds, kind of like Dumbledore's Pensieve.  Part of our work today is sorting through all the stuff we want to bring with us to Hungary.  Basically we have two piles: things we have to take and things we would love to take if there's room/weight allowance.  All our stuff is going into 4 suitcases and probably 2 Rubbermaid totes/containers/things.  Maybe 3 and 3, have to figure that one out still.  The wonderful thing about flying British Airways is that as missionaries, we each get to check 3 bags free of charge.  That's in addition to the carry-on bag and personal item (laptop bags) we each get to bring.  That's also in addition to my Enbrel which I get to bring separately (it doesn't count towards my carry-on or personal item).  Pretty sweet!

On another topic, I have three words that should explain why we both feel a little sick today.  Church.  Thanksgiving. Potluck.  Combine them and you come up with sanctioned gluttony.  It was amazing, but we both overdid it.  And THEN I tackled my dessert plate (which included a couple things from Megan's)  On our drive home afterwards Megan said, "We're not eating tomorrow, are we?"  :D  First world problems...

Well as my Grandma would say, "That's about all I know!"  Hope you have a wonderful week before Thanksgiving and here's hoping that we see you at our going-away party this Saturday!  (Hopefully you've already received the evite.  If not, let us know!)

Thanks and Gig 'Em

P.S.  I don't really do pictures, so maybe I'll just include things that make me laugh whenever I post...  Here's yesterday's Dilbert (sorry it's small)

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

10 November, 2011

The Past Six Months

Many of you know that Ben and I had hoped to leave sometime at the beginning of June of this year. We were fully convinced that was God's plan and our support would pour in. Support did come in, but not when we thought and so one month slowly melted into the next until we arrived in November. We were at 87% and stalled out. We were discouraged and did not know who else to contact. We knew this was God's plan for us and that the support was there, so our prayer was just for him to reveal it. He did, but not in the way we were expecting. Ben and I sat down with our support schedule one night and crunched some numbers. We realized that if we chose not to raise support specifically for retirement than that 87% became 98%!!! (this doesn't mean that we won't be adding to our retirement during our 2 years in Hungary)

This was a heavy topic for discussion. We both were so anxious to go, but did not want to work outside of God's Will. We took some time to pray about it, talked to our support coach and our team leader and got the green light from the home office! On November the 3rd we got the green light to go to Hungary and yesterday, the 9th, we bought our tickets!

We will be flying out with British Air on Friday, December 2nd at 4:45pm.

Looking back on this summer, I can only praise God for the time we have spent here. We were able to go to our nieces' 7th and 5th birthday parties, the funerals of Ben's great-grandmother and my paternal grandfather, the 60th wedding anniversary of my maternal grandparents, and experience miscellaneous moments I will never forget! All of this would have been mourned and celebrated from a distance had we had our way and I am grateful that God knows infinitely better than I do.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and we will be continuing to share our experiences with you via this blog!

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this precious picture of Ben and our youngest niece: