Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Before we left the United States, my friend Holly told me that her prayer for me was "that I would walk the streets of Australia with such joy in my heart." We've been here 2 weeks today and 2 weeks ago I was wondering if that prayer would ever be reality. I was torn up inside about leaving home. Broken-hearted to the point of uncontrollable sobbing. Fetal position crying. In the middle of the night weeping. I'm not embarrassed about it. If you are someone near to me, this is how much I love you. The depth of sorrow and the missing of dear ones ached in my bones.

Brooks was so patient with me. A kind hearted gentleman. He kept saying "we can do this, it will be alright." I could have demanded to be sent home on the next flight out of here. It crossed my mind. But that wouldn't have been love. It wouldn't have been me. It would have been selfish. I am comforted knowing that "He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it."

Cutting noodles in the kitchen on Christmas Eve my grandmother said "He who called you to do this will see you through." Her encouragement and wisdom plays over and over in my head.

Two weeks have passed and a lot has been accomplished. Setting up shop. I have cleaned this house top to bottom and am feeling more settled. We are adapting well and enjoying the people around us from all over the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we embrace it.

I walked to the Post this afternoon to drop a letter. I ran there as fast as I could with dark clouds, thunder and lightning overhead. I dropped the letter and turned around to walk home. As I was walking the sidewalk talking to God and noticing the pattern of bricks, from deep within, joy came rising up and spilling over as the rain began to fall.

I walked the streets of Australia today with such joy in my heart.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


At church tonight I opened my eyes and what I saw was colorful. People of all nations, every tribe, tongue and skin color. Asian, black, white, latino, indian. Some dancing, all singing. Worshipping God in their own way with their own being. Some with their hands outstretched to the heavens. Some jumping fervently. Some sweetly swaying with the music. Some reflecting with their eyes closed. None better than another. All different and equally loved. Welcomed in.

After church, in our house, I sat at the dinner table behind my laptop smiling. A stunning Norwegian girl baking banana bread in the kitchen. A knock at the door welcomed David who is Mexican. He came right in, guitar in hand, sat down and began to strum a pleasant tune. Francisco from Columbia followed him in grinning from ear to ear. Arris the Greek is currently hoola hooping in the kitchen and Angelique from South Africa is buzzing happily about. There is squealing, laughter, chatter and merriment. All different and equally loved. Welcomed in.

The sights, the sounds of hospitality. The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Isaiah 55:1

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here and There: Day 3

So we're here. In Australia now. Its a foreign land and I am a stranger here. The beautiful thing about being a part of the family of God is that there is warmth and openness and help no matter where you are in the world and I am so thankful for His help through others.

It has been a long time in coming, this trip to Australia following our hearts desire and His obvious calling and will for us to be here. Our family and friends sent us off in a great big way with the most wonderful party. It was complete with delicious food, drinks, adorable suitcase decorations and a spectacular suitcase cake. It was so beautiful. All the love. Each person who came, came with extraordinary words of encouragement and support and hope. We were both speechless and honored at the spectacle of it all and the generosity. Goodness, the generosity of everyone. Thinking back on it has helped me in dark moments and given me hope.

The journey here was so long and I was so tired when we arrived. Each mile closer to Sydney and further from home seemed to tighten my heart strings and with each step a sad note played. A mournful tune. We finally got here to our home and they left us in our room, closed the door, and I thought my heart was going to fall out of my chest. The night and the morning are hardest right now. You feel like you might fall into a million pieces. Not knowing anything, where anything is, or how it works, or what to do. Its a scary feeling. I’m not going to lie. Quite possibly the hardest thing we’ve ever done. I know that we’re clinging to God and to each other. And though I feel the pain and sorrow of moving away from all we know and love in my bones, I keep reminding myself of the steps God took us through to get us here and that He will provide and be faithful.

I keep thinking of a chapter that Shauna Niequist wrote about when she and her husband moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids. She told her husband she felt like she was a new puppy all safe and warm and happy in the box with her other puppy brothers and sisters and someone had taken her out of the box and all she wanted to do was get back in. Yes to that.

I was encouraged by my last post. It helped me to read those words I said and believe.

For us, this is where the rubber meets the road of faith. Daily, what will I choose?

For now I’m giving myself some grace to adjust and clinging to what I know to be true. I am so grateful for all the prayer and support from home and to all who have helped us along the way. Words can’t even express.

Today we got our luggage and we were so happy to get our things. It makes it feel more homey. I did some grocery shopping and everything is different and more expensive. I am missing the United States in so many ways. It is making me so grateful for our country.

It is beautiful here. The weather. The trees. The people. And still so surreal to actually be at the bottom of the world.

Brooks had the chance to drive today some and he did very well. Easier than he thought. It was a fun and happy moment along with the homemade dinner.

Things are looking up and though my heart has been overwhelmed I will not waste a moment. I want whatever God has for me to learn. I'm thinking it must be a lot so I'd better get started.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Here we are nearly one week away from departure to the Land of Oz, homeless and unemployed. At the beginning of the day now Brooks and I look at each other with a gaze of understanding, clap our hands together, fingers intertwined, we smile and head out to do the days bidding. Its a mix of emotions being homeless and unemployed. Its freedom and fear.

Trying for fear not to get the best of me I lift my voice to the heavens, open my spirit to the Truth and let God remind me what faith is. There is no escaping His presence or His kindness. He is all around me. In and through me. My very present help in time of need. Why would I doubt? I have seen the wonders, the way He orchestrates the music of life.

As we sat in the car a few days ago making preparations this song from Sara Groves, one of my favorite singer songwriters, came on.

“From This One Place”


I don’t know what’s making me so afraid

tiny cloud over my head

heavy and grey with a hint of dread

I don’t like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat

with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can’t see very far

in this one moment I’m square in the dark

these are the things I will trust in my heart

you can see something else

something else

So that’s it then. These are the things I will trust in my heart. I am in the dark but the Good Shepherd can see. I’ll put my hand in His. Intertwine my fingers with His and follow. Trusting blindly, faithfully.