Friday, April 7, 2017

Home sweet home

Pulling out paints:
finally something quick and creative
We were on the go constantly in the USA and Canada. In 5 weeks, I hardly had time to write or reflect. But a warm thanks goes to our partners and friends - people and organizations - who hosted us, encouraged us, and shared their concerns - we'll be praying for you in months to come.

Now we're home sweet home. It's rainy and overcast in this part of Indonesia. They've had downpours in the city every day, says the helper. She is ready for drier weather.

"How are you feeling about being back," W asks me as the driver negotiates a single-lane paved road that has drivers coming from both sides negotiating cars, motorcycles, and people.

Ummm. I don't know yet. I'm glad we're not driving: the driver is an expert at pacing our slow forward motion with passing cars to avoid crashes and scrapes.

My heart always takes a while to catch up with my head. I'm really tired. We slept like stones on the two flights back - and have slept through much of the nights since.

It's wonderful to bring back so many memories of friends, old and new. We didn't have time to see everyone we wanted to visit: that is my one regret about such a short trip. Well, a second regret is that I got so engaged in conversations that I often forgot to take pictures, which serve as my memory bank. (W hasn't shared his photos yet so you may only be in my heart, not in my blog, ok?)

However, we're picking up steam (after a day at home) toward our Easter brunch. Looking forward to talking with others about the meaning and traditions for Christians.

Here are just a few highlights of the 5-week whirlwind.

We did long road trips - meeting wonderful people who share our vision and mission.
Wenatchee's team
My intention on this working trip was to hear as well as speak, and God honored that in marvelous ways.

I did a few paintings (splashes of color) and met with my former writer's group. I wrote Lenten blogs but hardly played piano, which tells me my soul is overwhelmed. I spoke English! - in person and on conference calls. "Wwwwwwaaahooo" to be able to talk to friends and have them understand what I was saying ...
Kim, you made my heart sing

Generations of family got together between all the engagements. We saw our parents and siblings at their houses. My folks came to Seattle to celebrate birthdays with us. We had fun! but it seemed a short visit.

I'll miss the grandkids calling, "Oma! Can I come down?" from the top of the stairs. They live above our basement suite.
Grandmama, Oma, and Kinsey
Hanging out with the grandkids
Levi and Grandpapa
Isaac, exploring the cabinets and finding only a big bottle of soy sauce
Auntie K with Miss K
The women of the tribe included our daughter Kirsten, who flew up from TX with Jonathan.

We celebrated birthdays for our youngest and myself with a marvelous family tradition, Mom's Black Forest cake. It tastes as good as it looks. Or better!

Merlin popped by to eat cake and take pictures (THANKS!)

Meeting nephew Lem at NU the Caf.
We stayed most of a week in Eastern Washington, exploring from the home of our dear friends Mel and Martha. I even read a book in the tub at their place: that's relaxation! We had time with our eldest son and his wife. We spoke in churches, gratefully received a projector to expand movie night, and heard encouragements and direction through you all.

It's hard to imagine all we saw and did - but a special thank you to Mike, Dan, Peter, Jerry, Jay, Kyle, Brandon, Steve, and their teams. You are part of what we do and who we are - and we're grateful to God for you and yours.

Read more:
*Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest. Jeremiah 5:24 ESV
*God has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17 NIV
*(For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Creator God, in all seasons of life, we give thanks for your presence, love, comfort and guidance. Teach us this day to serve your kingdom with greater enthusiasm, and in doing so fill our hearts with joy. Amen.

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