Thursday, May 23, 2019

More graduation photos

Cory likes the ornamental crab apples too!

Calvin alumni and sophomore 

Our mechanical engineer

I intentionally posted about Anna's shopping before posting about Eli's graduation from Calvin College because he was waiting to hear the results from his Fundamentals of Engineering [FE] Exam.

On Tuesday of last week he took this test, then had finals on Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday we joined him for the International Students Senior Luncheon, Chapel, and a family cookout put on by Calvin.

Saturday Cory and I were joined by our parents for a special breakfast at Calvin.

Then we all hung out at Eli's apartment for a while and enjoyed some pizza for lunch before heading to graduation.

The grandparents were in the soft chairs in overflow seating in Calvin's fine arts center while Fritz, Anna, and we sat in the upper level seats in the main sports arena.
International Calvin Seniors

One of Eli's mechanical engineering professors gave the main commencement speech.

We found him afterward at a reception area for Engineers and we also greeted some of the International Student office staff.

He moved his belongings back to Allegan that same night.

Yesterday he received the short, to the point email about the FE green 'PASSED'.

This is the second step of becoming a professional licensed engineer, the first step being earning his bachelor's degree in engineering.

So he moves on to step three: he will be updating his resume and starting the job hunt.

He needs at least four years of experience working under a licensed engineer before he can take the Principles and  Practice of Engineering Exam. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Shopping prayers answered.

Those of you who know me outside of Sunday morning presentations already know that my clothing choices are comfort based: jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, flannel.

So on learning that we needed to outfit Anna in business FORMAL for a 3 day summit discussing faith and politics in Washington D.C. this summer I did two things. I started to pray and research.

Even during my doctoring period in the USA, my professional wardrobe never came close to the strict recommendations that come with business formal.

I knew that other complicating factors would come to play: only a few days to shop, her 6 foot height, wide shoulders, strong opinions of what she likes, all wrapped up in an understanding of economics and frugality.

Thankful my mom could join us.

Thankful that we could spend precious time together [9 hours] in the car and shops.

SO thankful for a wonderful consignment shop where the majority of needed items were found!

VERY thankful that we found what was needed and will NOT have to head out again for major shopping hunting.

Thankful we can spend the rest of this week together as a whole family before she heads off for camp leadership training at Beechpoint.

Thankful that we can call on the Lord and He provides for our needs and is with us always...even especially when shopping.

To be clear she's still the old Anna though, these are also from this week, her pile of stuff from college and after playing in a rain storm.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Spring visits and mushrooms

Last weekend we enjoyed three different family times.

On Friday we headed for supper with Fritzlin's second foster family from his time at Children of the Promise. He enjoyed hanging out with the kids, meeting their 4-H projects [goats, calfs, and pigs] and jumping on their trampoline.

Saturday afternoon we headed up to Calvin. We first helped Anna break down the beds in her room. We then headed out for some Chinese food-Anna likes the sushi, Fritzlin the sea food crabs and crawfish, Cory likes spicy while Eli and I are not as adventuresome

Then we went and loaded up some boxes from both of the college kids, and Eli's lazy boy chair. On the way back we stopped in at Cory's folks to drop off the orchid we picked up for his mom.

Sunday morning we headed over to my brother's church where he and I talked about 'Things Mama said'. Our mom had guessed something was up as my brother usually asks her to speak with him but this year did not.

Then we headed back to my folks so that we could enjoy lunch with my folks, and brother's family.

Cory's been mushroom hunting several times so we are enjoying a few morels and lots of pheasant back mushrooms. Fritzlin continues to work on his school work. This week we are sorting through some of the stuff in storage to prepare for the college kid's moving back.

Yesterday I found ALL three of the items that the college kids have been missing for over a year: Eli's collection of patches from places we've visited; a glass dragonfly of his; and Anna's purple piggy bank.

I also finished a big part of my continuing medical education requirements for this year!

We share stories with Fritzlin while in the barn as we looked through some of our childhood treasures and household stuff that is in drums. Eli and Anna now have their own drum...which includes some of their baby clothes.

We will continue to sort and hopefully donate more items that we no longer feel the need to hang on to and doubt that our children will want in the future.

One more day to sort and prepare for our exciting weekend. Friday-move Anna out of the dorm, start shopping with Anna for business formal attire, international graduation family lunch, chapel and then family cookout.

Saturday Cory and I along with both sets of our parents will attend breakfast at Calvin, then we have a bit of time to hang out with Eli before graduation at 2 followed by a reception and moving him out.

Sunday we speak at Refuge Church which meets in the old Allegan Wesleyan Church, Kris' home church.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Pondering finances and praying

Continuing to work on our return to-do list...

We enjoy sharing at our supporting churches, thanking them in person and updating them on how the Lord is working in Haiti and in our lives.

However, as most of you know we're not great at 'the ask' for support.

1 Kings 17 shares the story of Elijah and the widow. Recently I heard someone discuss this passage and bring up some interesting points.

  • God had prepared the widow to support Elijah by commanding her to give
  • Elijah asked her not once but a second time after she explained that she was going to eat and die
  • Because of her faith she went ahead and shared her meal with Elijah. And she and her son were sustained until the rains fell and food became available
  • Her story was recorded for the world to read and continues to bring hope and testifies to the Lord's power and provision, giving Him the glory and honor.
Pondering on this story has changed how I pray for supporters. No longer do I only ask the Lord to bless those who give. 
  • I pray that I and our partners take the time to ask the Lord for direction and listen to His prompting. I do not want to miss opportunities that He has for me.
  • I ask Him to help us be obedient to what the Lord tells us each to do. Not just becauseI know how the money can support projects and ministries in Haiti, but so that those who give can be blessed for their obedience, and for faith to grow and be strengthened.
  • I know and ask God to provide for their needs [I assume that the widow had been praying for deliverence for her and her son] 
  • and mostly that the Lord will get the glory and honor, through working in the donor's life, their community, through our testimony and in Haiti. 

Growing up I remember my Dad telling a story about talking a friend into an experiment of giving tithe to the Lord. The friend was not convinced that the Lord would provide and kept very detailed records. His frustration grew, as he could not track on paper how all the bills were paid and purchases paid for, with less money [because he donated to the Lord first]. He could not show how it worked on paper, but the Lord provided. In my family now and then we'd hear the phrase. 'God doesn't pencil' meaning you can't always show or prove how the Lord provides for your needs but He will. 

We do not know how the Lord will provide for our next term's budget. We already thank Him in our prayers for providing the financies we need for clearance to return for Haiti. We are thankful for new Faith Promise partners, partners who have increased their yearly commitments and those who have given extra gifts toward our support.

We thank the Lord for providing for our partners and increasing their faith as well as ours as we rely on His resorces, His plan, His timing, His power, and His love.