Monday, September 30, 2013
When I turned my calendar from September to October I just stood still in the kitchen and stared at the page. Black numbers with bright pink words dashed all around. How did we get to October and how is my calendar already full?
October is one of my favorite months.
Yes, I am weird and have favorite months and favorite days and favorite times of day etc.
So, October is one of my favorite months because it represents all things fall. Pumpkins and apples are ripe for picking. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are everywhere. The wind is cool and the sun is warm. The days are shorter but still long. You may need a jacket and you can wear boots.
We were married Sept. 30, which is basically October too! (Happy 7 to us! 7 is one of my favorite numbers!)
October is also when SJ was born! So we will have a house full of wild princesses very soon.
This October is special because it is our last month in Louisville for a long while.
We are having a dance party to raise support for our mission.
We are going to farms and fall festivals.
We are having a going away party.
We are having a birthday party.
And in the mix, we are packing up our lives and moving.
Random Praise Story:
Friday I was having a hard day being a mom (I had no clue four year olds could argue and act sullen like 14 year olds!)
So I was just about to call Drew and let him know about my day and ask for prayer and encouragement ... but first I needed to go to the bathroom and I could talk to him on my way to pick up SJ from school. Then PLUNK... phone into the toilet. SERIOUSLY?!?! What timing!
I shot D an email and we both posted on Facebook that we needed a phone for the next two months.
This quickly turned into a praise because 1. when I picked up SJ we were able to have a heart to heart moment and I was able to reverse my own attitude and enjoy some time with her and 2. had to rely on God more than others to comfort me in my need and 3. a friend of ours offered me her old iphone on loan!
So after many years with only the most basic phone I am in the iphone world and what a world it is!
The reason this story is relevant is that one of the hard things about having so much going on is it is hard for me to keep up on the day to day. Last week alone I missed two appointments just because I forgot and was busy with other things.
So now I can keep my calendar with me and add to it as things strike me... b/c they rarely strike me at home but weird places like pick up line or highway or line at the grocery!
Quick Update on France and Funding:
HUGE PRAISE!!! We are very close to reaching our full goal for our $45,000 launch fund!
We still need $2000 in monthly support, which can also be viewed as approximately $24,000 in one-time gifts for the next year.
To give: bit.ly/sojournlyon-lewis
Another praise is that we have several options open to us for SJs preschool in the DFW area. This was something I had almost given up on and then all of the sudden several opportunities arose! I am happy we can keep up that routine for her.
Please continue to pray for our financial support to come in. We are planning to leave by the end of the year.
Please also pray for our team leaders who are already in France and recently found out a family member here in the States has terminal cancer.
Pray for our other team members who are also raising support and raising two little boys at the same time!
Pray for us as we move and pray for SJ as she makes several hard transitions.
Pray for us as we parent her, we need constant guidance and grace.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Monday, September 16, 2013
The first week of school she was a little apprehensive upon arrival but never really cried but just wanted to hold on to me. She was happy when she came out but obviously exhausted and emotional.
The second week she would sometimes complain about having to go to school in the morning but then by the time we were dressed and ready she was anxious to go and happy and bubbly coming out.
The third week was smooth sailing... other than forgetting her backpack twice! oops
She got to bring a snack on Wednesday and the person who brings snack also gets to do show and tell, be the line leader and have special paint time. Needless to say, Wednesday was an amazing day and she continues to talk about it.
I feel so blessed to see that she is happy and adjusting.
At first I felt guilty and questioned our decision to send her. Was I being selfish? Was I neglecting her? Thankfully God was quick to speak to my heart (while I was mopping) and remind me that this adjustment is so small compared to the school adjustment she will have in France. We didn't put her in school so mommy could take a break, though it has been nice to run errands and clean house etc, but we enrolled her so that she would already be familiar with having to say bye to mom for part of the day and sit in class and participate and make new friends etc. I am already witnessing God preparing her heart!! The first two weeks she only talked with the friends from our church in her class, but now she has made a handful of new friends and knows their names!
Her favorite thing about preschool is definitely the snack time. We gave up morning snacks this summer and she is overjoyed at the treat each school day! This girl loves to eat.
Her least favorite thing are "the boys that break the rules". She is always telling us how they "break her heart" when they sin and disobey. So serious.
We have noticed that our girl is no longer a toddler but an official big girl. She is so sweet and serious. She cracks us up with her humor and "good ideas".
Her goals in life are to be a mommy and a big sister......and maybe a pilot, or a teacher or a dancer.
Monday, September 9, 2013
(our team being commissioned by Greater Europe Mission)
I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged.
I think I am just now coming up for air since January (thanks to preschool mornings).
So much has happened... so much IS happening.
In April we had training with our sending agency, Greater Europe Mission. They are a great organization that trains and supports missionaries on the ground in Europe. They don't contribute money but they contribute support (advice, counseling, training, team meetings/support with other missionaries) and strategy. They also enable people, LIKE YOU, to give to us in a tax deductible way!
If you would like to partner with us go to: bit.ly/sojournlyon-lewis
They also taught us a lot about partner development... aka fundraising and that's what we've been doing ever since.
Greater Europe Mission and Sojourn Community Church have both officially commissioned us (along with our team) as missionaries to Lyon, France!
Back to the fundraising. We need approximately $5000 a month in addition to the salary Drew will be receiving. This is the basic minimum for a family in France according to several missions agencies(accounting for the 30% cost of living increase as well as the strength of the Euro over the dollar).
We also need approximately $45,000 in launch funds to cover training and support costs with Greater Europe Mission (GEM), language school for a year, relocation agencies, and basic set up in our apartment. "You can't take it with you"...we are applying that principle to just about everything we own!
Since April we have met with people on average 5 out of every 7 days in the week in Louisville. We travelled through Texas during the month of August to see family and raise support.
Today we are thankful to be at 50% of our total need.
However, this is still 50% short of where we hoped to be by this date. Our original plan was to move to Lyon in July, but because of things on the business end of things we were postponed until October. Now we are having to postpone again until we can finish raising the support we need to live once we are there.
Our new launch date is January!
We will remain in Louisville through October and head back to Texas in November and stay until we leave for France.
Sad is not even an accurate word for how I feel about leaving Louisville. This is my home and I love this city. I love our church and our community. I am thankful for SJ's new preschool and all her sweet little friends. I LOVE fall in Louisville.
However, I am happy to have more time with family. I am happy SJ gets more cousin time! I am thankful it won't be 100 degrees while we are there this time.
I am also confident. I am confident this is what we are supposed to do right now. We were planning on saying goodbye to our Louisville family in October anyway and so this is not much different. I am thankful for the amazing renters we have to live in our home while we are gone.
Even though this was not our plan A, we are confident this is His plan!
We are forgetting what lies behind and looking at what lies ahead!
We are savoring all our favorite things in Louisville. Favorite restaurants, picking apples, watching the leave change, walking in all our favorite parks and spending time with our community and church.
I am rejoicing that I will get to see another nephew brought into this world and get to see The Hunger Games movie! I rejoice that I will have a true Thanksgiving with my wonderful family and celebrate birthdays and Christmas with them one more time.
God is so good. Even in the midst of major changes and uncertainty about the future, He reminds me of the joys I have ahead of me and the love He has provided both in Louisville and Texas.
Please pray for us through all these changes and please pray about partnering with us in financially support.
To give: bit.ly/sojournlyon-lewis