08.26.11

Heading Back

Posted in Newsletters at 2:40 pm

I can hardly believe it. Summer is winding down. Most of you would probably say that summer is over. The kids are back in school, there is a little more routine to your routine, and the days are getting shorter. Labor Day is approaching fast.

I must say, I am a little envious. We’ve had a whirlwind of a summer, and are enjoying many “lasts,” but I am definitely ready to walk around my own house. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. The kids, though they deny it, are ready to go back to school. Francesca starts school this year. I can’t wait to take pictures and meet her classmates.

So, in two weeks, we head home. We have had a great summer sharing with you all. Because we had to cut it by a month, it has been pretty fast paced but very enjoyable. We may not have seen everyone, but you are always in our hearts. We appreciate you so very much. Thank you for a great summer. Thanks for being so encouraging. Thanks for welcoming us. I hope that this relationship continues into the coming years. Being far from “home,” we really appreciate your ongoing encouragement.

As I look forward to returning, there is always a little nervousness. I’ve already been asked to accompany a lady from our church down south to the counseling center. Brian will be needed to jump right in with preaching. I will be looked upon to teach the children. Though we love it and wouldn’t want to do anything else, there is always a little difficulty in the whole start/stop/reverse of it all. We would appreciate your prayers as we settle into life back in Italy.

As I think about the transition, it reminds me of how I was feeling shortly after Francesca was born. With four children, sometimes it feels like I’m always on the go. Like there’s no personal space. Like someone is always touching me and asking something of me. But then I realized something. Jesus knew exactly how I felt. He was being followed. People were trying to touch him and asking things of him. And he gave me an excellent example. He intentionally pulled away from the crowds and went to a quiet place. He spent time praying and just being with the Father. For me this summer has been a little of both. Please pray that our transition time back to Italy would allow for God’s peace to rest upon us.

08.04.11

Are we there yet?

Posted in home service, kids, Newsletters, travel at 1:54 pm

I just went outside and looked at the odometer on the van we’ve been using. Total miles traveled since we’ve been in the US: 5,985. And we’re not done yet.

That is a lot of time in the van with the kids. Lots of corn fields in Iowa. Lots of hunting for a Redbox to entertain the back seat. Lots of sermons and NPR podcasts listened to. Lots of breaking up the fights over who is on who’s side.

And there have been times when I have thought, “What on earth am I doing? Is the travel worth all the headache? Does anyone really care if we’re in town or not?”

Once my pity party is over and I settle down a bit my mind wanders back to the many conversations we’ve had with our supporters all over the place. I remember the churches we’ve visited and how they’ve went out of their way to make us feel at home. I think about the little bit of time with my nephews and my mom and my sisters and brother and Grandma Cierpiot and cousins and aunts and uncles and maybe even my in-laws*. And all of that really does make all the miles worth it.

I love talking about the church in Ancona. I love bragging on all the great things that God is doing. I love talking about the eight people baptized since the last time we were in the US. I love dreaming and praying about the future and what God might have in store for us.

But I miss home. The kids miss their rooms and their stuff. I’m so tired of digging through luggage to find clothes for the day. I miss Marcus and Kyle, my awesome teammates. I miss the church, and how Italians hug and kiss hello and goodbye. I miss the smell of the Adriatic and how it reminds me of Beach Church.

Can you tell my emotions swing back and forth when I come back to the US?

I think every missionary who had ever written a newsletter while on furlough has said something about the difficulty of defining “home.” All of this (Ancona or Rockford, Illinois) is temporary until we are all united together on the New Earth. So true, isn’t it? It’s great to be in Ancona, making sure the Anconetani are invited to the party.

Until next month…

*Just kidding. I like my in-laws!

I just went outside and looked at the odometer on the van we’ve been using. Total miles traveled since we’ve been in the US: 5,985. And we’re not done yet.
That is a lot of time in the van with the kids. Lots of corn fields in Iowa. Lots of hunting for a Redbox to entertain the back seat. Lots of sermons and NPR podcasts listened to. Lots of breaking up the fights over who is on who’s side.
And there have been times when I have thought, “What on earth am I doing? Is the travel worth all the headache? Does anyone really care if we’re in town or not?”
Once my pity party is over and I settle down a bit my mind wanders back to the many conversations we’ve had with our supporters all over the place. I remember the churches we’ve visited and how they’ve went out of their way to make us feel at home. I think about the little bit of time with my nephews and my mom and my sisters and brother and Grandma Cierpiot and cousins and aunts and uncles and maybe even my in-laws*. And all of that really does make all the miles worth it.
I love talking about the church in Ancona. I love bragging on all the great things that God is doing. I love talking about the eight people baptized since the last time we were in the US. I love dreaming and praying about the future and what God might have in store for us.
But I miss home. The kids miss their rooms and their stuff. I’m so tired of digging through luggage to find clothes for the day. I miss Marcus and Kyle, my awesome teammates. I miss the church, and how Italians hug and kiss hello and goodbye. I miss the smell of the Adriatic and how it reminds me of Beach Church.
Can you tell my emotions swing back and forth when I come back to the US?
I think every missionary who had ever written a newsletter while on furlough has said something about the difficulty of defining “home.” All of this (Ancona or Rockford, Illinois) is temporary until we are all united together on the New Earth. So true, isn’t it? It’s great to be in Ancona, making sure the Anconetani are invited to the party.
Until next month…
*Just kidding. I like my in-laws!I just went outside and looked at the odometer on the van we’ve been using. Total miles traveled since we’ve been in the US: 5,985. And we’re not done yet.

That is a lot of time in the van with the kids. Lots of corn fields in Iowa. Lots of hunting for a Redbox to entertain the back seat. Lots of sermons and NPR podcasts listened to. Lots of breaking up the fights over who is on who’s side.

And there have been times when I have thought, “What on earth am I doing? Is the travel worth all the headache? Does anyone really care if we’re in town or not?”

Once my pity party is over and I settle down a bit my mind wanders back to the many conversations we’ve had with our supporters all over the place. I remember the churches we’ve visited and how they’ve went out of their way to make us feel at home. I think about the little bit of time with my nephews and my mom and my sisters and brother and Grandma Cierpiot and cousins and aunts and uncles and maybe even my in-laws*. And all of that really does make all the miles worth it.

I love talking about the church in Ancona. I love bragging on all the great things that God is doing. I love talking about the eight people baptized since the last time we were in the US. I love dreaming and praying about the future and what God might have in store for us.

But I miss home. The kids miss their rooms and their stuff. I’m so tired of digging through luggage to find clothes for the day. I miss Marcus and Kyle, my awesome teammates. I miss the church, and how Italians hug and kiss hello and goodbye. I miss the smell of the Adriatic and how it reminds me of Beach Church.

Can you tell my emotions swing back and forth when I come back to the US?

I think every missionary who had ever written a newsletter while on furlough has said something about the difficulty of defining “home.” All of this (Ancona or Rockford, Illinois) is temporary until we are all united together on the New Earth. So true, isn’t it? It’s great to be in Ancona, making sure the Anconetani are invited to the party.

Until next month…

*Just kidding. I like my in-laws!