Saturday, November 16, 2019

Continue Steadfastly

As Dave and I drove home this evening, passing by the beautiful church on the hill near our home, we talked about how we've prayed for ten years for someone in our life.

There were many times during these ten years when it seemed like our prayers didn't affect anything.

But recently we saw this friend, and got to see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears, some of miraculous transformation God has done over these ten years. It's truly beautiful!

Colossians 4:2 says, "Continue steadfastly in prayer..."

While we don't earn answers to prayers by our persistence, God does call us to persevere in prayer. And through doing so, our requests move from the natural realm to the spiritual realm, where God hears and answers.

Do I understand exactly how prayer works? Or why it is that He tells us to pray continuously and steadfastly? No! I just know that it's His way lined out in His Word. So I persevere in prayer.

There are a lot of unanswered prayers requests on my list of things that I pray about these days; some of those things have been on the list for longer than ten years.

But our time with this friend, that we've prayed for over these past ten years, gives me courage and strength to persevere in prayer for other things that seem to be stuck right now.

We don't know when it might be God's timing to open the floodgates and answer; and my prayers might be part of opening those floodgates. I wouldn't want to miss out on being part of God's plan to do that!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It's the Best

A dear friend of mine, from years ago when we served together in Germany with Malachi, wrote to me a few days ago. Her daughter had just birthed her first child, my friend's first grandchild. She wrote:

"This grandma thing is the best! 💕🎉🙌🏼"

I couldn't agree more!

Dave had to be in Prague overnight tonight, so I invited myself over to Tyler and Lara's for dinner, and had the sweetest evening with them, and just being "Nonnie" with the boys.

Tyler took that photo at bedtime, when I was reading a new book I'd just given Judah for his birthday, "Spiderman Swings through Europe". Based on the relatively new Spiderman move, it has him and his friends traveling through three major European cities, including Prague! Though I haven't seen the movie, and the little boys won't see it for many years, it's still fun that part of it takes place in a city we know and love (which is why I bought it when I found it at Target a few weeks ago in the States!).

It was fun to read it and especially fun to have them recognize the astronomical clock on Old Town square that makes an appearance in the book!

Yes, this "Nonnie" thing is the best! 💕🎉🙌🏼

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Looking Back

Across the ocean, in Englewood, Colorado, my sister-in-law, Joyce, was looking at photos while over at her mom and dad's house today.

She was searching for one particular photo, but in the process came across some pictures she thought I'd enjoy, so started sending them to me.

What a treasure!

That's Dave in his mom's lap, in the Philippines, where he was born, and where they were missionaries until Dave was 4! I'd never seen that photo before - so sweet, isn't it?

And here's another one that was new to me, taken in California at a church that supported the Patty family.

When they came back to the States from the Philippines on that trip, they thought it would be for just a year of furlough; but it ended up being a permanent move.

Dave's dad became director for the mission organization they were with, Overseas Christian Servicemen's Center (today called Cadence International) and served in that position until Dave graduated from high school. Their family moved to Englewood, Colorado and the kids grew up there.

Clockwise from the top: Joyce, Dave, Josh, Steve

Josh joined the family, and then they were complete!

Not only did they live in Englewood, but Mom's sister and her family did as well! Living just down the street, there were a lot of cousin connections that took place in their growing up years, like singing together!

From family stories, I've heard a lot about the "white van" that they traveled in when they drove out to Oregon (where Dad Patty was raised). This must have been one of those trips!

And for sure this was at the Oregon coast!

Joyce sent one photo of the extended Patty family from 26 years ago. I know because Caleb is a baby in this photo!

Many more children/grandchildren joined the family after that...two more for David and Joyce, one more for Dave and I, and four for Josh and Kristi! I love that although we've lived much of our lives in different places, we are all still very close, and even these cousins know and love each other!

"Dad and Mom, you did a great job with your family!!"

This was Dad and Mom yesterday, looking at these photos!

God Honoring Excellence

I only took one photo today, and it doesn't even look like Dave's doing anything...but that's not true!

Dave led our extended iTeam meeting this morning up at Malenovice, something we do every couple of months.

It's a time for this team, who serves the whole of JV, to receive some extra training. Sometimes we're going through new JV training material so we all know how it works. And sometimes we're working on JV core values, as we were today.

The teaching today, on our core value of "God honoring excellence", was a culmination of practices Dave has studied and honed over the years. It was so good! I said to him afterward, "Who ARE you that you know so much about this, but more importantly, DO IT?!" 😂

He gave us five skills of God honoring excellence that got all of us thinking because they were so applicable to our real lives.

1. Think Forward: one minute of planning saves 12 minutes of execution, say the experts!
2. Find the Third Option: don't get caught in binary traps; force yourself to broaden your view.
3. Recognize Decision Points: don’t start a new task without consciously deciding it’s the right one.
4. Manage Mental Energy: plan your energy – don’t waste it on small things. Do your biggest most difficult things at the beginning.
5. Optimize your Environment: noise, clutter, light, distractions are all within your control.

I'm condensing two and a half hours of teaching into a very small package! Even though I have more detailed notes, I want it here so I can quickly go back to it when I need to.

I came home and right away made some changes in the environment where I work, and in planning. And it already helped!

I'm not a strategic thinker like Dave, but I'm a good student and can apply what he taught!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Judah is Four!

We have a four year old in the family!

This afternoon Dave and I drove into Ostrava to get to Tyler and Lara's a little early, before the birthday party began, so we could have a few quiet minutes as a family to celebrate Judah.

At 4:00, guests started arriving...outside!

Today is not only Judah's birthday, and Veteran's Day in the US, but it's Saint Martin's day here in Czech, which gets a celebration all of its own here in Ostrava on the square, just below where Tyler, Lara and boys live!

Friends began to meet us outside on the square where booths are open with food and drinks.

There are a few booths selling fun things, like this one that Papa found!

Judah got to choose whichever balloon he wanted as a special gift from Papa!

After watching some folk dancing and a sword fight for the celebration...

...we all came inside for dinner and birthday festivities!

Judah's request was cupcakes (and hot chocolate with marshmallows) so he got to blow out a lot of candles!

Soon after it was time for gifts, which were happily opened and appropriately oohed and ahhed over by all!

It was such a sweet evening with family and friends, celebrating our dear Judah!

Judah, maybe someday you'll read this when you're older, and if you do, I want you to know how much I loved and enjoyed you today as a new four year old!! You are full of joy, energy, strength and delight in life. And it's so special to watch you grow into such a wonderful boy! Your Nonnie loves you a lot!