Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Reflection Wall

Both Dave and Claire came into Ostrava by train today, though five hours apart.

Dave had been at a conference speaking for the staff of an organization that reaches university students with the Gospel here in Czech.

Claire had been visiting a JV family on the western side of Czech.

Since Claire had made arrangements to meet some of her friends from high school for dinner in Ostrava, but needed to be picked up at the train station in time to meet them, I did that and then took her to the mall downtown.

While we waited for Dave to come in later, she met up with her friends for dinner, and I met up with my computer for dinner. ๐Ÿ˜

Why have dinner with my computer? Because what's on there is something I love to do every day right now!

This week we activated a new section on the JV Prayer Room website called the "Reflection Wall".

This is a place where people share their thoughts after they've done an hour in the Prayer Room.

I've had the joy and privilege of editing this page every day, so get to have first eyes on what people are sharing.

I'll tell you...I am often in tears after reading what people are experiencing and sharing with our JV staff. It is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I'm so touched by people's words of encouragement, prayers for JV teammates, and their own reflections on how God touched them or spoke to them as they prayed.

The Reflection Wall is open for anyone to read, so if you have a few minutes and would like to see what I'm talking about, head on over HERE.

I hope it will bless you as much as it has blessed me!

And if you haven't signed up for an hour of prayer yet, I would love for you to try it! You can do that HERE.

After you've booked your hour and then prayed, I look forward to reading and posting your thoughts on an hour in the Prayer Room!

Friday, January 20, 2017

An Inauguration Day Birthday

On this United States presidential inauguration day, someone is celebrating a birthday!

Caleb was born on a US inauguration day in 1993 (though we weren't in the US at the time - he was born in Germany). Now, six inaugurations later, our adventure loving son is turning 24.

Never one to shy away from a new, fun adventure, he's got the same spirit today as he did for most all of his life!

Quick to throw himself into whatever activity he was doing, Caleb has always given his "all". It's one of the things we love so much about him!

Not to mention, his quick smile and ability to bring joy wherever he is.

This is the boy who taught himself to ride a bike on this driveway at our first home in the Czech Republic.

Up and down he rode until he could keep that bike upright. With many bumps and bruises to show for it, he was so pleased that he'd conquered that skill by himself in a day!

This was the upgraded bike we got him after he taught himself on a tiny little one!

Ride a bike on snow? Sure. Why not?

Climb a big hill to sled down, and then do it all over again, twenty, thirty times over? SURE! This was our Caleb as a boy, hearty and persevering, that's for sure!

Just one day after starting first grade in his Czech school, his class left for ten days of Outdoor School several hours from home. Was he nervous? If he was, he'd never admit to it!

When he came home ten days later with a full cast on his arm, he was proud to show it to me. The school had never called to say he'd broken his arm! But he took it all in stride, not knowing there was anything different than to go through hard things.

And that is one of Caleb's greatest character traits. He is willing and knows how to go through hard things.

He's had plenty of physical health difficulties that have sealed that ability into his heart and soul, along with a deep trust in the Lord in the midst of hard things.

Along the way he's found ways to enjoy life, be adventurous and make friends. Especially with his siblings!

Caleb, Tyler and Claire...such good friends to this day!

While they were typical siblings with their ups and downs, there is no doubt that today they share a bond with each other, and a depth of friendship, that keeps them close.

"Caleb, we are so proud of the man you have grown up to be now. You are a loving husband, a caring brother, a kind son, a devoted friend. But most of all, I love that you walk with God and desire to know him more deeply with each passing year." 

I love who you have become, and can't wait to see what the Lord has ahead for you this coming year! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY from your loving mom!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Not What You'd Expect

At first glance, it looks like every other building on the town square.

Admittedly, many buildings are unique and beautiful here, especially on one of my favorite town squares in Frรฝdek-Mรญstek.

Yes, this is the same place I was over the week-end taking photos for someone.

But what looks very ordinary (for here) on the outside, is something quite different and unique on the inside.

That arch? Built sometime in the 1600's! It used to be the outside of the building, with the street crossing in front of it.

And where the street used to be? The front section of a very beautiful restaurant, unlike anything else I've seen in this area.

Do you have any guesses as to what kind of food they serve here? No, I wouldn't have guessed either!

I brought a friend here today, at her suggestion. She's walked a hard road these past months and I wanted to let her choose someplace that would nourish her soul (and tummy!). She chose this place.

A place that serves Korean food!!

I don't know much about Korean food. I think the only other time I've eaten it was with her nearly eight years ago, at a different Korean restaurant nearby, which has since closed.

But today we enjoyed tasty vegetarian bibimbap, and hours of sweet conversation processing the past months.

I would definitely return to this "unassuming from the outside, but very special on the inside" restaurant.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Checking out the Prayer Room

That time I was on my computer, working on the JV Prayer Room, but ran upstairs to get something, only to hear Dave and Claire completely doubled over in laughter downstairs?

Yes, this would be what they were laughing at!

They said as soon as I got up, she moved over and sat down to have her moment in the Prayer Room, staring at the screen as if she were truly intent on checking it out.

I made it downstairs just as she was getting up from her take-over of the computer, so missed the funny moment.  ๐Ÿ˜‚

But I'm glad Dave and Claire captured it in photos for me!

In all seriousness (though I know it's hard to get serious after funny dog photos!)...

We are on our 16th day of unbroken prayer, 24 hours a day, in JV's online Prayer Room.

Today the Reflection Wall went live in the Prayer Room. This is a place where people are able to share their thoughts after having spent an hour in prayer for us. Go HERE to read some moving, meaningful words about their experience.

And after you've read about it, please take a moment to SIGN UP to pray for an hour.

If you are wondering if you should check it out, the answer is YES! I cannot recommend it enough!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Real Winter

It feels like we are finally having a real winter. The winters that I remember from years ago here.

We get fresh snow every few days. It rarely gets above freezing. Our roads are snow-packed.

And everybody is out enjoying it.

๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚

I kind of cracked up when I came across these guys, out enjoying the snow too.

Or more likely, just going about their usual business!

Anyway, it's beautiful outside.

Dave and I were on our way home from an afternoon meeting when he said, "I wonder if Claire would like to go sledding?"

And just one minute later I got a text from Claire saying, "Any chance dad wants to go sledding with me?"

Twenty minutes later, we had sleds loaded into the car and were on our way to find a good sledding hill for these two!

Many years ago, Dave found a road in the mountains nearby, where it's steep and they don't gravel, making it a perfect sledding hill. We were hoping nothing had changed.

And it hadn't!

We drove up (grateful for 4-wheel drive!), I dropped them off, let them get going, and then drove down to pick them up.... they could be driven up to do it again!

As in years past, I am the driver while they are the sledders.

And I'm happy to make it happen for them, since it's a long climb back up the hill to do it again!

Oh real winter...stick around a little longer!