Thursday, October 30, 2008

2x3 Vision Night in Portland

Dave and the team were in Portland last night for one of our Vision Nights. I know some of you reading this were there too! How I wish I'd been there to see you! But I'm glad you were able to go - I heard it was a great evening with 250 people there!

We made the decision for me to stay home with the kids while Dave is traveling these five weeks... mostly for Caleb's sake to keep going on the SCD diet. We're nine weeks into it and it's going just great! He continues to make progress as his stomach heals and the pain decreases.

But my heart is still with Dave and our team at these Vision nights - such a special time to connect with people we love, who have prayed and given and stood with us through the past 15 years of ministry here. I want to be in two places at one time!

I have totally been at peace with staying home though...and we're having a great time here, though we miss Dave. I have asked the Lord for strength for each day and He's faithfully given it. And the only thing to go wrong so far is the water pump is giving out...hopefully th
at will be solved tomorrow!

But today my brother (in the photo with my mom, dad and Dave last night) wrote to me, after having been at the Vision Night. He said, "I think you need to hop on a plane and get to one of these's a once in a lifetime opportunity".

He didn't write just once, but twice today encouraging me to think abo
ut it again - and said it on the phone today too!

So, just to say that I'd checked on it, I went on Expedia to look at ticket prices two weeks from now to Chicago where the last Vision Night will take place. Expecting them to be exorbitant and at least over a thousand dollars, as airfares have been recently, I was shocked to see tickets for five hundred!! This never happens...I can't remember when I've seen tickets for that price!

After praying about it and talking it through with Dave, we made the decision for me to go...and Claire and Caleb so I can still keep up with Caleb's diet. Tyler was already leaving to join Dave there for the last Vision Night and then on to college searching the following week.

So now we get to have this very special experience as a family...sharing in the last JV Vision Night. I can hardly wait! Oh how good the Lord us above and beyond what we could ask or imagine!

I feel very thankful tonight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's a Bed Got to Do With It?

Apparently...a lot!

I took Caleb to the doctor here in town yesterday, waiting with him for an hour and a half to be seen (did you know that generally you don't make appointments to be seen by a doctor here? You show up and it's first come, first served).

When we finally got in, he took a look at Caleb's back and immediately asked, "Are you spendi
ng your day hunched over for some reason?"

Before either of us could even give an answer, he had Caleb on the exam table and CRACK went one side of his neck, and CRACK went the other! He then moved down his spine, finding the place near the base where much of his stomach and intestinal problems have stemmed from and made numerous adjustments there too. A few more came when he had him stand up.

Next thing we knew he was dictating what he'd done for Caleb to his nurse who typed it into her computer, asked me for the 30 kc for the appointment (that's a little less than $2!), and told Caleb to come back if he needs to...but that most likely he'll feel a lot better now!

Before we knew it we were out of his office. And it was then the answer to his question came to me....

Since this summer when Caleb outgrew his bunk bed and we took it down, he's been sleeping on the floor on a soft mattress. Not only does he have no support for his back when he sleeps, but any time he's on his computer or doing homework, he's sitting on the edge of the soft got it, hunched over since there's no where for him to lean!

Could the answer to Caleb's problem
this time be so simple as a new bed?? Maybe! We took off for Ikea and got home a few hours later with a "bed in a box". Caleb spent the next few hours putting it together (he was motivated) and then slept on it last night.

You'll have to trust me when I tell you...he was a completely different kid this morning when he woke up! Maybe it was the doctor's adjustment...maybe it was the bed. Who knows? But the good news is: His pain was cut in half...down to a "3". And this afternoon he told me it's even lower than that!

So, problem solved, for now, by a new bed with a good firm mattress!

Thanks so much for praying and caring! If only all problems were solved so easily as this! I'm just thankful to the Lord for His love and care for us during this time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Will you Pray?

As so often happens, Dave leaves and we then become vulnerable and open to spiritual pressure and attack. It's something I'm very familiar with after all these years, but it takes me off guard just the same.

Out of the blue, Caleb is in pain tonight...and has been ever since Dave left on Saturday. He's eaten all the right foods, taken his pills, and had a relatively stress free couple of days...except for the pain.

This time there is a deep pain in his back that seems to be causing the pain in this stomach. He's never had that before, but it seems to be connected. The day before Dave left Caleb told me that his pain was just below a "2" (on a scale of 1-10) - that was a record! He looked and felt so good that day.

But the day Dave left it jumped up to a "6" - something he hasn't felt since June-July.

I'm at a loss as to what to do for him...we seem to be doing all the things we should...even this extremely strict diet which has been doing such good for him...and yet, here is the pain again. Is the source of it physical or is it spiritual? Hard to know.

A friend reminded me today of a doctor here in our little town who is a neurologist, but also does chiropractics (I know...odd combination!). That's one of the things our doctor in the States said could help Caleb, but we hadn't found anyone to do it here. We called today and the nurse said he could come in tomorrow. So we'll try that and see if it gives him some relief.

In the meantime, will you pray? We are...and trusting the Lord for His help and guidance.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dave is on a Plane

Dave and I got up at 2 AM this morning and were out the door by 2:30, headed for the airport in Katowice, two hours away. A nice, hot cup of coffee at the BP station perked us up for the drive, and even though we spend hours every day talking, we still managed to find things to talk about until the minute we pulled up to the airport!

Today is 35 days and counting...that's how long he'll be gone. I've been away from home longer than that without Dave (with Caleb last spring), but I've never been here in Czech that long without him. So this will be a new stretch of road for me.

I'm sad not to be able to join him in the States for the 2x3 Campaign since I think it's going to be such a special time in each of the 11 cities where he and the team will be. But I know that keeping our family stable and well cared for right now is an important and valuable task that I take joy in providing. Just wish there were two of me - one to be 100% here and one to be 100% there!

But since there's only one of me, I'll keep my mom hat on and do my best to love and care for our family from this side of the oce

I already miss Dave though!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coming Soon, to a City Near You!

Saturday morning at 2 AM, Dave and I will get up (hopefully we'll have gone to bed for at least a few hours!) and drive to Katowice which is two hours away. There I will drop Dave off for a 6 AM flight at the airport and say good-bye for five weeks.

That's because he's heading your direction for our JV 2x3 Campaign and Vision Nights!

Beginning on October 26th in Seattle, he and 85 of our JV staff will be in various cities throughout the US sharing the vision and fruit of JV's ministry for the past 15 years.

If you live in any of the following cities, and would like to hear what God is doing in Central and Eastern Europe among young people and young leaders, click on the link below to register for a special evening of stories and testimonies, not to mention some really yummy dessert! It's going to be a wonderful evening giving glory to God for what He's done in so many lives here!

Oct 26Bellevue, WA7:30pmCrossroads Bible Church
Oct 28Portland, OR7:00pmMarriott Downtown Waterfront
Oct 30Scottsdale, AZ7:00pmThe Westin Kierland Resort
Nov 1San Jose, CA7:00pmMarriott San Jose
Nov 3Pasadena, CA7:30pmThe Westin Pasadena
Nov 6Atlanta, GA7:00pmHyatt Regency Downtown
Nov 7Hamilton, ONT7:00pmCrowne Plaza
Nov 8Peoria, IL7:00pmThe Waterhouse
Nov 10Minneapolis, MN7:00pmMarriott City Center
Nov 11Denver, CO7:00pmHyatt Regency Downtown
Nov 13Oak Brook, IL7:00pmOak Brook Hills Marriott Resort

Click here to reserve a spot at one of these events! You'll be glad you did!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Back in February, Dave and the Exit team were talking about doing a tour in the schools across Czech to promote the new season of Exit 316. One of their ideas was to put together a band who could headline the tour, give lectures in schools, do PR for the show with young peo
ple, and of course share the Gospel with them.

Dave left for the States shortly after that and was at a JV board meeting in Chicago talking about the idea with some of our board members. Scott Ardavanis, who had been our pastor at Grace Church of DuPage (but now pastors in California) made a suggestion to contact Zach Zegan, a friend of his with a band called Dizmas.

After a few phone calls, some quick flight arrangements and a break in their touring schedule, Zach came out to Czech to see us a couple weeks later. He met with Dave and the Turbo team (the ones who promote Exit 316 and provide small group materials used in churches across the country), heard the vision, went home to pray about it...and then felt led to ask the whole band if they'd be willing to come!

Initially when Zach first came to visit, we thought only he would come for the tour...what a blessing and bonus that the Lord called all of Dizmas to be here this fall!

They've been here a few weeks now, having toured in two cities already. What an impact they are having in young people's lives! They are humble, enjoyable, God-honoring, amazing musicians and so much fun to be with! If you want to follow the tour and their experiences here, they've got a blog:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Claire's 14th Birthday!

I remember how I felt fourteen years ago on this night as I lay in the German hospital with a baby girl by my side...I felt so full, so blessed, so happy! I had my two boys, and now I had a sweet little girl named Claire!

We celebrated Claire today, enjoying
all of who God has made her to be! She brings a lot of joy, delight, spark, warmth and love into our lives every day.

What a great gift the Lord bestowed on us fourteen years ago this very day!

I found the very first picture I took of all three kids back in October to see them at those cute ages!

And to see what they look like today!

Life does move on doesn't it?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Senior Pictures...sort of!

Tyler and I went up to a special place
to take pictures yesterday..."senior" pictures, I guess. Since we're in Czech and they don't really do that sort of thing here, we wanted to start taking some over the next few months to mark this event for him...his final year of school here in Czech.

There is a special spot just up above Malenovice that we found y
ears ago where the trees turns to magnificent colors this time of year. That seemed like a good place to take our first set of "senior pictures"! Here's a few of this proud mom's favorites!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cooking, Baking and Learning

This has been a month of cooking for me. Not that I didn't always cook - in fact, I home-cooked a lot. But not like this past month.

I know there are others out there who have been wheat/grain/sugar/dairy free and I applaud them! I just never expected our family to be among those people. It's been an adventure, somewhat of a trial at times, but in the end, VERY SATISFYING.

The best news of all is that Caleb is healing on this new diet (called "The Specific Carbohydrate Diet"). We have seen a dramatic decrease in his pain and overall well-being. That's encouraging! He's not pain-free yet, but I think he's getting there.

We've been on this diet for five weeks now and there's no turning's definitely working!

A few invaluable cookbooks I couldn't live without: Grainfree Gourmet, Healing Foods, and Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Truly lifesavers!

Tonight was the trial run for pizza...had never tried that before. While it's definitely not like what I used to make, it was tasty and satisfying. Will be trying out a few more recipes to see if I can perfect that timeless, classic favorite around here!