Monday, March 31, 2014

Blessing of Bethany

One of the blessings of this sabbatical year is time spent in our home churches.

Dave had the privilege of preaching today in the church where he grew up: Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Centennial, Colorado.

Since 1968 (at least that's what Dave recalls!) this has been the Patty family's home church. That's forty six years of being connected to this body of believers!

With one of their strengths being a deep commitment to missions, he preached on what Bethany's mission's legacy is: many sent, many sending, many serving and much fruit.

We are so grateful to be one of their sent ones, as well as on the receiving end of many sent: at one time 20% of their congregation had served with us in Czech! What a difference they've made in our ministry, as well as in the lives of many throughout the world.

This is also a church full of hospitality and they blessed me by hosting a women's gathering Sunday morning so that I could share some of our stories. What a sweet time with those women!

And you know another wonderful thing about Bethany?

Dave's mom and dad, his sister and our brother-in-law, and their children still attend! Do you know how fun it was to hug them all, including my niece, her husband and my precious great-niece before the service? Oh how I love them all!

"Thank you dear Bethany family for your love, care, support and prayers for us all these years. We are so thankful for you!"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cupcake to Go

When you're apart from the one you love on an anniversary, don't you think it's right to still celebrate?

Even though I was in Eugene, Oregon with my mom and dad while Dave was in Austin, TX for a conference, I wanted to celebrate Dave's and my 27th wedding anniversary with at least a little something.

After a search through the Yellow Pages, and a call to find out what they had (thanks mom!) we found a cute little bakery downtown Eugene that had one...just one possibility of a gluten free cupcake in their offerings of the day!

While it poured rain outside, I hurried into Sweet Life Patisserie and found that pretty chocolate cupcake with mint frosting. Yep, that'll do for a celebration of precious years of marriage.

But I sure wouldn't want to eat it without thinking of the one I'm celebrating.

So I asked for one in a box. To go. Off to the one I love.

A day later, Dave and I met up in the Denver coming from Oregon, him coming from Texas.

I handed him the box to go, telling him it was in honor of our anniversary.

And finally, reunited with the one I love, we could celebrate together!

Here's to 27 more years of marriage with my dear husband!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Twenty Seven Years (and Counting)

Twenty seven years ago I said "I do" to this wonderful man. It was absolutely the best decision of my life, besides putting my faith in the Lord.

Since then we've moved five times, lived in three different countries, had three children, started a mission organization, traveled thousands of miles, and enjoyed life and each other tremendously!

While we're not physically together today (I'm in Oregon, he's in Texas!), we're together in our hearts.

And always will be.

"I love you Dave! Can't wait to see what the next twenty seven years will bring!"

(See HERE for pictures from the day we said, "I DO"!)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


On my parent's windowsill is a sweet picture from long ago of my dad and Caleb as a baby.

Sitting there in front of that photo, my dad is hard at work preparing something special for that little baby'!

Caleb and Haley asked him if he would make the candle holders for their reception. They saw the idea on Pinterest and thought how special it would be to have them handmade by him.

He's already cut and drilled them, and now is engraving the bottoms of each one!

Four down, thirty six to go!

If you're at their wedding reception on May 31st in Ft. Collins, be sure to take a look at them!

When they're finished drying, driven to Colorado, set on the tables and lit for the reception, it will be a forever memory of my dad's labor of love for his grandson!

Strawberry Shortcake

It's true: a picture is worth a thousand words.

Mom is better! Doing so well that she made (gluten free) strawberry shortcake for us this evening!

Earlier today we visited the doctor and received results from some of the tests she had in the hospital a few days ago. The good news: no damage or disease in her heart, EKG was normal, blood work is good.

But it's clear that something caused the TIA so for the first time in her life, she will be on daily medication to reduce the risk of a stroke happening again.

While she is starting to feel better, the doctor's words were wise: "Be easy on yourself for the next weeks".

So, she makes strawberry shortcake! From mom's perspective, a little strawberry shortcake is good for the body and soul! :) We'll make sure though that she doesn't overdo it.

Again, thank you for praying for my mom. It is simply amazing that she is doing so well, and we wholeheartedly thank you for your prayers, and the Lord for his healing on her body.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Thank you SO very much for your prayers for my mom in the past 24 hours.

Praise the Lord, she's home and doing well after what the doctors say was a TIA (transient ischemic attack) on Sunday.

TIA's and strokes are similar in that it's a disruption of blood flow to the brain. They also have the same symptoms, which in my mom's case was paralysis, slurred speech, drooping of the face, and weakness.

But unlike a stroke, TIA's generally last a shorter time, thankfully.

Mom came home from the hospital yesterday after having a CT scan, MRI, and many other tests. I'm so glad they covered all the bases for her - not only to diagnose, but to look for the cause and hopefully, how to prevent it from happening again.

We don't have the results from the tests yet, but as you can see from the picture, she's doing so much better! She's tired and feels a little weak, but that's to be expected after what she experienced.

We're all just THANKFUL that there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, and that she's feeling better so soon after such a scary episode.

I'm glad I can be here with her as she recovers. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Not Where I Expected

This is not where I expected to be today.

Late yesterday afternoon I got the phone call you never want to get.

"Mom had a stroke," my brother said just as Dave and I were on our way out the door to speak to the college group at Faith EV Free in Ft. Collins.

She'd been out in the garden working when it struck her. Thankfully my dad found her just minutes later and he and my brother rushed her to ER.

I haven't heard any news yet today, but by last night she was at least able to speak. But after a CT scan they don't know what caused this.

Through the kind generosity of friends at Faith, I am at the Denver airport right now, able to fly to Eugene, OR from Denver to be with my mom, dad and brother as we walk through this together.

So thankful that I'm in the States and able to get there this quickly.

While I didn't expect to be flying today, I know this is not a surprise to the Lord. Trusting Him in the coming days with my mom and her health, and asking if you'll pray with me for her.

On Those Steps

During church this morning I couldn't resist sending this photo with a text: "Thinking of you this morning - our kids will be married soon on THOSE steps!!!"

That text was sent to my son's future mother-in-law, Amy Chase (who also happens to be my dear friend) who is in Slovakia serving with JV!

Yes, I was listening to Dave preach (it will be posted HERE in the next few days, and is really great!), but I was also overcome with the thought that in just two months, Caleb and Haley will be married on those very steps here in Fort Collins, CO.

While Haley's mom and I will be in the pews where I was seated today, her dad will give her away to Caleb on those steps, with Dave standing there performing the wedding ceremony.

Can you see why it made me think ahead two months?!

What an amazing story it is that our two families are so intertwined with this dear body of believers at Faith Evangelical Free church. Mark and Amy served here for twenty years before coming with JV, and the church has supported Dave and I for thirty years.

And now our children will marry on the steps of this church, May 31st.

I'm already feeling teary, in the very happiest sort of way. It's such a good gift to us all that he brought our two kids together!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meeting Gus

After dropping Claire off at the airport for her flight back to Chicago, Dave and I returned to Telluride for one more night before resuming our travels.

The last glow of sunlight was going down on the surrounding mountains as we drove into town, but that certainly wasn't the biggest event of the evening!

All week we'd seen signs around Telluride that said, "Welcome Home Gus", but had no idea what they referred to. Until we drove into town and saw this:

And this!

"Gus" is Gus Kenworthy, local Telluride boy and Olympic silver medal winner in Sochi!

Raised here, he's been on the Telluride slopes since he was three years old. Now 22, he returned to a parade and special evening event last night...and we got to see him!

The excitement in the mostly local crowd was so delightful to be a part of. They are really proud of their Gus, and greeted him warmly as they patiently stood in line while he signed posters, helmets, arms and more for several hours.

After watching them for a bit I decided to join in the fun and wait my turn in line too.

He was a sweetheart, really giving of himself as he signed poster after poster, and interacted with the crowd around him.

It was a joy to look him in the eye when I made it to the front of the line and tell him "Good job" and "We're all proud of you"...and be rewarded with a warm smile from him, and a "Thank you so much".

His parents, who live here in Telluride, must be so proud of their son, not only for his accomplishments, but for what a kind young man he is.

You can't see the whole poster, but that's our fun souvenir from Gus the Olympian who lives in Telluride!

See HERE for a great article about Gus by the Telluride local newspaper...he was one of three Americans who swept men's slopestyle skiing at the Olympics! (He's #8)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lingering Afternoons with Claire

I could not have asked for a sweeter time with Claire this week while we're spending time with her on spring break from college.

After a week of enjoyable travels with her, it was also a blessing to settle down for a bit and just enjoy some day to day life together once again.

Most afternoons here in Telluride found us at "Between the Covers" bookstore, in the back at their cafe.

Truly this is my idea of a perfect afternoon! Sitting with my girl, surrounded by books, coffee bar just steps away, soft music playing, and the gift of lingering there for hours.

Dave came and joined us yesterday for the afternoon which meant we could get photos to remember this sweet time by!

And of course he didn't mind browsing through the books himself!

For such a small store, there is an abundance of good ones. And yes, a few are making their way into my suitcase.

We'll take Claire to the airport in Montrose this afternoon for her flight back to Chicago to finish up her first year at Moody. What a good gift it's been to be in the States to see her so often during her freshman year!

These two weeks together have nourished us all, and we'll remember the Lord's goodness and blessings for a long time.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dad and His Girl

Seeing these two head off together makes me happy!

Through the generosity of our friends here, Dave and Claire got a ski day together yesterday. Though it'd been years since Claire had skied, she was up for an adventure with her dad!

They headed up the gondola (it's free!) to the ski area and enjoyed an afternoon all over the mountain.

Skiing must be like riding a never forget: Dave said she was awesome on the slope!

The weather has been gorgeous this week and we're all soaking it in, so thankful for a beautiful place to spend this precious time together.

"Sayin' hi from the top!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Touch of Home

The past two mornings Claire and I have gone out walking, even though it's been just 18F degrees (-7C) here in Telluride. Brrrr!

Both mornings we've ended up here at the Steaming Bean on Main street for coffee.

Over lattes and a Clif bar, we've had such fun doing what we love to do: talk, laugh, observe, enjoy.

Afterward we walked through town and found a surprise that delighted both our hearts!

Ever heard of the Telluride Free Box? We hadn't either until yesterday when our friend here told us about it.

As you might guess, it's a place where people can leave things they don't want and they're free for the taking to any who pass by.

They also empty the whole box once a week.

Can you imagine what we found just in time??

First, Claire found this...a book published in 1974 about Ceskoslovensko (otherwise known as Czechoslovakia).

We were giddy as we looked through it, feeling all nostalgic and a little homesick.

But it got better! Claire saw two more books on the shelf...about the very area where we live! One was about Ostrava, the large city near us, and then there was one about the Beskydy Mountains that we live in. What a find!

Don't you wonder who left those books there...THIS WEEK??!! And in just two days, they would've been gone.

As I laid here this afternoon on the bed looking through the Beskydy book, I found this shot...

Awwww...home. That's the church in Malenovice on the right. We live just over the hill from there. I miss it!

What a good gift today...a touch of home found right here in Telluride, Colorado!

**Claire blogged about this today too. See HERE for her perspective!**