A year ago this week we were anxiously waiting to find out where God would be having us go. We had been in process with Faith Academy (Manila, Philippines) for about six weeks but we also had a whirlwind application process with Bandung Alliance International School (Bandung, Indonesia). We were waiting, praying, and waiting some more. And then on one day, we got accepted to both schools. Without hesitation, we chose to move to Indonesia. It was really an amazing story.
And here we are, one year later. And what a year it has been! It was not a move we were planning or expected but it was a move that has been far better than anything we could have imagined. Jason has had a wonderful year and LOVES his job. I have loved being at home with the kids, doing my scrapping stuff, and actually having time for the first time in my adult life to have friends, do stuff with other people, invite people over, and just hang out with the kiddos. I know I have had a good year when I look forward to waking up and starting each new day!
It is just one of those situations where trusting God has proved to be ultimately important. Last spring was a scary time. However, we trusted God in all things. We knew that HE was up to something (although He allowed people to be a part of it) and what they meant for evil, God truly meant for good. If we hadn't trusted in His goodness, in His faithfulness, in His abiding love for us we might have missed it. We might have missed a move that has been so incredibly good for us. I can't even begin to list the ways that each of us has benefited from being here! But we did trust God. We didn't care what other people thought of us. We kept our eyes on Him and followed. And the song that was so important to us last year still makes my heart beat a little faster...
If You say wait, we will wait
If You say step out on the water
And they say it can't be done
We'll fix our eyes on you and we will come
Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid
Are good and true
If You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
We'll gaze into the flames and look for You
So here we are, one year later, totally happy, and totally looking forward to summer! School finishes up next week and then we have NINE weeks to be together as a family! A few days after school gets out we are headed to the beach for TEN DAYS! The first few days we are going with a group to go see some sea turtles laying their eggs:
At the southern-most tip of the bay lies the nature reserve Ujung Genteng where most nights of the year giant marine turtles, often over 100 kgs, come to lay eggs. After dusk, these animals come ashore, drag themselves up the beach, dig a hole and lay up to 150 eggs. They cover it up, turn around and return to sea in a ritual that can take 21/2 hours, and can be watched at close quarters. Viewing this primitive ritual is a truly inspiring
After that the rest of our group is heading back and we are staying at the beach for a week. It is amazing that we can stay in a 3 bedroom A/C bungalow (complete with a house boy that cleans up and goes to the market to buy -- and then cook -- fresh seafood everyday) for just under $300 for the whole week! We are really excited for this trip and the amazing amount of family time!
After we return home we are going to be busy, because we are moving! We weren't really planning on looking too hard for a new house but we kept our eyes and ears open in case something turned up. We have LOVED our house this year but for some reasons (keep reading) it was going to be a bit tight next year (and no, I am not pregnant : ) After we had decided to just go ahead and stay in our house an AMAZING place just kind of fell in our laps! The house is out of our development and in town and has the MOST AMAZING YARD. Yards are hard to come by here (and pretty much impossible where we are living now) and I want my kids to be able to run and play and chase a dog and get dirty and use their imaginations and just be KIDS. The house we found has a kids dream lawn including gorgeous plants, fruit trees, rabbit cages (in the back), a club house, swing set, tire swing, rope swing, zip line, and two hills perfect for some slip and slidin'!
Just so you can see a little perspective on the size of the yard -- really hard to show how big it is!
In this next picture I am only standing at about the halfway point of the lawn
This one was taken from the upstairs balcony
In addition to that, it has MY dream covered front porch! And while we didn't choose the house for the house itself, the house is great! It is about twice the square footage of our current house (and about the same price!) and it just opens itself up to lots of possibilities! There is a lot of work to be done but we are so exited to get in and make it ours. We really want to make it a place we all love to be because the kids and I are going to be spending a LOT of time there. Because...
We are going to be homeschooling the kids next year! This decision, made many months ago and long before the house situation came up, has nothing to do with the school where they are. The kids have LOVED and THRIVED in school this year. The teachers are wonderful (my hubby is one of them!) and we have been very blessed. However, I am just coming to grips more and more that these little kids are only little once and I want to be with them as much as I can. I want the bulk of their day to revolve around HOME and FAMILY. I want to be the one who gets to explore the world with them and discover great books with them. I also want them to be able to have time to just be kids instead of spending 7+ hours a day in a classroom. While this will be yet another adjustment for all of us, I am really looking forward to it. And, we will take it one year at a time and one child at a time. We will reevaluate as necessary. But for this year, my kids are going to be home again. And that is a good thing!
So there you have it -- another year and another set of changes. But with each passing day God's goodness is more evident in my life and I am more thankful for the blessings -- many unasked for -- that He has poured out on our family. Jason and I were talking the other night and discussing how good our kids are. They are four amazing little people with big personalities and they are going to go far in this world. I want each of them to live up to THEIR fullest potential and pursue God with reckless abandon. It doesn't matter what the world thinks -- follow Him and you can't go wrong. It may look like you don't know what you are doing and people may think you have failed (Noah, Abraham, Paul to name a few!) but only what God thinks is important. We live for an audience of One!