Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Plans verses reality

As many of you may know Greg and I applied with an organization this year to become short term coordinators in Senegal, Africa (northwest Africa). We started the process about 6 and half months ago. There were different stages that we needed to pass. As we passed each stage, Greg and I began to feel pretty secure in the fact that the family would be leaving sometime in August of 2010 (after he finished up his M.A. in May 2010).

Very LONG story but in the end we were not a fit for the job that was offered in Senegal (it turned out NOT to be a short term coordinator position). It was crushing. I was literally sobbing. The feelings of rejection and inadequates felt heavy on me. I couldn't wrap my mind around how we had been able to do so much in missions and had passed so many of the requirements to be then denied.

God's timing was so perfect. 2 months prior, my mother had bought a plane ticket to come up to Portland to see us. It so happened we got our phone call from the organization on the exact day my mother flew in. It was exactly what my heart needed. To be around a parent who could just listen to me cry and hold me. How awesome is our God that He knows what will cause us pain and then gives us the resources to take care of our heart. I felt so loved. We live in an awesome community in the married housing at Multnomah. Our friends were kind and gentle. We were able to start to process our emotions. It was such a safe place to do that. Without condemnation or judgements.

That night, I left to go pick up my mother from the airport and as I was driving I was singing (loudly and off key) to the radio which then I missed my exit and had to drive the rest of the way to Washington before I could turn around. There is a bridge that connects Oregon and Washington that goes over the Columbia River. It was sunset time and it was such a beautiful scene. The hills looked purple and the sky had flashes of pink, orange, blue, yellow. The river was deep sparkling blue. It was breathtaking. As I was driving I kept telling God. Wow, you really are so beautiful and amazing. And then I was overcome with thankfulness. I remember saying,
"Lord, thank you for loving me enough to allow me to be disappointed. Thank you that even though I am disappointed and I feel rejected and inadequate... you love me enough to guide my steps. You really do know what is best. I can't see the answer to our future right now but You do. So I trust you. And again, thank you, thank you , thank you for loving me enough to say no".

So what are Greg and my plans as of now? Keep moving forward and yet be at rest. We are playing with a couple of options and we are seeking advice and some wisdom. Lord has blessed us with hooking up with a couple that spent their careers as missionaries in Africa. They are very relational and are such a great fit for Greg and me. They have been extremely encouraging and helpful. I am looking forward to being under them and working on some the issues Greg and I need to work on before we could be ready to be over seas. Isn't God so good?!

We picked Makayla for our first born's name. Greg and I loved the name because of its meaning: Who is like God!
And how true that is. Who is like our God? What a privilege to call Him Lord, Father, Savior. So, though we don't know what next fall will hold for our family, we do know we worship and bend to the God of the Universe that does know those answers. So we are waiting, keeping our eyes and ears open, but resting in Him.

We seek your partnership in prayer. We ask that you would intercede on our behalves. Ask that we be open to the Holy Spirit and what He desires for us to hear and learn and submit. Pray that we be still and not try to be anxious to get on the field. Enjoy the journey that we are currently on. Guidance as we seek options. Continue to have an attitude of gratitude. Come alongside us as we praise God for taking care of our family and keeping us from a bad situation.

Know that Greg and I love you all so much and feel so blessed to call you all family. Thank you for faithfulness in all these years. We truly have love for you all


Monday, August 31, 2009

Kenya - Part 1

I know... I'm lame. I'm now finally sitting down to recap my summer and here it is Greg's first day back at Multnomah... meaning the fall semester has officially kicked off.

Justin and Suzanne McElderry along with Greg and myself left for Kenya in June. We had the amazing privilege of teaming alongside the Harrels and their students and friends.

We were able to see what Rich and Kathy do on a day to day basis but also we were able to see what the alumni from Moffat Bible College are doing (This is where Rich and Kathy teach). They have such a sweet spirit about them and are great examples of how to cultivate a real relationship with those that are native to the land.

We were able to go to an Orphanage for abandon babies, (some have HIV/AIDS). This was mostly to get an idea of what some people are doing in the country. It was an encouragement to see how God is caring for the children in that area. The workers were amazing.

Then Greg got the privilege of speaking at the first service at a church. He was so nervous. But he did really well. Justin was then able to preach at the second church and though it was a different style it was neat to see that God uses different methods to teach and mold His flocks.

Then on Monday and Tues Suzanne and I had the amazing privilege of teaching in a flower community called Casaroni. Pastor Charles is an amazing worker who has sacrificed greatly to love. He is loving His community beyond a Sunday morning message, but he is out there involved in the schools, ministering to those in the medical clinic, starting a feeding center, starting a preschool, starting a high school. He also makes appoint to go into the community and to sit and be with the people. He challenged me more than anyone has ever challenged me. Suzanne did an outstanding job on designing curriculum for jr. highers and for the high schoolers. No doubt that that is her gifting.

We were than able to see a couple of classes at the Moffat Bible College. And partake in the AIDS ministry that was happening at the Elementry school level.

We were able to go to a prison and be with men and women. It was great to see the hope that some had because they knew they belonged to the Lord. I will talk more about this in another blog.

Coming home is always the hard part. Not wanting to forget. Not wanting to be unchanged. Not wanting to let this become a vacation. Wanting my heart to change. Wanting my relationship w/ Christ to be deeper. Wanting my family to operate differently because of what God allowed Greg and I to see, hear, feel, experience.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MAK 5 Baby!

Well we are back from Kenya and our travels down south. I will one day, hopefully soon, sit down and write about those wonderful travels. However, right now I am going to think about my daughter.

Makayla Joy Weaver turned 5 this morning. It is so hard to believe that this beautiful strong little girl once entered this world only weighing 4 lbs and 13 ounces. She arrived 4 weeks earlier than the doctors or I had anticipated. But my oh my! What a beautiful girl was and is. I am continually amazed at what she is learning and striving to learn. And yet, if I am to be honest, I am truly amazed at what she has taught me. I am a better person for having her. So here is my short list of things I love to do with my daughter... trust me the list is longer but these are my most favorite moments:
1) Listening to her read... LOVE it
2) watching her show compassion to those that are hurting
3) baking with her... so many great conversations while we bake... wouldn't change that for the world
4) Painting our nails... she would do this everyday if I would let her... but since her mom isn't very girly we do as our "special date"
5) sitting on the top of her bunk bed and listening to whatever she wants to share
6) making up silly stories... and helping her discover new ways of telling stories
7) listening to her play pretend and hearing her say to a friend I want to be a mom when I grow up what do you want to do?
8) And my all time favorite... hearing her pray for friends and their unborn babies. Praying for people that she misses. Asking God to take care of people she hardly even knows.

And as I said the list goes on. I am so blessed to have BOTH my kids but today I stop to remember when God allowed me the privilege to become a mom. I am looking forward to this next year and falling more in love with this beautiful child that God is molding.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gearing Up

Well, the team leaves tomorrow night (8:55pm) from LAX. As bags are being repacked (been in Cal for almost a week now) and getting the last minute items... my heart is getting saddened by the idea of leaving my little ones behind. I woke up early (well at 7:30... that's early when my kids have been either sleeping in or Nana has been caring for them in the morning)... and continue to try to help out w/ lesson planning... (P.S. for those that don't know it Suzanne is amazing at how she balances all that she does!).

Right now, daddy is sitting w/ the little ones watching a movie. We played in the pool this afternoon for HOURS!!! So, it is nice that Greg is getting some down time too w/ the kids. Man, I love those little ones.

Please be praying for unity w/ the team. that we would be one minded in Christ Jesus and working together. Help us to yield to one another and allow each other to have clear communication. Help us to listen to those that have the experience and knowledge in Kenya. May we be an encouragement and help to the Harrell's and students we will be working with. May the time in the homes be everything that God desires it to be. May we accept the hospitality and give appresiation for that the families will be sacrificing. May the Gospel of Christ be clear and may we give and show the whole Gospel. And pretty please be praying for our little ones. The McElderry's have 3 kids ( Eliana 6, Vivian 4, and Cael 22 months). We have Makayla (4), and Ezekiel (3). Pray for their hearts and their care givers.

Thank you to all that have supported us one way or another... God used you to bring in over the requested amount for the trip, which will now allow us to bless those in Kenya even more than what we thought possible. Thank you. Thank you for those that are praying... we need it!! Keep praying.

We love you all and can't wait to come back and share what God is doing in that part of Kenya.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kenya Missions Fundraiser!!!

This Saturday is our Kenya Missions Fundraiser. Greg's aunt, Chrissy, has done an amazing job in organizing some fantastic vendors that were gracious enough to donate anywhere between 10%-35% of their earnings towards the Kenya team. So, if you are in Southern California please come by our open house!

Here is the address:
Location: Schwendener Residence
4315 Myrtle Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807 US

Host: Christine Schwendener

When: Saturday, May 30, 5:00PM

Phone: 562 243-9943

Please come by for our open house fundraiser for the Weaver's and the McElderry's! We are part of the Kenya Missions Team this summer.

There will be MANY vendors selling wonderful items and donating a percentage (10%-35%) of their sales back for this trip!
Here is a partial list of the sellers:

Longaberger Baskets by Jo Burton
Scentsy by Heidi Spurlock
Avon by Mary Beth Walker
Cookie Lee Jewlery by Ojini Arzoumanian
Maya Trade Co. olive oil
Anissa's Threads- clothing
Kathy's homemade peanut brittle
Lu's homemade jewelry, scarves and note cards
Watkin's products by Mark Montegani
Kathryn Battistone's fashion designs (just picked up by Anthropologie!)
Jill Christofferson's original artwork
Juice Plus by Kathy Weaver
Party Lite by Gina Trevino
Hands of Hope, Cambodian ministry, by Dianne Bradfield
NuSkin Galvanic Spas by Patty Roberts
Beijo Bags by Kathy Apples
Pampered Chef by Delaina McCutchen
Author, Susan Peterson, will be selling her book

Refreshments will be served. Come by for 10 minutes, come by for all 4 hours! Hope you will be able to make it! Don't forget to invite your friends!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Horse Tail Trail

Today we spent our beautiful day outside on a hike w/ the Fudge family and 2 out 3 of the Wilson family. Such a nice easy hike w/ all 6 kids. Yep! SIX kids on this hike w/ 5 parents. However, Rach did carry Josiah on her back, along w/ Aaron carrying Ruthie... but still everyone made it. The waterfall that we hiked to today was one that you can walk behind. So fun ! It really is great to see the kids enjoy nature. They find slugs, and point out different types of trees, and come up w/ fun tunes for the walk. Even discovering how to deal w/ the potty issue when outside. Zeke, who hates the idea of going potty any where other than his pants, became thrilled at the idea of learning to pee outside his pants today. Greg's plan is to go out tomorrow by himself and try to get some nice shots w/ out the glare from the sun. Can't wait to see what he discovers.

Kids and I will be hanging out in the courtyard and getting ready to attend a birthday party at a park. So, we are still outside... just a little more easy going.

Latuerall Falls

With Greg out of school the goal is to be outside in nature as much as possible. Tonight we went to Luke and Emily's house, that is in Battle Ground, WA. Their place is amazing! Wish we had the camera tonight. They literally have a forest around them. I love it. It would such a great place to raise children. It inspired me to load pictures from our hikes this month. Yep, that's right. We live in a place where one can easily go on a hike everyday if they, or their body, wanted to. Gotta love Oregon!

These pictures were from Latuerall Falls which is waterfall in the Gorage. It is so beautiful. If you take the Old Historic Route From the 84 you would hit a series of waterfalls and hikes. Latuerall would be the first one.We were able to go with some friends that live in the compound w/ us (Hans family!). Love that the kids are old enough to enjoy a great hike!

Tulip Festival

This was some time ago... I believe around the second or third week of April. I could be wrong... it happens. There were fields of Tulips. Such a beautiful day too. Greg's folks were up and so it was a nice afternoon spent looking at the flowers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Easter Photos

We spent our Celebration Sunday by going to our church ( The Well), having an Easter Egg hunt INDOORS (it is the PNW!), making a yummy lunch w/ about 13 people, and remembering what Christ has saved us from. It was such an amazing day. Going to church and sitting there w/ excitement and hearing how awesome is our God... I love church days. Then I spent the rest of the day enjoying our community. What a blessing.

Flat Stanley came to visit

Eli McElderry sent us her friend Flat Stanley for a week. Stanley was designed as part of a school project where he gets to go and be an exchange student for a bit. We were glad to have the extra company. The timing was perfect because then he was able to travel with us to the Oregon Coast (Rockaway). He was able to see the farms during the drive out there. Makayla read books to him, while Zeke sang songs and almost ripped him in half while running about the lodge. (some of the photos if you look closely you can spot Stanley).

Greg's Grad class went on a retreat at the end of the semester. The family was allowed to tag along and it was great fun to be had. We were able to play on the beautiful Oregon sand, have a bonfire, play with friends, take the kids out on a rowboat, kids went for a bike ride, and even a visit to the Tillamook factory (amazing Ice cream! and the list of options is endless). In all seriousness I felt so blessed that God allowed this vacation at the end of a packed semester. How great is our God?! I can get so caught up in how little my love is for God, that I forget to swim in the greatness of God's love! Praise God His love never fails. Praise Him who pursues us endlessly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Zeke's Round up

My boy is now 3! We had a party for him on May 2. We even got to have the Grummons from down south join in the fun! The kids got to dress up as cowboys and play games. There was a huge rain storm so the party got moved inside. It was very warm inside my shoe box house. I had a lot of fun playing Pin the Star on the Sherif, Hokie-Pokie Cowboy style, Marshmellow toss, and of course a pinata.

Where does the time go? I can't believe he is 3. He now has a big boy bike (Spider Man of course). And he cracks me up. He can melt my heart to. He does this little thing now where he stops and looks up at you and smiles sweetly, " Guess what", he says. "I love you". Yep, I'm hooked.

I am blessed to have two amazing kids.

Enjoy the photos!

Okay, I suck

I have forgotten about blogging, most likely from my unhealthy attraction to facebook. So I am appoligizing now, and will be uploading some pictures of Zeke turning 3, family vacation to the coast, hiking w/ family and friends, and updating where we are at w/ going to Kenya.

So for the 3 people that do check on this from time to time... sorry I'm lame.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is Sad...

I realize it is a sad moment when I walk into my dentist office (notice the posessive phrasing) and the recieptionist and I give a big smile to each other and start chatting it up. Why is this so sad? Because I only started going there in Jan. Yep, I said it.. STARTED going in Jan. Meaning I have had multiple visits with my now good friends at the dentist. Before I was even seen by the main dentist today I had learned that the recieptionist had a child, plays softball, where she lives and some things about her family. You might be thinking this is a very outgoing lady (the recieptionist that is). Nope. Before, she was so shy she barely made eye contact. Too funny! Just takes about 6 cavities and soon you too can know your dentist office! There was a brief moment when closing out the file today where there was a pause. We realized that this was my last visit until my 6 month cleaning. Oh, well. I did leave w/ a half numb smile off to my car thinking yeah! I may enjoy my alone time from time to time but going to the dentist to get some is a bit much for me. Until August.. tata for now office!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ID: its important

Okay... there are those events that happen in life that can make it hard to like people. This week I got a phone call from Greg saying that he was on his way home and ... "oh, by the way, we got a Best Buy credit card bill and it was $3,000!". Which I responded ... " We don't have a best buy credit card and what do you mean $3,000????". Yep, our Identity had been hacked into. Someone from Minnisota opened an account and decided to treat themselves to some goodies... and they were gracious enough to let us pick up the bill. Greg is sorting it all out. All is going to be okay. But talk about giving us a heart attack!!!! I think I would have had to sell some blood to pay off that bill... and maybe donate something too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trampoline Class

We have offically been intorduced to the "indoor" life up here in Portland. The kids are in their second week out of the four week trampoline class. There is one giant trampoline at the local community center. It has been a great way to get some of the energy out while dealing with the cold and rain. I take my two tumbling maniacs and the 18 month old that I nanny for on Tuesday mornings. Aden, the little boy I watch, desires to be part of the jumping fun. Makayla is doing great with the star jumping, the helicopter, and the spin (she has great form on the spin I see snow boarding in her future). And for Zeke its a success if He can get himself to the middle and Jump. He is much shyer than his sister so classes are much more about being social and learning how to have fun in a crowd. I am very proud of him every time he makes the effort. He enjoys it once he gets used to it (which is usually by the end of the class). I'm proud of both my kids for being who they are and at least being willing to try new things. Stay tuned for a video to come! Kids crack me up!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Aaron Christopher Grummons!

Aaron Christopher Grummons birthday is now and forever Feb. 13, 2009! Welcome little guy. Actually, big guy! He was 9 lbs and 15 ounces, at 22 " long!!!! Crazy. Pray for Carrie as she recovers from the C-Section. And Pray also for Sam as he was away during the birth. But congrats to the family of four!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

two wheeln' Mak

On Sundays, that is our day to celebrate the Sabbath. That involves a wonderful day of going to church together, then heading home and making lunch for the four of us, then having a glorious nap. Yep, that's right we all four take a nap. It is GLORIOUS! Then we get up and spend the rest of the day hanging with the family. It might be going for a hike, or to the park, or playing board games... just as long as it is just the four of us. Well today we decided to hang out around the house and Greg taught his daughter how to ride a bike w/out training wheels. ANd the verdict? She is simply amazing! So here is a little video of Daddy teaching his ever growing daughter how to conquer the talents of riding a two wheeler!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tea on Tuesdays

After taking some down time this past Christmas break, I came to the realization that I wasn't being intential with the women that are around me. So we kicked off this morning Tea on Tuesdays. Which will be held from 9-11am at my house. Women and their kids (if they have them) can come and hang out. It is an informal time for women to connect and encourage each other. Most of the women have husbands that are in school, are taking a course or two themselves, and doing some form of organized ministry. That means that it is sometimes hard to have the time to connect with each other. And with it being super cold... as in 27 degrees this morning... it makes it even harder to come out of our caves. I am really glad to that there will be a standing invitation for those that can to come and "just be" together. Three of my friends braved the cold and came and it was a nice time to catch up and drink some tea... or eat grapefruit (even two were brave enough to eat apple flaxseed muffins... they were really gross! Sorry ladies). So until next tea time.. they, their families, and their ministries will be in my prayers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ready, Set , Study

Well.. on Monday Greg sets out to start his second semester here at Multnomah Seminary. He enjoyed last semester and is hoping he will this time around too. I, personally, am excited because I get to audit one of his classes w/ him on Tuesday nights (please be praying for a sitter to work out doing that time). Greg is also working on a portfolio photo book. Its his little baby at the moment (that's a good thing, its good to have things we enjoy). I also get the joy of joining a group called the Fuzzy slippers group (Thanks to Dawn Carter!!) via the Internet. I get to have fellowship w/ other women and intercessory prayer via tokbox, facebook, and reading the word on YouVersion. Yep, Jen is going to attempt the scary world of technology. And I get to join in on Cypress's class on missions w/ Bruce Camp (Thanks Justin for letting me crash that). And with the paints that Greg bought for me for Christmas I am planning once a week to sit down and doodle and splash some paint around. This is going to be a FUN semester.

The family went to a different church tonight. I was good. Ezekiel really enjoyed (that says a lot). He is so timid. He actually asked to go back to Church during the (long) drive home. Yep, I said it, it's a long drive. The reason we went to check it out is that one of the organizations Greg is looking to find a intern connection with is that they recommended this church because the head missions gal has been known as great resource to them. The teaching was on being a Risk Taker for God. Not the impulsive kind but a risk taker in the sense of willing to be challenged and stretched. Don't live a small life.

We are very excited about this new upcoming year. Who knows where we could be in the summer (maybe Rwanda, maybe Kenya, maybe both for Greg????). But we are ready to go.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tracking Health

I, Jen, have started a seperate blog site that is focused on Health. At the end of this year it was very clear that I have let my health ( and my rump) fall to the waste side. So for those that might be interested in the site, here it is:

It is a place for those that would like to get ideas, share ideas, recipes that work and DON't work, excerises that you like and Don't like, creative ideas to get kids active and eating all the healthy good stuff, add articles that cause us to think, and encouragements.

Look forward to seeing you there... hey, and if no body joins me at least I'll have a place to vent at the end of day.